Word of the day

June 5, 2017

Disambiguate – remove uncertainty of meaning from; to show the differences between two or more meanings clearly.


Rural round-up

June 5, 2017

It’s Complicated: Is NZ Media’s Relationship with Kiwi Farmers Busted? – Ben Stanley:

I’m a farm kid, and a journalist, and right now that’s an awkward position to be in.

There’s a name you don’t say out loud in rural New Zealand right now unless you want to draw scorn and outright disgust.

It’s the name of one of my childhood heroes.

For the majority of the 1990s, Cameron Bennett was New Zealand’s foreign correspondent; our eye on international conflict and disaster. He’d travel to Iraq, Russia, Afghanistan and the West Bank and report back home with his gritty, but revealing, insights on war and why people make it. . .

A water battle looms in NZ’s Middle-Earth desert – Matthew Brockett & Tracy Withers:

In the rugged heart of New Zealand’s South Island, a high-altitude desert where the men of Middle-Earth made their last stand in the “Lord of the Rings” movies has become a battlefield once again.

Environmentalists and farmers are clashing over the Mackenzie Basin, an area known for its scorched-brown grasslands and crystal-blue lakes – and now, massive irrigation systems that are spreading circles of emerald-green pasture across the Mars-like terrain.

“It’s similar to greening the desert of Nevada or California,” said Annabeth Cohen, a freshwater scientist at environmental group Forest and Bird. . .

Mackenzie Basin set to lose $1.2b in farming production if wildings aren’t controlled  – Pat Deavoll:

The Mackenzie Basin could lose $1.2 billion in farming production a year if the spread of wilding conifers is not brought under control, said Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) wilding programme manager Sherman Smith.

Few species would survive if the basin was smothered by wildings, he said.

“If the basin is taken over by wildings, that’s 50 cumecs (of water) drained out of the Waitaki system, biodiversity that would suffer and there would be a lot of species that wouldn’t survive,” said Smith at the Federated Farmers High Country Conference, . .

Cut debt or go  – Hugh Stringleman:

Dairy farmers with unsustainable debt who can’t build equity buffers with profits should exit the sector, Reserve Bank governor Graham Wheeler says.

But Federated Farmers dairy chairman Andrew Hoggard says Wheeler used outdated figures when he warned the dairy sector was still a financial risk to the economy and banks should monitor it closely.

“The uncertain outlook for dairy prices and the rising proportion of highly indebted farms means there remains a risk that non-performing loans could increase in coming seasons. . . .

Whitehall kiwifruit growers come out the other side of Psa disease – Gerald Piddock:

It’s been a slow road to recovery for Mark and Robyn Gardiner since Psa ripped through their kiwifruit business.

Called Seudomonas syringae pv. actinidiae, the deadly viral disease was first discovered at their 200 hectare Whitehall Fruitpackers operation in 2010.

Left unchecked, Psa destroys green and gold vines and spawns leaf spotting, cankers and shoot dieback.

At the worst point of the outbreak, Mark cut out 40ha of his 16 Gold kiwifruit crop as well as partial cuttings of green fruit. At the same time, the more resistant G3 variety was grafted to the vines. . .

Farm win gets civic reception – Hugh Stringleman:

Winning the Ahuwhenua Trophy for Maori Excellence in sheep and beef farming was the achievement of a lifetime for Northland farm manager Lloyd Brennan and his staff, he told Hugh Stringleman.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy might be scheduled for another visit to Kaikohe, the Northland town that needs to celebrate success and encourage more young Maori into farming.

A civic reception was being planned by the Far North District Council with the Omapere Rangihamama Trust (ORT) and its board of trustees, headed by Sonny Tau. . .

National ambassadors for sustainable farming recognised:

The winners of the national ambassador title for the Ballance Farm Environment Awards describe their farm as the largest lifestyle block in Taranaki.

Ohangai sheep, beef and dairy farmers Peter and Nicola Carver won the National Ambassador title over 10 other regional supreme winners at the National Sustainability Showcase event at the Ascot Park Hotel in Invercargill on May 31.

Operating as Holmleigh Trust Partnership, the couple combine dairy and dry stock farming on their 515ha family property east of Hawera. . .


Dave Finlay QSM

June 5, 2017

Dave Finlay has received recognition for his decades of service to irrigation, agriculture, sport and the community.

Mr David Finlay has played a key role in organising the irrigation of farmland in the Lower Waitaki region.

Mr Finlay has served for 41 consecutive years on the committee of the Lower Waitaki Irrigation scheme and the Board of the Lower Waitaki irrigation company, a scheme that irrigates more than 19,000 hectares of farmland.

In the 1990s he was a key player in the Irrigation North Otago group that developed an irrigation solution for the hills and downlands of North Otago. His contributions to irrigation have transformed the region and he has overseen the developments from inception through to completion.

In 1976 he was a founding member of the Lower Waitaki Golf Club and served as the Club President for four years. He is an active member of the St Kevin’s College Foundation and is involved with leading meetings, raising funds and recruiting new members.

He was a member of North Otago Federated Farmers and served a two year term as the Meat and Wool Chairman, representing the region in Wellington.

Mr Finlay has also held several coaching and administrative roles for North Otago Rugby and his efforts have encouraged schoolchildren to take up the sport.

Dave’s enthusiasm and dedication are legendary, he has more than earned this recognition for his service.

The ODT covers Dave’s QSM and other Southern recipients of honours here.


Service, sacrifice and successes

June 5, 2017

Former Prime Minister John Key is now Sir John and heads the list of 186 New Zealanders recognised for their service, sacrifices and successes  in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

GNZM
To be a Knight Grand Companion of the said Order:

The Right Honourable John Phillip Key, of Auckland. For services to the State. . . .

Services to the state doesn’t really sum up what any PM does. Theirs is also services to the people.

That demands a great deal of hard work and sacrifice and their families have to make sacrifices too.

That all living former PMs have been recognised with a similar honour (Order of New Zealand, Damehood or Knighthood) doesn’t mean that the honour was perfunctory.

Sir John led New Zealand through a particularly difficult period which included having to deal with the global financial crisis, the Pike River mine disaster, the Canterbury and Kaikoura earthquakes and their aftermaths.

He led a team in which current Prime Minister Bill English played a vital role.

They turned a forecast decade of deficits into surpluses and allowed current Finance Minister Steven Joyce to present a Budget this year.

That provides choices over the provision of services and infrastructure that must be the envy of every other country.

The team forged important new trade deals which will contribute to on-going economic stability.

Another of the new knight’s legacies is the cycleway network that is leading to the creation of jobs, providing exercise opportunities for locals and bringing domestic and international tourists.

The flag referendum is regarded by many as a failure but I think it sowed the seeds for inevitable change.

Sir John was, and remains ambitious for New Zealand and New Zealanders.  Unlike one of his predecessors he was determined to leave the country and its people better for his service, and he has.

Others to receive titular  honours are:

DNZM
To be Dames Companion of the said Order:

Mrs Julie Claire Molloy Christie, ONZM, of Auckland. For services to governance and the television industry.

Emeritus Professor Peggy Gwendoline Koopman-Boyden, CNZM, of Hamilton. For services to seniors.

KNZM
To be Knights Companion of the said Order:

Mr Graeme Dingle, ONZM, MBE, of Auckland. For services to youth.

Mr Michael Niko Jones, MNZM, of Auckland. For services to the Pacific community and youth.

Professor Timoti Samuel Karetu, QSO, of Havelock North. For services to the Māori language.

 


Quote of the day

June 5, 2017

The human mind can bear plenty of reality but not too much intermittent gloom. Margaret Drabble who celebrates her 78th birthday today.


June 5 in history

June 5, 2017

70  Titus and his Roman legions breached the middle wall of Jerusalem in the Siege of Jerusalem.

1257  Kraków received city rights.

1305 – Raymond Bertrand de Got became Pope Clement V, succeeding Pope Benedict XI who died one year earlier.

1723 Adam Smith, Scottish economist, was born (d. 1790).

1798 The Battle of New Ross: The attempt to spread United Irish Rebellion into Munster was defeated.

1817 The first Great Lakes steamer, the Frontenac, is launched.

1829 HMS Pickle captured the armed slave ship Voladora off the coast of Cuba.

1832 The June Rebellion broke out in Paris in an attempt to overthrow the monarchy of Louis-Philippe.

1847 – The Auckland Savings Bank opened for business.

Auckland Savings Bank opens for business

1849 Denmark became a constitutional monarchy by the signing of a new constitution.

1851  Harriet Beecher Stowe’s anti-slavery serial, Uncle Tom’s Cabin or,Life Among the Lowly starts a ten-month run in the National Eraabolitionist newspaper.

1862  As the Treaty of Saigon was signed, ceding parts of southern Vietnam to France, the guerrilla leader Truong Dinh decided to defy Emperor Tu Duc of Vietnam and fight on against the Europeans.

1864  American Civil War: Battle of Piedmont: Union forces under General David Hunter defeated a Confederate army at Piedmont, Virginia, taking nearly 1,000 prisoners.

1866  East Coast military leader and prophet, Te Kooti, was deportedwith Pai Marire prisoners to the Chatham Islands.

Te Kooti deported to Chathams

1878 Pancho Villa, Mexican revolutionary, was born (d. 1923).

1879 Robert Mayer, German-born philanthropist, was born (d. 1985).

1883 –  John Maynard Keynes, English economist, was born (d. 1946).

1888 The Rio de la Plata Earthquake took place.

1898 Federico García Lorca, Spanish poet, lyricist and dramatist, was born  (d. 1936).

1900  Second Boer War: British soldiers took Pretoria.

1905 Jock Cameron, South African cricketer, Wisden COY 1936, was born (d. 1935).

1915  Denmark amended its constitution to allow women’s suffrage.

1917  World War I: Conscription began in the United States as “Army registration day”.

1932 Christy Brown, Irish author, was born (d. 1981).

1933  The U.S. Congress abrogated the United States’ use of the gold standard by enacting a joint resolution (48 Stat. 112) nullifying the right of creditors to demand payment in gold.

1936 Connie Hines, American actress, was born (d. 2009).

1939 Margaret Drabble, English novelist, was born.

1941  Four thousand people were asphyxiated in a bomb shelter during the Bombing of Chongqing.

1942  World War II: United States declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania.

1944  World War II: More than 1000 British bombers drop 5,000 tons of bombs on German gun batteries on the Normandy coast in preparation for D-Day.

1945  The Allied Control Council, the military occupation governing body of Germany, formally takes power.

1946 Freddie Stone, American guitarist (Sly & the Family Stone), was born.

1946  A fire in the La Salle Hotel in Chicago, Illinois kills 61 people.

1947 Tom Evans, English musician (Badfinger), was born (d. 1983).

1947  Marshall Plan: In a speech at Harvard University, United States Secretary of State George Marshall called for economic aid to war-torn Europe.

1949 Ken Follett, Welsh author, was born.

1956  Elvis Presley introduced his new single, “Hound Dog“, on The Milton Berle Show, scandalizing the audience with his suggestive hip movements.

1959  The first government of the State of Singapore was sworn in.

1963  British Secretary of State for War John Profumo resigned in a sex scandal known as the Profumo Affair.

1963 – Movement of 15 Khordad: Protest against arrest of AyatollahRuhollah Khomeini by Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. In several cities, masses of angry demonstrators are confronted by tanks and paratroopers.

1964  DSV Alvin was commissioned.

1967 Six-Day War began: The Israeli air force launched simultaneous pre-emptive attacks on the air forces of Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

1968  U.S. presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy was shot at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California by Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan.

1969  The International communist conference began in Moscow.

1975  The Suez Canal opened for the first time since the Six-Day War.

1975 – The United Kingdom holds its first and only country-wide referendum, on remaining in the European Economic Community (EEC).

1976  Collapse of the Teton Dam in Idaho, United States.

1977 A coup took place in Seychelles.

1977 – The Apple II, the first practical personal computer, goes on sale.

1981  The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that five people in Los Angeles, California have a rare form of pneumonia seen only in patients with weakened immune systems, in what was the first recognized cases ofAIDS.

1989 The Unknown Rebel halted the progress of a column of advancing tanks for over half an hour after the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

1995  The Bose-Einstein condensate was first created.

1998  A strike began at the General Motors parts factory in Flint, Michigan, that quickly spreads to five other assembly plants (the strike lasted seven weeks).

2001  U.S. Senator Jim Jeffords left the Republican Party, which shifted control of the United States Senate from the Republicans to the Democratic Party.

2001  Tropical Storm Allison made  landfall on the upper-Texas coastline as a strong tropical storm and dumps large amounts of rain over Houston. The storm caused $5.5 billion in damages, making Allison the costliest tropical storm in U.S. history.

2003  A severe heat wave across Pakistan and India reached its peak, as temperatures exceed 50°C (122°F) in the region.

2006  Serbia declared independence from the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro.

2009 – After 65 straight days of civil disobedience, at least 31 people were killed in clashes between security forces and indigenous people near Bagua, Peru.

2012 – Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker became first U.S. Governor to survive a recall election.

2013 – A building collapse in Philadelphia killed 6 and injured 14 other people.

2015 – An earthquake of 6.0 moment magnitude scale struck Ranau, Sabah, Malaysia killing 18 people.


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