Word of the day

February 7, 2015

Cockamamie -ridiculous, implausible; ludicrous; nonsensical; trifling; nearly valueless.


Rural round-up

February 7, 2015

Landcorp Farming 2014/15 half year financial results:

Landcorp Farming has recorded operating revenue of $109.8 million for the six months to 31 December 2014 and a net operating profit of $1 million.

Landcorp Chief Executive, Steven Carden, said the first six months had been challenging and Landcorp is reviewing its full year profit forecast of between $1 -$6 million.

“A result like this will come as no surprise given the milk price and drought challenges. However we have cushioned the impact of these external factors by anticipating them early. One example is our support of the Fonterra Guaranteed Milk Price Scheme and another is our proactive livestock management around the country ahead of the drought.

“The fall in milk prices has significantly impacted our revenue, although we remain on track for a modest profit. . .

Responsible access theme of commission – Mark Neeson:

With summer here and New Zealanders embarking on their annual migration to the outdoors, it is an ideal time to reflect on the widespread access so many of us enjoy to our country’s lakes, beaches, rivers and mountains.

The outdoors provides opportunities to explore new places, and experience solitude, challenge, adventure, and a different perspective on life.

It is this image of New Zealand that is celebrated and promoted around the world, helping to create a thriving tourist industry. . .

Storm damages crops – Leith Huffadine:

A Dumbarton fruitgrower says a storm on Sunday afternoon has ”written off” most of the crops on his property.

The man, who did not want to be named, said his corn, pumpkins and peaches had been damaged in the downpour, which was localised to Dumbarton, between Roxburgh and Ettrick, and some surrounding areas.

”There might be a wee bit left but not much. [There’s] nothing there of any value.” . . .

Family affair keeps family farming dream alive – Sonita Chandar:

The dreams of a Taranaki farmer have become reality although he did not live to see them to fruition.

Duncan and Fiona Corrigan planned to expand their Hawera farm but when Duncan died in October 2012 his family continued what he started.

Josh, 22, the second eldest of 10 children, put his career on hold and took on the challenge of managing it. . .

 US fans raise their glasses to Kiwi wine – Gerard Hutching:

The United States is likely to become New Zealand’s leading wine destination this year.

Although more litres were shipped to Britain last year, the US is tipped to soon overtake that amount.

In terms of value, Australia is just ahead of the US, but that should also change this year.

For the year ended November 2014, wine exports to the US were worth $348 million, to Australia $360m and Britain $332m. . .

New Zealand Rural Games added 22 new photos to the album: The Running of the Wools — at Queenstown NZ

More than 350 merino sheep from Bendigo and Mt Nicholas stations in downtown Queenstown to preview the ‪#‎Hilux‬ New Zealand Rural Games 2015.

New Zealand Rural Games's photo.New Zealand Rural Games's photo.
New Zealand Rural Games's photo.

 The Farming Show added 3 new photos.
A great start to the Hilux New Zealand Rural Games as 350 merinos were herded through central Queenstown! Looking forward to all the rest of the events kicking off tomorrow morning from 8! The Farming Show's photo.
The Farming Show's photo.


Saturday’s smiles

February 7, 2015

AN OLD FARMER’S ADVICE:

  1. Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight and bull-strong.
  2.  Keep skunks and bankers at a distance.
  3. Life is simpler when you plough around the stump.
  4. A bumble bee is considerably faster than a John Deere tractor.
  5. Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.
  6. Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.
  7. Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.
  8. Do not corner something that you know is meaner than you.
  9. It don’t take a very big person to carry a grudge.
  10. You cannot unsay a cruel word.
  11. Every path has a few puddles.
  12. When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.
  13. The best sermons are lived, not preached.
  14. Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t never gonna happen anyway.
  15. Don’t judge folks by their relatives.
  16. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
  17.  Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.
  18. Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t botherin’ you none.
  19. Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance.
  20. If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.
  21. Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.
  22. The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever have to deal with, watches you from the mirror every mornin’.
  23. Always drink upstream from the herd.
  24. Good judgment comes from experience, and a lotta that comes from bad judgment.
  25. Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier than puttin’ it back in.
  26. If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.
  27. Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.

Hat tip: Farms.com


He iwi tahi tatou – we are one people

February 7, 2015

I’ve just delivered my annual address at Waitangi. You can read the full text on the National Party website: http://ntnl.org.nz/1zDu6eg

Prime Minister John Key’s Waitangi Day speech:

Rau rangatira ma e huihui nei,

Nau mai, haere mai ki Waitangi.

Tēnei aku mihi māhana mo te Kawanatanga Nahinara ki a koutou.

Kia ora huihui tatou katoa.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Today we commemorate 175 years of the Treaty of Waitangi relationship. 

It’s a relationship we should all have pride in. And we should all have great confidence that it will continue to strengthen.

Like the first Maori who arrived here many hundreds of years ago, European settlers arrived by sea.

They must have had a sense of adventure. Like the first Maori navigators they braved the often ill-tempered Pacific Ocean to strike out from their homes and make landfall here.

The whalers, the sailors, the men and women who came here to till the land and take their chances – they would have had many reasons for leaving their homes in the Northern Hemisphere. Homes many of them would never see again.

But I bet they were united by a common thread of hope and optimism.

Hope for a better life than the one they had left behind.

And hope for a new society and new opportunities for themselves and their children.

Those who signed the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840 began forging the bonds of the special partnership we share today.

Over time, those bonds have been tested.

The spirit of generosity with which Maori entered into this partnership was forgotten or ignored by many over the following decades.

But the Treaty partnership we commemorate today acknowledges the bonds that have underpinned the creation of a special country.

175 years.  Just think about what we have achieved in that time. The great scientists, adventurers, sports men and women, pioneers and dreamers who call themselves New Zealanders.

The first person to split the atom, the first women voters, the first conqueror of Everest.

The first Rugby World Cup winners.

The artists, writers, singers and musicians, actors and directors who not only entertain us, but who have also created a body of stories and songs which could have only been made in New Zealand.

And the leaders, Maori and Pakeha alike, who have developed a Treaty partnership which is admired around the world.

That’s a lot to be proud of.

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Waitangi Day is a day to remember and to understand the very many pieces that make up our country’s history. The high points, the low points, the triumphs, the mistakes and the unexpected successes.

And it’s also a day to look beyond the horizon and to our future.

I am sure the Treaty signatories here at Waitangi felt the same.

The missionaries, sailors, traders and Maori – watched over by police on horseback who were sent from Sydney – packed the Treaty grounds on the 5th of February 1840.

They mingled with people hawking cold roasts, pork and bread, and rum-sellers, and the bay was a flotilla of canoes and ships with flags flying.

The delegation of Maori was so large that five tonnes of potatoes and 30 pigs were brought in, so guests were properly fed.

The next day, the 6th, was meant to be a rest day.

But, after coming ashore that morning, Britain’s consul, Captain William Hobson, was surprised to find several hundred Maori wanting to continue discussions.

They met under the marquee, made of stitched-together sailcloth, surrounded by a handful of Europeans.

By the end of the day’s discussion, around 40 Maori leaders had signed the Treaty.

To each of those leaders, Captain Hobson said, “he iwi tahi tatou” – we are one people.

Māori and the British representatives signed the Treaty of Waitangi in good faith.

And the generosity of Maori, and the good faith of both people, has led to the New Zealand we know today, and to the relationship we share.

We have some of the best legacies of Britain: a stable democracy, an elected Parliament, an independent judiciary and a free press.

And we have a culture infused with the customs, knowledge and tikanga of the tangata whenua.

We welcome people from all parts of the world who want to make New Zealand their home, because they want to be part of the nation we have created.

The Treaty is a formal agreement but it must be interpreted over time, and adapt to new situations, through negotiation between the Treaty partners.

Many issues have a long and nuanced history, lived through by many people from all walks of life.

There are still things to work through.

But I am confident that when we celebrate the bicentenary of the Treaty signing in 2040, we will look back to today and be proud of what we have achieved since.

That’s 25 years away.

The last big Treaty commemoration was in 1990 – 25 years ago.

Those 25 years have passed quickly. It seems like too short a time for anything in New Zealand to have changed much at all.

But in 1990 things were different.

New Zealand, for example, was governed under First Past the Post.

The Maori Party didn’t exist.

Now, it’s difficult to imagine Parliament without them.

The Maori Party has brought a rich dimension to this Government since 2008.

It’s one of the reasons why the Crown and Maori have come so far over the past six years.

One area we are working on together is reforming Te Ture Whenua Māori Act. It’s the most significant re-writing of this legislation in more than a century.

How best to develop Maori land, with its multiple owners, has vexed lawmakers for over 100 years.

We recognise that challenge, because it’s central to Maori economic development.

If we can make this land work for Maori, then it will add up to $8 billion to the economy and create at least 4000 new jobs over the next decade.

25 years ago, not one iwi had achieved a Treaty settlement.

That was still five years into the future.

The Crown has now signed 72 deeds of settlement – 46 of those in the past six years.

All willing and able iwi are engaged with the Crown.

Those settled iwi are creating success stories. They see the post-settlement environment as their chance to shape their own destiny.

Settlements may represent a fraction of what was actually lost. But they let iwi move on and make better futures, and create more opportunities, for their people.

New Zealand as a whole is better off for that.

My Treaty Negotiations Minister, Chris Finlayson, is unable to be here today.

But I know if he were here, he would reiterate to you his belief that by 2017, all willing iwi should be settled.

There have been other positive changes since 1990.

Education is one example.

In 1990, just over 3000 Maori school leavers achieved 6th Form Certificate. In 2013, 7500 Maori school leavers achieved NCEA Level 2 or higher.  Taken as a proportion of Maori
school leavers, that’s a 20 per cent improvement.

The achievement rate among all school leavers is also rising, but among young Māori that improvement is happening at a faster rate.

Lifting the level of achievement in education among young New Zealanders is important, but it’s especially vital for young Maori who, for too long, have not achieved at the same level as non-Maori.

Yes, there certainly are challenges to educational achievement and we do have a long way to go to eliminate that disparity – but progress is evident.

A better education means equality of opportunity for New Zealanders, regardless of their background.

Time and time again, we see the evidence that success at school means better, higher-paying jobs, a greater standard of living and more opportunities.

Another area is health.

In the early 1990s around 50 per cent of Maori regularly smoked. Today it’s about 32 per cent.

That’s due in no small part to Tariana Turia, who has been passionate in her work to cut smoking rates among Maori.

Now, Maori are living longer – around six more years than in 1990. Immunisation rates among Maori children are up and infant mortality rates have fallen.

So in 25 years, many gains have been made. We can do even better over the next 25 years, too.

It’s all too easy to focus on the negatives at the expense of the many positives.

The Treaty settlement process may not be to everyone’s satisfaction.

But I’m a firm believer in the current process, which is addressing the wrongs done in the past to help Maori build their futures.

And on the world stage, it’s acknowledged as one of the best examples of efforts to address historical grievances.

I also think we’re maturing together, as a nation.

Nowadays, almost every time people sing God Defend New Zealand – at a school, at a sports match or a formal ceremony – we sing it in both Māori and English.

It wasn’t always that way – only in the past 15 years has it become widespread.

New Zealanders just started doing it, because it felt right.

It feels like the right kind of representation of who we are as a nation.

It’s the type of understated change that appears small, but one I think speaks volumes about how we have grown.

So in 25 years’ time, when New Zealand celebrates 200 years of nationhood, there are some changes I’d like to see.

In 2040, every willing and able iwi will be settled.

In 2040, all Maori owned land will be far better utilised, delivering jobs and prosperity, particularly for those in regional areas.

And in 2040, I want to see the disparity in educational achievement eliminated.

For young Maori, this means really digging in to lift achievement.

For the Government, it means ensuring our education system works for all students. It also means developing initiatives to support young people and families in other areas.

Like free doctors’ visits for under-13s.

Like subsidising early childhood education.

And getting our schools, social organisations and law enforcement agencies to work together so children don’t stumble into a life of petty crime or welfare dependency.

Governments can’t make these changes by themselves.

We also need to get alongside families and give them the right support. It’s not just about throwing money at a problem.

Because you can’t buy the dedication of communities who want to rid their streets of drugs and crime.

And you can’t buy the dedication of a mother who is trying to keep her 14-year-old son in school.

When you give families what they actually need, great changes can happen.

Maori children, for example, are now being immunised at nearly double the rate they were in 2007. So I’ve no doubt the willingness – and the ability – to chase success in education is there, with the right support.

So that’s what I would like to see in 2040. There is one more aspect of New Zealand I would like to see changed.

In 2040, I’d like to see a new New Zealand flag raised at the Waitangi Day dawn service.

That’s my personal preference.

The current flag represents the thinking by and about a young country moving from the 1800s to the 1900s. Our role in the world was very different then.  Our relationship to the rest of the world has changed over time.

I think, and I believe many New Zealanders feel the same, that the flag captures a colonial and post-colonial era whose time has passed.

During this parliamentary term, New Zealanders will be asked to participate in a two-step referendum process to choose an alternative flag, and decide whether or not that flag should replace the current one.

I believe the time is right for us to create a flag which is distinctly New Zealand’s.

At the same time, I acknowledge there may be many New Zealanders who want to retain the existing flag, and that will be one option.

Regardless of your view, this milestone year in our history is a good time to discuss the flag, formally and respectfully, allowing New Zealanders to have their say.

Maori chose New Zealand’s first flag – known today as the flag of the United Tribes – in 1834, when James Busby, the British Resident, decided chiefs needed to choose a flag that New Zealand’s ships could fly.

Three flags were displayed on short poles at Waitangi, voted on, and the winning one hoisted.

I imagine it was all over in a matter of minutes. The process this time around will be much more considered, but I have every expectation Maori will be closely involved, just as they were in 1834.

If we choose a new flag, it will serve us in times of celebration and remembrance, like Waitangi Day.

On Waitangi Day we remember when our nation-building began, and we celebrate the hope and optimism our forebears must have felt when they oversaw the creation of a new country.

It’s a day when we draw confidence for our future from the sense of our past.

In 175 years, New Zealand has achieved much. In the 25 years since the 150thanniversary of the signing of the Treaty, some of those achievements, like the settlement process itself, have brought about great change.

I am confident the next 25 years will deliver more promises, passion and achievements as we work together to tackle the challenges that will be thrown at us.

Thank you.

Regardless of your view, this milestone year in our history is a good time to discuss the flag, formally and respectfully, allowing New Zealanders to have their say.


Saturday soapbox

February 7, 2015

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
Sue Fitzmaurice, Author's photo.

You will love and not be loved back. Give and not receive. Hep and be left helpless. Teach and not be taught. Forgive and be forgotten. Trust and be doubted. Pray and be cursed by others. You will be unnoticed, unliked, unloved and unappreciated. But never, ever, ever let anyone stop you from being you. Because you are the one stretching, growing and rising. Never subtract the best of you to add the worst of anyone else. – Howard Britt.

 


February 7 in history

February 7, 2015

457  Leo I became emperor of the Byzantine Empire.

1074 Pandulf IV of Benevento was killed battling the invading Normans at the Battle of Montesarchio.

1238 The Mongols burned the Russian city of Vladimir.

1301 Edward of Caernarvon (later King Edward II of England) became the first English Prince of Wales.

1478 Sir Thomas More, English statesman, humanist, and author, was born (d 1535).

1497 – The bonfire of the vanities occured in which suppoters of Girolamo Savonarola burned thousands of objects including cosmetics, art, and books in Florence.

1795  The 11th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified.

1804 John Deere, American manufacturer (Deere & Company), was born (d. 1886).

1807  Battle of Eylau – Napoléon’s French Empire began fighting against Russian and Prussian forces of the Fourth Coalition at Eylau, Poland.

1812 Charles Dickens, English novelist, was born (d. 1870).

1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles left  Singapore after just taking it over, leaving it in the hands of William Farquhar.

1842  Battle of Debre Tabor: Ras Ali Alula, Regent of the Emperor of Ethiopia defeated warlord Wube Haile Maryam of Semien.

1856 The Kingdom of Awadh was annexed by the British East India Company after a peaceful abdication of Wajid Ali Shah, the king of Awadh.

1856 – The colonial Tasmanian Parliament passed the first piece of legislation (the Electoral Act of 1856) anywhere in the world providing for elections by way of a secret ballot.

1863  The Royal Navy’s steam corvette HMS Orpheus, bringing supplies and reinforcements for the land wars, hit the Manukau Harbour bar and sank.  Of the 259 aboard, 189 died, making it New Zealand’s worst maritime disaster.

HMS Orpheus.jpg

1867 Laura Ingalls Wilder, American author, was born  (d. 1957).

1870 Alfred Adler, Austrian psychologist was born  (d. 1937).

1898  Émile Zola was brought to trial for libel for publishing J’Accuse.

1901  Arnold Nordmeyer, New Zealand politician, was born  (d. 1989).

1904 A fire in Baltimore destroyed over 1,500 buildings in 30 hours.

1907 The Mud March, the first large procession organised by the National Union of Women’s Suffrage Societies (NUWSS).

1922 Hattie Jacques, English actress, was born (d. 1980).

1943  Imperial Japanese naval forces completed the evacuation of Imperial Japanese Army troops from Guadalcanal during Operation Ke, ending Japanese attempts to retake the island from Allied forces in the Guadalcanal Campaign.

1956 Mark St. John, American musician (Kiss), was born  (d. 2007).

1962 Garth Brooks, American singer, was born.

1962 Eddie Izzard, British actor and comedian, was born.

1962 – David Bryan, American musician (Bon Jovi), was born.

1962 The United States banned all Cuban imports and exports.

1967 Bushfires in southern Tasmania claimed 62 lives and destroy 2,642.7 square kilometres (653,025.4 acres) of land.

1974  Grenada gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1979  Pluto moved inside Neptune‘s orbit for the first time since either was discovered.

1984  STS-41-B Mission – Astronauts Bruce McCandless II and Robert L. Stewart made the first untethered space walk using the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU).

1986  Twenty-eight years of one-family rule ended in Haiti, when President Jean-Claude Duvalier fled.

1990  The Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party agreed to give up its monopoly on power.

1991  Haiti‘s first democratically elected president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, was sworn in.

1991 –  The IRA launched a mortar attack on 10 Downing Street during a cabinet meeting.

1992 –  The Maastricht Treaty was signed, leading to the creation of the European Union.

1995  Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was arrested in Islamabad, Pakistan.

1999 – Crown Prince Abdullah became the King of Jordan on the death of his father, King Hussein.

2009  Bushfires in Victoria left 173 dead in the worst natural disaster in Australia’s history.

2012 – President Mohamed Nasheed of the Republic of Maldives resigned, after 23 days of anti-governmental protests calling for the release of Chief Judge unlawfully arrested by the military.

2013 – At least 53 people were killed when a bus and truck collided near Chibombo, Zambia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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