Word of the day

April 2, 2015

Anomie – lack of the usual social or ethical standards in an individual or group; social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; personal unrest, alienation, and anxiety that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals.


Rural round-up

April 2, 2015

MIE plan stimulates debate but won’t fix the problem – Allan Barber:

The Pathways to Long-Term Sustainability document launched earlier this month makes some very valid points about the red meat industry’s shortcomings, but its recommendations are almost certainly impossible to implement.

Even if the processors are willing to consider capacity rationalisation, it won’t be on the scale envisaged by the GHD consultants and judging by Sir Graeme Harrison’s remarks ANZCO won’t be part of it; nor will AFFCO unless the Talleys undergo a St Paul like conversion on the road to Motueka. This leaves the cooperatives, with Rob Hewett prepared to consider merging with Alliance, although he isn’t holding his breath, while Murray Taggart remains very lukewarm.

The common theme evident from all the company chairmen is the fundamental need for any solution to be commercially justifiable from the companies’ perspective. The problem with this particular stance is the conflict with the farmer bias of MIE’s proposals. . .

Wine and Spirit geographical registration coming:

Trade Minister Tim Groser and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith today announced that Government will implement the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act.

“The Act will set up a registration regime for wine and spirit geographical indications, similar to the trademark registration regime,” Mr Groser says.

A geographical indication shows that a product comes from a specific geographical region and has special qualities or a reputation due to that origin.  Well known products that are identified by geographical indications include Champagne, Scotch Whisky and Prosciutto de Parma.

The use of geographical indications by New Zealand producers is largely confined to the wine industry. . .

Implementation of Act is a big step forward for the New Zealand wine industry:

New Zealand Winegrowers warmly welcomes the announcement that Government will implement the Geographical Indications Registration Act.

Geographical indications identify wines as originating in a region or locality says Philip Gregan, CEO, New Zealand Winegrowers. The Act will set up a registration system for wine geographical indications, similar to the trademark registration system. . .

 

$7.8m for new sustainable farming projects:

29 new projects have been approved for $7.8 million in new funding over four years through the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

“These are grass-roots projects that support farmers, growers and foresters to tackle shared problems and develop new opportunities. They will deliver real economic, environmental and social benefits.

“For example, one project will develop industry tools for farmers to improve their farm practices to improve water quality and infrastructure, while reducing nutrient loss. . .

Forestry projects identify practical solutions:

New Zealand’s forestry sector will benefit from five new projects in the latest round of the Sustainable Farming Fund (SFF), Associate Primary Industries Minister Jo Goodhew announced today.

“Around $1.2 million has been committed over four financial years towards five new SFF projects involving the forestry sector,” Ms Goodhew says.  “SFF continues to be a great example of government supporting foresters to ensure the sustainability of our primary industries.”

The forestry projects are part of the 29 new SFF projects announced today—following the 2015/16 SFF funding round held last year. . .

New OSPRI Chief Executive appointed:

OSPRI Chairman Jeff Grant has today announced the appointment of Michelle Edge as Chief Executive of OSPRI.

Ms Edge brings a wealth of agricultural industry experience to the position having had an extensive career spanning scientific research, government regulation, policy and industry organisations within the Australian agricultural sector.

She was most recently Chief Executive of Australian Meat Processor Corporation – a levy-funded research, development and extension organisation operating in the red meat sector. . .

IrrigationNZ welcomes OVERSEER 6.2 despite forecast Nitrate loss spike:

IrrigationNZ says any short-term pain for irrigating farmers who end up with worse nitrate leaching results in OVERSEER 6.2 will be out-weighed by the benefits of more realistic irrigation modelling.

To prevent issues arising from OVERSEER 6.2’s introduction, IrrigationNZ and OVERSEER’s General Manager Dr Caroline Read have been working to inform affected regional councils to reduce compliance concerns. The industry body says irrigating farmers also need to be proactive and familiarise themselves with the new software.

The latest version of OVERSEER® Nutrient budgets (OVERSEER 6.2) launches later this month and IrrigationNZ says some irrigators will see increased nitrate loss estimates for their properties due to more accurate modelling. This may impact on their compliance under regional council regulations. . .

Nitrogen dollars dissolving in thin air:

Millions of dollars’ worth of nitrogen is vanishing into thin air, causing losses to farmers and to New Zealand in wasted import dollars.

That’s the conclusion reached in field trials completed as part of the Ballance Agri-Nutrients’ Clearview Innovations Primary Growth Partnership programme to measure ammonia losses from standard urea and urea treated with a nitrogen stabiliser. These losses occur when the nitrogen in the urea volatilises into ammonia.

While farmers try to avoid the loss by applying urea when wet weather is forecast, research by Landcare Research and Ballance has shown a good 5 to 10 mm of rain is needed within eight hours of application to reduce ammonia loss – a finding consistent with research in New Zealand in the 1980s. . .


Thursday’s quiz

April 2, 2015

Thursday’s questions were:

1. Who said:  Those have a short Lent, who owe money to be paid at Easter. ?

2. In which country would you traditionally eat pashka,  and in which  tsoureki at  Easter?

3. It’s sacré   in French, santo in Italian and Spanish and tapu in Maori, what is it in English?

4. It’s Isla de Pascua in Spanish and Rapa Nui  to its locals, what is it in English and to which country does it belong?

5. Hot Cross buns and Easter eggs are . . . ?


GDT drops10.8%

April 2, 2015

The GlobalDairyTrade price index dropped 10.8% in this morning’s auction.

G.D.T.2415

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This isn’t cause for panic but it is cause for caution.

The dairy market is volatile.

gdt2415

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

gdt2415

 


Dairy audit results unacceptable – Feds

April 2, 2015

The high level of non-compliance with employment law found by labour inspectors is unacceptable:

Enforcement action is being taken against 19 employers in the dairy industry for breaching employment law following a three month operation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The Ministry’s Labour Inspectorate visited 29 dairy farms in nine regions to check their compliance with employment laws. More than half were targeted due to information about likely non-compliance.

“The level of non-compliance identified during this operation was extremely high and it was disappointing to find that a significant number of farmers still do not have systems in place to keep accurate time and wage records that are compliant with employment legislation,” says Natalie Gardiner, Labour Inspectorate Central Regional Manager.

Mrs Gardiner says MBIE issued 15 Improvement Notices and four Enforceable Undertakings for a total of 71 minimum employment standard breaches. The majority of breaches related to poor record keeping but several farms had significant minimum wage breaches and there is estimated arrears owed – of more than 120,000. Nine of the more serious cases are being considered for filing with the Employment Relations Authority.

Poor record keeping is a breech which doesn’t necessarily impact on employees but paying poorly is exploitation which does.

“The Ministry takes the exploitation of workers very seriously and is working proactively to crackdown on it through compliance operations targeting sectors and at risk workers across New Zealand.

“We are also working with the industry to help equip farmers with the skills and knowledge to be better employers by ensuring they get the basics right.

“We will not hesitate to take action for breaches of employment law. Breaches will be subject to compliance action and potential penalties of up to $10,000 for individuals and $20,000 for companies,” says Mrs Gardiner.

The Ministry encourages anyone in this situation, or who knows of anyone in this situation, to call its contact centre on 0800 20 90 20 where their concerns will be handled in a safe environment.

Federated Farmers, rightly, says the breeches aren’t acceptable:

Federated Farmers is disappointed in the findings released today by the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment in their compliance operation.

Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers Dairy Chair, says “It is not a great look for our industry to have this number of dairy farmers not meeting the minimum employment requirements. This is why Federated Farmers has and will continue to focus on this area.”

“MBIE inspectors targeted some of the farmers who were known to have existing employment compliance concerns, while others were random, so ratios of compliance cannot be generalised to dairy farmers at large.  But this does not take away the stern reminder of where the industry is at or our motivation to achieve the task we have set ourselves to get the whole industry to achieve above minimum standards.”

“We have a significant hurdle ahead of us in terms of attracting the next generation into the industry. To me it is not just about meeting the minimum compliance under the law, but changing perceptions of the dairy industry as a career. This means we need to change the reality on some farms in a number of situations.”

Hoggard says lifting employment standards is a high priority for the Federation which has developed industry standard employment contracts and tools, such as the time and wage records, all at heavily discounted rates for members.

“The support for farmers is out there, Federated Farmers has its 0800 number along with top notch, low cost contracts for members, and DairyNZ has fantastic resources available free to levy payers.”

Federated Farmers has been taking its support on the road holding Employment Compliance Workshops’ that cover what MBIE’s minimum standards are.

“The high farmer turnouts have been encouraging, so we are looking to set up more.”

“Federated Farmers wants to take the industry well above just being compliant. That’s why we’ve been developing a Workplace Accord with DairyNZ and other industry stakeholders.”

“The Accord is about setting goals for the industry to achieve quality work environments through helping farmers implement good people management practices.”

“While there have been some aspects of employment practices that were once considered standard, things have changed and we need to change with them. However the expectation that all staff should have an employment agreement has been around for well over 20 years now so there is no excuse for not having one.”

“Failure here will not only put your business into employment law quicksand, but will cost you in productivity. It was interesting to note that those farmers who were using the IMS, MYOB and I Payroll systems were all fully compliant. So the message also goes out to those firms that provide accountancy solutions to farmers to ensure their products are as modern and easy to use as they can be.“

“Federated Farmers has industry standard contracts and agreements that include comprehensive notes on the minimum wage, holidays act, seasonal averaging, accommodation and the like.  It is also written in plain-English for farmers too. So there are systems that will help farmers stay on the right side of the law.”

“I have seen a lot of progress made, but we have a long way to go yet. Dairy farmers need to take this as a reminder about what is expected of them.

The number found in breech of the law is a small percentage of the total number of dairy farms but no exploitation of workers is acceptable.

There is no  justification for paying below the legal minimum and most work on dairy farms should be worth more than that.

Consumers are looking for sustainably produced food which encompasses responsible environmental, economic and social considerations. Being a good employer is an important part of any social standards.

 

 


Quote of the day

April 2, 2015

To their credit, National has already identified that one of the key barriers to progress and development in many parts of the country is the Resource Management Act (RMA). This is certainly the case in Northland, which is rich in natural resources but poor in economic activity and jobs. But ironically for the people of Northland, by electing Winston Peters they may well have blocked the RMA reforms that are required to improve access to such resources.

The RMA is one of those Acts of Parliament that most people have little contact with. They are the lucky ones.

It’s the property owners and business people with initiatives that come into contact with the Act. Most come to dislike it intensely because they encounter first hand the extortionate demands of ‘affected parties’, the manipulation by activists, the huge costs extracted by the RMA industry, and the barriers put up by consenting authorities.

As a result, consents will often take years to go through the process – council hearings, the Environment Court, the High Court, the Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court, all costing applicants such vast sums of money, that in the end many are forced to abandon their project altogether. . .

While there are no doubt a multitude of ideas about how best to move resource planning forward to benefit the country – including the use of council case managers as advocates to guide applicants through the regulatory process and gain the cooperation of government agencies – at the heart of this matter is a realisation that holding back progress is not in the country’s best interest. Yes, we must be careful to minimise the impact of development on the environment, but we must also recognise that New Zealand families need economic growth and jobs if they are to thrive and prosper.

The irony is that as a result of the Northland by-election, the fate of the RMA is now in the hands of Mr Peters. Does he truly care about the long-term well-being of Northlanders, or is he too going to deliver more show than substance for his constituents – some new bridges and a bit of tar seal, when what they really need are jobs.  – Dr Muriel Newman,


April 2 in history

April 2, 2015

742 Charlemagne was born (d. 814).

1453  Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul).

1513 Juan Ponce de Leon set foot on Florida, becoming the first European known to do so.

1743 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, was born  (d. 1826).

1755 Commodore William James captured the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.

1792 The Coinage Act was passed establishing the United States Mint.

1801 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen – The British destroyed the Danish fleet.

1805 Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer, was born  (d. 1875).

1810  Napoleon Bonaparte married Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.

1814 Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor, was born (d. 1879).

1840 Émile Zola, French novelist and critic, was born  (d. 1902).

1863 Richmond Bread Riot: Food shortages incited hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia and demand that the Confederate government release emergency supplies.

1865 American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg was broken – Union troops capture the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.

1865 – American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.

1875 Walter Chrysler, American automobile pioneer, was born  (d. 1940).

1900 US Congress passed the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.

1902  Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, was assassinated in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg.

1902 “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opened in Los Angeles.

1914 Sir Alec Guinness, English actor, was born (d. 2000).

1915 – Anzac soldiers rioted in Cairo’s Wazzir brothel district.

 

1916 Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana was arrested.

Arrest of Rua Kenana

1917 World War I: President Woodrow Wilson asked the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.

1917 The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin, took her seat as a representative from Montana.

1930 Haile Selassie was proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.

1939 Marvin Gaye, American singer, was born (d. 1984).

1940 Penelope Keith, English actress, was born.

1947 Emmylou Harris, American singer, was born.

1947 Camille Paglia, American feminist writer, was born.

1956 As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiered on CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.

1961  Keren Woodward, English singer (Bananarama), was born.

1962 The first official Panda crossing was opened outside Waterloo station, London.

1972 Actor Charlie Chaplin returned to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.

1972 – Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive began– North Vietnamese soldiers of the 304th Division took the northern half of Quang Tri Province.

1973  Launch of the LexisNexis computerized legal research service.

1975 Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees fled from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.

1975 – Construction of the CN Tower was completed in Toronto. At 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height, it became the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

1980  President Jimmy Carter signed the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.

1982 Falklands War: Argentina invaded the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.

1984  Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and becomes the first Indian in space.

1989 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in Havana to meet Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.

1991  Rita Johnston became the first female Premier of a Canadian province when she succeeded William Vander Zalm (who had resigned) as Premier of British Columbia.

1992 Mafia boss John Gotti was convicted of murder and racketeering and later sentenced to life in prison.

2002  Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated.

2004 Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks were thwarted in an attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid.

2006 More than  60 tornadoes broke out; hardest hit was Tennessee with 29 people killed.

2011 – India won the Cricket World Cup against Sri Lanka in Wankhede Stadium.

2012 – A mass shooting at Oikos University at Oakland, California left seven people dead and three injured.

2014 – A spree shooting occured at the Fort Hood Army Base near the town of Killeen, Texas, with four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 others sustaining injuries.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: