Word of the day

August 17, 2015

Constellate –  form or cause to form into a cluster or group; gather together; to cluster together, as stars in a constellation; scatter or intersperse like dots or studs.


Rural round-up

August 17, 2015

More women working NZ farms – Suzette Howe:

New Zealand is seeing a rise in the number of women working in farming. For years farming has been mainly viewed as a man’s world, but the tide is turning.

Nestled away on a north Canterbury farm, Louisa McClintock is not your average teenage girl. At just 17 she’s fallen in love with farming. She has quit school and is taking up the reins of her granddad’s farm.

“Everyone thought I was going to stay at school till year 13 and do the whole nine yards and go to uni, but I don’t think there’s anything I’d rather be doing; farming is it,” she says. . . 

Getting through the tough times – Andrew Hoggard:

We at least now know where we are with the much anticipated Fonterra forecast payment.  A price of $3.85 per kilo of milk solids is a real shocker.  There’s not going to be many farmers making anything on that payout.

That said, what can realistically be done about helping farmers through the tough times ahead for at least the next few months?

First, there is the no brainer stuff.  Talk to the bank manager.  Talk to advisers.  Put a bit more effort into communication with the family – they will be feeling the pressure as well.  . . 

Water Proposals jeopardise Southland’s farming future

Federated Farmers Southland strongly opposes Environment Southland’s draft ‘Water and Land Plan and are planning meetings to discuss the rural community’s concerns.

President of Federated Farmers Southland, Allan Baird, says “In its current form, the cost to Southland farmers will be crippling and there will be large flow on affects for the wider Southland economy.”

“As proposed, this Plan would severely limit or prohibit development, flexibility, and innovation for farming businesses, which will have huge consequences for Southland’s economy.”

“Farmers want good water quality just like every other Southlander; by progressing the current outcomes based approach that focuses our resources on the priority hot spots. This is consistent with what the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is encouraging in her recent report, but we can’t do that without the flexibility to adapt to the environment and regulatory changes.”    . . .

NZ and Australia likely to trigger milk quota – Allan Barber:

For the first time since 2004 New Zealand and Australian beef exporters look almost certain to run out of US beef quota before the end of the year. High kills in both countries have seen an excess of beef being processed, well ahead of the normal annual production trend.

New Zealand’s annual quota allows shipments of 213,402 tonnes, much of it manufacturing beef for the fast food industry, but also higher value prime beef cuts in the pre Christmas period. If the quota runs out, these cuts will be at risk. The excess production this year is a direct result of the high cow cull because of the downturn in dairy prices. One processor told me the present slaughter rate was four times the normal amount. . . 

Reducing waste to feed the world:

A 2013 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) agreement to reduce food waste by 10 percent across the region is picking up pace as researchers and technical team members work towards their 2017 goal of developing effective strategies and actions to address urgent global food waste issues.

A third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted. That translates into about 1.3 billion ton per year. Lincoln University Associate Professor James Morton says reducing food waste is the logical first step in meeting the needs of a growing world population, which is predicted to reach nine billion by 2050. He recently attended the second of three APEC ‘Multi-Year Project’ meetings focused on addressing global food waste, where he spoke around the need to measure and reduce wastage in the livestock chain. . . 

TPP – it’s time for a breather – Keith Woodford:

The failure to reach closure at the recent TPP negotiations in Hawaii may be a blessing for New Zealand. It may give some time for our negotiators to reflect on what we hope to achieve and what we are prepared to concede.

Most farmers will be supporters of the TPP. They will be working on the apparently reasonable assumption that more free trade has to be good value. . .

Commission releases draft report on 2014/15 review of Fonterra’s base milk price calculation:

The Commerce Commission today released its draft report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2014/15 dairy season. The base milk price is the price Fonterra pays to farmers for raw milk and is currently set by Fonterra at $4.40 per kilogram of milk solids for the 2014/15 season.

The Commission is required to review Fonterra’s calculation of the base milk price each year as part of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act’s (DIRA) milk price monitoring regime. The review assesses whether Fonterra’s approach delivers incentives for it to operate efficiently and provides for contestability in the market for purchasing farmers’ milk.

The Commission’s overall view is that Fonterra’s calculation of the 2014/15 base milk price is largely consistent with both the efficiency and contestability purposes of the DIRA. . . 

 


Petty isn’t Prime Ministerial

August 17, 2015

There’s a time for opposition parties to oppose and a time for them to look like a government in waiting.

The opposition in using the flag referenda to oppose, have missed the opportunity to look like they’re ready to lead the country.

In doing so and going against their own policy to have two referenda to determine the best alternative to our current flag and then which of those two we prefer, Labour is taking a dishonest approach:

. . . With the list of the final 40 just published, the debate has barely begun, apart from the objections by Opposition parties – two of which appear to be opposing the review for opposition’s sake.

Quite what Labour and the Greens will do when the debate gains momentum will present a conundrum for them. They cannot continue to attack the referendum process without indirectly attacking New Zealanders who are interested in it and want to be part of it.

They have ignored a basic principle in politics as in life: to thine own self be true, or the voters will see right through you. 

It was understandable for the parties to rail against the Government asset sales programme last term – even though National won a mandate for it – because it was against Labour and Green policy.

But to rail against a review of the New Zealand flag – which National also promised at the last election – when it echoes your own party’s policy is simply dishonest and erodes trust in a party.

How can you trust a party that objects to its own policy?

Labour in particular has made a series of misjudgments over its positioning.

By describing it simply as a “vanity project” of Prime Minister John Key, Labour belittles those who don’t care what John Key thinks but who would like a say in what the flag should be.

Labour is creating a wedge issue among its own supporters, many of whom want a change. . . 

The government did it’s best to take the other parties with it, and before the election all but New Zealand First were comfortable with the two-referenda process.

Now Labour has let their dislike of Prime Minister John Key trump their principles and do an unprincipled u-turn on their own policy.

They might also have mistaken a vocal minority as representative of a majority.

The video of the PM rebutting arguments against change which was posted on Facebook where it’s had 489,000 direct views of the video, and 1.24 million people have seen the post as it has been shared by 6,206 people to their followers.

We won’t know which new design people want and whether they prefer that to the status quo until the votes are counted, but that number of views does indicate a great deal of interest in the process.

Labour leader Andrew Little could have been part of that had he stuck with his party policy and taken the opportunity to look like a Prime Minister in-waiting.

Instead he looks petty which is not a Prime Ministerial attribute.


Quote of the day

August 17, 2015

 . . . People and organisations in the private sector aren’t better than those in the state sector. It’s rather that poor performance is weeded out in the private sector. And that’s precisely what’s happening with Serco. Its fee is cut and it’s at risk of losing the contract.

That’s precisely how it works. That’s what contracting out is all about: Perform or else.

I would have thought the swift dealing to was evidence of the wisdom of contracting out. What happens when the state sector fouls up? Invariably it’s a systems fault, no one has their pay docked and no one is fired. The state sector staggers on to the next mess up. . . Rodney Hide


August 17 in history

August 17, 2015

986  A Byzantine army was destroyed in the Battle of Gates of Trajan by the Bulgarians under the Comitopuli Samuel and Aron.

1786 – Davy Crockett, American frontiersman and soldier, was born (d. 1836).

1807  Robert Fulton‘s first American steamboat left New York City for Albany, New York on the Hudson River, inaugurating the first commercial steamboat service in the world.

1839 The NZ Company’s sailing ship Tory dropped anchor in Queen Charlotte Sound to pick up fresh water, food and wood before proceeding to Port Nicholson (Wellington Harbour).

NZ Company ship Tory arrives

1862  Indian Wars: The Lakota (Sioux) Dakota War of 1862 began as Lakota warriors attacked white settlements along the Minnesota River.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Gainesville – Confederate forces defeated Union troops.

1883  The first public performance of the Dominican Republic’s national anthem, Himno Nacional.

1893  Mae West, American actress, was born (d. 1980).

1904 Mary Cain, American newspaper editor and politician, was born  (d. 1984).

1907  Pike Place Market, the longest continuously-running public farmers market in the US, opened in Seattle.

1908  Fantasmagorie, the first animated cartoon, realized by Émile Cohl, was shown in Paris.

1914  Battle of Stalluponen – The German army of General Hermann von François defeated the Russian force commanded by Pavel Rennenkampf near modern-day Nesterov, Russia.

1915  Jewish American Leo Frank was lynched for the alleged murder of a 13-year-old girl in Marietta, Georgia.

1918  Bolshevik revolutionary leader Moisei Uritsky was assassinated.

1920  Maureen O’Hara, Irish actress, was born.

1942 – A total of 118 New Zealand prisoners of war died when the Italian transport ship Nino Bixio was torpedoed by a British submarine in the Mediterranean.

1943 Robert De Niro, American actor, was born.

1943  The U.S. Eighth Air Force suffered the loss of 60 bombers on theSchweinfurt-Regensburg mission.

1943 : The U.S. Seventh Army under General George S. Patton arrived in Messina, Italy, followed several hours later by the British 8th Army under Field Marshal Bernard L. Montgomery, completing the Allied conquest of Sicily.

1943 First Québec Conference of Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and William Lyon Mackenzie King began.

1944 Larry Ellison, CEO of Oracle Corporation, billionaire, was born.

1945  Indonesian Declaration of Independence.

1946 Martha Coolidge, American film director, was born.

1947 The Radcliffe Line, the border between Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan was revealed.

1953   First meeting of Narcotics Anonymous in Southern California.

1959  Quake Lake was formed by the magnitude 7.5 1959 Yellowstone earthquake near Hebgen Lake in Montana.

1959  Kind of Blue by Miles Davis the much acclaimed and highly influential best selling jazz recording of all time, was released.

1960  Gabon gained independence from France.

1960 Sean Penn, American actor and director, was born.

1962  Gilby Clarke, American musician (Guns N’ Roses), was born.

1962  East German border guards killed 18-year-old Peter Fechter as he attempted to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin becoming one of the first victims of the wall.

1969  Category 5 Hurricane Camille hit the Mississippi coast, killing 248 people and causing $1.5 billion in damage.

1970  Venera 7 launched.

1978  Double Eagle II became first balloon to cross the Atlantic Ocean when it landed in Miserey near Paris, 137 hours after leaving Presque Isle, Maine.

1979 Two Soviet Aeroflot jetliners collide in mid-air over Ukraine, killing 156

1980  Azaria Chamberlain disappeared, taken by a dingo.

1982  The first Compact Discs (CDs) were released to the public in Germany.

1988  Pakistani President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq and U.S. Ambassador Arnold Raphel are killed in a plane crash.

1998  Monica Lewinsky scandal: US President Bill Clinton admitted in taped testimony that he had an “improper physical relationship” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. On the same day he admitted before the nation that he “misled people” about his relationship.

1999 A 7.4-magnitude earthquake struck İzmit, Turkey, killing more than 17,000 and injuring 44,000.

2004  The National Assembly of Serbia unanimously adopted new state symbols: Boze Pravde becomes the new anthem and the coat of arms was adopted for the whole country.

2005 The first forced evacuation of settlers, as part of the Israel unilateral disengagement plan, starts.

2005  Over 500 bombs were set off by terrorists at 300 locations in 63 out of the 64 districts of Bangladesh.

2008  By winning the Men’s 4x100m medley relay, Michael Phelps became the first Olympian to win eight gold medals in the same Olympics.

2009 – An accident at the Sayano–Shushenskaya Dam in Khakassia, Russia, killed 75 and shut down the hydroelectric power station, leading to widespread power failure in the local area.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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