Rural round-up

11/09/2014

Farming for the future – Patrick O’Boyle:

Agriculture is the national breadwinner, accounting for 12 per cent of our GDP. But, making up nearly half of our greenhouse gas emissions, it is also a major reason we have struggled to meet the challenge of bringing down our emissions. For Patrick O’Boyle, the way out of this tight spot is not to demonise our farming communities, but to recognise that progress comes when we work together.

Dairy, and meat and wool. These have been the livelihood of my family. Our history of living in the land spans a large part of the North Island and involves a significant contribution to these two industries. We now live on a sheep and beef farm in the Wairarapa, where we operate a successful farming business.

My connection with the land has always been deeply seated in certain values: a respect of the land and animals, personal responsibility, and an ambition to succeed. As farmers, we see ourselves as caretakers, and with this comes a responsibility to make effective use of the land and hand it on to the next generation. . . .

Patrick O'Boyle's photo.

South Island needs rain – Stephen Bell:

Many areas in the South Island are tracking towards record dry spells as relatively warm, dry weather that began in mid-August continues.

It had not got to the adverse event stage but farmers needed rain soon, Federated Farmers adverse events spokeswoman Katie Milne said.

Farmers on the West Coast were starting to get a bit desperate. Some had used up their winter feed reserves and weren’t looking too flash.

A few farmers were finding it tough with lower pasture cover after the Easter windstorm and a series of frosts. . .

Strong contenders for Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014:

Seventeen exciting and innovative businesses are in the line up for the Rural Women New Zealand Enterprising Rural Women Awards 2014.

“This is the sixth year we’ve run the Enterprising Rural Women Awards,” says Rural Women National President, Wendy McGowan. “It’s encouraging to see the diversity of businesses being run by women in rural areas and the significant contribution they make to the wider economy.

“Each year we see an greater sophistication in the marketing and presentation of rural businesses that enter the awards.

“As broadband slowly rolls out into rural communities it is increasing business opportunities and levelling the playing field for rural enterprises, even when operating from remote locations. . .

 The glamorous face of farming – Genevieve Barlow:

THERE they were, two glamorous women in heels high enough to fall from, babbling about agriculture, and the power of art to promote farming.

The younger one, Hannah, wore silver shoes. Her mentor, Lynne, wore red ones. We were in the city so, yes, there was occasion to dress up but boy were these women relishing their glitzy shoe-wearing moment. Their sartorial chutzpah in the shoes department nearly blew me off my flat-heeled boots.

So what do farmers look like these days? Yesteryear’s straw-chewing, Akubra-wearing, down-on-his-luck laconic type, while romantic, no longer tells the story in full.

That’s what these glam gals were out to prove.

They walk into classrooms and public places sometimes looking more like they’re lining up for the red carpet (in the shoe department, at least) than a talk about cows and farms. . . .

 

 

Blanket Bay named in Andrew Harper’s Top 20 International Hideaways:

Luxury lodge Blanket Bay has again received a prestigious accolade – named as one of the world’s Top 20 International Hideaways in the famous Andrew Harper’s Hideaway Report.

Blanket Bay, near Glenorchy, was ranked 16th in the just-released 2014 list of favourite hotels, resorts and lodges, as voted by Hideaway Report readers. The Hideaway Report is an internationally-recognised source of information about luxury travel.

The Andrew Harper website describes Blanket Bay as a “splendid sanctuary along the shores of Lake Wakatipu with a majestic backdrop of snowcapped peaks; a scenic 45-minute drive from Queenstown”.

New Blanket Bay General Manager Brent Hyde says the award rightfully belongs to the Blanket Bay team under the direction of previous General Manager Philip Jenkins, but he’s delighted with the continued recognition of the outstanding property. . .

 


How good’s your English?

11/09/2014

How good is your English?

10/10 but I had to think about the spelling in #9.


National working for and in the south #10

11/09/2014

Fantastic Fact # 10:


Thursday’s quiz

11/09/2014

It’s your turn to ask the questions.

You don’t have to follow my five-question format.

Anyone who stumps us all will win an electronic batch of shortbread.

 


National working for and in the south #11

11/09/2014

Fantastic Fact # 11:


Water tax ludicrous and detrimental – IrrigationNZ

11/09/2014

IrrigationNZ says the Green party’s water tax is ludicrous and detrimental:

. . . “Introducing a water tax will be ludicrous and detrimental for the country,” says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO. “The only robust and long term solution to restoring waterways is on a case-by-case basis engaging local communities to find solutions.”

IrrigationNZ agrees with the Green Party and with the National Party that stock must be excluded from waterways, riparian margins established and nutrients and contaminants need to be managed.

In addition, pest plant and fish species also have to be controlled to restore the natural habitat and most importantly – water storage and irrigation infrastructure needs to be developed within limits.

“If irrigation becomes too costly fewer farmers will implement it and water storage infrastructure will not be developed,” says Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ Chair. “It would be foolish for New Zealand not to capture its most valuable resource, the world’s most valuable resource, just for the sake of punishing farmers.”

IrrigationNZ would like to re-iterate the following points:

• A water tax will lead to increased food prices and is inflationary

• In no other country in the world is there an irrigation tax

• In all other countries irrigation is considered a socio economic tool and is funded centrally

• The Green’s policy called: Smart Farming for Clean Rivers – ignores that some of the most polluted waterways are urban ones due to sewerage problems

• A water tax on irrigators is not equitable, all users if water, industrial and hydro electricity plants should be included

• A water tax as Green and Labour want to implement will not prevent land intensification – it will instead encourage it – farmers will have to seek higher returns to justify the increased cost of their water

• The water policies do not define what kind of ‘irrigation’ is taxable, or what size of water take is taxable

• A water tax will reduce money available for farmers to continue mitigating environmental impacts through new technology and nutrient management systems

• Irrigators are already spending billions of dollars of private investment improving our waterways

IrrigationNZ is committed to finding a way for New Zealand to develop sustainably managed irrigation schemes within acceptable environmental limits.

“Water is our most valuable renewable resource and we believe that irrigation in New Zealand is essential to protect against climatic variations and to enhance the country’s ability to feed its population and to contribute to feeding the world,” says Mr Curtis.

The Green policy is anti-farming, anti productivity and will penalise the majority of irrigators who farm responsibly to clean up after the minority who don’t.

 


Subbies’ payment to be protected

11/09/2014

Subcontractors owed money are to get better protection for payment for work done in changes to the Construction Contracts Act approved by Government, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith says.

“It is unfair that electricians, plumbers, painters, plasterers, tilers and other subcontractors can miss out on being paid when contractors or developers use retentions money inappropriately. We are going to change the law and require retentions to be held in trust to help ensure contractors and their subcontractors get paid for the work they do,” Dr Smith says.

Retentions are payments withheld by the developer and main contractor from subcontractors so as to ensure any faults or repairs to work done can subsequently be put right. An issue arises when the developer or main contractor puts this money at risk by using it as working capital or for another project which then fails, leaving the subcontractor unpaid.

The law change will mean the developer or main contractor has a fiduciary duty to the subcontractors to hold the money in trust. The issue was highlighted with the collapse of Mainzeal where about $18 million of subcontractors’ retention money was lost for many small subcontracting businesses.

The Government has given drafting instructions for a supplementary order paper to the Construction Contracts Amendment Bill currently before Parliament. The changes will impose a trust obligation on retention moneys, prevent the money from being used for other purposes, and impose penalties where the funds for purposes not related to the specific project.

It will also provide for a default rate of interest prescribed in regulations to be applied to late payment of retention payments and clarify that the ban on ‘pay when paid’ also applies to retentions. The amendments will be introduced to the existing Construction Contracts Amendment Bill currently before Parliament.

“We have not opted for a model of requiring retention funds to be put into a separate bank account or lawyer’s trust fund as some have advocated because the compliance cost is too high. Putting a trust obligation into the law makes plain these moneys are not to be used inappropriately and should take priority over other creditors in the event of liquidation,” Dr Smith says.

“The proposals have been developed in consultation with the construction sector including subcontractors, who wish to have a flexible approach to compliance that would work across the sector.

“These changes will provide improved certainty and stability in the construction sector without excessive compliance costs. It ensures that in building contracts, the risks are carried by the developer and the principal contractor rather than by subcontractors who are less well-informed of the viability of a particular development.

“New Zealand is on the brink of the largest construction boom in 40 years according to the latest National Construction Pipeline Report, with construction activity set to grow to $32 billion per annum. This law change is about ensuring the billions held in retentions is responsibly managed.

“The changes will be welcomed by thousands of mum and dad subbie businesses and their employees across New Zealand, as it gives them greater security that they will get paid for the work they do,” Dr Smith concluded.

Subbies are usually small businesses and are at the mercy of main contractors who sometimes use retentions from one job to finance the next.

This measure lowers the risks for the subbies.

 


Not as green as they’re painted

11/09/2014

The Taxpayers’ Union asks is the Green Party still an environmental party?

Analysis of the spending promises by the Green Party shows that only 9% of the Party’s committed spending so far this election relates to environmental priorities. According to the ‘Bribe-O-Meter‘ of the $4.9 billion in new spending the party is promising, only $443 million relates to the environment.

Unlike the Green Party I joined in 2004, the existing policy platform appears to be more about transferring wealth than protecting the environment. In comparison to the $443 million pledged for environmental causes, the Green’s welfare policies have been assessed by our independent expert to cost $1.82 billion. $1.82 billion is equivalent to $1,073.24 per New Zealand household.

Based on these numbers, the current Green Party is arguably only 9% ‘green’.

Interesting stat from our election Bribe-O-Meter at http://taxpayers.org.nz/bribe-o-meter

The Greens are often called watermelons – green on the outside and red inside – and that is their big weakness.

A party which was strong on the environment and moderate on social and economic issues would be in a position of great strength, able to go with a government led by either National or labour.

But the radical left social and economic policies the Green Party espouses puts it to the left of Labour which severely weakens its bargaining power and influence.


All public prisons to be full working prisons

11/09/2014

All public prisons in New Zealand will become full working prisons by 2017, and ex-prisoners will receive post-release drug addiction treatment if National is returned to government, says Corrections Spokesperson Anne Tolley.

“The National-led Government has revolutionised the approach to offender rehabilitation to reduce reoffending rates and ensure there are fewer victims of crime,” says Mrs Tolley.

“By expanding the working prisons model from three to 16 prisons, every eligible prisoner will have a structured 40 hour-a-week timetable to include work experience, skills training and education, alongside drug and alcohol treatment and other rehabilitation programmes.  This will give them the skills they need to live a crime-free life outside prison.

“The vast majority of prisoners don’t want to be sitting around in their cells doing nothing. The working prisons model gives them the opportunity to learn good habits and take responsibility for their lives. And after a decent day’s work they are also more manageable for prison staff.” 

The working prisons expansion will not require additional funding, and can be established through reprioritisation of resources.

“Our focus on rehabilitation and reintegration will also be further strengthened by a new post-release specialist addiction treatment programme for prisoners, so support continues in the community when offenders are at risk of returning to drugs and alcohol, which we know are major drivers of crime,” says Mrs Tolley.

Offenders who have taken part in intensive residential drug treatment unit programmes while inside prison, who are on parole or released on conditions, will be required to attend specialist drug and alcohol addiction aftercare programmes once released.

This will be introduced for up to 1,000 offenders each year, at an estimated cost of up to $6 million a year.

“We don’t want offenders returning to their old ways and creating more victims when they are released,” says Mrs Tolley.

“Places on addiction treatment programmes have increased by 1500 per cent since 2008. We don’t want this excellent work undone on release, which we know can be a difficult time for offenders.

“For those who need continued support, the new aftercare programmes will provide the help they need to keep them away from substances.

“This will reduce their chances of recidivism, as we progress towards our Better Public Services target of a 25 per cent reduction in reoffending by 2017.

“The expansion of working prisons and the introduction of aftercare programmes will also help National achieve its new target of reducing crime by 20 per cent by 2017,” says Mrs Tolley.

This policy will help rehabilitate prisoners, equip them for work when they are released and by doing so reduce re-offending.

 

National will make every prison a fully working prison by 2017. This will give prisoners the opportunity to learn new skills and take responsibility for their lives. ntnl.org.nz/1Ax0kFX #Working4NZ


September 11 in history

11/09/2014

1185 Isaac II Angelus killed Stephanus Hagiochristophorites.

1297 Battle of Stirling Bridge: Scots jointly-led by William Wallace and Andrew Moray defeated the English.

1390  Lithuanian Civil War (1389–1392): the Teutonic Knights began a five-week siege of Vilnius.

1541  Santiago, Chile, was destroyed by indigenous warriors, lead by Michimalonko.

1609  Expulsion order announced against the Moriscos of Valencia; beginning of the expulsion of all Spain‘s Moriscos.

1609  Henry Hudson discovered Manhattan Island.

1649  Siege of Drogheda ended: Oliver Cromwell’s English Parliamentarian troops took the town and executed its garrison.

1697  Battle of Zenta.

1709  Battle of Malplaquet: Great Britain, Netherlands and Austria fight against France.

1758  Battle of Saint Cast: France repelled British invasion during the Souven Year’s War.

1773  The Public Advertiser published a satirical essay titled Rules By Which A Great Empire May Be Reduced To A Small One written by Benjamin Franklin.

1776  British-American peace conference on Staten Island failed to stop nascent American Revolutionary War.

1777  American Revolution: Battle of Brandywine –  British victory in Chester County, Pennsylvania.

1786  The Beginning of the Annapolis Convention.

1792 The Hope Diamond and other French crown jewels were stolen.

1802  France annexed the Kingdom of Piedmont.

1814  War of 1812: The climax of the Battle of Plattsburgh, a major United States victory in the war.

1847 Stephen Foster‘s song, Oh! Susanna, was first performed at a saloon in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1857  Mormon settlers and Paiutes massacred 120 pioneers at Mountain Meadows, Utah.

1858 First ascent of Dom, the third highest summit in the Pennine Alps.

1862 O. Henry, American writer, was born (d. 1910).

1880 – Four children were killed and 13 adults injured when two rail carriages were blown off the tracks by severe winds on a notoriously exposed part of the Rimutaka Incline railway line.

1885 D. H. Lawrence, English novelist, was born (d. 1930).

1892 Pinto Colvig, voice actor for Goofy, Pluto, and Bozo the Clown, was born (d. 1967).

1893 First conference of the World Parliament of Religions was held.

1897 After months of pursuit, generals of Menelik II of Ethiopia captured Gaki Sherocho, the last king of Kaffa, bringing an end to that ancient kingdom.

1903  The first race at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin was held. It is the oldest major speedway in the world.

1906  Mahatma Gandhi coined the term “Satyagraha” to characterize the Non-Violence movement in South Africa.

1914 Australia invaded New Britain, defeating a German contingent at the Battle of Bita Paka.

1916 The Quebec Bridge‘s central span collapsed, killing 11 men.

1917  Ferdinand Marcos, 10th President of the Philippines, was born (d. 1989).

1917  Jessica Mitford, British writer, was born (d. 1996).

1921 Nahalal, the first moshav in Israel, was settled.

1922  The British Mandate of Palestine began.

1922  The Treaty of Kars was ratified in Yerevan, Armenia.

1922   The Sun News-Pictorial was founded in Melbourne.

1928 Charles Kingsford Smith and Charles Ulm made the first successful trans-Tasman flight.

First trans-Tasman flight

1932 Franciszek Żwirko and Stanisław Wigura, Polish Challenge 1932 winners, were killed when their RWD 6 airplane crashes into the ground during a storm.

1941  Ground was broken for the construction of The Pentagon.

1941  Charles Lindbergh’s Des Moines Speech accusing the British, Jews and the Roosevelt administration of pressing for war with Germany.

1943 Mickey Hart, American drummer (Grateful Dead), was born.

1944  World War II: RAF bombing raid on Darmstadt and the following firestorm killed 11,500.

1945  World War II: Liberation of the Japanese-run POW and civilian internment camp at Batu Lintang, Kuching, Sarawak, by Australian 9th Division forces.

1956  People to People International was founded by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

1961  Foundation of the World Wildlife Fund.

1961 Hurricane Carla struck the Texas coast .

1968  Air France Flight 1611 crashed off Nice, France, killing 89 passengers and 6 crew.

1970  88 of the hostages from the Dawson’s Field hijackings were released.

1972  Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) in San Francisco, California began regular service.

1973 A coup in Chile headed by General Augusto Pinochet toppled the democratically elected president Salvador Allende.

1974  Eastern Air Lines Flight 212 crashed in Charlotte, North Carolina, killing 69 passengers and two crew.

1977 Jon Buckland, British guitarist (Coldplay), was born.

1978  U.S. President Jimmy Carter, President Anwar Sadat of Egypt, and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel agreed on the Camp David Accords a framework for peace between Israel and Egypt and a comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

1989  The iron curtain opened between Hungary and Austria.

1992  Hurricane Iniki devastated Hawaii.

1997  NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor reached Mars.

1997  Scotland voted to establish a devolved parliament, within the United Kingdom.

1997 14 Estonian soldiers drowned in the Kurkse tragedy.

1998  Opening ceremony for the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

2001  The September 11 attacks in the United States.

2003 – The Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety came into effect.

2004  Seventeen people were killed when a helicopter crashes in the Aegean Sea – among them were Patriarch Peter VII of Alexandria and bishops of the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria.

2005 The Israel completed its unilateral disengagement from the Gaza Strip.

2007  Russia tested the largest conventional weapon ever, the Father of all bombs.

2012 – A total of 315 people were killed in two garment factory fires in Pakistan.

2012 – The first day of a series of protests and attacks; in which the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya was attacked, resulting in four deaths, including J. Christopher Stevens, the United States Ambassador to Libya

2013 – A 400 km long Human chain called Catalan Way was organized by the Assemblea Nacional Catalana for the independence of Catalonia

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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