Rural round-up

November 26, 2015

Farmers on knife-edge as land dries out:

Evidence of a dry El Nino summer is beginning to be seen in Canterbury, and has farmers worried.

Federated Farmers president William Rolleston said the region is not seeing a lot of rain and the nor’west winds are already drying things out.

Fire restrictions have been put in place for the rural district of Selwyn, as have restrictions on taking water from the Opuha dam. . . 

Opuha Dam at 80% capacity:

Early irrigation restrictions have helped South Canterbury’s Opuha Dam reach 80 percent of its capacity.

But with little rain expected in the coming months, farmers are being warned this summer could be harder than last.

The irrigation water supply from the dam was turned off for the first time in its 17 years of operation last February as a result of the drought. . . 

North Canterbury irrigaition proposal rejected:

Independent Hearing Commissioners appointed by Environment Canterbury have rejected a proposal to take water from a North Canterbury stream for irrigation and power generation.

The Kakapo Brook runs through Glynn Wye Station and co-applicants Rooney Group – owner of the station – and Mainpower proposed taking up to 1600 litres per second, to fill two large storage dams on the farm totaling 1 million cubic metres.

The water would be used for irrigating 500 hectares of the high country property and providing hydropower generation. . . .

Fonterra says 2016 forecast payout tied to dairy prices rising next year – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group has affirmed guidance for the 2016 milk payout to farmers, although chairman John Wilson said it was dependent on global dairy prices rising in the first half of next year from current unsustainable levels.

The world’s largest dairy exporter has forecast a farmgate milk price of $4.60 per kilogram of milk solids and a cash dividend of 35-to-40 cents per share for a total payout of $4.95/kgMS to $5/kgMS. . . .

Fonterra targets doubling of China revenue within five years, Spierings says – Fiona Rotherham:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra Cooperative Group, the world’s largest dairy exporter, has set a target of becoming the number one dairy player in China and doubling its business in the country to $10 billion within the next five years.

Speaking at the cooperative’s annual meeting in Waitoa today, chief executive Theo Spierings said the new plan meant China could become 25 percent to 30 percent of total revenue.

When asked whether that would expose the cooperative to too much risk in one country, Spierings said China’s provinces could almost be regarded as countries in their own right. . . 

Results of shareholder voting at Fonterra AGM:

Fonterra shareholders have voted to pass seven of the eleven resolutions at this year’s Annual Meeting.

Resolutions eight, nine, ten and eleven, which were special resolutions put forward by Fonterra shareholders, were not passed. The Board and Shareholders’ Council had earlier recommended that shareholders vote against these resolutions.

The results of the resolutions are:

Resolution result / % in favour

Resolution 1: Approval of remuneration of Directors / 85.32%

Resolution 2: Approval of remuneration of Shareholders’ Council / 83.36% . . .

New technologies a paradigm shift for strong wool:

In a move to improve the returns of New Zealand strong wool growers, Wools of New Zealand (WNZ) has entered into a commercial agreement with to acquire the exclusive global rights to an innovative scour and dying process providing new opportunities for New Zealand strong wool previously only the domain of man-made synthetic fibres.

The two innovative technologies will considerably improve the ‘white and bright’ properties of strong wool, along with colour fastness enhancements that will provide a “paradigm shift” in the demand for end products using strong wool. . . .

Texel Poll Dorset Cross wins Mint Lamb Competition:

Hawarden farmer, and long-time corriedale exhibitor, Andrew Sidey took out the 2015 Mint Lamb Competition at the Canterbury A&P Show on November 11. His texel/poll dorset lamb was judged as the country’s best from paddock to plate.

This year the competition had an overhaul with the overall winner being decided on a combination of yield, tender test and taste results as opposed to just taste alone.

Mr Sidey drafted the lamb himself, and after entering for the past four years, believes that experience helped him take out the win. . . 

2016 Beef and Lamb Excellence Awards / Ambassador Chefs to be Announced:

Mark your calendars: The 2016 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award holders will be announced on Tuesday 1 December, alongside five new Beef and Lamb Ambassador Chefs.

The announcement will take place as part of an exclusive 5 course degustation dinner, specially prepared by the five new Ambassador Chefs, on Tuesday December 1 at The James in Auckland.

The 2016 announcement is a special occasion as it marks the 20th anniversary of the Excellence Awards, establishing them as the longest running culinary awards in New Zealand. . . .

Week to Go Til Dairy Awards Entries Close:

There is [less than]a week to go until entries close in the 2016 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, including the Share Farmer of the Year, Dairy Manager of the Year and Dairy Trainee of the Year competitions.

Entries are being accepted online at www.dairyindustryawards.co.nz and close at midnight on November 30.

General Manager Chris Keeping says there have been 360 entries received to date, including 358 who entered in time to be eligible for the Early Bird Entry Prize Draw of $12,000 in travel vouchers and spending money*. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

November 26, 2015

While I’m blogging lighter you’re welcome to pose the questions with no need to follow the five-question formula I used.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual black bun (in honour of St Andrews Day on Monday).

 


Bigger not better for boards

November 26, 2015

Fonterra has acknowledged change in its governance and representation is needed after more than half its shareholders voted for a smaller board:

. . .A total of 53.8 percent of shareholders voted in favour of the resolution put forward by former directors Colin Armer and Greg Gent to cut the board size from 13 to nine directors but it required 75 percent support to get it across the line under the cooperative’s constitution. It also needed support from 50 percent of shareholder councillors.

The resolution was opposed by the board and Shareholders’ Council, who both said a governance review already under way was a better option. Shareholders have been told the review will see an information booklet sent to them early next year, farmer consultations in February, and a May/June vote at a special extraordinary meeting. . . 

The board must deliver on the review:

The proposal to reduce the size of the Fonterra board is one the company can no longer ignore say its proponents, Greg Gent and Colin Armer.

The proposal failed to meet the 75 per cent support required to change the constitution but the level of support is a massive message to the board they say.

“The Trading Amongst Farmers proposal got 66 per cent support with millions spent so we are thrilled with the support we have received.

“Something has to happen now,” said Colin Armer. “The whole thing disappeared three years ago but there is nowhere for the board to hide now.”

“This is a huge success for us,” said Greg Gent. “We had little resources and the company worked hard against us.”

Mr Armer said the big loser in this debate was the Shareholders’ Council.

“The shareholders’ council has been found wanting and totally misread farmers’ views on the subject,” he said. “Their criticism of our proposal was absurd.

“The resurrection of the governance review after three years was a last minute jack-up between the Council and the board which had only one purpose – to defeat our proposal,” said Mr Armer.

He said that the governance review is still inadequate.

“This upcoming review needs independence, experience, and farmer input into its Terms of Reference,” he said. “Right now shareholders don’t know the terms of reference and the review is being conducted by a group that lacks the experience or independence needed to make sure we get the right structures into the future.”

Mr Gent said that he and Mr Armer had achieved what they wanted to.

“While we’d love to have got our proposal over the 75 per cent line we always knew that it was a huge mountain to climb,” he said. “The company has far better resources than us to communicate with its 10,000 shareholders.”

In spite of the result the pair are confident that the governance review will not be shelved for another three years. However they are not so sure that the review will result in a smaller board of directors.

“We will need to wait and see about that,” said Mr Armer. . . 

Bigger isn’t usually better for boards.

I am on one with 10 members and meetings always work better when at least a couple are absent.

That isn’t a reflection on the absentees, it’s not who isn’t there but that having fewer round the table almost always results in a more efficient and productive meeting.

Fonterra is a big company but it doesn’t need 13 directors to function well and would work better with fewer.


Quote of the day

November 26, 2015

Life is like a ten speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. – Charles M. Schulz who was born on this day in 1922.


November 26 in history

November 26, 2015

43 BC – The Second Triumvirate alliance of Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus (“Octavian”, later “Caesar Augustus”), Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, and Mark Antony was formed.

783 – The Asturian queen Adosinda was put up in a monastery to prevent her kin from retaking the throne from Mauregatus.

1476 – Vlad III Dracula defeated Basarab Laiota with the help of Stephen the Great and Stephen V Bathory and becomes the ruler of Wallachia for the third time.

1731 William Cowper, English poet, was born (d. 1800).

1778 –  Captain James Cook became the first European to visit Maui.

1789 – A national Thanksgiving Day was observed in the United States.

1805 – Official opening of Thomas Telford’s Pontcysyllte Aqueduct.

1832 – Mary Edwards Walker, American surgeon and activist, Medal of Honor recipient, was born (d. 1919).

1842 – The University of Notre Dame was founded.

1863 – American Civil War: Mine Run – Union forces under General George Meade positioned against troops led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

1865 – Battle of Papudo: The Spanish navy engaged a combined Peruvian-Chilean fleet north of Valparaiso, Chile.

1869  – Maud of Wales was born (d. 1938).

1876  Willis Carrier, American engineer and inventor (air conditioning), was born  (d. 1950).

1895 Bill Wilson, American co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, was born (d. 1971).

1918 – The Podgorica Assembly voted for “union of the people”, declaring assimilation into the Kingdom of Serbia.

1922 – Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon became the first people to enter the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun in over 3000 years.

1922 Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist, was born (d. 2000).

1922 – Toll of the Sea debuted as the first general release film to use two-tone Technicolor (The Gulf Between was the first film to do so but it was not widely distributed).

1923  Pat Phoenix, English actress, was born.

1924 – George Segal, American Pop Sculptor, was born (d. 2000).

1939 – Shelling of Mainila: The Soviet Army orchestrated the incident which was used to justify the start of the Winter War with Finland four days later.

1939 –  Tina Turner, American singer and actress, was born (d. 1986).

1942 – World War II: Yugoslav Partisans convened the first meeting of theAnti-Fascist Council of National Liberation of Yugoslavia.

1944 – World War II: A German V-2 rocket hit a Woolworth’s shop on New Cross High Street killing 168 shoppers.

1944 – World War II: Germany began V-1 and V-2 attacks on Antwerp.

1949 – The Indian Constituent Assembly adopted India’s constitutionpresented by Dr. B. R. Ambedkar.

1950 – Korean War: Troops from China launch a massive counterattacked against South Korean and United Nations forces (Battle of the Ch’ongch’on River and Battle of Chosin Reservoir), ending any hopes of a quick end to the conflict.

1960 – The National Party, led by Keith Holyoake, defeated Walter Nash’s one-term Labour government. Holyoake went on to become the longest-serving post-war Prime Minister.

'Kiwi Keith' begins 12-year reign as PM

1965 – In the Hammaguir launch facility in the Sahara Desert, France launched a Diamant-A rocket with its first satellite, Asterix-1 on board, becoming the third country to enter outer space.

1968 – Vietnam War: United States Air Force helicopter pilot James P. Fleming rescued an Army Special Forces unit pinned down by Viet Cong fire and was later awarded the Medal of Honor.

1970 – In Basse-Terre, Guadeloupe, 1.5 inches (38.1 mm) of rain fell in a minute, the heaviest rainfall ever recorded.

1977 – ‘Vrillon’, claiming to be the representative of the ‘Ashtar Galactic Command’, took over Britain’s Southern Television for six minutes.

1983 – Brink’s-MAT robbery: In London, 6,800 gold bars worth nearly £26 million were stolen from the Brink’s-MAT vault at Heathrow Airport.

1990 – The Delta II rocket made its maiden flight.

1998 – Tony Blair became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom to address the Republic of Ireland’s parliament.

2003 – Concorde made its final flight, over Bristol.

2004 – Ruzhou School massacre: a man stabbed and killed eight people and seriously wounded another four in a school dormitory in Ruzhou, China.

2004 – Male Po’ouli (Black-faced honeycreeper) died of Avian malaria in the Maui Bird Conservation Center in Olinda, Hawaii before it could breed, making the species in all probability extinct.

2008 – The first of 10 co-ordinated attacks on Mumbai by Pakistan-based terrorists were fired.

2011 –  NATO forces in Afghanistan attacked a Pakistani checkpost in a friendly fire incident, killing 24 soldiers and wounding 13 others.

2012 – Aam Aadmi Party Indian political party formally started.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

November 25, 2015

Highbinder – an unscrupulous person, especially a corrupt politician; an assassin; A member of any of various Chinese-American secret societies active primarily from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s and often involved in criminal activities such as prostitution, blackmail, and hired killings; a ruffian or rowdy; unruly or disreputable person.


Quote of the day

November 25, 2015

A country that relies on aid? Death is better than that. It stops you from achieving your potential, just as colonialism did. – Imran Khan who celebrates his 63rd birthday today.


November 25 in history

November 25, 2015

1034 – Máel Coluim mac Cináeda, King of Scots died. Donnchad, the son of his daughter Bethóc and Crínán of Dunkeld, inherited the throne.

1120 – The White Ship sank in the English Channel, drowning William Adelin, son of Henry I of England.

1177 – Baldwin IV of Jerusalem and Raynald of Chatillon defeated Saladin at the Battle of Montgisard.

1343 – A tsunami, caused by the earthquake in the Tyrrhenian Sea, devastated Naples and the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, among other places.

1491 – The siege of Granada, the last Moorish stronghold in Spain, began.

1667 – A deadly earthquake rocked Shemakha in the Caucasus, killing 80,000 people.

1703 – The Great Storm of 1703, the greatest windstorm ever recorded in the southern part of Great Britain, reached its peak intensity. Winds gusted up to 120 mph, and 9,000 people died.

1755 – King Ferdinand VI of Spain granted royal protection to the Beaterio de la Compañia de Jesus, now known as the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary.

1758 – French and Indian War: British forces captured Fort Duquesne from French control. Fort Pitt built nearby grew into modern Pittsburgh.

1759 – An earthquake hit the Mediterranean destroying Beirut and Damascus and killing 30,000-40,000.

1778 – Mary Anne Schimmelpenninck, English author and activist, was born (d. 1856).

1783 – American Revolutionary War: The last British troops left New York City three months after the signing of the Treaty of Paris.

1795 – Partitions of Poland: Stanislaus August Poniatowski, the last king of independent Poland, was forced to abdicate and was exiled to Russia.

1826 – The Greek frigate Hellas arrived in Nafplion to become the first flagship of the Hellenic Navy.

1833 – A massive undersea earthquake, estimated magnitude between 8.7-9.2 rocks Sumatra, producing a massive tsunami all along the Indonesian coast.

1835 Andrew Carnegie, British-born industrialist and philanthropist, was born (d. 1919).

1839 – A cyclone in India with high winds and a 40 foot storm surge, destroyed the port city of Coringa. The storm wave swept inland, taking with it 20,000 ships and thousands of people. An estimated 300,000 deaths resulted.

1844  – Karl Benz, German engineer and inventor, was born (d. 1929).

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Missionary Ridge .

1867 – Alfred Nobel patented dynamite.

1874 – The United States Greenback Party was established consisting primarily of farmers affected by the Panic of 1873.

1880 John Flynn, founder of the Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia, was born (d 1951).

1880  Elsie J. Oxenham, British children’s author, was born (d. 1960).

1890 Isaac Rosenberg, English war poet and artist, was born (d. 1918).

1903 – By winning the world light-heavyweight championship, Timaru boxer Bob Fitzsimmons became the first man ever to be world champion in three different weight divisions.

Fitzsimmons wins third world boxing title

1905 – The Danish Prins Carl arrived in Norway to become King Haakon VII of Norway.

1909 P. D. Eastman, American author and illustrator, was born (d. 1986).

1914  Joe DiMaggio, American baseball player, was born(d. 1999).

1915 – Augusto Pinochet, Chilean dictator, was born (d. 2006).

1917 – German forces defeated the Portuguese army of about 1200 at Negomano on the border of modern-day Mozambique and Tanzania.

1918 – Vojvodina, formerly Austro-Hungarian crown land, proclaimed its secession from Austria–Hungary to join the Kingdom of Serbia.

1924 – Sybil Stockdale, American activist, co-founded the National League of Families, was born(d. 2015).

1926 – The deadliest November tornado outbreak in U.S. history struck on Thanksgiving day. 27 twisters were reported in the Midwest, including the strongest November tornado, an estimated F4, that devastated Heber Springs, Arkansas and killed 51 with 76 deaths and over 400 injuries in all.

1936 – Germany and Japan sigedn the Anti-Comintern Pact, agreeing to consult on measures “to safeguard their common interests” in the case of an unprovoked attack by the Soviet Union against either nation.

1940 – World War II: First flight of the deHavilland Mosquito and Martin B-26 Marauder.

1943 – World War II: Statehood of Bosnia and Herzegovina was re-established at the State Anti-Fascist Council for the People’s Liberation of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1947 – Red Scare: The “Hollywood Ten” were blacklisted by Hollywood movie studios.

1947 – New Zealand ratified the Statute of Westminster and thus became independent of legislative control by the United Kingdom.

1950  Alexis Wright, Australian author, was born.

1950 – The “Storm of the Century“, a violent snowstorm, paralysed the northeastern United States and the Appalachians, bringing winds up to 100 mph and sub-zero temperatures. Pickens, West Virginia, recorded 57 inches of snow; 323 people died as a result of the storm.

1952 – Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer and politician was born.

1952  – Agatha Christie’s murder-mystery play The Mousetrap opened at the Ambassadors Theatre in London later becoming the longest continuously-running play in history.

1958 – French Sudan gained autonomy as a self-governing member of the French Community.

1960 – The Mirabal sisters of the Dominican Republic were assassinated.

1960 – John F. Kennedy Jr., American lawyer, journalist, and publisher, co-founded George Magazine, was born (d. 1999).

1963 – President John F. Kennedy was buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

1970 – In Japan, author Yukio Mishima and one compatriot committed ritualistic suicide after an unsuccessful coup attempt.

1973 – George Papadopoulos, head of the military Regime of the Colonelsin Greece, was ousted in a hardliners’ coup led by Brigadier GeneralDimitrios Ioannidis.

1975 – Suriname gained independence from the Netherlands.

1977 – Former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr. was found guilty by the Philippine Military Commission No. 2 and sentenced to death by firing squad.

1982 – The Minneapolis Thanksgiving Day Fire destroyed an entire city block.

1984 – 36 top musicians recorded Band Aid‘s Do They Know It’s Christmasin order to raise money for famine relief in Ethiopia.

1986 – The King Fahd Causeway was officially opened in the Persian Gulf.

1987 – Typhoon Nina pummelled the Philippines with category 5 winds of 165 mph and a surge that destroys entire villages. At least 1,036 deaths are attributed to the storm.

1988 – German politician Rita Süssmuth became president of the Bundestag.

1992 – The Federal Assembly of Czechoslovakia voted to split the country into the Czech Republic and Slovakia from January 1, 1993.

1996 – An ice storm struck the central U.S. killing 26 people. A powerful windstorm affected Florida and winds gusted over 90 mph.

1999 – The United Nations established the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women to commemorate the murder of three Mirabal Sisters for resistance against the Rafael Trujillo dictatorship in Dominican Republic.

2000 – Baku earthquake.

2005 – Polish Minister of National Defence Radek Sikorski opened Warsaw Pact archives to historians. Maps of possible nuclear strikes against Western Europe, as well as the possible nuclear annihilation of 43 Polish cities and 2 million of its citizens by Soviet-controlled forces, are released.

2008 – A car bomb in St. Petersburg killed three people and injured one.

2009 – A storm brought 3 years worth of rain in 4 hours to Jeddah sparking floods which killed over 150 people and sweep thousands of cars away in the middle of Hajj.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

November 24, 2015

Plutography  – depiction, presentation, or coverage of the rich, particularly the lifestyles they enjoy; the graphic depiction of the lives of the rich, especially as a genre of popular literature, journalism, and broadcasting.


Rural round-up

November 24, 2015

2016 Zanda McDonald Award Shorlist Announced:

Six of agriculture’s most innovative young professionals have been shortlisted for the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award. The six – three from New Zealand and three from Australia – were selected for their strong leadership skills, being visionary and inspirational within their industry and for clearly demonstrating an unwaivering passion for agriculture.

Dean Rabbidge, 30, is a Southland dairy, beef and sheep farmer from Wyndham currently managing the family farm. Dean is also Vice Chairman of the national Young Farmers Competition and twice a grand finalist.

Erica van Reenen, 31, is an agricultural and environmental consultant with AgFirst, based in Manawatu. Erica is also a trustee of the Te Araroa national walkway from Cape Reinga to Bluff and a Huntaway Festival committee member.

Zach Mounsey, 25, is a dairy farmer and an economist with DairyNZ. He is also Chairman of the Otorohanga Federated Farmers group. Last month, Zach travelled to Argentina; he was selected by the Minister of Primary Industries to represent New Zealand together with Malborough farmer, Doug Avery. . . 

Results Announced for the 2015 Fonterra elections:

Returning Officer Warwick Lampp, of electionz.com Ltd, has declared the final results of the 2015 elections for the Fonterra Board of Directors, Directors’ Remuneration Committee and Shareholders’ Council.

Shareholders voted to re-elect incumbent Directors John Wilson and Nicola Shadbolt. They will be joined by new Director Ashley Waugh. Blue Read, Greg Maughan and Murray Beach were unsuccessful. . . 

Record voter participation sees one new director, two new shareholders’ councillors elected

Today, following the close of voting in the 2015 Fonterra Elections, which saw record Shareholder voting, it has been confirmed that one new Director and two new Shareholders’ Councillors will take office following the Fonterra Annual Meeting on Wednesday.

Newly elected Director Ashley Waugh and incumbents John Wilson and Nicola Shadbolt were the three successful Director candidates. . . 


Subsidies blind producers to market signals

November 24, 2015

Dairy producers overseas aren’t getting low price signals which have prompted New Zealand farmers to reduce production:

New Zealand dairy farmers’ pay packets continue to be thin because overseas farmers haven’t yet received the price signal to cut milk production on the back of a market glut and low demand, says Rabobank’s top dairy analyst.

“Current global commodity prices in dairy are easily low enough to shut off taps globally. The problem is those low prices have not been passed onto farmers in many regions of the world,” said Tim Hunt, the global agribank’s head dairy strategist on a visit from his New York base.

“(With) these current (GDT) auction results of low US$2000 a tonne, there is no farmer in Europe or the US or Latin America who can make money on that. The problem is that New Zealand farmers are the only ones who are at the moment getting the farmgate signal that reflects that. . . 

New Zealand producers have had the very strong market signal that supply is outstripping demand. The price we’re getting is low, in response to that we’ve cut costs and production.

Subsidies in other parts of the world are protecting farmers from the low prices and blinding them to market signals.


Quote of the day

November 24, 2015

If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that–warm things, kind things, sweet things–help and comfort and laughter–and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all. –  Frances Hodgson Burnett, who was born on this day in 1849.


November 24 in history

November 24, 2015

380 – Theodosius I made his adventus, or formal entry, into Constantinople.

1429 – Joan of Arc unsuccessfully besieged La Charité.

1542 – Battle of Solway Moss: The English army defeated the Scots.

1639 – Jeremiah Horrocks observed the transit of Venus, an event he had predicted.

1642 – Abel Tasman became the first European to discover the island Van Diemen’s Land (later renamed Tasmania).

1806 William Webb Ellis, who is credited with the invention of Rugby, was born (d. 1872).
1815 –  Grace Darling, English heroine, was born (d. 1842).
1849 – Frances Hodgson Burnett, British-born author, was born (d. 1924).

1850 – Danish troops defeated a Schleswig-Holstein force in the Battle of Lottorf.

1859 – Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species.

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Lookout Mountain – Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant captured Lookout Mountain and began to break the Confederate siege of the city led by General Braxton Bragg.

1864 – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, French painter, was born (d. 1901).

1868 Scott Joplin, Ragtime Composer, was born (d. 1917).
1888  Dale Carnegie, American writer, was born (d. 1955).
1894 Herbert Sutcliffe, English cricketer, was born (d. 1978).
1897  Lucky Luciano, American gangster, was born  (d. 1962).

1922 – Author and Irish Republican Army member Robert Erskine Childerswas executed by an Irish Free State firing squad for illegally carrying a revolver.

1940 – World War II: Slovakia became a signatory to the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

1941 – World War II: The United States granted Lend-Lease to the Free French.

1942 Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian, was born.

1943 – World War II: The USS Liscome Bay was torpedoed near Tarawa and sank with nearly 650 men killed.

1944 – World War II: The first bombing raid against Tokyo from the east and by land was carried out by 88 American aircraft.

1959 – All hands were lost when the modern coastal freighter Holmglen foundered off the South Canterbury coast. The cause of the tragedy was never established.

Fifteen die in mysterious shipwreck

1961 Arundhati Roy, Indian writer, was born.

1962 – The West Berlin branch of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany formed a separate party, the Socialist Unity Party of West Berlin.

1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald was murdered by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters. The shooting was broadcast live on television.

1965 – Joseph Désiré Mobutu seized power in the Congo and becomes President.

1966 – A Bulgarian plane,  TABSO Flight 101, with 82 people on board crashed near Bratislava, Czechoslovakia.

1969 – The Apollo 12 command module splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.

1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D. B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money.

1973 – A national speed limit was imposed on the Autobahn in Germany due to the 1973 oil crisis.

1974 – Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discovered the 40% completeAustralopithecus afarensis skeleton, nicknamed “Lucy” (after The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”), in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.

1992 – A China Southern Airlines domestic flight crashed, killing all 141 people on-board.

1993 – In Liverpool, 11-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables were convicted of the murder of 2-year-old James Bulger.

2007 – Australians elected the Labor Party at a federal election; outgoing prime minister, John Howard, became the first PM since 1929 to lose his own seat.
2012 – A fire at a clothing factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh, killed at least 112 people.
2013 – Iran signed an interim agreement with the P5+1 countries, limiting its nuclear programme in exchange for reduced sanctions.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

November 23, 2015

Cryptozoology – the search for and study of animals whose existence or survival is disputed or unsubstantiated, such as the Loch Ness monster and the yeti; the study of evidence tending to substantiate the existence of, or the search for, creatures whose reported existence is unproved.


Rural round-up

November 23, 2015

Enterprising Rural Women Award 2015 winners announced:

Joanne Taylor’s rural lifestyle magazine Latitude has won the supreme award at the Enterprising Rural Women Awards held in Nelson on Saturday 21 November.

“In the seven years of this competition we have seen vibrant rural businesses increasingly appeal to urban residents, tourists and the rural community. This has been reflected in the winning rural business woman : who has succeeded in pursuing her publishing dream, while also supporting New Zealand’s rural communities,” says Wendy McGowan, National President, Rural Women New Zealand.

Joanne Taylor was the NZ Post sponsored ‘Making it in Rural’ category winner; however, there were three other exceptional category winners: . . .

Thinking pink helps raise funds for hospice support – Sally Rae:

Tom Ballantine has been through a rough patch.

Not only did the Invercargill man lose his daughter, Paula Dempster, to cancer in December last year, but his wife, Lorraine, died in February this year, also succumbing to the disease.

”It’s been a really, really torrid time,” Mr Ballantine (71) said.

What has helped keep him occupied has been a fundraising initiative, selling pink singlets to those in the wool harvesting industry, with $2 from each sale going to boost hospice coffers. . . .

Trust head promotes wool with a passion – Sally Rae:

Wool is a fibre that ”easily ticks all the boxes”.

What now needed to happen was a concerted effort on getting that message out to discerning consumers, Campaign For Wool New Zealand Trust chairwoman Philippa Wright said.

Ms Wright, who is boss of Waipukurau-based woolbroker Wright Wool, has been involved with Campaign for Wool since its inception in 2010. . . 

JUSTICE for Mary Jane Veloso, JUSTICE for Filipino Dairy Workers in NZ and All Victims of Illegal Recruiters:

We applaud Indonesia’s moratorium on executions as we in the Filipino-Kiwi communities in New Zealand were among those who prayed and petitioned for the life of human trafficking victim Mary Jane Veloso. Mary Jane’s plight generated massive support from citizens around the globe. This young mother of two on the brink of execution on drug trafficking charges became the face of many other Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) on death row and those exploited by illegal recruiters and abusive employers. We hope that freedom and justice for Mary Jane will be the next good news.

In New Zealand, over 1000 Filipino migrant workers are now greatly distressed as they experience their lives hanging in the dairy farms. Last October, Immigration NZ arrested a dual Filipino/New Zealand national on fraud charges. This recruiter used false employer details and false documents on workers’ experience, asking huge fees from the applicants wanting to work in NZ. We hope Filipinos back home would be aware of this scam and be careful not to be victimised by recruiters who take advantage of their desperate need to find better jobs in NZ and elsewhere. . . 

NZ Farming's photo.


Quote of the day

November 23, 2015

It’s so much easier to know who you are when there aren’t a thousand people telling you who they think you are. –Miley Cyrus who celebrates her 23rd birthday today.


November 23 in history

November 23, 2015

534 BC – Thespis of Icaria became the first actor to portray a character onstage.

1227 – Polish Prince Leszek I the White was assassinated at an assembly of Piast dukes at Gąsawa.

1248 – Conquest of Seville by the Christian troops under King Ferdinand III of Castile.

1499 – Pretender to the throne Perkin Warbeck was hanged for reportedly attempting to escape from the Tower of London.

1531 – The Second war of Kappel resulted in the dissolution of the Protestant alliance in Switzerland.

1644 – John Milton published Areopagitica, a pamphlet decrying censorship.

1808 – French and Poles defeated the Spanish at battle of Tudela.

1844 – Independence of the Duke of Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark.

1859 Billy The Kid, American outlaw, was born (d. 1881).

1863 – American Civil War: Battle of Chattanooga began.

1867 – The Manchester Martyrs were hanged for killing a police officer while freeing two Irish nationalists from custody.

1876 –  Tammany Hall leader William Marcy Tweed (better known as Boss Tweed) was delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.

1887  Boris Karloff, British actor, was born (d. 1969).

1888 Harpo Marx, American comedian, was born (d. 1964).

1889 – The first jukebox went into operation at the Palais Royale Saloon in San Francisco.

1890 – King William III of the Netherlands died without a male heir and a special law was passed to allow his daughter Princess Wilhelmina to become his heir.

1903 – Governor of Colorado James Peabody sent the state militia into the town of Cripple Creek to break up a miners’ strike.

1909 – Nigel Tranter, Scottish historian and author, was born, (d. 2000).

1910 – Johan Alfred Ander was the last person in Sweden to be executed.

1914 – Mexican Revolution: The last of U.S. forces withdrew from Veracruz.

1918 – Heber J. Grant succeeded Joseph F. Smith as the seventh president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1934 – An Anglo-Ethiopian boundary commission in the Ogaden discovered an Italian garrison at Walwal, well within Ethiopian territory which led to the Abyssinia Crisis.

1936 – The first edition of Life was published.

1940 – World War II: Romania became a signatory of the Tripartite Pact, officially joining the Axis Powers.

1943 – World War II: The Deutsche Opernhaus on Bismarckstraße in the Berlin was destroyed.

1946 – French Navy fire in Hai Phong, Viet Nam, killed 6,000 civilians.

1947 A civic funeral was held for the 41 victims of the Ballantynes Fire.

Civic funeral for 41 Ballantynes fire victims

1949  Sandra Stevens, British singer, member of pop group Brotherhood of Man, was born.

1955 – The Cocos Islands were transferred from the control of the United Kingdom to Australia.

1959 – General Charles de Gaulle,  declared in a speech in Strasbourg his vision for a “Europe, “from the Atlantic to the Urals.”

1963 – The BBC broadcast the first episode of Doctor Who (starringWilliam Hartnell) which is the world’s longest running science fiction drama.

1971 – Representatives of China attended the United Nations, for the first time.

1976 – Apneist Jacques Mayol was the first man to reach a depth of 100 m undersea without breathing equipment.

1979 –  Provisional Irish Republican Army member Thomas McMahon was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of Lord Mountbatten.

1980 – A series of earthquakes in southern Italy killed approximately 4,800 people.

1981 – Iran-Contra Affair: Ronald Reagan signed the top secret National Security Decision Directive 17 (NSDD-17), giving the Central Intelligence Agency the authority to recruit and support Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1985 – Gunmen hijacked EgyptAir Flight 648,  when the plane landed in Malta, Egyptian commandos stormed the  jetliner, but 60 people died in the raid.

1992  Miley Cyrus, American actress and singer/songwriter, was born.

1993 – Rachel Whiteread won both the £20,000 Turner Prize award for best British modern artist and the £40,000 K Foundation art award for the worst artist of the year.

1996 – Ethiopian Airlines Flight 961 was hijacked, then crashed into the Indian Ocean after running out of fuel, killing 125.

2001 – Convention on Cybercrime was signed in Budapest.

2003 – Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze resigned following weeks of mass protests over flawed elections.

2005 – Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected president of Liberia and became the first woman to lead an African country.

2007 – MS Explorer, a cruise liner carrying 154 people, sank in the Antarctic Ocean south of Argentina after hitting an iceberg. There were no fatalities.

2009 – The Maguindanao massacre.

2010 – The Bombardment of Yeonpyeong  on Yeonpyeong Island, South Korea. The North Korean artillery attack killed 2 civilians and 2 South Korean marines.

2011 –  Arab Spring: After 11 months of protests in Yemen, The Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh signed a deal to transfer power to the vice president, in exchange for legal immunity.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

November 22, 2015

Olio –  a highly spiced stew of various meats and vegetables originating from Spain and Portugal; a miscellaneous collection of things; a mixture of heterogeneous elements; hodgepodge; a medley or potpourri; collection of various artistic or literary works or musical pieces; miscellany.


Secret #7

November 22, 2015

Secret #7 StoryPeople print by Brian Andreas

Secret #7: You don’t have to put up with anything. You can do something different.

Secret #7 ©2015 Brian Andreas. Posted with permission.

YOu can sign up for email delivery of a daily dose of whimsy like this at Story People.


What % of the drivers are tourists?

November 22, 2015

A coroner says the perception tourist drivers are causing mayhem on our roads is unfounded.

. . .Coroner Gordon Matenga released his findings into their deaths and found both accidents were caused by inexperience.

However, fewer than 6 percent of fatal and serious crashes in the past five years were caused by international visitors.

While many crashes involving foreign drivers were highlighted in the media, the reality was many more people were killed on the roads by New Zealanders, Mr Matenga said. . . 

Six percent is a small percentage of all accidents but the conclusion that tourist drivers aren’t a problem can’t be made without knowing what percentage of all drivers are tourists?

When we drive in countries where we’re driving on the opposite side of the road from New Zealand we reckon it takes both of us to drive.

Even then there’s a real danger of habit creeping in – looking right when we exit a petrol station, seeing no approaching traffic on that side of the road and forgetting it’s coming from the left; remembering to look left, look right, look left but then turning on to the left-hand side of the road . . .

Even without the complication of driving on the other side of the road, New Zealand roads have multiple hazards for those not used to them, including the temptation to marvel at the scenery instead of concentrating on driving.


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