Word of the day

August 13, 2015

Toska – a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often with no specific cause; a dull ache of the soul; a longing with nothing to long for; a sick pining; a vague restlessness; mental throes; yearning; the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness; ennui; boredom.

Rural round-up

August 13, 2015

Strong outlook for primary sectors – Nathan Guy:

There’s been much talk about the dairy sector in recent days.

Last week, our largest dairy company Fonterra announced a new reduced forecast payout for farmers. This isn’t particularly surprising as it reflects the ongoing volatility in the international dairy price, but clearly it will have a significant impact on the dairy industry.

Times will be a bit tougher for dairy farmers over the next few months and it will have a flow-on impact in regional communities.

However, this volatility in dairy prices is expected to be short-term. The medium to long-term outlook for our dairy sector, and indeed all primary sectors, is very positive, and expected to grow by 17 per cent to more than $41 billion over the next four years. . .


Farmers to get higher wool price:

Marketing and sales company Wools of New Zealand has bumped up the price it’s offering farmers for lambs wool.

It will pay farmers a contract price of $7.50 per kilo for 28 micron to 31.5 micron lamb’s wool produced this season.

That is a 15 cent per kilo increase on the price it was offering at the beginning of July, which the farmer-owned company said reflected positive movements in the exchange rate, with a falling New Zealand dollar increasing export returns. . .

Hefty prices predicted for NZ beef:

 The Meat Industry Association says prices for New Zealand beef will be kept high, fuelled by Asia’s strong demand for protein.

Chief executive Tim Ritchie said although the United States, the country’s biggest beef market, was rebuilding its cattle herd numbers after drought, it too remained a very firm market and he expected it to stay that way for some time.

Mr Ritchie said the outlook for the country’s beef prices and exports was very positive, as many Asian countries were urging their people to eat more protein. . .

Milk payout cut undoes three years hard work – Sue O’Dowd:

Having to borrow back hundreds of thousands of dollars paid off their loan in the last 2½ years is leaving a Hawera couple bitterly disappointed.

Amanda and Bryce Savage, 50:50 sharemilkers on a 134ha farm for Maori incorporation Parininihi ki Waitotara, raised a loan to buy their first farm, a 74ha property near Stratford, in 2013.

Fonterra’s revised dairy payout of $3.85 kilogram milksolids (kg MS), down from $5.25, means they feel they’re going backwards because they’ll have to borrow back all the money they’ve repaid off that loan. . .

First Threatened Species Ambassador appointed:

Conservation Minister Maggie Barry has today announced New Zealand’s first Threatened Species Ambassador is Nicola Toki.

The Ambassador will be a high-profile role within the Department of Conservation for all of the country’s threatened species, working to build partnerships and encourage New Zealanders to become involved in conservation efforts.

“As a nation, we face a major battle to save our threatened species. Our unique native wildlife is besieged by introduced pests and other threats,” Ms Barry says. . .

Bluegreen programme of improved environmental management outlined:

A programme of stronger national direction and guidance on key environmental issues was announced today by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith at the Environmental Defence Society’s conference in Auckland.

“A key problem with the Resource Management Act is that there has been too little central government direction on major issues. We are stepping up our programme of National Policy Statements, National Environmental Standards and national guidance to get better environmental results at less cost,” Dr Smith says.

Dr Smith today released the Ministries for the Environment and Primary Industries’ new guide on implementing the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management. . .

Half Share for Sale in Large New Zealand Pastoral Farming Portfolio:

Half the shares in a large pastoral farming operation, New Zealand Pastures Ltd (NZP), are being offered for sale.

NZP is a private company that owns seven properties in Otago and Canterbury with a combined value over $100 million. Its portfolio comprises two partially irrigated and five dryland farms, ranging in size between 958ha and 7,533ha that have been predominantly managed as lamb and beef grazing and finishing units. Combined land area is 23,500ha with an assessed carrying capacity around 140,000 stock units. . .

BioGro Introduces New Organic Service:

BioGro Ltd, New Zealand’s leading organic certifier, has introduced a new Initial Contact Meeting service to help make it easier for anyone looking to ‘go organic.’

The Initial Contact Meetings are designed to inform and assist producers interested in organic production and certification.

Since the programme launched in November 2014, the meetings have proven popular with over 20 farmers and producers across New Zealand taking part so far. . .

Men in Black

August 13, 2015

Air New Zealand have done it again, and better still – the new safety video is one most are going to watch.

Not everyone will enjoy it, but it will be difficult to ignore.

Thursday’s quiz

August 13, 2015
  1. Who said: Love begins by taking care of the closest ones – the ones at home.?

2. Who had a sign saying TRESPASSERS W outside his home and what was the W short for?

3. It’s domicile in French, abitazione in Italian, hogar in Spanish and kāinga in Maori, what is it in English?

4. What does Lang may yer lum reek mean, literally, not figuratively?

5. What makes your house a home?

Am I my worker’s child’s keeper?

August 13, 2015

He turned up to work for us with a partner and five-year-old child, and little more than the clothes they stood up in.

He said they’d left their last job in a hurry because the boss made him drink too much.

I said to my farmer, call me sceptical but if you weren’t in imminent danger wouldn’t you have time to take a few essentials like bedding with you?

But we needed staff when it was difficult to find any so we gave him the job, found them basic household requirements and he started working.

Soon we got the letter requiring us to deduct money for fines from his pay and another requiring us to deduct child support.

Then we noticed the boy wasn’t going to school. We’d given them the usual information about the community including choice of schools when they arrived. We followed up but there was always some excuse as to why he wasn’t going.

In the end we approached the nearest school and were told that while most children enrolled at five, it wasn’t a legal requirement until they were six.

The boy turned six and still wasn’t going to school.

My farmer asked the father why and was told, “We took him but we didn’t like the principal because he  . . . ”

My farmer pointed out that the principal was a she.

The boy was enrolled but his attendance was at best erratic. The parents had a range of excuses, none of which were valid.

The boy looked well fed and happy, and there were no signs of abuse but the school got in touch with the Public Health nurse who began visiting the home.

Shortly afterwards the father gave his notice.

He got another job in the district. The grapevine told us of problems then the mother appeared in court for assaulting the father.

They left the district and we haven’t heard of them since.

But I still think about the boy who will be a teenager now and wonder could we have done any more for him?

Are people who knew the latest in the far too long list of children who have died in suspicious circumstances asking the same questions?

And what about people who know the children who aren’t yet in the list but in danger of joining it?

For everyone reported, how many more are victims of abuse and neglect and how many of these go on to neglect and abuse others?

If there were simple answers to the questions of why? and how? and what can be done?, it would be being done.

But difficult answers aren’t an excuse for not helping those in need now and addressing the causes to prevent more.

In light of which I am my worker’s child’s keeper but I don’t know what else I could have done to help him.

Evidence for case against state ownerhsip

August 13, 2015

Solid Energy is expected to announce it will go into administration today.

The company will then set up a two-and-a-half year business plan during which the profitable parts of the company will be separated out and sold as going concerns.

When this process is finished, the remains of the company – one of New Zealand’s oldest state owned enterprises – will be consolidated into a rump body which will probably be closed down. . .

This will be a blow to the employees and other businesses which service and supply the company.

That aside, this result provides good evidence for the case against state ownership of most companies.

Private ownership might not have saved the company but at least it wouldn’t be taxpayers who bore the cost of its failure.

Quote of the day

August 13, 2015

Metro United Way's photo.

Students who are loved at home,  come to school to learn, and students who aren’t, come to school to be loved. Nicholas A. Ferroni.

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