Blackcaps beat England by 8 wickets

February 20, 2015

What a win!

England 123 all out after 33.2 overs (Joe Root 46, Tim Southee 7-33, Daniel 1-19) lost to New Zealand 125-2 in 12.2 overs  (Brendon McCullum 77, Martin Guptill 22) by eight wickets  at Westpac Stadium in Wellington.

Tim Southee was in a class of his own today, producing New Zealand’s best figures in ODI history to bowl England out for 123 in the crucial ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 fixture in Wellington. The skipper added to Southee’s record breaking bowling effort with the fastest half century in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup from only 18 balls.

McCullum ended with 77 from only 25 balls, to lead the home side to 124-2 and chase down the English total in the 13th over. It was the first time that Westpac Stadium was a full house for a cricket match – a total crowd of over 30,000. . . 

This is where I have to confess I’m a fair-weather cricket fan – but I’m really enjoying the start to this World Cup campaign.

 

 


Word of the day

February 20, 2015

Rhinotillexomania – compulsive or habitual nose picking.


Rural round-up

February 20, 2015

Wishing all Chinese people a happy Year of the Sheep, flourishing business, well-being, good luck and prosperity

Sheep milk conference hopes to boost interest:

Sheep’s milk yoghurt and ice-cream will be on the menu at a conference today, which aims to expand and develop interest in the sheep dairying industry.

The Ewe Milk Products and Sheep Dairying conference will be held over the next two days in Palmerston North.

Massey University business school associate professor, Craig Prichard, said the industry had struggled to establish itself as a viable alternative to traditional but there was growing potential as interest in sheep dairy products increased. . .

Come on John, give them a break!:

The last time I dared to question MIE’s desired reform of the meat industry, John McCarthy accused me of bias and warned me to watch out, if we are unlucky enough to run into each other. So this column will almost certainly result in another attack on my character and more threats to my personal safety!

But after reading his Pulpit diatribe (Farmers Weekly 26 January), I can’t resist the chance to express surprise at some of the logic expressed there. He clearly believes the two cooperatives, SFF and Alliance, are guilty of driving the market for sheepmeat down to the bottom solely because of their incompetence. The only way he says this will change is to vote more MIE endorsed candidates onto the boards.

McCarthy accuses media commentators and company executives of myopia in their industry predictions last year which have now turned out to be too optimistic. Climatic and political circumstances have changed considerably since those forecasts were made which largely explains the downward trend. Possibly we should all have forecast the closing of the Russian market to other Western exporters, the slowdown in China, deflation in the EU, port clearance delays in the USA and the drought in much of this country. But when those forecasts were made, none of these factors were as clear as they are in hindsight. . .

Otago field days focus on farm effluent management:

DairyNZ ENVIROREADY field days starting next week will bring farmers up to speed with good practice effluent management, and provide tools and information to help them meet Otago Regional Council environmental regulations.

DairyNZ water quality specialist Shirley Hayward says the events are about helping farmers feel confident in their knowledge of how they can meet council regulations.

“With the more stringent effluent and discharge rules now in place, this will help everyone understand what they need to do to ensure they comply. There is something for everyone, staff, managers and owners alike as there is a practical hands-on component as well as discussion around infrastructure decisions and investment,” says Shirley. . .

 

SFF ownership ‘important’ – Sally Rae:

An appeal has been made to Silver Fern Farms to ”not sell the goose that has the potential to lay the golden eggs”.

Speaking at the co-operative’s annual meeting in Dunedin yesterday, Meat Industry Excellence member Mark Patterson said farmer ownership of the value chain would be ”incredibly important” and the company’s proposed capital raising had the potential to dilute that. . .

Why are we so afraid of the fruit fly? :

* What is Bactrocera tryoni or the Queensland fruit fly?

A native of Australia, it is one of the most destructive of the 4500 fruit flies in the world. It is fond of fleshy fruits such as avocado, citrus, tomato, guava, feijoa, grape, peppers, persimmon, pipfruit, berryfruit and stonefruit. 

It does not breed continuously but passes the winter in the adult stage. The total life cycle requires two to three weeks in summer and up to two months in autumn. Adult females live many months and four or five overlapping generations may develop annually. 

* Why is the fruit fly so dangerous?

Hard and expensive to control, fruit flies are commonly known as the “foot and mouth” of the horticultural industry. Once established, they are hard to eradicate. . .


Friday’s answers

February 20, 2015

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said: I am sometimes a fox and sometimes a lion. The whole secret of government lies in knowing when to be the one or the other.?

2. Where did the phrase a wolf in sheep’s clothing originate?

3. It’s chien in French, cane in Italian,  pero in Spainsh and  kurī in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What breed of dog was Greyfriars Bobby and where would you find his statue?

5. If you were offered the choice of any dog, which breed would you pick?

Points for answers:

JBloggs got four.

Andrei wins a virtual box of stone fruit with five right.

Willdwan got three.

Alwyn got four.

Paranormal got three with a bonus for the dog’s tale.

Answers follow the break.

Read the rest of this entry »


5 objectives for social housing

February 20, 2015

National has five objectives for social housing:

1. Ensure people who need housing support from the Government get it.

2. Help social housing tenants to independence, as appropriate.

3. Ensure that properties used for social housing are the right size and configuration, and in the right areas.

4. Help increase the supply of affordable housing for people to buy.

5. Encourage and develop more diverse ownership of social housing.

That’s simple and sensible – unless you don’t understand that housing policy which works for the people who need help is more important than who owns the houses.


Better public services

February 20, 2015

One of National’s goals in government has been to deliver better public services. It set firm targets and it’s making good progress towards achieving them, but it’s not resting on its laurels:

The Government has set itself ambitious new targets including 75,000 fewer New Zealanders being on benefits by June 2018 as part of its Better Public Services drive, Finance Minister Bill English and State Services Minister Paula Bennett say.

The ministers today released the latest results from the Better Public Services programme showing almost 5000 people (-6.6 per cent) came off long-term Jobseeker Support benefit in 2014, the number of children who experienced substantiated physical abuse decreased by almost 200 (-5.6 per cent) over the 12 months to September 2014, infant immunisations are at an all-time high and crime numbers continue to fall. 

“The latest results show that the programme, which measures progress in 10 areas chosen in 2012 to focus on improving the lives of people who most need the Government’s help, is working,” Mr English says.

“All the areas are making progress including improvements in the immunisation rate, a reduction in the incidence of rheumatic fever and we expect that results for NCEA Level 2 will show progress towards the 85 per cent achievement target.

“However, in some of our target areas it is not yet clear whether the positive trends are sustainable.  The challenge now is to find ways to influence those who are harder to reach and who may be in circumstances that make it more difficult for them to respond. This will require a broad search both inside and outside the public service for better solutions, more innovative ideas and   intensification of activity to keep making progress. We will track results and spend our social investment funds where they make the most difference.”

Mrs Bennett said ministers were today announcing they were extending the Better Public Services  welfare targets and, as signalled earlier,  also challenging themselves and the public service to do even better at reducing crime, and improving the workforce skills of young adults.

Mrs Bennett said the new targets are:

Result 1 –  A 25 per cent reduction (from 295,000 people as at June 2014 to 220,000 as at June 2018) in the total number of people receiving main benefits and a $13 billion reduction in the long-term cost of benefit dependence, as measured by an accumulated Actuarial Release, by June 2018.

This replaces the current target of a 30 per cent reduction – 78,000 people to 55,000 people – in the number of working-age recipients of Jobseeker Support who have continually received benefits for more than 12 months.

Result 6 –  60 per cent of 25-34 year olds will have a qualification at Level 4 or above by 2018.

This replaces the current target of 55 per cent of 25-34 year olds holding those qualifications by 2017, which has almost been achieved.

Result 7 – A 20 per cent reduction in total crime by 2018.

This replaces the target of a 15 per cent reduction by 2017, which has already been achieved.

Mrs Bennett said the change to the welfare reduction target recognised that many people who were not on Jobseeker Support also wanted to work and they deserved the same levels of support as jobseekers to do that.

“We know that around 90 per cent of people who went on benefits aged 16 or 17 also lived in benefit-dependent homes as children. This reinforces the urgency and importance of getting people in to work to improve their circumstances, and to help break the cycle of inter-generational welfare dependence.

“We have been making some real progress in this regard and it is good to see from the latest results that people who have been exiting Jobseeker Support have been staying in work for longer.

“There has also been real improvement in helping young people and young sole parents in to work so it makes sense to include them in this expanded new target because they are most at risk of long-term dependence, with a resulting heavy cost to themselves and taxpayers.”

Results on targets set so far are here.
We're already delivering better public services and we've just set ourselves tougher targets so we keep improving.<br /><br />
ntnl.org.nz/1zPgs4q


February 20 in history

February 20, 2015

1339 – The Milanese army and the St. George’s (San Giorgio) Mercenaries of Lodrisio Visconti clashed in the Battle of Parabiago.

1472 Orkney and Shetland were left by Norway to Scotland, due to a dowry payment.

1547 Edward VI was crowned King of England.

1792 The Postal Service Act, establishing the United States Post Office Department, was signed by President George Washington.

1810 Andreas Hofer, Tirolean patriot and leader of rebellion against Napoleon’s forces, was executed.

1835 Concepción, Chile was destroyed by an earthquake.

1872 New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art opened.

1873 The University of California opened its first medical school.

1887 Vincent Massey, Governor-General of Canada, was born (d. 1967).

1901 – The legislature of Hawaii Territory convenes for the first time.

1906 Gale Gordon, American television and radio actor, was born  (d. 1995).

1909 Publication of the Futurist Manifesto in the French journal Le Figaro.

1913 King O’Malley drove in the first survey peg to mark commencement of work on the construction of Canberra.

1924 Gloria Vanderbilt, American socialite and clothing designer, was born.

1925 Robert Altman, American film director, was born (d. 2006).

1927 Ibrahim Ferrer, Cuban musician (Buena Vista Social Club) was born, (d. 2005)

1927 – Sidney Poitier, American actor, was born.

1935 Caroline Mikkelsen became the first woman to set foot in Antarctica.

1941  Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer, was born.

1942 Lieutenant Edward O’Hare became America’s first World War II flying ace.

1943 – The Parícutin volcano in Mexico erupted.

1950  Walter Becker, American guitarist (Steely Dan), was born.

1951 Gordon Brown, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born.

1952 Emmett Ashford became the first African-American umpire in organised baseball.

1954 Yvette Williams won a gold medal for the long jump at the Olympics.

Yvette Williams sets world long jump record

1962 Mercury programme:  John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth, making three orbits in 4 hours, 55 minutes.

1965  Ranger 8 crashed into the moon after a successful mission of photographing possible landing sites for the Apollo programme astronauts.

1976 The Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation disbanded.

1989 An IRA bomb destroeds a section of a British Army barracks in Ternhill, England

1991  A gigantic statue of Albania’s long-time dictator, Enver Hoxha, was brought down in the Albanian capital Tirana, by mobs of angry protesters.

1998 American figure skater Tara Lipinski became the youngest gold-medalist at the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

2002 In Reqa Al-Gharbiya, Egypt, a fire on a train injurds over 65 and killed at least 370.

2003 During a Great White concert in West Warwick, Rhode Island, a pyrotechnics display sets the club ablaze, killing 100 and injuring over 200 others.

2005 Spain became the first country to vote in a referendum on ratification of the proposed Constitution of the European Union, passing it by a substantial margin, but on a low turnout.

2010  – Heavy rain caused floods and mudslides,  on Madeira Island leaving at least 43 dead in the worst disaster on the history of the archipelago.

2013  – The smallest Extrasolar planet, Kepler-37b was discovered.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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