Campaign openings vs All Blacks

August 23, 2014

Political party campaign opening broadcasts start with the National Party at 7:30 this evening.

What’s the bet even political tragics will be tuned to the Bledisloe Cup game between the All Blacks and Wallabies instead?


Word of the day

August 23, 2014

Paraph – a flourish after or below a signature, originally as a precaution against forgery.


Rural round-up

August 23, 2014

Speed milking becomes a sport – Jackie Harrigan:

The northern European rural sport of speed milking will be starring at the inaugural New Zealand Rural Games in Queenstown in February.

Games sponsor and Fonterra chief executive Theo Speirings is right behind it.

Having seen the sport known as dairy hand milking in action in his home continent, Speirings said it will be great to see it in NZ.

Rural Games organiser Steve Hollander says the speed milking competition will introduce a dairy component to fit well alongside speed shearing, speed gold panning and coal shovelling. . .

Australian, China-backed company targets NZ forest owners – Paul McBeth

 (BusinessDesk) – United Forestry Group, backed by Australian timber marketer Pentarch and China’s Xiangyu Group, is targeting small forest owners in New Zealand in a bid to cash in on a looming ‘wall of wood’ it estimates will generate $30 billion over the next two decades.

The Wellington-based company wants to consolidate the country’s 14,000 small forests, which account for just over a third of New Zealand’s plantations, and use its forestry management skills and supply chain to achieve a more efficient network and boost returns for the owners, it said in a statement.

United Forestry, which counts Pentarch and Xiangyu joint venture Superpen as cornerstone investors, is offering to buy small forests outright, or buy a combination of land and trees. It will also offer advice on harvesting and marketing mature forests. . .

Varroa and bee viruses linked – study:

An Otago University study has thrown more light on the role that the varroa honey bee mite plays in spreading diseases through beehives.

A PhD student, Fanny Mondet from the University’s Zoology Department and Avignon University in France, investigated the effect of the varroa parasite as it spread south after its arrival in New Zealand more than 10 years ago.

Otago University zoology professor Alison Mercer said the study had confirmed the link between varroa and the spread of some bee viruses, including the deformed wing virus which has been associated with colony collapses. . .

Hill Laboratories appoints new Agricultural Divisional Manager:

New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory, Hill Laboratories, has appointed Dr Bart Challis as new Agricultural Divisional Manager for the company.

Dr Challis brings to Hill Laboratories 16 years of international experience in the fields of Life Science and Biotechnology.

After completing a PhD in microbiology from the University of Otago, Dr Challis began his career in Sales in the United Kingdom in 1999. . .

Funding boost for tutsan fight – Bryan Gibson:

Taumarunui’s Tutsan Action Group (TAG) hopes new funding will help find a biological control for the invasive plant tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum).

Chairman Graham Wheeler said the group has secured a further three years of government and community funding to complete its investigation.

Tutsan now costs some landowners up to $400 a hectare a year to control.

An economic assessment found there is $2.3 million a year in direct and indirect costs, with a capital cost to New Zealand of up to $32m because of the reduction in land values. . .

Pineland Farms: Magic Happens When Private Funding Meets Family Farming – Food Tank:

Pineland Farms, located in New Gloucester, Maine, is a 2,020-hectare working farm, as well as an educational and recreational campus. Pineland Farms comprises three for-profit companies that are supplied by local family farms: Pineland Farms Creamery; Pineland Farms Potatoes; and Pineland Farms Natural Meats. Owned by the Libra Foundation (a Maine-based private charitable foundation), Pineland profits are reinvested in the companies, as well as in other charities that support local communities.

Food Tank spoke with Erik Hayward, Vice President of the Libra Foundation; Rodney McCrum, President and Chief Operating Officer of Pineland Farms Potatoes; and, William Haggett, President of Pineland Farms Natural Meats.

Food Tank (FT): What inspired the creation of Pineland Farms and how is its structure different from smaller family farming operations?

Erik Hayward (EH): In early 2000, a state property came up for sale in New Gloucester, Maine. Built in 1908, it was originally a hospital for the mentally disabled. There were a number of farms on the campus, however these had basically been abandoned and were in various states of disrepair. . .

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National working in and for the south #29

August 23, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 29:


Saturday’s smiles

August 23, 2014

A journalist driving down a country road, spotted a farmer standing in the middle of a huge paddock of grass.

She pulled the car over to the side of the road, took a closer look and saw that the farmer was just standing there, doing nothing, looking at nothing.

The journalist got out of the car, walked over to the farmer and said, “Ah excuse me, but what are you doing?”

The farmer replied, “I’m trying to win a Nobel Prize.”

“How?” asks the journalist asked with a puzzled look.

“Well, I heard they give the Nobel Prize to people who are out standing in their field.”


Conservatives announce first five

August 23, 2014

The Conservative Party has announced the first places on its party list:

 1. Colin Craig
   2. Christine Rankin
   3. Garth McVicar
   4. Melissa Perkin
   5. Dr Edward Saafi

Why it’s stopped at five isn’t explained but the one person likely to make a difference to its vote is McVicar who has nationwide name recognition for his work with victim support and the Sensible Sentencing Trust.


Poll of polls

August 23, 2014

Colin James’ poll of poll :

The first poll taken after the Nicky Hager book launch, by DigiPoll for the New Zealand Herald from August 14 to 20, did not dent National’s polling average, which was 50.8% in the four polls up to mid-August. DigiPoll recorded a drop from its last poll in mid-July but gave a higher figure than the TV3 poll which dropped out of the latest four-poll average.

(Explainer: The POLL of POLLS is an arithmetical average of the four most recent major polls since mid-June ,from among the following: Fairfax Media-TV1 Colmar Brunton, TV3 Reid Research, Ipsos, NZ Herald DigiPoll, Roy Morgan New Zealand (up to June only one of its two-a-month was included) and UMR Research, which is not published.*)

DigiPoll’s 25.2% reading for Labour dragged Labour’s average down to 25.3%. That average included the Ipsos poll for Fairfax Media, which gave National much more and Labour much less than other recent polls. . . .

The Greens’ average is steady at 11.9%, within a range it has held since the last election. . .

New Zealand First has got close to the 5% hurdle, with a 4.9% average to mid-August, boosted by a high 6.5% in the Roy Morgan poll. Internet-Mana was 2.7%, the Conservatives 2.4%, the Maori party 0.9%, ACT 0.5% and United Future 0.3%. . .

There was a slight lift in the latest Roy Morgan reading (from August 4-17) of whether the country is heading in the right direction. This slight lift is more confirmation that the mood is topping out but it remains very positive. . .

The level of confidence the country is heading in the right direction is important and backs up National’s assertion that it and its policies are working for New Zealand.


Three reasons

August 23, 2014

Prime Minister John Key gives three examples from the past week which show what National has achieved and why it should be given three more years in government:

We’re on track to surplus, with more jobs and higher incomes.

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update confirmed we are on track to post a modest surplus of $297 million this financial year.

If we are re-elected, National will use the surplus to repay debt, reduce taxes when there is room to do so, and to invest in priority public services.

Fewer Kiwis leaving for Australia, more coming home.

In the year to July, fewer people left for Australia than any time since 1995 – and more Kiwis are voting with their feet and coming home.

We’re aiming higher for better results.

Results in two of National’s Better Public Services targets have been much better than we anticipated. So we’re lifting the bar and aiming for more improvement with new targets:

• The proportion of 25 to 34-year-olds who have advanced trade qualifications, diplomas and degrees by 2017 – raised from 55 per cent to 60 per cent.

• Reducing the total crime rate by 20 per cent from 2011 to 2017 – up from the current target of 15 per cent.

This is encouraging, but we have more work to do.

Careful economic management and returning to surplus matters for country’s just as it does for households – because it gives choices.

The net immigration gain is a vote of confidence in New Zealand.

Setting new targets shows National will not be resting on its laurels.

It’s achieved a lot in the last six years but there is a lot more to do to ensure New Zealand keeps going in the right direction and National is the best party to lead a government that will do that.


Saturday soapbox

August 23, 2014

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse.

Communicate better.


August 23 in history

August 23, 2014

30 BC – After the successful invasion of Egypt, Octavian executed Marcus Antonius Antyllus, eldest son of Marc Antony, and Caesarion, the last king of the Ptolemaic dynasty of Egypt and only child of Caesar and Cleopatra.

20 BC – Ludi Volcanalici were held within the temple precinct of Vulcan, and used by Augustus to mark the treaty with Parthia and the return of the legionary standards that had been lost at the Battle of Carrhae in 53 BC.

 

79  Mount Vesuvius began stirring, on the feast day of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire.

1305  William Wallace, Scottish patriot, was executed for high treason.

1328  Battle of Cassel: French troops stopped an uprising of Flemish farmers.

1514  Battle of Chaldiran ended with a decisive victory for the Sultan Selim I, Ottoman Empire, over the Shah Ismail I, Safavids founder.

1555  Calvinists were granted rights in the Netherlands.

1572   St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre – Mob violence against Huguenots in Paris.

1595  Michael the Brave confronted the Ottoman army in the Battle of Calugareni.

1708  Meidingnu Pamheiba was crowned King of Manipur.

1775 King George III declared that the American colonies existed in a state of open and avowed rebellion.

1793 French Revolution: a levée en masse was decreed by the National Convention.

1799  Napoleon left Egypt for France en route to seize power.

1813  Battle of Grossbeeren, the Prussians under Von Bülow repulsed the French army.

1839  The United Kingdom captured Hong Kong as a base as it prepared for war with Qing China.

1858  The Round Oak rail accident in Brierley Hill, England.

1866  Austro-Prussian War ended with the Treaty of Prague.

1873  Albert Bridge in Chelsea, London opened.

1875 William Eccles, English radio pioneer, was born (d. 1966).

1896 First Cry of the Philippine Revolution was made in Pugad Lawin (Quezon City), in the province of Manila.

1900 Malvina Reynolds, American folk singer/songwriter, was born (d. 1978).

1904 The automobile tyre chain was patented.

1912 Gene Kelly, American dancer and actor, was born (d. 1996).

1914 World War I: Japan declared war on Germany and bombed Qingdao, China.

1914 – World War I: the Battle of Mons; the British Army began withdrawal.

1921  British airship R-38 experienced structural failure over Hull in England and crashed in the Humber estuary.  Only 4 of her 49 British and American training crew survived.

1923  Capt. Lowell Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first mid-air refueling on De Havilland DH-4B, setting an endurance flight record of 37 hours.

1929  Hebron Massacre during the 1929 Palestine riots: Arab attack on the Jewish community in Hebron in the British Mandate of Palestine, continuing until the next day, resulted in the death of 65-68 Jews and the remaining Jews being forced to leave the city.

1934 Barbara Eden, American actress and singer, was born.

1938 English cricketer Sir Len Hutton set a world record for the highest individual Test innings of 364, during a Test match against Australia.

1939 New Zealand writer Robin Hyde died in London.

Writer Robin Hyde dies in London

1939  World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland were divided between the two nations.

1942  Beginning of the Battle of Stalingrad.

1942  The last cavalry charge in history took place at Izbushensky.

1943 Nelson DeMille, American novelist, was born.

1943   Kharkov was liberated.

1944   Marseille was liberated.

1944   King Michael of Romania dismissed the pro-Nazi government of General Antonescu, who was arrested. Romania switched sides from the Axis to the Allies.

1944  Freckleton Air Disaster – A United States Army Air Forces B-24 Liberator bomber crashed into a school in Freckleton, England killing 61 people.

1946 Keith Moon, English musician (The Who), was born (d. 1978).

1946  Ordinance No. 46 of the British Military Government constitutes the German Land (state) of Schleswig-Holstein.

1947 Assisted immigration to New Zealand for British people resumed after WWII.

Assisted immigration resumes after war

1947 – Willy Russell, British playwright, was born.

1948  World Council of Churches was formed.

1949 Rick Springfield, Australian singer and actor, was born.

1951 Queen Noor of Jordan, was born.

1954 First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

1958  Chinese Civil War: The Second Taiwan Strait crisis began with the People’s Liberation Army’s bombardment of Quemoy.

1966  Lunar Orbiter 1 took the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.

1975 Successful Communist coup in Laos.

1977  The Gossamer Condor won the Kremer prize for human powered flight.

1979  Soviet dancer Alexander Godunov defected to the United States.

1982 Bachir Gemayel was elected Lebanese President amidst the raging civil war.

1985  Hans Tiedge, top counter-spy of West Germany, defected to East Germany.

1989  Hungary: the last communist government opened the Iron curtain and caused the exodus of thousands of Eastern Germans to West Germany via Hungary.

1989  Singing Revolution: two million people from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania stoodon the Vilnius-Tallinn road, holding hands (Baltic Way).

1989 – 1,645 Australian domestic airline pilots resigned after the airlines threaten to fire them and sue them over a dispute.

1990  Saddam Hussein appeared on Iraqi state television with a number of Western “guests” ( hostages) to try to prevent the Gulf War.

1990  Armenia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.

1990  West and East Germany announced that they would unite on October 3.

1994  Eugene Bullard, The only black pilot in World War I, was posthumously commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force.

1996 Osama bin Laden issued message entitled ‘A declaration of war against the Americans occupying the land of the two holy places.’

2000  Gulf Air Flight 072 crashed into the Persian Gulf near Manama, Bahrain, killing 143.

2006 – Natascha Kampusch, who was abducted at the age of 10, managed to escape from her captor Wolfgang Priklopil, after 8 years of captivity.

2007 – The skeletal remains of Alexei Nikolaevich, Tsarevich of Russia, and his sister Anastasia were found near Yekaterinburg, Russia.

2010 – Manila hostage crisis, in which 8 hostages were killed

2011 – A 5.8 earthquake occurred in Mineral, Virginia.

2011 – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown after the National Transitional Council forces took control of Bab al-Azizia compound.

2013 – A riot at the Palmasola prison complex in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, killed 31 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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