Word of the day

May 14, 2015

Levant – abscond leaving unpaid debts.


Rural round-up

May 14, 2015

Drought conditions remain in South Island:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says farmers throughout the eastern South Island are still feeling the effects of drought, particularly in North Canterbury.

“It’s likely the medium-scale adverse event classification will remain in place until August or September this year, depending on conditions over autumn,” says Mr Guy.

“Despite recent rainfall, farmers and growers are still feeling the impacts of these prolonged dry conditions.

“In particular, the driest area is around Cheviot in North Canterbury which has been largely missed by most of the recent rainfall. . .

 

Drought takes its toll – feed an issue:

Federated Farmers North Canterbury say farmers affected by the drought are facing a tough year ahead and will be struggling with some tough decisions.

“It is not a great time for farmers in North Canterbury, most of us are facing a year of little to no feed, low stocking rates and substantial financial losses,” says Dan Hodgen, Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre Chair. 

“With the drought leaving us with a significant lack of grass and crop growth, we are either having to sell capital stock at a much lower rate than we usually would or having to buy in supplementary feed. Some farmers are doing both.” . . .

El Niño pattern blow to Canterbury farmers – Susie Nordqvist:

North Canterbury farmers already in the grip of their worst drought in 60 years have been dealt another blow today.

NIWA says we are on the cusp of an El Niño weather pattern, meaning things are about to get even drier in the east and wetter in the west.

Canterbury’s trademark Nor’west winds are exactly what drought-stricken farmers don’t need.

“When you just get the wind likes this it’s stripping out the moisture in it,” says Federated Farmers north Canterbury president Lynda Murchison. . .

Relentless drought and El Nino means more water storage needed:

Today it was confirmed that drought conditions in the South Island will likely drag on until September this year, emphasising the risk of dry weather patterns to New Zealand and highlighting the need for regional water storage and irrigation infrastructure,” says Andrew Curtis, IrrigationNZ CEO. “These conditions are only likely to worsen in the long term and spread to other parts of the country as a predicted El Nino weather pattern sets in.”

Concerns about how these warm weather patterns will impact our economy were set out in a recent International Monetary Fund report

(http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2015/wp1589.pdf). As part of its findings, the report recommended further investment in irrigation. . .

Bay of Plenty set for good growth:

The Bay of Plenty region and its industries could grow substantially thanks to its resource, population, location and climate advantages, a newly published report reveals.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today released the Bay of Plenty Regional Growth Study, which shows that the region has a number of natural advantages and is well placed to attract further investment, raise incomes and increase employment.

“This study provides a detailed summary of the opportunities for the Bay of Plenty’s future,” Mr Joyce says. “It outlines the potential of the primary sector, manufacturing and tourism industries in particular to grow the region. . . .

Kiwifruit industry set for strong growth, thanks Prime Minister for support:

The kiwifruit industry came together to thank the Government for its support with efforts to manage the bacterial disease Psa, when the Prime Minister John Key visited Zespri’s Mt Maunganui office this afternoon.

Zespri chairman Peter McBride says senior representatives of postharvest, growers and industry organisations took the opportunity to show the Prime Minister how far the industry has come since Psa was first discovered in New Zealand in 2010.

“It’s hard to recall now just how uncertain and dark those days were, when we simply did not know how the industry could continue with Psa. . .

 

 


Thursday’s quiz

May 14, 2015

It’s your turn to pose the questions again.

You don’t need to follow my five question formula.

Anyone who trumps everyone will win a virtual batch of shortbread.


Labour’s lost constituency

May 14, 2015

Does this sound familiar?

. . . The real problem facing Labour isn’t that the party turned its back on working-class voters — it’s that working-class voters turned their backs on the party, and have been doing so for nearly 50 years. . . 

Labour’s epic crisis is not a case of ‘left-behind voters’ but of a ‘left-behind party’, rejected by the very people it was founded to represent. . .

Labour was being sustained by the middle classes, while lower classes went back to the thing they’d been doing for decades: deserting Labour.

The Blairites are often accused of ruining Labour, abandoning its traditional voters and ideals. This turns history upside down. New Labour is better understood as a response to something that had already happened: the slow but sure abandonment of Labour by working-class voters, which left Labour a shell, ripe for a takeover by a middle-class professional set. It was working-class voters who sealed Labour’s fate, not Labour that sealed theirs.

This isn’t semantics, this question of who abandoned whom. Yes, it’s all interrelated: working-class voters deserted Labour because they felt the party had in some way screwed them over. Chicken, egg, etc. But understanding that working-class voters have been turning their backs on Labour for ages is important, because it shows that the crisis facing this party today is more profound — infinitely more profound — than the current post-election soul-searching lets on.

For what we have is a party whose foundation stone, whose very reason for existing — to represent the working classes — no longer exists. Labour is facing more than a crisis of communication or a dearth of likeable leaders. It’s facing a crisis that is about as existential as it is possible to get: what becomes of a party whose founding constituency just isn’t into it anymore?

All the talk of reviving Labour with a re-injection of New Labour or Blue Labour or Brownite Labour is like discussing what colour lipstick to put on a corpse. Labour is dead. Its soul — working-class voters — has gone. It’s now little more than a zombie party being puppet-mastered by metropolitan elites and the media classes in a bizarre political danse macabre. A Frankenstein escaped from the 20th century. Well, they can keep it, these Labour-sustaining luvvies, because working-class voters have no more need of it: they’ve made Labour a left-behind party.

Brendan O’Neill is writing about the British Labour Party but much of what he says applies to its counterpart in New Zealand.

It was taken over by different sectors using the party to advance their interests rather than a united group with a vision for the country.

Hat tip – Utopia


Quote of the day

May 14, 2015

. . . There are various factors peculiar to New Zealand that make driving here challenging, including our weather conditions.

Many of our roads lack median barriers, they are often hilly, narrow and winding, single-lane and unsealed.

Those factors alone can make them problematic for foreign drivers, some of whom also struggle to adjust to driving on the left side of the road.

But New Zealand drivers can be guilty of complacency.

Many don’t alter their driving to take into account weather or traffic conditions.

Too many are blasé about tailgating and overtaking, and quick to become impatient and aggressive.

Too many slower drivers are inconsiderate and fail to pull over in appropriate places to let traffic pass.

And far too many drivers still ignore fundamental safety messages around seat belts, fatigue, inattention and the major crash contributors of alcohol and speed.

The blame is often levelled at police and the Government.

In the aftermath of the weekend’s fatalities, there is pressure on the Government to reduce speed limits.

Yet equally, when speed limits are enforced over holiday periods, accusations of police revenue-gathering abound.

It is worth noting much has been – and continues to be – done to make roads safer.

Police and the Government, through its Safer Journeys road safety strategy, have implemented various measures aimed at reducing risks on the road, particularly around young drivers: a zero alcohol limit for under-20s, raising the driving age to 16, and introducing a tougher restricted licence test.

These initiatives have resulted in fewer fatalities in the 15-24 age group.

Other measures have included a ban on cellphone use while driving, changes to give-way rules, the introduction of alcohol interlocks as a sentencing option for the courts and higher penalties for dangerous driving.

There is a push for more median barriers and rumble strips.

And councils have the power to change speed limits in areas under their jurisdiction in problematic areas. . .

Whatever safety measures are implemented, the simple fact is they can only be successful if they are adhered to.

Drivers, passengers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians all have a part to play.

Drivers should take responsibility for their actions and attitudes on the road, their passengers, and particularly any children travelling in their vehicles.

Friends and family need to voice concerns if they fear someone is unfit to drive.

Patience, care and consideration are paramount, because a moment’s stupidity or inattention can cause a lifetime of grief. – ODT


May 14 in history

May 14, 2015

1264  Battle of Lewes: Henry III was captured and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.

1483  Coronation of Charles VIII of France (Charles l’Affable).

1509 Battle of Agnadello: French forces defeated the Venetians.

1608  The Protestant Union was founded in Auhausen.

1610 Henry IV of France was assassinated bringing Louis XIII to the throne.

1643  Four-year-old Louis XIV became King of France upon the death of his father, Louis XIII.

1727 Thomas Gainsborough, English artist ,was born (d. 1788).

1747  A British fleet under Admiral George Anson defeated the French at first battle of Cape Finisterre.

1796  Edward Jenner administered the first smallpox vaccination.

1804 The Lewis and Clark Expedition departed from Camp Dubois and began its journey by traveling up the Missouri River.

1811 Paraguay gained independence from Spain.

1836 The Treaties of Velasco were signed.

1861 The Canellas meteorite, an 859-gram chondrite type meteorite, struck  the earth near Barcelona.

1863 American Civil War: The Battle of Jackson.

1866 – The General Grant, sailing from Melbourne to London, hit cliffs on the west coast of the main island in the subantarctic Auckland  Islands.

Wreck of the <em>General Grant</em>

1868 Japanese Boshin War: end of the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle.

1870 The first game of rugby in New Zealand was played in Nelson between Nelson College and the Nelson Rugby Football Club.

1879  The first group of 463 Indian indentured labourers arrives in Fiji aboard the  Leonidas.

1889  The children’s charity the NSPCC was launched in London.

1907 The Plunket Society was formed.

Plunket Society formed

1913   New York Governor William Sulzer approved the charter for the Rockefeller Foundation, which began operations with a $100 million donation from John D. Rockefeller.

1925  Virginia Woolf‘s novel Mrs Dalloway was published.

1926 Eric Morecambe, British comedian, was born  (d. 1984).

1927 Cap Arcona was launched at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg.

1929 Barbara Branden, Canadian writer and lecturer, was born.

1929 – Wilfred Rhodes took his 4000th first-class wicket during a performance of 9 for 39 at Leyton.

1931  Ådalen shootings: five people were killed in Ådalen, Sweden, as soldiers open fired on an unarmed trade union demonstration.

1935 The Philippines ratified an independence agreement.

1939 Lina Medina became  the world’s youngest confirmed mother in medical history at the age of five.

1940 ‘H’.  (Herbert) Jones, British Soldier (VC recipient), was born (d. 1982).

1940  World War II: Rotterdam was bombed by the German Luftwaffe.

1940  World War II: The Netherlands surrendered to Germany.

1940  The Yermolayev Yer-2, a long-range Soviet medium bomber, has its first flight.

1941 – The minesweeper HMS Puriri was the second victim of mines laid off the Northland coast by the German raider Orion.

NZ minesweeper sunk off Bream Head
1943  A Japanese submarine sank  AHS Centaur off the coast of Queensland.

1948  Israel was declared to be an independent state and a provisional government established.

1955 Cold War: Eight communist bloc countries signed a mutual defense treaty -the Warsaw Pact.

1961  American civil rights movement: The Freedom Riders bus was fire-bombed near Anniston, Alabama, and the civil rights protesters were beaten by an angry mob.

1966 Fabrice Morvan, French music artist (Milli Vanilli), was born.

1970  The Red Army Faction was established in Germany.

1973 Human Space Flight: Skylab, the United States’ first space station was launched.

1975 Carlos Spencer, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

Carlos Spencer.jpg

1986 Pride of Baltimore was lost at sea.

1988 Carrollton bus collision: a drunk driver travelling the wrong way hit a converted school bus carrying a church youth group killing  27.

2004 The Constitutional Court of South Korea overturned the impeachment of President Roh Moo-hyun.

2005  The former USS America, a decommissioned supercarrier was deliberately sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after four weeks of live-fire exercises.

2012 – Agni Air Flight CHT crashed near Jomsom Airport in Jomsom, Nepal, after a failed go-around, killing 15 people.

2013 – Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in the northeast states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa due to the terrorist activities of Boko Haram.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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