Word of the day

04/09/2014

Draff – dregs or refuse; the residue of husks after fermentation of the grain used in brewing, used as a food for cattle; the liquid from copper stills distillery equipment – and the spent grains used to make whisky.


National working for and in the south #17

04/09/2014

Fantastic Fact # 17:


Rural round-up

04/09/2014

New Season Looking Positive for Sheep And Beef Farmers:

New Zealand sheep and beef farmers can look forward to a positive 2014-15 season, according to analysis released by Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) Economic Service today.

B+LNZ Economic Service executive director, Rob Davison says the season’s favourable climatic conditions so far, expected higher product prices and a more export-friendly exchange rate collectively translate to improved returns for the country’s sheep and beef farmers.

New Season Outlook 2014-15 predicts the average sheep and beef farm profit before tax will increase 8.0 per cent on last season, to $110,800.

Mr Davison says a 6.3 per cent lift in sheep revenue is largely responsible for the increase, while total farm expenditure should only rise by an average of 2.3 per cent. . .

 Unravelling the schedule gap between North and South Islands – Allan Barber:

Every year when livestock numbers pass their peak in the North Island, there is a constant stream of trucks carting stock across the Cook Strait to plants for slaughter. There are two obvious reasons for this – either there isn’t enough South Island capacity at the time or the cost of procurement plus transport is less than the price in the North Island.

 These two explanations are two sides of the same coin, because there is no need for South Island processors to pay more than they have to when their plants are full. This is even more evident from the species with the largest price gap which is cull cows, possibly wider than it has ever been. However there is absolutely no point in paying dairy farmers over the odds for what is a fully depreciated asset they have to get rid of. . . .

Rock Lobster Industry Welcomes Prime Minister’s Pledge of Farmland Buffer Zones:

The New Zealand Rock Lobster Industry Council has today praised the National Party pledge to spend $100 million over 10 years to buy and retire farmland next to waterways to provide a buffer and improve water quality.

The pledge was made by Prime Minister John Key in Southland this morning.

Rock Lobster Executive Officer Daryl Sykes says the National Party pledge represents an appropriate recognition of the quality and integrity of private property rights and invokes market mechanisms to resolve concerns about the natural environment. . .

Independent Inquiry Welcomes Fonterra Progress:

The Independent Inquiry Committee which reviewed the circumstances giving rise to the precautionary recall of whey protein concentrate (WPC80) last year has welcomed Fonterra’s progress on implementing recommended improvements.

The Committee completed a nine-month checkpoint on Fonterra’s progress which itself was one of the Committee’s recommendations.

Committee Chair Sir Ralph Norris said the Co-operative’s leadership had taken responsible measures to distil the Inquiry’s recommendations into a significant programme of work. . . .

 Seeka offers kiwifruit growers share incentive in exchange for trays – Suze Metherell:

 (BusinessDesk) – Seeka Kiwifruit Industries, the fruit grower and coolstore and packhouse operator, is looking to secure kiwifruit supply over the next three years by offering growers shares in return for exclusive supply from their orchards.

Under the growers incentive scheme eligible growers will be issued new shares annually in proportion to the number of trays provided, at a rate of 10 cents worth of shares to every tray, until 2016, the Te Puke-based company said in statement. Seeka shares were unchanged near a five-year high at $3.29 on the NZX and have gained 57 percent this year.

Local kiwifruit growers have been struggling with the outbreak of Pseudomonas syringae PV actinidiae in 2010, which infected about 40 percent of the nation’s orchards, with gold fruit varieties hardest hit. Seeka expects the gold market to double in 2015 once re-grafted SunGold orchards reach commercial volume. . . .

Rural Equities doubles annual profit on record milk production and prices – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – Rural Equities, the farming group controlled by the Cushing family, doubled annual profit and lifted its dividend 17 percent on the back of record dairy production and prices.

Profit rose to $24 million in the 12 months ended June 30, up from $10.9 million a year earlier, the Hastings-based company said in a statement. Operating earnings before interest and tax doubled to $6.43 million from $3.33 million, as its six dairy farms produced a record 1.67 million kilograms of milk solids and the price of dairy products soared.

Production at its three Waikato farms benefited from rising beef, lamb and wool prices, and “contributed materially to increased earnings,” the company said. . . .

Oz turns to selfies in free trade bid:

AUSTRALIAN DAIRY Farmers (ADF) have launched a selfie campaign to push for a China free trade agreement which they say will put them on an equal footing with New Zealand farmers.

 It says the campaign had reached 1.6 million Twitter users by today, September 2. ADF is urging all Australians to get behind its #FTA4dairy ‘selfie’ campaign to help secure a China-Australia free trade agreement (FTA) which could see $30 million in tariff savings per year placed back into the pockets of Australians.

Showing your support is as simple as uploading a #FTA4dairy selfie holding up a postive message, and posting it online incorporating the #FTA4dairy and #FTA4farmers hashtags, the group says. . .

The Campaign for Wool partners with the Harris Tweed Ride:

On Sunday 31st August, tweed clad ladies and gents from all over Scotland gathered outside the luxury Blythswood Square Hotel for the annual Harris Tweed ride, this year in partnership with the Campaign for Wool.

The Harris Tweed ride has continued to become increasingly popular with this year’s ride being no exception. Over 120 cyclists and wool lovers took part in the ride covering Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove Park taking in some of Glasgow’s most iconic sites as well as guiding riders past some of Glasgow’s top dining establishments. . .

 

 


Stop and pop

04/09/2014

Spring has sprung, the grass is riz, I wonder where dem birdies is? . . .

Some of those birdies are starlings. They’re building nests and one of the places they choose to build those nests is under tractor bonnets.

Insurance companies know only too well how serious dry nest materials and hot engines can be which is why FMG is giving its annual reminder to stop and pop.

There’s a game at that link and a chance to win prizes.

 

 

 

 


Thursday’s quiz

04/09/2014

1. Who said: The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the majority, or rather of that party, not always the majority, that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections.?

2. In what year did women in New Zealand gain the right to vote?

3.  In which year did New Zealand first vote under MMP?

4.  Name two of New Zealand’s three longest serving Prime Ministers/Premiers.

5. How many years should each of our parliamentary terms be?


National working for and in the south #18

04/09/2014

Fantastic Fact # 18:


Tax on entrepreneurship, innovation and risk taking

04/09/2014

Capital gains taxes haven’t worked to keep property prices down in other countries and it will push up prices here:

Labour’s capital gains tax, won’t do what David Cunliffe says it will, according to the Taxpayers’ Union, backed up by a former Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue, Robin Oliver.

Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says, “Labour are misleading taxpayers if they think a CGT will be a panacea for the housing market. Mr Cunliffe is wrong to say that current tax law does not tax property speculators.”

“Income tax already applies to speculators, builders and developers. Taxing the rest of the market can’t possibly bring down prices.”

Robin Oliver, says, “Under an Australian type Capital Gains Tax a person choosing between investing in a business or buying an even more expensive home will have an increased tax incentive to invest in the home. Gains on the home will be tax-free, gains on the business will be taxable and it will be difficult to use any capital losses the business makes. The playing field is clearly tilted towards home ownership rather than risking money in a business creating jobs.”

Williams says, “Ultimately, Labour’s capital gains tax is a tax on entrepreneurship, innovation and risk taking.”

Simple taxes are better taxes and they shouldn’t incentivise investment in non-productive assets like homes over productive ones like farms and other businesses.

 

 


Abysmal line-up of no-hopers

04/09/2014

Quote of the day:

Aside from other disturbing considerations, a Labour government is currently only possible by incorporating the most abysmal line-up of no-hopers ever to have presented themselves in our history. The Nats’ rowing boat television advertisement is spot-on . . .  Sir Bob Jones

A Labour/Green government would be bad enough.

Throw in New Zealand First and the Internet and Mana parties – together or apart – and the next three years would be even worse.


CGT death duty in drag

04/09/2014

Larry Williams interviewed David Cunliffe on Labour’s capital gains tax yesterday and established that it will be complicated and arbitrary.

One example of that is managed funds.

KiwiSaver managed funds will be exempt but anyone owning exactly the same shares in a managed fund will be taxed.

The Taxpayers’ Union highlights another aspect that Labour has not – a CGT will be a death duty in drag:

Responding to confirmation that under Labour’s capital gains tax policy children would have to pay the tax if they sold a family home after both parents have passed, Ben Craven, Spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Union, says:

“Labour’s capital gains tax is looking more and more like a death duty in drag. The vast majority of estates are liquidated, even where the family home is in a trust to the children.”

“The last time death duty existed in New Zealand was 1992. It appears that Labour are looking to reintroduce it but under another name with far more complexity. When children lose their parents they should be encouraged to put the inheritance to good use. Instead, Labour’s policy would whack them with a tax bill.”

“If Mr Cunliffe’s comments to media are correct, his policy will create a cruel tax incentive to quickly sell the family home while parents are still on their death beds. Mr Cunliffe’s statements to the media must be mistaken, or Labour really haven’t thought this one through.”

The tax won’t be levied if the house is sold in 30 days but few estates are settled and houses sold that quickly.

CGT wouldn’t be imposed if a family member lives in the house but that doesn’t happen very often.

When it does, unless it’s an only child, it’s usual for only one beneficiary to buy the shares of other family members and those gains would be taxed.

 


$100m freshwater fund

04/09/2014

A re-elected National-led Government will spend $100 million over 10 years to buy and retire selected areas of farmland next to important waterways to create an environmental buffer that helps improve water quality.

National will also introduce a mandatory requirement to exclude dairy cattle from waterways.

National’s Environment Spokeswoman, Amy Adams, and Primary Industries spokesman Nathan Guy made the announcement at the Waituna Lagoon in Southland with Prime Minister and National Party Leader John Key today.

“New Zealand’s freshwater makes us an incredibly lucky country. We have over 400,000 kilometres of rivers and more than 4,000 lakes,” Ms Adams says.

“New Zealand’s water is among the very best in the world and we want to keep it that way. These are the next steps in our considered and sensible plan to continual improvements in freshwater quality.

“We are particularly committed to improving the quality of our freshwater and have made a number of key decisions that previous governments have put in the too-hard basket.

“This Government has introduced national standards for freshwater to safeguard it for future generations,” Ms Adams says. “That new framework will give communities around the country the tools to maintain and improve the quality of their lakes and rivers.

“To continue this progress, the next National-led Government will invest $100 million over 10 years to further enhance the quality of freshwater through a targeted fund to buy and retire areas of farmland next to waterways.

“This fund will give councils another option to help manage freshwater by enabling these sensitive areas to be retired for environmental purposes,” says Ms Adams.

National will also introduce a requirement to exclude dairy cattle from waterways by 1 July 2017, and will work with industry to exclude other cattle from waterways over time on intensively farmed lowland properties, says Ms Adams.

“National is committed to building a stronger economy, particularly in our regions. We are also determined to improve the quality of our environment at the same time, and we are confident we can achieve both.”

Mr Guy says dairy farmers have done a fantastic job addressing some of the key environmental issues they face, and they have fenced over 23,000 kilometres of waterways – over 90 per cent of all dairy farm waterways.

“This is an incredible undertaking to do voluntarily. At the end of the day, farmers are environmentalists; they want to leave their land in a better state for their children, and their grandchildren.

“Our approach involves working collaboratively with farmers, water users and communities. You don’t get good environmental results by aggressively penalising and taxing key industries.” says Mr Guy.

“A mandatory requirement will bolster this great work and highlight the importance of this key environmental protection.

“We will work constructively with dairy farmers when developing the legislation, to ensure practical solutions in those areas with difficult terrain or which are subject to extreme weather events,” says Mr Guy.

Farmers have already done a lot to protect and enhance waterways on their own and with encouragement from milk companies and regional councils.

This policy will ensure even more is done.

 

 

A re-elected National-led Government will improve freshwater quality by investing $100m to buy and retire farmland next to important waterways. ntnl.org.nz/1BaGDWz #Working4NZ
Irrigation New Zealand applauds the policy:

Irrigation New Zealand supports National’s 2014 Water Policy announced today which recognises the value of irrigation and which continues to place the responsibility of cleaning up New Zealand’s waterways with the community.

“Instead of penalising irrigators National is taking pragmatic steps to sorting out New Zealand’s waterways issues,” said Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO.

“Ensuring riparian fencing and planting, especially in the lowland plains, will lead to big wins for restoring habitats and supporting aquatic life. This is what New Zealanders’ want to see – fresh water good enough to gather food from and enjoy recreationally.

“With the new freshwater fund and fencing requirements, plus objectives set by the National Policy Statement for freshwater, communities now have the tools to actively and collectively solve freshwater problems,” says Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ chair.

A successful example of a communal resolution to a waterway issue using riparian fencing and planting is the Waikakahi stream on Morven Glenavy Ikawai Irrigation scheme. It has been restored over a number of years and is now thriving with aquatic life. See more detail here http://www.mgiirrigation.co.nz/environmental-management/

“This government understands that a water tax will not solve New Zealand’s freshwater problems and recognises that there is considerable public good to be gained from sustainably managed irrigated agriculture,” says Mr Curtis.

“There are proven significant socio-economic benefits to both the regional and national community from the productive use of water and it is right that this infrastructure is supported nationally. A water tax will only lead to higher food prices and no other country in the world has implemented an irrigation tax for this reason,” says Ms Hyslop.

The opposition’s policy would tax the majority who are doing what they can to clean up after the relatively small number of people who aren’t, or won’t.

National’s policy recognises that economic growth and environmental protection and enhancement aren’t mutually exclusive.

 


September 4 in history

04/09/2014

476 Romulus Augustus, last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed when Odoacer proclaimed himself King of Italy.

626  Li Shimin, posthumously known as Emperor Taizong of Tang, assumed the throne of the Tang Dynasty of China.

1666 In London, the worst damage from the Great Fire occurred.

1781 Los Angeles, California, was founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de los Ángeles de Porciúncula (The Village of Our Lady, the Queen of the Angels of Porziuncola) by 44 Spanish settlers.

1812  War of 1812: The Siege of Fort Harrison began when the fort was set on fire.

1862  Civil War Maryland Campaign: General Robert E. Lee took the Army of Northern Virginia, and the war, into the North.

1863 Soon after leaving Nelson for Napier, the newly built brig Delaware was wrecked. Accounts of the incident often focus on the heroism of Huria Matenga, the only woman in a party of five local Maori who assisted the crew to shore.

1870  Emperor Napoleon III of France was deposed and the Third Republic  declared.

1884  The United Kingdom ended its policy of penal transportation to Australia.

1886  Indian Wars: after almost 30 years of fighting, Apache leader Geronimo, with his remaining warriors, surrendered to General Nelson Miles.

1888  George Eastman registered the trademark Kodak and received a patent for his camera that used roll film.

1894  In New York City, 12,000 tailors struck against sweatshop working conditions.

1901 William Lyons, British industrialist (Jaguar cars), was born (d. 1985).

1905 – Mary Renault, English-South African author (d. 1983)

1917 Henry Ford II, American industrialist, was born (d. 1987).

1919 – Mustafa Kemal Atatürk gathered a congress in Sivas to make decisions as to the future of Anatolia and Thrace.

1923 – Maiden flight of the first U.S. airship, the USS Shenandoah.

1937 Dawn Fraser, Australian swimmer, was born.

1941  World War II: a German submarine mades the first attack against a United States ship, the USS Greer.

1944  World War II: the British 11th Armoured Division liberated the Belgian city of Antwerp.

1948  Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands abdicated for health reasons.

1949  Maiden flight of the Bristol Brabazon.

1949  The Peekskill Riots erupted after a Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, New York.

1950  First appearance of the “Beetle Bailey” comic strip.

1950  Darlington Raceway was the site of the inaugural Southern 500, the first 500-mile NASCAR race.

1951 Martin Chambers, English drummer (The Pretenders), was born.

1951  The first live transcontinental television broadcast took place in San Francisco, California, from the Japanese Peace Treaty Conference.

1956  The IBM RAMAC 305 was introduced, the first commercial computer to use magnetic disk storage.

1957  American Civil Rights Movement: Little Rock Crisis – Orval Faubus, governor of Arkansas, called out the National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling in Central High School.

1957  The Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.

1963  Swissair Flight 306 crashed near Dürrenäsch, Switzerland, killing all 80 people on board.

1964  Scotland’s Forth Road Bridge near Edinburgh officially opened.

1967  Vietnam War: Operation Swift began: U.S. Marines engaged the North Vietnamese in battle in the Que Son Valley.

1971  A Boeing 727 Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 crashed near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.

1972 Mark Spitz became the first competitor to win seven medals at a single Olympic Games.

1975  The Sinai Interim Agreement relating to the Arab-Israeli conflict was signed.

1977 The Golden Dragon Massacre in San Francisco, California.

1984  Brian Mulroney led the Canadian Progressive Conservative Party to power in the 1984 federal election, ending 20 years of nearly uninterrupted Liberal rule.

1995 The Fourth World Conference on Women opened in Beijing with morethan  4,750 delegates from 181 countries in attendance.

1996  War on Drugs: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) attacked a military base in Guaviare, starting three weeks of guerrilla warfare in which at least 130 Colombians were killed.

1998  Google was founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, students at Stanford University.

2010 – Magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked Canterbury.


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