Word of the day

August 14, 2014

Lacuna – an empty or unfilled space; a gap; missing part; hiatus; a cavity or depression, especially in bone.

Hat tip: Rob Hosking


Fantastic facts about the south #38

August 14, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 38:


Rural round-up

August 14, 2014

Whitebaiters urged to fish responsibly:

New Zealanders are being urged to keep their love of whitebait in check when the season begins or risk a $5000 fine.

The official whitebaiting season runs from mid August to the end of November, except for the South Island’s west coast which goes from September to mid November.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) says fishers need to stick to the regulations in place which are designed to protect the fishery’s juveniles.

Conservation grants for two west Coast groups:

Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner today announced Conservation Volunteers New Zealand and West Coast branch of Forest and Bird have been awarded Community Conservation Partnership Fund grants.

Conservation Volunteers, which is a not for profit charitable entity, has been awarded $195,000 for a coastal amenities engagement programme.  It aims to develop community engagement in projects in Buller and Grey Districts.

“The grant, which will be spread over two years, will allow an engagement officer to be employed to encourage and manage community participation in critical conservation tasks on project sites at Punakaiki, Westport, Greymouth, Hokitika and Cobden Aromahana Sanctuary,” Ms Wagner says. . .

Fonterra and CSIRO Join Forces to Drive Sustainable Dairy Innovation:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Ltd. has signed a five-year strategic agreement with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) to drive innovation in sustainable farming, manufacturing, health, nutrition and consumer dairy products.

The agreement will see CSIRO applying its expertise to the co-operative’s global dairy chain using its broad range of industrial know-how and scientific capability in remote sensing, resource engineering, ecosystem, food and water to help propel Fonterra’s V3 strategy.

Fonterra Chief Technology Officer Dr Jeremy Hill said, “We intend our partnership with CSIRO to develop a range of solutions to address Fonterra’s science and technology needs.” . . .

Fonterra in Australian research deal:

Fonterra says it’s not turning its back on New Zealand research organisations in an agreement it’s just signed with Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, CSIRO.

The five-year strategic agreement will cover research ranging from herd productivity, effluent management and milk quality, to processing and analytical technology, food design and consumer health.

Fonterra’s chief technology officer Dr Jeremy Hill was quick to point out that it would complement rather than compete with the work the dairy co-operative was doing with New Zealand research providers.

“CSIRO’s an extremely broad and diverse organisation, so it has science and technology capbilities in agriculture and food, but also in such areas as mining,(and) information technology,” said Dr Hill. . .

Companies collaborate in China:

Six New Zealand primary industry companies have formed a new collaboration to ease entry into the China market.

Primary Collaboration New Zealand Limited has established a China services company (ServeCo) as a wholly foreign owned enterprise (WFOE) in Shanghai to provide ‘in-market’ services. The collaboration stems from the inaugural New Zealand Primary Sector Bootcamp held by industry CEOs and government agency leaders at Stanford University in 2012.

The collaboration will initially involve Sealord, Silver Fern Farms, Synlait Milk, Villa Maria Estate, Kono and Pacific Pace (a collaboration between Hawke’s Bay horticulture businesses Mr Apple, CrasbornGroup and J M Bostock Group). . .

Livestock numbers forecast shows little change – unlikely to achieve MPI’s optimistic revenue forecasts – Allan Barber:

The Beef + Lamb New Zealand Economic Service’s latest stock numbers survey shows only minor changes in next season’s predicted volumes. However total sheep numbers are estimated to fall below 30 million for the first time.

A small increase in lamb numbers is forecast as a result of a better lambing percentage, although this still depends on a normal spring, especially in the main sheep breeding areas of the East Coast, lower North Island, and the South Island. The total sheep flock declined by 3.2% or nearly 1 million sheep. However the drop in the number of breeding ewes was only 1.4%, whereas hogget numbers were down 750,000.

The decline was more pronounced in the South Island because of continuing land use change from Canterbury to Southland; in the North Island the drought conditions in Northland had the main impact, while the rest of the island was relatively stable. The fall in the number of hoggets retained compared with the previous year poses a further threat to breeding ewe numbers for the following season. . .

DairyNZ reshapes senior roles:

DairyNZ has appointed David McCall to a new role of general manager of research and development as part of a plan to more closely integrate its research work with the products, tools, resources and services developed for farmers.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the change will see DairyNZ’s research and development teams merge into one new group from this month. The new appointment follows last month’s retirement of DairyNZ’s chief scientist, Dr Eric Hillerton.

“It is timely with Eric leaving to re-think the role of the research leadership position. We also have a new industry strategy with some ambitious targets and we need to think about how to organise ourselves to best deliver those for farmers. I’m keen to see greater integration because one of the dairy industry’s key strategic objectives is to research and develop innovative technologies and solutions to meet the current and future needs of dairy farms. . .

Tongues And Cheeks Among the Best:

What do water buffalo, pig’s cheeks and hare’s legs have in common? They’re all key ingredients in the dishes that have made the cut in the Monteith’s Wild Food Challenge.

After a month long feast, daring New Zealanders have voted for their favourite wild dish and together with a panel of judges, have selected 12 finalists in the Monteith’s Wild Food challenge. Expert judges have travelled the length of New Zealand, tried 122 dishes and pushed their palates to new levels in the hunt for the finest feast and the best flavourable Monteith’s companion.

“I’ve seen many innovations since the inception of the Challenge 17 years ago and am always surprised and delighted by the combinations of Monteith’s and wild foods created by talented New Zealand chefs,” says Head Judge Kerry Tyack. . . .

This almost made me cry laughing. I'm sure not a ton of people will agree, but those that do ... high five!!!!!! And Props to the person that stopped to take the picture and took the time to post it! I <3 farmers !!!


Voting with their feet

August 14, 2014

New Zealand’s population is growing at its fastest rate for over a decade, according to new estimates from Statistics New Zealand.

The country’s population grew by 67,800 people, or 1.5 percent, in the year to 30 June 2014. This came from natural increase (births minus deaths) of 29,500 and net migration (arrivals minus departures) of 38,300. New Zealand’s estimated resident population was 4.51 million at 30 June 2014.

The immigrant population increase is greater than the natural population increase which is not unusual in Western countries.

“This is the first release of population estimates using results from the 2013 Census and Post-enumeration Survey,” population statistics manager Vina Cullum said.

The estimates are the best available indication of how many people currently live in New Zealand because they include people missed by the census, including those who were temporarily overseas on census night.

New population estimates at the earlier date of 30 June 2013 are also available for broad ethnic groups, and we have revised population estimates for subnational areas.

“These estimates confirm increases in all ethnic populations since 2006. Even the broad European ethnic population has grown to 3.31 million despite its older age structure,” Ms Cullum said.

The June 2013 estimates put the Māori ethnic population at 692,000, the broad Asian population at 541,000, and broad Pacific population at 344,000. An estimated 53,000 people identify with Middle Eastern, Latin American, or African ethnicities.

The population increase shows people are voting with their feet.

It’s a combination of fewer New Zealanders leaving the country to live elsewhere and more people coming to live here.

There will be many reasons for that, one of them is that people think they will have a better life and opportunities here.

 

 


Thursday’s quiz

August 14, 2014

1. Who said: At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.?

2. Which of A.A. Milne’s characters . . . noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.  ?

3.  It’s reconnaissant in French,  grato in Italian, agradecido in Spanish and whakawhetai in Maori, what is it in English (hint – you’ll have the general idea from the first two questions but not the specific word).

4. What two lines precede this:  And I think to myself what a wonderful world; and who is best known for singing it?

5. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind for which you’re grateful?

Update – After Andrei’s answer I need to clarify I’m looking for the first two lines of the first verse in question 4.


Dirtiest trick

August 14, 2014

If Nicky Hager has emails from National Party sources to Cameron Slater he will also have other emails.

Anyone familiar with Whaeloil will know that some of them must be from Labour Party sources, possibly even MPs.

Anyone familiar with Whaleoil will know that some of them could be from journalists.

If Hager was on the path of the righteous which he claims his book would also have exposed them.

At least some of those people should be worried because anyone familiar with Whaleoil will know that fire is fought with fire.

The dirtiest trick is not what Hager exposes but that and how he got the information and published it:

Isn’t the most dirty trick exposed in ’s book, the revelation that Hager reveals that he received six years of stolen e-mails, hacked from Cameron Slater’s Gmail and Facebook accounts?

Is it not ironic that so many on the left have marched and protested against the right of the GCSB to assist the SIS or the Police to intercept communications, if a Judge or retried Judge agrees that there is enough evidence of criminal or national security issues to give out an interception warrant. They protested for weeks and months.

Yet when we get evidence of a massive criminal hacking of six years of personal communications, then they do not see that as dirty politics. They celebrate it, because it occurred against someone they do not like. Does this not suggest a large degree of hypocrisy and faux outrage over the GCSB changes last year? Are any of those anti-GCSB protesters going to condemn Nicky Hager and his unknown associate/s for the hack and publication  of Cameron Slater’s Gmail and Facebook?

Do all those journalists who wrote dozens and dozens of stories about the GCSB Bill, have a view on whether it is okay to criminally hack someone’s private communications, because you don’t like what they write? Is this where we want politics in New Zealand to go – partisans from the left and right trying to hack each other’s communications?

The book does expose dirty politics in New Zealand, the dirty politics of those who criminally hack private communications, and publish them. They’ve just had journalists in the UK go to jail for publishing stories that they knew were based on hacked voicemails. Here though, you get to make royalties out of them.

I don’t think it’s wrong for a judge, retired or practising, to give authorities the right to intercept communications where there is sufficient evidence to justify it.

I do think it’s wrong for someone to hack someone else’s emails to use them selectively and to do so for political purposes.

 

 

 


NZ 1st for what matters

August 14, 2014

Labour, the Green party and their fellow travellers would have us believe that New Zealand is in a parlous state.

The Social Progress report shows otherwise – New Zealand is first in the world for social and environmental progress:

. . . The 2014 Social Progress Index reveals striking differences across countries in their social performance and highlights the very different strengths and weaknesses of individual countries.

The results provide concrete priorities for national policy agendas and identify other countries to learn from.

The top three countries in the world in terms of social progress are New Zealand, Switzerland, and Iceland. These three countries, closely grouped in terms of score, are relatively small in terms of populations. They score strongly across all social progress dimensions.

The remainder of the top ten includes a group of Northern European nations (Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Denmark), Canada, and Australia. Together with the top three, these countries round out a distinct “top tier” of countries in terms of social progress scores. . .

New Zealand scored:

* 91.74  out of 100 for basic human needs, which rated nutrition and basic medical care. the only relative weakness was in this area – for maternal mortality.

* 84.97 for foundations of wellbeing which rated access to basic knowledge, access to information and communications, health and wellness and environmental sustainability.

* 88.01 for opportunity which rated personal rights, personal freedom and choice, tolerance and inclusion and access to advanced education.

This doesn’t mean New Zealand is perfect. There is room for improvement.

But we are doing relatively well  in social and environmental measures which are the ones many say matter far more than economic ones.

However, let us not forget that the sustainability of those depend on a strong economy.

It is no coincidence that countries which rate well in social and environmental areas also do well economically and the countries at the bottom don’t.

GDP alone doesn’t guarantee social progress but it provides a strong foundation for it.


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