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

 

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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.” .  . .


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