Word of the day

October 2, 2015

Appoggiatura – a grace note which delays the next note of the melody, taking half or more of its written time value; an embellishing note or tone preceding an essential melodic note or tone and usually written as a note of smaller size.


Rural round-up

October 2, 2015

Chinese deal vital, SFF says – Sally Rae:

Silver Fern Farms could be facing insolvency if shareholders do not approve a 50:50 joint venture with Chinese company Shanghai Maling.

Voting has opened on the proposal before a meeting of shareholders at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on October 16.

Shanghai Maling, a subsidiary of state owned food giant Bright Food Group, is proposing to take a 50% stake in Silver Fern Farms, in return for an investment of $261million. . . 

Hold off on Silver Fern vote, farmers urged –  Sally Rae:

Farmers are being urged to hold off voting on the Silver Fern Farms joint venture deal with Shanghai Maling, with hints that ”concrete” alternatives will emerge.

Voting is under way and closes at 10.30am on October 14, before a special meeting in Dunedin on October 16, where two resolutions will be voted on.

As well as the Shanghai Maling proposal, the meeting will also consider the shareholder resolution, promoted by Heriot farmer Allan Richardson and John Cochrane, from Clinton, seeking full analysis of the benefits and risks of a merger with Alliance Group. That resolution was not supported by Silver Fern Farms’ board. . . 

Bright lets sparks fly – Alan Williams:

Bright Dairy group is an excellent strategic investor in Synlait Milk, the latter’s chairman Graeme Milne says.

“It’s more than just money they bring.

“They’ve got the knowledge and capability to help us make good decisions.”

Shanghai Maling, the proposed new investor for Silver Fern Farms, is part of the wider Bright Dairy-Bright Foods group. . . 

Super-drone sprayer comes with risks -Robin Martin:

The first unmanned helicopter certified to spray chemicals in New Zealand could ultimately save back-country farmers thousands of dollars but it comes with a hefty price tag – and a safety warning. 

The Yamaha RMAX is a beast by drone standards, powered by a 260cc engine and weighing in at close to 100 kilograms.

Yamaha business development manager Geoff Lamb and his team put the chopper through its paces for a gathering of curious farmers, spraying contractors and radio-controlled aircraft enthusiasts at a Lepperton farm in Taranaki this week. . . 

Fonterra boss offers $4m salary freeze:

The chief executive of Fonterra has asked for his multi-million dollar salary to be frozen this year as the co-operative goes through major cost cuts and slashes hundreds of jobs.

Theo Spierings requested the freeze on his base salary on the same day Fonterra announced it was slashing hundreds more jobs as part of a business shake-up, taking total layoffs to 750.

That came just days before the company released its annual result.

A spokesman said Mr Spierings went to a meeting of Fonterra’s people, culture and safety committee on 21 September and requested that his base salary of about $4 million for the 2015/16 year be frozen. . . 

Nutrient loss under the spotlight:

New Zealand’s shift from a pasture-based model to high feed-input dairy farms will come under the microscope in a joint research project involving Ballance Agri-Nutrients, AgResearch, DairyNZ and Tatua, in partnership with the Government’s Sustainable Farming Fund initiative.

The two year project, led by AgResearch’s Dr Stewart Ledgard, will use case study farms varying in intensity of feed use to examine effects of their system changes over the last decade on emissions, production and profit as well as testing options for improving their sustainability.

“Locally there is strong interest in understanding implications for water quality of dairy intensification through increased use of supplementary feeds and how effects can be minimised, while internationally there is a desire for food products to be produced with efficient use of resources and reduced wider environmental impacts”, says Dr Stewart Ledgard. . . 

Aussies nab heaviest fleece record:

Well it’s official New Zealand has been fleeced by the Australians ..who now hold the world record for the heaviest fleece shorn off a merino.

The Australians were quick to yell they had found a wild merino near Canberra in early September with a fleece which weighed in at 40 kilograms.

Otago’s ‘Shrek the sheep’ held the record up until last year when another wild merino – dubbed Big Ben – was found in the Mackenzie Country with a fleece weighing 28.9 kgs. . . 

Steady wool market:

New Zealand Wool Services International Limited’s C.E.O, Mr John Dawson reports that the more restricted wool type offering in the North Island sale of 6,165 bales saw a 97 percent clearance and a generally steady market.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies firmed 1.66 percent compared to the last sale on 24th September only impacting on the finer end of the offering.

Mr Dawson advises that the stronger New Zealand dollar and limited interest in the Fine Crossbred longer wools saw prices ease 2 to 4 percent with shorter types better supported with pries 1 to 3.5 percent softer in local terms. . . 


Can’t afford to go from institution with failings to failed institution

October 2, 2015

Prime Minister John Key focused on a call for action in Syria and other conflicts, reform of the veto process and on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in his address to  the UN General Assembly.

The Prime Minister said the UN was the only organisation capable of focusing the world’s attention on the most pressing issues and finding ways to resolve them.

This was the reason New Zealand had fought so hard for a seat on the UN Security Council but Mr Key said real action was too often blocked by internal divisions.

“We cannot afford to let the Council go from an institution with failings to a failed institution,” Mr Key said.

While acknowledging the recent success of the Council in some areas such as the Iran deal, he also criticised some of its working methods, including the use of the veto by the five Permanent Members, saying it too often led to inaction.

Mr Key stressed the importance of Council action on the Syrian conflict.

“More than 160 leaders have shown up in New York this week to mark the enduring importance of the United Nations over the past 70 years,” Mr Key said.

“Yet we do so against the backdrop of the worst refugee crisis since World War II.

“It’s time for the Council to do its duty to those who have lost their lives, their loved ones, and for the millions who have been displaced.”

Mr Key pointed to the long list of other conflicts around the globe including in Yemen and South Sudan, and to the stalled Middle East Peace Process as other areas where the Council needed to lead.

New Zealand would continue to play an active role to try and address such issues for the duration of its time on the Council.

The Prime Minister also praised the adoption of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, including the agreement to better protect the world’s oceans and fisheries.

The full speech is here.


Friday’s answers

October 2, 2015

Andrei and Teletext get my thanks for posing the questions.

If they’ve stumped us all a virtual bouquet of spring flowers can be claimed by leaving the answers below.


Share a smile

October 2, 2015

 By receipt of this Badge, you are appointed as an official World Smile Day Ambassador and tasked to “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile” on World Smile Day, Oct. 2, 2015. You are also granted permission to enlist and appoint others as World Smile Day Ambassadors by bestowing this badge upon them.
World Smile Day®'s photo.


Quote of the day

October 2, 2015

What always haunts a Prime Minister is ‘will there be a series of trade blocs develop that you are not part of?’ Because that is unthinkable for New Zealand as an export-oriented, small trading nation.

So of course New Zealand has to be in on the action with the TPP and go for the very best deal it can as the agreement expands beyond the original four economies to a wider regional agreement.  Helen Clark


October 2 in history

October 2, 2015

1187 Siege of Jerusalem: Saladin captured Jerusalem after 88 years of Crusader rule.

1263  The battle of Largs between Norwegians and Scots.

1535 Jacques Cartier discovered Montreal.

1552 Conquest of Kazan by Ivan the Terrible.

1780 John André, British Army officer, was hanged as a spy by American forces.

1789  George Washington sent the proposed Constitutional amendments (The United States Bill of Rights) to the States for ratification.

1800 Nat Turner, American leader of slave uprising, was born (d. 1831)

1814  Battle of Rancagua: Spanish Royalists troops under Mariano Osorio defeated rebel Chilean forces of Bernardo O’Higgins and Jose Miguel Carrera.

1835  The Texas Revolution began with the Battle of Gonzales:Mexicansoldiers attempted to disarm the people of Gonzales but encountered stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia.

1851  The pasilalinic-sympathetic compass was demonstrated but proved to be a fake.

1852  William Ramsay, Scottish chemist who discovered noble gases, was born (d. 1916).

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Saltville – Union forces attacked Saltville, Virginia, but were defeated by Confederate troops.

1889  In Colorado, Nicholas Creede struck silver during the last great silver boom of the American Old West.

1890 Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor, was born (d. 1977).

1904 Graham Greene, British novelist, was born (d. 1991).

1907  Alexander R. Todd, Baron Todd, Scottish chemist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1997).

1919  US President Woodrow Wilson suffered a  stroke, leaving him partially paralysed.

1921 Robert Runcie, Archbishop of Canterbury, was born (d. 2000).

1924  The Geneva Protocol was adopted as a means to strengthen the League of Nations.

1925  John Logie Baird performed the first test of a working television system.

1928 The “Prelature of the Holy Cross and the Work of God”, commonly known as Opus Dei, was founded by Saint Josemaría Escrivá.

1938  Tiberias massacre: Arabs murdered 20 Jews.

1941  Pilot Officer Carlyle Everiss – a New Zealand fighter pilot saved the lives of countless people in the Scottish village of Cowie by staying with his crippled plane to steer it away from houses.

NZ pilot saves Scottish village

1941  World War II: Operation Typhoon, Germany began an all-out offensive against Moscow.

1944 World War II: Nazi troops ended the Warsaw Uprising.

1948 Donna Karan, American fashion designer, was born.

1949 Annie Leibovitz, American photographer, was born.

1950  Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz was first published

1950 Mike Rutherford, English musician (Genesis), was born.

1951 Sting, English musician and actor, was born.

1958 Guinea declared its independence from France.

1959  The anthology series The Twilight Zone premiered on CBS television.

1967  Thurgood Marshall was sworn in as the first African-American justice of United States Supreme Court.

1968 A peaceful student demonstration in Mexico City culminated in theTlatelolco massacre.

1970 A plane carrying the Wichita State University football team, administrators, and supporters crashed in Colorado killing 31 people.

1986 – ‘Slice of Heaven’  hits No. 1.

1990 A Chinese airline Boeing 737-247 was hijacked; after landing at Guangzhou, it crashed into two airliners on the ground, killing 132 people.

1992 The Carandiru Massacre after a riot in the Carandiru Penitentiary in São Paulo, Brazil.

1996  The Electronic Freedom of Information Act Amendments were signed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

1996  An AeroPerú Boeing 757 crashed in Pacific Ocean shortly after takeoff from Lima, Peru, killing 70.

1997   European Union: The Amsterdam Treaty was signed.

2001  Swissair liquidated and the airline was replaced by SWISS.

2002  The Beltway sniper attacks began.

2004 American Samoa joined the North American Numbering Plan.

2005 Ethan Allen Boating Accident: The Ethan Allen tour boat capsizes on Lake George, killing twenty people.

2006  Five school girls were murdered by Charles Carl Roberts in ashooting at an Amish school in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania.

2007  President Roh Moo-hyun of South Korea walked across the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea on his way to the second Inter-Korean Summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

2009 The Twenty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland was approved at the second attempt, permitting the state to ratify the European Union’s Treaty of Lisbon.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia


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