Word of the day

November 17, 2014

Philippic – a bitter or cruel attack or denunciation; discourse or declamation full of bitter condemnation; tirade; any of the orations delivered by Demosthenes, the Athenian orator, in the 4th century b.c., against Philip, king of Macedon.


Sutton resigns as CERA CEO

November 17, 2014

Services Commissioner Iain Rennie  has confirmed Roger Sutton has chosen to resign as Chief Executive of the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA).

The State Services Commission (SSC) has carried out an investigation into Mr Sutton’s conduct following a complaint from a CERA staff member.

“I expect high standards of Public Service chief executives and I take any complaints of inappropriate conduct very seriously,” Mr Rennie said.

“Every State servant must be able to work in a safe environment where they are treated with professionalism and respect,” he said.

The investigation report was provided to the Commissioner. However, Mr Sutton offered his resignation and this was accepted. While the report found that Mr Sutton’s conduct did not always meet the standard expected of public service leaders, it did not recommend dismissal. Although not called on to make any decision in relation to the report, the Commissioner is very likely to have followed the recommendation not to dismiss Mr Sutton.

“I respect Mr Sutton’s decision and acknowledge that this was a very difficult call to make for someone who is so committed to the Canterbury community,” Mr Rennie said.

“Mr Sutton has made an outstanding contribution to Canterbury as Chief Executive of CERA since 2011 and he leaves a strong legacy to his successor. His visible and engaged leadership during challenging times will be remembered well for many years”.

“Greater Christchurch’s recovery continues to be a major focus for the Public Service and Mr Sutton’s resignation will not affect the work to make that happen or the role of CERA,” he said.

“Throughout this process, SSC has worked with CERA to ensure the complainant has been supported and will receive any ongoing support required,” said Mr Rennie. “As his employer, we have also provided support to Mr Sutton,” Mr Rennie said.

To protect the privacy of the parties involved in this complaint and to respect undertakings of confidentiality, the investigation report and details of the exact nature of the complaint will not be released.

“I expect every government agency to have clear policies and processes to deal with complaints fairly and confidentially, and to provide appropriate support to complainants and those whose conduct is investigated,” Mr Rennie said.

Mr Sutton has decided that a natural point for a change of leadership for CERA is the date at which CERA transitions from being a Public Service department to being a departmental agency hosted by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Therefore, he will cease to be Chief Executive of CERA on 31 January 2015, the day before the departmental agency is formed.

Arrangements for an Acting Chief Executive for CERA from 1 February 2015 and the recruitment process for the ongoing Chief Executive of CERA will be advised shortly.

“This will no doubt be a difficult time for the people who work for CERA. SSC will be working closely with the senior leadership team to ensure CERA staff are well supported and can continue with the excellent work they are doing,” Mr Rennie said.

The Press reports:

. . . He had been under investigation for the last seven weeks after a complaint of sexual harassment from a senior staff member.

The allegation accused him of making inappropriate jokes and comments, and giving her an unwelcome hug. . .

That sort of behaviour complained of would have been common-place, and at least tolerated, in many workplaces not too long ago.

It isn’t now, although it’s not always black and white. What someone finds unwelcome and/or offensive might not concern someone else.

However, a CEO must lead by example and be above reproof.

 


Rural round-up

November 17, 2014

Primary exports tipped to rise:

The Ministry for Primary Industries is forecasting an eight percent lift in primary export earnings in the next four years.

In its briefing for incoming ministers, MPI is projecting export values from agriculture and horticulture, fisheries and forestry to grow to $40.7 billion by 2018.

However, export earnings will have to grow at an average rate of more than five percent a year if they are to reach the government target of doubling the value of primary exports by 2025.

Despite China putting the brakes on milk powder imports, which has contributed to the current slide in dairy prices, the ministry is predicting dairy export revenue to lift from just over $18 billion to $18.4 in 2018, on the back of higher production. . .

More to farming than gumboots – Sally Rae:

A Teacher’s Day Out was held in Otago last week, organised by New Zealand Young Farmers’ Get Ahead programme.

It highlighted to secondary school teachers the vast range of opportunities the primary sector affords school-leavers. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae went along on the bus trip.

Party lines and horses.

That’s what East Otago farmer Jim Lawson recalls during his early years on the sheep and beef farm, as he holds his smartphone in the sheep yards of the family property, Moana, while son Rob demonstrates weighing hoggets through an auto-drafter.

The 2336ha property, running 10,000 stock units, has been owned and operated by the Lawson family since 1950. . .

‘Appaws’ for animal welfare research contribution:

A Massey University scientist has been honoured for his work in refining the ways animals are used in scientific research, testing and teaching.

Professor David Mellor was presented with this year’s National Animal Ethics Advisory Committee (NAEAC) Three Rs Award.

NAEAC deputy chair Dr Peter Larsen said the award covered all areas of animal welfare research.

“The concept of the Three Rs, from which the award takes its name, is to replace and reduce the number of animals used in research, testing and teaching, and refine experimental techniques to minimise pain or distress.  . .

Farm sector singled out by WorkSafe:

The agricultural sector is being targeted by WorkSafe New Zealand over its high accident rates.

In its briefing to its new Minister Michael Woodhouse, WorkSafe said agriculture was one of the worst industries in terms of health and safety.

The report said in 2013, there were 20 deaths from workplace accidents in agriculture – more than the forestry, construction, and manufacturing sectors combined.

Half of those deaths were from quad-bike or tractor accidents.

WorkSafe said there was a poor understanding of risk in the industry and it will be launching a targeted initiative next year to address the issues. . .

Red meat sector welcomes conclusion of Korea FTA

The recently-concluded free trade agreement (FTA) with Korea will provide a major boost for New Zealand’s red meat exports there, according to the chairmen of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Earlier today, Prime Minister John Key and Korean President Park Geun-hye announced that the FTA negotiation had been concluded.

“This deal is great news for sheep and beef farmers and meat exporters,” said Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman James Parsons. . .

Business Forum welcomes NZ Korea FTA:

The New Zealand International Business Forum (NZIBF) welcomes the much anticipated conclusion of the New Zealand Korea Free Trade Agreement.

“This negotiation has been a marathon and we are delighted Trade Minister Groser and his officials have got it over the line” said NZIBF Chairman Sir Graeme Harrison.

Korea is a significant trading partner for New Zealand and a number of key export sectors including dairy, meat and kiwifruit stood to be severely disadvantaged if New Zealand could not achieve a more level playing field with its key competitors in the Korean market notably Australia, Canada, the European Union and the United States all of whom have already concluded FTAs. . .

Zespri welcomes Free Trade Agreement with South Korea:

Zespri welcomes the announcement of the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) deal with South Korea and the significant outcome that has been achieved for the kiwifruit industry.

Over the past year, Zespri growers have paid approximately $20 million in tariffs into this important market.

“It is hugely satisfying that the industry can focus on building sales in the South Korean market, which will benefit both New Zealand and South Korean growers, as well as South Korean consumers,” says Zespri Chief Executive, Lain Jager. . .

Wine Industry Welcomes South Korea Trade Deal:

New Zealand Winegrowers has warmly welcomed the announcement of the conclusion of the free trade agreement between New Zealand and the Republic of Korea.

Commenting on the news, NZ Winegrowers CEO Philip Gregan said ‘The negotiators have achieved a great outcome for the wine industry. Tariff free access into South Korea at the time the agreement comes into force represents a significant boost to our export ambitions in one of the key Asian markets.’ . .

 

 

Yealands named World Champion at the International Green Apple Environment Awards:

Yealands Family Wines has claimed the overall World Champion title at the International Green Apple Environment Awards held in London last night. The prestigious ceremony was held at the House of Commons, in the Palace of Westminster and celebrates environmental best practice.

Yealands Family Wines competed against more than 500 global nominations from a range of industries, taking home the Australasia Gold Award, as well as the supreme “World Champion 2014” title.

Now in their 20th year, the Green Apple Awards have become established as the UK’s major recognition for environmental endeavour among companies, councils, communities and countries. The awards are organised by The Green Organisation, an independent, non-political, non-activist, non-profit environment group dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world. . . .


Common sense on emissions?

November 17, 2014

Dare we hope for some common sense on emission targets?

Prime Minister John Key says New Zealand may get a dispensation on climate change targets because we produce dairy.

“I think everyone pretty much universally accepts we need to deal with the issue of climate change. On the other hand, globally 14% of the emissions come from agriculture, and no one wants to see a reduction in the volume of food. In fact they want to see an increase. And I think what leaders are practically saying is let’s be a bit pragmatic about this. Let’s find a technological solution for agriculture, absolutely let’s try and find what emissions are about,” the PM says.

New Zealand can’t “force the pace” on reducing emissions, Mr Key says.

“When India and or say America and China sit down and genuinely say we are going to reduce our emissions as they did the other day off the 2005 target by 26 to 28%, that matters because they’re massive emitters, and they also force everybody else along. I don’t think New Zealand can force the pace. I agree with the view that says we have to do our share. We have to be seen as responsible in this area, and I genuinely believe we are.” . . . 

 Rabobank’s F20, an international agribusiness forum held in Sydney last week, focussed on food security and the need to double food supply by 2050 if we’re to feed the world.

That won’t be achieved by handicapping efficient producers. It would result in a huge economic loss with no global environmental gain as production loss from New Zealand would be replaced by less efficient production in other countries.

New Zealand’s carbon emissions are tiny on a global scale but the country is playing its part.

The Greenhouse Gas coalition, which was instigated by New Zealand is getting international collaboration on research which will reduce emissions without threatening food security or damaging our economy.

 

 


November 17 in history

November 17, 2014

284 – Diocletian was proclaimed emperor by his soldiers.

1183 – The Battle of Mizushima.

1292 – (O.S.) John Balliol became King of Scotland.

1511 – Spain and England allied against France.

1558 – Elizabethan era began: Queen Mary I of England died and was succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England.

1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh went on trial for treason.

1659 – The Peace of the Pyrenees is signed between France and Spain.

1749  – Nicolas Appert, French chef, inventor of canning, was born (d. 1841)

1777 – Articles of Confederation are submitted to the states for ratification.

1796 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Arcole – French forces defeated the Austrians in Italy.

1800 – The United States Congress held its first session in Washington, D.C.

1811 – José Miguel Carrera, Chilean founding father, was sworn in as President of the executive Junta of the government of Chile.

1812 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Krasnoi.

1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer became the first American to see Antarctica.

1831 – Ecuador and Venezuela were separated from Greater Colombia.

1855 – David Livingstone became the first European to see the Victoria Falls.

1858 – Modified Julian Day zero.

1863 – American Civil War: Siege of Knoxville began.

1869 – In Egypt, the Suez Canal, linking the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea, was inaugurated.

1871 – The National Rifle Association was granted a charter by the state of New York.

1876 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky‘s Slavonic March is given its première performance in Moscow.

1878 – First assassination attempt against Umberto I of Italy.

1887 – Bernard Montgomery, 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, English field marshal, was born (d. 1976).

1903 – The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party split into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).

1905 – The Eulsa Treaty was signed between Japan and Korea.

1919 – King George V proclaimed Armistice Day (later Remembrance Day).

1922 – Former Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI went into exile in Italy.

1925 Governor-General, Sir Charles Fergusson, opened the New Zealand and South Seas International Exhibition in Dunedin.

NZ and South Seas International Exhibition opens

1925 Rock Hudson, American actor, was born (d. 1985).

1937 Peter Cook, British comedian, was born (d. 1995).

1938 Gordon Lightfoot, Canadian singer, was born.

1939 – Nine Czech students were executed as a response to anti-Nazi demonstrations prompted by the death of Jan Opletal.All Czech universities were shut down and over 1200 Czech students sent to concentration camps.

1947 – The U.S. Screen Actors Guild implements an anti-Communist loyalty oath.

1947 – American scientists John Bardeen and Walter Brattain observed the basic principles of the transistor, a key element for the electronics revolution of the 20th Century.

1950 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as the leader of Tibet at the age of fifteen.

1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland were evacuated to the mainland.

1957 – G-AOHP of British European Airways crashed at Ballerup after the failure of three engines on approach to Copenhagen Airport after a malfunction of the anti-icing system on the aircraft.

1962 – President John F. Kennedy dedicated Dulles International Airport.

1967 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports that he had been given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson told the nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”

1968 – Alexandros Panagoulis was condemned to death for attempting to assassinate Greek dictator George Papadopoulos.

1968 – British European Airways introduced the BAC One-Eleven into commercial service.

1969 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States met in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.

1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley went on trial for the My Lai massacre.

1970 – The Soviet Union landed Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon – the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world was released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.

1970 – Douglas Engelbart received the patent for the first computer mouse.

1973 – Watergate scandal: US President Richard Nixon told 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.

1973 – The Athens Polytechnic Uprising against the military regime ended in bloodshed.

1974 – The Aliança Operário-Camponesa (Worker-Peasant Alliance) was founded in Portugal, as a front of PCP(m-l).

1978 –  Zoë Bell, New Zealand actress-stuntwoman, was born.

1979 – Brisbane Suburban Railway Electrification. The first stage from Ferny Grove to Darra was commissioned.

1982 – Duk Koo Kim died unexpectedly from injuries sustained during a 14-round match against Ray Mancini prompting reforms in the sport of boxing.

1983 – The Zapatista Army of National Liberation was founded.

1989 – Cold War: Velvet Revolution began: a student demonstration in Prague was quelled by riot police. This sparked an uprising aimed at overthrowing the communist government.

1990 – Fugendake, part of the Mount Unzen volcanic complex erupted.

1997 – Luxor massacre: 62 people were killed by 6 Islamic militants outside the Temple of Hatshepsut.

2000 – A landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, killed 7, and caused millions of SIT of damage.

2000 – Alberto Fujimori was removed from office as president of Peru.

2004 – Kmart Corp. announced that it was buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.

2007 – Brian May of the rock band Queen was appointed Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.

2012 – At least 50 schoolchildren are killed in an accident at a railway crossing near Manfalut, Egypt.

2013 – Fifty people were killed when Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crashed at Kazan Airport, Russia.

2013 – A rare late-season tornado outbreak struck the Midwest. Illinois and Indiana were most affected with tornado reports as far north as lower Michigan. About six dozen tornadoes touched down in approximately an 11-hour time period, including sevenEF3 and twoEF4 tornadoes.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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