Vagarious – erratic and unpredictable in behaviour or direction; characterized by vagaries; capricious.
TV3 has cancelled a debate planned for all political leaders because neither John Key nor David Cunliffe would participate.
If memory serves me right this happened before with Helen Clark and John Key and I think they are right to decline to appear.
It wouldn’t be a debate it would be a farce.
It was difficult enough to get much from the debate with the leaders of the wee parties when they were all vying for attention, adding another couple would only add to the chaos.
MMP requires coalitions but it also requires a major party to lead them.
Putting the leaders of those two head to head could be instructive. Viewers would see the Prime Minister matched with the man who wants to replace him.
Having all the leaders would generate noise and heat but little else.
The debate might be entertaining but it’s unlikely to make a helpful contribution to the democratic process.
The Commerce Commission today released its draft report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2013/14 dairy season. The base milk price is the price Fonterra pays to farmers for raw milk.
The Commission is required to review Fonterra’s calculation of the base milk price each year as part of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act’s milk price monitoring regime. The review assesses if Fonterra’s calculation approach provides incentives for it to operate efficiently and provides for contestability in the market for purchasing farmers’ milk.
The scope of the Commission’s review is only to look at the base milk price, not the retail price that consumers pay for processed milk. . . .
Fonterra’s farmgate milk price out of step with efficiency – Pattrick Smellie:
(BusinessDesk) – The Commerce Commission says Fonterra Cooperative Group’s decision to cut the last season’s forecast payout to farmer shareholders by 55 cents per kilogram of milksolids below the result produced by its Farm Gate Milk Price calculation is not consistent with the milk price regime’s intention to make Fonterra operate efficiently.
However, it says the decision – the first ever taken to vary the payout from the calculated level since the Farm Gate Milk Price regime came into force in 2009 – was consistent with ensuring competitive provision of milk to alternative suppliers, the commission concluded in its annual review of the regime.
Under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, which allowed a merger to create Fonterra despite creating a dominant local market player, the commission must monitor how Fonterra sets the price it pays farmers for milk as part of efforts to ensure it’s possible for local dairy market competitors, such as Synlait or Westland Milk, to emerge.
Under the monitoring and reporting regime, the commission has no ability to force any change on Fonterra. . .
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate has released the results of the third phase of its national dairy strategy, which involved visits to farms that employ migrant workers.
The findings show that while no exploitative conduct was found, a quarter of the farms visited were in breach of employment laws for poor record keeping.
Senior Labour Inspector Kris Metcalf says the visits were part of a long-term operation to check compliance with minimum employment obligations at dairy farms across the country.
“The majority of the 42 dairy farms visited in this phase were meeting minimum employment standards,” says Kris Metcalf.
“However, 11 farms were found to be in breach of their minimum employment obligations which is disappointing. . .
Following the third phase of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) dairy strategy, focussed on migrant workers, Federated Farmers knows a sizable minority of farmers still need to meet basic employment law and the Federation is offering to help.
“The latest information from MBIE shows that there has been a significant improvement in the performance of dairy farmers, but far too many are failing to take accurate time sheets seriously enough,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Employment Spokesperson.
“We are pleased MBIE inspectors did not find any exploitative behaviour of migrant workers on the 42 farms they visited. That said we’ve still got a bit of work to do with our guys on record keeping and basic employment practices. . . .
• NZ dollar is under pressure
• Interest rate predictions delayed
• Meat sector outlook remains bullish
While eleven of the last twelve dairy auctions have recorded price falls, the sheer magnitude of the falls is bringing other factors in to play, according to the latest ASB Farmshed Economics Report.
“With dairy prices down by 37 percent on a year ago, the NZD has finally come under some pressure” says Nathan Penny, ASB Rural Economist.
“The NZD has passed its peak. We expect the NZD to trade at around 85 US cents for the rest of the year.”
“The dairy price falls are also a major reason why we’ve pushed back our interest rate call.” ASB Economics now expects the next OCR increase in March 2014 rather than their previous call for a December 2014 hike. . .
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced the establishment of a working group to develop a ‘roadmap’ on how to meet the future capability needs of the dairy processing sector.
“This was a recommendation of the independent Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Contamination Incident last year. It found that our food safety regulatory model for dairy is among the best in the world, but also recommended improving people capability to strengthen the food safety system.
“The inquiry highlighted the shortage of experienced people with processing expertise across the industry’s regulatory sector, and at all levels of the system. . .
Does Australia want to compete? – Jo Bills :
Recently the Business Council of Australia released a report it commissioned from McKinsey & Co – Compete to Prosper: Improving Australia’s global competitiveness.
It was fascinating reading – taking a helicopter view of the Australian economy and the global competitiveness of industry sectors.
Most of us probably regard Australia as a trading nation, but the McKinsey analysis highlights the fact that our economy remains quite inwardly focussed – while we are the world’s 12th largest economy, we rank 21st in terms of global trade – well behind some that you might assume we should be ahead of.
As part of the study, the McKinsey number-crunchers developed a Relative Competitiveness Score, applied it to all sectors of the Australian economy and found that only one sector – agriculture – stood out as truly competitive. . .
A group of volunteers dedicated to clearing wilding trees around Flock Hill in upper Waimakariri is to receive a major funding boost, Associate Conservation Minister Nicky Wagner announced today.
Waimakariri Ecological and Landscape Restoration Alliance will receive $309,000 over the next three years from the Department of Conservation’s Community Conservation Partnership Fund.
“Wilding trees are now the most significant threat to biodiversity and infrastructure in the 60,000 hectares of public and privately owned lands in the upper Waimakariri Basin. . .
Today the government’s safety agency for forestry, WorkSafe NZ, has publicly released its submission to the panel of the Independent Forest Safety Review. The Forest Industry Contractors Association (FICA), the industry group that originally initiated the review, has welcomed the comments from the regulator.
“We’re pleased that some vital issues have been highlighted by Gordon MacDonald’s WorkSafe NZ team,” says spokesman John Stulen of the Forest Industry Contractors Association, “They’ve made some very practical observations vital to making change in our industry.”
Stulen says WorkSafe NZ has been open and frank in their criticism of some shortcomings, yet has also been constructive at the same time. . .
South Island dairy farmers can now reap the rewards of a revolutionary new Magnesium product, which is transforming Magnesium use in dairying.
Animal feed ingredient supplier, BEC Feed Solutions, is partnering with South Island animal feed manufacturer and blender, James & Son (NZ) Pty Ltd, to give the region’s dairy farmers convenient access to its Bolifor® MGP+ product.
Bolifor® MGP+ is a unique alternative to messy pasture dusting and laborious daily drenching, and contains the essential minerals Magnesium and Phosphorus in the one product. It’s anticipated thatBolifor® MGP+ will be well received in the South Island, given that farmers, vets and animal nutritionists are observing an increase in Phosphorus deficiency due to the region’s dependency on fodder beet crops and changing land use. . .
These tests are mere diversions but most give me something to which I can aspire.
Thursday’s questions were:
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?
Points for answers:
Andrei and Gravedodger got four right, Paranormal got three.
All win a bonus electronic banana cake for reconfirming my faith in human nature for their answers to #5. I was moved by what you all said and delighted we all got similar answers.
Answers follow the break:
The Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos Political Poll has National on 55.10 per cent, virtually unchanged from July, while Labour has sunk to 22.5, down 2.4 percentage points.
The poll, of at least 1,000 New Zealand residents who are eligible to vote, is a kick in the guts to Labour, which has steadily bled support since this time last year. On today’s numbers it would lose five MPs to just 29, putting even some senior front bench MPs at risk.
National would comfortably govern alone with 72 seats. The Greens are on 11.3 per cent while Internet-Mana’s higher profile has lifted its support to 2.1 per cent. A surprise mover are the Conservatives, which have jumped to 3.4 per cent, level pegging with NZ First. . .
The left block is down, even with Internet Mana. It is taking radical support from within the left and scaring more reasonable people away from it.
Kelvin Davis wouldn’t have a chance on the list at this low level of support for Labour which will intensify his efforts in Te Tai Tokerau.
Ironically it’s David Cunliffe’s yeah-nahing about working with Internet Mana which is damaging Labour. His failure to match his verbal support for Davis over Hone Harawira is damaging not just the Labour candidate but the party.
The poll was taken from last Saturday until yesterday, so most people were contacted after Labour’s campaign launch and the announcement of free GP visits to people aged 65 and older.
Kiwiblog has the breakdown of respondents supporting Labour :
Labour’s support by demographic is:
It is reassuring to see that the older people that Labour is trying to woo have more sense than the party and aren’t buying its bribe.
P.S. I was phoned for the poll but they had already met their quote for my age and location.
Trans Tasman previews next weeks PREFU:
. . . What the PREFU will highlight are Treasury forecasts on economic growth remaining robust, but “normalising” after the dairy boom last season, and on fiscal surpluses thinner than those set out in the budget.
There’s no windfall in revenue as there was in 2005 when the Govt of the day, caught by surprise, scrambled to splash out big spending programmes like Working for Families. The economic situation NZ finds itself in during this cycle is very different. Then credit growth was running at around 10%, compared with 4% now, inflation was high, and consumption was fuelled by rampant debt. This time round, the Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler jumped in early, and has got the surge in house prices under control. Inflation is subdued, wage growth is only moderate, productivity is rising, households are keeping their spending in check, and corporate balance sheets are in good shape.
So the cycle this time will have a flatter, steadier profile, but growth will be at a sustainable pace, lasting longer. The economy is growing another “leg,” with hi-tech exports rising exponentially. For the Govt, the aim is to keep the economy running on a smooth, upward trajectory. Its eyes are on winning not just this election, but in 2017 as well. For this to be achieved, it has to deliver rising standards of living through the whole cycle. It can’t yet risk another boom-bust, of the kind which has dogged NZ over the last half century, if is to capitalise on the reputation it has sought to nurture of being the most prudent economic managers the country has had in the modern era. . .
The improving outlook for the country has been hard-won and is a result of careful management.
The expected outlook for growth at a sustainable pace and lasting longer is encouraging but it’s not assured.
We know what a National-led government has achieved and can be confident they will continue with the same prudent recipe to ensure that growth is sustainable
A prospect of a weak Labour Party leading a coalition propped up by the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana Parties gives no cause for confidence.
Policies announced so far are repeating the failed recipe of the past based on the toxic ingredients of higher taxing, higher spending.
927 The Saracens conquered and destroy Taranto.
982 Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna.
1057 King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.
1248 The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.
1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor.
1309 The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes.
1461 The Empire of Trebizond surrendered to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II – regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David was exiled.
1599 Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambushed English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.
1760 Seven Years’ War: Battle of Liegnitz – Frederick the Great’s victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.
1769 Napoleon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was born (d. 1821).
1771 Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet, was born (d. 1832).
1824 Freed American slaves founded Liberia.
1843 The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii was dedicated.
1843 Tivoli Gardens amusement park opened in Copenhagen.
1869 Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, was born (d. 1941).
1863 The Anglo-Satsuma War began between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom.
1875 Samuel Taylor-Coleridge, English composer, was born (d. 1912).
1893 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, was born (d. 1950).
1907 Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.
1909 A group of mid-level Greek Army officers launched the Goudi coup, seeking wide-ranging reforms.
1912 Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)
1912 – Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003).
1914 Julian Carlton, servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, set fire to the living quarters of the architect’s home, Taliesin, and mudered seven people.
1914 The Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.
1924 Robert Bolt, English playwright and screenwriter, was born (d. 1995).
1939 13 Stukas dived into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer.
1941 Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason.
1942 Operation Pedestal – The SS Ohio reached the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.
1944 : Operation Dragoon – Allied forces landed in southern France.
1945 Victory over Japan Day – Japan surrendered.
In New Zealand VJ Day was celebrated. Sirens immediately sounded, a national ceremony was held, and the local celebrations followed.
1945 – World War II: Korean Liberation Day.
1947 India gained independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth.
1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.
1948 The Republic of Korea was established south of the 38th parallel north.
1950 Princess Anne, Princess Royal, was born.
1951 The troop ship Wahine was wrecked en route to the Korean War.
1954 Stieg Larsson, Swedish writer, was born (d. 2004).
1954 Alfredo Stroessner began his dictatorship in Paraguay.
1952 A flashflood in Lynmouth,Devon, killed 34 people.
1960 Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.
1962 James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after running across the Korean DMZ.
1963 Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.
1963 President Fulbert Youlou was overthrown in the Republic of Congo, after a three-day uprising in the capital.
1965 – The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, in an event later seen as marking the birth of stadium rock.
1968 40,000 people protested in Mexico City against repression.
1969 The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opened.
1971 President Richard Nixon completed the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.
1972 Ben Affleck, American actor, was born.
1973 Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ended.
1975 Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and most members of his family were killed during a military coup.
1975 Miki Takeo made the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
1977 The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University received a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.
1984 The PKK in Turkey started a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military
1998 Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles.
1999 Beni Ounif massacre in Algeria; some 29 people were killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border.
2007 An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastated Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.
2013 – At least 27 people were killed and 226 injured in an explosion in southern Beirut near a complex used by Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. A previously unknown Syrian Sunni group claimed responsibility in an online video.
2013 – The Smithsonian announced the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivoran species found in the Americas in 35 years.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia