Word of the day

September 12, 2014

Fankle – to tangle or entangle something; a tangle;  confusion; (slang) fat ankle.


Which jewel are you?

September 12, 2014

Which jewel are you?

Ruby

Oh my dear ruby, you are a rarity in this world: proud of the things that make you different, you are confident and self-assured. You’re not afraid to admit when you’re wrong. You often make people laugh with your honesty and impulsivity.

Do rubies come in blue?


Rural round-up

September 12, 2014

Coasters nervous about a dry start to spring:

Nervous West Coast farmers are hoping meteorologists are right that a rainmaker is close at hand, with no more than 1 millilitre (mls) falling at Westport over the past 23 days.

“This is the driest start to spring in some years,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers West Coast Provincial President.

“Apparently a dry spell is 15 consecutive days with less than one millilitre of rainfall and the South Island has been very dry. Heck, even Milford Sound has been dry for going on 22 days.

“Speaking to the guys at MetService, they say it is down to a persistent high, which has been sitting out to the west that’s meandering its way across the country. . .

 

Turners & Growers enters Chilean JV to grow grapes for first time – Suze Metherell:

 (BusinessDesk) – Turners & Growers, the fruit marketer majority owned by Germany’s BayWa, has entered a joint venture with Unifrutti Chile to grow and export Peruvian grapes.

The joint venture with Italian-owned, Chile-based Unifrutti builds on an existing export relationship with T&G, and is the Auckland-based company’s first foray into grape growing. T&G didn’t disclose any financial details surrounding the deal, saying it will begin planting in Peru later this year with first commercial volumes harvested in late 2015.

T&G’s Delica business already exports grapes and has existing operations in South America, though those haven’t extended to grape growing before. The company already had a commercial relationship with Unifrutti, which is ultimately owned by the Italy-based De Nada International Group, according to its website. . .

Waikato Sharemilkers Enjoy Benefits of Farm Environment Competition:

Entering the Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a great way for Matamata sharemilkers Phil and Kim Dykzeul to find out how their operation stacked up in terms of environmental sustainability.

The Dykzeuls, who 50:50 sharemilk 200 cows on 83ha owned by Richard and Pauline Kean, were thrilled to win three category awards in the 2014 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA), including the LIC Dairy Farm Award.

“We were over the moon to win three awards in our first time in the competition,” says Phil. . .

 Important season for black-grass eradication:

With the second season of black-grass operations about to begin, continued vigilance this spring and summer will be crucial to stop the noxious weed from establishing in Mid-Canterbury, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

MPI, supported by industry partners, began a black-grass response following spillage of contaminated seed from a truck travelling between Ashburton and Methven in July last year.

“We didn’t find any black-grass last season and are confident that if it were there the operations team would have found it,” says MPI Response Manager Brad Chandler.

“However, we are also very conscious that if there is any chance of black-grass appearing, it is most likely to show its face this season. So everyone involved, including the public, needs to remain particularly vigilant and keep a lookout.” . . .

Live Lobsters Fly to Export Success:

An increasing volume of valuable export earnings are being generated by the Fiordland Lobster Company (FLC), following its successful pioneering of the live lobster export industry over the past 25 years.

Now exporting about over 800 tonnes of the Kiwi Lobster-branded product (officially known as Jasus edwardsii lobster) each year, the firm’s achievements have been founded on efficient air freight and a well-oiled logistics operation, says FLC group general manager sales and marketing David Prendergast.

“This lobster is considered the sweetest tasting and most succulent variety available and is highly sought after in Asia, where it is the lobster of choice,” he says. . . .

 

 Wool Market Makes Gains:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s Marketing Executive, Mr Paul Steel reports that at today’s South Island sale there were market gains of up to 2 percent on the back of recent business concluded mainly with Chinese interests.

A limited Merino offering saw best top making types slightly in buyers favour and poorer styles mixed and irregular.

Mid Micron wools when compared to the last South Island sale on the 28th August generally made small gains. 24.5 and 25 micron were firm, 25.5 to 26.5 and 29 to 30.5 micron were 1 to 2 percent dearer while 27 to 28.5 micron were buyers favour. . . .


Must not hesitate to condemn, utterly, the evil

September 12, 2014

Brendan Boyle, Chief Executive, Ministry of Social Development spoke wise and compassionate words at the Ashburton Civic Service to remember Leigh Cleveland and Peggy Noble yesterday:

 

. . . Whenever people die at work, different communities of family, friends and colleagues are drawn together. We see different sides of people. Death illuminates the whole person.

The thoughts I have to share are about the work of Public Servants, such as Leigh Cleveland and Peggy Noble, and our injured colleague Lindy Curtis, whom I am pleased to say is making progress to the relief of her family, friends and colleagues.

New Zealand is a democracy, something for which many have given their lives.

Public servants rightly commit to implementing the policies of the elected government, under the law.

For all of us it is a job. For many – perhaps most of us – that job includes elements of a calling, a vocation, a commitment to others.

And so it was for Leigh Cleveland and Peggy Noble and Lindy Curtis at work last week.

In the Ministry of Social Development we say: “We will always be here to help people in need”.

Leigh and Peggy were at work, being there for people in need, when they lost their lives. Lindy was there for people in need when she was shot.

They were serving people directly by providing them with information, entitlements, and services.

They will not be forgotten. Family and friends will remember and mourn them with an intimate and personal insight.

Those of us who worked with them will remember their service to New Zealand.

Like our other staff, they came to work each day prepared to face the whole range of New Zealanders who seek our services and support.

Like our other staff Leigh and Peggy responded with firmness in implementing policy, with kindness in explanation, and with intelligence in seeking solutions to people’s problems.

You can’t work on our front desks without empathy, sympathy and commitment to people.

In marking this tragedy, let’s also mark the professionalism they showed on all the other, uneventful, days of their working lives.

All of us who are committed to public service can take pride that Leigh and Peggy were a part of us, and realise, in their loss, the importance of our own work and the public service itself.

It is an honour to be here with both families and to share your grief.

Our respect for Leigh and Peggy has been shown by government workers throughout New Zealand marking two minutes silence a week after the event and in many other ways.

It is shown in the expressions of concern for Lindy and for those affected emotionally by the experience.

Most of all, our respect is shown by our continued work – often difficult, and always challenging – to help New Zealanders to help themselves to be safe, strong and independent.

Those who do this work also need to be safe.

Their families should not have to fear that they will not return home at the end of the day.

In the days, weeks and years ahead we will continue to think about, and learn what we can from what happened.

I take my responsibility for this seriously.

I will be asking myself, over and over, what more could I have done?

I know others are doing the same thing, and that at times we feel as if we are searching in darkness.

I’ve heard it said that it is better “to light one candle than to curse the darkness”.  We are looking for those points of light, those things we can learn from what has happened.  

Every action we take so that in the future staff will be safer will be a tribute to Leigh, and Peggy, and all victims of this terrible act.

But while we look for lessons, we cannot ignore the darkness.

We must not hesitate to condemn, utterly, the evil that occurred in the Ashburton office that day.

We may in time learn to what extent it was a result of social conditions, or medical issues, or psychological processes, or an act of will, or all of these.

But the victims – those who have died and those who must live with these memories – bear no responsibility for what has happened.

By seeking concrete actions for the future we honour the victims, and we push back against the darkness.

Already, our people are reflecting on what has happened and, putting aside their shock and anger, concentrating on what this means for us and our relationship with clients.

We respect those who need our services.

I see indications that we will be stronger in our expectations of mutual respect.

We will not be less tolerant but we will be more willing clearly to say what cannot be tolerated.

In that process we will begin to restore and renew trust.

But today is about this moment and honouring two whose lives have been taken because they worked for others, and recognising all those wounded and harmed by this attack.

Today is about realising, in our shared grief and loss, the strength of that community and society we work to build.

And it is about our responsibility, even at this moment, to not back away from our commitment to serve New Zealanders.

Hat tip: Lindsay Mitchell


Friday’s answers

September 12, 2014

Andrei and J Bloggs provided the questions and both win an electronic batch of shortbread for stumping us all.

It can be collected by leaving the answers here.

Robert gets a deletion for abusing the spirit of the quiz and a warning – you gave your word you’d stick by my rules of no spam or off-topic comments, if you want to stay off moderation that includes adhering to the spirit of posts.


Who loses from non-voters?

September 12, 2014

The common perception that centre-left parties like Labour and the Greens are hit much harder than National when their supporters do not turn up to vote does not hold up in light of polling analysis released today by the Election Data Consortium.

The Consortium is made up of polling company Roy Morgan and data analytics company Qrious. The analysis shows 36 percent of those aged between 18 and 24 who are enrolled but state they are unlikely to vote, indicated they preferred National. In comparison, younger non-voters indicated 39 percent of them preferred Labour and 19 percent supported the Greens.

“This is lower than National’s general polling support across all age groups but higher than many people probably believe the party receives from this block of potential voters,” says Qrious spokesman Cyrus Facciano.

“The rule-of-thumb is that lower turnout by young voters is automatically bad for the centre-left. That is true to some extent – but it is nowhere near the election-turning block of votes that some make it out to be.”

nonvote

The pattern is similar across other ages, though these groups are more likely to vote than younger people. In the 35 to 49 age group, 39 percent of non-voters said they preferred National. . .

 

This is why National candidates and volunteers are putting so much work into letting supporters know the importance of voting.

The election is not a foregone conclusion and people in or leaning towards the blue end of the political spectrum who don’t vote could allow a Labour/Green/NZ First/Internet-Mana coalition into government.


Is it already election day?

September 12, 2014

The Electoral Commission is clamping down on selfies in polling booths:

The Electoral Commission is putting up signs to prevent voters from taking selfies in polling booths.

Warnings about social media use during the election period have fallen on deaf ears as constituents continue to upload photos of themselves and their ballot papers.

Now the commission says it has had to produce signs banning photography from inside the voting place.

Chief electoral officer Robert Peden said photography in polling booths had been allowed only with the permission of the returning officer, but the number of photos being taken without permission had increased “hugely” this year. . . .

“The increased interest in voters taking selfies inside voting places raises concerns about congestion and disturbance in voting places and can breach other rules in the Electoral Act regarding campaigning on election day and protecting the secrecy of voting,” Peden said.

The Electoral Act says it is against the law to distribute anything purporting to be an imitation of a ballot paper on election day or in the three days leading up to it. . .

If voting has already started is it already Election Day or do we now have Election fortnight and a half?

The freedom loving part of me thinks the law is a bit outdated here.

Advance voting has been high and posting selfies on social media might have played a part in encouraging others to vote.

But I can see that if people are queuing to vote, the extra time for selfies from lots of people adds up and could cause congestion.

There is also the paramount issue of secrecy.

The  risk that people could coerce others to take selfies of their ballot paper in order to prove they voted the way the coercer wanted might be slight but even one instance of that would be one too many.


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