Word of the day

April 4, 2017

Porraceous  – having the clear light green colour of leek leaves; resembling the leek in colour; greenish.


Rural round-up

April 4, 2017

New research will help address rural communities’ health and wellbeing:

New research on farm-related suicide and the factors behind it is a progressive step and will enable a more concerted focus on reducing rates, says Federated Farmers.

The study by Dr Annette Beautrais was conducted on behalf of the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and funded by AgResearch.

As inaugural members of RHANZ, Federated Farmers has advocated for many years for an increased awareness on addressing issues related to rural health and wellbeing.

In her findings, Dr Beautrais reveals that general farm workers and males are the most vulnerable and more likely to take their own life. . . 

Zespri calls in police over cross-border kiwifruit transfer – Paul McBeth

 (BusinessDesk) – Zespri International has called in police to investigate the transfer of Gold3 and Gold9 kiwifruit varieties into China that may have been done illegally.

Last year the Mount Maunganui-based international fruit marketer started investigating reports that a kiwifruit licence had been sold to a third party, breaching the terms limiting transfers within a country, and it passed on that evidence to police in December which is investigating, it said in a statement.

“The purported sale of a licence from one jurisdiction to another by a third party is a breach of Zespri’s licences and plant variety rights, and potentially could give rise to allegations of fraud or misleading conduct,” Zespri said. “In this case, Zespri suspects . . 

Primary sector women funded to step up:

Government investment in developing and supporting women to create sustainable prosperity in the primary sector and regional communities has been welcomed by the organisation that is growing the leadership, governance and business skills of women in the sector.

The Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) has received $289,000 from the Government’s Sustainable Farming Fund to extend its work to three groups of women who have been identified as part of the key to sustainable primary industry growth.

The two-year project will see AWDT research, design and deliver pilot programmes for younger women who are entering primary sector careers, Māori women in the regions, and women who have had careers outside of primary industries whose expertise was of value. . . 

More RMA stress and cost for farmers in Horizons region:

Federated Farmers is deeply disappointed by a legal decision which suggests the Horizons Regional Council has not implemented the One Plan correctly and environmental gains are not being made.

The court decision announced today is now being carefully reviewed by Feds, so we can begin to understand the on-the-ground implications for our member farmers.

Federated Farmers Manawatu/Rangitikei provincial president James Stewart says we have to remember the enormous amount of good work and investment undertaken by farmers across the region to comply with the ‘One Plan’ regulations and that the plan’s objectives are being achieved.

“The council has worked very hard to implement a One Plan that’s workable and that does not put farmers out of business and improves water quality as needed. . . 

Research provides new guidance for West Coast farmers on pests:

AgResearch scientists are set to present new guidance to West Coast farmers on dealing with some of the region’s worst pests after years of in-depth research alongside locals.

Over the past three years farmers in the West Coast Pest Management Group have taken part in a project funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund to improve the understanding of pests that threaten pastures.

“This research is about providing farmers on the South Island’s West Coast with the tools to tackle these pests, before the long-term damage is done to their pastures and bottom lines,” says AgResearch Senior Scientist Sarah Mansfield. . . 

New Zealand farming couple grow record-breaking wheat crop:

Huge crop confirmed by Guinness World Records

• Bayer and Yara play key role

• Increasing yields key focus

Ashburton farmers Eric and Maxine Watson have entered the renowned book of Guinness World Records after producing the world’s highest yielding crop of wheat.

The couple produced a staggering 16.791 tonnes per hectare, beating the previous record of 16.519 tonnes held for two years by a UK farmer.

On average, irrigated wheat yields in New Zealand are around 12 tonnes per hectare, demonstrating how remarkable the new record is. . . 

Successful meeting with Lithuanian Agricultural Minister:

New Zealand Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Bronius Markauskas met on Monday in Vilnius, Lithuania to discuss a range of agricultural issues in each country. 

“Clearly, there are many similarities between our countries, including the role of dairy in our respective economies,” says Mr Guy. 

“New Zealand is an example for Lithuania,” says Lithuanian Minister of Agriculture B. Markauskas

“We are quite similar – in both countries the dairy industry and agriculture in general play a huge role. I was in New Zealand previously and I was impressed by the great atmosphere and the relationship between the government and farmers, as well as the country’s agricultural potential. . . 

  Fonterra makes a splash at China’s food ingredients show:

Fonterra’s NZMP dairy ingredients business has made a splash at China’s largest food ingredients trade show in Shanghai, launching three dairy ingredients and bringing New Zealand’s dairy story to life for customers through a 360° immersive virtual reality experience.

One of the world’s foremost food ingredients events, the three-day Food Ingredients China 2017 event attracted more than 100,000 customers from all over the world.

Fonterra announced the launch of NZMP Gold Whole Milk Powder for UHT, NZMP Tasty Cheese Powder and NZMP Butter Concentrate products at the event. . .

 

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If you think it’s expensive to hire a quality farmers, just wait until you hire a crappy one.


Freedom to offend and outrage

April 4, 2017

Auckland University of Technology’s History Professor Paul Moon has written an open letter rejecting “forceful silencing of dissenting or unpopular views” on university campuses.

“Freedom of speech underpins our way of life in New Zealand as a liberal democracy. It enables religious observance, individual development, societal change, science, reason and progress in all spheres of life. In particular, the free exchange of ideas is a cornerstone of academe,” the letter said.

“Governments and particular groups will from time to time seek to restrict freedom of speech in the name of safety or special interest. However, debate or deliberation must not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most people to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or wrong-headed.

“Universities play a fundamental role in the thought leadership of a society. They, of all places, should be institutions where robust debate and the free exchange of ideas take place, not the forceful silencing of dissenting or unpopular views.

“Individuals, not any institution or group, should make their own judgments about ideas and should express these judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting the ideas they oppose, without discrimination or intimidation.

“We must ensure that our higher learning establishments are places where intellectual rigour prevails over emotional blackmail and where academic freedom, built on free expression, is maintained and protected. We must fight for each other’s right to express opinions, even if we do not agree with them.”

Not even when we disagree, but especially.

Freedom of speech doesn’t mean the freedom to say only the innocuous and uncontroversial.

The letter was in response to Human Rights Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy’s call for a review of “hate speech” law. Police are suggesting it be looked at as a specific crime

Mr Moon, told the New Zealand Herald free speech at universities should be defended.

“The trouble is we often don’t know the difference between free speech and hate speech,” Mr Moon said.

“Usually, if people are offended by what is said it’s seen as hate speech. That’s dangerous.

“It is dangerous to silence someone just because we don’t like what they say.”

Mr Moon said such views are a threat to the right to free speech.

“It puts the definition of free speech at the whim of people pursuing that line,” he said. . . 

Freedom of speech, Mr Moon said, was the foundation of a modern, diverse and democratic society.

It protected religious freedom and individual expression, he said.

Mr Moon said kneejerk calls from police and the Human Rights communision to introduce hate-speech laws will have the unitended consequence of suppressing free speech.

“It will create a culture of fear,” he said.

“What we need is open debate, which will change racist and intolerant views, not censorship.”

Mr Moon said freedom of speech was intimately connected with freedom of thought. . . 

The letter was signed by: Assoc Professor Len Bell, Dr Don Brash, Dr David Cumin, Sir Toby Curtis, Dr Brian Edwards, Graeme Edwards, Dr Gavin Ellis, Sir Michael Friedlander, Alan Gibbs, Dame Jenny Gibbs, Bryan Gould, Wally Hirsh, Professor Manying Ip, Sir Bob Jones, Professor Pare Keiha, Assoc Professor Luamanuvao Winnie Laban, Dame Lesley Max, Gordon McLauchlan, Professor Paul Moon, Sir Douglas Myers, Assoc Professor Camille Nakhid, Sir Geoffrey Palmer, Professor Edwina Pio, David Rankin, Philip Temple, Dame Tariana Turia and Professor Albert Wendt.

More than 100 years ago, Winston Churchill said: So we must beware of a tyranny of opinion which tries to make only one side of a question the one which may be heard. Everyone is in favour of free speech. Hardly a day passes without its being extolled, but some people’s idea of it is that they are free to say what they like, but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage.

Freedom of speech is not just the freedom to say what people want to hear. It is the freedom to say what they don’t want to hear, to offend and to outrage.

The answer to offensive and outrageous speech is not to silence the speakers but to let them speak and counter the offence and outrageousness with reason or ridicule.

 

 

 


Quote of the day

April 4, 2017

Time passed solely in the pursuit of pleasure leaves no solid enjoyment for the future; but from the hours you spend in reading and studying useful books, you will gather a golden harvest in future years. –  Dorothea Dix who  was born on this day in 1802.


April 4 in history

April 4, 2017

1081 Alexios I Komnenos was crowned Byzantine emperor at Constantinople, beginning the Komnenian dynasty.

1581 Francis Drake was knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world.

1655 The the Infant of Prague statue was solemnly crowned by command of Cardinal Harrach.

1660 Declaration of Breda by King Charles II of England.

1721  Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under King George I.

1802 Dorothea Dix, American social activist, was born (d. 1887).

1812  U.S. President James Madison enacted a ninety-day embargo on trade with the United Kingdom.

1814 Napoleon abdicated for the first time.

1818 The United States Congress adopted the flag of the United Stateswith 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20).

1841 William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and the one with the shortest term served.

1850 The Great Fire of Cottenham, a large part of the Cambridgeshire village was burnt to the ground under suspicious circumstances.

1850 – Los Angeles was incorporated as a city.

1859 Bryant’s Minstrels debuted “Dixie” in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show.

1866 Alexander II of Russia narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.

1873 The Kennel Club was founded, the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world.

1887 Argonia, Kansas elected Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.

1905 The Kangra earthquake killed 20,000, and destroyed most buildings in Kangra, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala.

1913 The Greek aviator Emmanuel Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot victim of the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashed.

1918 – World War I: Second Battle of the Somme ended.

1918 – George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, English soldier and politician, Leader of the House of Lords, was born (d. 2007)

1928  – Maya Angelou, American author and poet, was born (d. 2014).

1930 The Communist Party of Panama was founded.

1931  – Dame Cath Tizard, New Zealand politician, 16th Governor-General of New Zealand, was born.

Catherine Tizard 1992.jpg

1935 – Geoff Braybrooke, English-New Zealand soldier and politician, was born (d. 2013).

1939 Faisal II became King of Iraq.

1944 World War II: First bombardment of Bucharest by Anglo-American forces killed 3000 civilians.

1945 World War II: American troops liberated Ohrdruf forced labour campin Germany.

1945 – World War II: Soviet Army took control of Hungary.

1946 Dave Hill, English guitarist (Slade), was born.

1949  Twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

1949 Junior Braithwaite, Jamaican singer (The Wailers), was born  (d. 1999).

1951 Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, was born.

1952 Gary Moore, Irish guitarist (Thin Lizzy), was born  (d. 2011).

1958 The CND Peace Symbol displayed in public for the first time in London.

1960 Senegal independence day.

1963 Graham Norton, Irish talk show host, was born.

1964 The Beatles occupied the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.

1965 The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraftplane was unveiled.

1967  Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech in New York City’s Riverside Church.

1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray.

1968 – Apollo programme: NASA launched Apollo 6.

1968 – AEK Athens BC became the first Greek team to win the European Basketball Cup.

1969 Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the first temporary artificial heart.

1973 The World Trade Center in New York was officially dedicated.

1975 Microsoft was founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

1975 Vietnam War:  Operation Baby Lift – A United States Air Force C-5A Galaxy crashed near Saigon shortly after takeoff, transporting orphans – 172 died.

1976 Prince Norodom Sihanouk resignws as leader of Cambodia and was placed under house arrest.

1979 Heath Ledger, Australian actor, was born  (d. 2008).

1979  Jessica Napier, New Zealand actress, was born.

1979 President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan was executed.

1983 Space Shuttle Challenger made its maiden voyage into space (STS-6).

1984 President Ronald Reagan called for an international ban on chemical weapons.

1991 Senator John Heinz and six others were killed when a helicopter collided with their plane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania.

1994 Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark found Netscape Communications Corporation under the name “Mosaic Communications Corporation”.

2001 Dame Silvia Cartwright became Governor General of New Zealand.

Silvia Cartwright becomes Governor General

2002 The Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War.

2007 15 British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran were released by the Iranian President.

2008 – In a raid on the FLDS’s YFZ Ranch in Texas, 401 children and 133 women were taken into state custody.

2013 – More than 70 people were killed in a building collapse in Thane, India.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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