Word of the day

January 27, 2016

Brillig – a nonce word explained by Humpty Dumpty as four o’clock in the afternoon — the time when you begin broiling things for dinner


Rural round-up

January 27, 2016

NIA shows duty cuts to major export destinations – Neal Wallace:

Annual duty savings of $272 million will be removed on exports to five signatories to the Trans Pacific Partnership with which New Zealand does not have trade agreements, the Government revealed today.  

Trade Minister Todd McClay released the national interest analysis (NIA) on the 12-country agreement which largely confirmed trade benefits it had announced earlier.  

The NIA revealed exporters paid duty of $334 million a year on exports to five countries with which NZ does not have free trade agreements, the United States, Japan, Canada, Mexico and Peru. . . 

Westland Lowers Pay-Out Predictions as Global Dairy Prices Predicted to Remain Low:

Westland Milk Products, New Zealand’s second biggest dairy co-operative, today announced a drop in its pay-out predictions for 2015-16, saying a forecast 15 to 25 percent reduction across all commodity products for the remainder of the season is the driving force behind the decision.

Chairman Matt O’Regan says the new predicted payout of $4.15 – $4.45 per kilogramme of milk solids (kgMS) (previously $4.90 to $5.30 per kgMS) will be grim news for Westland’s shareholders but, given the widely publicised state of the global dairy market, not unexpected. He says lower prices are expected to remain for this season and probably into the second half of 2016 – the beginning of the 2016-7 season. . . 

New Zealand’s future agri-leaders in running for trans-Tasman award:

• 2016 Zanda McDonald Award finalists announced

Two young New Zealand agri-business professionals have made it through to the finals for the 2016 Zanda McDonald Award.

Dean Rabbidge, a dairy, beef and sheep farmer from Wyndham, Southland, and Erica van Reenen, an agricultural and environmental consultant with AgFirst, based in Manawatu, have been selected as finalists alongside soil scientist, Wesley Lefroy, from Western Australia.

The three, who attended interviews in Brisbane late last year, will join the PPP ‘Capital Connections’ Conference in Wellington in March – where the award winner will be announced. . . 

Drought in South Island enters second year:

Widespread drought conditions in the South Island mean the medium-scale event classification will be extended until the end of June, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

“Extra funding of up to $150,000 will go to local Rural Support Trusts with $40,000 of this going to the North Canterbury Trust,” says Mr Guy. 

Speaking with farmers at a sheep and beef farm in Weka Pass, Hurunui, Mr Guy acknowledged this is the third time the classification has been extended.

“Marlborough, Canterbury and parts of Otago were originally classified as a medium-scale event on 12 February 2015 and have had very little rainfall for more than a year now. . . 

Drought resistant pasture being investigated:

Scientists have identified a type of plant that recovers quicker than others after drought and are taking the next steps to get it on to farmers’ paddocks.

But they say it could be eight to 10 years before it is available.

The Primary Growth Partnership – Transforming the Dairy Value Chain is funding the research into pasture resistance.

It comes at a crucial time with 2015 being the hottest on record and Marlborough, Canterbury and parts of Otago enduring their second season of drought. . . 

Industry Challenged by new forest technology:

Foresters face paradigm shift for logging steep slopes

The tables are being turned on foresters and logging contractors in British Columbia. Disruptive technology from New Zealand is set to create a whole new way of logging in B.C.’s forests. When meeting challenges to safely harvest NZ’s steep sloped forests, practicing foresters found convincing safety advantages with the new harvesting technology.

In recent years, loggers in New Zealand’s forest industry faced safety challenges in tree falling, especially on steep slopes. There was no choice but to reduce accidents. Up and down the steep, forested country, people turned to the safety of mechanised harvesters. Simultaneously, safety and productivity improved. . . 

Intensifying workplace laws means there are no longer any ‘family farms’ and they can’t be an extension of a backyard playground – John Brosnan:

It’s a new year on farm.

You have negotiated the Christmas and the New Year breaks with the team, so now is a good time to take a breath and consider – what next?

Well first out the gate will be the new WorkSafe legislation which comes into force 1st April this year. Are you prepared for this? Have you prepared an operational plan and put in place a robust health and safety policy? Do you and all your employees have a means to adhere to it? . . 

Canterbury dairy farm penalised for employment law breaches:

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ordered Viewbank Dairy Ltd near Rakaia to rectify employment law breaches discovered by Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate and pay $7,500 in penalties.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Labour Inspectorate visited the farm as part of an audit to check for compliance with minimum employment standards on dairy farms. A number of breaches were identified and an Improvement Notice was issued. The Inspector brought the case before the ERA when the employer failed to comply with parts of the Notice.

Labour Inspectorate Southern Regional Manager Stuart Lumsden says the investigation found that several workers had been treated as casual employees when in fact they were permanent. . . 

Take advantage of steady nutrient costs:

The Fertiliser Quality Council (FQC) says current stability around fertiliser prices will give farm budgets an early boost for 2016 – but only if farmers are quick to seize the opportunity.

The two main fertiliser manufacturers, Ballance and Ravensdown, have kept costs for major nutrients under control since September 2015 – despite economic volatility caused by last year’s slide in the value of the New Zealand dollar.

The FQC says there’s no knowing for how long the good deals will continue and urges farmers to take advantage of the co-ops’ goodwill while it lasts. . . 

Karaka Select Sale Commences Today:

The first day of the Karaka Select Sale commences today at 11am with Lot 448 to Lot 670 going under the hammer.

The Sale will be streamed live online. To view the live stream, click here.

There have been 27 Group 1 wins from graduates of the Select Sale over the past three seasons. The new season has seen Mongolian Khan (Holy Roman Emperor) and Tarzino (NZ) (Tavistock) both land Group 1 races during the Melbourne Spring Carnival. . . 


366 days of gratitude

January 27, 2016

Once I started a book I used to keep going.

Now if I can’t get into it I give up, preferring to spend precious reading time on something I enjoy.

That said some books are read-once and forget, others go into the favourite category to be read and re-read.

At this time of year I always re-read some of my very favourite books and today I’m grateful to the authors whose work gives enduring pleasure.


Fern has said NZ for long time

January 27, 2016

One of the criticisms of the proposed new flag is that the fern is just a sporting symbol.

Historian  Dr Danny Keenan says the fern was used to represent New Zealand in many ways before it was adopted by sports teams:

The silver fern was once proudly embraced by Pakeha as a symbol of their new-found home in New Zealand.

The fern once anchored new kiwis to this landscape. It’s a shame that we have such short memories.

The major complaint against the use of the fern has been its popular use as a brand, or a logo. Some have said it belongs on sporting jerseys and vests, but not on the flag.

For those of us who care about our country’s history, this level of criticism has been a little disheartening, to say the least. The silver fern does have deep historical roots. Perhaps our modern addiction to mass consumerism, and commercial symbolism, blinds us from seeing the silver fern in its real historical context.

The fern’s appearance as a national symbol goes back to the 1880s, when Pakeha decided that they wanted to be New Zealanders, after all. Census figures in 1886 showed that native-born Pakeha now exceeded ‘Europeans’ living here but born overseas.

This new feeling of ‘belonging’ gave rise to the Native Associations, which formed after a successful inaugural meeting of settlers in Westport in 1890 (inspired by similar movements in Australia and Canada). Branches soon sprang up all over New Zealand, giving rise to an outpouring of nationalist literature, poetry, songs and landscape paintings as Pakeha searched amongst the figurative undergrowth for an organic foothold.

By 1898, there were 2500 members, with branches all over New Zealand, in centres like Dunedin, Wellington, Auckland, Westport, Thames, New Plymouth and Hawera.

Politicians and professionals, as well as ordinary folk, flocked to join, eager to solidify their sense of being a ‘New Zealander’ (a term once directed only at Maori).

Most tellingly, though, the Associations adopted the silver fern as their emblem, taking pride in its natural simplicity. Its acceptance amongst Pakeha grew rapidly. Everyone was soon wearing the silver fern badge. A fern emblem was also worn by our troops in South Africa after 1899; our first Boer War commander, Major Robin, was farewelled in Dunedin by a huge Natives Association gathering. And in Europe, after 1914, the fern was used to adorn kiwi headstones on the Western Front.

Pakeha New Zealanders had found a symbol of home they could live with – the silver fern.

Earlier, however, Tom Ellison of Ngai Tahu had introduced the silver fern to our national rugby team. In 1888 he suggested that the New Zealand Natives team adopt the fern, which they did and now wear of course as All Blacks, as do countless other sporting, civic, community and commercial associations.

As Sir Tipene O’Regan once reminded me, to Maori, the silver fern denotes strength, stubborn resistance, and enduring power, encapsulated in a natural form of native elegance. Maori have always honoured the fern, giving it a pride of place.

Early Pakeha did this, also.

Overseas, the fern has become the unmistakable symbol of New Zealand, earning instant recognition. Thanks to the early efforts of Pakeha, it’s become our national symbol. It’s more than just a mere commercial brand, which is what many commentators and academics with no sense of history would have us believe.

The silver fern was once embraced by Pakeha and survives as a symbol of organic beauty. It takes us beyond our British colonial origins, when, under the current flag, our boys went overseas and died to defend Empire, to say nothing of those 3000 Maori who died on our own soil, defending hearth and home, under attack by the same flag.

The fern represents all of us; we should be proud to see it on our flag.

The Flag Consideration Panel has an infographic on both the existing flag and the one which will go up against it in March’s referendum.

 

 Picture

You can see information on the current flag here.


Quote of the day

January 27, 2016

One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others. – Lewis Carroll who was born on this day in 1832.


January 27 in history

January 27, 2016

1186 Henry VI, the son and heir of the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, married Constance of Sicily.

1343 Pope Clement VI issued the Bull Unigenitus.

1606  Gunpowder Plot: The trial of Guy Fawkes and other conspirators began, ending with their execution on January 31.

1695 Mustafa II became the Ottoman sultan on the death of Ahmed II. Mustafa rules until his abdication in 1703.

1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian composer was born  (d. 1791).

1785 The University of Georgia was founded, the first public university in the United States.

1825 The U.S. Congress approved Indian Territory clearing the way for forced relocation of the Eastern Indians on the “Trail of Tears“.

1832  Lewis Carroll, English author, was born (d. 1898).
1888 The National Geographic Society was founded in Washington, D.C..

1908 William Randolph Hearst, Jr., American newspaper magnate, was born (d. 1993).

1921 Donna Reed, American actress, was born (d. 1986).

1933  Mohamed Al-Fayed, Egyptian billionaire businessman, was born.

1939 First flight of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning.

1941 Beatrice Tinsley, New Zealand astronomer and cosmologist , was born  (d. 1981).

1944  Nick Mason, English drummer (Pink Floyd),was born.

1944 The 900-day Siege of Leningrad was lifted.

1945 – World War II: The Red Army liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp in Poland.

1951 Brian Downey, Irish musician (Thin Lizzy), was born.

1951 Nuclear testing at the Nevada Test Site began with a one-kiloton bomb dropped on Frenchman Flat.

1962 Peter Snell broke the world mile record  on grass at Cook’s Garden, Wanganui, in a time of 3 mins 53.4 secs.

Peter Snell breaks world mile record

1967 Apollo 1Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee were killed in a fire during a test of the spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Centre.

1967 – More than 60 nations signed the Outer Space Treaty banning nuclear weapons in space.

1968 Mike Patton, American singer (Faith No More), was born.

1973 Paris Peace Accords officially ended the Vietnam War. ColonelWilliam Nolde was killed in action becoming the conflict’s last recorded American combat casualty.

1974 The Brisbane River flooded causing the largest flood to affect Brisbane City in the 20th Century.

1979 Daniel Vettori, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

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1981 Tony Woodcock, New Zealand rugby union player, was born.

1983 Pilot shaft of the Seikan Tunnel, the world’s longest sub-aqueous tunnel (53.85 km) between the Japanese islands of Honshū and Hokkaidō, broke through.

1984 Pop singer Michael Jackson suffered second and third degree burn on his scalp during the filming of a Pepsi commercial in the Shrine Auditorium.

1996 Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara deposed the first democratically elected president of Niger, Mahamane Ousmane, in a military coup.

1996 Germany first observed International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

2006 Western Union discontinued its Telegram and Commercial Messaging services.

2010 – The 2009 Honduran constitutional crisis ended when Porfirio Lobo Sosa became the new President.

2011 – Arab Spring: The Yemeni Revolution began as over 16,000 protestors demonstrate inSana’a.

2013  – 242 people died in a nightclub fire in the city of Santa Maria, Brazil.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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