Word of the day

July 7, 2015

Definiens – a word, phrase, or symbolic expression used to define something, especially in a dictionary entry, or introducing a word or symbol into a logical system by providing a statement of its meaning; something that defines, especially the defining part of a dictionary entry; an expression in terms of which another may be adequately defined.


Rural round-up

July 7, 2015

Is A2 milk about to leap forward? _ Keith Woodford:

Shares in The a2 Milk Company (coded as ATM on the NZX stock exchange) have increased from 48.5 cents on 29 May to 75 cents at 3 July. The market capitalisation has risen from $330 million to $495 million. Where the shares will go in the next few weeks is a journey into the unknown.

What is known is that some of the international big boys have been putting together a syndicate to purchase ATM (also listed jointly on the Australian exchange as A2M). The publicly announced parties are America’s Dean Foods and Australia’s Freedom Foods. But in the background are Australia’s Perich family, Australia’s Moxey family, and China’s New Hope agri-food conglomerate. And hovering nearby is Richard Liu from the rapidly growing Chinese online marketer JD.com. . .

Top Performing Sheep Farmers And Industry Leaders Celebrated:

Sheep farmers have celebrated the top performers in their industry at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards in Invercargill tonight.

This is the fourth year the awards have been held and Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive, Dr Scott Champion said the awards night was a wonderful way to showcase the sheep industry – a major contributor to the New Zealand economy.

“The industry has and continues to make huge progress – for instance, while the number of sheep has halved in the last 25 years, lamb production has only fallen by seven per cent. Improved genetics is part of this fabulous productivity improvement story and tonight’s winners are leading the way in sheep genetics.” . .

 

Marlborough Lines takes 80% stake in Yealands Wine for $89M – Suze Metherell:

(BusinessDesk) – Marlborough Lines has bought an 80 percent stake in Yealands Wine Group, New Zealand’s sixth-largest wine exporter, for $89 million.

The South Island electricity lines company took control from founder Peter Yealands, who wanted to keep the winery fully New Zealand owned, the companies said in a joint statement. Marlborough Lines is debt free and had realised $100 million in cash from investments which it wanted to reinvest locally.

“Opportunities to invest in the electricity industry are limited and this led to us looking to other options,” said Marlborough Lines managing director Ken Forrest. “We are satisfied that this will be a successful investment which will broaden our asset base for the benefit of the people of Marlborough.” . .

 

New phase for NAIT programme

July is the start of the next phase for OSPRI’s NAIT programme with the three-year exemption period for pre-NAIT cattle now over. This means that all cattle must be tagged and registered in the NAIT system, even if they are not leaving your property or were born before the NAIT programme launched in July 2012 (the transition period for deer ends on 1 March 2016).

Dr. Stu Hutchings, OSPRI Group Manager, says, “Our goal is to get everybody on board with NAIT so we can all reap the benefits of tighter TB control and continued access to export markets. The only way to make this happen is if farmers play their part and fulfil their NAIT obligations.” . . .

 

Fonterra Updates Progress of Its Business Review:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today provided an update on the business review it announced in March this year.

Fonterra Chief Executive Theo Spierings said the purpose of the review is to ensure that Fonterra is best placed to respond to a rapidly changing global environment.

The initial phases had looked at the entire business in detail and had identified potential areas, including significant initiatives in procurement, business operations and working capital, where the Co-operative can unlock increased value for its owners. . .

 

Silver Fern Farms chief executive appointed to deer board:

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Dean Hamilton has been appointed to the Deer Industry New Zealand (DINZ) board for a three year term.

Mr Hamilton joined the board as a venison processor-appointee on 1 July, replacing Dr Andrew West at the end of Dr West’s three-year term.

Deer Industry New Zealand chair Andy Macfarlane welcomed Mr Hamilton.

“Silver Fern Farms is our largest venison processor and marketer and we are very pleased to now have a close connection to that company through Dean’s appointment. To have a leader of his calibre on the board will be an asset for DINZ and is a good signal of Silver Fern Farms’ commitment to the deer industry.” . . .


Flag of the day

July 7, 2015

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

There are more than 4000 in the gallery already.

This is Koru and Fern by Alan T.

flag

 


Govt report card on BPS

July 7, 2015

The government has released a report card on its Better Public Service targets:

More young people are achieving higher qualifications, welfare dependency continues to fall and Kiwis are doing more of their government transactions digitally, Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and State Services Minister Paula Bennett say.

The Government today published the latest update of progress against the ten challenging targets set three years ago by the Prime Minister.

“There are now 42,000 fewer children living in a benefit dependent household than there were three years ago. That’s more than the combined populations of Masterton and Levin,” Mr English says.

“Today’s results confirm the Government is making continued improvements to some of the really difficult issues that affect our communities and families, however progress in other areas is slower.

“We are getting a better understanding of the most vulnerable New Zealanders, and we’re willing to pay a bit more upfront to change their lives, because what works for the community also works for the Government’s books.”

Mrs Bennett says the BPS results targets were designed to drive a positive change in the public service and signal a willingness to try new things and work across agencies to have more of an impact in people’s lives.

“Significant progress has been made since the Prime Minister first set the targets in 2012,” Mrs Bennett says.

Since the targets were introduced:

  • participation in Early Childhood Education has increased from 94.7 per cent to 96.1 per cent
  • the proportion of immunised 8-month olds has increased from 84 per cent to 92.9 per cent
  • there has been a 14 per cent decrease in people being hospitalised for the first time with rheumatic fever
  • the trend in the number of children and young people experiencing substantiated physical abuse has flattened, after previously being on an upward trajectory
  • the proportion of 18-year olds who achieve a NCEA Level 2 qualification has increased from 74.3 per cent to about 81.1 per cent
  • the proportion of 25 to 34 year olds with a qualification at Level 4 or above has increased from 51.4 per cent to 54.2 per cent
  • total crime, violent crime and youth crime have dropped 17.6 per cent, 9.1 per cent and 37.3 per cent respectively
  • the rate of reoffending has dropped 9.6 per cent
  • there has been a net reduction of 16 percent in business effort when dealing with government agencies
  • 45.8 per cent of government service transactions are now completed digitally, up from 30.4 per cent in 2012.

“We set these targets to stretch the public services to get better results from the more than $70 billion we spend each year,” Mrs Bennett says. “We have always said that some of them will be challenging.

“For example, reducing rheumatic fever remains difficult, but progress has been made. The previously increasing trend for assaults on children has been successfully flattened, but more needs to be done to achieve the target.

“We are making progress in many cases by working with individuals and families to develop services better suited to their needs,” she says.

The government deserves credit for setting targets against which progress can be measured, for working for the most vulnerable and being prepared to spend more upfront to solve long-standing problems.

But these targets aren’t just about the government, they’re about people served by public servants and those public servants who are working to meet the targets.

Education minister Hekia Parata gives credit where it’s due:

Today’s Better Public Service (BPS) update showing the Government is on track to achieve its goal of lifting the proportion of 18-year-olds with NCEA  Level 2 is a tribute to the hard work and professionalism of teachers and principals, says Education Minister Hekia Parata. . .

These targets aren’t necessarily destinations, many are staging posts in a journey towards better public services and better outcomes for the people who use them.

The  report is here.
John Key's photo.


Quote of the day

July 7, 2015

I would not exchange the laughter of my heart for the fortunes of the multitudes; nor would I be content with converting my tears, invited by my agonized self, into calm. It is my fervent hope that my whole life on this earth will ever be tears and laughter –  Kahil Gibran

Hat Tip: Valerie Davies


July 7 in history

July 7, 2015

1456 A retrial verdict acquitted  Joan of Arc of heresy 25 years after her death.

1534 European colonization of the Americas: first known exchange between Europeans and natives of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, in New Brunswick.

1543  French troops invaded Luxembourg.

1575  Raid of the Redeswire, the last major battle between England and Scotland.

1585  Treaty of Nemours abolished tolerance to Protestants in France.

1770 The Battle of Larga.

1777 American Revolutionary War: Battle of Hubbardton.

1798 Quasi-War: the U.S. Congress rescinded treaties with France sparking the “war”.

1799  Ranjit Singh‘s men took up their positions outside Lahore.

1807 Napoleonic Wars: Peace of Tilsit between France, Prussia and Russia ended the Fourth Coalition.

1846 Mexican-American War: American troops occupied Monterey and Yerba Buena (now San Francisco), beginning the United States conquest of California.

1851 Charles Tindley, American gospel music composer, was born (d. 1933).

1860 Gustav Mahler, Austrian composer, was born  (d. 1911).

1863  United States began first military draft; exemptions cost $300.

1892 Katipunan: the Revolutionary Philippine Brotherhood was established leading to the fall of the Spanish Empire in Asia.

1898  President William McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States.

1915 Margaret Abigail Walker Alexander, African-American novelist and poet, was born (d. 1998).

1915 World War I: end of First Battle of the Isonzo.

1916 The NZ Labour Party was founded.

NZ Labour Party founded

1915  An International Railway (New York – Ontario) trolley with an extreme overload of 157 passengers crashed near Queenston, Ontario, killing 15.

1917  Russian Revolution: Prince Georgy Yevgenyevich Lvov formed a Provisional Government in Russia after the deposing of the Tsar Nicholas II.

1919 Jon Pertwee, English actor, was born (d. 1996).

1922  Pierre Cardin, French fashion designer, was born.

1924 Arthur Porritt won a bronze medal for New Zealand in the 100m at the Olympic Games (portrayed as Tom Watson in the film Chariots of Fire).

'Tom Watson' wins bronze for New Zealand

1924 Mary Ford, American singer, was born (d. 1977).

1927 Doc Severinsen, American composer and musician, was born.

1928  Sliced bread was sold for the first time by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri. It was described as “the greatest forward step in the baking industry since bread was wrapped”.

1930  Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser began construction of the Boulder Dam (now known as Hoover Dam).

1933 Sir Murray Halberg, New Zealand runner, was born.

1937 Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Lugou Bridge – Japanese forces invaded Beijing.

1940 Ringo Starr, English drummer and singer (The Beatles), was born.

1941  Bill Oddie, English comedian and ornithologist, was born.

1941 World War II: U.S. forces landed in Iceland to forestall an invasion by Germany.

1941  World War II: Beirut was occupied by Free France and British troops.

1942 Carmen Duncan, Australian actress, was born.

1946  Mother Frances Xavier Cabrini became the first American to be canonized.

1946   Howard Hughes nearly died when his XF-11 spy plane prototype crashed.

1947 Gyanendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, King of Nepal, was born.

1947 Alleged and disputed Roswell UFO incident.

1953 Che Guevara set out on a trip through Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador.

1956 Fritz Moravec reached the peak of Gasherbrum II (8,035 m).

1958 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Alaska Statehood Act into United States law.

1959  Venus occultes the star Regulus. This rare event is used to determine the diameter of Venus and the structure of the Venusian atmosphere.

1967 Beginning of the civil war in Biafra.

1969  In Canada, the Official Languages Act was adopted making French equal to English throughout the Federal government.

1974 West Germany won the FIFA World Cup, beating Netherlands 2-1 in the Final.

1978 The Solomon Islands became independent from the United Kingdom.

1980  Institution of sharia in Iran.

1980 The Safra massacre in Lebanon.

1983 Cold War: Samantha Smith, a U.S.  schoolgirl, flew to the Soviet Union at the invitation of Secretary General Yuri Andropov.

1991  Yugoslav Wars: the Brioni Agreement ended the ten-day independence war in Slovenia against the rest of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.

2002 News reports accused MI6 of sheltering Abu Qatada, the supposed European Al Qaeda leader.

2005  A series of four explosions  on London’s transport system killed 56 people, including four alleged suicide bombers and injured over 700 others.

2011 – The roof of a stand in De Grolsch Veste Stadium in Enschede which was under construction collapsed, one killed and 14 injured.

2012 – At least 171 people were killed in a flash flood in the Krasnodar Krai region of Russia.

2013 – A De Havilland Otter air taxi crashed in Soldotna, Alaska, killing 10 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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