Word of the day

September 16, 2014

Divaricate – stretch or spread apart; diverge widely; separate into diverging parts or branches; fork; branch; (of a branch) coming off the stem almost at a right angle.


Rural round-up

September 16, 2014

Vigilance required with Winter Brassica Feeding:

Southland farmers are being advised to keep a close watch on cows that have been grazing or are grazing on swede crops after reports of illness, and in some cases death, on dairy farms.

“The mild winter and lush growth of leaf material on brassica crops, especially swedes, has caused problems where dairy cows have been introduced onto the late winter swedes after wintering on other types of crops,” David Green, PGG Wrightson Seeds (PGW Seeds) General Manager Seeds says.

PGW Seeds is the major supplier of forage brassica products in New Zealand.

“With extra swede leaf material available due to the unusually mild winter it appears some cows have consumed more leaf and less bulb than normal. Consuming more leaf, less bulb and less supplementary feeds during wet August conditions has combined to amplify risk factors that can cause liver disease. . .

 Police say poachers putting lives at risk:

Police in Alexandra say poachers caught on private property give a range of reasons for their offending, but many fail to realise they are putting lives at risk.

Senior Sergeant Ian Kerrisk said poaching was widespread in the lower half of the South Island, where there were large areas of farms and forests, and plenty of people who were interested in hunting.

Mr Kerrisk estimates they receive a call from a forestry worker or farmer once a week with concerns about poachers and have recently prosecuted four people for poaching.

He said it was not easy to say why people poach animals.

“Some of them have said that they hunt because they enjoy hunting, it’s a recreational thing for them, some people have said they believe they have the right to go hunting in the bush, some people have said they need food.”

Mr Kerrisk said the concern is that they are hunting on private property without permission. . .

Protein found on sheep’s back – Nevil Gibson:

University of Otago researchers have won $1 million in government funding for a two-year project that will extract food-safe digestible protein from natural wool. 

Sheep wool is 95% protein with no fat or carbohydrates. This makes it an extremely rich protein source but until now it has been difficult to access, says Associate Professor George Dias.

“Wool-derived protein (WDP) offers an exciting opportunity to add value to New Zealand’s low-valued medium to coarse wool clip,” he says. “WDP can be produced at less than $10 a kilogram, making it extremely cost competitive relative to the gold standard whey protein isolate at $25/kg.”  . . .

$90,000 for kea conservation:

The Government is providing $90,000 from the Community Conservation Partnership Fund to support the Kea Conservation Trust, Conservation Minister Dr Nick Smith announced today.

“The kea is the only alpine parrot in the world and a species endemic to our Southern Alps. The population of these inquisitive and nomadic birds is declining and it is estimated that fewer than 5000 remain. The tragedy of the kea is that over 150,000 birds were killed deliberately when there was a bounty on them for the perceived damage they caused to sheep. More recently, the biggest threat to kea survival is from pests – principally rats, stoats and possums,” Dr Smith says. . .

35-year affair with eucalypts – Alison Beckham:

Thirty-five years ago, Dipton sheep farmer Graham Milligan decided to plant a few eucalypt trees on stony ground next to the Oreti River, where his paddocks seemed to be always either flooded or burnt off.

Now he farms more trees than sheep – raising seedlings and exporting cool climate eucalypt seed all over the world. Reporter AllisonBeckham visited the man who says he loves trees so much he feels like every day on the job is a holiday.35-year affair with eucalypts

At first glance, the eucalpyt trees on Graham and Heather Milligan’s farm look similar. But as we bounce along the farm track Mr Milligan points out different varieties.

There are towering regnans grown for their timber, and nitens, now the world’s most favoured wood for biomass heating fuel. There’s baby blue, whose foliage is sought after by florists, and crenulata, with its delicate star-shaped buds, also popular at the flower markets. . . .

Farm Environment Awards Help Hort Newbies Climb Steep Learning Curve:

Horticultural newcomers Patrick and Rebecca Malley say entering the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards was a great way to build knowledge.

In 2011 the couple left jobs in Auckland to run Ararimu Orchard with Patrick’s parents Dermott and Linzi. Situated at Maungatapere near Whangarei, Ararimu grows 14ha of kiwifruit and 3.5ha of avocados.

While Patrick grew up on an apple orchard in the Hawke’s Bay, he and Rebecca knew very little about growing kiwifruit when they first arrived. So the learning curve was steep.

Rebecca says they decided to enter the 2014 Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) after talking to other people who had been involved in the competition. . . .

Water NZ Annual Conference 17 – 19 September:

Implementing Reform

Water New Zealand’s annual conference is being held this week against a backdrop of the General Election.

“Our members are pleased that political parties have released policies on improving the management of freshwater as declining water quality is consistently rated by New Zealanders as being their number one environmental concern,” Murray Gibb, chief executive of Water New Zealand said.

“It is also pleasing to see the early results of the work that Water New Zealand has been closely involved with over the past five years through the Land and Water Forum and other initiatives.”

Therefore the theme of “Implementing Reform” is appropriate at the conference being held at Hamilton’s Claudelands convention this week over 17 – 19 September. . .


National working for and in the south #5

September 16, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 5:


It’s the party vote that counts

September 16, 2014

Can’t say it too often nor understate the importance of it:

Tell all your friends, family, whanau and work mates - Party Vote National. #Working4NZ #teamkey

The only way to have a stable, forward-looking, government, working for all New Zealand, is to vote National.

The only way to ensure policies that will deliver a strong, open economy that will work for all New Zealanders is to give your party vote to National.


National working for and in the south #6

September 16, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 6:


25ish + 7ish = too few

September 16, 2014

Winston Peters is mulling over a Labour New Zealand First coalition:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today that voters should consider a Labour-New Zealand First as a potential alternative Government, not Labour and Greens, in what is the most definitive statement from him yet on post-election options.

That suggests that would keep the Green Party away from the cabinet table in any Labour-Led Government as he did in 2005.

He expressed respect today for both Labour’s finance spokesman David Parker and for Finance Minister Bill English and said: “I see both of them as capable of being Ministers of Finance.”

“This is not indicating a choice,” he said “but the media seem to have overlooked one option entirely, a Labour-New Zealand First combination on coalition or confidence and supply.”

In Colin James’ latest poll of polls Labour had 25.2% support and NZ First had 7.1%

That comes to only 32.3% which is well short of the 50% plus one seat needed for a majority.

It could of course try to be a minority government but that would require a lot of negotiating to get any legislation passed and the other parties who are hoping to be in government wouldn’t necessarily be feeling generous.

In 2005, Helen Clark led a minority Government with the support of New Zealand First, United Future, and the Greens on confidence and supply but at the behest of Mr Peters, restricted ministerial posts to only himself and Peter Dunne of United Future. . .

Lest we forget, that’s the government that spent wildly and put the country into recession before the rest of the world.

Many NZ First supporters would prefer the party went left rather than right so all Peters is doing is playing to the gallery.


NZ Power 3x more expensive

September 16, 2014

Labour’s numbers don’t add up for its power policy:

 

Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the ‘Bribe-O-Meter’ election costing website, is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship “NZ Power” policy.

Dr Dunn says, “Labour’s claim that NZ Power will cost taxpayers’ $90 million per year is optimistic at best. A more realistic figure is $276 million.”

“As the Government continues to own majority stakes in many of New Zealand’s power companies, NZ Power would see the Government forego much of the income tax and after tax dividends it currently receives.”

“When these aspects are factored in, the NZ Power policy would not cost $178 million as Labour is claiming, but instead cost at least $828 million over three years.”

“The foregone revenue to the Crown is, we estimate, $276 million per year. This is significantly more than Labour’s average of $90 million.

“Labour assume that bringing down the cost of power will introduce offsetting economic benefits. But their assumptions are open to debate, and Labour do not appear to consider who benefits, the long term costs, and the cost to the private shareholders of power companies.”

Dr Dunn’s independent figures are reflected in the Taxpayers’ Union Bribe-O-Meter, which tallies this year’s election promises. The Bribe-O-Meter currently stands at $3,500 per household for Labour compared to $760 for National.

Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says, “This isn’t some political hack calling into question Labour’s numbers. Dr Dunn led the team at IRD that costed revenue policy for 12 years. He has advised both National and Labour administrations.”

“The Bribe-O-Meter is to give transparency to the cost of politicians’ promises as we head into the general election.” . . .

A power policy costing us three times what Labour reckons on top of five new taxes and compulsory KiwiSaver with higher contributions all add up to a lot more money out of people’s pockets.

 


Dotbomb foiled by facts

September 16, 2014

Kim Dotcom who is awaiting extradition with a personal vendetta against the Prime Minister and who is doing his best to buy our election promised to drop a bombshell last night.

He failed.

There was no bomb and the email on which Dotcom based some of his claims is a fake.

The Kim Dotcom “big reveal” is out – and has almost immediately been dismissed as a fake.

The “reveal” is an email which purports to show Prime Minister John Key involved in a plan to get the internet entrepreneur into New Zealand so he could be extradited to the United States.

It is the evidence which Dotcom is planning on producing at the Moment of Truth event tonight. It is also contrary to every assurance the Prime Minister has ever given about his knowledge of Dotcom.

The source of the email is shrouded in mystery and there are likely to be arguments over its authenticity.

It is is dated October 27, 2010 and is purported to be from Warner Brothers chairman and chief executive Kevin Tsujihara to a senior executive at the Motion Picture Association of America – the lobby group for the Hollywood studios.

However, Warner Bros told the Herald the email was a fake. Paul McGuire, the movie studio’s senior vice president for worldwide communications, told the Herald: “Kevin Tsujihara did not write or send the alleged email, and he never had any such conversation with Prime Minister Key.”

Mr McGuire said: “The alleged email is a fabrication.” . . .

And the allegations about mass surveillance?

The dotbomb was foiled by facts:

Prime Minister John Key corrected misinformation that was put in the public domain concerning the operations of the Government Communications Security Bureau.

“Claims have been made tonight that are simply wrong and that is because they are based on incomplete information,” Mr Key says.

“There is not, and never has been, a cable access surveillance programme operating in New Zealand.

“There is not, and never has been, mass surveillance of New Zealanders undertaken by the GCSB.

“Regarding XKEYSCORE, we don’t discuss the specific programmes the GCSB may, or may not use, but the GCSB does not collect mass metadata on New Zealanders, therefore it is clearly not contributing such data to anything or anyone,” Mr Key says.

“I am setting the record straight tonight because I believe New Zealanders deserve better than getting half of a story, embellished for dramatic effect and political gain, and based on incomplete information.

“The GCSB undertakes cyber security operations to protect individual public and private sector entities from the increasing threat of cyber-attack and this is very important work.

“It does not, however, remotely resemble what has been claimed,” Mr Key says.

The GCSB’s cyber security operations occur within its legal framework and only when the following conditions are met:

Each entity must provide individual legal consent to be protected by the GCSB;

The independent Commissioner of Security Warrants must be satisfied each individual case is within the law, and a legal warrant must be co-signed by the Prime Minister and the Commissioner;

Warrants are subject to a two-step process, as outlined by the Prime Minister when legislation was passed last year. A warrant is required for high level cyber protection for an individual entity, and the content of a New Zealander’s communications cannot be looked at by a GCSB employee unless a specific cyber threat is identified which relates to that communication. If that is the case, the GCSB must return to the Prime Minister and the Commissioner to make the case for a second warrant in order to access that communication.“Our cyber security programme began operating this year after a lengthy process of assessing options for protection,” Mr Key says.“The Bureau assessed a variety of options for protection and presented an initial range to Cabinet for consideration in 2012.“The Cabinet initially expressed an interest in GCSB developing a future business case for the strongest form of protection for our public and private sectors, but it later revoked that decision and opted for what we have now – something known as Cortex.The Prime Minister tonight also released declassified material, including a Cabinet minute to show what occurred.“In stark contrast, the Bureau actually operates a sound, individually-based form of cyber protection only to entities which legally consent to it,” Mr Key says.3 April 2012 – Cabinet Minute (PDF3) shows Cabinet asks for business case on cyber security protection initiative.After this Rebecca Kitteridge is called in, problems with the legal framework and internal issues in the GCSB are identified through reviews.September 2013 – Cabinet Minute (PDF2) shows formal rescinding of request for business case and notice of new, narrower project. The business case had been known only as initiative 7418 through the Budget process because of its classification.Related Documents

July 2014 – Cabinet agrees to Cortex, a narrower cyber security programme. (Cab paper and minute PDF 1 and PDF4)

March 2013 – PM tells GCSB not to bring business case forward. Informs GCSB it is too broad. Budget contingency funding will be rolled over and used for something else in cyber security.

September 2012 – It becomes clear there are issues with the GCSB’s surveillance of Mr Dotcom.

Timeline

“I can assure New Zealanders that there is not, and never has been, mass surveillance by the GCSB.

“The business case for the highest form of protection was never completed or presented to Cabinet and never approved. Put simply, it never happened,” Mr Key says.

“These options ranged from the highest possible form of protection to a much weaker form of security, with some in between.

“The process began in late 2011 when the GCSB made it clear to me that cyber-attacks were a growing threat to our country’s data and intellectual property and the Government needed to invest in addressing that.

In addition to this, the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security has substantially stronger powers to monitor the GCSB’s activities and ensure they are appropriate and within the law.

1 (pdf 174.11 KB)

2 (pdf 77.72 KB)

3 (pdf 166.9 KB)

4 (pdf 733.22 KB)

 

Glenn Greenwald’s claims that the Southern Cross undersea cables have been tapped into or accessed were described as total nonsense by CEO Anthony Briscoe:

The cables, which link New Zealand to Australia, the Pacific and the United States, are untouched, Mr Briscoe noted.

“I can tell you quite categorically there is no facility by the NSA, the GCSB or anyone else on the Southern Cross cable network.”

“Let’s be quite blunt. To do this, we would have to take the cable out of service and I can assure you there’s no way we are going to do that.

“It is a physical impossibility to do it without us knowing. There is just no way it can be done. I can give you absolute assurances from Southern Cross – and me as a Kiwi – that there are no sites anywhere on the Southern Cross network that have to do with interception or anything else the NSA or GCSB might want to do.”

He added, any breach of the cable would require temporarily shutting down its transmission for hours. Southern Cross has monitoring systems built into its computers watching for any such break and they would be triggered as soon as any attempt was made.

“There isn’t a technology in the world, as far as I am aware, that can splice into an undersea fibre optic cable without causing a serious outage and sending alarms back to our network operation centre, that something’s wrong.”

Southern Cross is obligated to comply with the well-established and public lawful surveillance requirements in the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act and related laws in the United States. However there is no equipment installed in the New Zealand or United States landing stations, or on the cable itself, which could result in mass interception of communications.

We are very disturbed that such unfounded allegations have been made and feel that it’s important for all New Zealanders to understand that this outrageous claim is totally untrue.

One good thing to come out of this is that the media is no longer Dotcom’s friend:

What was supposed to take John Key and National down might well do the opposite – and here’s a theory on that:

This won’t do the Internet Mana Party any good apropos of which:

A major upset could be ahead for Hone Harawira in the Māori electorate of Te Tai Tokerau, given the close battle between him and Kelvin Davis according to our Māori Television poll results.

Hone Harawira is still leading the electorate on 38%.  However Kelvin Davis is on 37%, so there is just 1% between them. . .

Internet Mana hasn’t got close to 5% in any polls.

Both parties need Harawira to win this seat to survive together or separately.

In other news, there are apparently other parties trying to campaign but they’ve been starved of oxygen while this circus has performed.


September 16 in history

September 16, 2014

1386 King Henry V of England, was born (d. 1422).

1400  Owain Glyndŵr was declared Prince of Wales by his followers.

1701 James Francis Edward Stuart, sometimes called the “Old Pretender”, became the Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England and Scotland.

1776 American Revolutionary War: the Battle of Harlem Heights was fought.

1795  The first occupation by United Kingdom of Cape Colony, South Africa with the Battle of Hout Bay.

1810  With the Grito de Dolores, Father Miguel Hidalgo began Mexico’s fight for independence from Spain.

1812  Russians set fire to Moscow shortly after midnight.

1858 Andrew Bonar Law, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 1923)

1863  Robert College of Istanbul, the first American educational institution outside the United States, was founded by Christopher Robert, an American philanthropist.

1875 James C. Penney, American department store founder, was born (d. 1971).

1893 Settlers race in Oklahoma for prime land in the Cherokee Strip.

1898 H.A. Rey, American children’s author, creator of “Curious George”, was born (d. 1977).

1905 New Zealand’s first fully representative rugby team to tour the Northern Hemisphere, the ‘Originals, started the All Black tradition including the haka and the ‘All Black’ name.

'Originals' kick off All Black tradition

1908 General Motors was founded.

1919  The American Legion was incorporated.

1920 The Wall Street bombing: a bomb in a horse wagon explodes in front of the J. P. Morgan building in New York City – 38  killed and 400 injured.

1923 Lee Kuan Yew, Minister Mentor of Singapore, was born.

1924 – Lauren Bacall,  American actress, was born  (d. 2014).

1925 – B. B. King, American musician, was born.

1925 – Charles Haughey, Prime Minister of Ireland, was born (d. 2006).

1926 – Eric Gross, Austrian-Australian composer was born (d. 2011).

1928 – Lady Gwen Thompson, English author and educator, was born (d. 1986).

1930 Anne Francis, American actress, was born (d. 2011).

1931 Hanging of Omar Mukhtar.

1941 – Joe Butler, American vocalist and drummer, was born (The Lovin’ Spoonful).

1942 Bernie Calvert, British musician (The Hollies), was born.

1942 – Dennis Conner, American sailor, was born.

1945  World War II: Surrender of the Japanese forces in Hong Kong, presided over by British Admiral Cecil Harcourt.

1947 Typhoon Kathleen hit Saitama, Tokyo and Tone Rivr area, at least 1,930 killed.

1948 Kenney Jones, English musician (The Small Faces; Faces; The Who), was born.

1955  Juan Perón was deposed in Argentina.

1956 David Copperfield, American magician, was born.

1963  Malaysia was formed from Malaya, Singapore, British North Borneo (Sabah) and Sarawak.

1966  The Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center in New York City with the world premiere of Samuel Barber’s opera, Antony and Cleopatra.

1970 King Hussein of Jordan declared military rule following the hijacking of four civilian airliners by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) which resulted in the formation of the Black September Palestinian paramilitary unit.

1975  Papua New Guinea gains its independence from Australia.

1975  The first prototype of the MiG-31 interceptor made its maiden flight.

1976  Shavarsh Karapetyan saved 20 people from a trolleybus that had fallen into Erevan reservoir.

1976 – Tina Barrett, English singer-songwriter and actress (S Club), was born.

1978 An earthquake measuring 7.5-7.9 on the Richter scale hit the city of Tabas, Iran killing about 25,000 people.

1982  Sabra and Shatila massacre in Lebanon.

1987  The Montreal Protocol was signed to protect the ozone layer from depletion.

1990  A rail link between China and Kazakhstan was completed at Dostyk, adding an important connection to the Eurasian Land Bridge.

1991  The trial of deposed Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega began in the United States.

1992  Black Wednesday: the Pound Sterling was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism by currency speculators and forced to devalue against the Deutschmark.

2005  Camorra boss Paolo Di Lauro was arrested in Naples.

2007  One-Two-GO Airlines Flight 269 carrying 128 crew and passengers crashed in Thailand killing 89 people.

2007 – Mercenaries working for Blackwater Worldwide allegedly shoot and kill 17 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad; all criminal charges against them are later dismissed, sparking outrage in the Arab world.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attacked the United States consulate in Herat, Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.

2013 – A gunman killed twelve people at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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