366 days of gratitude

July 6, 2016

This time last week we visited Robben Island.

It was sobering and made me very grateful for freedom and equality.


If I won $34 million . . .

July 6, 2016

Tonight’s Lotto Poweball jackpot has reached $34 million.

What would you do if you won it?

I’d share some, enjoy some and use the rest to make some more so I could carry on sharing some, enjoying some . . .

But since I haven’t bought a ticket I have no chance of claiming the prize, which isn’t much less than the one in 38,383,800 odds of winning if I had taken the gamble.


Word of the day

July 6, 2016

Tiaki – to care for; look after; guard.

(Recognising Maori Language Week).


Rural round-up

July 6, 2016

How many ticks does SFF need? – Neal Wallace:

Silver Fern Farms can rightly ask just how many hoops does it have to jump through before opponents of the proposed transaction with Shanghai Maling accept the legitimacy of last year’s shareholder approval of the deal?  

The Companies Office and Financial Markets Authority – bodies charged with administering business behaviour – have both rejected complaints about SFF’s handling of last October’s shareholder vote, the financial information supplied to its shareholders and to Shanghai Maling.  

But a more important hoop it could be argued SFF has easily traversed is shareholder support. . . 

Highly profitable banks are playing a long-term and responsible game with struggling dairy farmer borrowers – Rees Logan:

In the year to March 2016, lending to the dairy sector increased by 9% to approximately $40 billion.

During that same period, land prices in the dairy sector dropped 16%, according to Real Estate Institute (REINZ) figures. This fall in land prices means the increased lending is effectively funding the losses the banks’ customers are suffering as a result of the low dairy payout.

Key asset values are decreasing (land and livestock) and debt is increasing so owner equity and bank security is quickly eroding. 

DairyNZ figures show approximately 50% of New Zealand’s dairy sector debt is held by the top 20% of its indebted farmers. This is a major concern. . . 

Marlborough farmer ‘wild’ after overnight electric fence theft – Jennifer Eder:

An electric fence has been stolen in Marlborough in an overnight heist, leaving stock on the loose and a farmer out of pocket.

Grovetown farmer George Wadworth found his sheep loose along the road on Sunday morning and discovered about a kilometre of fence had vanished.

“I was pretty wild. My main concern was not really for stock safety but people using the road. It’s quite close to a main highway, and if a sheep hits someone’s windscreen at 100kmh, it’ll kill you.”

Community constable Russ Smith said someone had “gone to quite a bit of trouble” to remove 250 plastic fence standards, or electric fence posts, from the  16-hectare vineyard. . . 

NZ commodity prices rise in June, led by seafood, dairy – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand commodity prices rose for a second month in June, led by more seafood and dairy products, although an appreciating kiwi dollar limited those gains in local currency terms.

The ANZ commodity price index rose 3.7 percent last month, after a 1.1 percent increase in May. On an annual basis, prices were down 5.4 percent. In New Zealand dollar terms the index rose 0.3 percent, adding to a 2.5 percent increase in May, and an annual decline of 5.9 percent. The trade-weighted index rose 4.9 percent in June.

“There was broad-based strength across all the major categories. However, producers won’t be celebrating too loudly,” ANZ Bank New Zealand agri-economist Con Williams said in his report. “In many cases, world prices are still below the same time last year and the NZD rose over the month too.” . . 

New partnership supports takahē recovery

A newly-signed partnership between DOC and Fulton Hogan will help the critically-endangered takahē continue its recovery, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

Worth $1 million, the partnership was signed at the Burwood Takahē Centre near Te Anau today by DOC director-general Lou Sanson and Fulton Hogan’s director of investments, Bob Fulton.

“The Takahē Recovery Programme has just had its most successful breeding season on record, with 38 chicks fledged,” Ms Barry says.

“Consistently high numbers of chicks are being produced each year, thanks to the hard work of DOC staff, volunteers and our Treaty partner, Ngai Tahu. Fulton Hogan will support the next step in the species’ recovery.” . . .

TB eradication scheme marks milestone:

New Zealand has taken another step towards becoming TB-free with large areas of previously infected land being declared free of the disease.

OSPRI administers the TBfree programme aimed at eradicating bovine tuberculosis from cattle, deer and wildlife.

It has has been progressively achieving this by intensive possum control, then carrying out wildlife surveys to confirm the disease has been eradicated. . . 

Fonterra Lichfield Achieves One Million Building Hours:

Major milestones are being knocked off as construction on one of the world’s largest dryers races towards completion – the result of over one million working hours on the new Fonterra Lichfield milk powder dryer.

For more than 3,000 people representing 300 companies, the finish is now clearly in sight as the September commissioning date for this world-class dryer nears.

South Waikato Operations Manager Sam Mikaere says it takes one look at the numbers behind the build to get an appreciation for its impressive scale.

“This is not just any dryer we’re building. Along with our D2 dryer down at Fonterra Darfield, this will be the biggest milk powder dryer on the planet,” he says. . . 

Record turnout at RCNZ annual conference:

A record turnout of 153 contractors, from all around the country, descended on the Bay of Islands – in late June – for this year’s RCNZ annual conference.

RCNZ national president Steve Levet was delighted with the record conference turnout – held at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort, in Paihia, from June 27-30 – given the current economic climate.

“This is the largest turnout that I can recall and it seems many rural contractors have decided to ignore some of the doom and gloom merchants and are clearly focussed on looking forward to better times.”

Mr Levet says the conference had an exciting agenda of relevant and pertinent issues to the rural contracting sector – along with a number of top-line speakers. This year’s conference theme was: “Your Business from Start to Finish” and it also celebrated the 20 year anniversary of Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ) as an organisation. . . 

Hawke’s Bay Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker 2016 Announced:

Congratulations to Alex Roper from Mission Estate for winning Hawkes Bay Young Winemaker 2016. The competition took place on 1 July at EIT in Taradale followed by dinner and contestants speeches at Mission Estate. Yvonne Lorkin was the charming and entertaining MC who also ran the wine options section of the evening.

Congratulations also goes to Tom Hindmarsh from Dry River in Martinborough who came second (contestants from around the North Island were eligible to enter) and Brad Frederickson from the Hawke’s Bay Wine Company who came third. . . 


9/10

July 6, 2016

9/10 in More FM’s Te Reo quiz.


Aucklanders seeing the light

July 6, 2016

Auckland is no longer so attractive:

Highly skilled workers don’t want to move to Auckland, and the city’s workers are fleeing to the regions in search of a better life, a survey has found.

Employers say decreased productivity, increased sickness and difficulties finding staff are the results of Auckland’s housing crisis, according to a survey by recruitment agency Frog Recruitment. . . 

Spokeswoman Jane Kennelly said the majority of managers surveyed had serious concerns about the impact Auckland’s high cost of living had on their ability to retain staff, and on employees’ performance. . . 

“Employers reported that housing affordability, renting and the impact of those issues on performance was a very common conversation held around the water cooler,” said Ms Kennelly.

Managers also had trouble attracting new skilled workers from outside Auckland.

“Many won’t or can’t come to Auckland as they know they won’t be able to afford to live here, which impacts on skill levels within companies,” she said,

“Conversely, we are losing highly skilled Aucklanders to other regions in the country to pursue a better work-life balance.”

The survey revealed workplace morale was being sorely tested as frustrated employees arrived at work stressed from traffic delays, and increased dependence on public transport often made workers late to work.

About two-thirds of employers surveyed had introduced measures to mitigate the problem such as flexible start times outside traffic rush hours, remote work arrangements or commuting allowances.

Aucklanders moving out and people from other places not wanting to move in are inevitable reactions to the city’s problems which include ridiculously high property costs and traffic congestion.

Individuals are making the sensible choice to live and work where fewer people, lower costs and less time commuting lead to a better quality of life and allow wages and salaries to go further.

Some Auckland businesses are seeing the light too. Scotts Brewing moved from Auckland to Oamaru three years ago and is thriving.

People finding Auckland less attractive might not be good for companies struggling to recruit and retain staff there. But it will be playing a part, albeit small,  in reducing the demand for housing and  most other parts of the country where the city refugees choose to live will welcome a population boost.

 

 


GDT price index down .4%

July 6, 2016

Dairy prices are still in the doldrums with a .4% drop in GlobalDairyTrade’s price index this morning.

GDT6.7.16

gdt6716

It doesn’t help that the EU’s skim milk powder intervention scheme has been officially raised to a record 350,000 tonnes.

AgriHQ dairy analyst Susan Kilsby said the scheme takes the excess milk from the market and puts it into storage, which has a mixed effect on prices.

“In the short term it’s providing some stability in the market, and some support around skim milk powder levels.

“But what it does over the longer term is we’ve now got skim milk powder stocks built up in the EU to record levels so it’s going to take several years for those stocks to work through the market as it’s slowly released, and that will only happen once milk supply slows down and the markets rebalance.”

Ms Kilsby said this would prevent milk powder prices from rising quickly for quite some time.

“It certainly will keep prices for skim milk powder down while we sell more of our milk powder in the format of whole milk powder – there is a link between the two products because they can be substituted to a certain degree.

“It’s certainly going to hamper dairy commodity prices from lifting quickly even when the milk supply does slow down in Europe.” . . 

However, we were in Zambia with dairy farmers from Holland and Ireland lst month and they are no happier about milk prices than we are.


Quote of the day

July 6, 2016

I’m a walkawayer. If someone brings me a really crap meal in a restaurant I will tell them it’s wonderful and then just never go to the restaurant again. I think that’s the best way to do it generally, rather than sit and fight and annoy your head. Just pretend to enjoy it and then leave.  – Jennifer Saunders who celebrates her 58th birthday today.


July 6 in history

July 6, 2016

371 BC – The Battle of Leuctra, Epaminondas defeated Cleombrotus I.

1044 The Battle of Ménfő.

1189 Richard I (Richard the Lionheart) was crowned King of England.

1253  Mindaugas was crowned King of Lithuania.

1348  Papal bullof Pope Clement VI protecting Jews during the Black Death.

1415  Jan Hus was burned at the stake.

1483 Richard III was crowned King of England.

1484 Portuguese sea captain Diogo Cão finds the mouth of the Congo River.

1495  First Italian War: Battle of Fornovo: Charles VIII defeated the Holy League.

1535  Sir Thomas More was executed for treason against King Henry VIII.

1560 The Treaty of Edinburgh was signed by Scotland and England.

1573 Córdoba, Argentina, was founded by Jerónimo Luis de Cabrera.

1609 Bohemia was granted freedom of religion.

1630 Thirty-Years War: 4,000 Swedish troops under Gustavus Adolphuslanded in Pomerania, Germany.

1777  American Revolutionary War: Siege of Fort Ticonderoga: After a bombardment by British artillery under General John Burgoyne, American forces retreated from Fort Ticonderoga, New York.

1781 Sir Stamford Raffles, British statesman, was born (d. 1826).

1785 The dollar was unanimously chosen as the monetary unit for the United States.

1801  Battle of Algeciras: The French navy are defeated by the Royal Navy.

1809 The second day of the Battle of Wagram –  French victory over the Austrian army in the largest battle yet of the Napoleonic Wars.

1854  The first convention of the United States Republican Party was held.

1885 Louis Pasteur successfully tested his vaccine against rabies onJoseph Meister, a boy who was bitten by a rabid dog.

1887 Annette Kellerman, Australian swimmer, was born (d. 1975).

1887  David Kalakaua, monarch of the Kingdom of Hawaii, was forced at gunpoint, at the hands of the Americans, to sign the Bayonet Constitution giving Americans more power in Hawaii while stripping Hawaiian citizens of their rights.

1892 Dadabhai Naoroji elected as first Indian Member of Parliament in Britain.

1892 – 3,800 striking steelworkers engaged in a day-long battle with Pinkerton agents during the Homestead Strike, leaving 10 dead and dozens wounded.

1893 Pomeroy, Iowa, was nearly destroyed by a tornado that killed 71 people and injured 200.

1905 Alfred Deakin became Prime Minister of Australia for the second time.

1907 Frida Kahlo, Mexican painter, was born (d. 1954).

1907 George Stanley, Canadian politician and designer of Canada’s Flag, was born  (d. 2002).

1917  Arthur Lydiard, New Zealand running coach, was born (d. 2004)

1917 World War I: Arabian troops led by Lawrence of Arabia and Auda ibu Tayi captured Aqaba from the Turks during the Arab Revolt.

1918  Sebastian Cabot, English actor, was born (d. 1977).

1919  The British dirigible R34 landed in New York, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airship.

1921 Nancy Reagan, First Lady of the United States, was born.

1923 An Auckland−Wellington express ploughed into a huge landslip that had slumped across the tracks at Ongarue, north of Taumarunui in the King Country. Seventeen people were killed and 28 injured.

Main trunk express train disaster

1925 Bill Haley, American singer, was born  (d. 1981).

1927 Janet Leigh, American actress, was born  (d. 2004).

1933  The first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was played inChicago‘s Comiskey Park. The American League beat the National League, 4–2.

1936 Dave Allen, Irish comedian, was born  (d. 2005).

1936  A major breach of the Manchester, Bolton and Bury Canal sent millions of gallons of water cascading 200 feet into the River Irwell.

1939 Holocaust: The last remaining Jewish enterprises in Germany were closed.

1942 Anne Frank and her family went into hiding in the “Secret Annexe” above her father’s office in an Amsterdam warehouse.

1944 The Hartford Circus Fire, one of America’s worst fire disasters, killed approximately 168 people and injured over 700.

1946 – Sylvester Stallone, American actor, was born.

1947  Richard Beckinsale, English actor, was born (d. 1979).

1947  The AK-47 went into production in the Soviet Union.

1951 Geoffrey Rush, Australian actor, was born.

1957 Althea Gibson won the Wimbledon championships, becoming the first black athlete to do so.

1958 Jennifer Saunders, English actress,comediene and screenwriter, was born.

1962 Nuclear test shot Sedan, part of Operation Plowshare.

1964  Malawi declared its independence from the United Kingdom.

1966  Malawi becomes a republic, with Hastings Banda as the first President.

1967 Biafran War: Nigerian forces invade Biafra, beginning the war.

1975 The Comoros declared independence from France.

1978 Kevin Senio, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1978 The Taunton sleeping car fire occurred in Taunton, Somerset killing twelve people.

1986 Davis Phinney became the first American cyclist to win a road stage of the Tour de France.

1988 The Piper Alpha drilling platform in the North Sea was destroyed by explosions and fires. 167 oil workers were killed, making it the world’s worst offshore oil disaster.

1989  The Israeli 405 Bus slaughter -14 bus passengers were killed when an Arab assaulted the bus driver as the bus was driving by the edge of a cliff.

1998  Hong Kong’s Kai Tak Airport was closed and the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok becomes operational.

2003  The 70-metre Eupatoria Planetary Radar sent a METI messageCosmic Call 2 to 5 stars: Hip 4872, HD 245409, 55 Cancri, HD 10307 and 47 Ursae Majoris that will arrive to these stars in 2036, 2040, 2044 and 2049 respectively.

2006  The Nathula Pass between India and China, sealed during the Sino-Indian War, re-opened for trade after 44 years.

2009  Jadranka Kosor became the first female Prime minister of Croatia.

2013 – At least 42 people were killed in a shooting at a school in Yobe State, Nigeria.

2013 – A Boeing 777 operating as Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crashed at San Francisco International Airport, killing three and injuring 181 of the 307 people on board.

2013 – A 73-car oil train derailed in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec and exploded, killing at least 47 people and destroying more than 30 buildings in the town’s central area.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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