Word of the day

May 28, 2015

 Diapason – an organ stop sounding a main register of flue pipes, typically of eight-foot pitch; the entire compass of musical tones; a grand swelling burst of harmony; a full, rich outpouring of harmonious sound.

 

 


Rural round-up

May 28, 2015

Surveyor believes in power of cooperative model, but says it’s up to farmers – Allan Barber:

Four months into his new job as CEO of Alliance, David Surveyor is really loving the challenge of heading a global business which is so crucial to farmers, consumers and New Zealand as a whole. He has always been interested in the agrifood space, as he terms it, and enjoys getting to know New Zealand through its agricultural producers.

In contrast with his previous roles in steel and building materials, the biggest difference in the meat industry is the question of livestock supply with so many factors outside the company’s control. Variable climatic conditions and land use change are just two of the main ones. At Alliance its cooperative status demands a lot of time seeing things from the supplier perspective which is not such a major factor in manufacturing industries, while all meat companies need to spend more time focused on the market. . .

Positive Signs Ahead as Farmers Look to Put Season Behind Them:

Fonterra Shareholders’ Council Chairman, Ian Brown said Farmers will be cautiously optimistic following today’s announcement by Fonterra of an opening forecast Milk Price for the 2015/16 season of $5.25 per kg/MS, including an opening advance rate of $3.66 per kg/MS.

Mr Brown: “Farmers will view next season’s forecast as a positive given the situation we have experienced this past season.

“They will also see the announcement as a signal from their Board that the market should start to move in a positive direction in the near future, which is welcome news. . .

Fonterra Announces Board Change:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today announced that Sir Ralph Norris has indicated he will not seek to continue his term on the Fonterra Board, following the Co-operative’s Annual Meeting on 25 November 2015.

Sir Ralph joined the Board in May 2012 as an Independent Director, and made this decision because of his other commitments.

Sir Ralph is also resigning from the Board of the Manager of the Fonterra Shareholders’ Fund, from 25 November 2015. . . 

Funding bost for Irrigation Acceleration Fund:

Irrigation projects will receive a kick-start of $25 million in operating funding for five years from 2016/17 through the Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF), Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

“This funding will help to complete the investigation and development of new regional scale irrigation proposals,” says Mr Guy.

“The need for more water storage projects is obvious given that nearly every part of the country has suffered through drought at some stage over the past three years.

“Providing a reliable water supply for farmers and growers has massive potential to boost growth, creating jobs and exports in provincial regions.” . . .

New Zealand National Party's photo.

Call for more water storage heard by Government – more funding allocated:

IrrigationNZ today welcomed the post budget announcement by Primary Industries Minister, Nathan Guy, of a $25 million allocation of new funding to the Irrigation Acceleration Fund.

“This will boost the development stages of water storage and irrigation distribution infrastructure, which is desperately needed in our summer dry east coast regions. Reliable water supply will sustain communities and maintain the environmental health of their rivers,” says Nicky Hyslop, IrrigationNZ Chair.

“With additional IAF funds contributing to the early stages of this infrastructure development, it will be essential that RMA process reforms that empower collaboration also occur so that the funds do not go to waste,” says Mrs Hyslop. . .

Choice of chair underlines importance of forest safety:

A safety council has been set-up, chaired by Dame Alison Paterson, to make forests safer places to work. Establishing the council was a key recommendation of the Independent Forestry Safety Review Panel that reviewed forest safety in 2014.

The Forest Industry Safety Council (FISC) was launched tonight at a function at parliament. Its board includes representatives of forest owners, contractors, workers, unions and Worksafe New Zealand. Funding will come from the Forest Grower Levy and from government – ACC and Worksafe. . .

Kanuka right at home on winning farm – Kate Taylor:

Kanuka is very much part of our landscape, says Simon Beamish, who with wife Josi was named the 2015 Pan Pac Hawke’s Bay Farm Forester of the Year in April.

They farm alongside the Ngaruroro River that slices between the Kaweka and Ruahine ranges in Hawke’s Bay, west of Hastings, with the farm rising to 690 metres above sea level.

Their 1121ha Awapai and 992ha Waitata properties have been owned by the Beamish family for almost 130 years. They were both part of the original Whanawhana block leased and then freeholded by Simon’s great great grandfather Nathaniel Beamish in 1886. Nathaniel’s son George was sent up to manage the block of land at the young age of 18. . .

Cervena venison piloted in Europe:

New Zealand venison exporters have started a trial to test the appetite of European consumers for Cervena venison in the summer grilling season.

The trial, which began in April, is part of the Passion2Profit initiative that was formally launched today at the Deer Industry Conference in Napier. P2P is a joint venture between the deer industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) under the Primary Growth Partnership programme.

“We are really excited that this pilot is underway. Launching Cervena in Europe has been talked about in the deer industry for many years, but it needs careful branding and substantial promotional support to make it a sales success,” says DINZ venison manager Innes Moffat. . .

Horticulture’s future may lay with city slickers:

Increasing urbanisation means more support for initiatives like the ‘NZ Young Horticulturist of the Year 2015 Competition’ is needed to encourage fresh talent into primary industries, like horticulture, to sustain this country’s edge as a top quality food producer.

The horticultural industry has a bright future and is fundamentally important to New Zealand’s economy, but the fact that more than 85 per cent of kids under 15* now live in urban areas is prompting some of the country’s top companies to throw their weight behind career awareness and development initiatives in the sector. . .

Rural Connectivity Symposium 2015 gets underway today:

After months of planning TUANZ and RHAANZ are delighted to announce that the Rural Connectivity Symposium kicks off in Wellington today.

“The event has sold out with over 150 people attending. The Symposium will be opened by the Communications Minister, The Hon. Amy Adams and has been well supported by sponsors across the health and ICT spectrum” said Craig Young, CEO of TUANZ.

“Rural satellite service provider, Wireless Nation, is the premier sponsor for our one-day event, which is a mixture of presentations and workshops.” . .

New dairy mineral blend ticks all the boxes:

As mineral deficiencies continue to cost dairy farmers time, money, livestock and lost production, a unique new mineral blend is offering a comprehensive, cost-effective solution.

Developed specifically for New Zealand dairying by BEC Feed Solutions, Main Stay Macro Minerals, delivers key nutritional minerals in a convenient, palatable, accurate and dust-free blend. And, because it incorporates the revolutionary Bolifor Mag 33 and MGP+ Magnesium products, farmers won’t have to worry about pasture dusting again, consequently saving valuable time and labour costs. . .


Steampunk NZ festival

May 28, 2015

New Zealand’s steampunk capital, Oamaru, is hosting the Steampunk New Zealand festival this weekend.

Clicking on the link will take you to a list of what’s one, where and when.

A highlight will be tomorrow’s Fire and Steam Festival:
Oamaru's Victorian Precinct's photo.

This is a good introduction to steampunk:


You can find out more on Facebook.


Thursday’s quiz

May 28, 2015

1. Who said: I’m giving him a Useful Pot to Keep Things In, . . and to whom was he giving it?

2. What is an aglet?

3. It’s chose in French, cosa in Italian and Spanish and  mea in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What is a gnomon?

5. What useful thing/s other might not have that you’d put in your ideal kitchen?


Flag of the day

May 28, 2015

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

There’s more than 1500 in the gallery already.

This is Long White Cloud over Land Sea & Sky by Matt Winder:

flag


Addressing hardship better than measuring manufactured poverty

May 28, 2015

A few years ago a newspaper asked Oamaru clergy to comment on poverty.

One vicar said that he came from South Africa where hundreds of people shared a single cold water tap which made it difficult for him to comment on a town where people drove to the food bank.

The dictionary defines poverty as the state of being extremely poor.

The measuring class—people with tertiary education who spend all their time telling us how much misery there is in our community  have manufactured a new definition – 60% of the median income.

By that measure poverty could only be solved by taking everyone’s money and redistributing it equally and ensuring it stayed redistributed equally for ever.

While gross inequality can be a problem, making the rich poorer will not address the causes of, nor provide a longterm solution to, the problems of the very poor.

This is why Finance Minister Bill English took a swing at critics of the government on ‘poverty’:

“The term ‘poverty’ has been captured by a particular idea of how you measure poverty and a particular solution to it. That is, you measure it relative to incomes, and the solution is mass redistribution.”

Those who use the term “poverty” and “child poverty” in this way have been “admirably open” about their objectives, Mr English told the meeting but it is not a view the government shares.

“We are not addressing that phenomenon. What we are addressing is absolute levels of hardship. That is someone not having enough to live, and we don’t think that is worse just because someone else has a bit more.”

Incomes are only one part of what keeps people at the bottom of the social heap, he says, and other factors matter more.

“What we are addressing is what I think is the kind of communal or moral dimension and the worst examples of it are not purely about poverty. They are about ways of behaving, and I don’t think poverty is an excuse for serial criminality or beating up your kids. But those are parts of the ways of behaving of parts of our community, in my view sometimes made worse by the way the government deals with some of these problems.” . . .

It is not often a politician talks about the moral dimension and that should not be taken to mean that moral problems are the preserve of the poor.

But when Northland GP Lance O’Sullivan says children will be better off away from their homes and the social dysfunction in them, the problem of hardship is not just a financial one.

When National came to government it took an actuarial look at welfare and uncovered the longterm costs of it.

Those costs were both financial and social which is why reducing dependency and addressing real hardship are so important.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, the problem is whether or not people have enough which in turn begs the question how much is enough?

Regardless of the answer, the solution lies in addressing real hardship, as this government is doing, not by manufacturing poverty by redefining it in a misguided attempt to solve it through redistribution.


Fonterra drops 2014-15 forecast, 2015-16 forecast better

May 28, 2015

An email from Fonterra chair John Wilson brings more bad news:

  • Today we reduced the current forecast Farmgate Milk Price for the 2014/15 season to $4.40 per kgMS. Along with the previously announced dividend range of 20-30 cents per share, the change amounts to a forecast Cash Payout of $4.60 – $4.70 for a fully shared-up farmer.
  • Today’s revision means there will also be a reduction to Advance Rate payments for August and September.  . .
  • The 10 cent reduction to the forecast reflects the reality that global commodity prices have not increased as expected.
  • World markets are over-supplied with dairy commodities after farmers globally increased production in response to the very good prices paid 12-18 months ago.  This supply imbalance has heightened due to continuing good growing conditions in most dairy producing regions. . .

This is unexpected and unwelcome but there is better news for next season:

  • We have also announced today our opening forecast Farmgate Milk Price of $5.25 per kgMS for the 2015/16 season.
  • The forecast Cash Payout will be available after we determine forecast earnings for the 2016 financial year, in July.
  • The Advance Rate will begin at 70 per cent of the forecast Farmgate Milk Price, with an opening rate of $3.66 per kgMS. . .
  • Our forecast takes into account factors including global milk production forecasts, the economic outlook of major dairy importers, current inventory levels and geopolitical events.
  • Prices are expected to recover going forward, with a rebalancing of supply and demand over the season.
  • However it is more difficult to say exactly when this recovery will lead to a sustained price improvement, and we recommend caution with your on-farm budgets at this early stage in the season.

Contractors are already finding farm work has dried up.

They and others who service and supply farmers will be sharing the pain until the payout picks up.


Fantail friends

May 28, 2015

The Wash in the ODT publishes readers’ photos – this fantail huddle in yesterday’s paper will be hard to beat.

Snowstorm huddle a fantail phenomenon
ODT reader Jim Columb snapped this picture of a flock of fantails (piwakawaka) huddling together on an electrical cord in a garage on the Otago Peninsula on Sunday, just before it started to snow.

If you click on the link you’ll find a video of the birds.


Quote of the day

May 28, 2015
Only the mediocre are always at their best.Jean Giraudoux

May 28 in history

May 28, 2015

585 BC – A solar eclipse occurred, as predicted by Greek philosopher and scientist Thales, while Alyattes was battling Cyaxares in the Battle of the Eclipse, leading to a truce. This is one of the cardinal dates from which other dates can be calculated.

1503 James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor were married. A Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England signed on that occasion resulted in a peace that lasts ten years.

1533 The Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declared the marriage of King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.

1588 The Spanish Armada, with 130 ships and 30,000 men, sets sail from Lisbon heading for the English Channel.

1644  Bolton Massacre by Royalist troops under the command of the Earl of Derby.

1660 King George I of Great Britain, was born (d. 1727).

1754  French and Indian War: in the first engagement of the war, Virginia militia under 22-year-old Lieutenant Colonel George Washington defeated a French reconnaissance party in the Battle of Jumonville Glen.

1759 William Pitt the Younger, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1806).

1774  American Revolutionary War: the first Continental Congress convened.

1830 President Andrew Jackson signed The Indian Removal Act which relocates Native Americans.

1853 Carl Larsson, Swedish painter, was born (d. 1919).

1858 Carl Rickard Nyberg, Swedish inventor, was born (d. 1939).

1859  Big Ben was drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster.

1863 American Civil War: The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first African American regiment, leaves Boston, Massachusetts, to fight for the Union.

1892  John Muir organised the Sierra Club.

1905  Russo-Japanese War: The Battle of Tsushima ended with the destruction of the Russian Baltic Fleet by Admiral Togo Heihachiro and the Imperial Japanese Navy.

1908 Ian Fleming, English author, was born (d. 1964).

1912 Patrick White, Australian writer, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1990).

1918  The Democratic Republic of Armenia and the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic declared their independence.

1920 Dennis Gunn was convicted of the murder of a postmaster and sentenced to death. In what was possibly a world-first involving a capital crime, Gunn’s conviction was based almost entirely on fingerprint evidence.

Fingerprints help convict murderer

1926  28th May 1926 coup d’état: Ditadura Nacional was established in Portugal to suppressthe unrest of the First Republic.

1930 The Chrysler Building in New York City officially opened.

1931 Carroll Baker, American actress, was born.

1934  Quintuplets, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie, were born to Ovila and Elzire Dionne, and later become the first quintuplets to survive infancy.

1934 – The Glyndebourne festival in England was inaugurated.

1936 Betty Shabazz, American civil rights activist was born (d. 1997).

1936 Alan Turing submitted On Computable Numbers for publication.

1937 The Golden Gate Bridge was officially opened by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

1937  Neville Chamberlain became British Prime Minister.

1940  World War II: Belgium surrendered to Germany.

1940  World War II: Norwegian, French, Polish and British forces recaptured Narvik in the first allied infantry victory of the War.

1942  World War II: in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazis in Czechoslovakia killed more than 1800 people.

1944 Rudy Giuliani, 107th Mayor of New York City, was born.

1944 Gladys Knight, American singer and actress, was born.

1944 Patricia Quinn, Northern Irish actress, was born.

1945 John Fogerty, American musician (Creedence Clearwater Revival) was born.

1952  Memphis Kiddie Park opened in Brooklyn, Ohio.

1952 – The women of Greece gained the right to vote.

1961 Peter Benenson‘s article “The Forgotten Prisoners” was published in several internationally read newspapers was later thought of as the founding of Amnesty International.

1964 The Palestine Liberation Organization was formed.

1970 The formerly united Free University of Brussels officially split into two separate entities, the French-speaking Université Libre de Bruxelles and the Dutch-speaking Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

1974 Northern Ireland’s power-sharing Sunningdale Agreement collapsed following a general strike by loyalists.

1975 Fifteen West African countries sign the Treaty of Lagos, creating the Economic Community of West African States.

1977 In Southgate, Kentucky, the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire killed 165 people.

1978 Second round of the presidential elections in Upper Volta which was won by incumbent Sangoulé Lamizana.

1979 Constantine Karamanlis signed the full treaty of the accession of Greece with the European Economic Community.

1982 Falklands War: British forces defeated the Argentines at the Battle of Goose Green.

1984 Beth Allen, New Zealand actress, was born.

1987 19-year-old West German pilot Mathias Rust evaded Soviet Union air defenses and lands a private plane in Red Square.

1987  A robot probe found the wreckage of the USS Monitor.

1991 The capital city of Addis Ababa, fell to the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, ending both the Derg regime and the Ethiopian Civil War.

1995  Neftegorsk was hit by a 7.6 magnitude earthquake that killed at least 2,000 people, 1/2 of the total population.

1996  U.S. President Bill Clinton’s former business partners in the Whitewater land deal, James McDougal and Susan McDougal, and Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker, were convicted of fraud.

1998 Nuclear testing: Pakistan responded to a series of nuclear tests by India with five of its own, prompting other nations to impose economic sanctions.

1999 After 22 years of restoration work, Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece “The Last Supper” was put back on display.

1999 – Two Swedish police officers were murdered with their own fire arms by the bank robbers Jackie Arklöv and Tony Olsson after a car chase.

2002 NATO declared Russia a limited partner in the Western alliance.

2002  The Mars Odyssey found signs of large ice deposits on Mars.

2003 Peter Hollingworth became the first Governor-General of Australia to resign his office as a result of criticism of his conduct.

2004  The Iraqi Governing Council chose Ayad Allawi, a longtime anti-Saddam Hussein exile, as prime minister of Iraq’s interim government.

2008 The first meeting of the Constituent Assembly of Nepal formally declared Nepal a republic, ending the 240-year reign of the Shah dynasty.

2008 – In West Bengal a train derailment and subsequent collision killed 141 passengers.

2012 – The discovery of Flame, a complex malware program targeting computers in Middle Eastern countries, was announced.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


%d bloggers like this: