Word of the day

May 21, 2015

Cambrist –  an individual with above-average knowledge of the foreign exchange market;  anyone who deals with currencies and foreign exchange on a regular basis and is adept at recognising factors and situations that affect foreign exchange.


Rural round-up

May 21, 2015

Extra support for drought affected North Canterbury:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has met with drought-affected farmers in Cheviot, North Canterbury today and says they’re still feeling the impacts of drought.

“North Canterbury – and the Cheviot area in particular – has missed most of the recent rainfall, and continues to face severe drought conditions,” says Mr Guy.

“Because of this, an additional $20,000 is being allocated to the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust. This will help them with more intensive activities, including individual visits and community events. . .

Livestock moved out of Canterbury drought – Hamish Clark:

Farmers have shipped tens of thousands of sheep and cattle out of north Canterbury and hundreds of tonnes of feed in as the drought there deepens.

The worst-hit area is around Cheviot, which is north of Christchurch, and the locals are desperate for rain.

The ewes are sniffing and searching the parched earth for a single blade of green grass, but there is none.

Cheviot farmer and local Chris Jefferies says farmers in the area are really struggling. . .

Supreme winners open their gates:

Environmental farm award winners for the Horizons Region opened their gates and shared their secrets with other farmers last week.

William Akers, Laura Oughton, Hugh and Judy Akers from Broadlands Station in Ashhurst were announced as the 2015 Ballance Farm Environment Awards supreme winners in March. As part of winning the award, recipients are asked to host other farmers on farm in order to share ideas and inspire others.

Horizons Regional Council environmental manager for land Grant Cooper was on the judging panel for the final round and says Broadlands is a straightforward, efficiently run station. . .

Ministers request report on dairy competition:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith announced today they will request a report on the state of competition in New Zealand’s dairy industry from the Commerce Commission.

The report is required under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, which allowed for the merger of our largest dairy co-operatives to form Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited.

The DIRA contains provisions to ensure contestability in New Zealand’s farm gate and factory gate markets. These provisions are intended to expire when there is workable competition in the domestic dairy market. . .

$5m new funding for forestry research partnership:

The Government will invest $5 million over seven years in a research partnership to increase the competitiveness of the forestry sector, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce announced today.

“Forestry is New Zealand’s third largest export earner – behind dairy and meat, contributing around $5 billion to our exports. This investment aims to strengthen the ties between research organisations and the industry to produce excellent research driven by industry needs,” says Mr Joyce.

The new partnership is led by Future Forests Research, an industry-operated entity, in collaboration with Scion, the University of Canterbury, and the NZ Dryland Forests Initiative. . .

NZ export log prices hit 3-year low; may start picking up as demand improves – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand export log prices, which fell to a three-year low this month, may start to pick up as demand improves in China, the country’s largest market.

The average wharf gate price for New Zealand A-grade logs fell to $83 a tonne in May, from $94 a tonne in April, marking the lowest price since May 2012, according to AgriHQ’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and sawmillers. The AgriHQ Log Price Indicator, which measures average log prices weighted by grade, dropped to 88.40 from 93.29 in April.

The price for New Zealand A-grade logs delivered to China fell to US$99/JAS from US$111/JAS last month, the lowest level since AgriHQ started collecting the data in 2012. . .

Southern Dairy Hub Case to Be Presented:

Trustees of the Southern Dairy Development Trust are very pleased with the support received for the Southern Dairy Hub, with 516 farmers and businesses pledging $1.306 million in support.

“It’s an absolutely fantastic result and a huge endorsement for the Hub project,” Chair Matthew Richards says. “We are grateful and thankful for the support from our community and are confident we will get a good hearing in front of our industry partners, DairyNZ and AgResearch.”

Mr Richards says the official numbers includes postal pledges that arrived following the April 30 pledge deadline and takes the result to 55% of farmers between Dunedin and Bluff as having pledged their financial support. . .

Rural Business Network Launches Free Mentoring Initiative:

Rural Business Network (RBN) in partnership with Business Mentors New Zealand (BMNZ) has launched a new initiative offering mentoring support to rural businesses throughout New Zealand. The project is called ‘Rural Mentor’ and will provide a tool to enhance on-farm profitability and enable access to skills and knowledge that isn’t commonly known to be available.

The new Rural Mentor initiative sees the BMNZ registration fee waived for a limited number of NZYF and Rural Business Network members

Daile Jones, National Rural Business Network Coordinator says `Farmers in the sheep, beef or dairy sector operating their own business or farm managers that want a fresh perspective, will be matched with a business professional who can offer confidential advice, assistance and support that will help overcome business challenges, set new goals and achieve success. There’s no lack of knowledge out there, just a shortage of knowing what information is available.” . . .

Call OSPRI if you’re moving this Gypsy Day:

Don’t put your livelihood at risk when moving or selling stock over the Gypsy Day period; make sure you call OSPRI to update your NAIT and TBfree details and record all animal movements.

“This will help protect New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of high quality, safe food and maintain access to valuable international markets,” said Dr Stu Hutchings, OSPRI Group Manager.

Up to date NAIT data allows farmers to get back to business sooner in the event of a biosecurity incursion or food safety concern and is already being used to contain existing animal diseases like bovine tuberculosis (TB). . .


Thursday’s quiz

May 21, 2015

1. Which character in which book by which author said: “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery. ?

2. What song in which musical starts:

“Dear God, you made many, many poor people.
I realize, of course, that it’s no shame to be poor.
But it’s no great honor either!
So, what would have been so terrible if I had a small fortune?”

3. It’s too easy in French, preventivo in Italian, presuepuesto in Spanish and putea in Maori, what is it in English?

4. Who was Finance Minister when Bill English was Treasurer and under which Prime Minister were they serving?

5. If the Finance Minister offered to implement one policy for you, what would it be?


Flag of the day

May 21, 2015

The Flag Consideration Panel is inviting people to upload designs for a new flag.

There’s more than 1000 in the gallery already.

I plan to feature one most days.

Today’s is Koru Kiwi by Gary Fox:

flag3


More of what’s working not boring

May 21, 2015

Several commentators are criticising today’s Budget for being boring.

Boring in the sense of no surprises is good for Budgets.

We should be grateful the days when everyone stocked up on fuel and fags then sat round the radio listening to the Finance Minister add taxes here and give out subsidies and other taxpayer largesse there are long gone.

But a Budget that delivers more of what’s working for New Zealand shouldn’t be written off as boring and the programme being built on in successive Budgets is working.

NBR editor Nevil Gibson writes of a Budget success story we don’t hear about:

One of the biggest contributors to the reduction in the budget deficit is the money not being spent on welfare.

It’s a success story you won’t hear much about as opposition parties insist a rise in the welfare budget is a better measure.

But, like the ACC reforms and its lower fees, the savings in welfare benefits are like a tax cut for all other taxpayers. . .

The reduction of people on benefits pays dividends in financial and human terms.

The reduction in benefit numbers since the reforms began in 2012 and the projections are described as “startling” by an Australian commentator, Rick Morton. 

His column quotes figures that show the number of years people will spend on benefits has fallen 12%, worth 650,000 years of benefit receipt in the next five decades.

“Two-thirds of this is due to a reduction in the number of people who will gain benefits and one-third is a reduction in the time they will spend on those benefits,” Mr Morton writes.

“From $NZ86 billion, the future liability of the welfare recipients shrank to $76.5 billion in 2013 and to $69 billion last year, largely on the back of economic factors such as inflation.

“But $2.2 billion of the reduction was attributed, in a report released earlier this year, to the ‘effectiveness’ of the policy, which is measured by fewer people getting access to benefits and more people leaving them.” . .

Lindsay Mitchell notes the success in reducing the number of teen pregnancies:

. . . To be demonstrating prevention-success alongside support for the diminishing number who do become teenage parents is a political dream. 

Stopping people going on to welfare and getting beneficiaries from welfare to work are two of the best ways to alleviate poverty.

Whatever further measures to address the problem of poverty are announced in today’s Budget, the significant reduction in the long-term financial and social costs of welfare are anything but boring.

An email from the National Party yesterday made these points:

  1. 194,000 new jobs created since the start of 2011 under National – that equates to around 120 new jobs every day.
  2. We’ve turned the Government’s books around – the deficit peaked at $18.4 billion in 2011 and now we’re expected to be back in surplus next year, a year later than the target we set in 2011. We’ll still be one of the first developed countries to be back in surplus after the global financial crisis.
  3. This will be the type of Budget a responsible Government can deliver when it’s following a plan that’s working.
  4. Budget 2015 will contain $1 billion in new spending. It continues to support New Zealanders and help families while responsibly managing the growing economy and the Government’s finances.
  5. The Government will continue building on what we’ve put in place to address the drivers of hardship. This approach is working – there are now 42,000 fewer children in benefit-dependent families than three years ago. So our spending will make a difference to those who receive it, while at the same time we respect the taxpayers who pay for it.

There is no money for a lolly scramble budget and even if there was that would be wrong.

A business as usual budget might be boring to some but it’s working for New Zealand.

 


Quote of the day

May 21, 2015

. . . What New Zealand needs is more high-paying jobs but, to achieve this, we need higher educational standards. There are too many families dependent on low-income jobs, if indeed they are working.  Fifty per cent of households in which no one works are poor. If one person is working, the poverty rate falls to 19% and to 4% if two or more people work. Research indicates that a parent obtaining fulltime paid employment with sufficient earnings is the most important contributor to lifting children out of poverty.

And this shouldn’t be the responsibility of the government alone. There needs to be a co-ordinated approach between central government, local government, iwi, Pacifika, social service providers, businesses, industry training organisations and communities to deliver well-paying job opportunities, especially in the regions.  . .Peter Sherwin.


May 21 in history

May 21, 2015

293 – Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Galerius as Caesar to Diocletian, beginning the period of four rulers known as the Tetrarchy.

878  Syracuse, Italy was  captured by the Muslim sultan of Sicily.

879 Pope John VIII gave blessings to Duke Branimir and to Croatian people, considered to be international recognition of Croatian state.

996 Sixteen-year-old Otto III was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.

1502  The island of Saint Helena was discovered by the Portuguese navigator João da Nova.

1527 King Philip II of Spain was born (d. 1598).

1554 A royal Charter was granted to Derby School.

1674  The nobility elected John Sobieski King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania.

1688  Alexander Pope, English poet, was born  (d. 1744).

1725 The Order of St. Alexander Nevsky was instituted in Russia by the empress Catherine I.

1758 Mary Campbell was abducted from her home in Pennsylvania by Lenape during the French and Indian War.

1780 Elizabeth Fry, British social reformer, was born (d. 1845).

1809 The first day of the Battle of Aspern-Essling between the Austrian army led by Archduke Charles and the French army led by Napoleon I of France.

1840 Lieutenant-Governor William Hobson proclaimed sovereignty over all of New Zealand: over the North Island on the basis of cession by the Treaty of Waitangi and the southern islands by right of discovery.

Hobson proclaims sovereignty over NZ

1851  Slavery was abolished in Colombia.

1856  Lawrence, Kansas was captured and burned by pro-slavery forces.

1863  American Civil War: Siege of Port Hudson – Union forces begin to lay siege to the Confederate-controlled Port Hudson, Louisiana.

1864 Russia declared an end to the Russian-Circassian War and many Circassians were forced into exile. The day is designated the Circassian Day of Mourning.

1871  French troops invaded the Paris Commune and engage its residents in street fighting. By the close of “Bloody Week” some 20,000 communards have been killed and 38,000 arrested.

1871  Opening of the first rack railway in Europe, the Rigi-Bahnen on Mount Rigi.

1879  War of the Pacific: Two Chilean ships blocking the harbour of Iquique (then belonging to Peru) battled two Peruvian vessels in the Battle of Iquique.

1881  The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton.

1894  The Manchester Ship Canal in England was officially opened by Queen Victoria, who knighted its designer Sir Edward Leader Williams.

1904 Fats Waller, American pianist, was born  (d. 1943).

1904 The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was founded in Paris.

1907 John C. Allen, American roller coaster designer, was born  (d. 1979).

1916 – Harold Robbins, American novelist (d. 1997).

1917 Raymond Burr, Canadian actor (d. 1993).

1917  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission was established through Royal Charter to mark, record and maintain the graves and places of commemoration of Commonwealth of Nations military forces.

1917  The Great Atlanta fire of 1917.

1924  Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold, Jr. murdered 14-year-old Bobby Franks in a “thrill killing”.

1927 Charles Lindbergh touched down at Le Bourget Field in Paris, completing the world’s first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

1930 Malcolm Fraser, 22nd Prime Minsiter of Australia, was born.

1932 Bad weather forced Amelia Earhart to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, and she thereby becme the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1934 Oskaloosa, Iowa, became the first municipality in the United States to fingerprint all of its citizens.

1936 Sada Abe was arrested after wandering the streets of Tokyo for days with her dead lover’s severed genitals in her hand.

1937  A Soviet station became the first scientific research settlement to operate on the drift ice of the Arctic Ocean.

1939 The National War Memorial (Canada) was unveiled by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth in Ottawa.

1941 Ronald Isley, American singer (The Isley Brothers), was born.

1943 Hilton Valentine, British guitarist (The Animals), was born.

1944  Mary Robinson, President of Ireland, was born.

1946 Physicist Louis Slotin was fatally irradiated in a criticality incident during an experiment with the Demon core at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

1948 – Leo Sayer, English musician, was born.

1951 The opening of the Ninth Street Show, otherwise known as the 9th Street Art Exhibition – a gathering of a number of notable artists, and the stepping-out of the post war New York avant-garde, collectively know as the New York School.

1952 Mr. T, American actor, was born.

1958 United Kingdom Postmaster General Ernest Marples announced that from December,  subscriber trunk dialling will be introduced in the Bristol area.

1961  American civil rights movement: Alabama Governor John Malcolm Patterson declared martial law in an attempt to restore order after race riots break out.

1966 The Ulster Volunteer Force declared  war on the Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland.

1969 Civil unrest in Rosario, Argentina, known as Rosariazo, following the death of a 15-year-old student.

1972  Michelangelo’s Pietà in St. Peter’s Basilica was damaged by a vandal,  Hungarian geologist Laszlo Toth.

1979 White Night riots in San Francisco following the manslaughter conviction of Dan White for the assassinations of George Moscone and Harvey Milk.

1981 Irish Republican hunger strikers Raymond McCreesh and Patsy O’Hara died on hunger strike in Maze prison.

1990  Democratic Republic of Yemen and North Yemen agreed to a unity, merging into Republic of Yemen.

1991  Former Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a suicide bomber near Madras.

1991  Mengistu Haile Mariam, president of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia,  fled Ethiopia, effectively bringing the Ethiopian Civil War to an end.

1994 Democratic Republic of Yemen unsuccessful attempts to secede from Republic of Yemen, war breaks out.

1996  The MV Bukoba sank in Tanzanian waters on Lake Victoria, killing nearly 1000.

1996  The Trappist Martyrs of Atlas were executed.

1998  In Miami, Florida, five abortion clinics were hit by a butyric acid attacker.

1998   Suharto, Indonesian president of 32 years, resigns.

2001  French Taubira law officially recognised the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as crimes against humanity.

2003  An earthquake hit northern Algeria killing more than 2,000 people.

2004  Sherpa Pemba Dorjie climbed Mount Everest in 8 hours 10 minutes, breaking his rival Sherpa Lakpa Gelu’s record from the previous year.

2006  The Republic of Montenegro held a referendum proposing independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. The Montenegrin people choose independence with a majority of 55%.

2006  The Swedish ice hockey team Tre Kronor took gold in the World Championship, becoming the first nation to hold both the World and Olympic titles separately in the same year.

2007  The clipper Cutty Sark was badly damaged by fire.

2010 – JAXA, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, launched the solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS aboard an H-IIA rocket.

2012 – In Qafa e Vishës bus tragedy near Himara, Albania 13 students of Aleksandër Xhuvani University were killed in bus crash.

2012 – A suicide bombing killed more than 120 people in Sana’a, Yemen.

2014 – A knife attack on a Taipei Metro train left 4 people dead and almost two dozen others injured.

2014 – The National September 11 Museum opened to the public.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


%d bloggers like this: