Word of the day

August 22, 2014

Keek – peep surreptitiously;  look furtively;  a surreptitious or furtive glance.


Lessons

August 22, 2014

For reasons those of you who leave reasoned, on-topics comments will understand, this resonated with me:

Challenging people in your life? I've had my share as well. :)  Read on.... xoKaren www.notsalmon.com >> >>


Rural round-up

August 22, 2014

NZ meat industry tie-up stumbled on differing strategies – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand meat companies abandoned efforts to consolidate and reduce surplus capacity last year because they lacked an agreed export strategy and farmers wouldn’t commit stock to firms that closed plants, industry sources say.

The country’s four biggest meat processors – farmer owned cooperatives Silver Fern Farms and Alliance Group, accounting for about half the industry, the Talley’s Group family-owned Affco and ANZCO Foods, with a majority ownership held by a Japanese food company – ended talks after failing to reach agreement last year.

A proposal for competitors to share the cost of closing plants was rejected, as was a plan for each company to retain its stock volumes for a period of up to five years following a closure, so they weren’t disadvantaged, according to people involved in the talks, who asked not to be named. . .

No more rules please, say farmers – Diane Bishop:

Education, not regulation, is the key to good environmental outcomes, Southland farmers say.

They want Environment Southland to establish best-practice guidelines around hill and high country development instead of enforcing rules on them.

“I don’t like rules,” Lumsden farmer Willie Menlove said.

“I’ve farmed for more than 20 years without these sorts of rules and I’d prefer education to be the end goal.”

He isn’t alone. . .

GM artificial food may be ‘staple diet’ – Matt Stewart:

From test-tube meat to 3-D printed pizza, the future of food is a brave new world where science is racing to keep up with a resource that grows ever more expensive and scarce.

As part of Wellington on a Plate, Victoria University tourism management honours students are imagining various scenarios around the future of food festivals and, ultimately, the way we will consume and make food as the planet struggles to feed 10 billion mouths by 2050.

“By 2050 the burger competition at Wellington on a Plate could consist of restaurants who are growing their own hamburgers,” student supervisor and futurist Ian Yeoman said. . .

Quality of river raises passions – Gerard Hutching:

Outside the mercury may be falling, but indoors the atmosphere heats up as a trio of farmers passionately debate the future of dairying in the Tararua district.

It’s a hot topic, with the Horizons Regional Council laying down the gauntlet to land users to clean up their act with its One Plan and the Environment Court setting limits on the amount of nitrogen loss into rivers.

Many found the court’s ruling hard to swallow.

“It would have been catastrophic. Our farms were going to rot from the inside out. The regional council had not done its work properly,” says Dannevirke dairy farmer Will Findlay. . .

 John Deere and the downside of an abundant harvest:

This year hasn’t been kind to the US agricultural sector.

Just ask John Deere, the world’s largest manufacturer of farming machinery. The company reported a 15 per cent plunge in profit for its fiscal third quarter compared with the previous quarter on Wednesday. After years of sustained growth, the company has now seen its sales fall in each of the first three fiscal quarters of 2014 and each time significantly.

Tractor sales, which are often used as a barometer of agricultural sector health, have been especially weak in the US. Deere’s equipment sales fell by 6 per cent in the third quarter, and are expected to tumble by another 8 per cent in the fourth quarter. . . .

Strong sales signal confidence in the New Zealand wine industry:

Solid export value growth and continued demand for New Zealand wine is the summary of the year according to the June year end 2014 Annual Report of New Zealand Winegrowers.

“Wineries took full advantage of the glorious 2013 vintage to bounce back from the supply constraints of 2012. The end result was a 10% increase in both export volume and value as overseas sales earned a record $1.33 billion” said Steve Green, Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. The highly successful sales year left stocks needing replenishment and even greater demand forecast. 445,000 tonnes of grapes were harvested in 2014.

All grape growing regions witnessed a two-speed growing season which commenced early but slowed in the lead-up to vintage with a run of fine but cool weather in most regions allowing for good flavour development. . .

Our Seafood the Best in the World:

The Prime Minister John Key called New Zealand’s seafood ‘the best in the world’ in opening the Seafood Industry Conference in Wellington.

John Key said he’s travelled all over the world and eaten seafood in all sorts of places, but ‘without doubt New Zealand produces the best and I’ll challenge anyone to show me better.”

“I’ve hosted Hilary Clinton, to Will and Kate, and they’ve all been impressed by our seafood,” he told delegates. . .

 

 


National working in and for the south #30

August 22, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 30:


Friday’s answers

August 22, 2014

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.?

2.  What were Fred Dagg’s sons called and who created them?

3. It’s blague in French,  facezia  or scherzo in Italian,  broma or chiste in Spanish and kōrero whakakata in Maori, what is it in English?

4. He co-hosted and television comedy show satirising current affairs and often portrayed Rob Muldoon, who is he?

5. What’s your favourite funniest book and/or film?

Points for answers:

Willdwan got 2 1/2 (1/2 because there were 2 parts to #2) plus a near-enough for 3#

J BLoggs wins an electronic batch of shortbread with a  clean sweep.

Andrei got 2 1/2.

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Voting with their feet

August 22, 2014

The migration tide has turned:

New Zealand had a seasonally adjusted net gain (more arrivals than departures) of 4,500 migrants in July 2014. This is the highest net gain since the record of 4,700 migrants in February 2003.

Net migration has increased in most months over the past year. The difference between the net gains in July 2013 and July 2014 was mainly due to:

  • more non-New Zealand citizens arriving (up 1,200)
  • fewer New Zealand citizens leaving for Australia (down 800).

The big drop in the net loss to Australia is particularly good news.

New Zealanders are voting with their feet – returning from across the Tasman or not going there in the first place.

That is a good reflection on the economy and job prospects here and a poor one on them there.

In the July 2014 year, migrant arrivals numbered 102,400 (up 15 percent from 2013). Migrant departures numbered 61,400 (down 22 percent). This resulted in a net gain of 41,000 migrants, the highest annual gain since the August 2003 year (41,200). New Zealand recorded its highest-ever net gain of 42,500 migrants in the May 2003 year.

In the latest year, New Zealand had a net loss of 7,300 migrants to Australia, well down from 29,200 a year earlier. Net gains were recorded from most other countries, led by India (7,700), China (6,600), the United Kingdom (5,500), and the Philippines (3,100).

Compared to the July 2013 year, the biggest increase in visa type for arriving migrants was student visas (up 4,800). Migrants from India and China most commonly arrived in New Zealand to study, while migrants from the United Kingdom and the Philippines most often arrived to work.

One of the areas which is most attractive to people from the Philippines is dairying.

There is a shortage of good employees in the industry and Filipinos are filling gaps which New Zealanders aren’t keen on filling.

More Kiwis are coming home because National’s strong economic plan is delivering more jobs and opportunities in New Zealand. #Working4NZ


Labour lacks ambition for Otago

August 22, 2014

Labour is promising to create 3000 jobs a year for Otago which shows a distinct lack of ambition when compared with job growth over recent years:

David Cunliffe has committed to short-changing Otago on the job front with his pledge today to create 3000 more jobs in the region if elected, National’s Economic Development spokesman Steven Joyce says.

“In his press release today, Mr Cunliffe announced that Labour’s policies would create 3,000 more jobs in Otago in the next three years. However that would be a major slowdown on job growth achieved in the last five years,” Mr Joyce says.

“In the last five years our policy mix has seen 23,000 extra jobs created in the Otago region according to Statistics New Zealand. That’s an average of 4,600 jobs a year. Mr Cunliffe is proposing to cut that growth rate by nearly 80 per cent with his ‘economic upgrade’.

“On the one hand I understand Mr Cunliffe’s lack of ambition. A Labour-Greens government with at least four big extra taxes and large amounts of extra spending and the high interest rates that go with it would be a massive drag on the Otago economy.

“On the other hand, with their policy prescription I think they would struggle to even create the extra 1000 jobs a year he suggests.

“Under this Government Otago’s unemployment rate has dropped to 3.3 per cent – one of the lowest in the country.

“And great Otago companies are flat out creating the Innovation and Knowledge Centre Mr Cunliffe says he wants to create.

“Mr Cunliffe is struggling under the weight of his own lack of knowledge about what is happening in the region.

“I suspect that once Otago people compare their economic performance under this government with Mr Cunliffe’s prescription, they will likely tell him to keep his ‘economic upgrade’.”

The Otago unemployment rate is now at about 3.5%.

That’s getting down to the unemployable – those who either can’t or won’t work for a variety of reasons.

One reason for that is government policies and the economic climate, including low interest rates, have given businesses the confidence to invest and expand.

But that confidence will be severely dented by the anti-business, anti-progress policies Labour and its coalition partners – the Green, New Zealand First and Internet Mana parties would impose on us.

They are threatening us with more and higher taxes, greater compliance costs, less flexible employment laws, higher KiwiSaver contributions, higher interest rates . . .

None of those is conducive to business growth and the jobs which rely on it.


Budget Advice boost

August 22, 2014

A lot of people don’t know how to budget and it’s not only those on low incomes who find their expenditure is too close, or even in excess, of their income.

That’s what makes budget advice such an important service and thanks to a boost in funding, more people will be able to get help.

Budgeting services now have the opportunity to apply for extra funding to support their work with low income New Zealanders, with a $2 million funding round open for applications. 

“Budgeting services work alongside some of the most vulnerable people in the community, providing the advice and financial skills they need to get ahead, and stay out of debt,” says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

“The Government is committed to supporting this work, and in Budget 2014 we announced a $22 million boost for budgeting service providers over the next four years.”

The application process is now open for $2 million in funding, which is intended to support groups who are unfunded or facing demand pressures, and will include organisations not currently supported by the Ministry of Social Development.

Of the funding, $500,000 will be targeted at providers focused on helping people get access to early intervention and using innovative techniques in the work they do.

“Non-government organisations understand communities and the challenges they face like no one else, and budgeting services do an incredible job helping people managing on low incomes get the tools and support they need,” Mrs Bennett said.

“This funding also complements last week’s launch of the Community Finance lending scheme, which will provide low and no-interest loans to people at risk of unethical lending by loan sharks.”

“The Government is standing alongside vulnerable New Zealanders, and the extra funding for budgeting services will help people and families most in need access advice and information to help them build better lives.” 

More information and application details are available here.

This is another example of helping people help themselves and will be money well-spent.

 

 

 


When unions write policy

August 22, 2014

Anyone who doubts what unions get from supporting Labour need look no further than policy  to reopen Hillside Workshop:

. . . In November 2012 about 90 Hillside Engineering Workshops employees were made redundant in the South Dunedin facility’s partial closure, after KiwiRail failed to find a buyer for it.. .

Several factors including changing demand and union intransigence which prevented the business modernising to compete in the 21st century, were responsible for Hillside’s demise.

That the Chinese-made wagons KiwiRail bought in preference to locally made ones have had problems is no reason to resurrect the workshop.

The government has no business in a business like this.

It would be returning to the bad old days of subsidised industry.

KiwiRail was one of the last Labour government’s big spending mistakes.

It is continuing to cost the country far too much money which would be better spent in many other areas.

The only reason to continue throwing good money after bad is political payback for union support.

That’s what happens when unions write policy.

It might be good for them but it won’t be good for the country.

Education is another area where unions are flexing political muscles:

The country’s biggest teacher union has overwhelmingly rejected the Government’s $359 million education policy.

The announcement today by NZEI that 93 per cent of teachers and principals voted “no confidence” in the policy could potentially scupper the Government’s Investing in Educational Success plans.

The policy, announced in January, has divided teachers and principals and only minutes before NZEI’s announcement the Minister of Education revealed a memorandum of understanding has been signed with a number of principals from other organisations across the country.

NZEI president Judith Nowotarski said 73 per cent of the more than 25,000 members that voted rejected the proposed new roles outright, rather than trying to change the policy through negotiation. . .

This is another example of the pressing need for a professional body to advise and advocate on educational matters rather than an industrial one.

A professional body would have the best interests of education and pupils front and centre rather than their political views as the union does.

Some unions are affiliated to Labour and have voting powers. Some support them with money and people-power for campaigns. Some support them by fighting National government policies.

Policy they like, and possibly write, is their payback.

If it was an employers or business group doing that for National and against Labour it would be called corruption and buying power.

When unions do it, it’s just business as usual.

 

 

 


August 22 in history

August 22, 2014

565  St. Columba reported seeing a monster in Loch Ness.

1138 Battle of the Standard between Scotland and England.

1485  The Battle of Bosworth Field, the death of Richard III and the end of the House of Plantagenet.

1559 Bartolomé Carranza, Spanish archbishop, was arrested for heresy.

1642 Charles I called the English Parliament traitors. The English Civil War began.

1654 Jacob Barsimson arrives in New Amsterdam – the first known Jewish immigrant to America.

1770  James Cook‘s expedition landed on the east coast of Australia.

1780 James Cook‘s ship HMS Resolution returned to England after Cook was killed in Hawaii.

1791  Beginning of the Haitian Slave Revolution in Saint-Domingue.

1798 French troops landed in Kilcummin harbour, County Mayo to aid Wolfe Tone’s United Irishmen’s Irish Rebellion.

1827 José de La Mar became President of Peru.

1831  Nat Turner’s slave rebellion commenced leading to the deaths of more than 50 whites and several hundred African Americans who are killed in retaliation for the uprising.

1849 The first air raid in history. Austria launched pilotless balloons against the Italian city of Venice.

1851 The first America’s Cup was won by the yacht America.

1862 Claude Debussy, French composer, was born (d. 1918).

1864  Twelve nations signed the First Geneva Convention. The Red Cross was formed.

1875 The Treaty of Saint Petersburg between Japan and Russia was ratified, providing for the exchange of Sakhalin for the Kuril Islands.

1893 Dorothy Parker, American writer, was born (d. 1967).

1901 Cadillac Motor Company was founded.

1902  Theodore Roosevelt became the first President of the United States to ride in an automobile.

1909 Julius J. Epstein, American screenwriter, was born (d. 2000).

1915 James Hillier, Co-inventor of the electron microscope, was born (d. 2007).

1922  Michael Collins, Commander-in-Chief of the Irish Free State Army was shot dead during an Anti-Treaty ambush at Béal na mBláth, County Cork, during the Irish Civil War.

1925 Honor Blackman, English actress, was born.

1926  Gold was discovered in Johannesburg.

1932 The BBC first experimented with television broadcasting.

1934  Bill Woodfull of Australia became the only cricket captain to twice regain The Ashes.

1934 – Norman Schwarzkopf, U.S. general, was born.

1934 – Sir Donald McIntyre, English bass-baritone, was born.

1935 E. Annie Proulx, American author, was born.

1939  Valerie Harper, American actress, was born.

1941 World War II: German troops reached Leningrad, leading to the siege of Leningrad.

1942  World War II: Brazil declared war on Germany and Italy.

1944 World War II: Romania wascaptured by the Soviet Union.

1949  Queen Charlotte earthquake: Canada’s largest earthquake since 1700.

1950  Althea Gibson became the first black competitor in international tennis.

1952 The penal colony on Devil’s Island was permanently closed.

1961  Roland Orzabal, British musician (Tears for Fears), was born.

1962 An attempt to assassinate French president Charles de Gaulle failed.

196  The NS Savannah, the world’s first nuclear-powered cargo ship, completed its maiden voyage.

1963  Joe Walker in an X-15 test plane reached an altitude of 106 km (66 mi).

1968 Pope Paul VI arrived in Bogotá –  the first visit of a pope to Latin America.

1969 New Zealand’s first Young Farmer of the Year contest was won by Gary Frazer.

First 'Young Farmer of the Year' chosen

1972 Rhodesia was expelled by the IOC for its racist policies.

1973 Howie Dorough, American singer (Backstreet Boys), was born.

1978 The Frente Sandinista de Liberacion – FSLN – occupied national palace in Nicaragua.

1989 The first ring of Neptune was discovered.

1996  Bill Clinton signed welfare reform into law, representing major shift in US welfare policy

2003  Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended after refusing to comply with a federal court order to remove a rock inscribed with the Ten Commandments from the lobby of the Alabama Supreme Court building.

2004   The Scream and Madonna, two paintings by Edvard Munch, were stolen at gunpoint from a museum in Oslo.

2007 – The Storm botnet, a botnet created by the Storm Worm, sent out a record 57 million e-mails in one day.

2012 – Ethnic clashes over grazing rights for cattle in Kenya’s Tana River District resulted in more than 52 deaths.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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