Word of the day

November 20, 2014

Quangocracy – rule by quangos or similar unelected bodies; the control or influence ascribed to quango.


Rural round-up

November 20, 2014

Further GDT drop leaves farmers uncertain:

Another drop in the GlobalDairyTrade of 3.1 percent will be a huge disappointment to New Zealand’s dairy farmers.

“It goes without saying that the lowest auction price in five years is going to be a blow to the industry,” says Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Dairy Chair.

“Dairy farmers were hoping to see a lift or at least a plateau to realise Fonterra’s $5.30 forecast in December. So this further drop increases the uncertainty of how realistic that goal is. . .

 

New devices target specific pests:

New advanced pest control using devices to target specific species is being hailed as the latest tools in controlling them on farms and diseases such as tuberculosis.

Researchers are meeting at Massey University at the New Zealand Ecological Society Conference.

James Ross, a senior lecturer in wildlife management at Lincoln, said advanced multi-delivery traps called spitfire were capable of killing up to 100 animals before needing to be restocked with poison.

He said they were a major breakthrough in the control and eradication of pests including stoats and possums. . .

Federated Farmers and Forest & Bird welcome Predator Free NZ project:

Federated Farmers and the conservation organisation Forest & Bird are welcoming the Predator Free New Zealand initiative as an ambitious but achievable project that will have real benefits for conservation and the economy.

The Predator Free New Zealand Trust was launched today at the “A Place to Live,” conference in Whanganui.

Federated Farmers and Forest & Bird are actively supporting the Predator Free mission – of clearing New Zealand of all rats, stoats, ferrets, possums, and feral cats. Both organisations have many members who are already actively controlling introduced predators. . .

Sanford lifts profit despite ‘challenging year’ – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – Sanford, New Zealand’s largest listed fishing group, lifted annual profit 10 percent as gains in its deepwater fishing and aquaculture operations offset falling skipjack tuna prices.

Tax-paid profit before minority interests rose to $22.4 million in the year ended Sept. 30, from $20.4 million a year earlier, the Auckland-based fisher said in a statement. Sales fell 2.2 percent to $452.4 million, reflecting “highly variable operational performance across the business”, which saw the Australian arm continue to trade unprofitably.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation fell by 5 percent to $46.7 million in the first year under new leadership since the departure of veteran former chief executive Eric Barratt. . .

 

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Director Elections:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd is calling for nominations to stand for two farmer-elected director positions on its board.

They are for the Northern North Island and Northern South Island electorates.

Nominations need to be made to the Beef + Lamb New Zealand returning officer, Warwick Lampp by 5pm on Friday 19 December. Farmers can call him on 0508 666 447 to get information on how to make a nomination. . .

 

Young Friesian follows in father’s fertile footsteps:

Herd improvement company CRV Ambreed has cause to celebrate this month as its top performing bull, Aljo TEF Maelstrom, continues to prove his strong genetic value.

Maelstrom has broken the 300 mark on both Breeding Worth (BW) and New Zealand Merit Index (NZMI) indexes; a first for any CRV Ambreed bull since the company was established 45 years ago.

CRV Ambreed’s managing director Angus Haslett explained the indexes. . .

 


Is it too hard to sack?

November 20, 2014

How serious is serious misconduct if it’s not a sackable offence?

This is just one of several questions raised by the behaviour of Roger Sutton who resigned as chief of the Canterbury Recovery Authority (CERA).

Another is why was he given the opportunity to speak at the media conference announcing his resignation and which led him to breach the confidentiality agreement?

He used that opportunity to say he’d called women honey and sweetie and he apologised for that which left many saying this was PC gone mad.

Such endearments are not appropriate in a professional working environment but they’re hardly a sacking offence.

However, it’s become clear since then that there was a great deal more to the complaint of sexual harassment, which was upheld after a seven week investigation, than a few honeys and sweeties.

Not surprisingly the victim is upset:

The woman who made a sexual harassment complaint against Cera chief executive Roger Sutton is “torn up” and upset he has been able to foster public sympathy.

The victim has been told by State Services Commission (SSC) lawyers not to speak publicly about the case. She has repeatedly declined to comment when approached by Press. . .

He said his piece, at a media conference, but she is abiding by the confidentiality agreement.

Will there be any consequence for his breach?

Equal Opportunities Commissioner Jackie Blue is questioning the processes used by CERA and the SSC:

Dr Blue says the public vilification of the woman who made the allegations could have “a chilling effect on future complaints.”

She questioned why Mr Sutton was allowed to go public.

“We’ve heard one side of the story, or one side has minimised the issue,” Ms Blue told media.

“Where’s the woman’s voice in this? What sort of support is she getting? And what’s it going to do for people who are thinking about complaining about complaining are concerned they may be undergoing sexual harassment in the workplace.” . .

What is it going to do for anyone thinking about complaining about any harassment or other misconduct at work?

What would have happened had Sutton not resigned?

How serious is serious when it’s not sackable?

And if it’s serious but not sackable is it too hard to sack?


Irricon wins Enterprising Rural Women Award

November 20, 2014

A South Canterbury-based environmental consultancy partnership is  the Supreme Winners of this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards

Keri Johnston and Haidee McCabe, principals of Irricon Resource Solutions, have gone from strength to strength since they established their joint consultancy in 2010. They now employ nine staff located from Motonau in North Canterbury to Duntroon in North Otago, with expertise ranging from ecology to engineering, and planning to field technicians.

A key feature of their business is Johnston and McCabe’s philosophy of fitting work around family and farming life, wherever that might be.

Keri Johnston, a natural resources engineer, says, “Where we are today was born out of a desire to have professional careers, but on our terms – working from home, around children and farming.” Keri and her husband farm just out of Geraldine in South Canterbury.

Haidee McCabe, an environmental consultant from Albury, explains. “Five of our consultants are women who would not be working professionally if they didn’t work for Irricon. Working from home means the best of all worlds for these women, and it allows them the opportunity to work, but be wives, mums and farm workers as well.

“Unless we’re in a hearing, we’re not a “suit and tie” type of business – our jeans and gumboots are well worn! Our clients really appreciate having someone turn up who knows farming. We can talk to them in their language about the issues.

“Because of the expertise we have, we can handle almost any job from start to finish – design, consenting, implementation and compliance. We have over 500 clients, and this number is still growing.”

The business focuses on improving or maintaining the sustainability of natural resources, such as land, water and waste, and is also involved in irrigation and catchment management.

Irricon Resource Solutions also won the Help! I Need Somebody category, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd.
Other category winners in this year’s Enterprising Rural Women Awards are Renee De Luca of Putaka Honey based out of Blenheim. Renee won the Love of the Land category, sponsored by Agrisea.

The Making it in Rural section sponsored by Spark was hotly contested, with the main award going to Nicola Wright of Wrights Winery and Vineyard in Gisborne, and a special merit award to Dot Kettle and Georgia Richards of Dove River Peonies from Wakefield, near Nelson.

The winner of the Stay, Play Rural Award, sponsored by Xero, was Bobbie Mulgrew of Easyhike, a car relocation service based at Glenorchy, servicing hikers of the Routeburn and Milford tracks.

In congratulating all the winners, Rural Women New Zealand national president, Wendy McGowan said, “Through the Enterprising Rural Women Awards we are keen to raise awareness of women’s entrepreneurship and their input into rural communities. Women are not always good at promoting themselves, but we want to raise their profiles and give them credit for the huge amount of effort involved.”

These awards are well deserved recognition for the winners.

In highlighting enterprising rural women and their businesses they also show the opportunities that can be grasped outside city boundaries.

 

 


November 20 in history

November 20, 2014

284 – Diocletian was chosen as Roman Emperor.

762 – During An Shi Rebellion, Tang Dynasty, with the help of Huihe tribe, recaptured Luoyang from the rebels.

1194 – Palermo was conquered by Emperor Henry VI.

1407 – A truce between John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy and Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans was agreed under the auspices of John, Duke of Berry.

1695 – Zumbi, the last of the leaders of Quilombo dos Palmares in Brazil, was executed.

1620 – Peregrine White, was born – first English child born in the Plymouth Colony (d. 1704).

1700 – Great Northern War: Battle of Narva – King Charles XII of Sweden defeated the army of Tsar Peter the Great at Narva.

1739 – Start of the Battle of Porto Bello between British and Spanish forces during the War of Jenkins’ Ear.

1765 Sir Thomas Fremantle, British naval captain, was born (d. 1819).

1820 – An 80-ton sperm whale attacked the Essex (a whaling ship from Nantucket, Massachusetts) 2,000 miles from the western coast of South America (Herman Melville’s 1851 novel Moby-Dick was in part inspired by this story).

1841 – Maketu Wharetotara, the 17-year-old son of the Nga Puhi chief Ruhe, killed five people at Motuarohia in the Bay of Islands.

Mass murder in the Bay of Islands

1845 – Argentine Confederation: Battle of Vuelta de Obligado.

1889 – Edwin Hubble, American astronomer, was born (d. 1953).

1900 – Chester Gould, American comic strip artist, creator of Dick Tracey, was born (d. 1985).

1908 – Alistair Cooke, British-born journalist, was born (d. 2004).

1910 – Francisco I. Madero issued the Plan de San Luis Potosi, denouncing President Porfirio Díaz, calling for a revolution to overthrow the government of Mexico, effectively starting the Mexican Revolution.

1917 – World War I: Battle of Cambrai began.

1917 – Ukraine was declared a republic.

1925 Robert F. Kennedy, American politician was born (d. 1968).

1936 – José Antonio Primo de Rivera, founder of the Falange, was killed by a republican execution squad.

1937 Parachuting Santa, George Sellars, narrowly escaped serious injury when he was able to sway his parachute just in time to avoid crashing through the glass roof of the Winter Gardens during the Farmers’ Christmas parade.

Parachuting Santa crashes in Auckland Domain

1940 – World War II: Hungary becomes a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

1942 – Joe Biden, 47th Vice President of the United States, was born.

1943 – World War II: Battle of Tarawa (Operation Galvanic) begins – United States Marines land on Tarawa Atoll in the Gilbert Islands and suffer heavy fire from Japanese shore guns and machine guns.

1945 – Nuremberg Trials: Trials against 24 Nazi war criminals start at the Palace of Justice at Nuremberg.

1947 – Princess Elizabeth married Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten at Westminster Abbey in London.

1952 – Slánský trials – a series of Stalinist and anti-Semitic show trials in Czechoslovakia.

1956 – Bo Derek, American actress, was born.

1962 – Cuban Missile Crisis ended: In response to the Soviet Union agreeing to remove its missiles from Cuba, U.S. President John F. Kennedy ended the quarantine of the Caribbean nation.

1969 – Vietnam War: The Cleveland Plain Dealer published explicit photographs of dead villagers from the My Lai massacre.

1974 – The United States Department of Justice filed its final anti-trust suit against AT&T.

1975 – Francisco Franco, Caudillo of Spain, died after 36 years in power.

1979 – Grand Mosque Seizure: About 200 Sunni Muslims revolted in Saudi Arabia at the site of the Kaaba in Mecca during the pilgrimage and take about 6000 hostages. The Saudi government received help from French special forces to put down the uprising.

1984 – The SETI Institute was founded.

1985 – Microsoft Windows 1.0 was released.

1989 – Velvet Revolution: The number of protesters assembled in Prague, Czechoslovakia swells from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million.

1991 – An Azerbaijani MI-8 helicopter carrying 19 peacekeeping mission team with officials and journalists from Russia, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan was shot down by Armenian military forces in Khojavend district of Azerbaijan.

1992 – Fire broke out in Windsor Castle, badly damaging the castle and causing over £50 million worth of damage.

1993 – Savings and loan crisis: The United States Senate Ethics Committee issued a stern censure of California senator Alan Cranston for his “dealings” with savings-and-loan executive Charles Keating.

1994 – The Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed the Lusaka Protocol in Zambia, ending 19 years of civil war.

1998 – A court in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan declared accused terrorist Osama bin Laden “a man without a sin” in regard to the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

1998 – The first module of the International Space Station, Zarya, was launched.

2001 – In Washington, D.C., U.S. President George W. Bush dedicated the United States Department of Justice building as the Robert F. Kennedy Justice Building, honouring the late Robert F. Kennedy on what would have been his 76th birthday.

2003 – A second day of the 2003 Istanbul Bombings destroyed the Turkish head office of HSBC Bank AS and the British consulate.

2008 – After critical failures in the US financial system began to build up after mid-September, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reached its lowest level since 1997.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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