Word of the day

July 4, 2016

Whakanui – celebrate.

(It’s Maori language week).


Rural round-up

July 4, 2016

Drought conditions in South Island continue:

The impact of ongoing dry conditions on the eastern South Island means the medium-scale drought classification will be extended until the end of the year, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.

“Extra funding of up to $88,000 will go to drought recovery coordination and the five Rural Support Trusts in the area, with $30,000 of this going to the North Canterbury Rural Support Trust,” says Mr Guy.

The announcement was made by Mr Guy at a meeting with local farmers in North Canterbury today, his fifth visit to the region since April last year.

“This will mean the area has been in drought for nearly two years, since its initial classification on 12 February last year. This will be the longest period of time a classification of this type has lasted for.” . . 

Jobs and land galore in Kaitangata:

Kaitangata has a jobs problem perhaps unique among small New Zealand towns – there are too many.

There are only two people without jobs in the entire town of 800, but at least 100 vacancies waiting to be filled.

Three-bedroom standalone houses are now being offered for only $230,000. There are currently 30 sections available, with the houses being built to order.

Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan says they come with “stunning views out over the delta”. . . 

Past, present and future of the meat industry (part 3) – Allan Barber:

The future

There are two diametrically opposing views on the meat industry’s future outlook: either the world is short of protein and has an insatiable appetite for what we produce or meat will be replaced by artificial or synthetic proteins, much cheaper and easier to produce.I can’t predict just where on the continuum between these two extremes actual reality will settle or which direction the trend will move. But it’s probably worth hazarding a guess that the top end of the market will continue to prefer the real thing, produced and presented to a high quality, while the poor who are unable to afford much if anything will be happy to accept the cheaper, artificial version. It is also quite possible the increasingly global craze for fast food, especially hamburgers, could be met by synthetic beef, but here again there would be a premium end of the market demanding the real thing. . . 

MPs urged to back no-tillage farming – Alexa Cook:

An international soil scientist is urging the government to reduce carbon by promoting “no-tillage” farming to the primary sector.

The method is a way of growing crops or pasture from year to year without disturbing the soil through tillage, which results in carbon being captured in the soil instead of released through ploughing.

Scientist John Baker met with Labour MPs this morning as part of his crusade to get the message across that New Zealand has the machinery and technology to transfer carbon into the soil and keep it there. . . 

Silver Fern Farms announces contract extension and new special meeting date – Allan Barber:

Silver Fern Farms have issued two new media releases announcing a revised completion date for the contract with Shanghai Maling and a new date for the shareholder requisitioned meeting.

The revised date of 30th September for meeting the one remaining condition of the contract has been agreed in principle by both parties and is subject to agreement of both boards. SFF’s CEO Dean Hamilton said “We needed to allow more time to answer the further information requests from the OIO and to then provide sufficient time for the OIO and then Ministers to consider the application. We continue to believe that the investment will be approved given its substantial merits.”

“The agreement to the new date reflects positively on the ongoing commitment of both parties to the transaction.” . . 

  – Allan Barber:

ANZCO Foods has just released its annual result for the 15 month period ended 31 December which shows a reduced profit compared with its 12 month 2014 performance. Pre-tax net profit was $5.702 million ($7.128 million in 2014) while NPAT was $4.49 million, down more than 50% on the equivalent 2014 result which included part of the tax benefit from the 2012 loss.

Notable features of the result were a large increase in inventory and in current bank debt which can be partly explained by the purchase of the remaining 50% of Five Star Beef and the effect of the December quarter. However these factors do not seem to explain fully the extent of the increase. . . 

Super Fund swoops on Southland dairy farms – Mel Logan:

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund (NZSF) is actively buying up dairy farms in Southland, clinching deals on seven properties with more to follow.

The new acquisitions come under a dark industry debt cloud and take the NZ Super Fund’s farm portfolio to 21, following two recent dairy purchases in Canterbury. 

NZSF says while the dairy sector faces some difficult short term challenges, it continues to have strong long-term potential. . . 

Fonterra Enhances Pre-Season Preparation:

A single-minded focus on effectiveness, efficiency and innovation across all aspects of Fonterra’s winter maintenance programme is delivering savings for the Co-operative as it gets match-fit for spring.

Director of NZ Manufacturing Mark Leslie said this “winter shut” period is an important time of year for manufacturing teams as all assets across Fonterra’s network of sites are fine-tuned to ensure they are ready for the season ahead.

“Each year we process around 18 billion litres of milk, with the bulk of this carried out in the spring months. The work we’re doing now will help us get match-fit for that peak period.” . . 

Fonterra Launches The Switch To Z Biodiesel:

Fonterra has taken another step forward in its commitment to environmental sustainability, today launching its switch to new Z biodiesel – as a foundation customer for the ZBioD fuel.

Fonterra and Z were joined by Minister of Energy and Resources Hon. Simon Bridges, Whakatane Mayor Tony Bonne and other dignitaries today in celebrating the partnership at the Co-operative’s Edgecumbe site.

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Global Operations, Robert Spurway said the shift to biodiesel is part of a move towards greater efficiency and sustainability across all operations, and helping Z make cleaner burning biofuel available in New Zealand. . . 

New Zealand Pork, Bacon and Ham Lovers Pay Attention!:

New Zealand pork, bacon and ham lovers pay attention – the ninth annual judging of the 100% New Zealand Pork, Bacon & Ham Competitions kicks of this Friday (1 July) in Wellington.

The Competitions celebrate New Zealand’s finest home-grown pork products and assist customers to identify and appreciate sustainable pork, bacon and ham which is PigCare™ Accredited*. The competitions support our pig farmers, who raise pork solely for New Zealanders.

This year an impressive 210 entries from butcheries nationwide will be scrutinized by an expert and independent panel of 34 judges comprising leading chefs, food connoisseurs and master butchers. The judges will blind-taste each entry to select New Zealand’s best pork, bacon and ham. . .  . . 


$1b housing help

July 4, 2016

The government has announced a $1 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund to accelerate the supply of new housing where it’s needed most, Finance Minister Bill English and Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith say.

The contestable fund will be open to applications from councils in the highest growth areas – currently Christchurch, Queenstown, Tauranga, Hamilton and Auckland.

Mr English says the Housing Infrastructure Fund will help bring forward the new roads and water infrastructure needed for new housing where financing is a constraint.

“The Government will invest up front to ensure the infrastructure is in place. But councils will have to repay the investment or buy back the assets once houses have been built and development contributions paid.”

Dr Smith says the fund will be available only for substantial new infrastructure investments that support more new housing, not to replace existing infrastructure.

“To access the fund, local councils must outline how many new houses will be built, where they will be built and when they will be available. Ideally, they will have agreements with developers on these issues.

“Funding may also have other conditions attached, such as faster processing of resource consents. All of this will require close collaboration between central and local government.”

Mr English says infrastructure, and its financing in particular, is one of the three key constraints to building more houses – alongside land supply and consenting requirements.

“Councils have strict debt limits which means some lack the headroom to invest in infrastructure now and then wait for future development contributions to recover the costs. The fund will help provide more infrastructure sooner by aligning the cost to councils with the timing of revenue from development contributions.”

Depending on the number and timing of applications, it will require the Government to temporarily borrow up to $1 billion, which will increase net debt until it is repaid.

Dr Smith says the Government is also considering establishing Urban Development Authorities (UDAs) to help further speed up the supply of new housing.

UDAs have streamlined powers to override barriers to large-scale development, including potentially taking responsibility for planning and consenting and other powers.

“These changes are just the latest steps in the Government’s ongoing, comprehensive programme to increase the supply and affordability of housing,” Dr Smith says.

“They will complement the work of the Housing Accords and Special Housing Areas, our social housing build, our emergency housing programme, the expanded HomeStart Scheme for first home buyers, the development of surplus Crown land, the National Policy Statement, RMA reform and the extra tax measures we took last year.

“We are making good progress in facilitating increased investment in housing with a record $11.4 billion of residential building work underway this year. This initiative to support councils with infrastructure provision is the next logical step in this programme.”

The housing shortage is a result of supply outstripping demand.

It takes time to build new houses and it also requires new infrastructure. The costs for developing that is incurred long before councils start collecting enough in rates to fund it.

This new fund will enable councils to borrow the money needed for new infrastructure – roads, water and sewerage – and gives them 10 years to repay it by which the increased rate-take from the new houses will enable them to do.

It’s a good idea and while $1 billion is a very large amount of money, the cost to the taxpayer is the interest only because the fund is for loans not grants.


Quote of the day

July 4, 2016

. . . The sun five minutes with us
came and left with a kiss.
We believe in miracles. That, love,
is all we have.  – Sam Hunt who celebrates his 70th birthday today.

Apropos of that Steve Braunias writes a Letter to Sam Hunt on his 70th Birthday.


July 4 in history

July 4, 2016

836  Pactum Sicardi, peace between the Principality of Benevento and the Duchy of Naples.

993  Saint Ulrich of Augsburg was canonized.

1054  A supernova was observed by the Chinese  the Arabs and possibly Amerindians near the star Tauri.

1120  Jordan II of Capua was anointed as prince after his infant nephew’s death.

1187  The Crusades: Battle of Hattin – Saladin defeated Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem.

1253  Battle of West-Capelle: John I of Avesnes defeated Guy of Dampierre.

1456 The Siege of Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) began.

1534 Christian III was elected King of Denmark and Norway.

1569  The King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, Sigismund II Augustus signed the document of union between Poland and Lithuania, creating new country known as Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.

1610  The Battle of Klushino between forces of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and Russia during the Polish-Muscovite War.

1744  The Treaty of Lancaster, in which the Iriquois ceded lands between the Allegheny Mountains and the Ohio River to the British colonies, was signed.

1754 French and Indian War: George Washington surrendered Fort Necessity to French Capt. Louis Coulon de Villiers.

1774  Orangetown Resolutions adopted in the Province of New York, one of many protests against the British Parliament’s Coercive Acts

1776  American Revolution: the United States Declaration of Independencewas adopted by the Second Continental Congress.

1778 American Revolutionary War: Forces under George Clark captured Kaskaskia during the Illinois campaign.

1790 George Everest, Welsh surveyor, was born (d. 1866).

1802  At West Point, New York the United States Military Academy opened.

1810  The French occupied Amsterdam.

1816  Hiram Walker, American grocer and distiller, was born (d. 1899).

1817 Construction on the Erie Canal began.

1826 Stephen Foster, American songwriter, was born (d. 1864).

1827  Slavery was abolished in New York State.

1837  Grand Junction Railway, the world’s first long-distance railway, opened between Birmingham and Liverpool.

1840 The Cunard Line’s 700 ton wooden paddle steamer RMS Britannia left Liverpool bound for Halifax, Nova Scotia on the first transatlantic crossing with a scheduled end.

1845 Thomas Barnardo, Irish humanitarian, was born (d. 1905).

1845  Henry David Thoreau embarked on a two-year experiment in simple living at Walden Pond.

1855  In Brooklyn, New York, the first edition of Walt Whitman’s book of poems, titled Leaves of Grass, was published.

1862 Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell a story that grew into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequels.

1863 American Civil War: Siege of Vicksburg – Vicksburg, Mississippi surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant after 47 days of siege.

1863 A Confederate Army was repulsed at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas.

1865  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was published.

1868 Te Kooti escaped from the Chatham Islands.

Te Kooti escapes from the Chathams

1868  Henrietta Swan Leavitt, American astronomer, was born (d. 1921).

1872  Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, was born (d. 1933) .

1878 Thoroughbred horses Ten Broeck and Mollie McCarty ran a match race, immortalized in the song Molly and Tenbrooks.

1879  Anglo-Zulu War: the Zululand capital of Ulundi was captured by British troops and burnt to the ground, ending the war and forcing King Cetshwayo to flee.

1881 In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opened.

1882 Louis B. Mayer, American film producer, was born (d. 1957).

1883 Rube Goldberg, American cartoonist, was born  (d. 1970).

1886 The people of France offered the Statue of Liberty to the people of the United States.

1886 – The first scheduled Canadian transcontinental train arrived in Port Moody, British Columbia.

1887 The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, joined Sindh-Madrasa-tul-Islam, Karachi.

1892  Western Samoa changed the International Date Line, so that year there were 367 days in this country, with two occurrences of Monday, July 4.

1894  The short-lived Republic of Hawaii was proclaimed by Sanford B. Dole.

1898 Gertrude Lawrence, English-born actress, was born (d. 1952).

1902 The NZ Boxing Association was formed.

NZ Boxing Association formed at Christchurch

1903 Dorothy Levitt was reported as the first woman in the world to compete in a ‘motor race’.

1910 African-American boxer Jack Johnson knocked out white boxer Jim Jeffries in a heavyweight boxing match sparking race riots across the United States.

1911 Mitch Miller, American musician, singer and record producer, was born (d. 2010).

1917 Manolete, Spanish bullfighter, was born (d. 1947).

1918 King Taufa’ahau Tupou IV of Tonga was born (d. 2006).

1918  Ann Landers, American advice columnist, was born (d. 2002).

1918 – Abigal Van Buren, American advice columnist, was born.

1918 Ottoman sultan Mehmed VI ascended to the throne.

1918 – Bolsheviks killed Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and his family (Julian calendar date).

1924 Eva Marie Saint, American actress, was born.

1927  Neil Simon, American playwright, was born.

1927  First flight of the Lockheed Vega.

1934 Leo Szilard patented the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb.

1939  Lou Gehrig, recently diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, told a crowd at Yankee Stadium that he considered himself “The luckiest man on the face of the earth” as he announced his retirement from major league baseball.

1941  Nazi Germans massacred Polish scientists and writers in the captured city of Lwów.

1946 – Sam  Hunt, poet, was born.

1946  After 381 years of near-continuous colonial rule by various powers, the Philippines attained full independence from the United States.

1947  The “Indian Independence Bill” was presented before British House of Commons, suggesting bifurcation of British India into two sovereign countries – India and Pakistan.

1950 The first broadcast by Radio Free Europe.

1959  The 49-star flag of the United States debuted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1969  The Ohio Fireworks Derecho killed 18 people and destroyed more than 100 boats on Lake Erie.

1976  Israeli commandos raided Entebbe airport in Uganda, rescuing all but four of the passengers and crew of an Air France jetliner seized by Palestinian terrorists.

1982  Iranian diplomats kidnapping: four Iranian diplomats were kidnapped by Lebanese militia in Lebanon.

1987  In France, former Gestapo chief Klaus Barbie (aka the “Butcher of Lyon”) was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to life imprisonment.

1993  Sumitomo Chemical‘s resin plant in Nihama exploded killing one worker and injuring three others.

1997  NASA‘s Pathfinder space probe landed on the surface of Mars.

2004 The cornerstone of the Freedom Tower was laid on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City.

2005  The Deep Impact collider hit the comet Tempel 1.

2006  Space Shuttle program: STS-121 Mission – Space Shuttle Discoverylaunched.

2006  North Korea tested four short-range missiles, one medium-range missile, and a long-range Taepodong-2.

2008  Cross-strait charter direct flight between mainland China and Taiwan started.

2009 – The Statue of Liberty‘s crown reopened to the public after eight years of closure due to security concerns following the September 11 attacks.

2009 – The first of four days of bombings on the southern Philippine island group of Mindanao.

2012 – The discovery of particles consistent with the Higgs boson at theLarge Hadron Collider was announced at CERN.

2013 – The Death of Hung Chung-chiu: A Republic of China Army corporal died under suspicious circumstances while serving a detention sentence during his enlisted service.

2015 – L&T Safety Day 2015 with the theme “Safe Way- Only Way : Building a Culture of Prevention

2015 – Tupou VI was officially crowned as the King of Tonga.

 

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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