366 days of gratitude

May 19, 2016

I was in the garage when I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye.

When I turned there was nothing to see but a few minutes later I heard something scuttling.

Today I’m grateful for mouse traps and my bait of choice, peanut butter.


Word of the day

May 19, 2016

Empressement – animated display of eagerness or friendliness; effusion; enthusiasm;  great or extreme attentiveness, care, or cordiality.


Rural round-up

May 19, 2016

Forging a path for other young Maori women to follow :

Confidence and self-belief have always help Ash-Leigh Campbell achieve her goals in the dairy industry – and she hopes her success will inspire more young Maori women to follow her lead.

“You have to back yourself. If you know you can do it, everyone around you will eventually buy into that too,” she says.

The enthusiastic 25 year-old from Lincoln is one of three finalists in this year’s Ahuwhenua Young Māori Dairy Farmer Awards and has big career ambitions.

“I don’t see myself as an industry leader now but the journey I’m on will hopefully fulfil that in future.

“I definitely want to make an imprint on Maori farming in New Zealand and become an ambassador for others. I especially want to publicise that Maori females can do it.” . . .

Up and coming Agri:

The children are the future, but how well do they know the in’s and out’s of agri? 17-year-old Greer Baldwin, an Agribusiness student at St Paul’s Collegiate in Hamilton, sat down with us to give the inside scoop.

Despite not growing up on a farm, Greer has been around agri her whole life. Her Mum, Karen, works in Agri-tourism and the Baldwin family have been involved at National Fieldays for generations. Karen’s line of work allows overseas visitors to experience a real life Kiwi farm in action and is an interesting line of tourism a lot of young people aren’t aware of.

Thanks to Greer’s experience with her mother’s business, she has grown up fully aware that agri is more than gumboots and milking cows, and now has her sights set on studying agriculture at a tertiary level. Born and bred in the Waikato, Greer is excited to branch away from home and is tossing up between either Massey or Lincoln University where she will study agribusiness and tourism. . . 

New irrigation investments for Canterbury:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed three new investments totalling $7.85 million into irrigation projects in Canterbury from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF).

“These projects are a real boost to the Canterbury regional economy. A reliable source of water gives farmers certainty and options to invest in such as arable, intensive pastoral, dairy support or horticulture.”

The projects receiving funding are: . . 

Government supports Ashburton water study trial:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has allocated $312,000 to a trial project in the Hinds Plains area which aims to improve water quality and restore spring-fed flows.

The funding comes from MPI’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF) and the announcement was acknowledged by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy, during his visit to Canterbury today.

David Caygill, Environment Canterbury Deputy Chair of Commissioners, welcomed the announcement which will allow the Regional Council to carry out the Hinds Managed Aquifer Recharge Pilot Study in an area where groundwater nitrate concentrations are well above the national bottom-line. . . 

Central Plains schemes receive government support:

Government support for the Central Plains Water (CPW) Scheme was announced today by the Ministry for Primary Industries during a visit to the scheme by Minister Nathan Guy.

Through the Ministry for Primary Industries Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF), up to $6.64 million has been allocated to CPW to support completion of Stage 2 of their scheme’s development as well as $898,000 for the Sheffield Irrigation Scheme (a sub-scheme of CPW).

CPWL CEO, Derek Crombie has welcomed the latest funding announcements for the two projects. . . 

Change in responsibilities for Crown irrigation bodies:

A change in responsibilities for the Government’s irrigation programmes will help streamline and speed up water storage projects, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

From 1 July, Crown Irrigation Investments Limited (CIIL) will take over the responsibility for funding grants to regional irrigation schemes in the early stages of development, which are matched by local backers. This role has previously been carried out by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF).

“It makes sense to have a single agency looking after this funding as well as CIIL’s current role of commercially investing in projects which are investment-ready,” says Mr Guy. . . 

Hold on tight farmers, the future is bright – Farmers’ Forum experts:

Leading industry speakers at the DairyNZ Farmers’ Forum held in Hamilton this week reaffirmed the view that while another year of low milk prices is on the horizon, the long-term outlook for dairy remains bright.

Deputy Prime Minister Hon Bill English, Fonterra CEO Theo Spierings and Rabobankhead of food and agribusiness research and advisory, Tim Hunt, all reiterated that global demand for dairy products will continue to grow.

Mr English said in the government’s view, the dairy industry will remain the engine room of growth as the second biggest New Zealand exporter behind tourism. But facing up to the reduced milk price is the current challenge. . . 

Fonterra expected to lift milk price – Tina Morrison:

Fonterra is expected to lift its farmgate milk price payout to farmers next season, although it’s likely to mark the third year of prices below the level required by most farmers to break even.

The company is scheduled to hold a board meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday of next week, and may release its opening milk price forecast for the 2016/17 season early Thursday morning. Analysts in a BusinessDesk survey expect a payout of at least $4.43 per kilogram of milk solids for next season, up from a $3.90/kgMS forecast payout for the 2015/16 season, and from $4.40/kgMS in 2014/15.

DairyNZ estimates the average farmer required $5.25/kgMS to cover costs this season and hasn’t yet finalised a break-even price for next season. . . 

Sharemilkers lose 49 cows and $73,000 to nitrate poisoning – Gerard Hutching:

Waikato sharemilkers Cam and Tessa Hodgson have lost 49 cows to nitrate poisoning, which could cost them up to $73,000. 

Nitrate poisoning happens as animals graze, and often occurs after a drought when there are high levels of nitrogen in the soil, and is exacerbated by humid, cloudy conditions. 

Cam’s brother Matthew Hodgson has started a givealittle page for them, saying their passion is farming “and to see the cows die in front of them is heartbreaking to them”. . . 

Farmers can cope with stress during busy times – Jill Galloway:

Experts suggest the best way farmers can cope with busy times is by exercising, sleeping and eating well and to never stop talking with people.

Wairarapa farmer, phycologist and rural trust co-ordinator Sarah Donaldson gave stress hints to about 50 people, mainly farmers as well as bank people, trust organisers and rural professionals at last week’s Beef & Lamb New Zealand AgInnovation conference in Palmerston North.

She said it was hard to recognise stress. . .

Food Safety Science & Research Centre launched:

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Food Safety Minister JoGoodhew today launched the New Zealand Food Safety Science and Research Centre at Massey University in Palmerston North.

Formed as a partnership between government, industry organisations and research institutions, the virtual centre aims to ensure New Zealand’s food safety system remains among the best in the world.

“The centre will use the best science available to protect and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation as a producer of safe and  trustworthy food,” Mr Joyce says. . . 

New Zealand Apple Industry the most competitive in the World:

New Zealand’s $700 million apple industry has again been named the world’s most competitive performer.

The World Apple Report, out this week, ranks New Zealand first over 33 major apple producing countries.

Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Alan Pollard said it is a great achievement to have a competitive edge over the world and to keep holding the position. . .  

Johne’s disease solutions available:

Help is at hand for dairy farmers facing a problem with Johne’s disease in their cattle.

LIC is reminding farmers of the options available from their herd improvement co-operative to help them manage the disease, including diagnostic testing and a comprehensive Johne’s disease management guide developed by experts.

“We know Johne’s disease can be a stressful and frustrating challenge for many dairy farmers,” LIC GM Biological Systems Geoff Corbett said. “We want to make sure farmers know there are tools available that can help them manage the disease in their stock.” . . 

 


Thursday’s quiz

May 19, 2016

This is your chance to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps us all will win a virtual batch of chocolate rough.


Moving up, out and right out

May 19, 2016

At last, Labour appears to have caught up with National on one solution to Auckland’s housing problem:

The new position by the Labour opposition calling for an abolition of city limits has been welcomed by Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith.

“This is a welcome repositioning by Labour. Tight city limits and not allowing intensification is at the core of Auckland’s housing problems. It is limiting new housing developments, driving up section and house prices and encouraging land banking.

“A broad political consensus that the policy around city limits needs to change is helpful to progressing the necessary reforms to increase housing supply and to make them more affordable.

“I was given the Housing portfolio in January 2013 and immediately identified Auckland Council’s metropolitan urban limits, set in 1993 when the population was half a million less than today, as a huge barrier to meeting housing needs both now and in the future. At that time Phil Twyford insisted having no boundaries ‘will mean uncontrolled sprawl from Pukekohe to Warkworth’.

“The Government’s housing programme has involved the systematic dismantling of Auckland’s metropolitan urban limit. I have used Special Housing Areas (SHAs) to override the limits in the short-term while fast-tracking with the independent hearings panel a new plan for Auckland with adequate housing supply.

“Both the laws for SHAs and the new Unitary Plan were opposed by Labour. The new Unitary Plan is only six weeks away from going to the council, and I’m confident it will provide a far more permissive approach to new housing because of the depth of analysis that has gone into the new plan.

“It would be counter-productive to ditch this work at this time with a simplistic approach of just abolishing city limits. We still need some rules to ensure new urban areas have appropriate infrastructure and services and that we make separate provision for industry from housing.

“We are making huge progress in growing supply. Only 10 new homes were being built each working day when National came to office but that has grown to 40. I will be keeping my foot hard on the accelerator until we achieve the needed rate of 50-60 per day.

“I welcome this change of tack by Labour on city limits because the next key step is gaining support for a more enabling plan for Auckland. I hope Mr Twyford and Labour will join me in encouraging the Auckland Council to support the new Unitary Plan in July, when the independent hearings panel reports back.”

Some political tragics might care whose idea it was to allow Auckland to move out but most other people just want the best solution to the imbalance between supply and demand – and that’s more houses.

Auckland has to move up and out and it would help if some people moved right out of the city to other regions where houses are far more affordable.

Strong family links and work will be keeping some people in Auckland but there are good livings and good living in other parts of the country.

All New Zealanders are either descended from immigrants or immigrates themselves. Many of our forbears made long and dangerous journeys to get a better life for themselves and their families; some came not just to a new land but a new language and culture, some new New Zealanders are still doing that.

What’s stopping at least some Aucklanders easing the housing problems in their city by making the much easier move to somewhere else in New Zealand?

 

 


Quote of the day

May 19, 2016

Real education should educate us out of self into something far finer; into a selflessness which links us with all humanity.Nancy Astor who was born on this day in 1879.


May 19 in history

May 19, 2016

1499  Catherine of Aragon, was married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. Catherine was 13 and Arthur 12.

1535  Jacques Cartier set sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona’s two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).

1536  Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII , was beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.

1568  Queen Elizabeth I of England ordered the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.

1643 Thirty Years’ War : French forces under the duc d’Enghien decisively defeated Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power.

1649  An Act of Parliament declaring England a Commonwealth was passed by the Long Parliament.

1749 King George II granted the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.

1780 New England’s Dark Day: A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover caused complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M.

1795 – Johns Hopkins, American philanthropist, was born  (d. 1873).

1802  Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Légion d’Honneur.

1828 President John Quincy Adams signsedthe Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.

1846 Thomas Brunner, Kehu, a Ngati Tumatakokiri Maori, and Charles Heaphy reached Mawhera Pa.

Brunner, Kehu and Heaphy reach Mawhera pa

1848 Mexican-American War: Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million USD.

1861  Dame Nellie Melba, Australian opera singer, was born (d. 1931).

1864 American Civil War: the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House ended.

1879 Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-born politician, was born (d. 1964).

1881 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of Turkey, was born (d. 1938).

1890 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese leader, was born  (d. 1969).

1897  Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Gaol.

1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk landed at Samsun on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, initiating the Turkish War of Independence.  The anniversary of this eventis also regarded as a date of remembrance for Pontic Greeks on theGreek genocide.

1921  The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas on immigration.

1922 The Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union was established.

1925 Malcolm X, American civil rights activist, was born (d. 1965).

1925   Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator , was born (d. 1998).

1928 Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, was born (d. 1982).

1939 Nancy Kwan, Hong Kong actress, was born.

1941 Bobby Burgess, dancer, singer and original Mouseketeer, was born.

1943 World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the cross-English Channel landing (D-Day). It was later be delayed over a month due to bad weather.

1945 Pete Townshend, English musician (The Who), was born.

1948 Grace Jones, Jamaican singer and actress, was born.

1951 Joey Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born  (d. 2001).

1953 Victoria Wood, English comedian and actress, was born (d 2016).

1954 Phil Rudd, Australian drummer (AC/DC), was born.

1961  Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact withEarth a month earlier and did not send back any data).

1962 A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy took place at Madison Square Garden. The highlight is Marilyn Monr0e’s rendition ofHappy Birthday.

1966  Jodi Picoult, American writer, was born.

1971   Mars 2 was launched by the Soviet Union.

1983 Jessica Fox, English actress, was born.

1987 The attempted hijacking of an Air New Zealand Boeing 747 at Nadi airport was thwarted when a member of the cabin crew hit the hijacker over the head with a whisky bottle.

Attempted hijacking in Fiji foiled

1991 Croatians voted for independence at their independence referendum.

2009  Sri Lanka announced victory in its 27 year war against the terrorist organisation, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.

2010 – The Royal Thai Armed Forces concluded its crackdown on protests by forcing the surrender of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders.

2012 – Three gas cylinder bombs exploded in front of a vocational school in the Italian city of Brindisi, killing 1 and injuring 5 others.

2012 – A car bomb exploded near a military complex in the Syrian city of Deir ez-Zor, killing 9 people.

2015 – The Refugio oil spill deposited 142,800 U.S. gallons (3,400 barrels) of crude oil onto an area in California considered one of the most biologically diverse coastlines of the west coast.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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