366 days of gratitude

March 1, 2016

A cruise around Fiordland last year introduced us to places that were little different from how they would have been when the Maori and later Captain Cook first saw them.

Although they looked similar, they were quieter without the birdsong that would have greeted those early visitors.

Hunters and introduced predators wiped out many of the birds but thanks to the dedicated work of Department of Conservation staff and volunteers, breeding programmes and predator control are slowly, repopulating the bush, at least on some of the islands.

Further north, a recovery programme has established a sustainable population of whio, the blue duck which adorns our $10 note.

Today I’m grateful for the people who work so hard to bring back the native birds from the brink of extinction.


Word of the day

March 1, 2016

Quirinal – one of the seven hills on which Rome was built; a building or institution located on this hill; the Italian civil authority and government.


Rural round-up

March 1, 2016

Fonterra Plant Openings Celebrate Strength in Southern Dairying:

Fonterra has further highlighted its commitment to New Zealand’s dairying communities this week as the Co-operative officially opened four new plants across the South Island.

Ribbon cuttings have been held to celebrate successful opening seasons for the new mozzarella plant at Fonterra’s Clandeboye site near Timaru, along with three new plants at its southernmost site at Edendale.

Fonterra Managing Director Global Operations Robert Spurway said these expansions generate cash not only for the Co-operative’s 10,500 farmers but also help to bolster rural and regional economies. . . 

Another link added in Transforming the Dairy Value Chain:

Food Safety Minister Jo Goodhew today congratulated Fonterra on the opening of their new mozzarella plant at Fonterra’s Clandeboye site. The new plant will result in 25 new jobs and a doubling of Fonterra’s total mozzarella production to 50,000 metric tonnes per annum, over two plants.

The Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme “Transforming the Dairy Value Chain” helped Fonterra to commercialise their patented, breakthrough technology for producing frozen mozzarella cheese in a fraction of the usual time – without sacrificing functionality for their customers or sensory qualities for the end consumers. This technology will help to grow Fonterra’s Foodservice business in the $35 billion global pizza market.

“The Government has a goal of doubling the value of exports by 2025. Around half our exports are food, so our food safety systems are closely linked to this goal”, said Mrs Goodhew. . . 

“Put your hand up and ask for help”:

Stay away from negativity and don’t be afraid to ask for help are 2 tips that farmer Hannah Topless has for her counterparts around New Zealand.

Great swathes of Hannah’s 150ha Taranaki dairy and sheep farm in Strathmore, eastern Taranaki, were flooded or cut off in the storms of June 2015.

“We had 340ml of rain in one weekend,” said Hannah. “Rivers overflowed, taking out fences and gouging out races; and landslides took out culverts and fences, and cut off access to some of the farm.”

Hannah says that they were fortunate to have strong community links, particularly with her local church, as well as their Rural Support Trust, FMG and Federated Farmers. . . 

Returning Pacific workers an asset to NZ industry:

Pacific Island workers returning to New Zealand for seasonal employment have become an increasing asset for the horticulture and viticulture industries.

In New Zealand’s region of Hawke’s Bay, there’s an increased demand for Pacific workers contracted through the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme.

The General Manager of Focus Contracting Ltd, Linley King, said the industries would not have grown as much as they had in the past decade without the involvement of Pacific islands workers. . . 

Avocado sector joins GIA Biosecurity partnership:

The avocado industry has become the seventh industry partner to join the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership today, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced.

“It’s very pleasing to have the avocado industry on-board, working with the Ministry for Primary Industries and other industry partners to manage and respond to the most important biosecurity risks,” says Mr Guy.

Avocados are New Zealand’s third largest fresh fruit export. In the 2014-2015 season the industry produced 7.1 million trays of avocados worth around $135 million. . . 

MPI seeks submissions on proposed amendments to the Kiwifruit Export Regulations:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is seeking feedback on proposals to amend the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999. The proposals are outlined in a discussion document released today.

“This is the first comprehensive review of the Regulations since they were enacted,” says Jarred Mair, MPI’s Acting Deputy Director-General Policy and Trade.

“The current regulations have enabled New Zealand’s kiwifruit industry to compete effectively on the international stage. In 2015, New Zealand exported kiwifruit to 50 countries, valued at $1.003 billion. . . 

Next Steps for Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project (KISP):

 

The government’s consultation document supporting the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project has been released.

Public consultation is a standard regulatory process, giving stakeholders an opportunity to consider alternatives to the recommendations proposed by the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project Team.

NZKGI Chairman, Doug Brown, says the government consultation process is another step towards the implementation of the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project that the majority of kiwifruit growers overwhelmingly supported.

“We are very pleased the government has included all of the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project’s recommended options in their consultation document. I encourage all kiwifruit growers to read through the document and submit their feedback through the consultation process. . . .

Kiwifruit NZ welcomes regulations review:

The regulator of the kiwifruit industry, Kiwifruit New Zealand (KNZ), has welcomed the review of the Kiwifruit Export Regulations 1999 and the release of a discussion document by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) today.

KNZ believes the regulations have served the industry well for 16 years but the New Zealand industry and the international fruit market are very different today than they were in 1999. . . 

Allied Farmers 1H profit falls as it focuses on livestock services growth – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – Allied Farmers reported a 32 percent drop in first-half profit as income from its shrinking asset management services segment plunged, while its livestock services segment increased sales.

Net profit fell to $615,000 in the six months ended Dec. 31, from $907,000 a year earlier, the Hawera-based company said in a statement. Revenue rose 0.7 percent to $10.3 million.

“This is a strong operating result, benefiting from the livestock division’s trading performance, and does not have the benefit of the corporate and asset management one-off gains that bolstered the group result for the corresponding six months period ended Dec. 31, 2014,” said chairman Garry Bluett. “The directors now consider that the group is well placed to shift its primary focus to growth.” . . 


Labour doesn’t understand business

March 1, 2016

Labour said it’s worried about jobs which will disappear but is complaining the increase in the minimum wage isn’t high enough.

The minimum wage is just that, the minimum. It’s a floor not a ceiling.

Any business which can afford to pay its workers more than that can and many will.

But not all work is worth more than that and imposing higher costs on businesses without lowering other costs or increasing returns will put other jobs and whole businesses at risk.

It will also increase the move to replacing people with machines which is supposedly one of Labour’s big worries.

In another example of Labour’s lamentable lack of understanding of business principles, the party wants to force forests to sell logs to local mills.

Forest owners responded:

Forest owners say they are keen to sell their logs to local mills, so long as the terms of sale match those from export markets.

Forest Owners Association chief executive David Rhodes says there have been cases where local mills have been unwilling to do this.

“It’s not just about price. It’s also about the payment risk, the length of the contract and the quality of the logs on offer. Many modern mills have tight specifications for log supply. Logs that don’t meet those specifications are usually exported. This will always be the case,” he says.

Responding to a call from Labour Party MP Stuart Nash that “foreign forest owners” should be forced to sell logs to local mills, Mr Rhodes says owners of forests – foreign, corporate, private companies, iwi, partnerships or individuals — look for terms and conditions that give them the best overall returns.

“In many cases they get only one chance to do this, having spent 27 years growing their trees. This is crucial – forestry is not a one-way bet. Just ask those forest owners, particularly in Northland, who are not replanting after harvest, because log prices are not high enough to justify re-investment.”

Mr Rhodes says it is unfair to single out overseas owners of large plantations as the reason for mill failures.

“It may appeal to the emotions, but does not advance public understanding one iota. Overseas owned forestry companies are among the leaders of the industry. They make significant investments in jobs, worker safety and the environment.”

 

He says forest owners understand the importance of New Zealand having a viable wood processing industry and are partners in the Wood Council which is committed to having more value added to logs in NZ.

“We are talk regularly with politicians from the various political parties about policies that will assist the forest and wood processing industries remain vibrant, viable industries providing employment in the regions. Mr Nash’s proposed policy is not one of them.”

Forestry is a risky business with a long time between planting and payment.

Forest owners aren’t charities. They’re businesses and need good returns to if they’re going to continue in business and employing their own staff.


Quote of the day

March 1, 2016

True leadership strengthens the followers. It is a process of teaching, setting an example, and empowering others. If you seek to lead, your ability will ultimately be measured in the successes of those around you. – David Niven who was born on this day in 1910.


March 1 in history

March 1, 2016

752 BC Romulus, first king of Rome celebrated the first Roman triumph after his victory over the Caeninenses.

86 BC  Lucius Cornelius Sulla, at the head of a Roman Republic army, entered Athens, removing the tyrant Aristion who was supported by troops of Mithridates VI of Pontus.

286  Roman Emperor Diocletian raised Maximian to the rank of Caesar.

293  Roman Emperors Diocletian and Maximian appointed Constantius Chlorus and Galerius as Caesares,  beginning the Tetrarchy.

317 Crispus and Constantine II, sons of Roman Emperor Constantine I, and Licinius Iunior, son of Emperor Licinius, were made Caesares.

1445  Sandro Botticelli, Italian painter, was born (d. 1510).

1449 Lorenzo de’ Medici, Italian statesman, was born (d. 1492).

1457 The Unitas Fratrum was established in the village of Kunvald, on the Bohemian-Moravian borderland. It is the second oldest Protestant denomination.

1562 23 Huguenots were massacred by Catholics in Wassy marking the start of the French Wars of Religion.

1565 The city of Rio de Janeiro was founded.

1628 Writs were issued by Charles I of England mandating that every county in England (not just seaport towns) pay ship tax by this date.

1633 Samuel de Champlain reclaimed his role as commander of New France on behalf of Cardinal Richelieu.

1692 Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne and Tituba were brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning the Salem witch trials.

1810 Frédéric Chopin, Polish composer, was born (d. 1849).

1811 Leaders of the Mameluke dynasty were killed by Egyptian rulerMuhammad Ali.

1815 Napoleon returned to France from his banishment on Elba.

1840 Adolphe Thiers became Prime Minister of France.

1852 Archibald William Montgomerie, 13th Earl of Eglinton was appointedLord Lieutenant of Ireland.

1870 Marshal F.S. López died during the Battle of Cerro Corá marking the end of the War of the Triple Alliance.

1872 Yellowstone National Park was established as the world’s first national park.

1873 E. Remington and Sons in Ilion, New York began production of the first practical typewriter.

1886 Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) was created in response to Maori concern they were being cheated by Pakeha bankers.

Maungatautari Whare Uta (Maori bank) created

1886 The Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore was founded by Bishop William Oldham.

1893 Nikola Tesla made the first public demonstration of radio in St. Louis, Missouri.

1896 Battle of Adowa: an Ethiopian army defeated an outnumbered Italian force, ending the First Italo–Ethiopian War.

1896 Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity.

1904 Glenn Miller, American band leader, was born  (d. 1944).

1901 The Shotover Bridge (from which I threw myself a few years ago – on a bungy cord) opened.

Shotover River bridge opened

1910 The worst avalanche in United States history buried a Great Northern Railway train in northeastern King County, Washington, killing 96 people.

1910 David Niven, English actor, was born (d. 1983).

1912 Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.

1917 Robert Lowell, American poet, was born (d. 1977).

1919 March 1st Movement began in Korea.

1922 Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born  (d. 1995).

1924 – Intelligence tests first arrived in New Zealand schools.

1927 Harry Belafonte, American musician and activist, was born.

1932 The son of Charles Lindbergh, Charles Augustus Lindbergh III, was kidnapped.

1936 The Hoover Dam was completed.

1936 – A strike occurred aboard the S.S. California, leading to the demise of the International Seamen’s Union and the creation of the National Maritime Union.

1939 Japanese Imperial Army ammunition dump exploded at Hirakata, Osaka, killing 94.

1939 Trans-Canada Air Lines (forerunner of Air Canada) begins transcontinental operations (between Vancouver and Montreal).

1944 – Mike d’Abo, English singer (Manfred Mann), was born.

1944 Roger Daltrey, English musician (The Who), was born.

1946 The Bank of England was nationalised.

1947 The International Monetary Fund began financial operations.

1953 Joseph Stalin suffered a stroke and collapsed, he died four days later.

1954  Ron Howard, American actor and director, was born.

1954 Nuclear testing: The Castle Bravo, a 15-megaton hydrogen bomb, was detonated on Bikini Atoll resulting in the worst radioactive contamination ever caused by the United States.

1956  Dalia Grybauskaite, President of Lithuania, was born.

1956  The International Air Transport Association finalised a draft of theRadiotelephony spelling alphabet for the International Civil Aviation Organization.

1956 – Formation of the National People’s Army.

1961  President John F. Kennedy established the Peace Corps.

1961 – Uganda became self-governing and held its first elections.

1964 Villarrica Volcano began a strombolian eruption causing lahas that destroy half of the town Coñaripe.

1966 – Venera 3 Soviet space probe crashed on Venus becoming the first spacecraft to land on another planet‘s surface.

1966 – The Ba’ath Party took power in Syria.

1973 Black September terrorists stormed the Saudi embassy in Khartoum, Sudan resulting in the 1973 Khartoum diplomatic assassinations.

1975 Colour television transmissions began in Australia.

1981  Bobby Sands began his hunger strike.

1992 Bosnia and Herzegovina declared its independence from Yugoslavia.

1995 Polish Prime Minister Waldemar Pawlak resigned from parliament and was replaced by ex-communist Józef Oleksy.

2000 – Hans Blix assumed the position of Executive Chairman of UNMOVIC.

2002 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan: Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan.

2002 – The Envisat environmental satellite successfully reached an orbit 800 kilometers (500 miles) above the Earth on its 11th launch, carrying the heaviest payload to date at 8500 kilograms (9.5 tons).

2002 The peseta was discontinued as official currency of Spain and replaced with the euro (€).

2003 – The International Criminal Court held its inaugural session in The Hague.

2004 Mohammed Bahr al-Uloum becomes President of Iraq.

2005 Death penalty for juveniles revoked in United States of America.

2006 English-language Wikipedia reached its one millionth article,Jordanhill railway station.

2007 Tornadoes swarmed across the southern United States, killing at least 20.

2007 – “Squatters” were evicted from Ungdomshuset in Copenhagen, provoking the March 2007 Denmark Riots.

2008  Armenian police clashed with peaceful opposition rally protesting against allegedly fraudulent presidential elections 2008 killing at least 10 people.

2014 – At least 29 people were killed and 130 injured in a mass stabbingat Kunming Railway Station in China.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


%d bloggers like this: