Word of the day

October 29, 2014

Armamentarium – the medicines, equipment, and techniques available to a medical practitioner;  collection of resources available for a certain purpose; the aggregate of equipment, methods, and techniques available to one for carrying out one’s duties.


Rural round-up

October 29, 2014

TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish:

The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly.

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is concerned at reports that the US and Japan may seek to conclude a deal which leaves dairy trade liberalisation out in the cold.

“We urge leaders to stand by their 2011 commitment to a comprehensive deal,” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey. “This cannot be achieved without addressing access for dairy, which remains one of the most protected sectors amongst the TPP partner countries.”

The Japanese World Trade Organisation (WTO) bound tariffs for skim milk powder and butter are equal to 217% and 360% respectively. Canada’s dairy market access regime is characterised by small quotas and large out of quota tariffs in the order of 200 – 300%. These conditions often mean trade is prevented. . .

Lisa Owen interviews Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings

Headlines:

Fonterra boss worried about the spread of Ebola in West Africa and potential “big consequences” for the company, saying “it doesn’t feel to me like that it is under control at the moment”

Estimates if Ebola worsens, it could “very quickly” hit 5-6% of Fonterra’s exports, worth $150 million in sales.

Spierings says China as a market is “stable” – volume growth might slow to 4% from 6%

Downplays chance of sealing a Trans-Pacific trade deal – “where the world is right now, we should not be overly optimistic on reaching this… it’s going to be very difficult”.

Can envisage a day when New Zealand reaches ‘peak cow’ – “there could be a point in time that you say no more” – but not for some years. . . .

Massey to host $5m Food Safety Research Centre:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew today announced that Massey University will host the new Food Safety Science and Research Centre.

The Centre will promote, co-ordinate, and deliver food safety science and research for New Zealand. It was a key recommendation from the Government Inquiry into the Whey Protein Concentrate (WPC) Contamination Incident.

“New Zealand’s food exports are dependent on a robust and internationally credible food safety system,” Mr Joyce says. “It is vital therefore that New Zealand is a visible leader in food safety science and research, and remains a producer of trusted, high-quality food products.” . . .

Venison: Breaking with Tradition:

Deer farmers have enjoyed better prices for their venison this October, the time of the year when chilled venison demand peaks in Europe. But the industry’s real focus is on getting chilled season prices all year-round.

Since early October the national average venison schedule for benchmark 60 kg stags has been sitting at around $7.73 a kilo, up from $7.43 last year. Some farmers have been receiving more than $8.00 a kilo.

“This is good news,” says Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Dan Coup. “But once the last chilled season shipment to Europe departs our shores in early November, the reality is that venison prices will most likely ease again.” . . .

 

Silver Fern Farms Confirms Positive 2014, Sets 2015 Plan Including Organisational Change And Outlook:

October 28: Silver Fern Farms Chairman Rob Hewett says Silver Fern Farms is on track to deliver a significantly improved profit for the 2014 year following a strategic review of the business and a focus on debt reduction.

“We expect the audited pre-tax earnings for the company will be $5 – 7m for the year just ended to 30 September 2014, which will represent a greater than $40m net profit before tax improvement in performance on 2013. We know many of our farmer shareholders see our profitability as a priority for the company this season, which is what we have delivered,” Mr Hewett says.

Over the same period the company has also paid down $100 million in debt as part of a plan to reduce the cost of debt servicing to the company.

Mr Hewett also announced Chief Executive Keith Cooper was stepping down from the role. . . .

 

Dairy Awards Offers i-Incentive to Enter

Those that enter early in the 2015 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards could win some great Apple Inc prizes, with more than $12,500 of products being given away in an Early Bird Entry Prize Draw.

Entries are now being accepted in the New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year, New Zealand Farm Manager of the Year and New Zealand Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

All entries are accepted online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz and close on November 30.

National Convenor Chris Keeping says the Early Bird Entry Prize Draw provides a great incentive for those planning to enter the awards to get their entry in early. There are two packages of an iPhone 5S and iPad Air worth $2100 to be won in each of the three competitions, six in total. . . .


Parmjeet Parmar’s maiden speech

October 29, 2014

National MP Dr Parmjeet Parmar delivered her maiden speech yesterday:

Thank you Mr Speaker.

Esteemed guests and colleagues, friends and family.  I will start by offering my congratulations to the Prime Minister and the National team for securing a historic win and a well-deserved third term. And may I also congratulate all new Ministers and MPs, And, Mr Speaker, you on your re-election.

It truly is an honour and a privilege to be part of this high performing team and to serve my fellow New Zealanders. I would like to especially thank our leader, the Rt Hon John Key for being a source of inspiration to me, and many other New Zealanders.

I would like to acknowledge the National Party leadership team, especially President Peter Goodfellow, board members Alastair Bell and Malcolm Plimmer, Northern regional chair Andrew Hunt and former regional chair Alan Towers.

Thank you to Hon Paula Bennett, Hon Maurice Williamson, Belinda Milnes and Ele Ludemann for their encouragement and support.

To my campaign chair and team especially Diana Freeman, Gavin Logan and Rita Ven Pelt – thank you. A special thanks to our volunteers and the Young Nats – you all are amazing individuals. And I’m also thankful for the tremendous welcome that I received from the community.

As my colleagues will agree, none of this would have been possible without the support of my family. My husband Ravinder Parmar has given unwavering support, and thanks to our boys Jagmeet, who turned 18 a week before the election and voted the first time, and Abhijeet, who is 12 and very eager to become a teenager!

Earlier this year I was chosen by the party as the candidate for the Mt Roskill electorate, and I am extremely proud to have repaid their faith in me by winning the critical party vote in Mt Roskill.

Now, I am a list MP who has the privilege of looking after the Mt Roskill electorate. About 39 per cent of the residents in Mt Roskill are of Asian ethnicity – which is more than three times the national average of 11.8 per cent.

Just under half of the people in Mt Roskill in 2013 – were born overseas, and I am one of them. 

Mt Roskill reflects the growing diversity of our country, and it is clear that the National Party reflects that diversity. Mt Roskill is comprised of small businesses, professionals and hardworking people looking to get ahead in life. I can assure them that my values, and those of the National Party align with their goals and aspirations.

Mr Speaker, I was born in India, one of four sisters to very hard working parents.

My father, Sham Jaswal – is now retired after proudly serving in the Indian Air Force for 38 years. As you would expect, our home environment mirrored the morals, virtues and also the discipline of the armed forces. Actually, I am grateful to my dad for that.

My mother, Kuldeep Jaswal, looked after the family, and I spent my early years traveling with my parents from one Air Force base to another.

Those early years of changing schools every three to four years and moving between different Air Force bases in different states of India helped me learn about different cultures and lifestyles and also taught me how to make friends quickly. I remember it being a very busy time.

Mr Speaker, both of my parents worked hard to raise us, and to provide for us. And like many of my colleagues, education was extremely important in my family.

I remember during my final years at school the exciting new field of biochemistry becoming a proper subject and a popular topic of discussion at school, which attracted me to study biochemistry.

I left school wanting to become a scientist to find cures for deadly diseases so I completed a BSc chemistry and MSc from the University of Poona, India. During this time studying biochemistry, I realised the importance of gene cloning strategies to identify the cause or causes of diseases and I decided to do my PhD in this field.

But then, as is traditional in my culture, I married Ravinder in an arranged marriage, and came to this amazing country to join him and start a new life with him in New Zealand.

On arriving here in 1995 and settling into life in Auckland, I wanted to continue my education at the University of Auckland.

I was lucky enough to find Associate Professor Nigel Birch at the University of Auckland to supervise my PhD – he is one of New Zealand’s great scientists and he played an important role in making me a scientist.

To be technical for a minute, for my PhD I investigated a possible role for neuroserpin in neurite outgrowth by its over-and under-expression in two types of cell lines.

Neuroserpin is a serine protease inhibitor predominantly expressed in neuronal cells during the late stages of neurogenesis and in the adult brain during synaptic plasticity.

The result of my research suggested a new role for neuroserpin in neurite outgrowth in-vitro, and my published papers highlighted the physiological importance of neuroserpin with emphasis on its role in neurite outgrowth, neurite regeneration and maintenance in the nervous system.

Simplified, my work looked at if it was possible to use it to re-establish connections in the brain.

My post-doctoral work built further on this research, and then later moving into researching on retinitis pigmentosa – an inherited degenerative eye disease that causes progressive vision loss.

By this time while working as a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Auckland I felt it was time to put my training into a more practical realm and decided to move into the commercial sector.

After spending some time in the scientific commercial sector I decided to use my skills to move into business and joined my husband to start up natural health products manufacturing within our existing facility that was being run by Ravinder to make confectionery and chocolate products.

My days in business were focused on product development, improving efficiencies and productivity, and providing that best possible work environment for our staff.

My time in my manufacturing business gave me an in depth understanding of our local and international markets, our food manufacturing sector, our regulations, and how we compare with international markets and how manufacturing in New Zealand is distinctive from other countries.

Our local innovation keeps us one step ahead in the business world. We Kiwis are innovative people and full of ideas to start businesses. While owning and running a business is stressful, busy and often intense, it is also rewarding. I am eager to work for our dynamic business owners so their hard work pays off and that their great responsibility is recognised.

Like my family, I have always believed in hard work.

Monday to Friday I was a scientist and then later a business woman, and in the weekends I worked as a broadcaster for 16 years on an Indian radio station in Auckland plus of course my role on the Families Commission and the Film and Video Labelling Body.

Somehow I managed to fit in raising our two boys, and putting in more than a decade working in the community especially in the field of domestic violence.

My values of strong caring families and communities, personal responsibility and equal citizenship and opportunities mirror that of the National Party.

During my time in this hallowed precinct, I am eager to make a positive difference in a number of areas.

Firstly, science and innovation, and in particular the conversion of science to business. We are producing very highly skilled scientists and I do not want New Zealand to be just a breeding ground for good scientists. We need to provide opportunities for them to explore their scientific vision in our homeland to attract more interest and retain that pride of good work.

We need to supercharge the activation of the amazing research that is currently underway in New Zealand institutions, and apply it to our businesses, our industries and our products. I believe there are huge potential advantages just waiting for New Zealand to seize them.

I am passionate about enabling and encouraging business.

Small and medium-sized businesses are the lifeblood of our economy – 97 per cent of New Zealand businesses are small businesses.

If big corporates are doing well or otherwise we hear about it, but small businesses don’t often make the news, even though they make up a significant part of our economy.  They provide a career for those who value economic independence, they supply components and services to large companies and they contribute to innovation and invention – something that all economies require.

But behind every small business are a group of really hard working people in different industry sectors, and I think they need attention so they can keep making the contribution they are to our economy. I believe there is a lot more that needs to be done to help them thrive. I respect and admire courage of all business people out there and those entrepreneurs who are starting up new companies.

I believe in family values and in the need to mount a coordinated effort to stamp out domestic violence and build resilience and respect in family relationships.

For many years I have worked in this sector and have seen the impact of family violence on family members, communities and in the long run on societies. We cannot afford to skirt around this issue if we want to increase the quality of life for New Zealand families.

Plus it makes fiscal sense – family violence has been estimated to cost the equivalent of Canterbury earthquakes on our economy every year. Equally as important though, is the significant negative impact domestic violence has on children’s wellbeing, psychologically and socially.

As an advocate for gender equality I also believe in merit. I am a proud member of a party, and a caucus, that does not believe in a quota system for women. I am here purely on merit and I would not have it any other way. I think many other Kiwi women feel this way.

Equally, while I am proud of my Indian heritage, NZ is the only place I call home. I do not consider myself as just an ethnic MP. I consider myself to be an MP who brings many perspectives and experiences along with my ethnicity, which I will apply to the serious and important work of an MP in this House.

Mr Speaker, with a multi professional background as a scientist, business woman, community advocate, broadcaster, and mother and wife with strong family values I have come to the House determined to make a positive difference in the scientific world, business world and our communities.

I hope to use my professional background and my scientific background to simultaneously bring imagination and patience to my work here, as having learned that as a scientist that sometimes it takes multiple approaches to get an outcome.

As a business woman I bring the energy, drive and eagerness that is needed in a business person in order to see growth.

And as a community advocate that has worked in the heart wrenching field of domestic violence; I bring appreciation of the effort and hardships of our communities.

I am truly grateful to all the experiences in my life that gave me this opportunity to evolve into the person I am today.

Since becoming a New Zealander I have had 20 years of opportunities and I believe now, it is my turn to give back.

It’s a privilege and honour to be a member of a team that is working for New Zealand, the team led by Rt Hon John Key.

Thank you Mr Speaker.


October 29 in history

October 29, 2014

539 BC – Cyrus the Great entered the city of Babylon and detained Nabonidus.

437  Valentinian III, Western Roman Emperor, married Licinia Eudoxia, daughter of his cousin Theodosius II, Eastern Roman Emperor in Constantinople unifying the two branches of the House of Theodosius.

1268 Conradin, the last legitimate male heir of the Hohenstaufen dynasty of Kings of Germany and Holy Roman Emperors, was executed with his companion Frederick I, Margrave of Baden by Charles I of Sicily, a political rival and ally to the hostile Roman Catholic church.

1390  First trial for witchcraft in Paris leading to the death of three people.

1422 Charles VII of France became king.

1467 Battle of Brustem: Charles the Bold defeated Liege.

1618  Sir Walter Raleigh was beheaded for allegedly conspiring against James I.

1658  Action of 29 October (Naval battle).

1665  Battle of Ambuila, Portuguese forces defeated the forces of the Kingdom of Kongo and decapitated king Antonio I of Kongo, also called Nvita a Nkanga.

1675  Leibniz made the first use of the long s (∫) as a symbol of the integral in calculus.

1740  James Boswell, Scottish biographer of Samuel Johnson was born (d. 1795).

1787  Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni received its first performance in Prague.

1863  Eighteen countries meeting in Geneva agreed to form the International Red Cross.

1863   American Civil War: Battle of Wauhatchie – forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant warded off a Confederate attack led by General James Longstreet.

1886 The first ticker-tape parade took place in New York City when office workers spontaneously threw ticker tape into the streets as the Statue of Liberty was dedicated.

1891 Fanny Brice, American singer (d. 1951), was born.

1894 SS Wairarapa was wrecked off Great Barrier Island.

SS <em>Wairarapa</em> wrecked on Great Barrier Is
1897  Joseph Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, was born (d. 1945).

1918 The German High Seas Fleet was incapacitated when sailors mutinied on the night of the 29th-30th, an action which triggered the German revolution.

1921  The Link River Dam, a part of the Klamath Reclamation Project, was completed.

1922   Victor Emmanuel III, appointed Benito Mussolini Prime Minister.

1923  Turkey became a republic following the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.

1929   The New York Stock Exchange crashed in the Crash of ’29 or “Black Tuesday”, ending the Great Bull Market of the 1920s and beginning the Great Depression.

1941  Holocaust: In the Kaunas Ghetto over 10,000 Jews were shot by German occupiers at the Ninth Fort, a massacre known as the “Great Action”.

1942  Holocaust: Leading British clergymen and political figures held a public meeting to register outrage over Nazi Germany’s persecution of Jews.

1944  Denny Laine, English musician (Moody Blues, Ginger Baker’s Air Force, Wings), was born.

1944  The city of Breda in the Netherlands was liberated by 1st Polish Armoured Division.

1945 Getulio Vargas, president of Brazil, resigned.

1946  Peter Green, English guitarist (Fleetwood Mac), was born.

1947 Richard Dreyfuss, American actor, was born.

1948  Safsaf massacre.

1953  BCPA Flight 304 DC-6 crashed near San Francisco, pianist William Kapell was among the 19 killed.

1955 The Soviet battleship Novorossiisk struck a World War II mine in the harbor at Sevastopol.

1956  Suez Crisis began: Israeli forces invaded the Sinai Peninsula and pushed Egyptian forces back toward the Suez Canal.

1956 Tangier Protocol  signed: The international city Tangier was reintegrated into Morocco.

1956 Kafr Qasim massacre: Israeli Border Police (Magav) shoot and kill 48 Arab civilians for unknowingly disobeying curfue orders imposed by Israeli army in Kafr Qasim, an Arab village.

1957  Israel’s prime minister David Ben Gurion and five of his ministers were injured when a hand grenade was tossed into Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.

1961  Syria left the United Arab Republic.

1964  Tanganyika and Zanzibar united to form the Republic of Tanzania.

1964 – A collection of irreplaceable gems, including the 565 carat (113 g) Star of India, was stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

1966 National Organization For Women was founded.

1967  London criminal Jack McVitie was murdered by the Kray twins, leading to their eventual imprisonment and downfall.

1967 Montreal’s World Fair, Expo 67, closed.

1969  The first-ever computer-to-computer link was established on ARPANET, the precursor to the Internet.

1969  US Supreme Court ruled that school districts must end segregation “now and hereafter”.

1980  Demonstration flight of a secretly modified C-130 for an Iran hostage crisis rescue attempt ended in crash landing  leading to cancellation of Operation Credible Sport.

1983  More than 500,000 people demonstrated against cruise missiles in The Hague.

1985  Major General Samuel K. Doe was announced the winner of the first multi-party election in Liberia.

1986  British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opened the last stretch of the M25 motorway.

1991 The American Galileo spacecraft made its closest approach to 951 Gaspra, becoming the first probe to visit an asteroid.

1995 The Hoax film Forgotten Silver screened.

Forgotten Silver film hoax screened

1998  Apartheid: In South Africa, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission presented its report, which condemned both sides for committing atrocities.

1998 – Space Shuttle Discovery blasted off on STS-95 with 77-year old John Glenn on board, making him the oldest person to go into space.

1998 – ATSC HDTV broadcasting in the United States was inaugurated with the launch of STS-95 space shuttle mission.

1998 A Turkish Airline flight with a crew of 6 and 33 passengers was hijacked by a Kurdish militant who ordered the pilot to fly to Switzerland. The plane instead landed in Ankara after the pilot tricked the hijacker into thinking that he was landing in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia to refuel.

1998 – Hurricane Mitch, the second deadliest Atlantic hurricane in history, made landfall in Honduras.

1998 The Gothenburg nightclub fire in Sweden claimed 63 lives and injures 200

1999  A large cyclone devastated Orissa, India.

2002  Ho Chi Minh City ITC Inferno, a fire destroyed a luxurious department store where 1500 people shopping. Over 60 people died.

2004  The Arabic news network Al Jazeera broadcast an excerpt from a video of Osama bin Laden in which the terrorist leader first admitted direct responsibility for the September 11, 2001 attacks and references the 2004 U.S. presidential election.

2004  In Rome, European heads of state signed the Treaty and Final Act establishing the first European Constitution.

2005  Delhi bombings killed more than 60.

2008 Delta Air Lines merged with Northwest Airlines, creating the world’s largest airline and reducing the number of US legacy carriers to 5.

2012 – Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States, killing 148 directly and 138 indirectly, while leaving nearly $70 billion in damages and causing major power outages.

2013 – Turkey opened a sea tunnel connecting Europe and Asia across the Bosphorus Strait in Istanbul.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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