366 days of gratitude

December 9, 2016

It’s been a busy week with the requirement to concentrate more than is usual combined with less sleep than is optimal.

Tonight I’m grateful that I now have the opportunity for an earlyish night and a weekend ahead with the opportunity to do as much or as little as I choose.

 


Word of the day

December 9, 2016

Bard – cover meat with rashers of fat bacon; a thin slice of fat or bacon secured to a roast of meat or poultry to prevent its drying out while cooking;  defensive or ornamental armour for a horse; an ornamental caparison for a horse; to equip a horse with bards; one of an ancient Celtic order of minstrel poets who composed and recited verses celebrating the legendary exploits of chieftains and heroes; poet, especially a lyric poet; the winner of a prize for Welsh verse at an Eisteddfod.


Friday’s answers

December 9, 2016

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and can claim a virtual batch of fruit mince pies by leaving the answers below should all of us have been stumped.


Rural round-up

December 9, 2016

Farmers urged to report all crime:

 

A Federated Farmers survey shows the rural sector is plagued by thieves, rustlers and poachers but not enough farmers are reporting their losses.

Farmers need to get smarter about security, and work more closely with police to deter and catch offenders, Federated Farmers rural crime portfolio leader Rick Powdrell says.

More than 1,000 farmers from all over New Zealand responded to the on-line survey, with 26 per cent saying stock had been stolen from them in the last five years. More than 3% had been hit by stock thieves five times or more since 2011. . . 

Police investigating theft of 70 hay bales from farm near Wanaka – Rhys Chamberlain:

Otago Lakes Central police are on the hunt for thieves who made off with 70 bales of hay worth about $350 in total.

A police media spokeswoman said the theft occurred on the corner of Partridge Rd and St Ninians Way near Hawea Flat between 8pm Sunday and 7am on Monday.

There was no indication of the method used to take the bales and there appeared to be no witnesses, she said.

“The victim has no idea how they [hay bales] were taken.” . . 

Blue Sky Meats urges shareholders to wait for more information on Binxi takeover – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – Blue Sky Meats has recommended shareholders wait for more information from the board on the future prospects of the meat processor before deciding on a takeover offer from China-based Heilongjiang Binxi Cattle Industry Co, which is at the top of an independent valuation range.

NZ Binxi (Oamaru) Foods, a subsidiary of the Chinese company referred to as Binxi Cattle Group, is offering $2.20 per share for the 86.5 percent of Blue Sky that it doesn’t already own. Independent adviser Campbell MacPherson values Blue Sky’s shares between $1.93 and $2.21 apiece, according to a report sent to shareholders yesterday. . . 

The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust is seeking a tenant for its dairy farm:

The Isaac Conservation and Wildlife Trust seeks a tenant for the 80 hectare dairying operation in McLeans Island Road, Harewood – directly opposite Harewood Golf Course. The lease marketing campaign is being undertaken by Bayleys Canterbury, with tenders closing on December 14.

The dairy operation is part of the revenue activities of the Trust, which administers an expansive 1100 hectare flora and fauna sanctuary adjacent to Christchurch International Airport.

The Trust is a well renown not-for-profit wildlife organisation and is currently the only facility in the world breeding orange-fronted parakeets in captivity, and the only facility outside of the Department of Conservation to breed the rare black stilt and New Zealand shore plover bird species. It runs one of New Zealand’s most expert incubation and hatchery for rare breed chicks. . . 

  Anchor launches new range of premium products in China:

At its Annual General Meeting today Fonterra announced the launch of a new range of premium Anchor products in China, in response to the ongoing growth in demand for safe, high-quality dairy nutrition.

The new ‘Upline’ range features two new UHT milk products. LiveUp is a high-protein milk with 50 per cent more protein than standard UHT (at 5.7 grams of protein per 100ml), while NaturalUp is made from certified fresh organic New Zealand milk that meets Chinese and New Zealand organic standards.

Fonterra Greater China President, Christina Zhu, said the new products . . 

Mixed results for wool:

New Zealand Wool Services International Ltd’s CEO Mr John Dawson reports that the North Island auction comprising 9400 bales, which was 2000 bales above anticipated roster, saw a 93 percent clearance with a continuation of targeted buying. With price levels at lowest levels for several seasons, buying activity from some sectors has been stimulated for specific types, resulting in price lifts for target wools, however there were further reductions for out of favour types.

The weighted indicator for the main trading currencies was 1.03 percent up on last week, having minimal impact locally.

Mr Dawson advises compared to last North Island selection on 1st December; . . 

British wool a thriving industry thanks to running the last marketing board in the country Julia Bradshaw:

Every sheep is different, so every fleece is different, you open one up and never know what you’re going to get,” says Ian Brooksbank, a senior head grader for the British Wool Marketing Board (BWMB) – the country’s last surviving agricultural commodities co-operative.

Brooksbank works at its North of England depot, a massive warehouse on the outskirts of Bradford, next to the headquarters of the marketing board. There, he and a team of workers grade and package fleeces from the surrounding counties. Grading takes huge skill, and Brooksbank has years of experience. “I started here in 1990 when I was 16, just pushing the skeps,” he says as he touches the fleece in front of him, pulling out and inspecting the fibres to see how strong and uniform they are.


Brighter books

December 9, 2016

In 2008 when John Key first became Prime Minister and handed his deputy Bill English the role of Finance Minister, Treasury was forecasting a decade of deficits.

Eight years later, ss The PM steps down, the Finance Minister is about to step into his shoes and Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce is poised to take over the finances, the books are looking much brighter:

Treasury’s latest forecasts show the Government’s programme of responsible economic and fiscal management is delivering benefits for New Zealanders, Finance Minister Bill English says.

“Economic growth is expected to average around 3 per cent over the next five years – considerably stronger than forecast in Budget 2016 – supporting more jobs, falling unemployment and higher incomes,” Mr English says.

“The more positive outlook for the economy is driven by high levels of construction activity, exports (particularly tourism), a growing population and low interest rates.”

The 2016 Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update forecasts unemployment to  drop to 4.3 per cent by 2020/21. Over the same period Treasury expects another 150,000 jobs to be created and the average wage to increase by $7,500 to $66,000.

“While the recent Kaikoura earthquakes have had a major impact on affected families and businesses, they are not expected to disrupt the overall momentum of the economy,” Mr English says.

“However, the earthquakes do highlight the importance of paying off debt in the good times so that the Government can support New Zealand communities in challenging times.”

Treasury estimates the total fiscal cost of the earthquakes will be about $2 billion to $3 billion, some of which will be funded by insurance proceeds or existing funds. Net costs of $1 billion have been included in this year’s forecasts. 

The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) is forecast to be $473 million in surplus this year, rising to $8.5 billion over the forecast period.

The Half Year Update shows net debt peaked as a proportion of GDP in 2015/16 – a year earlier than previously expected – and is expected to fall to 18.8 per cent of GDP by 2020/21.

Mr English says the accompanying Budget Policy Statement confirms the operating allowance will remain at $1.5 billion for each of the next four Budgets.

The capital allowance for Budget 2016 has been increased from $900 million to $3 billion in Budget 2017 and to $2 billion in future Budgets to provide for a number of high quality infrastructure and investment projects.

Contributions to the NZ Super Fund are forecast to restart in 2020/21 once net debt falls below 20 per cent of GDP.

The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update and Budget Policy Statement can be found here and here.

Summary of Economic and Fiscal Forecasts
No automatic alt text available.

 


Quote of the day

December 9, 2016

I think you should take your job seriously, but not yourself – that is the best combination. Dame Judi Dench who celebrates her 82nd birthday today.


December 9 in history

December 9, 2016

536 – Byzantine General Belisarius entered Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully left the city, returning the old capital to its empire.

730 – Battle of Marj Ardabil: the Khazars annihilated an Umayyad army and killed its commander, al-Djarrah ibn Abdullah.

1425 – The Catholic University of Leuven was founded.

1531 – The Virgin of Guadalupe first appeared to Juan Diego at Tepeyac, Mexico City.

1608  John Milton, English poet, was born (d. 1674).

1787 John Dobson, English architect, was born  (d. 1865).

1793 – New York City’s first daily newspaper, the American Minerva, was established by Noah Webster.

1824 – Patriot forces led by General Antonio José de Sucre defeated a Royalist army in the Battle of Ayacucho, ending the Peruvian War of Independence.

1851 – The first YMCA in North America was established in Montreal, Quebec.

1867 – The first passengers travelled through the Lyttelton tunnel.

First passengers traverse Lyttelton rail tunnel

1872 – In Louisiana, P. B. S. Pinchback became the first serving African-American governor of a U.S. state.

1886 Clarence Birdseye, American frozen food manufacturer, was born (d. 1956).

1888 – Statistician Herman Hollerith installed his computing device at the United States War Department.

1897 Activist Marguerite Durand founded the feminist daily newspaper, La Fronde, in Paris.

1899 New Zealand troops fired their first shots in the South African war.
NZ troops fire first shots during South African War

1902  Margaret Hamilton, American actress, was born (d. 1985).

1905 In France, the law separating church and state was passed.

1916 – Kirk Douglas, American actor, was born.

1922  Gabriel Narutowicz was announced the first president of Poland.

1929  Bob Hawke, 23rd Prime Minister of Australia, was born.

1931 The Constituent Cortes approved the constitution which establishes the Second Spanish Republic.

1933  Ashleigh Brilliant, American writer (Pot-Shots), was born.

1934  Dame Judi Dench, English actress, was born.

1935 – Walter Liggett, American newspaper editor and muckraker, was killed in gangland murder.

1937 – Second Sino-Japanese War: Battle of Nanjing – Japanese troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Asaka Yasuhiko launched an assault on Nanjing.

1940 – World War II: Operation Compass – British and Indian troops under the command of Major-General Richard O’Connor attacked Italian forces near Sidi Barrani in Egypt.

1941 Beau Bridges, American actor, was born.

1946 – The “Subsequent Nuremberg Trials” began with the “Doctors’ Trial“, prosecuting doctors alleged to be involved in human experimentation.

1950  Joan Armatrading, St. Kitts-born English singer, was born.

1953 John Malkovich, American actor, was born.

1953 – Red Scare: General Electric announced that all communist employees would be discharged from the company.

1957 – Donny Osmond, American singer and actor, was born.

1958  Nick Seymour, Australian bassist (Crowded House), was born.

1960 The first episode of Britain’s longest running television soap operaCoronation Street was broadcast.

1961 – The trial of Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Israel ended with verdicts of guilty on 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people and membership of an outlawed organization.

1961 Tanganyika became independent from Britain.

1962  The Petrified Forest National Park was established in Arizona.

1968 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) was publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.

1979 The eradication of the smallpox virus was certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.

1988  The Michael Hughes Bridge in Sligo, Ireland was officially opened.

1990  Lech Wałęsa became the first directly elected president of Poland.

2003 – A blast in the center of Moscow killed six people and wounds several more.

2006 – Moscow suffered its worst fire since 1977, killing 45 women in a drug rehabilitation centre.

2008 – The Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich, was arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency.

2013 – At least seven were killed and 63 injured following a train accidentnear Bintaro, Indonesia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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