Word of the day

January 26, 2015

Bunyip – a large mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes; an impostor or pretender; counterfeit; phony.


Rural round-up

January 26, 2015

Record canola crop on irrigated plot – Sally Rae:

As dry conditions continue in North Otago, a world-record canola crop harvested at Hilderthorpe has provided proof of the benefits of irrigation.

Arable farmer Chris Dennison achieved the record crop on Friday, with a 6.3-tonne-per-hectare yield, beating the previous record of 6.14 tonnes, set by an English farmer last August.

While Mr Dennison has had a few attempts at wheat world records over the years, it was his first crack at improving on the record for canola.

He approached Guinness World Records a few years ago, wanting to attempt to break a canola record, having had some ”really big crops”. . .

Alpine water would counter dry spell  – Nicky Hyslop:

If you’re lucky enough to still be on holiday, no-one will blame you for basking in the hot, dry weather being experienced in many parts of New Zealand.

For the South Island’s east coast it’s been the first decent Kiwi summer for decades with temperatures regularly in the 30s and little or no rainfall.

But spare a thought for farmers whose very livelihood relies on adding water to soil to grow crops, feed and water animals. If regular water doesn’t come from the sky in the form of rainfall, irrigation plugs the gap by providing access to authorised river, dam and groundwater supplies. . .

Dairy, lamb skid on oil slick – Andrea Fox:

Tumbling prices at the petrol pump have a sting in the tail for farmers, with predictions that oil-producing countries’ appetite for dairy products and lamb will shrink along with their economies.

Economists say with some oil-producing countries – in particular the Middle East region – being important markets for New Zealand dairy exports, the oil price fall will dampen chances of a commodity dairy price recovery in the first half of the year, suggested by the recent three-strike run of improved average prices on Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade auctions.

The oil price collapse could also offset any economic comfort for commodity exporters from the weakening of the New Zealand dollar against the US dollar, in which this country mostly trades overseas.

In the sheepmeat export sector, the oil price plunge is also said to be contributing to a fall in the lamb schedule since early December. . .

Network supportive – finalist – Sally Rae:

Andrea Murphy is proud to call New Zealand home.

Ms Murphy, who is a finalist in the 2015 Dairy Woman of the Year competition, has forged a global career as a dairy nutritionist.

Originally from Canada, she worked in China before moving to New Zealand 11 years ago. She is based in Alexandra where she works for PGG Wrightson and is also on the committee for the New Zealand Association of Ruminant Nutritionists. . .

Ready to take on the male contingent – Sally Rae:

When Olivia Ross lines up for the Otago-Southland regional final of the ANZ Young Farmer Contest in Queenstown next month, she intends giving it ”120%”.

The winner will go through to the contest’s grand final at Taupo in July and only three women have ever made it that far.

Louise Collingwood, representing Waikato-Bay of Plenty, came the closest to claiming the title, finishing second to Otago-Southland’s Robert Kempthorne in 2003 and third in 2004, while Denise Brown was a grand finalist in 1981 and Katherine Tucker in 2012. . .

High-country farm owner changes the guard – Kate Taylor:

Finding a compatible lessee is critical in a successful ongoing partnership, says high country farmer Geoffrey Thomson.

For the past six months, Mt Earnslaw Station at the head of Lake Wakatipu in Otago, has been leased to former high country farm managers Cameron Craigie and partner Anita Holthaus.

The feeling of not being responsible for the stock on a daily basis after so many years was a weight off the shoulders, Thomson says. He took over the 6670 hectare station from his parents in 1976, having spent time away at boarding school, university and then working as a civil engineer. He and Diana have two sons in their early 20s, James and Thomas, who have both chosen non-farming careers. . .

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Adrienne Pierce's photo.


Win family weekend in Queenstown for Hilux NZ Rural Games

January 26, 2015

The Hilux New Zealand Rural Games and its sponsors are giving you the chance to enjoy a great family weekend of traditional sports and live entertainment.

Taking place this Waitangi holiday, 7-8 February, the inaugural Games feature national championships and Trans Tasman challenges for ‘sports that built the nation’ including wood chopping, speed shearing, speed fencing, sheep dog trials and the four iconic Highland Games ‘heavy’ events.

The Topp Twins provide entertainment on both days and there are fun events for kids as well as local food and wine all set in the stunning Southern Alps. For more details see www.ruralgames.co.nz

 This amazing prize includes:

– 1 x Family ‘full event’ pass for the Games weekend, 7-8 February; that includes both days and the Queenstown Summer Concert with Jody Direen and friends (Sat 7.30-10.30pm) for 2 adults and up to 3 kids

– Use of a Toyota Hilux for the weekend

– Two nights’ 4-Star hotel accommodation at the Heritage Queenstown provided by Ngai Tahu Farming

– A year’s supply of milk from Fonterra

– Branded clothing from Wild Buck and Line7.

You’ll find the entry form with terms and conditions at the link above.

There’s more on the Hilux NZ Rural Games here.

P.S. I chair the Trust which is running the Games.


Happy Australia Day

January 26, 2015

While our friends on the other side of the Tasman are celebrating their national day, we can reflect on 10 things New Zealand does better than Australia:

It’s written by a New Zealand-born Australian resident Angela Mollard who says:

. . . New Zealanders like themselves.

Unlike the Germans who have self-regard, or the Italians who are self-admiring, or the Americans who aren’t quite sure how great they are these days but will enthuse anyway, the kiwis exude quiet confidence and self-determination.

“So why are so many of them coming over here?” I hear you say.

Well, they’re not. . .

And goes on to list 10 things we do better than them:

1. They don’t have Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to Prime Ministers.

In recent years they’ve played a long game politically. . .

2. They believe in firm consequences.

When All Black Aaron Cruden missed a flight to Argentina following a drinking session he was dropped from three tests and told to stay home.

Upon returning to the squad he was benched for a match because his replacement was playing so well. . .

3. They sell themselves.

As Australia has flailed with Lara Bingle, dated expletives and a string of “best jobs in the world” for freeloaders, New Zealand has sold itself on “100 per cent Pure New Zealand” since 1999.

No visitor is in any doubt of the splendour offered. . .

4. When they boast “homemade” they mean it.

Sure, the wine is excellent, the craft beer, well, beery, and coffee is the national religion after rugby — although the growing health trend for “quarter shots” is bonkers.

But it’s at morning and afternoon tea they truly excel. . .

5. Women play sport.

Of course they play it here too but you’d never know from watching television.

In NZ, netball is not only broadcast live but its stars, along with golfer Lydia Ko and shot putter Valerie Adams, also appear in the glossies. . .

6. They’re thrillseekers.

Whereas you can’t visit a beach or a pool in Australia without a sign warning you against every possible activity short of breathing, New Zealanders view any body of water as the means to adrenalin. . .

7. Race relations matter.

Grievances are redressed through the Treaty of Waitangi, Maori culture is upheld in schools where the national anthem is sung in both languages, and to have “mana” (honour and respect) is to have it all. . .

8. They don’t see gay marriage as a threat.

And so they legalised it. Full stop.

9.There’s no special favours.

Whereas we continued to endorse MPs who misused their cab charge allowance, compared women’s genitalia to molluscs and used union money to pay for prostitutes, a NZ cabinet minister was fined $2000 in November after he bypassed airport security to board a flight. . .

10. Their coins make sense.

The $2 is larger than the $1 and the 5 cent was withdrawn.

It’s not enough to make you move there — the mango prices are exorbitant and the accent sucks, sorry, sux — but credit where it’s due. . .


GROW Oamaru

January 26, 2015

A new business network is aiming to energise the Waitaki District:

Members of a group called GROW North Otago have taken it upon themselves to develop and launch a video highlighting the benefits of living and doing business in Oamaru and the wider Waitaki district. The private group of new-generation business owners was established last year. Rebecca Ryan finds out who they are and what they want to achieve.

Sometimes the best ideas do come over a drink.

For four new generation Oamaru business owners, a night out at a charity boxing event last year has set off a chain of events they hope will promote change in North Otago and encourage new business.

Heliventures New Zealand Ltd owners Craig McMillan and Nicki Perniskie, Whitestone Cheese chief executive Simon Berry and his wife, Annabel, director of Design Federation, have developed a business networking group called ”GROW North Otago”.

The group, based in Oamaru, aims to make the region a more interesting place to live for business owners and forward-thinking, motivated people, targeting the 20 to 40 age bracket.

It was launched last year with the intention of supporting the new generation of business people, promoting collaborations and ”having fun along the way”, with further aspirations of attracting new talent to the region and bolstering community participation.

The way forward was to lead by example and that was what they had decided to do.

”This was our way of ensuring we have sustainable growth and long-term economic prosperity for the region,” Mrs Berry said. . .

This is a wonderful initiative providing mutual support for members and helping to encourage more young business people to the district.


Dear Auckland

January 26, 2015

Dear Auckland,

Happy anniversary.

If you’re looking for something to do on your this one-day holiday perhaps you could put your mind to finding a candidate for the mayoralty who would lead the city as it needs to be led.

Like it or not, and many of those of in the rest of the country who are still the majority don’t, what happens in and to Auckland matters to us all.

If you’re poorly led with inefficient transport, too few houses to meet demand and generally performing well below your potential then you’re dragging down the rest of us too.

You’re our most populous city. How hard can it be to find just one candidate among those hundreds of thousands or people who can be a really good mayor?

And it would be helpful if you came up with just one really good candidate so the vote doesn’t get split and allow another less than optimal candidate to come through.

I don’t see the need for party politics in local body affairs and would prefer a mayor unencumbered by party allegiances, but where the candidate comes from isn’t as important as where s/he will go and take the city.

There’s less than two years until the next local body elections.

You need to find someone soon so s/he can start working to get the support needed to win and win with a team of able people to work with her/him for the good of the city and the country.

Enjoy your day off, but please, use it to start finding someone who you, and New Zealand, can be proud to call your mayor.

Yours really sincerely,

The rest of NZ.


January 26 in history

January 26, 2015

1340  King Edward III of England was declared King of France.

1500  Vicente Yáñez Pinzón became the first European to set foot on Brazil.

1531  Lisbon was hit by an earthquake–thousands died.

1564 The Council of Trent issued its conclusions in the Tridentinum, establishing a distinction between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.

1565 Battle of Talikota, between the Vijayanagara Empire and the Islamic sultanates of the Deccan, led to the subjugation, and eventual destruction of the last Hindu kingdom in India, and the consolidation of Islamic rule over much of the Indian subcontinent.

1589  Job was elected as Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.

1699  Treaty of Carlowitz was signed.

1700 A magnitude 9 Cascadia Earthquake took place off the west coast of the North America.

1714 Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, French sculptor, was born (d. 1785).

1722 Alexander Carlyle, Scottish church leader, was born  (d. 1805).

1736 Stanislaus I of Poland abdicated his throne.

1788 The British First Fleet, led by Arthur Phillip, sailed into Port Jackson (Sydney Harbour) to establish Sydney, the first permanent European settlement on the continent.

1808 Rum Rebellion, the only successful (albeit short-lived) armed takeover of the government in Australia.

1813 Juan Pablo Duarte, Dominican Republic’s founding father, was born  (d. 1876).

1838 Tennessee enacted the first prohibition law in the United States.

1841 The United Kingdom formally occupied Hong Kong.

1844 Governor Fitzroy arrived to investigate the Wairau incident.

Governor FitzRoy arrives to investigate Wairau incident

1855 Point No Point Treaty was signed in Washington Territory.

1857 Trinley Gyatso, Tibetan, The 12th Dalai Lama, was born (d. 1875).

1880 Douglas MacArthur, American general, was born (d. 1964).

1885 Troops loyal to The Mahdi conquered Khartoum.

1892 Bessie Coleman, American pioneer aviator, was born  (d. 1926).

1904  Seán MacBride, Irish statesman, Nobel Prize Laureate, was born  (d. 1988).

1905 The Cullinan Diamond was found at the Premier Mine near Pretoria.

1905 Maria von Trapp, Austrian-born singer, was born  (d. 1987).

1907 The Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III was officially introduced into British Military Service, and remains the oldest military rifle still in official use.

1908  Stéphane Grappelli, French jazz violinist, was born  (d. 1997).

1911 Glenn H. Curtiss flew the first successful American seaplane.

1911 – Richard Strauss’s opera Der Rosenkavalier debuted at the Dresden State Opera.

1913 Jimmy Van Heusen, American songwriter, was born  (d. 1990).

1918 Nicolae Ceauşescu, Romanian dictator, was born (d. 1989).

1920 Former Ford Motor Company executive Henry Leland launchedthe Lincoln Motor Company which he later sold to his former employer.

1922 Michael Bentine, British comedian and founding member of The Goons, was born  (d. 1996).

1924 St.Petersburg was renamed Leningrad.

1925  Paul Newman, American actor, philanthropist, race car driver and race team owner, was born  (d. 2008).

1930 The Indian National Congress declared 26 January as Independence Day or as the day for Poorna Swaraj (Complete Independence) which occurred 20 years later.

1934 The Apollo Theater reopened in Harlem.

1934 – German-Polish Non-Aggression Pact was signed.

1939 Spanish Civil War: Troops loyal to nationalist General Francisco Franco and aided by Italy took Barcelona.

1942 World War II: The first United States forces arrived in Europe landing in Northern Ireland.

1945  Jacqueline du Pré, English cellist, was born  (d. 1987).

1950 The Constitution of India came into force, forming a republic. Rajendra Prasad was sworn in as its first President.

1952  Black Saturday in Egypt: rioters burnt Cairo’s central business district, targeting British and upper-class Egyptian businesses.

1955  Eddie Van Halen, Dutch musician (Van Halen), was born.

1957 Bubble wrap was invented by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes.

1958 Japanese  ferry Nankai Maru capsised off southern Awaji Island, 167 killed.

1958 Ellen DeGeneres, American actress and comedian, was born.

1961 Janet G. Travell  became the first woman to be appointed physician to the president (Kennedy).

1962  Ranger 3 was launched to study the moon.

1965  Hindi became the official language of India.

1978  The Great Blizzard of 1978, a rare severe blizzard with the lowest non-tropical atmospheric pressure ever recorded in the US, struck the Ohio – Great Lakes region with heavy snow and winds up to 100 mph (161 km/h).

1980 – Israel and Egypt established diplomatic relations.

1984 Floods devastated Southland.

Floods devastate Southland

1988  Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s The Phantom of the Opera had its first performance on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre.

1991  Mohamed Siad Barre was removed from power in Somalia, ending centralized government, and was succeeded by Ali Mahdi.

1992  Boris Yeltsin announced that Russia would stop targeting United States cities with nuclear weapons.

1998 Lewinsky scandal: On American television, U.S. President Bill Clinton denied having had “sexual relations” with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

2001 An earthquake in Gujarat, India, killed more than 20,000.

2004 President Hamid Karzai signed the new constitution of Afghanistan.

2004 – A decomposing  whale exploded in Tainan, Taiwan.

2005 – Glendale train crash: Two trains derailled killing 11 and injuring 200 in Glendale, California.

2009 – Rioting broke out in Antananarivo, Madagascar, sparking a political crisis that resulted in the replacement of President Marc Ravalomanana with Andry Rajoelina.

Sourced from NZ History Oline & Wikipedia


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