Word of the day

June 2, 2015

Peripetia – a sudden reversal of fortune or change in circumstances or situation, especially in a literary work; turning point.


Tax Freedom Day

June 2, 2015

Today is Tax Freedom Day:

Today marks the first working day New Zealanders stop working for the Government and take home what they earn. According to the OECD, New Zealand’s government outlays as a percentage of GDP is 41.4% this year, making the 2015 ‘Tax Freedom Day’ fall on Queens Birthday Monday. Last year Tax Freedom Day was four days later, on 4 June.

Taxpayers’ Union Spokesman, Ben Craven, says:

“Today is the day where taxpayers begin working for themselves rather than working to support the burden of Government.”

“While 2015 Tax Freedom Day for New Zealand is earlier than it was in 2014, total Government outlays as a percentage of GDP remain higher than the OECD average.”

“Despite the positive trend, there is still a long way to go before this Government returns to the earlier Tax Freedom Days enjoyed under the last Labour Government. We should be aiming to have paid off all of our taxes by April, not having to slave away for politicians into June.”

“While the Government is doing a reasonable job of managing the books, the growth of local government spending appears to be squandering most of the efforts to trim back the tax burden.”

OECD data on government outlays as a percentage of GDP can be found here (Annex Table 25). . .

Four days earlier than last year – we’re going in the right direction but need to keep moving that way and moving faster.


Rural round-up

June 2, 2015

Experimentation pays dividends – Sally Rae:

Ask Graham Hunter how many trees he has planted through the years and there is a pause.

Because, with about 40ha in forestry on the property he farms with wife Pam, 20km from Lawrence, along with 5km of shelterbelts, not to mention all the trees planted on their previous farm, the answer is literally ”thousands and thousands”.

Mr and Mrs Hunter were named the South Island Husqvarna farm forester of the year at the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association’s conference in Whangarei. . . .

Effluent pond test tool a first: designer – Allison Beckham:

The designer and developer of a new, high resolution device to test whether effluent ponds are leaking says it is the first test in New Zealand which provides farmers with accurate scientific information.

Other tests available collected information only once every 24 hours, Opus principal rural consultant Dr Marc Dresser, of Hamilton, said.

But the device he and fellow Opus Rural Services engineer Andy Johnson have designed and built uses two probes to calibrate information every 10 seconds, taking into account rainfall, evaporation and atmospheric pressure changes. . .

Minister to represent NZ at UN Food and Agriculture conference:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy leaves for Europe today to represent New Zealand at the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations’ (FAO) Biennial Conference in Rome.

The FAO is an inter-governmental organisation with 194 member nations. Its aims include the sustainability of natural resources while driving economic and social progress.

“As a country founded on our primary industries, New Zealand can add real value to the discussions at the conference,” says Mr Guy. . .

Larger Japanese stake in Anzco gains OIO approval – Tim Cronshaw:

A Japanese company investing just over $40 million has won Overseas Investment Office approval to buy a larger stake in the major meat processor Anzco Foods founded by chairman Sir Graeme Harrison.

Existing shareholder Itoham Foods met overseas investment criteria to lift its ownership to 65 per cent of the company, from 48.2 per cent,  after buying three lots of shares from Nippon Suisan Kaisha Limited, known as Nissui,  Harrison and Janz Investments which is majority owned by Harrison with senior Anzco managers.

Anzco is now a subsidiary of Itoham which is Japan’s second largest meat based manufactured and processed foods company. Itoham announced in February it wanted a larger shareholding as part of expansion plans in its processed meat business to meet growing Asian demand. . .

 Visa application holdups add to farmers’ Gypsy Day headaches – Phil McCarthy:

A Southland dairy leader is calling on Immigration New Zealand to extend migrant visa concessions handed out elsewhere to workers on farms in southern regions.

This month the Government announced changes to immigration policy which will make it easier to recruit and retain Filipino migrant workers for the Canterbury rebuild.

The change meant that employers who wanted to retain a lower-skilled Filipino worker could do so without having to renew the visa annually. They would also not have to apply for a variation of conditions if they changed employer. Overseas people working in tourism in Queenstown have also had their visa requirements short-cut  on a temporary basis. . .

 Rural agents bet on farmland boom – Matthew Cranston:

COMPETITION is growing between Australia’s major rural land selling agents as farm sales volumes are expected to come out of a trough and major institutional and private investors seek to gain a foothold in the growth area of agriculture.

Elders chief executive Mark Allison, who saw the rural services company sell more than $1.4 billion in real estate last year, is taking on the new entrants of CBRE and Colliers International.

He is aiming for 12 real estate agency acquisitions next financial year and 40 by fiscal 2017. . .

Saddle up for the High Country: – Mark Abernethy:

THE colonial days of stockmen and bushrangers come alive when you journey on horseback.

There was a point when the slow clop of the hooves and the primal shade of the gum trees could have placed us in a much earlier era of history.

There were eight of us on horseback, sliding through the high country of the Great Dividing Range just north of Glen Innes in New South Wales, the iron barks and gums swaying under the clear skies; and if it hadn’t been for the occasional click of an iPhone camera, we could have been riding through the colonial frontier, about to bump into a bushranger or a bullock team. . .


Flag of the day

June 2, 2015

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

There are more than 2000 in the gallery already.

This is one of the ideas promoted by Kyle Lockwood:
Kyle Lockwood's photo.


World Milk Day

June 2, 2015

It’s a day late here but it is still June 1st which is World Milk Day in other parts of the world:

Since the first World Milk Day was held in 2001, many countries spread throughout the world have participated in the celebrations and the number is growing each year.

Why hold a World Milk Day? The Day provides an opportunity to focus attention on milk and to publicise activities connected with milk and the milk industry. The fact that many countries choose to do this on the same day lends additional importance to individual national celebrations and shows that milk is a global food.

Where did it begin? FAO (the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations) was asked to propose a specific day on which all aspects of milk could be celebrated.

Why 1st June? This date was chosen because a number of countries were already celebrating a national milk day on or around this time. Late May was originally proposed, but some countries, for example China, felt they already had too many celebrations in that month. While most countries hold their celebrations on 1st June, some choose to hold them a week or so before or after this date.

 https://twitter.com/FAOnews/status/605382170019033088

June 1 is the start of the new dairy season for New Zealand farmers but most herds are dried off.

Only those providing winter milk or town supply are still milking.


Want voters but not govt

June 2, 2015

New Green co-leader James Shaw wants to woo National Party voters:

“I think there is a huge number of people out there who are concerned about the environment and they are concerned about the economy,” says Mr Shaw, “and they have been holding their nose and voting for the National Party. . .

Concern for the economy and environment aren’t mutually exclusive and people vote for and against parties for a variety of reasons.

But environmental concerns and initiatives aren’t the preserve of left-wing politicians and Shaw has sabotaged his campaign to woo National voters by ruling out going into government with the party.

Like his predecessor, he’s moored his party on the left flank of Labour which means its doomed to be in opposition if National wins another term and has no guarantee of being in government if Labour wins.

If Labour has a choice of coalition partners it would more likely opt for New Zealand First, safe in the knowledge the Green Party has nowhere else to go.


Quote of the day

June 2, 2015

There is a time and place for upset and even anger. There are reasons to take offence and demand appropriate responses. But are not we all these days too ready to cry foul, to hound and pester? Do we leap too easily on a word out of place or a relatively innocent action?

And do we not bow too easily before the slightest complaint?ODT


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