Word of the day

March 3, 2015

Ostracean  – of, like or pertaining to oysters; any one of a family of bivalves, of which the oyster is the type.


Rural round-up

March 3, 2015

Bluff oyster season ‘looks promising’:

The Bluff oyster season has opened with predictions it will be a good one.

The season for collecting oysters from one of the world’s last remaining wild fisheries opened yesterday and runs until the end of August.

Niwa says the oyster population has declined from last year because of the shellfish disease bonamia – which is harmless to humans. . .

– Keith Woodford:

[This post was first published in the Fairfax NZ Sunday Star Times on 22 February 2015. It is the fourth of a series of five on Fonterra.  The earlier posts were ‘The evolution of Fonterra’, ‘Fonterra’s jouney’, and ‘Fonterra’s global reach’.]

One of the big challenges for Fonterra has been to determine its overall market position. Is it a marketer of commodities? Or is it a marketer of fast moving consumer goods (fmcgs)? Or is it a marketer of specialist ingredients? Can it be all three?

The challenge of trying to be all three is that the appropriate business culture is different for each market positioning. Commodity marketing is all about logistics, efficiency, and financial discipline. Fmcgs are all about entrepreneurship, creation of brands, being fast on one’s feet, and willingness to take risks. Specialised ingredients require a focus on science and technology. . .

Dairy women look to future – Blake Foden:

New Zealand’s leading female dairy farmers will come together in Invercargill next month to discuss strategies and plan for the industry’s future.

The Dairy Women’s Network will hold its annual conference at ILT Stadium Southland on March 18-19, with a series of workshops and guest speakers focused on the theme of “Entering tomorrow’s world”.

Chief executive Zelda de Villiers said in the wake of a difficult season where most farmers were expecting a low payout, early bird registrations had been lower than anticipated.

While money might be tight, the current conditions made it even more important to attend and look to the future, she said. . .

Rabobank Dargaville celebrates opening:

Rabobank’s newest office in New Zealand celebrated its official opening on Thursday 26 February with a special event held at the Dargaville branch to mark the occasion.

Located in the heart of Dargaville, the new Rabobank branch is located at 94 Normanby Street and has been purpose-built to suit the needs of clients and staff frequently accessing the facility.

Rabobank chief executive officer for New Zealand Ben Russell said he was pleased to see the new premises “come to life”.

“We have been developing our plan to open in Dargaville for some time now and it’s great to see the team open the new building for business,” Mr Russell said. . .

Second Grand Finalist Confirmed:

Matt Bell is the second Grand Finalist to be named in the 2015 ANZ Young Farmer Contest.

The twenty-eight year old contract-milker took first place at the Aorangi Regional Final in Oamaru on Saturday 28 February.

Mr Bell went home with a prize pack worth over $10,000 including cash, scholarships and products and services from ANZ, FMG, Lincoln University, Ravensdown, AGMARDT, Silver Fern Farms, Honda, Husqvarna and Vodafone.
Matt placed third in the 2013 Grand Final and is determined to take out top honours in his final bid to become the ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Champion. In his spare time Matt enjoys getting out on his motor-bike, snowboarding and refereeing rugby. . .

Grow your bottom line with new pasture:

 Cost-conscious dairy farmers take heart – even with the lower payout, investing in new pasture remains highly profitable this autumn.

Financial analysis shows spending $1000 on autumn pasture renewal can lead to a gross return of more than $4000 over the next five years, while spending $1000 on palm kernel actually leads to a small loss this season in terms of milksolids.

“Pasture remains the corner stone of feeding cows in the New Zealand dairy industry, and the amount of pasture eaten per ha is widely acknowledged as a key profit indicator,” explains Graham Kerr, pasture systems manager for Agriseeds. . .

 

 


Could WINZ have done more?

March 3, 2015

WorkSafe NZ is prosecuting the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) over the shooting of two WINZ staff in its Ashburton office.

The mother of a woman killed in Ashburton’s Work and Income shooting is disappointed her daughter’s employer has been charged over the incident, saying “nobody could foresee what was going to happen that day”.

WorkSafe NZ today laid a charge against the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) after the shooting on September 1 last year.

Russell John Tully, 48, was charged with the murders of Peg Noble and Susan Leigh Cleveland, and seriously wounding Lindy Curtis, at their Cass St office.

Another staff member, Kim Adams, was shot at as she ran out the back door.

WorkSafe NZ alleges the MSD failed to take all practicable steps to ensure the safety of its employees while at work.

The charge, under section 6 of the Health and Safety in Employment Act, was laid in the Wellington District Court.

Cleveland’s mother, Kath Cleveland, said she was disappointed WorkSafe felt a charge was warranted as the shooting could not have been predicted. . .

“The only thing I can say is these WorkSafe people might see something in it that us everyday people don’t see. I don’t know if it is going to help or not,” she said.

Cleveland said her daughter never complained about feeling unsafe at work. . .

The court case will have to make the reason for the prosecution clear.

However, without any knowledge of what has motivated WorkSafe’s decision to prosecute and on the facts made public so far I am unpleasantly surprised by this decision which  will be concerning to all employers.

I have vague memories of a freezing company being prosecuted when an employee was injured as a result of a fight in its car park.

I can’t recall the details but do remember at the time wondering how it could have been the employers’ fault and that was my immediate reaction to the news of this prosecution.

Could WINZ have done more to protect its staff? That is now up to the court to determine.


What age do you act?

March 3, 2015

What age do you act?

You act as though you’re 26.

You’re definitely still in touch with your inner child, but you can also be serious when you need to be. You know when and how to let yourself go a little and like to put some time aside to really have fun. Your friends can’t understand how you manage to stay so laid-back and so practical all at once, but trust us, they’re definitely jealous.

That’s not how I remember 26 and I’d be worried if that’s how my friends feel now.

 


MPs’ pay rise pared back

March 3, 2015

Prime Minister John Key has announced an overhaul of the Remuneration Authority Act, tying MP salaries to those of the wider public sector, which will be passed under urgency.

Mr Key says the decision was made after the Remuneration Authority’s latest determination which saw the total remuneration received by MPs increased by about 3.5 per cent.

“That increase was neither necessary nor justified at a time when inflation is at 0.8 per cent,” says Mr Key.

“While the decision was made independently of MPs, they should not be receiving increases which are disproportionate to the wider public sector.”

Mr Key says the Remuneration Authority referred specifically to the criteria contained in the Remuneration Authority Act 1977 as the reason for the increases, therefore a law change was necessary.

The change will take away the Authority’s discretion when setting MP pay. The sole criteria will now be the average public sector pay increase for the previous year.

Mr Key says the decision to remove the Authority’s discretion was not taken lightly, given that it changed a practice going back several decades.

“However, it is clear that changing the criteria upon which that rate is set is the only way to ensure the Authority will start handing down more modest pay increases.”

The new legislation will be backdated to 1 July 2014, meaning the pay increase outlined in the latest determination will not be awarded.

Based on the most recent data, total remuneration will instead increase by something in the range of 1 – 2 per cent, reflecting average wage growth in the public sector.

Ministers anticipate more detailed advice from officials on the measure to be used, which will be set out in the legislation, likely to be introduced in the next sitting session.

There is always an uproar when MPs’ pay rises are announced but feelings were stronger about last week’s announcement when inflation is so low.

Continuing to say it was out of their hands was an untenable position for MPs when they had the power to change the legislation.

Acting to reduce the current pay rise is a good move but it would be better if changes to the legislation weren’t  done under urgency to allow public submissions.

 


March 3 in history

March 3, 2015

473 – Gundobad (nephew of Ricimer) nominated Glycerius as emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

1284 The Statute of Rhuddlan incorporated the Principality of Wales into England.

1575 Indian Mughal Emperor Akbar defeated Bengali army at the Battle of Tukaroi.

1585 The Olympic Theatre, designed by Andrea Palladio, was inaugurated in Vicenza.

1776 The first amphibious landing of the United States Marine Corps began the Battle of Nassau.

1803 Colégio Militar was founded in Portugal by Colonel Teixeira Rebello.

1805 Jonas Furrer, first President of the Swiss Confederation, was born (d. 1861).

1820 The U.S. Congress passed the Missouri Compromise.

1831 George Pullman, American inventor and industrialist, was born (d. 1897).

1845 – For the first time the U.S. Congress passed legislation overriding a presidential veto.

1847  Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-Canadian inventor, was born (d. 1922).

1849 – The U.S. Congress passed the Gold Coinage Act allowing the minting of gold coins.

1857 Second Opium War: France and the United Kingdom declared war on China.

1865 – Opening of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, the founding member of the HSBC Group.

1873 The U.S. Congress enacted the Comstock Law, making it illegal to send any “obscene, lewd, or lascivious” books through the mail.

1875 Georges Bizet‘s opera Carmen received its première at the Opéra Comique of Paris.

1875 – The first ever organized indoor game of ice hockey was played in Montreal.

1878 Bulgaria regained its independence from Ottoman Empire under the Treaty of San Stefano.

1879 The United States Geological Survey was created.

1882 Charles Ponzi, Italian fraud convict, was born  (d. 1949).

1885 The American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated in New York.

1893 Beatrice Wood, American artist and ceramicist, was born  (d. 1998).

1904  Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany became the first person to make a sound recording of a political document, using Thomas Edison‘s cylinder.

1905 Tsar Nicholas II of Russia agreed to create an elected assembly, the Duma.

1910 Rockefeller Foundation: J.D. Rockefeller Jr. announced his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can devote full time to being a philanthropist.

1911 Jean Harlow, American actress, was born (d. 1937).

1915  NACA, the predecessor of NASA, was founded.

1918 Germany, Austria and Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russia’s involvement in World War I, and leading to the independence of Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland.

1920 Ronald Searle, British illustrator, was born (d 2011) .

1923 TIME magazine was published for the first time.

1924 – Tomiichi Murayama, former Prime Minister of Japan, was born.

1924 The 1400-year-old Islamic caliphate was abolished when Caliph Abdul Mejid II of the Ottoman Empire was deposed.

1924 – The Free State of Fiume was annexed by Kingdom of Italy.

1930 Ion Iliescu, President of Romania, was born.

1931 The United States officially adopted The Star-Spangled Banner as its national anthem.

1938 Oil was discovered in Saudi Arabia.

1939 In Mumbai, Mohandas Gandhi began to fast in protest at the autocratic rule in India.

1940 Five people were killed in an arson attack on the offices of the communist newspaper Norrskensflamman in Luleå, Sweden.

1942 Mike Pender, English singer and guitarist (The Searchers), was born.

1942 Ten Japanese warplanes raided the town of Broome, Western Australia killing more than 100 people.

1943  173 people were killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station in London.

1948 Snowy White, British guitarist (Thin Lizzy, Pink Floyd), was born.

1953 A Canadian Pacific Airlines De Havilland Comet crashed in Karachi, killing 11.

1958 Miranda Richardson, British actress, was born.

1958 Nuri as-Said became the prime minister of Iraq for the 14th time.

1960 Barry Crump’s novel A Good Keen Man  was published.

Barry Crump's novel <em>A good keen man</em> published

1961 Hassan II became King of Morocco.

1964 Duncan Phillips, Australian drummer (Newsboys), was born.

1969  NASA launched Apollo 9 to test the lunar module.

1971 Beginning of Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and India’s official entry to the Bangladesh Liberation War in support of Mukti Bahini.

1972 Mohawk Airlines Flight 405 crashed as a result of a control malfunction and insufficient training in emergency procedures.

1974  Turkish Airlines Flight 981 crashed at Ermenonville near Paris,  killing all 346 aboard.

1976 Five workers were killed by the police in a demonstration in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain.

1985 Arthur Scargill declared that the National Union of Mineworkers national executive voted to end the longest-running industrial dispute in Great Britain without any peace deal over pit closures.

1991 An amateur video captured the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers.

1991 – In two concurring referendums: 74 % of the population of Latvia and 83% of the population of  Estonia voted for independence from the Soviet Union.

1991 United Airlines Flight 585 crashed on approach into Colorado Springs, killing 25.

1992 – The nation of Bosnia was established.

1997  The tallest free-standing structure in the Southern Hemisphere, Sky Tower in downtown Auckland opened after two-and-a-half years of construction.

Sky Tower Collage Auckland.jpg

2002  Citizens of Switzerland narrowly voted in favor of their country becoming a member of the United Nations.

2004  Belgian brewer Interbrew and Brazilian rival AmBev agreed to merge in a $11.2 billion deal that formed InBev, the world’s largest brewer.

2005 James Roszko murdered four Royal Canadian Mounted Police constables during a drug bust at his property in Rochfort Bridge, Alberta, then commits suicide.

2005 Steve Fossett became the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling.

2009  The Sri Lankan cricket team was attacked by terrorists while on their way to the Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore for a Test match against Pakistan.

2009 – The building of the Historisches Archiv der Stadt Köln (Historical Archives) in Cologne, Germany, collapsed.

2012 – Two trains crashed in the small Polish town ofSzczekociny nearZawiercie, with 16 people killed and up to 58 people injured.

2013  – A bomb blast in Karachi, Pakistan, killed at least 45 people and injured 180 others in a predominately Shia Muslim area.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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