Word of the day

April 1, 2015

Jape – a practical joke; to do, say or write something in jest or mockery.


Rural round-up

April 1, 2015

Big dump culmination of years of worry – David Bruce:

A frustrated North Otago farmer drove 120km on Monday to dump a load of excrement at the Otago Regional Council’s doorstep in Dunedin. David Bruce talks to him about why he did it.

Five Forks dairy farmer Robert Borst says he is at a loss about where to go from here.

He says he faces losing everything he has worked for in an industry he has wanted to be in since he was 15.

He left school and started at the bottom in dairying, shifted from Taranaki to the Waitaki Plains in 1992 then, from 1997, he and wife Sylvia started to build up what are now three dairy farms at Five Forks.

Changes in a water plan by the Otago Regional Council setting new limits on discharges from his farms has put everything in jeopardy, he believes. . .

Positive agriculture Omarama winner – Sally Rae:

Omarama farmers Richard and Annabelle Subtil want to help highlight the positive side of agriculture.

Mr and Mrs Subtil were named the supreme winners in this year’s Canterbury Ballance farm environment awards.

The couple farm Omarama Station, a property of nearly 12,000ha, which has been in Mrs Subtil’s family since 1919. . .

Farmer confidence grows – Dene Mackenzie and Sally Rae:

There is a sense of relief as two surveys show regional economic confidence rose in the three months ended March.

Farmer confidence has taken a ”significant jump” in the first quarterly Rabobank rural confidence for the year. The survey, completed earlier this month, was released the same day as Fonterra dropped its dividend estimate range by 5c to between 20c and 30c to the disappointment of farmers.

The Westpac McDermott Miller regional economic confidence survey showed rural regions and smaller centres generally showing the biggest gains. Confidence in the main centres was mixed. . .

Can science fix the dairy debate – Kevin Ikin:

The debate continues on whether there should be a moratorium on further dairy farm development.

The Green Party and the Fish and Game organisation are keen on the concept, which they say should be given serious consideration while the impact of intensive farming on the environment is properly assessed.

The issue also came up at a water management forum in Geraldine, South Canterbury, last week.

One of the speakers, Morgan Foundation economist Geoff Simmons said if the Government was serious about water quality then it had to consider a moratorium on further dairy farm conversions.

“Actually, if you are maintaining or improving the water quality, how can you do that when you are still doing conversions? . .

Fonterra’s disappointing performance – Allan Barber:

Fonterra’s interim result announcement contains confirmation of the farmgate milk price forecast of $4.70, but a reduction in the added value dividend.

The steady milk payout forecast was anticipated, although Global Dairy Trade auction results have so far failed to achieve the US$3,500 per tonne average which is estimated to be the minimum needed to underpin the payout. The higher volume being released for auction GDT and likely milk production by competitors such as American and European farmers may actually increase the risk of underachieving the forecast end of year payout. . .

Fonterra says it’s holding its own in Canterbury as farmer suppliers look to new processors – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group, New Zealand’s largest dairy processor, says it’s holding its own in the dairy-intensive Canterbury region, despite reports some of its 10,600 farmers shareholders are lining up to supply milk to its competitors in the wake of its weak interim results last week.

Farmers were disappointed with the half-year results, which included a 16 per cent drop in profit to $183 million and a trimming of the forecast dividend payout for the year by 5 cents to a range of between 20 cents and 30 cents. Faced with a low forecast payout of $4.70 per kilogram of milk solids this season compared to a record $8.40 kg/MS last season, farmers had been expecting a fatter rather than skinnier dividend from its value-added activities. . .

Search on for 2015 Young Horticulturist of the Year:

A nationwide search begins this week for young men and women who exemplify the leadership qualities that have earned New Zealand’s primary products the trust of consumers all over the world.

Starting this April, young horticultural leaders from every corner of New Zealand will compete in six sector competitions to qualify as a finalist in the Royal NZ Institute of Horticulture Education Trust’s ‘Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 Competition’.

2014 overall winner, Northland orchardist and horticultural business owner, Patrick Malley, believes that despite the ups and downs the primary sector has faced in recent times, New Zealand’s value as a leading producer of primary products comes from the high levels of trust this country’s products enjoy overseas. . .


Every TV news report on the economy

April 1, 2015


All govt depts, ministries to be dispersed to provinces

April 1, 2015

All government departments and ministries are to be dispersed to the provinces in a whole-of-government decentralisation programme.

“We got the message from Northland that people think the government doesn’t care about the provinces and by extension that means people think government departments and ministries don’t care,” State Services spokesperson Ms Verity Factotum said.

“That isn’t true but that’s the perception and perception is reality and therefore we are duty bound to disprove that perception, prove it wrong and re-programme provincial thinking so everyone there understands that we do in fact care,” she said.

“We can’t expect the mountains to come to Mohammad so all the various departmental and ministerial Mohammads are going to the mountains, all of which are of course in the provinces.”

Ms Factotum said the departments and ministries wouldn’t literally be shifting to the mountains as most of them were too high and too far from anywhere serving a decent latte.

“We can’t expect our staff to work at high altitude or make coffee sacrifices but they will all be moving to provincial towns.

“We’ve been working with Google Maps, AA guides and  iSite offices on the ground in the provinces to ensure we get the best fit between the offices and their location.

“We’ve discovered that Oamaru has an historic precinct, Steam Punk headquarters, the Forrester Gallery and an Opera House  which would provide good synergies for the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage.

“Hokitika is the obvious place for the Department of Conservation because most of the West Coast is basically just bush and places we don’t want to mine and we think Customs could shift to Bluff because it’s got a port.

“Relocating the Ministry of Primary Industries is proving to be somewhat more problematic because we’ve found that every provincial town has some sort of claim to servicing its agricultural hinterland and we may have to set up a separate MPI in all of them.”

Ms Factotum said they were having a similar problem siting the Ministries of Education and health because every town had a school and medical centre or hospital but they’d settled on Dunedin for them because it had a university and a medical school too.

“There’s also a School of Physical Education there which will could make a helpful and healthful contribution to government plans to reduce obesity.

“Relocating the Ministry of Tourism is also raising difficulties as every single iSite has many and varied claims to tourist attractions and again we might divide it into mini Ministries with offices anywhere there’s something to do or see.

“The Ministry of Internal Affairs could move to Eketahuna or Taumarunui as both were inland which is the geographical equivalent of internal and Treasury will go to Gisborne because it’s the first place to see the sun and we think the staff will benefit from the vitamin D.

Ms Factotum said there were still decisions to be made on other departments and ministries and some issues to be worked through. But the government had impressed upon the SSC that the relocation was a matter of urgency and all transfers were expected to be signed off by midday today.

 

 


April 1 in history

April 1, 2015

527 Byzantine Emperor Justin I named his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.

1293 Robert Winchelsey left England for Rome, to be consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.

1318 Berwick-upon-Tweed was captured by the Scottish from the English.

1340 Niels Ebbesen killed Gerhard III of Holstein in his bedroom, ending the 1332-1340 interregnum in Denmark.

1572  In the Eighty Years’ War, the Watergeuzen captured Brielle from the Spaniards, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.

1789 The United States House of Representatives held its first quorum and elected Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.

1815 Otto von Bismarck, 1st Chancellor of Germany, was born (d. 1898).

1826  Samuel Morey patented the internal combustion engine.

1854 Hard Times begins serialisation in Charles Dickens‘ magazine, Household Words.

1857 Herman Melville published The Confidence-Man.

1865 American Civil War: Battle of Five Forks – In Siege of Petersburg, Confederate General Robert E. Lee began his final offensive.

1867 Singapore became a British crown colony.

1873 The British steamer RMS Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia, killing 547.

1875 Edgar Wallace, English writer, was born (d. 1932).

1887 Mumbai Fire Brigade was established.

1891 The Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago.

1908 The Territorial Force (renamed Territorial Army in 1920) was formed as a volunteer reserve component of the British Army.

1912 The Greek athlete Konstantinos Tsiklitiras broke the world record in the standing long jump jumping 3.47 meters.

1918 The Royal Air Force was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

1924 Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch“.

1924 – The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed.

1932  Debbie Reynolds, American actress, was born.

1933 The recently elected Nazis under Julius Streicher organised a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany.

1937 Aden became a British crown colony.

1938 – Ali MacGraw, American actress, was born.

1939 Generalísimo Francisco Franco announced the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrendered.

1941  The Blockade Runner Badge for the German navy was instituted.

1944  Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.

1945 World War II: Operation Iceberg – United States troops land on Okinawa in the last campaign of the war.

1946 Aleutian Island earthquake: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a tsunami that struck the Hawaiian Islands killing 159.

1946 – Formation of the Malayan Union.

1948  Cold War: Berlin Airlift – Military forces, under direction of the Soviet-controlled government in East Germany, set-up a land blockade of West Berlin.

1948 Faroe Islands received  autonomy from Denmark.

1949  Chinese Civil War: The Communist Party of China held unsuccessful peace talks with the Kuomintang in Beijing, after three years of fighting.

1949 The Canadian government repealed Japanese Canadian internment after seven years.

1949 – The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland.

1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorised the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

1955 The EOKA rebellion against The British Empire starts in Cyprus, with the goal of obtaining the desired unification (“enosis”) with Greece.

1957 BBC Spaghetti tree hoax broadcast on current affairs programme Panorama.

1961 Susan Boyle, Scottish singer, was born.

1965 TEAL became Air New Zealand.

TEAL becomes Air New Zealand

1969 The Hawker Siddeley Harrier entered service with the RAF.

1970   President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertisements on television and radio.

1973 Stephen Fleming, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

Stephen Fleming slip.jpg

1973  Project Tiger, a tiger conservation project, was launched in the Corbett National Park, India.

1974 – ACC began operating.

1976 Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

1976 Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect is first reported by the astronomer Patrick Moore.

1978 – Thermal insulation was required in NZ homes.

1979  Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.

1980  New York City’s Transit Worker Union 100 began a strike lasting 11 days.

1981 – The New Zealand Film Archive was launched.

 

1987 State Owned Enterprises came into existence.

State-Owned Enterprises are born

1989 Margaret Thatcher’s new local government tax, the Community Charge (commonly known as the ‘poll tax’), was introduced in Scotland.

1992 Start of the Bosnian war.

1997 Comet Hale-Bopp is seen passing over perihelion.

1999 Nunavut was established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.

2001 An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collided with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The crew made an emergency landing in Hainan, China and was detained.

2001 – Former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević surrendered to police special forces to be tried on charges of war crimes.

2001 – Same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands, the first country to allow it.

2002 The Netherlands legalised euthanasia, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

2004 Google introduced  Gmail – a launch met with scepticism on account of the date.

2006 The Serious Organised Crime Agency, dubbed the ‘British FBI’, was created in the United Kingdom.

2009 – Croatia and Albania joined NATO

2011  – After protests against the burning of the Quran turn violent, a mob attacks a United Nations compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of thirteen people, including eight foreign workers.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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