Courting undecided dog lovers

September 19, 2014

Human hoardings are one way to court voters.

Today we enlisted the assistance of Jimmy for canine hoardings:

Jimmy


In case you’ve forgotten

September 19, 2014

We need another strong, stable National Government to keep turning that progress into more jobs and long term prosperity.

MMP elections are always close, even with the Opposition in disarray. Labour could still cobble together a government with the Greens, Dotcom, and New Zealand First. That would stall our economy and create economic chaos.

The only way to deliver another strong, stable National Government that will keep New Zealand moving in the right direction is to PARTY VOTE NATIONAL tomorrow.

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

 

Thanks for tuning in tonight. If you want a National Government, party vote National. #Decision14 #Working4NZ

Thanks for tuning in. MMP elections are always close. Only your Party Vote for National will keep the team that’s #Working4NZ. #Vote2014NZ

 

"Only


Highest annual GDP growth for 10 years

September 19, 2014

Another reason to vote National for strong, stable government and a growing economy:

New Zealand continues to enjoy one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, confirming that the Government’s sensible economic programme is taking New Zealand in the right direction, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“It’s only through a strong economy that we can provide New Zealanders with new jobs, higher incomes and opportunities to get ahead,” he says. “The Government’s economic programme is successfully delivering those things and families can now look forward to the future with some confidence if we stick with that programme.”

Statistics New Zealand today reported gross domestic product expanded by 0.7 per cent in the June quarter. This took annual growth – from the June quarter 2013 to the June quarter 2014 – to 3.9 per cent – the highest growth rate for 10 years and the highest so far reported by OECD countries. Average annual growth was 3.5 per cent.

Mr English says New Zealand’s challenge is to build on the solid foundations provided by the growing economy.

“It’s pleasing to see the good progress we have made as a country over the past few years. The economy is growing, the Government’s books are on track to surplus and another 83,000 jobs have been created in the past year. But one or two years of growth will not change New Zealand’s economic prosperity. We need to stay on course to really lift our long-term economic performance.”

Growth in the latest quarter was driven by construction activity, up 2.2 per cent, business services, up 4.2 per cent, and retail trade and accommodation, up 1.4 per cent.

New Zealand’s 3.9 per cent GDP growth in the year to June compares with 3.1 per cent in Australia, 3.2 per cent in the United Kingdom, 2.5 per cent in the United States, 2.5 per cent in Canada, no growth in Japan and 1.3 per cent in Germany. Average growth across the OECD was 1.9 per cent.

National is delivering one of the strongest growth rates in the developed world. Party Vote National to keep the economy strong. #Working4NZ ntnl.org.nz/1wtJgA2


National working for and in the south #1

September 19, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 1:
This series has come from the Facebook page of Michael Woodhouse MP who says:

For the past 50 days I’ve been posting my 50 fantastic facts about Dunedin and the South. Why? Because I want to bring some balance to the constant negativity from media and some left wing MPs who say ‘Vote Positive’ but talk negative. Yes there have been some setbacks, but on balance we have negotiated our way through really tough times well. Please vote. But please vote for the candidate and the Party that is working hardest for the South and the Country.

Dunedin people have the chance tomorrow to vote for national which will carry on working positively for the city, the south and Dunedin

They also have the chance to vote for Michael in Dunedin North and Hamish Walker in Dunedin South to get two strong, positive voices for the city.


Scotland says nooo to independence

September 19, 2014

It looks like a majority of Scots have voted no to independence:

. . .With 29 out of the country’s 32 council areas having declared after Thursday’s vote, the “No” side has 55% of the vote, with the “Yes” campaign on 45%.

By 06:00 BST (07:00 GMT), the “No” campaign had more than 1,737,000 votes, with “Yes” on just over 1,398,000.

A total of 1,852,828 votes is needed for victory. The vote is the culmination of a two-year campaign. . .

If I’d been voting with my heart I’d have said yes but if I’d voted with my head I’d have said no.

Although they haven’t got independence they will probably get more devolution of power from the United Kingdom.


Word of the day

September 19, 2014

Cerulean – deep, sky blue in colour; resembling the blue of the sky; a colour term that may be applied to certain colors with the hue ranging roughly between blue and cyan, overlapping with both.


Rural round-up

September 19, 2014

Farmers have spent millions in the Horizons region:

A Federated Farmers survey has revealed the average dairy farmer in the Horizons Region has spent over $110,000 on environmental management in the past five years.

“There are huge numbers being invested in the region, which tells a really positive story about where we are heading environmentally and the buy in that is coming from the farmers,” says James Stewart, Federated Farmers Manawatu-Rangitikei provincial president.

“As people vote tomorrow I genuinely hope they will realise that farmers are doing a lot to farm more sustainably.

“It is very difficult to put a number on environmental spending, but we wanted to try, so we sent a survey out to all 918 dairy farms via the Horizons Regional Council. We were stunned by the response, not just the figures but how many people replied during their busiest time of year, calving season. . .

 

Working group focused on clear advice:

The industry-led working group looking at the issues with swedes affecting dairy cattle in Southland says a key priority will be developing clear and agreed advice for farmers.

The group met for the first time this week, with DairyNZ’s Southland regional leader, Richard Kyte, chairing the meeting. The group includes representatives from Southland veterinary practices, Federated Farmers, Beef+Lamb NZ and PGG Wrightson Seeds. It also has specialist advisors on veterinary pathology and plant science.

“Evidence and science-based information is crucial and will be the focus of this group. Gathering this information is a work in progress and will involve all parties,” says Richard. . .

Dairying business woman takes top role:

Delwyn Knight has taken the role of general manager of Liberty Genetics where she is leading a team that’s making headway in the competitive dairy genetics market.

Although modest about landing the top job, Knight admits that she is one of very few women working in top dairy genetics roles, and she is excited about taking on the position.

“It’s great to be in a position where I can provide value and support to farmers when they are making important farming business decisions,” said Knight.

“I’m really looking forward to working directly with our farming clients, understanding what their needs are and supporting them to get the best results for their herds.” . . .

Robotic sheepdogs unlikely Kiwi farmers say:

At the risk of being out of step with technology, Federated Farmers is dubious robotic sheepdogs will replace the real thing anytime soon.  Reported late last month, European academics believe they have created an algorithm simulating sheepdog behaviour.

“I am not saying it won’t come to pass but it’ll be more like one farmer robot and its droid than dog trials being replaced by droid trials,” says Rick Powdrell, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre spokesperson.

“Anyone who works with dogs and sheep knows there’s more to this than an algorithm.

“For starters, there is a primordial instinctive connection between the two animals.  How you simulate that I have no idea. . .

Landcorp completes  full purchase of Focus Genetics:

Landcorp Farming Ltd. is now sole owner of livestock genetics business, Focus Genetics. The announcement comes after Landcorp successfully acquired the remaining 33% shareholding from
Rissington Breedline.

Hawkes Bay based Focus Genetics is New Zealand’s largest red meat genetics business with 17 breeding partners throughout New Zealand.  Formed in 2011, Focus Genetics has since grown its
market share, serving more than 750 commercial farm operations. 

Last year the company sold over 4,000 rams, 800 bulls and 400 stags to farmers in New Zealand and overseas.
Gavin Foulsham, Focus Genetics CEO, said having one owner provided certainty for the company’s plans to invest more towards achieving greater rates of genetic improvement. 

It also means Focus could explore more sales opportunities offshore. . .

I want to eat a weka – Offsetting Behaviour:

It’s been more than five years since I first posted on Roger Beattie’s felicitous “Eat them to save them” campaign. And I still am not allowed to buy a weka for dinner.

Roger is one of New Zealand’s great enviropreneurs: the National Farming Review called him an Eco Anarchist. He loves the environment and sees the best way of saving it as ensuring that it’s profitable to save it. Weka are endangered, but they’re easily farmed and tasty. Why aren’t we raising them for the restaurant trade and conserving an endangered species in the process? The Department of Conservation says no. They say no incredibly incoherently. But their “No” is what matters. . .

Two gold medals for Goldie Wines:

Goldie Wines on Waiheke Island has won its first gold medals for new owners, University of Auckland and winemaker, Heinrich Storm.

Two Goldie Syrah wines from the 2013 vintage took two of the eight gold medals awarded in the Syrah category at the recent NZ International Wine Show.

The Goldie Syrah 2013 and Goldie Reserve Syrah 2013 were awarded gold in what Heinrich says is a significant achievement for the new operation.

“These medals are the first won since the University took over ownership of the vineyard in 2011 from Goldwater Wines,” he says. “Also for me it is significant, because they are my first as winemaker for Goldie Wines.” .  . .


Friday’s answers

September 19, 2014

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said:  “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” ?

2.  Who was the woman who led the campaign for women’s suffrage in New Zealand?

3. It’s élire in French;  eleggere in Italian; elegir in Spanish and whiriwhiri in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who was the first Maori to win a general electorate?

5. If you could choose anyone – living or not – as Prime Minister now who would it be?

Points for answers:

Andrei gets three, a smile for #5 and a bonus for extra information.

Gravedodger gets four and a me-too for #5.

Alwyn wins a jelly sponge for five right (taking into account you’re allowed to differ with me on #5).

Answers follow the break:

Read the rest of this entry »


Poll of polls

September 19, 2014

Colin James’ final poll of polls:

National’s trends from 20 June and from 20 August to the latest interviewing midpoint of 15 September, projected forward five days to tomorrow, points towards around 47.5% on the final count. Take out 1%-1.5% to account for the overweighting of National by the Fairfax Ipsos poll by comparison with all others in most of its recent polling (but not the most recent): that would give 46%-46.5%.

The trends for Labour point to 25% and for the Greens to 12.5%-13% . . .

The latest polls took National’s lead over Labour and the Greens down to a still healthy 8.2%. . . .

New Zealand First’s latest average was 7.6%, the Conservatives’ 4.3%. Internet-Mana was down to 1.4%, the Maori party was 1.2% (just enough to ensure two seats), ACT was 0.4% and United Future 0.1%.

New Zealand First’s trend from 20 June points to 6.5%. But, since most of its rise was in the past six weeks, the trend from 20 August may be more accurate. It points to 7.5%. The same last-six-weeks upward tick applies for the Conservatives. Their trend from August 20 points to around 4.2%. Internet Mana’s downtrend points it toward 1.2%. . . .

There’s  no doubt National will be well ahead of Labour and the Greens combined but that doesn’t guarantee a National-led government.

This reinforced the need for anyone who wants stable government, a growing economy and the social dividends that enables, to give their party vote to National.
Photo: Only our plans will ensure a strong, open economy that delivers more for New Zealanders and their families. PARTY VOTE National. #Working4NZ


National working for and in the south #2

September 19, 2014

Fantastic Fact # 2:


121 years of women’s suffrage

September 19, 2014

Today is the 121st anniversary of women’s suffrage in New Zealand.

Women’s Affairs Minister Jo Goodhew has celebrated the 121st anniversary of women’s suffrage with an event recognising women leaders in innovation.

This evening’s event is part of the Leading Edge series being held at the National Library in Wellington. This series looks at New Zealand, both past and present, through the lens of innovation.

“In celebrating our women leaders in innovation, I acknowledge the women and men in 1893 that were innovative in their struggle to give women voting rights,” Mrs Goodhew said.

“We are all proud that New Zealand was the first nation in the world to grant women the vote on September 19th, 1893.

“However, we should never be complacent about that right.  Rights are only secured by using them. I urge all New Zealand women to exercise that right by voting on Saturday.

“As Kate Sheppard said, ‘Do not think your single vote does not matter much. The rain that refreshes the parched ground is made up of single drops’.

“Today I have been inspired by our talented women who are leading innovation in science, business and society. Their presentations show there is much more we can do to improve women’s lives.

“Like the suffragists’ battle, to achieve further progress, we need to be determined, work together, be innovative in our thinking and make great things happen.

“If we can do that, it will bring immense benefits for women, their families, our communities and all New Zealanders,” Mrs Goodhew said.

 

National will build on our success of increasing the participation of women in the economy and promoting the role of women in senior leadership positions. ntnl.org.nz/1BHPiQv</p> <p>Keep the team that's #Working4NZ. Party vote National.


Don’t vote for chaos

September 19, 2014

The choice is clear: continuing stable government that’s working for New Zealand and New Zealanders or chaos:

 

If you’re not already convinced what any government beholden to Winston Peters would be like, listen to Guyon Espiner (at 7:18) attempting to get a straight answer from him.

New Zealand First is likely to get at least 5% of the vote. Labour’s weakness would give him strength.

The higher National’s party vote is, the stronger its negotiating position will be and the more stable the government will be.


The other vote in Scotland

September 19, 2014

While Scottish people are voting to decide whether to become independent, members of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in St Andrews have voted to allow women to join them:

. . . The St Andrews-based club has 2,400 global members who were entitled to vote and more than three-quarters took part in the ballot.

Of those that voted, 85% were in favour of change.

“This is an important and positive day in the history of the R&A Golf Club,” said chief executive Peter Dawson.

“The R&A has served the sport of golf well for 260 years and I am confident that the club will continue to do so in future with the support of all its members, both women and men.” . . .

The club is still royal, but now not so ancient is its attitude to people.


Moment of strewth sinks IMP?

September 19, 2014

Kim Dotcom’s moment of truth turned into a moment of strewth, is that all there is?

Rather than sinking Prime Minister and the National Party as he had hoped, the Herald DigiPoll showed it did the opposite:

The Kim Dotcom-inspired event in Auckland’s Town Hall that was supposed to end John Key’s career gave the National Party an immediate bounce in support this week, according to polling for the last Herald DigiPoll survey.

With 60 per cent of the poll done by Monday night, when the event happened, National was polling at 47.8 per cent, down on last week, said DigiPoll general manager Nandan Modak. From Tuesday it jumped to 49.1 per cent.

A similar trend was seen in the preferred Prime Minister polling. Before Monday, Mr Key was polling at 63.4 per cent. From Tuesday it jumped to 66.4 per cent.

Mr Key who has led a minority National Government for six years is seeking a third term in tomorrow’s election against a Labour Party that has been led for only a year by David Cunliffe.

Mr Key told the Herald last night the results on Saturday “may well prove that a campaign led by Kim Dotcom based mostly on revenge will serve to only reduce the likelihood of a change of Government”.

While the moment of strewth helped National, it harmed Dotcom’s puppet party and might even be enough to sink it:

Today’s poll also has the internet-Mana strategic alliance funded by Mr Dotcom sinking. It would get no extra MPs into Parliament on the coat-tails of Mana leader Hone Harawira keeping his Te Tai Tokerau seat – and even that is looking shaky.

Mr Dotcom has spent $4 million on setting up the party and funding the campaign.

The poll has the Conservatives on 3.3 per cent, and would not be in Parliament. It has yet to register over the 5 per cent threshold on any major political poll this election.

Today’s poll has National on 48.2 per cent, down a little from last week when the seven-day polling is totalled.. .

This is only one poll and it shows the race is still tight.

The Stuff/Ipsos shows an even tighter race:

Today’s Stuff.co.nz/Ipsos poll is almost a photo finish of the 2011 election result, which delivered a National government with a slender majority despite John Key’s near record popularity.

Click here to see full results

On today’s numbers, National is as popular as ever and would be back in business at the Beehive on Monday with a government that looks almost exactly like the last one.

But a turbulent few weeks on the campaign trail have made the result less certain and the electorate more volatile. The poll registers a big swing against National which, if carried through to tomorrow, could make the race much tighter.

So too could any stumble by John Key’s allies in the Maori seats or Ohariu, which would see the Maori Party and Peter Dunne out of Parliament.

The bad news for Labour is that the swing has mostly benefited NZ First and Colin Craig’s Conservatives, who have been jockeying for position in the Centre.

National blames that on strategic voting by its supporters wanting to get Conservatives over the line to give National coalition options. But NZ First may be just as likely picking up disaffected Labour voters. . .

This poll shows National on 47.7%; Labour on 26.1%; the Green Party on 12%; New Zealand First on 6.6%; Conservative party on 4.5% and Internet Mana on just .9%.

If this level of support carries through to the election we could still have a strong, stable National-led government.

But even a small swing away from National could leave us saddled with a weak Labour-led government cobbled together with the support of the Green and New Zealand First parties and whoever manages to get across the line with Internet Mana.

National has never taken the election result for granted and these polls will ensure that candidates and volunteers the length and breadth of the country will be continuing to work hard to ensure that when the polls close tomorrow they’ve done all they can to convince enough voters of the importance of keeping the government that’s working for New Zealand.

Whether that’s enough, won’t be known until the counting’s done.


September 19 in history

September 19, 2014

335  Dalmatius was raised to the rank of Caesar by his uncle Constantine I.

1356  In the Battle of Poitiers, the English defeated the French.

1676 Jamestown was burned to the ground by the forces of Nathaniel Bacon during Bacon’s Rebellion.

1692 Giles Corey was pressed to death after refusing to plead in the Salem witch trials.

1777  First Battle of Saratoga/Battle of Freeman’s Farm/Battle of Bemis Heights.

1796 George Washington’s farewell address was printed across America as an open letter to the public.

1862 American Civil War: Battle of Luka – Union troops under General William Rosecrans defeated a Confederate force commanded by General Sterling Price.

1863  American Civil War: Battle of Chickamauga.

1870 Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris began.

1881 President James A. Garfield died of wounds suffered in a July 2 shooting.

1882 Christopher Stone, first disc jockey in the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1965).

1893 The Governor, Lord Glasgow, signed a new Electoral Act into law. As a result of this landmark legislation, New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to grant all women the right to vote in parliamentary elections.

Women's suffrage day

1911 Sir William Golding, English writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1993).

1927 Nick Massi, American singer and guitarist (The Four Seasons), was born (d. 2000).

1933 – David McCallum, Scottish actor, was born.

1934 Brian Epstein, English musical group manager (The Beatles) (d. 1967).

1940 Bill Medley, American singer and songwriter (The Righteous Brothers), was born.

1940 Witold Pilecki was voluntarily captured and sent to Auschwitz in order to smuggle out information and start a resistance.

1940 – Paul Williams, American composer, was born.

1941 Mama Cass Elliot, American musician, was born (d. 1974).

1944  Armistice between Finland and Soviet Union was signed ending the Continuation War.

1945  Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) was sentenced to death in London.

1946 The Council of Europe was founded following a speech by Winston Churchill at the University of Zurich.

1949 Twiggy, English model, was born.

1952  The United States barred Charlie Chaplin from re-entering the country after a trip to England.

1957  First American underground nuclear bomb test.

1959  Nikita Khrushchev was barred from visiting Disneyland.

1961  Betty and Barney Hill claimed  they saw a mysterious craft in the sky and that it tried to abduct them.

1970  The first Glastonbury Festival was held at Michael Eavis’s farm.

1970  Kostas Georgakis, a Greek student of Geology, set himself ablaze in Matteotti Square in Genoa, as a protest against the dictatorial regime of Georgios Papadopoulos.

1971 Montagnard troops of South Vietnam revolted against the rule of Nguyen Khanh, killing 70 ethnic Vietnamese soldiers.

1972 Matt Cockbain, Australian rugby player, was born.

1972 A parcel bomb sent to Israeli Embassy in London killed one diplomat.

1973 Investiture of King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden.

1976 Turkish Airlines Boeing 727 hit the Taurus Mountains killing all 155 passengers and crew.

1982 Scott Fahlman posted the first documented emoticons :-) and :-( on the Carnegie Mellon University Bulletin Board System.

1983  Saint Kitts and Nevis gained  independence.

1985 An earthquake killed thousands and destroyed about 400 buildings in Mexico City.

1985  Tipper Gore and other political wives formed the Parents Music Resource Center as Frank Zappa and other musicians testified at U.S. Congressional hearings on obscenity in rock music.

1989  A terrorist bomb exploded on UTA Flight 772 in mid-air above the Tùnùrù Desert, Niger, killing 171.

1991  Ötzi the Iceman was discovered by German tourists.

1995 The Washington Post and The New York Times published the Unabomber’s manifesto.

1997  Guelb El-Kebir massacre in Algeria; 53 killed.

2006  Thai military staged a coup in Bangkok; the  Constitution was revoked and martial law declared.

2010 – The leaking oil well in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill was sealed.

2011 – Mariano Rivera of the New York Yankees surpassed Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball’s all time saves leader with 602.

2013 – Disney closed 3 of its MMO games, Toontown Online, Pirates of the Caribbean Online, and Pixie Hollow Online

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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