Word of the day

June 22, 2015

Serac – a pinnacle or ridge of ice on the surface of a glacier; a block or column of glacial ice, often formed by intersecting crevasses on a glacier.


Rural round-up

June 22, 2015

Fonterra – who loves ya baby? – Tim Hunter:

It’s so ironic. Fonterra [NZX: FCG], whose sole reason for being is to benefit its co-operative members, is so distrusted by them that it must have a Shareholders Council to oversee its board, even though the board is already completely controlled by shareholders.

The co-op is so successful it is the world’s largest processor of milk and the world’s biggest dairy exporter, yet its shareholders complain that its head office is not in a provincial town, even though there are barely any international flights from provincial airports.

Meanwhile, the business has become so economically important to New Zealand that non-shareholders argue Fonterra is too focused on processing milk and should be more like Nestle, which sells a lot of coffee, chocolate and instant noodles (although it probably doesn’t want to talk about noodles right now). . . 

 

Tight times for sharemilkers – Hugh Stringleman:

Most sharemilkers will be unable to write a break-even budget for the new dairy season and face several months of negative cash flows before dairy prices are expected to recover.

That is the market reality facing all dairy farmers, but especially taxing for sharemilkers of all descriptions given the low milk prices, incomes in the $1 to $2/kg range, and the lack of discretionary or deferrable spending.

Industry-wide, considerably more seasonal finance will be necessary because herd-owning sharemilkers (40-50% contracts) face losses between 30c and 50c/kg on all milk produced for the remainder of 2015. . .

 Survey captures cost of compliance – Richard Rennie:

Waikato dairy farmers have invested about $400 million in environmental compliance in recent years, but are uncertain about how long that investment will remain compliant.

New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays scholar Thomas Macdonald has just issued findings from a survey he conducted on Waikato dairy farmers, determining how much they have invested in effluent management and compliant farm systems. . .

 AgResearch hub remodelled for Lincoln – Tim Cronshaw:

AgResearch’s soon to be built science hub programme will look much different from the operation first envisaged, writes Tim Cronshaw.

AgResearch is about to put out new master plans as more science and agriculture partners join its vision for innovation clusters at its main Lincoln and Palmerston North hubs in a nationwide $100 million restructuring programme.

Originally the research organisation was going to build its science centre for its Future Footprint programme on new ground connecting to the Lincoln University campus with the wider Crown Research Institute precinct.

Townie helps out – Annette Scott:

Christchurch businessman Grant Silvester launched a campaign earlier this month to help get feed to North Canterbury farms.

He has been thrilled at the amazing support the campaign has attracted and is more than confident of trucking in his goal of 500 bales of feed to the region.

Silvester, a self-described townie who sells cars and racing car parts from his Christchurch-based business, had seen how dry farms were while travelling through the area. . .

 Firm friendship: The sports star and the girl inventor – Narelle Henson:

It’s easy to see young inventer Ayla Hutchinson and her mentor, Bernice Mene are mates – even though they clearly have pretty different backgrounds.

Mene is a national figure, accomplished in the world of sport, Ayla is a teen inventor from the fields of Taranaki; introverted, inexperienced and – by her own admission – a little anxious.

Fifteen-year-old Ayla is the inventor of the Kindling Cracker, a wood-splitting device taking New Zealand by storm. She’s just signed “a massive” supply deal with major American corporate, Northern Tools + Equipment. The second 12-metre container of orders needs to be sent soon, but New Zealand demand keeps emptying it. She’s constantly being badgered with interview requests, and everywhere she goes people just keep asking how she came up with that invention. . .


Flag of the day

June 22, 2015

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

There are nearly 4000 in the gallery already.

This one is Friendship and Challenge by Neil Mussett.

flag

 


Really working for NZ

June 22, 2015

National’s campaign slogan was working for New Zealand and its policies really are:

New Zealand recorded another quarter of continued economic growth, confirming that the Government’s sensible economic programme is taking New Zealand in the right direction, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“A reduction in dairy production contributed to quarterly growth of 0.2 per cent coming in at the lower end of market expectations, but still resulted in annual growth of 2.6 per cent,” he said. “A strong economy provides Kiwi families with new jobs, higher incomes and opportunities to get ahead.

“We are seeing solid, sustainable economic growth that is giving businesses around the country the confidence to invest another dollar and hire another person.”

74,000 jobs have been created in the past year, and average annual wages have increased by $5,700 in the last four years. Treasury forecasts they will rise by a further $7,000 to around $63,000 by mid-2019, considerably faster than inflation.

“Sustained economic growth is translating into real benefits for New Zealand households. But we need to stay on course to really lift our long-term economic performance.”

The latest quarter was driven in part by the expected reduction in dairy production as a result of drought conditions, with agriculture down 2.3 per cent. Mining activity was down 7.8 per cent, whereas retail trade and accommodation increased 2.4 per cent and construction was up 2.5 per cent.

Average annual economic growth was 3.2 per cent.

“The lower dairy output was in line with Treasury’s forecasts, which see the economy continuing to grow at around 2.8 per cent on average over the next four years.

“This results highlights that New Zealand is closely tied to international markets, and risks are ever-present.”

New Zealand’s 2.6 per cent GDP growth in the year to March compares with 2.3 per cent in Australia, 2.4 per cent in the United Kingdom, 2.7 per cent in the United States, 2.1 per cent in Canada, negative 1 per cent in Japan and 1 per cent in Germany. Average growth across the OECD was 1.9 per cent.

Whether you’re an individual, family, business, other organisation or government, careful management of your finances matter not as an end in itself but as the means for doing what you need and want to do.
New Zealand National Party's photo.


Quote of the day

June 22, 2015

Bit surprised because we were really doing our job. It’s what we’re there to do; to fly people round and look after them as best we can. – North Otago helicopter pilot John Oakes on receiving a Royal Humane Society of New Zealand award for risking his life to save others in Antarctica.


June 22 in history

June 22, 2015

217 BC  Battle of Raphia: Ptolemy IV of Egypt defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom.

168 BC  Battle of Pydna: Romans under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated and captured Macedonian King Perseus, ending the Third Macedonian War.

1593 Battle of Sisak: Allied Christian troops defeated the Turks.

1633  The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe.

1680 Ebenezer Erskine, Scottish religious dissenter, was born  (d. 1754).

1713 Lord John Philip Sackville, English MP and cricketer, was born  (d. 1765).

1757 George Vancouver, British explorer, was born  (d. 1798).

1783  A poisonous cloud from Laki volcanic eruption in Iceland reached Le Havre in France .

1825  The British Parliament abolished feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America.

1844  North American fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon was founded at Yale University.

1845 Tom Dula, American folk character (Tom Dooley) was born (d. 1868).

1848  Beginning of the June Days Uprising in Paris.

1856  H. Rider Haggard, English author, was born  (d. 1925).

1887 Julian Huxley, British biologist, was born (d. 1975).

1893  The Royal Navy battleship HMS Camperdown accidentally rammed the British Mediterranean Fleet flagship HMS Victoria which sank taking 358 crew with her, including the fleet’s commander, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon.

1897  British colonial officers Rand and Ayerst were assassinated in Pune, Maharashtra, India by the Chapekar brothers and Ranade. They are considered the first martyrs to the cause of India’s freedom from Britain.

1898  Spanish-American War: United States Marines landed in Cuba.

1906 Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author and pilot, was born  (d. 2001).

1906  The Flag of Sweden was adopted.

1907  The London Underground’s Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opened.

1910  John Hunt, Leader of the 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest, was born (d. 1998).

1911  George V and Mary of Teck were crowned King and Queen.

1918  The Hammond circus train wreck killed 86 and injured 127 near Hammond, Indiana.

1919  The Flag of the Faroe Islands was raised for the first time.

1922 Bill Blass, American fashion designer, was born (d. 2002).

1922  Herrin massacre: 19 strikebreakers and 2 union miners were killed in Herrin, Illinois.

1932 Prunella Scales, English actress, was born.

1936 Kris Kristofferson, American singer/songwriter and actor, was born.

1940 France was forced to sign the Second Compiègne armistice with Germany.

1941  Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. Russian The 22 June song is devoted to this day.

1941  The June Uprising in Lithuania began.

1941  Various Communist and Socialist French Resistance movements merged to one group.

1942  Erwin Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal after the capture of Tobruk.

1944 Peter Asher, British singer, guitarist and producer (Peter & Gordon), was born.

1944  Opening day of the Soviet Union’s Operation Bagration against Army Group Centre.

1949 Meryl Streep, American actress. was born.

1953 – Cyndi Lauper, American singer, was born.

1954  Pauline Parker, 16, and her best friend Juliet Hulme, 15,  killed Pauline’s mother, Honora, in Victoria Park, Christchurch.

Parker-Hulme murder in Christchurch

1957 Garry Gary Beers, Australian bassist from group INXS, was born.

1957  The Soviet Union launched an R-12 missile for the first time (in Kapustin Yar).

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 jet crashed in bad weather in Guadeloupe, West Indies killing 113.

1964 Dan Brown, American author, was born.

1969  The Cuyahoga River caught fire, which triggered a crack-down on pollution in the river.

1978 Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, was discovered.

1984 Virgin Atlantic Airways launched with its first flight from London Heathrow Airport.

2003  The largest hailstone ever recorded fell in Aurora, Nebraska

2009 June 22, 2009 Washington Metro train collision: Two Metro trains collided  in Washington, D.C., killing 9 and injuring over 80.

2009 – Eastman Kodak Company announced that it would discontinue sales of the Kodachrome Color Film, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.

2012 – Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo is removed from office by impeachment and succeeded by Federico Franco.

2012 – A Turkish Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter plane was shot down by the Syrian Armed Forces, killing both of the plane’s pilots and worsening already-strained relations between Turkey and Syria.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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