Fanatastic facts about the south # 45

August 7, 2014

 

Fantastic fact # 45:


Word of the day

August 7, 2014

Greenswardsmanship – the cultivation of an unusually and enviably excellent lawn; the acquisition of a lawn so verdant that everyone goes green with envy at the sight of it.


Checkers or chess

August 7, 2014

Quote of the day:

We are witnessing yet more attempts at three dimensional chess by people far better suited to checkers Phil Quin

He was talking about the Labour Party and its mixed messages over Kelvin Davis and whether or not the party wants him to win the Te Tokerau electorate from Hone Harawira.

Labour’s current brains trust is far from nimble enough to carry off a complicated strategy built around doing one thing and saying another when it comes to Kelvin Davis and Kim Dotcom.  It is simply not possible to simultaneously support both men. It’s time for David Cunliffe to state once and for all where he stands, and make it clear to the voters of Te Tai Tokerau that Kelvin Davis must win, not in spite of its deleterious effect on the Internet Mana Party but, in part, because of them. 

A recent poll showed the majority of Labour voters don’t want a bar of Internet Mana.  It goes to show installing an entourage of Dotcom allies on the strength of Maori voters in the North represents a depth of cynicism to which they are unwilling to sink. Labour should never have put the option on the table, let alone allow it to linger there this long. 

But it is lingering and the longer it lingers and the more yeah-naaing there is over it the less likely voters are to trust Labour regardless of what it and its leader say.


Conservative’s gain NZ First’s loss?

August 7, 2014

The Conservative Party has a new high profile candidate:

Sensible Sentencing Trust founder Garth McVicar has decided to stand for the Conservative Party in this year’s election.

The announcement was made today, meaning Mr McVicar will be standing aside as the trust’s co-national spokesman. . .

This follows the weekend’s announcement that Christine Rankin would stand in Epsom.

If the Conservatives gain from this the likely loser will be New Zealand first which usually campaigns on tougher welfare policies and more family-friendly policies which would be Rankin’s territory and  longer sentences and better support for victims which  McVicar promotes.


Rural round-up

August 7, 2014

The other face of foreign ownership:

The generosity of foreign investors has created New Zealand’s largest ever private land protection agreement at 53,000 hectares; equivalent to 240 Cornwall Park/One Tree Hill Domains.

“It is exciting that a Queen Elizabeth II covenant now covers the iconic high country over most of Motatapu, Mount Soho, Glencoe and Coronet Peak stations,” says Dr William Rolleston, Federated Farmers President.

“This is the other face of foreign ownership, perhaps best explained by dual Federated Farmers/Forest & Bird life member, Gordon Stephenson, who commented: “this is the first time a whole landscape is being put into a covenant”.  . .

Sheep Industry Excellence Celebrated:

The important role ram breeders play in New Zealand’s sheep industry was celebrated at the third annual Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Sheep Industry Awards.

About 230 people attended a dinner in Napier, where 10 genetics-based awards and five sector excellence awards were presented. Results of the genetics-based awards were calculated based on ram breeders’ performance in SIL-ACE (Advanced Central Evaluation) – the large-scale, across flock and breed genetic evaluation of more than 300 ram breeding flocks. . . .

GlobalDairyTrade not ‘milk and disaster’:

The latest decline in the benchmark GlobalDairyTrade (GDT) online auction continues a trend expected by Federated Farmers. 

“We’d love to see a plus sign for a change but at least it seems to be tracking in the direction Rabobank has projected,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Vice-Chairperson.

“I don’t expect this latest result will affect the payout forecast in the near term.  What will be critical is the expected market recovery in the New Year.  . .

–  Allan Barber:

It’s wonderful what a bit of buoyancy in the market for beef and sheepmeat will do for morale, especially when it coincides with a solid drop in the predicted dairy payout. It isn’t just about absolute price returns, but also a reduction in the gap which has opened up this year between red meat and dairy prices.

MIE’s chairman John McCarthy has already characterised the improved mood among processors and exporters as signalling a desire to preserve the status quo which is why he and MIE are thrilled to have obtained the funding required to produce a business plan. This is intended to ‘deliver a definitive roadmap for farmer profitability’ through committed supply, coordinated marketing and best practice. . .

Global animal protein trends become more complex – Allan Barber:

At the Red Meat Sector Conference Luke Chandler, General Manager of Rabobank’s Food and Agribusiness Research Advisory group in Australasia, presented an interesting perspective on global protein trends and the increasing complexity required to feed the world’s growing population.

He observed three main trends: demand from emerging markets and market access, competitiveness between proteins and the complexity of the supply chains.

Briefly stated there is a surplus in the west and a shortage in the east with 70% of growth occurring in Asia, predominantly in China, India and Indonesia. Australia and New Zealand provide 6% and 3% respectively of imports of agricultural products into Asia and are therefore high value, niche exporters rather than providers of high volume production. . .

Ravensdown to pay farmer rebate as profits surge – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – Ravensdown Fertiliser Cooperative will resume paying farmers a rebate this year after its earnings jumped some 161 percent after it quit an unprofitable Australian business.

Profit before tax and rebate from continuing operations rose $73 million in the year ended May 31, from $28 million the previous year, the Christchurch-based cooperative said in a statement. Trading profit rose to $46 million from $6 million a year earlier, which was impacted by the cost from quitting Australia. Ravensdown will pay shareholders $37.78 per tonne, made up of $15 in rebate and fully imputed bonus shares worth $22.38. . . .

Third International Accolade in Three Months for Yealands:

Yealands Family Wines (YFW) has been awarded a trophy in the 2014 Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice. This award is the third international award that the Marlborough Company has won for its high quality sustainable wine growing practices in the past three months.

Yealands were awarded “Green Company of the Year” by the UK’s leading drinks publisher, Drinks Business on April 30 and crowned the Gold Medal Winner in the Most Socially or Environmentally Responsible Company of the Year category at the 2014 International Best in Biz Awards last month.

The company competed against more than 500 global nominations in the Green Apple Awards, and they will be presented with their trophy and certificate at a glittering presentation ceremony in The Houses of Parliament, in London on November 10. . .


Thursday’s Quiz

August 7, 2014

1. Who said: The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.?

2.  What is an anthophila more commonly known as?

3. It’s miel in French, miele in Italian,  miel in Spanish and too easy in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is a nectavore?

5. Is your favourite toast-topping sweet or savoury?


Fantastic facts about the south #46

August 7, 2014

Fantastic fact # 46:


Unemployment trending down

August 7, 2014

Unemployment has been lagging behind other positive economic indicators but it is now trending down:

More people are working and unemployment has fallen to 5.6 percent according to the latest figures from Statistics New Zealand.

“We continue to see more people move into employment and although the participation rate has dropped from a peak last quarter, it is still at an historically high level,” labour market and households statistics manager Diane Ramsay said. “The unemployment rate fell from a revised 5.9 percent to 5.6 percent and is the lowest it has been since the March 2009 quarter.”

Annually, the number of people employed rose 3.7 percent in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). Employment growth in Canterbury accounted for almost half of the total national employment growth over the year. In the Quarterly Employment Survey (QES), demand for workers from established businesses rose 2.3 percent.

Annual wage inflation, as measured by the labour cost index (LCI) salary and wage rates (including overtime), increased 1.7 percent compared with annual consumer price inflation of 1.6 percent. Average ordinary time hourly earnings (QES) rose 2.5 percent over the year.

“Annual wage inflation edged up and this was driven by private sector annual wage rate growth of 1.8 percent – influenced by the minimum wage increasing 3.6 percent. Public sector annual wage rate growth was unchanged at 1.2 percent,” Ms Ramsay said. . .

National’s policies are working for New Zealand and resulting in more people working:

Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 per cent – its lowest level since the March 2009 quarter.

Today’s Household Labour Force Survey shows the number of people employed increased by 83,000 over the last year.

“These results show the continued strength of the New Zealand economy as we continue to recover from the twin blows of the Global Financial Crisis and the Canterbury earthquakes,” Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce says.

“It is particularly pleasing to see young people benefitting from our economic growth with 11,300 more 15-19 year olds in employment in the last year. The  15-19 years NEET rate is down to 7.4 per cent in the quarter which is its lowest level since prior to the GFC in mid-2008.”

Other highlights of today’s HLFS release include employment for Pasifika people rising by 19.3 per cent in the past year – the largest annual movement since the series began in December 2007. The Maori employment rate is up 2.8 per cent over the same period.

New Zealand’s unemployment rate continues to be lower than most OECD countries and is now the 9th lowest in the OECD, and better than Australia, the US and the UK. The average unemployment rate across the OECD is 7.4 per cent.

Mr Joyce said today’s data also showed that wages continue to grow ahead of inflation with average weekly wages up 2.7 per cent over the year, compared with inflation of 1.6 per cent.

“The challenge now is to continue to build on this momentum so we have consistent and sustained economic performance that really lifts the opportunities for and incomes of New Zealanders over the longer term,” Mr Joyce says.

“The Government is continuing to work hard through its Business Growth Agenda to implement policies that encourage businesses across the country to invest and grow, and hire more people.”

 

Unemployment has fallen to 5.6 per cent in the June 2014 quarter as we recover from the Global Financial Crisis and Canterbury earthquakes, and with 170,000 more jobs forecast by mid-2018 it's projected to fall even further. ntnl.org.nz/1pBy9CR #Working4NZ
 

 

Unemployment has high economic and social costs for the individuals without jobs and the wider community.

Both the increase in the number of people in the workforce and the reduction in unemployment are good for the people involved and the country.

the trend is improving but there is still work to be done and it needs a National-led government to do it.

We can’t afford to change from the policies which are working for New Zealand and New Zealanders  to those promoted by Labour and the rag-tag bunch of wee parties it would need to prop it up in government.

They will increase the costs and complexities of employing people which will threaten existing jobs and put hurdles in the way of creating new ones.


Labour, Green still anti-dairy

August 7, 2014

Labour could hardly contain its glee at the drop in the prices in yesterday’s GlobalDairyTrade auction:

“Another massive drop in milk prices overnight shows New Zealand needs an Economic Upgrade to limit its overreliance on the dairy industry, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.

“Since February, milk prices have collapsed by 41 per cent, which suggests the short-lived economic recovery may have already ended. . .

“New Zealand is too reliant on one industry – riding the wave of commodity prices is not a long-term solution to grow jobs and incomes. . .

But while crying crocodile tears over the milk price it was announcing a tax that will hit dairy farmers:

. . . “We believe that the use of water for irrigation is a privilege, not an inalienable right. A resource rental is the best tool for making sure fresh water is used efficiently. However we will support proposals for water storage and irrigation schemes provided they have a broad consensus from their communities.

“Labour will use resource rentals to pay for irrigation schemes rather than paying for them out of tax and asset sales. . .

Individuals and communities already have a say in any water storage and irrigation schemes through the resource consent process.

The initial stages of any irrigation scheme are the most expensive for irrigation companies and water users.

Resource rental is just another name for another tax which will  add costs without benefits, make irrigation schemes less viable, production more expensive and lead to increases in food prices.

The Green Party was equally quick to seize on the fall in dairy prices for political purposes:

Falling dairy prices are highlighting the danger of National’s economic strategy that focuses on the export of a few, simple commodities, the Green Party said today. . .

“National’s economic strategy has simplified our economy and concentrated our exports on a few, low-value-added commodities,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“National has bet the farm on the farm and it isn’t working. A growing reliance on one or two commodity exports has made our economy more vulnerable to commodity price swings. . .

Both parties either don’t understand or are ignoring the fact that the increase in dairying had nothing to do with government policy.

Farmers made individual decisions on converting farms in response to market signals.

They did so in the knowledge that in the market prices go up and they go down.

They went up last season because demand was high.

They are going down now because supply has increased.

Both parties are also conveniently ignoring the statistics.
Embedded image permalink
Dairy is important but it accounted for only 21% of our exports in 2012 and has gone up only a little since then.

The risk for dairy isn’t current government policies but those a Labour/Green government would impose including a carbon tax:

. . . Agriculture – which is currently exempt from the ETS – would pay a reduced rate of $12.50 per tonne. This works out as an 12.5 per cent hit on farmers’ income. This includes 2 per cent on the working expenses of the average farm. A Berl Economics report, released with the policy, said dairying will be ”adversely affected.”

But it adds: ”However, at the currently projected pay-out for milk solids, even dairy farms in the lowest decile would remain well above break even in the face of an emissions levy.” . .

That payout projection is much lower now.

When he announced the policy, Norman said dairy farmers could afford it.

It wouldn’t be wise to hold your breath while waiting for him to axe that tax because they can’t afford it now.

Labour and the Greens are simply anti-dairy.

They are vociferous about the costs, ignore the benefits and take no notice of the efforts farmers are making to protect and enhance water and soils.


Truth hurts

August 7, 2014

Laila Harre got her nose in a knot yesterday when John Key called Kim Dotcom her sugar daddy.

He is a political sugar daddy funding not just her but the Internet Party, all it’s candidates and at least one Mana one- Georgina Beyer.

But he’s not just paying Harre a salary he’s dressing her as well:

She looked swish in the Internet Party official pics and I wondered whether she’d also been seeing a stylist but she said, no, she just “did a big shop”. Where did she do her big shop? “At Smith & Caughey’s.” Good heavens. Who paid? Dotcom?

The truth hurt Harre but the story hurt Labour more.

It made three policy announcements yesterday and they hardly got a mention.

I was listening to talkback on the three and a half hour drive home from Christchurch last night.

The host asked if the sugar daddy story was important.

No-one said it was. When asked what did matter they talked about National policies that are working and Labour didn’t get a mention.

 


August 7 in history

August 7, 2014

322 BC  Battle of Crannon between Athens and Macedon.

936  Coronation of King Otto I of Germany.

1420  Construction of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore began in Florence.

1427   The Visconti of Milan’s fleet was destroyed by the Venetians on the Po River.

1461   The Ming Dynasty military general Cao Qin staged a coup against the Tianshun Emperor.

1606   The first documented performance of Macbeth, at the Great Hall at Hampton Court.

1679  The brigantine Le Griffon, commissioned by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was towed to the south-eastern end of the Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes.

1714  The Battle of Gangut: the first important victory of the Russian Navy.

1782  George Washington ordered the creation of the Badge of Military Merit to honour soldiers wounded in battle. (later renamed  Purple Heart).

1794  U.S. President George Washington invoked the Militia Law of 1792 to suppress the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania.

1819  Simón Bolívar triumphed over Spain in the Battle of Boyacá.

1876 Mata Hari, Dutch spy, was born (d. 1917).

1879 The opening of the Poor Man’s Palace in Manchester.

1890  Anna Månsdotter became the last woman in Sweden to be executed, for the 1889 Yngsjö murder.

1908 The first train to travel the length of the North Island main trunk line, the ‘Parliament Special’ left Wellington.

First train runs length of main trunk line

1926 Stan Freberg, American voice comedian, was born.

1927  The Peace Bridge opened between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.

1930  The last lynching in the Northern United States, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were killed.

1933 The Simele massacre: The Iraqi Government slaughtersed over 3,000 Assyrians in the village of Sumail.

1936 Joy Cowley, New Zealand author, was born.

Black and white photo of Jow Cowley smiling

1942  B.J. Thomas, American singer, was born.

1942  The Battle of Guadalcanal began – United States Marines initiated the first American offensive of the war with landings on Guadalcanal and Tulagi.

1944  IBM dedicated the first program-controlled calculator, the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (known best as the Harvard Mark I).

1947 Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashed into the reef at Raroia  in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have travelled from South America.

1948  Greg Chappell, Australian cricketer and coach, was born.

1955 Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering, the precursor to Sony, sold its first transistor radios in Japan.

1958 Bruce Dickinson, English singer (Iron Maiden), was born.

1959 – Explorer 6 launched from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral.

1960 Jacquie O’Sullivan, British singer (Bananarama), was born.

1960  Côte d’Ivoire became independent.

1964 John Birmingham, Australian author, was born.

1964  U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution giving US President Lyndon B. Johnson broad war powers to deal with North Vietnamese attacks on American forces.

1965 The first party between Ken Kesey‘s Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hells Angels introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels.

1966 Race riots in Lansing, Michigan.

1974  Philippe Petit performed a high wire act between the twin towers of the World Trade Centere 1,368 feet (417 m) in the air.

1978  U.S. President Jimmy Carter declared a federal emergency at Love Canal.

1979  Several tornadoes struck the city of Woodstock, Ontario, Canada and the surrounding communities.

1981 The Washington Star ceased all operations after 128 years of publication.

1985 Takao Doi, Mamoru Mohri and Chiaki Mukai were chosen to be Japan’s first astronauts.

1988 Rioting in New York City’s Tompkins Square Park.

1998  The United States embassy bombings in Dar es Salaam and Nairobi killed approximately 212 people.

1997 – Beatrice Faumuina won athletics world championship gold.

1999  Second Chechen War began.

2008  Georgia launched a military offensive against South Ossetia to counter the alleged Russian invasion, starting the South Ossetia War.

2012 – 3 gunmen killed 19 people in a church near Okene, Nigeria.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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