Word of the day

August 31, 2014

Deterge – cleanse thoroughly; cleanse of impurities or undesirable matter, as a wound; clear away foul matter from the body; wash away or wipe off.


Rural round-up

August 31, 2014

Co-operation at a strategic level – Glenys Christian:

There could be downstream as well as upstream benefits to Fonterra’s $615 million deal with Chinese infant food manufacturer Beingmate, starting at the onfarm level in that country.

Fonterra chairman John Wilson said after the announcement of the move was made on Wednesday that discussions had been held about how the co-operative could help out in other areas.

“Beingmate has its own farms,” he said.

That meant there were opportunities to look at the two companies joining together more in farm management with Fonterra already having one hub of dairy farms up and running in China, a second hub started, and commitment to a third. 

“We’ve had discussions about more alignment,” he said.

“There may be benefits upstream and downstream in the future.” . . .

Honour for noted sheep breeder – Jon Morgan:

In 1956, 23-year-old romney stud breeder Roger Marshall sold his first rams at the Manawatu and West Coast Ram Fair in Feilding. The Rangitikei Mail reported that when the first ram was knocked down at 1400 guineas after spirited bidding the large bench of buyers broke into spontaneous applause.

“I remember being quite worried because it had rained for several days before the sale, and all my rams had wet wool, but to get 1400 guineas was terrific – that was the price of a new Holden car in those days,” the quiet- spoken farmer says. “It was a great incentive for me.”

It was a sparkling opening to a career in sheep breeding that eventually took him to the other side of the world in search of new blood to rejuvenate the sheep industry. . .

A2 poised for US start – Alan Williams:

The strong NZ dollar has cut into reported profits but A2 Milk Company remains confident it can fund development of three new markets from its existing cash and cashflows.

A2 had $16 million cash in the bank at June 30 and is booking strong Australian sales and operating cashflows.

It will use them to build on its slowly developing markets in China and the United Kingdom and to begin sales in the United States next year. . .

Manuka honey sector gets boost with trial expansion:

The lucrative Manuka honey healthcare market is set to expand after New Zealand’s largest farmer, Landcorp Farming, announced it’ll be planting an additional 93 hectares of mānuka honey trees.

The new plantings are part of the High Performance Mānuka Plantations programme — a seven year Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) between the mānuka honey industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to increase the yield and reliability of supply of medical grade mānuka honey.

The PGP trials, involving Landcorp, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Comvita, Aborex Industries, Don and Conchita Tweeddale and Nukuhau Carbon Ltd, were launched in 2011 to increase the value of the mānuka honey industry from an estimated $75 million towards $1.2 billion per annum by 2028.

Maori Trustee Te Tumu Paeroa is also a shareholder in the programme. . .

Californian drought is so severe it’s ‘causing the ground to move’:

Vanishing water is causing the ground to rise in the western United States, according to a new study.

 Scientists estimate that 63 trillion gallons of water has been lost in the west over the past 18 months. 

The surface of the Earth is much more springy than you might think. When you put something very heavy on it, there’s a good chance the ground will sink at least a little bit. And in the same way, when you remove something very heavy, the ground will lift.

As it turns out, 63 trillion gallons of water is pretty heavy. . . .

Rural Women Drive Post-conflict Recovery in Bosnia and Herzegovina – Food tank:

The International Fund for Agricultural Development‘s (IFAD) Livestock and Rural Finance Development Project has helped transition rural businesses in Bosnia and Herzegovina from the initial stages of post-conflict recovery to long-term sustainable development. The program has financed rural infrastructure redevelopment and provided credit and training to small business owners. This program has particularly focused on reengaging women in the workforce.

On a macro-level, the program has helped to improve producer access to markets. At the local level, the program has encouraged the formation of producers’ associations and helped provide individuals with machinery and technical support services. For example, members of the Nevesinje’s Producers’ Association have received credit and trainings on food safety, handling, and storage of their product from the program.

The program has also helped open up a discriminatory workforce to women. In the decade following the Bosnian War, there was a marked decrease in women in the workforce and a resurgence of traditional attitudes about gender roles. . .

 

Just punctuate. </p><br /><br /> <p>#grammar


National working for and in the south #21

August 31, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 21:


New Age

August 31, 2014

 

Open large picture

We’re already in the new age, she said. What does that mean? I said. It means we can stop waiting & start living, she said but after she left, I still waited a little while more just to be safe.

New Age ©2014 Brian Andreas – published with permission.

If you’d like a daily dose of whimsy like this, you’ll find where to sign up by clicking on the link above.


$22.5m for forestry

August 31, 2014

National’s Forestry Spokesperson, Jo Goodhew announced plans to invest invest $22.5 million over five years to further encourage and support the planting of new forests if the party is back in government:

Mrs Goodhew made the announcement at Knapdale Eco Lodge in Gisborne with Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key, National’s Primary Industries spokesman, Nathan Guy, and local East Coast MP Anne Tolley.

The Afforestation Grant Scheme (AGS) is a grant to help landowners to establish new forests of between five and 300 hectares.

“The previous AGS wound up last year. Through National’s responsible economic management we are able to commit to extending this worthwhile scheme for a further five years,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“Our commitment to afforestation is another example of National’s long-term economic investment in regional New Zealand.

“Other examples are our recently announced $150 million investment in the Rural Broadband Initiative, our $212 million investment in new regional roading projects, the investment of $120 million into new irrigation projects, and initiatives like the recovery of windblown timber on the West Coast.

“Contrast that with Labour and the Greens – they would stifle the regions by bringing in a big new carbon tax, imposing large water resource levies, and introducing a capital gains tax on 100 per cent of productive businesses,  including farms.

“National backs the country’s regions to succeed.

“The start-up costs for forests can be a huge barrier, as forestry is a long-term game. It can be 25 to 30 years before forests are ready to be harvested and generate value. That’s why National wants to lower those cost barriers for regional New Zealand and make planting new forests easier,” says Mrs Goodhew.

The scheme will build on the success of the earlier AGS, but will be improved and simplified to make participation easier.

“We have looked at how the scheme could be further enhanced, to make it more accessible and flexible for applicants,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The scheme is projected to result in around 15,000 hectares of new forest being established. Much of this is expected to be on low-quality land not ideal for farming.”

The criteria for the new scheme will include:

Individual parcels of land between 5 and 300 hectares per grant application

Planting must be on land that is not already forestry land

A flat grant rate of $1300 per hectare from one funding pool for all applicants.

In return for a grant, grantees will forfeit carbon credits to the Crown for up to a decade.

“We expect the majority of people taking up this scheme will be farmers and other landowners wanting to diversify and better use marginal land,” says Mrs Goodhew.

“The grant will go some way to alleviating the start-up costs of new planting, but we expect grant recipients to meet the long-term costs associated with developing and sustaining a forest.”

Forests have a number of environmental benefits. New planting will help property owners address soil erosion, water quality and biodiversity.

“The removal of carbon by forests plays an important role in helping New Zealand meet its long-term climate change commitments. Planting new forests contributes positively to reducing New Zealand’s net emissions.”

The Afforestation Grants scheme complements work already undertaken in this area, including the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative, the Erosion Control Funding Programme on the East Coast and the Hill Country Erosion Fund.

 

National backs our regions to succeed. This announcement is another example of our long-term investment in regional New Zealand. ntnl.org.nz/1vTC2oO #Working4NZ

 

 


What matters

August 31, 2014

Trans Tasman on what matters to voters:

The vital factor for NZers as they come to vote are issues which impact on their lives: the trajectory of the economy, jobs, living standards, inflation, house prices, education and health services. Voters’ assessments on the credibility, competency and leadership of the parties weigh equally heavily. And a primary concern is stability of the Govt to be elected under the MMP system. . .

Anyone who understands the issues, the policies, the parties has a clear choice.

A stable, National-led government will continue with the policies which are working in these important areas; a weak unstable Labour-led government propped up by the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana parties won’t.

There are major differences in policies too, not the least of which is tax:

Where Labour is talking of raising taxes, National is dropping broad hints it wants to lower taxes by revising tax thresholds to provide some relief for those on low and middle incomes.  . .

The PREFU supported the government’s claims that the books will be back in surplus.

There is no justification for increasing tax rates. If conditions allow, there could be a case for some reductions, if only to counter bracket creep.

The only justification for adding a new tax would be by taking away an existing one.

Labour and its left-wing cling-ons want to increase tax rates and introduce new ones as extras not replacements.

High tax and high spending under the last Labour-led government put New Zealand into recession long before the rest of the world. That they haven’t learned from that mistake shows they can’t be trusted with the public purse again.
In their last five years in government, Labour’s spending increased by 50%, pushing mortgage rates to 11%, causing inflation to exceed 5%, and putting the economy into recession well before the global financial crisis. Now they want to make the same mistakes all over again.

In stark contrast National has spent the last six years working for New Zealand with policies that are working for New Zealanders and this week announced more of its plan for the next three years:

We’re focused on the things that matter to New Zealanders. If you’ve missed any of our policy announcements this week, we’ve summed them up below. If you want more information on any of these announcements visit: www.national.org.nz/plan #Working4NZ


Better, sooner, healthier

August 31, 2014

Health Minister Tony Ryall  has announced faster access to treatment for people whose doctors suspect have cancer:

If your doctor suspects you have cancer, the Government will ensure you see a cancer specialist and receive treatment faster than ever before.

Health Minister Tony Ryall announced a new faster cancer treatment target will be introduced from 1 October during a visit to the Cancer Society’s Domain Lodge this afternoon with Prime Minister John Key.

“The new target will extend the scope of the current health target so people with suspected cancer receive faster access to all services from diagnostic tests to surgery or other treatment,” says Mr Ryall.

“Waiting for a cancer diagnosis is a very stressful time for people and their families.

“We inherited cancer services which were failing New Zealanders. Patients were waiting months for treatment and some had to travel to Australia because of lengthy delays here. Thankfully those days are over – all patients now receive radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment within four weeks of being ready to treat.

“We will build on our successful plan and introduce a new national health target which will ensure cancer patients receive their diagnostic tests, surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy even faster.

“If your GP suspects you have cancer, you should see a cancer specialist within two weeks. Diagnostic tests and clinical investigations will be completed in a faster, more streamlined way and our goal is for patients to receive their first cancer treatment within a maximum 62 days of their original GP’s referral.

“The new target is much broader than the current cancer health target, which focuses on how long patients wait to start their chemotherapy and radiotherapy when ready to treat. The current cancer target didn’t include surgery, which is often the first treatment step for patients, or the time patients wait to see a cancer specialist and have tests done.

“The maximum 62 days is an international gold standard for cancer treatment. Currently in New Zealand around 60-65 per cent of patients receive their first cancer treatment within this time.

“The new target will be for 90 per cent of patients to receive their first treatment within a maximum 62 days of seeing their GP by June 2017.

“Having a similar target has had a big effect in other countries. When the measure was introduced in the UK in 2001, about 60 per cent of cancer patients received their first treatment within a maximum 62 days – by the end of last year this had risen to over 85 per cent.

Mr Ryall says New Zealand will see similar improvements here.

“This Government has invested more than $100 million extra to support people with cancer and improve services – and we have already made significant progress.

“It is only through the sound economic management of the National-led government that we have been able to invest in, and deliver world-class cancer services.”

Implementing the new target is part of the faster cancer treatment initiative already budgeted for – the Government has already spent $19 million and will spend a further $41 million over the next three years.

“The new maximum 62 day faster cancer treatment target will build on the gains we have made over the past five years and provide New Zealanders with even faster cancer services,” says Mr Ryall. 

Faster cancer diagnosis and treatment can help ease the burden for patients and families. ntnl.org.nz/VRIRu9 #Working4NZ

Better, sooner and more convenient treatment for health problems was one of the promises National made before becoming the government and it’s one that’s working thanks to the Minister and the health professionals who have accepted the challenge of meeting the targets.

Another improvement announced this week is the introduction of a single patient information system for all hospitals in the South Island:

“The South Island Patient Information Care System (SI PICS) will connect hospitals and health services in the South Island so health professionals can share information securely and provide patients with better care,” says Mr Ryall.

“Replacing each district health board’s patient information system with a single streamlined regional system will provide health professionals with more accurate information, and allow them to spend less time on administration and more time on caring for patients.

“It will also manage a number of patient services for district health boards (DHBs), including patient appointments, admissions, discharges, and transfers.

“The new system will also be more timely and cost-efficient than the patient information systems it replaces. Together, the DHBs are expected to save around $40 million over the next 15 years,” says Mr Ryall.

SI PICS will be introduced throughout South Island hospitals in stages, beginning in 2015 with Burwood Hospital in Christchurch and then with hospitals in the Nelson/Marlborough region.

The South Island Alliance, a collaboration of the five South Island DHBs, is working with Orion Health to develop and implement SI PICS. . .

If re-elected National is promising to invest $50 million extra of new money over the next three years in a plan to help New Zealanders live free from bone, muscle and joint pain and provide thousands more people with elective surgery.
Delivering more elective operations provides more patients with mobility and independence: ntnl.org.nz/1mUUqIC #Working4NZ

 

“It is estimated up to a quarter of GP consultations are related to arthritis, lower back pain, orthopaedic or other bone, muscle and joint conditions,” says Mr Ryall.

“Experts tell me with earlier intervention we could improve the quality of life for many people suffering from what’s termed musculoskeletal pain, such as osteoarthritis.

“We will invest $6 million to create primary care based early intervention teams that will identify patients who are likely to suffer from bone, muscle & joint conditions in the future and support them to make changes to help prevent patients heading down the path towards surgery.

“The teams will work with a range of community health services such as GPs, dieticians and physiotherapists and will be coordinated through general practice. There will also be close links with hospital services such as rheumatology, orthopaedic and pain services.

“They will provide nutrition and lifestyle advice, assist with pain management and provide education so patients can better manage their condition themselves.

“This approach will enable some patients to be treated early enough to maintain independence. Others however will require surgery.

“To ensure the people requiring surgery receive it faster, we will invest $30 million of the new money to further lift our record numbers of orthopaedic operations – delivering an extra 2250 hip, knee and other orthopaedic operations over the next term in addition to the usual increases.

“The remaining $14 million will deliver more than 1500 extra general surgeries, such as hernia, gallstone and vein conditions.

“As a result of this initiative, plus our normal annual elective surgery increases, we will be providing an extra 14,500 elective operations a year by 2016/17.

“Reducing pain, increasing patient mobility and independence, and increasing elective surgery is a priority for this National-led Government,” says Mr Ryall.

“Thanks to our strong economic management, we have been able to increase our investment in health by an average of $500 million every year we have been in government, and this year the health budget will be a record $15.6 billion.”

This is why National is focussed on the economy, not as an end but the means to better public services and that focus is working for New Zealand.

National has a clear plan to keep New Zealand moving in the right direction. In the last week alone, we have announced a range of policies to help achieve it:</p><br /> <p>•         Boost international trade and economic partnerships to lift job-creating exports<br /><br /> •         Help 90,000 Kiwis into their own home through our HomeStart programme<br /><br /> •         Support regional growth with a $150m investment in rural broadband<br /><br /> •         Invest in health to improve cancer treatment and provide thousands of extra elective surgeries<br /><br /> •         Invest in aged care to support our elderly and those who care for them


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