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.


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