366 days of gratitude

September 6, 2016

A text arrived from my GP’s surgery – I was due for a hepatitis A vaccine booster.

Injections aren’t something most people welcome and I wouldn’t say I enjoyed the experience today.

But I am grateful for medical science which means I’m protected from a disease which although not usually serious in most people can be fatal.


Word of the day

September 6, 2016

Temulent – drunken or intoxicated.


Rural round-up

September 6, 2016

Pukeuri boners get robotic workmates – Sally Rae:

A $7.5 million upgrade at Alliance Group’s Pukeuri meat works is the biggest investment at the site since redevelopment following a major fire in 2006.

Commissioning is under way of robotic  cutting machinery in the  boning room.

The machinery, developed by Scott Technology, features an X-ray unit that analyses each carcass and instructs two cutting machines where to cut.

The primal cutting machine separates carcasses into hinds, middles and forequarters.

A middles cutting machine then separates  middles into racks, loins, flaps and saddles. . . 

Water quality, farm model links asserted – Sally Rae:

New Zealand cannot continue to have conversations about protecting water quality without having a parallel set of conversations that change the farming business model, Taupo farmer Mike Barton says.

Speaking at the Institute of Forestry’s conference in Dunedin, Mr Barton questioned how to start that conversation if the model was to change.

“Food production is the biggest single component of our impact on the planet … We just don’t talk about that. Nowhere in the world do we internalise the environmental costs of food production,” he said.

About 150 years had been spent convincing consumers that food was cheap.

It would take two or three generations before environmental costs were internalised into the price model. . . 

Rakiura Maori Lands Trust & Real Journeys Announce Wild Kiwi Encounter on Rakiura/Stewart Island:

Rakiura Maori Lands Trust (RMLT) and Real Journeys announced today that their first joint tourism venture will be kiwi spotting on Stewart Island called Wild Kiwi Encounter.

These highly successful nocturnal trips were previously run by Bravo Adventures. Owner Phillip Smith, who began the original trips to see Rakiura/Stewart Island brown kiwi says he is delighted that he has been able to find a company with a solid conservation ethos to operate his Department of Conservation concession (authorisation to operate the trips).

“I’ve been running kiwi spotting trips for over a quarter of century now. I still love seeing the look on people’s faces when they see a kiwi in the wild for the first time, but was ready to put my feet up and let someone else head out into the night!” . . 

Higher lamb meat prices eroded by elevated kiwi dollar – Tina Morrison:

 (BusinessDesk) – Limited supply of lamb meat is pushing up prices in overseas markets, however the gains for local farmers are being eroded by the higher value of the New Zealand dollar.

The benchmark CKT price for a leg of lamb in the UK rose to 4.10 British pounds per kilogram in August, from 4.05 pounds/kg in July and 3.40 pounds/kg in August last year, according to AgriHQ data. In New Zealand dollar terms, returns declined to $7.41/kg in August, from $7.53/kg in July, and $8.35/kg a year earlier.

New Zealand’s lamb numbers fell last season as farmers reduced sheep numbers to cope with drought conditions, and are expected to decline a further 2.9 percent to 23.3 million this spring, according to the Economic Service of farmer-owned industry organisation Beef + Lamb New Zealand. . . 

Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker 2016 announced:

Congratulations to Jordan Hogg from Seresin – the Tonnellerie de Mercurey NZ Young Winemaker 2016. The National Final was held on Tuesday 23 August at MRC and the winner was announced at the Bragato Wine Awards dinner on Thursday 25 August.

Congratulations also goes to Alex Roper from Mission Estate, Hawke’s Bay who was the runner up. Tom Hindmarsh and Matt Fox were the other finalists, also performing strongly throughout the competition. . . 

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Female farmer – of course I don’t work as hard as men, I get it right the first time.

Buchan Uncorks New Design at NZ Winery:

Global architectural firm The Buchan Group has uncorked its design of the Mt. Beautiful Tasting Room in Cheviot, New Zealand, aimed at introducing food and wine enthusiasts to this internationally successful, locally grown wine label.

Mt. Beautiful is a premium North Canterbury wine brand grown and produced at Spotswood, 9 kilometres north of Cheviot. The tasting room based in Cheviot showcases its varieties in Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Riesling, and Chardonnay. . . 

Rod McDonald wines scoop international design award for ‘One Off’ Pinot Noir:

Hawkes Bay wine company Rod McDonald Wines is the only New Zealand winery and business to win a prestigious prize in the 2016 Harpers Design Awards.

The internationally recognised design awards, made up of a high calibre judging panel, received entries from ten countries around the world, with only five picking up an award.

“The standard was high, with some stunning examples of enticing and engaging design, really lifting those products above the ordinary,” said Harpers editor Andrew Catchpole. “But our brief as judges went beyond purely aesthetical considerations, looking at how well the design of each product had been tailored to the client’s brief and its target market.” . . 


Different in real world

September 6, 2016

Why do we bring in immigrants when there are so many people on benefits?

Prime Minister John Key gave the answer:

“We bring in people to pick fruit under the RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer) scheme, and they come from the islands, and they do a fabulous job. And the government has been saying ‘well, OK, there are some unemployed people who live in the Hawke’s Bay, and so why can’t we get them to pick fruit’, and we have been trialling a domestic RSE scheme.

“But go and ask the employers, and they will say some of these people won’t pass a drug test, some of these people won’t turn up for work, some of these people will claim they have health issues later on. So it’s not to say there aren’t great people who transition from Work and Income to work, they do, but it’s equally true that they’re also living in the wrong place, or they just can’t muster what is required to actually work.”

He said geographic location was a major factor in matching unemployed people up with available jobs, and filling a position like a hairdresser in Queenstown could require a migrant to fill the role. . . 

He was criticised for this but employers back him up:

The New Zealand Seasonal Workers Scheme, is designed to give unemployed locals a job and aims to help them move to  areas with staff shortages.

But fruit growers said they were frustrated by the number of ‘no shows’ involved in the trial.

Central Otago wine grower James Dicey said he had tried several times to get workers in the trial to pick grapes for him.

“I’ve tried the scheme and worked hand in glove with Work and Income in the past and the level of suitable candidates who are prepared to turn up on a reliable basis and do an honest day’s work is pretty skinny on the ground. The last attempt I made on this, we tried to import some people from Dunedin. We had 1400 people be interviewed and we struggled to fill an eight-seater bus,” he said.

Mr Dicey said even before the scheme he tried to get a van full of beneficiaries to do seasonal work for him, but to no avail.

“Usually in a van of 10, if you can fill a van, two people won’t turn up to work the first day, another two people will last a couple of hours, the next two people won’t turn up the following day, then two of those people will see the harvest out, then when we offer them winter pruning work maybe one or two will do that.”

Mr Dicey said trying to get the workers left to do what was necessary to become full time – such as get their restricted licence – was difficult.

“I’ve offered all sorts of incentives for these two kids that I’ve got working for me at the moment to try to get them from their learners to their restricted licence, they’re not motivated. I’ve offered them money, I’ve put things on the table and I don’t understand what more I can do with these guys to get them across the line. And it’s a constant source of frustration. It’s just one illustration of something that makes it very difficult for me to be able to offer full time employment.” . . .

It’s not just in horticulture, dairying depends on foreign workers, in particular backpackers who, like Kiwis when they travel, are willing to work while they explore the country.

In the political world of the Opposition who want fewer foreigners every unemployed person has the attitude and ability to work.

But in the real world it’s different.

Unemployment is now around 5% nationally and lower in some of the places where there’ are staff shortages.

That’s getting down to the unemployable – people who can’t or won’t work.

When you’ve got fruit and vegetables to pick or cows to milk, you need people you can rely on to do what’s required when it’s required.

The alternative to foreign workers, be they visitors or immigrants, when locals won’t work is more mechanisation.

A friend who with a horticultural business installed a new sorting machine which took the place of five workers.

It was expensive but he said the difficulty of finding staff and increased complexities and costs of employment meant it was worth it.

This is the choice employers face when they can’t find locals who can and will work – foreigners or machines.


Quote of the day

September 6, 2016

The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
Jane Addams who was born on this day in 1860.


September 6 in history

September 6, 2016

394  Battle of the Frigidus: The Christian Roman Emperor Theodosiu Idefeated and killed the pagan usurper Eugenius and his Frankish magister militum Arbogast.

1522 The Victoria, the only surviving ship of Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition, returned to Sanlúcar de Barrameda in Spain, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the world.

1620  The Pilgrims sailed from Plymouth on the Mayflower to settle in North America.

1628 Puritans settled Salem.

1634 Thirty Years’ War: In the Battle of Nördlingen the Catholic Imperial army defeated Protestant armies of Sweden and Germany.

1669 The siege of Candia ended with the Venetian fortress surrendering to the Ottomans.

1729 Moses Mendelssohn, German philosopher, was born (d. 1786).

1757 Marquis de Lafayette, French soldier and statesman, was born (d. 1834).

1781 The Battle of Groton Heights resulted a British victory.

1800 Catharine Beecher, American educator, was born (d. 1878).

1847  Henry David Thoreau left Walden Pond and moved in with Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family.

1860 Jane Addams, American social worker, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, was born (d. 1935).

1870  Louisa Ann Swain of Laramie, Wyoming became the first woman in the United States to cast a vote legally.

1885 Eastern Rumelia declared its union with Bulgaria.

1888  Charles Turner became the first bowler to take 250 wickets in an English season.

1901 Anarchist Leon Czolgosz shot and fatally wounded US PresidentWilliam McKinley.

1919 Wilson Greatbatch, American inventor (cardiac pacemaker), was born (d. 2011).

1930 Argentine president Hipólito Yrigoyen was deposed in a military coup.

1937  Spanish Civil War: The start of the Battle of El Mazuco.

1939 World War II: The Battle of Barking Creek.

1939 – Susumu Tonegawa, Japanese biologist and immunologist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born.

1940 – Jackie Trent, English-Spanish singer-songwriter and actress, was born (d. 2015).

1940 King Carol II of Romania abdicated and was succeeded by his sonMichael.

1943 Roger Waters, British musician (Pink Floyd), was born.

1943 The Monterrey Institute of Technology, was founded in Monterrey, Mexico.

1948 New Zealand citizenship was established.

New Zealand citizenship established

1948  Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands.

1949 Allied military authorities relinquished control of former Nazi Germany assets back to German control.

1955 Istanbul Pogrom: Istanbul’s Greek and Armenian minority were the target of a government-sponsored pogrom.

1957 José Sócrates, Prime Minister of Portugal, was born.

1963 Alice Sebold, American novelist, was born.

1965  India retaliated following Pakistan’s failed Operation Grand Slam which resulted in the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965.

1966 The architect of Apartheid, Prime Minister Hendrik Verwoerd, was stabbed to death during a parliamentary meeting.

1968  Swaziland became independent.

1970 Two passenger jets bound from Europe to New York were simultaneously hijacked by Palestinian terrorist members of PFLP and taken to Dawson’s Field in Jordan.

1972  Munich Massacre: 9 Israeli athletes and a German policeman taken hostage at the Munich Olympic Games by the Palestinian “Black September” terrorist group died  at the hands of the kidnappers during a failed rescue attempt.

1976   Soviet air force pilot Lt. Viktor Belenko landed a MiG-25 jet fighter on the island of Hokkaidō and requests political asylum in the United States.

1985  Midwest Express Airlines Flight 105, a Douglas DC-9 crashed just after takeoff from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, killing 31.

1986 In Istanbul, two terrorists from Abu Nidal’s organisation killed 22 and wounded six inside the Neve Shalom synagogue during Shabbat services.

1991 – The name Saint Petersburg was restored to Russia’s second largest city, which had been renamed Leningrad in 1924.

1997 Funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales which was watched by a television audience of more than 2.5 billion.

2008 – Turkish President Abdullah Gül attended an association football match in Armenia after an invitation by Armenian President Serzh Sarkisyan; he is the first Turkish head of state to visit the country.

2009 – The ro-ro ferry SuperFerry 9 sank off the Zamboanga Peninsula in the Philippines with 971 persons aboard; all but ten were rescued.

2012 – 61 people died and 48 others were injured after a fishing boat capsized off the Izmir Province coast of Turkey, near the Greek Aegean islands.

Sourced from NZ History & Wikipedia


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