Word of the day

06/11/2015

Ambodexter – one able to play with either hand.


Rural round-up

06/11/2015

Lochinver Station sells to New Zealand buyer:

One of New Zealand’s largest farms, Lochinver Station in the central North Island, will remain in New Zealand ownership following its sale for an undisclosed sum to privately owned New Zealand farming group Rimanui Farms Ltd.

It will take over the ownership of the 13,843 hectare sheep and beef station, upon settlement of the sale in March next year, from one of New Zealand’s largest private companies, Stevenson Group Limited, which has owned it for more than half a century.

Bayleys Real Estate recommenced marketing the property last month after the Government announced it had turned down an Overseas Investment Office application from Chinese company Shanghai Pengxin’s subsidiary Pure 100 to buy the property. . . 

IrrigationNZ calls for 350,000ha more land to be irrigated – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – IrrigationNZ is calling for a dramatic escalation in irrigation, saying New Zealand could bring water to an additional 350,000 hectares by 2025, boosting agricultural production and providing a buffer against weather events such as El Nino-induced drought.

The lobby group wants a 50 percent increase in irrigated land in the next 10 years, according to its industry snapshot released today. New Zealand currently has about 720,000 hectares of irrigated land, and IrrigationNZ has produced a map showing where irrigation could be expanded, pushing total watered land to more than 1 million hectares.

Chief executive Andrew Curtis said New Zealand’s primary production growth is being hampered by a lack of a reliable water supply, which ultimately holds back economic growth. . . 

No jobs?  move to the regions, urges govt:

Unemployed people are being urged to look to the regions for work by the government, after the unemployment rate broke the 6 percent mark yesterday.

The rate is now at its highest point in two years and economists have predicted that it is likely to rise further.

Listen to more on Morning Report ( 4 min 32 sec )

But Steven Joyce, Minister of Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment told Morning Report it was a “multi-regional story”, with lot of shifts around the country.

He said that in some regions such as Otago and Northland, there were shortages of people applying for jobs, and unemployed people should consider moving if they could. . . 

Forestry joins GIA biosecurity agreement:

The forestry industry has become the sixth industry group to join the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership, Primary Industries Ministers Nathan Guy and Jo Goodhew have announced today.

“It’s great to have the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (FOA) onboard, working with the Ministry for Primary Industries to manage and respond to the most important biosecurity risks,” says Mr Guy.

“A growing number of industries have now signed up to work together with the Government through the GIA.” . . 

Forest defence bolstered by agreement with government:

The Forest Owners Association says having a biosecurity agreement with the government is a vital part of the forest industry’s defence system.

FOA chief executive David Rhodes and primary industries minister Nathan Guy today signed what is known as a Government-Industry Agreement at Parliament. The agreement defines where responsibilities and costs will fall in the event of an outbreak of a serious forest pest or disease.

“For 50 years we have had a forest health surveillance scheme that is seen by overseas experts as one of the best in the world. But being ‘best’ is not good enough, we need it to be as near to perfect as we can make it,” says Mr Rhodes. . . 

FMG's photo.


Saturday soapbox

06/11/2015

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
Grammarly's photo.

Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living – Dr Seuss.


Friday’s answers

06/11/2015

Andrei posed the questions for which he earns my thanks and should he have stumped us all he wins a virtual bunch of spring flowers which can be claimed by leaving the answers below.


Competition not sufficient to warrant deregulation

06/11/2015

The Commerce Commission has found there’s not yet enough competition to deregulate the dairy processing industry.

The Commission began its review in June this year at the request of the Minister for Primary Industries as required under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA).

Deputy Chair Sue Begg said the Commission’s draft finding is that, on balance, there is not sufficient competition at the farm gate and factory gate to consider full deregulation at this time.

“Our primary concern is that competition in the factory gate is very limited. Without the existing regulations, Fonterra would be able to increase the price of raw milk it sells to other domestic processors. This could in turn result in higher retail prices for dairy products in New Zealand,” Ms Begg said.

“While there are signs of competition and growth in the farm gate market, particularly in Canterbury, Southland and Waikato, Fonterra faces little competition as the dominant buyer of raw milk in most regional markets. However, it does not have the ability or incentive to reduce prices to farmers in this market due its co-operative nature and constraints from competitors.”

The Commission also concluded that Fonterra has limited ability and incentive overall to shut competitors out of dairy markets if the regulations were removed.

The Commission’s draft report has outlined options for transitioning to deregulation in the future and resetting the current market share thresholds that prompt a competition review. The recommendations include:
Taking a staged approach to amending the DIRA regulatory regime, beginning with a review of the Raw Milk Regulations with an eye to allowing a factory gate market to develop
Resetting the market share thresholds in both the North and South islands to 30 percent (up from the current 20 percent) as the trigger for a competition review of the dairy industry.
“Our analysis suggests that gradual relaxation of the Raw Milk Regulations may encourage the factory gate market to develop. Full deregulation currently poses a potential risk to domestic competition in goods such as fresh milk and cheese, where independent processors are dependent on regulated access to raw milk from Fonterra. Taking a staged approach to deregulation would mitigate this risk,” Ms Begg said.

“We recognise that any changes to the regime would need to be carefully managed and welcome submissions from interested parties. In particular we want to test the evidence on the likely costs and benefits of deregulation and whether our recommended approach of developing a more competitive factory gate market is appropriate at this time.”

Submissions on it are open until December 4th.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith have welcomed the Commerce Commission’s release of a draft report on the state of competition in New Zealand’s dairy industry today.

The report was commissioned by the two Ministers on 2 June 2015 as required under the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001. That Act allowed the formation of Fonterra, and includes provisions to promote contestability in New Zealand’s farm gate and factory gate dairy markets to ensure their efficient operation.

“The Commerce Commission has formed an independent view based on its expertise as New Zealand’s primary competition regulatory agency. On balance, the draft report has found that competition is not sufficient to warrant deregulation at this point,” says Mr Guy.

Submissions on this draft report are open until 4 December 2015. Following a period for cross-submissions, the final report will be released by 1 March 2016.

“I intend to consult on a package of policy proposals in mid-2016, following receipt of the Commerce Commission’s final report.

“The dairy industry is a major part of our economy and this process will be helpful in assessing whether the Act is effectively promoting contestability, and in turn, the efficient operation of our domestic raw milk markets.”

“I would like to thank the Commerce Commission for their work to date, and I encourage all those with an interest in this area to consider the Commissions draft report carefully, and to make a submission if necessary,” Mr Goldsmith says.

The final report will help inform the Government’s policy decisions, in particular, whether or not to allow the default expiry of the pro-competition provisions of the Act in the South Island (the current expiry threshold was met in the South Island in the 2014/15 season).

The draft report is here.

Now that the expiry threshold has been met in the South island I hope that the Minister will allow the default expiry of the pro-competition provisions.


TPP text released

06/11/2015

The full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has been released just as the government always said it would be.

The usual suspects, at least some of whom are opposed to any trade, will continue their opposition. Some might even trawl through all of its 6,000 pages to base their opposition on something which is actually in the agreement.

But one of the measures of the importance of being in this particular tent was what happened soon after the 12 countries to it reached their agreement.

Indonesia said it wants to join and the EU approached New Zealand to start negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement.

The TPPA is not perfect but we have too much to lose by not being part of it and enough to gain by signing up to make it worthwhile.

 


Quote of the day

06/11/2015

I was raised to sense what someone wanted me to be and be that kind of person. It took me a long time not to judge myself through someone else’s eyes. – Sally Field who turns 69 today.


November 6 in history

06/11/2015

355  Roman Emperor Constantius II promoted his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with the government of the Prefecture of the Gauls.

1528  Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vacabecame the first known European to set foot in Texas.

1632   Thirty years war: Battle of Lützen was fought, the Swedes were victorius but the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus died in the battle.

1789   Pope Pius VI appointed Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.

1844  The first constitution of the Dominican Republic was adopted.

1851  Charles Dow, American journalist and economist, was born (d. 1902).

1856   Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, was submitted for publication.

1861   American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.

1861  James Naismith, Canadian inventor of basketball, was born (d. 1939).

1865   American Civil War: CSS Shenandoah was the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after circumnavigating the globe on a cruise on which it sank or captured 37 vessels.

1893  Edsel Ford, president of Ford Motor Company, was born (d. 1943).

1908 Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward ceremonially opened the North Island main trunk railway line by driving home a final polished silver spike at Manganuioteao, between National Park and Ohakune.

Last spike for North Island main trunk line

1913   Mohandas Gandhi was arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.

1917   World War I: Third Battle of Ypres ended: After three months of fierce fighting, Canadian forces took Passchendaele in Belgium.

1918   The Second Polish Republic was proclaimed in Poland.

1925   Secret agent Sidney Reilly was executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.

1928   Sweden began a tradition of eating Gustavus Adolphus pastries to commemorate the king.

1935  Edwin Armstrong presented his paper “A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation” to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.

1935  First flight of the Hawker Hurricane.

1935  Parker Brothers acquired the forerunner patents for MONOPOLY from Elizabeth Magie.

1939   World War II: Sonderaktion Krakau took place.

1941  World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addressed the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule. He stated that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, the Germans had lost 4.5 million soldiers and that Soviet victory was near.

1942   World War II: Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign began.

1943   World War II: the Soviet Red Army recaptured Kiev.

1944   Plutonium was first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility.

1946  Sally Field, American actress, was born.

1947 – George Young, Australian musician (Easybeats), was born.

1947   Meet the Press made its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).

1948 Glenn Frey, American singer (Eagles), was born.

1949 Nigel Havers, English actor, was born.

1962   Apartheid: The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.

1963   General Duong Van Minh took over leadership of South Vietnam.

1965   Cuba and the United States formally agreed to begin an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States.

1970  Ethan Hawke, American actor, was born.

1971  The United States Atomic Energy Commission tested the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.

1975   Green March began: 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converged on the southern city of Tarfaya and waited for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.

1977   The Kelly Barnes Dam, located above Toccoa Falls, Georgia, failed, killing 39.

1985   Leftist guerrillas of the April 19 Movement seized control of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, eventually killing 115 people, 11 of them Supreme Court justices.

1986   Sumburgh disaster – A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashed 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people.

1999   Australians voted to keep the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.

2004   An express train collided with a stationary carriage near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing 7 and injuring 150.

2005   The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 killed 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.

2012 – Tammy Baldwin, became the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.


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