366 days of gratitude

May 9, 2016

I popped in to Steam, one of Oamaru’s gems, to  grab a sandwich between a meeting and book sorting for Rotary’s bookarama and ran into an old friend.

We’d both been going to get our food and run but instead shared a table and conversed over our lunches.

We live less than 15 kilometres apart but we haven’t seen each other since last year.

Today I’m grateful for serendipitous reunions.

 


Word of the day

May 9, 2016

Fewmets –  dung or droppings of a hunted animal, by which the hunter identifies it.


Rural round-up

May 9, 2016

Women motivate NZ dairy industry’s survival – Kelsey Wilkie:

Stress, money management and solidarity were the themes of a women in dairy conference. Kelsey Wilkie reports.

Hundreds of women dairy workers came together to talk milk prices, cash cows and rugby in Waikato this week.

The Dairy Women’s Network event at Claudelands Event Centre in Hamilton  attracted 340 women keen to to discuss farming issues in the wake of a devastating downturn in milk prices..

Fonterra’s forecasted payout has fallen from $5.25 a kilogram of milksolids down to $3.90/kg. . . 

From wet feet to wool sock success – Sally Rae:

It all began with cold, wet feet.

American couple Peter and Patty Duke were long-time ski instructors before embarking on a business career which has resulted in their launching outdoor apparel brand SmartWool.

The company, based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was later sold to Timberland and is now a wholly owned subsidiary of the VF Corporation, which owns other well-known brands such as Wrangler, The North Face and Lee.

After a break away from the industry, the apparel entrepreneurs got back into business, continuing their passion for merino wool with their woollen sock company, Point6. . .

Landcorp/NZM ink carpet deal:

Landcorp and The New Zealand Merino Company (NZM) have signed a contract to supply wool to Australia’s most exclusive carpet manufacturer.

The agreement with Prestige Carpets will see 120 tonnes of wool sent to Australia through their New Zealand-based supply chain.

Prestige uses pure New Zealand wool and a cutting-edge tufted construction method to create carpets targeted at Australia’s leading designers and architects. . . 

Objects of the exercise:

They are the unsung heroes of the Golden Shears World Shearing and Wool Handling Championships.

Millers Flat farmer Trevor Peters is supplying more than 2000 Romney sheep for the event which is being held in Invercargill in February.

The sheep would present the world-class shearers with a good challenge, Mr Peters said.

The Peters family farms six properties: Spylaw, at Dunrobin, Bullock Range, at Moa Flat, Clutha Downs, at Beaumont, Attadale Station, at Middlemarch, Teviot Valley Station, at Millers Flat, and a finishing farm at Waikaka. . . 

Farming difficult but not all gloom and doom – Steve Wyn-Harris:

There is an increasingly growing level of anxiety in this part of the world as the dry conditions reduce options for building up some feed covers as we head in towards winter.

If we don’t get proper rain in these last two or three weeks of May then we can, at best, expect 10kg DM/ha/day or a total of 600kg DM/ha for June and July, which for most is about maintenance.

So early August feed covers are going to be around end of May covers and for many this will be too short for lambing and calving. . .

Old-fashioned farming and good old-fashioned common sense – Peter Burke:

The name Johnstone has been synonymous with breeding bulls in the Whanganui district for at least 90 years.

There are now five generations of Lindsay Johnstones: the latest one is Lindsay – call him Lindsay the fifth.

Back in 1925 Lindsay’s grandfather started off by developing a herd of Herefords. He managed to breed some pure white Herefords and, remarkably, Lindsay has kept that tradition going and has 25 of these animals on his property; more in memory of his grandfather than for commercial gain. . .

Feijoa-geddon could be coming to New Plymouth – Jermey Wilkinson:

Peter Peckham has collected bugs of all kinds for nearly 80 years and had never seen a guava moth until last month.

The New Plymouth man said he was in the shower when he saw the Pacific Island guava moth and rushed to get his bug net to capture it.

“They have quite a distinctive flight pattern, they fly quite slowly unlike other moths,” he said.  . .

 


A matter of trust

May 9, 2016

The left hoped this morning’s release of the Panama papers would be a bomb that would blow up the Prime Minister.

As has happened every time they’ve tried it, all they’ve delivered is a damp squib.

Rather than being a critical blow to the Government, political commentator Chris Trotter says so far, the Panama Papers revelations have been “meh”.

The entire database of 11.5 million documents will go online on Tuesday morning, but some New Zealand journalists — led by Nicky Hager — have been given early access.

They’ve revealed 61,000 of the documents, leaked from Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca, mention New Zealand. But there is no evidence our zero-tax foreign trust rules are being used for illegal purposes. 

That looks like a big number but 61,000 is less than one percent of the 11.5million documents in total.

“Like a good leftie I was salivating this morning at the prospect of what I was going to come across at [6am],” Mr Trotter told Paul Henry on Monday.

“I read it and I went ‘meh’. This will be the best that they’ve been able to find to date.” . . 

“If you’re going to bring down a Prime Minister… then you’ve got to have something that links the Prime Minister not only to something that has the perception of dodginess but that is actually illegal. Nothing to date that I’m aware of has pointed to any kind of illegality at all,” says Mr Trotter.

“It will be a major issue for a little while, then, as has happened so often before, the Prime Minister will move on.”

While Mr Hager says the Panama Papers conclusively prove New Zealand is a tax haven, PricewaterhouseCoopers tax expert Geoff Nightingale says the present rules are “orthodox” and “not uncommon”.

“We need to think about our reputation — it’s a critical business asset. But there’s nothing broken around the tax treatment of these foreign trusts. These are foreign assets and foreign income of foreigners — all we’re doing is administering them.”

New Zealand is a tiny blip on the international radar. Any damage to our reputation will come from opposition politicians, conspiracy theorists  and the media who are trying to make this look like a scandal when it isn’t.

The OECD consistently ranks our tax rules highly; the government has appointed a tax expert to do a review and has undertaken to make changes should the review deem that necessary.

It’s a matter of trust. Our laws and regulations are robust and trusted internationally and should the review uncover any problems they will be addressed.

The key difference between New Zealand and a proper tax haven is we have rules around disclosure.

“We don’t want to be facilitating illegal international activity and we don’t want to have a reputation for that, and the way we deal that is by being clear about who we’re dealing with and what are the assets and where is the income being distributed.”

Mr Nightingale says a review undertaken by John Shewan, former PricewaterhouseCoopers chair, should be broad enough to fix any reputational issues.

“It’s got the disclosure rules in there, it’s got the anti-money laundering rules in there.”

New Zealand has disclosure rules with several countries. If other countries don’t want us to disclose information on trusts affecting their nationals and companies that is their issue not ours.

Any risk to our reputation is one of perception, and that perception is not based on reality but the ridiculous claims New Zealand is a tax haven when it  isn’t.


Quote of the day

May 9, 2016

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else.  – James M. Barrie who was born on this day in 1860.

He also said:

There are few more impressive sights in the world than a Scotsman on the make.

And

Life is a long lesson in humility.

And:

I am not young enough to know everything.

And:

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.

And:

We are all failures at least, all the best of us are.

And:

Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.

And:

Shall we make a new rule of life from tonight: always to try to be a little kinder than is necessary?

And:

We never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it.


May 9 in history

May 9, 2016

1457 BC – Battle of Megiddo between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh – the first battle to have been recorded in what is accepted as relatively reliable detail.

1012 BC – Solar Eclipse seen at Ugarit, 6:09–6:39 PM.

328  Athanasius was elected Patriarch bishop of Alexandria.

1092  Lincoln Cathedral was consecrated.

1450  ‘Abd al-Latif (Timurid monarch) was assassinated.

1502 Christopher Columbus left Spain for his fourth and final journey to the New World.

1671  Thomas Blood, disguised as a clergyman, attempted to steal England’s Crown Jewels from the Tower of London.

1726  Five men arrested during a raid on Mother Clap‘s molly house in London were executed at Tyburn.

1800 John Brown, American abolitionist was born (d. 1859).

1837 Adam Opel, German engineer and industrialist was born (d. 1895).

1860 – J. M. Barrie, Scottish author, was born (d. 1937).

1868 The city of Reno, Nevada, was founded.

1873 Der Krach: Vienna stock market crash heralded the Long Depression.

1874  The first horse-drawn bus made its début in the city of  Mumbai, traveling two routes.

1877 Mihail Kogălniceanu read, in the Chamber of Deputies, the Declaration of Independence of Romania. This day became the Independence Day of Romania.

1887  Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show opened in London.

1893 William Moulton Marston, American psychologist, writer, was born (co-creator, Wonder Woman) (d. 1947).

1901 Australia opened its first parliament in Melbourne.

1904 The steam locomotive City of Truro became the first steam engine in Europe to exceed 100mph.

1907 The first School Journal was published.

First School Journal published

1911 The works of Gabriele D’Annunzio placed by the Vatican in the Index of Forbidden Books.

1914 Hank Snow, American country music singer and songwriter, was born (d. 1999).

1915 – Anthony Wilding, New Zealand Wimbledon champion, was killed in battle.

Kiwi Wimbledon champ killed in battle

1915 World War I: Second Battle of Artois between German and French forces.

1919  Arthur English, English actor and comedian, was born (d. 1995).

1920 Richard Adams, English author, was born.

1920 Polish-Soviet War: The Polish army under General Edward Rydz-Śmigły celebrated its capture of Kiev with a victory parade on Khreschatyk.

1926 Admiral Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett claimed to have flown over the North Pole (later discovery of Byrd’s diary seemed to indicate that this did not happen).

1927  The Australian Parliament first convened in Canberra.

1929 Kay Dotrice, British actress, was born (d. 2007)

1930  Joan Sims, British actress, was born (d. 2001)

1932  Geraldine McEwan, English actress, was born.

1933  Jessica Steele, English romance novelist, was born,

1934 – Alan Bennett, British author, was born.

1935 – Roger Hargreaves, English children’s author (Mr. Men) was born (d. 1988)

1936  Albert Finney, British actor was born.

1936 – Glenda Jackson, English actress and politician was born.

1936 Italy formally annexed Ethiopia.

1937 – Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy took to the airwaves becoming an overnight radio sensation.

1940  World War II: The German submarineU-9 sank the French coastal submarine Doris near Den Helder.

1941  World War II: The German submarine U-110 was captured by the Royal Navy. On board was the latest Enigma cryptography machine which Allied cryptographers later used to break coded German messages.

1942 Holocaust: The SS murdered 588 Jewish residents of the Podolian town of Zinkiv (Khmelnytska oblast, Ukraine). The Zoludek Ghetto was destroyed and all its inhabitants murdered or deported.

1945  World War II: Ratification in Berlin-Karlshorst of the German unconditional surrender of May 8 in Rheims, France, with the signatures ofMarshal Georgy Zhukov for the Soviet Union, and for the Western Headquarters Sir Arthur Tedder, British Air Marshal and Eisenhower’s deputy, and for the German side of Colonel-General Hans-Jürgen Stumpffas the representative of the Luftwaffe, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel as theChief of Staff of OKW, and Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg as Commander-in-Chief of the Kriegsmarine.

1945 New Zealand celebrated victory in Europe.

NZ celebrates Victory in Europe

1945 – Steve Katz, American musician (Blood, Sweat & Tears), was born.

1946 – King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy abdicated and was succeeded by Humbert II.

1946 –  Candice Bergen, American actress, was born.

1949 Rainier III became Prince of Monaco.

1949 Billy Joel, American musician, was born.

1950  Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organized Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations.

1950 – L. Ron Hubbard‘s Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Healthwas released.

1955 Cold War: West Germany joined NATO.

1955 Sam and Friends debuted on a local United States television channel, marking the first television appearance of both Jim Henson and what would become Kermit the Frog and The Muppets.

1960  The FDA announced it would approve birth control as an additional indication for Searle’s Enovid, making Enovid the world’s first approved oral contraceptive pill.

1961  Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles became the first player in baseball history to hit grand slams in consecutive innings.

1962 David Gahan, English singer (Depeche Mode), was born.

1964 Ngo Dinh Can, de facto ruler of central Vietnam under his brother President Ngo Dinh Diem before the family’s toppling, was executed.

1969 – Carlos Lamarca led the first urban guerrilla action against the military dictatorship of Brazil in São Paulo, by robbing two banks.

1970 Vietnam War: In Washington, D.C., 75,000 to 100,000 war protesters demonstrated in front of the White House.

1971 – Paul McGuigan, English bassist (Oasis), was born.

1974  Watergate Scandal: The United States House of Representatives Judiciary Committee opened formal and public impeachment hearings against President Richard Nixon.

1980 Liberian freighter MV Summit Venture collided with the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay, making a 1,400-ft. section of the southbound span collapse. 35 people in six cars and a Greyhound bus fell 150 ft. into the water.

1980 – In Norco, California, five masked gunman hold up a Security Pacific bank, leading to a violent shoot-out and one of the largest pursuits in California history. Two of the gunmen and one police officer were killed and thirty-three police and civilian vehicles destroyed in the chase.

1987 A Polish LOT Ilyushin IL-62M “Tadeusz Kościuszko” (SP-LBG) crashed after takeoff in Warsaw killing 183 people.

1988 The new Australian Parliament House opened in Canberra.

1992 Armenian forces captured Shusha, marking a major turning point in the Karabakh War.

2001   Accra Sports Stadium Disaster: 129 football fans died in a stampede (caused by the firing of teargas by police personnel at the stadium)that followed a controversial decision by the referee handling a crucial match between arch-rivals Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko.

2002  The 38-day stand-off in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem ended when the Palestinians inside agree to have 13 suspected militants among them deported to several different countries.

2002 – In Kaspiysk, Russia, a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a holiday parade killing 43 and injuring at least 130.

2004 Chechen president Akhmad Kadyrov was killed in a land mine bomb blast under a VIP stage during a World War II memorial victory parade in Grozny.

2006 Estonia ratified the European Constitution.

2012 – A Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft crashed into Mount Salak in West Java, killing 45 people.

2015 – An Airbus A400M Atlas military transport aircraft crashed near the Spanish city of Seville with three people on board killed.

2015 – Russia staged its biggest ever military parade in Moscow’s Red Square to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory Day.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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