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.


H is for . . .

August 14, 2014

Another election, another shock-horror book from left-wing conspiracy theorist Nicky Hager.

. . . The book starts with what is already known: that a prime ministerial operative, Jason Ede, regularly feeds information to Cameron Slater, who writes the blog “Whale Oil” and who Mr Hager described as “obnoxious” at tonight’s book launch at Wellington’s Unity Books. 

The book builds on that information though: in an echo of Mr Hager’s most famous effort, The Hollow Men, the book contains leaked emails between National Party figures. 

The book also alleges Mr Ede hacked into Labour Party computers and fed the resulting Information to Mr Slater. 

Mr Hager says he got the information through “a lucky break” because, after Mr Slater’s blog attacked West Coast residents as “ferals” earlier in the year, the Whale Oil blog was hit with a series of denial of services attacks.

As a result of these attacks – and here Mr Hager has been somewhat vague – emails were obtained and these found their way to Mr Hager. . .

Somewhat vague, well yes, he would be wouldn’t he, just as he was more than vague about the source of  then-National leader Don Brash’s correspondence that found its way into his hands.

There’s nothing vague about the timing of the book’s launch though.

It is politically motivated in an attempt to influence the election outcome.

If the talk-back test is any indication, Hager could be very disappointed.

Kerre Woodham introduced the topic on Newstalk ZB last night and few listeners showed much interest in it.

The book has a chapter devoted to David Farrar who responds:

I’ve had a quick read through the chapter on me, and a few things I’ll point out.

  • Hager thinks my setting Kiwiblog up was due to my involvement in the IDU. That’s nuts. I’ve been debating politics online since 1996, originally through Usenet. I set Kiwiblog up because I like debate. It was not encouraged by anyone, and I was surprised it has turned out influential. In fact in the early days quite a few in National put pressure on for me not to blog.

  • I get e-mails from numerous people, including Jason Ede, pointing stories out to me, or suggesting things I may want to blog on. I get them from lots of ordinary blog readers, from friends, from some staff, and sometmes even an MP. But I decide what I blog, and they always accord with my political views.

My blog isn’t nearly as well-read as Kiwiblog or Whaleoil but I also get emails with tips or suggestions for posts.

Sometimes I ignore them, sometimes I use them and when I do it is my own point of view on them. I am open about my involvement with National but have never asked anyone in the party for information. No-one inside or outside the party has ever told me what to write.

  • A tiny proportion of what I blog comes from National sources. Way under 5%. I write Kiwiblog, and people send me ideas – and this is somehow a conspiracy. Very very very occasionally I might proactively ask for some info – maybe every couple of months, if that.

  • Most of what I blog is pro-National, as you would expect. But most weeks there is an issue I disagree with them on. I did multiple posts attacking the Government on the proposed copper tax, and even had Kiwiblog join an aggressive campaign against National on this. I have several times lobbied minor party MPs not to support National on bills or amendments. I recently said I think John Key should have accepted Gerry Brownlee’s resignation.

  • When Curia first set up, it of course had only one client. Since then it has grown nicely. At last count around 60+. The initial staff were mainly people I knew through National, as I took over what had been some internal polling, but today we have well over 100 staff and I don’t think any of them are Young Nats. The 2ic for Curia is a Labour supporter who told me the first time we socialised together that for a right wing bastard, I’m not totally bad. We poll for many clients, whose politics I do not share. I’ve polled for former Labour and Alliance MPs. I’ve polled for Family First, and disagree with them on 90% of their issues.

  • Nicky seems to think it is a secret I am National’s pollster. A bloody badly kept secret. It’s on my website. It is referred to often.

  • He is also excited that my staff do some canvassing work for National candidates or MPs. Yep. It creates extra work for my staff which is great. But we don’t just do it for them. While most of our work is polling, if people want to utilise our call centre, and pay for it, they can. Just last week I had one client contract our call centre to make 18,000 phone calls on their behalf – this is a totally non-political client. I’ll work for pretty much anyone who pays (so long as not a conflict of interest)

Most of the book is on Cam. Cam does some great stuff and he sometimes does some appalling stuff. Cam does not work for anyone, or even take guidance from anyone. He is his own force of nature.

He, like David, will criticise National people and policies and is sometimes complimentary about those on the left.

Hager basically doesn’t like the fact the right now have voices. He basically says no media should ever use me as a commentator. He is threatened by the fact we finally have one organisation (Taxpayers Union) arguing for less government spending, to counter the 2,000 or so that argue for more.

My final comment is to note that people thought his book may be on the NSA and GCSB intercepting electronic communications. It would seem the person who is the biggest recipient and publisher of intercepted electronic communications is in fact Nicky Hager. If someone published a book of e-mails between a group of left-wingers, he’d probably call it a police state, and demand an inquiry.

Does anyone else see even hypocrisy in someone writing a book by the recipient of intercepted emails criticising someone else’s intercepted emails?

The left would be incandescent if it happened to them, but as Liberty Scott notes they are already angry:

. . .You see, attack politics are actually normal.  It’s the norm for many politicians to be pejorative.  The left’s primary pejoratives are to claim policies are “racist” and “sexist”, or that those on the right “hate the poor” and are only in politics for the money (they of course, donate most of their salaries to charity), and finally there is the anti-semitic attacks on John Key and the childish “fuck John Key” contribution to intelligent discourse.

What is apparent is anger.  Anger from those who think they are entitled to spend other people’s money without their consent, anger from those who want to tell other people what to do with their property, anger from those who don’t like foreigners, or foreigners buying things they themselves can’t or wont buy, and conversely anger from those who are fed up with being told they owe others a living, fed up with being told that some people are entitled to be listened to more, because of some aspect of their background.   The anger in politics is due to polarisation.  Those on the right are becoming more clearly cynical of answers that involve more government, while those on the left are less inclined to compromise with business, with those arguing to be left alone, and those who offend and upset them.

Hager’s book from what little has percolated out simply seems to report that some bloggers are affiliated with the National Party.  Who knew?!?  Hager wont write a book about those affiliated with the Labour Party, or the Greens, or heaven-forbid the Kim Dotcom/Alliance Revival/Harawira Whanau First Party, because they are who he wants to have in power.  He talks about how bloggers deliberately try to get media attention to support one political point of view, yet he is guilty of exactly the same tactic when he puts out his books.

Hager’s biggest problem is that what he purports others to do, is exactly what he is trying to do himself.  Pass himself off as “independent” and dedicated to exposing secret political deals, but he is anything but independent, and completely ignores anything going on on his side.

That’s because he’s not an objective journalist, he’s a very subjective conspiracy theorist.

The book will excite the left, those biased in the other direction, like me, will treat it with disdain.

Will anyone other than political tragics be interested in it?

I suspect it will just confirm their poor view of politics and its practitioners.

P.S. the book was launched at Unity Books – that might explain why Stephen Franks calls it a bookshop for book burners:

A significant part of Wellington’s literary set have a poisonous consensus against views they do not favour. In effect they define their tribe by what it agrees to hate. What they hate is drearily predictable, including road improvements (particularly fly-overs), Israel, and any challengers to their clerical view of what is ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’.Thomas Sowell refers to this class as the anointed.  Their world is divided into the righteous and the unrighteous.

Our Prime MInister is among the un-righteous, obviously. Making a fortune is irredeemable, especially out of investment banking, then being overwhelminly popular with voters who have to attract voluntary customers for a living.

Accordingly Unity book-shop has attempted to minimise its sales of John Roughan’s biography of John Key.  Since it was published it has been on the floor behind other stands whenever I or a friend has checked. Much of the time it was face down.

I tackled a person who appeared to be an owner or manager.  He said it was his staff who put it there, and he couldn’t stop them from doing it. Each time he tried to turn it face side up or give it more prominence they would return it to where people would have to ask for it expressly. . .

Last time I was in Wellington I went into the shop, saw the books upside down on the floor, picked up several and placed them right-side up on the table.

I wonder how long it took for staff to put them back on the floor?

 


August 14 in history

August 14, 2014

1183  Taira no Munemori and the Taira clan took the young Emperor Antoku and the three sacred treasures and fled to western Japan to escape pursuit by the Minamoto clan.

1385 – Portuguese Crisis of 1383–1385: Battle of Aljubarrota – Portuguese forces commanded by King João I and his general Nuno Álvares Pereira defeated the Castilian army of King Juan I.

1598  Nine Years War: Battle of the Yellow Ford – Irish forces under Hugh O’Neill, Earl of Tyrone, defeated an English expeditionary force under Henry Bagenal.

1842 Indian Wars: Second Seminole War ended.

1846  The Cape Girardeau meteorite, a 2.3 kg chondrite-type meteorite struck near in Cape Girardeau County, Missouri.

1867 John Galsworthy, English novelist and Nobel Prize Laureate, was born (d. 1933).

1880  Construction of Cologne Cathedral was completed.

1885  Japan’s first patent was issued to the inventor of a rust-proof paint.

1888  A recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan’s The Lost Chord, one of the first recordings of music ever made, was played during a press conference introducing Thomas Edison’s phonograph in London.

1891 Petitions organised by the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) seeking women’s suffrage and signed by a total of 9000 women were presented to New Zealand’s Parliament.

Women's vote petitions presented to Parliament

1893  France introduced motor vehicle registration.

1900  A joint European-Japanese-United States force (Eight-Nation Alliance) occupied Beijing, in a campaign to end the Boxer Rebellion.

1901  The first claimed powered flight, by Gustave Whitehead in his Number 21.

1908  The first beauty contest was held in Folkestone.

1912   U.S. Marines invaded Nicaragua to support the U.S.-backed government.

1921  Tannu Tuva, later Tuvinian People’s Republic was established as a completely independent country.

1933  Loggers caused a forest fire in the Coast Range of Oregon – the first forest fire of the Tillamook Burn.

1935  United States Social Security Act passes, creating a government pension system for the retired.

1936 Rainey Bethea was hanged in Owensboro, Kentucky in the last public execution in the United States.

1937 Chinese Air Force Day: The beginning of air-to-air combat of the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II in general, when 6 Imperial Japanese Mitsubishi G3M bombers were shot down by the Nationalist Chinese Air Force.

1941 David Crosby, American musician, was born.

1941 Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Atlantic Charter of war stating postwar aims.

1945  Steve Martin, American actor and comedian, was born.

1945 Japan accepted the Allied terms of surrender  and the Emperor recorded the Imperial Rescript on Surrender.

1946 Susan Saint James, American actress, was born.

1947  Pakistan and India gained Independence from the British Indian Empire and joined the British Commonwealth.

1948  Don Bradman, widely regarded as the best cricket batsman in history, makes a duck in his final Test innings.

1950  Gary Larson, American cartoonist (The Far Side), was born.

1967  UK Marine Broadcasting Offences Act declared participation in offshore pirate radio illegal.

1969 British troops were deployed in Northern Ireland.

1972  An East German Ilyushin Il-62 crashed during takeoff from East Berlin, killing 156.

1980  Lech Wałęsa led strikes at the Gdańsk shipyards.

1987  All the children held at Kia Lama, a rural property on Lake Eildon, Australia, run by the Santiniketan Park Association, were released after a police raid.

1994 Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the terrorist known as “Carlos the Jackal“, was captured.

2003  Widescale power blackout in the northeast United States and Canada.

2006  Chencholai bombing – 61 Tamil girls were killed in Sri Lankan Airforce bombing.

2007   Kahtaniya bombings killed at least 400 people.

2010 –  2010 Summer Youth Olympic Games, first ever Youth Olympics, officially started in Singapore.

2013 – Egypt declared a state of emergency as security forces killed hundreds of demonstrators supporting former president Mohamed Morsi.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: