366 days of gratitude

14/07/2016

A trip to Robben Island last month was a sobering experience that started when we noticed a sign at the ferry terminal asking people to hand in their guns before they boarded the boat.

Police have shot two people in New Zealand this week. Both shootings made the news, as they should because shooting people, by police or others, is a mercifully rare occurrence here.

Today I’m grateful to live in a country where police and public aren’t routinely armed.


Word of the day

14/07/2016

Bumwhush – obscurity; ruin, annihilation.


100% Pure NZ

14/07/2016

A  new New Zealander, James Cameron is promoting our country:

 


Rural round-up

14/07/2016

Dairy farmers urged to plan for volatility – Sally Rae:

Dairy farmers need to strengthen their business structures by rebuilding equity in the next price upcycle and further develop flexible production systems that can easily reduce costs when prices fall, a new report from Rabobank says.

The severe price downturn marked the third trough in the past decade and the sector must plan for inevitable future volatility, report co-author and dairy analyst Emma Higgins said.

“Tough decisions will need to be made in the next upward cycle. Farmers will need to make a careful and considered decision whether to put some debt to bed or chase a profit margin through increased investment and spending. . . 

Million kg milestone for milk futures:

NZX celebrated a milestone in the development of its New Zealand milk price futures contract on Friday, with more than one million kilograms of milk solids (kg/ms) traded since the product launched at the end of May.

The total number of contracts traded since launch was 184 at close of trading on Friday. Each contract is worth 6000 (kg/ms), totalling 1,104,000 kg/ms.

The 2016/17 contract has traded at an average price of $4.53, while the 2017/18 average contract price was $5.60. . . 

Critical shortage of doctors in NZ small towns:

There’s almost no such thing as a ‘community doctor’ anymore, health expert Professor Ross Lawrenson says.

There’s a critical shortage of doctors in small towns across New Zealand, and Waikato University’s Prof Lawrenson wants medical students sent to rural practices earlier to combat the problem.

“The two medical schools did a survey of medical students who were just qualifying, and only two percent of them wanted to live in a community of less than 10,000 population – there’s a real issue there.”

He says the system is at crisis point, and he believes the way doctors are trained is letting down rural communities. . . 

Meat and dairy exporters secure largest ever container ship for Asia run – Pattrick Smellie

 (BusinessDesk) – The Kotahi joint venture between Fonterra Cooperative Group and Silver Fern Farms is launching a new weekly service to Asian export markets using the largest container ship ever to call at a New Zealand port.

The service will operate through the Port of Tauranga, where a $350 million port expansion and dredging operation will allow visits by a ship capable of carrying more than twice the usual number of containers seen on cargo ships operating through New Zealand.

The new service will see ships with a capacity of 9,500 TEUs – 20-foot container equivalents – calling at Tauranga on their way from the west coast of South America before heading to ports in North Asia. . . 

Rabobank New Zealand announces new CEO:

Rabobank New Zealand has announced the appointment of Daryl Johnson to the position of chief executive officer.

Effective immediately, the appointment sees Mr Johnson take over the role from Crawford Taylor, who has served as CEO in an interim capacity since October 2015.

Announcing the appointment, Rabobank New Zealand Chairman John Palmer said the bank was very pleased to have a highly-experienced banking executive of Mr Johnson’s calibre take the helm of the business as it continues its growth and development in the New Zealand market. . . 

MOU with Foshan City kicks off global Food Integrity Conference:

Chinese representatives visiting from Foshan city will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity tomorrow morning at the opening of the Food Integrity Conference 2016.

The MOU is an exciting step for the APCFI to work closely with colleagues in China on food safety education in Foshan. Foshan has a population of more than 7.2million and is the third largest city in the Guangdong province.

This agreement is a huge opportunity for the Asia Pacific Centre for Food Integrity, Executive Director and Conference Organiser, Dr Helen Darling. . . 

New salmon farms for Marlborough:

The opening of two new salmon farms in the Marlborough Sounds today is a welcome development for New Zealand’s aquaculture industry, Environment Minister and Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith says.

“Salmon is a healthy, sustainable and high-value product and we should be proud that New Zealand is the world’s largest producer of farmed king salmon. New Zealand King Salmon’s Marlborough Sounds operation supports 440 jobs and $115 million in annual export earnings, and comes from just 8 hectares of farms in the 800,000 hectare Sounds. No other primary industry is able to support so many jobs and families from such a small area.”

The two new salmon farms in Pelorus Sound, the Waitata Bay farm and the Kopāua farm in Richmond Bay, add to King Salmon’s operating farms in Queen Charlotte Sound. They will eventually take the company’s production from 6000 to 10,500 tonnes per year, and boost earnings to more than $170 million. . . 

Million dollar mouse pest drops completed:

The ambitious Million Dollar Mouse pest eradication project on remote Antipodes Island in the sub-Antarctic has been completed ahead of schedule, Conservation Minister Maggie Barry says.

A second helicopter drop of rodent bait across the island was finished yesterday afternoon, following a first phase completed on June 29.

“Despite very unsettled weather conditions, the Million Dollar Mouse team have done an outstanding job of making use of every available weather window to get the bait drop completed,” Ms Barry says.

“This is the most challenging pest eradication ever carried out in New Zealand and is a globally significant conservation achievement, safeguarding a unique, remote and forbidding land and the many extraordinary species living there.” . . 

Lamb flap prices rise to a year high in June; beef, lamb leg stable – Tina Morrison

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand lamb flap prices rose to their highest level in a year, driven by increased demand from China where the meat is used in traditional hotpot dishes.

Lamb flap prices rose to US$4.40 per kilogram in June, up from US$4.05/kg in May and the highest level since the first week of June last year, according to AgriHQ’s latest monthly sheep & beef report.

Chinese demand for lamb flaps has helped turn the offcut into a premium cut and lifted the overall return Kiwi farmers can get from their animals. The meat is processed into a lamb roll and sliced thinly for hotpot, the dominant cooking style for lamb and a staple of the Chinese national diet. . . 

Strong 2016 vintage confirms positive outlook for NZ wine:

As demand for New Zealand wine continues to grow in the key markets of the USA, the United Kingdom and Australia, the industry is rising to the challenge. That’s according to Alistair King, Crowe Horwath’s viticulture specialist, who says the outlook is positive, particularly with a plentiful grape harvest for the 2016 vintage.

“The wine industry is targeting a goal of export earnings of $2-billion by 2020; after a poor vintage in terms of volume for 2015 where just 312,000 tonnes of grapes came in, this year is looking considerably better,” he says. . . 

Mission Estate Selected as One of the World’s Best:

Mission Estate, New Zealand’s oldest winery, has further cemented its place on the global wine map by having its Jewelstone Syrah 2013 selected to appear at WINE Explorers’ Grand Annual Tasting 2016.

WINE Explorers is a unique four-year project to take an inventory of all of the wine producing countries of the world. Now in it’s third year, the unprecedented task has seen the WINE Explorers travel to 92 countries, visiting 250 winegrowing regions, surveying a total of 1500 vineyards and tasting over 15000 wines. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

14/07/2016

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual chocolate cake.


If women ruled the world

14/07/2016

Angela Merkel has been chancellor of Germany since 2005.

Hillary Clinton is likely, though not certain, to be the next president of the USA, if only because many people see her as the lesser of two evils when compared with the Republican candidate Donald Trump.

Half the candidates vying to become the next Secretary General of the United Nations are women, including former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.

Theresa May has been sworn in as UK Prime Minister. (The BBC profiles her here.) and 14 other countries already have women as heads of government or elected heads of state .

The countries, women leaders and year they took office are:

* BANGLADESH: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina (2009)

* CHILE: President Michelle Bachelet (2014)

* CROATIA: President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic (2015)

* GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel (2005)

* LIBERIA: President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf (2006)

* LITHUANIA: President Dalia Grybauskaite (2009)

* MALTA: President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca (2014)

* MARSHALL ISLANDS: President Hilda Heine (2016)

* MAURITIUS: President Ameenah Gurib-Fakim (2015)

* NAMIBIA: Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila (2015)

* NEPAL: President Bidhya Devi Bhandari (2015)

* NORWAY: Prime Minister Erna Solberg (2013)

* POLAND: Prime Minister Beata Szydlo (2015)

* SOUTH KOREA: President Park Geun-hye (2013)

* TAIWAN: President Tsai Ing-wen (2016)    

Does being female make a difference to what they do and how they do it?

My answer to that is probably, everyone brings a different perspective to a role and gender would have some influence on the difference.

If women ruled the world some things would change but a female perspective in itself wouldn’t mean better or worse.

The world has and has had good and bad leaders and it will continue to have them regardless of whether they’re men or women.

But I think the world would be a better place if people were regarded as people, accepted and respected for what we have in common and differences like gender and race were immaterial.

 


Quote of the day

14/07/2016

You must make women count as much as men; you must have an equal standard of morals; and the only way to enforce that is through giving women political power so that you can get that equal moral standard registered in the laws of the country. It is the only way.Emmeline Pankhurst who was born on this day in 1858.


July 14 in history

14/07/2016

1223 Louis VIII became King of France upon the death of his father, Philip II of France.

1698 The Darien scheme began with five ships, bearing about 1,200 people, departing Leith for the Isthmus of Panama.

1769 The de Portolá Expedition established a base in California, and set out to find the Port of Monterey.

1771 Foundation of the Mission San Antonio de Padua  by the Franciscan friar Junípero Serra.

1789  French Revolution: Citizens of Paris stormed the Bastille and freed seven prisoners.

1790  French Revolution: Citizens of Paris celebrated the constitutional monarchy and national reconciliation in the Fête de la Fédération.

1791  The Priestley Riots drove  Joseph Priestley, a supporter of the French Revolution, out of Birmingham, England.

1798  The Sedition Act became law in the United States making it a federal crime to write, publish, or utter false or malicious statements about the government.

1834  James Abbott McNeill Whistler, American painter (d. 1903).

1858  Emmeline Pankhurst, English suffragette (d. 1928)

1865  First ascent of the Matterhorn by Edward Whymper and party, four of whom died on the descent.

1868  Gertrude Bell, English archaeologist, writer, spy, and administrator, was born (d. 1926).

1872 Albert Marque, French sculptor and doll maker, was born (d. 1939).

1881 Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett outside Fort Sumner.

1853 New Zealand’s first general election began.

NZ's first general election begins

1900 Armies of the Eight-Nation Alliance captured Tientsin during theBoxer Rebellion.

1902 The Campanile in St Mark’s Square, Venice collapsed, also demolishing the loggetta.

1903 Irving Stone, American writer, was born (d. 1989).

1910 William Hanna, American animator, was born  (d. 2001).

1911  Terry-Thomas, British actor, was born  (d. 1990).

1912 Woody Guthrie, American folk musician, was born (d. 1967).

1913 Gerald Ford, 38th President of the United States, was born (d. 2006).

1916 Start of the Battle of Delville Wood as an action in the Battle of the Somme.

1918  Ingmar Bergman, Swedish film and theatre director, was born (d. 2007).

1921 – Leon Garfield, English children’s author, was born (d. 1996).

1928 Nancy Olson, American actress, was born.

1930 Polly Bergen, American actress, was born.

1933 Gleichschaltung: In Germany, all political parties were outlawed except the Nazi Party.

1940 Susan Howatch, English author, was born.

1943  The George Washington Carver National Monument became the first United States National Monument in honor of an African American.

1948  Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party, was shot near the Italian Parliament.

1950 Sir Apirana Ngata died.

Death of Sir Apirana Ngata

1958  Iraqi Revolution:  the monarchy was overthrown by popular forces lead by Abdul Karim Kassem, who becomes the nation’s new leader.

1965  The Mariner 4 flyby of Mars took the first close-up photos of another planet.

1969  Football War: after Honduras lost a soccer match against El Salvador rioting broke out in Honduras against Salvadoran migrant workers.

1969  The United States $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills were officially withdrawn from circulation.

1984 – David Lange led Labour to election victory.

David Lange celebrating 1984 election victory

1992  386BSD was released by Lynne Jolitz and William Jolitz beginning the Open Source Operating System Revolution.

2000 A powerful solar flare, later named the Bastille Day event, caused a geomagnetic storm.

2002  French President Jacques Chirac escaped an assassination attempt unscathed during Bastille Day celebrations.

2003  The United States Government admitted the existence of “Area 51“.

2007  Russia withdrew from the Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe.

2013 – Israeli Tent Protests movement launched.

2015 – NASA’s New Horizons probe performed the first flyby of Pluto, and thus completes the initial survey of the Solar System.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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