Word of the day

June 15, 2017

Epizeuxis –  the repetition of a word or phrase in immediate succession, typically within the same sentence, for vehemence or emphasis.


Give all to peopleism

June 15, 2017

The NZ Human Rights Commission has launched an anti-racism campaign: Give Nothing To Racism:

A campaign urging New Zealanders to give nothing to racism and refuse to spread intolerance has been launched by some of the country’s most well-known people.

“How we treat other people will define what kind of country we become and what kind of person a New Zealander is,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

“Today some iconic Kiwis are standing shoulder to shoulder with the Human Rights Commission and asking us all to give nothing to racism, to give it no tolerance, to give it no acceptance and to give it no welcome. They make me incredibly proud to be a New Zealander.”

“Our campaign is hard case as well as hard hitting. It’s done in a uniquely Kiwi way.”

Overseas and closer to home, racial intolerance and overt attacks are on the rise. 1 in 3 complaints to the Human Rights Commission are about racial discrimination but the overwhelming majority of people never complain when they’re humiliated or abused.

“Hatred and extremism is becoming normal in some places and we want to avoid that future for Aotearoa. Racial prejudice and intolerance starts small, in quiet places, in our everyday lives. When it becomes normalised it turns into overt racism and extremism,” said Dame Susan.

“We live in one of the most ethnically diverse nations on the planet – as well as one of the most peaceful. Whether it stays that way will depend on us, every New Zealander has a role to play in our future. Racism starts small but so too does hope.”

“New Zealanders have a right to discuss important issues like immigration and housing: but we need to do it without racism. Play the ball not the person.”

Today’s campaign is the second stage of an ongoing, nationwide anti-racism campaign. Last September the Commission launched a website that enabled everyday New Zealanders to share their personal stories of racism. It let people who hadn’t experienced racism or prejudice to hear from people who have. The That’s Us campaign has so far reached more than 3 million people. . . 

Feeding and nurturing racism keeps it alive.

Treating people as people, acknowledging and valuing what we have in common, and appreciating differences as differences rather than matters of right or wrong, kills it.

Give nothing to racism, give everything to peopleism.


Thursday’s quiz

June 15, 2017

You’re invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a batch of Florentines.


Rural round-up

June 15, 2017

More funding to support rural mental wellness:

Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have committed another joint funding boost to rural mental health.

The Ministers committed $500,000 for Rural Mental Wellness at the opening of the Fieldays Rural Health Hub earlier today.

It will go towards 20 workshops for rural health professionals treating people at risk of suicide, continued support for the rural Clinical Champions and Medical Director, as well as support aimed at younger rural workers.

“The Government recognises that rural life goes in cycles, and we want to support our rural communities through the ups and downs,” says Dr Coleman.

“The Rural Mental Wellness initiative is administered by Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and Rural Support Trusts. . . 

Helping farmers return home safely:

Last year, 18 people died as a result of work-related incidents in agriculture, accounting for 36 per cent of all work related fatalities in 2016. This is significantly higher than any other primary industry.

The introduction of the 2015 Health and Safety at Work Act and WorkSafe’s ongoing scrutiny requires businesses to understand and adapt to minimise potential for harm to employees and contractors.

To help agri-businesses keep their employees and contractors safe, Safetrac has partnered with MinterEllisonRuddWatts to develop an interactive online training course. . . 

Sustainable farming fund hits 1000th project:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Associate Minister Louise Upston have tonight celebrated the 1000th Sustainable Farming Fund project, and awarded two Emerging Leaders scholarships at an event kicking off National Fieldays.

“The Sustainable Farming Fund supports the primary sector’s own forward thinking and kiwi ingenuity – which in turn helps keeps New Zealand ahead of the game,” says Mr Guy. 

“1000 projects have now been funded since the fund was initiated in 2000. This represents around $150 million in government funding alongside a significant level of sector support.

“The fund has supported projects as diverse as reducing nutrient run off on lowland farms, reducing use of antimicrobials when managing mastitis, and increasing the market share for New Zealand olive oil,” Mr Guy says.

Ms Upston says much of the success of the fund is due to its grass-roots nature. . . 

Commonsense prevails on firearms recommendations says Feds:

Federated Farmers is pleased to see that Police Minister Paula Bennett has listened to the concerns of the rural community on the Parliamentary Select Committee report into the illegal possession of firearms.

Minister Bennett rejected 12 of the 20 recommendations made by the committee that would have significantly impacted on licensed firearms owners- but done little to stop firearms getting into the hands of criminals. . . 

Vegetable prices up 31 percent in year to May:

Higher lettuce prices helped push vegetable prices up a record 31 percent in the year to May 2017, Stats NZ said today. Overall, food prices increased 3.1 percent in the year.

“Our wet autumn has pushed vegetable prices to their highest level in almost six years in May, with the largest annual increase to vegetables on record,” consumer prices manager Matthew Haigh said. “The increase was more pronounced because warmer-than-usual weather in the 2016 growing season resulted in cheaper-than-usual vegetable prices in May last year.” . . 

NZ agriculture needs to latch onto tech faster:

New Zealand’s primary industries need to latch on to technology faster to support the economic growth of its agri sector and become a world leader in a fast growing agritech market, NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says.

NZTech members have joined hundreds of other firms at Fieldays in Hamilton this week as technology becomes increasingly important for the New Zealand agri sector.

A growing awareness of the value of technology in agriculture can be seen by the number of farmers looking into technologies such as IoT, drones, sensors and robotics, Muller says. . . 

Smaller NZ wine vintage is full of promise:

The 2017 grape harvest has come in smaller than expected according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

The 2017 Vintage Survey shows the harvest totalled 396,000 tonnes, down 9% on last year said Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. “Given strong demand in overseas markets wineries had been looking forward to a larger harvest this year. With the smaller vintage however, export volume growth is likely to be more muted in the year ahead.”

Mr Gregan said the smaller vintage was due to weather conditions. “Generally summer weather was very positive but there were some challenges as the season progressed.” . . 

Bellamy’s to pay Fonterra A$28M to change supply contract as it struggles to crack China – Sophie Boot:

 (BusinessDesk) – ASX-listed Bellamy’s Australia plans to raise A$60.4 million from shareholders and will pay nearly half of that to New Zealand’s Fonterra Cooperative Group in order to change their milk supply contract in its quest to comply with Chinese import regulations.

The two companies have been in negotiations this year after announcing changes to their take-or-pay organic powder contract. Fonterra and Bellamy’s first entered into a five-year, multi-million dollar deal to manufacture a range of baby nutritional powders at the Darnum infant formula plant in south-east Victoria in November 2015. . . 

Wrightson warns wet autumn will weigh on annual earnings Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson, whose chief executive yesterday signalled his departure at the end of the year, warned a wet autumn sapped the performance of its seed and grain business and will weigh on annual earnings.

The Christchurch-based company said it expects operating earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to be in the bottom half of its earlier guidance for earnings of between $62 million and $68 million, while net profit will be near the low end of its previous forecast for between $46 million and $51 million. . . 

Rural sector stabilises despite challenges:

Rural businesses show signs of improvement despite facing constrained business environment

However, 1-in-5 rural businesses expecting no change from technology a “cause for concern”

As Fieldays 2017 kicks off, a new survey by accounting software provider MYOB reveals rural businesses are showing strong signs of economic improvement despite a constrained environment. . . 

Fieldays an opportunity for careers advice:

More than 500 students will be offered advice on careers in the primary industries as they pass through the Careers and Education Hub at Fieldays this week.

Associate Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Louise Upston says that with strong growth in the primary sector anticipated over the next few years, the Government was encouraging more young people to consider careers in primary industries.

A number of schools, totalling more than 500 students, have registered to visit the Careers and Education Hub at Fieldays at Mystery Creek. Careers NZ will be among those offering advice to young people considering such a career. . . 

Plenty to celebrate for Zespri at Mystery Creek :

Kiwifruit’s growing importance to the rural economy is being celebrated at Fieldays 2017 at Mystery Creek this week, together with the 20-year anniversary of the Zespri brand.

The kiwifruit marketer has a large presence at the biggest agricultural and horticultural event in the Southern Hemisphere, hosting growers and industry stakeholders at its hospitality site over the four-day event. . . 

Wrightson boss Mark Dewdney to leave at the end of the year – Paul McBeth

 (BusinessDesk) – PGG Wrightson chief executive Mark Dewdney will leave the rural services firm at the end of the year, by which time a new leadership team is expected to be in place.

Dewdney will end three-and-a-half years in charge of the Christchurch-based company at the end of 2017 “to pursue private interests”, and will help the board install a new leadership group by 2018, Wrightson said in a statement. Chairman Alan Lai said Dewdney had done an “excellent job” in building staff engagement and targeting growth in certain areas of the business.. . 

Vodafone calls on rural Kiwis to check their coverage at this year’s Fieldays:

Thousands of rural Kiwis are within reach of better broadband and Vodafone is on a mission to end their ‘buffering blues’ at this year’s Fieldays.

The company is challenging visitors to use its brand new interactive coverage wall to see if they can get a faster and more reliable broadband connection where they live.

In addition to super-fast wireless broadband, Vodafone has a range of coverage solutions on display to help rural New Zealanders improve their connection to the world. . . 

BEC Feed Solutions expands to meet growth:

BEC Feed Solutions has expanded its New Zealand operation with the appointment of Rhys Morgan as South Island Sales Representative. The new position was created following substantial business growth after a successful three years in business, and the desire to expand BEC’s presence in the South Island.

Reporting to BEC Country Manager, Trina Parker, Mr Morgan will be accountable for growing the business via the sale of ingredients, solution-focused feed additives and premixes within the South Island. He will also have responsibility for developing the company’s presence in the dairy sector, in addition to account managing a number of existing clients across New Zealand. . . 


Solution needs science not politics

June 15, 2017

Science will provide the answers to lowering dairy farming’s environmental footprint.

Modern, science-based farming is the way to achieve a future for New Zealand where dairy farming has a lower environmental footprint, says DairyNZ’s chief executive, Dr Tim Mackle.

His comment follows today’s announcement of the Dairy Action for Climate Change at National Fieldays 2017.

The Dairy Action for Climate Change lays down the foundation to reduce greenhouse gasses on dairy farms. The plan is spearheaded by DairyNZ, which represents all dairy farmers in New Zealand, and is in partnership with Fonterra. The plan has the support of the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry for Primary Industries.

Dr Mackle says dairy farmers, and the scientists working alongside them, are serious about improving the environment.

“This plan lays down the foundation for dairy’s sustained, strategic approach to a lower carbon future. We’re taking the first steps in understanding what dairy can do – in conjunction with the wider agricultural sector, plus industry and urban communities – to help meet New Zealand’s Paris Agreement emissions reduction target.

“Our farmers are already working on lowering emissions – they are used to rising to challenges, and they’re dedicated stewards of their land who want to do the right thing by the environment.”

Dr Mackle says addressing on-farm emissions – methane, which is formed when ruminant animals burp, and nitrous oxide, formed when nitrogen escapes into the atmosphere – is one of the most challenging issues facing the dairy and food producing sectors, globally and in New Zealand.

“Tackling the reduction of on-farm emissions is not going to be easy. It requires our Government and the agricultural sector to work together and, as such, the plan is an important part of a broader work programme underway.”

Fonterra’s Chief Operating Officer Farm Source, Miles Hurrell, says it is crucial to take an integrated approach to all the challenges facing dairy – from climate change and animal welfare, to the protection of waterways – and all the while maintain productivity and the profitability of dairy.

“The plan complements the environmental commitment dairy farmers have voluntarily undertaken through their work under the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord.

“Some of their work – such as tree planting, better soil management and reducing nitrogen leaching, therefore reducing the release of nitrous oxide – is already helping to address emissions. Then there are the other science-based endeavours that are well underway, like the research to breed cows that produce fewer methane emissions, and a methane inhibiting vaccine.”

Dr Mackle adds that the Dairy Action for Climate Change dovetails with the work of the Biological Emissions Reference Group (BERG), a joint sector and Government reference group. The BERG’s purpose is to build robust and agreed evidence on what the sector can do on-farm to reduce emissions, and to assess the costs and opportunities of doing so. The BERG’s final report in late 2017 will be necessary to inform future policy development on agricultural emissions.

“New Zealand’s agricultural output of greenhouse gas is accentuated because we have a relatively small population, and we are not heavily industrialised. In other countries where there are larger populations the greater contribution is from the transport, manufacturing, construction, and energy sectors.

“Our agricultural sector is a very efficient producer of high-quality food – food that feeds many millions, not only in our country, but also around the world.”

New Zealand is acknowledged as a world-leader for efficiently producing milk on a greenhouse gas per unit of milk basis, as identified in a 2010 report from the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Dr Mackle says this position is the result of New Zealand dairy cattle being healthier and largely grass fed, unlike animals in many other agricultural countries which are fed grains and other supplements that are harvested and transported. Added to this, their animals are often housed in barns, sometimes year around, not just over the winter months.

The Dairy Action for Climate Change was launched during the opening of the 49th National Fieldays by Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett.

There is more on the DACC here.

Opposition parties and environmental activists want a substantial reduction to the national dairy herd.

That might lower New Zealand’s emissions but would add to global emissions as less efficient producers in other countries increased production to compensate for less milk from here.

We need a sustainable solution which lowers emissions here without compromising production and increasing emissions elsewhere.

That will  come from science, not politics.


Quote of the day

June 15, 2017

The government’s money is the people’s money. Make effective policies for the benefit of the people. – Anna who celebrates his 80th birthday today. Anna Hazare who celebrates his 80th birthday today.


June 15th in history

June 15, 2017

23 Battle of Soissons: King Robert I of France was killed and King Charles the Simple was arrested by the supporters of Duke Rudolph of Burgundy.

1184 King Magnus V of Norway was killed at the Battle of Fimreite.

1215 King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta.

1246 With the death of Duke Frederick II, the Babenberg dynasty ended in Austria.

1389 Battle of Kosovo: The Ottoman Empire defeated Serbs and Bosnians.

1520 Pope Leo X threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther in papal bullExsurge Domine.

1580 Philip II of Spain declared William the Silent to be   an outlaw.

1623 Cornelis de Witt, Dutch politician, was   born  (d. 1672).

1667 The first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

1752 Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning was electricity.

1775 American Revolutionary War: George Washington was appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

1776 Delaware Separation Day – Delaware voted to suspend government under the British Crown and separate officially from Pennsylvania.

1785 Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, became the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon exploded during their attempt to cross the English Channel.

1804 New Hampshire approved the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratifying the document.

1808 Joseph Bonaparte became King of Spain.

1836 Arkansas was admitted as the 25th U.S. state.

1843 – Edvard Grieg, Norwegian pianist and composer, was born (d. 1907).

1844 Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

1846 The Oregon Treaty establishes the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada, from the Rocky Mountains to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

1859 Pig War: Ambiguity in the Oregon Treaty leads to the “Northwestern Boundary Dispute” between U.S. and British/Canadian settlers.

1864 American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg began.

1864 Arlington National Cemetery was established when 200 acres (0.81 km2) around Arlington Mansion (formerly owned by Confederate General Robert E. Lee) were officially set aside as a military cemetery by U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

1867 Atlantic Cable Quartz Lode gold mine located in Montana.

1877 Henry Ossian Flipper becomes the first African-American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.

1888 Crown Prince Wilhelm became Kaiser Wilhelm II and is the last emperor of the German Empire.

1896 The most destructive tsunami in Japan’s history killed more than 22,000 people.

1904 A fire aboard the steamboat SS General Slocum in New York City‘s East River killed 1000.

1905 Princess Margaret of Connaught married Gustaf, Crown Prince of Sweden.

1907 – James Robertson Justice, English actor and educator, was born (d. 1975).

1909 Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lord’s and formed the Imperial Cricket Conference.

1910 David Rose, American songwriter, composer and orchestra leader, was born (d. 1990).

1911 W.V. Awdry, British children’s writer, was born (d. 1997).

1911 Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) was incorporated.

1913 The Battle of Bud Bagsak in the Philippines concluded.

1916 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson signed a bill incorporating the Boy Scouts of America, making them the only American youth organization with a federal charter.

1919 John Alcock and Arthur Brown completed the first nonstop transatlantic flight at Clifden, County Galway.

1920 Duluth lynchings in Minnesota.

1920 A new border treaty between Germany and Denmark gave northernSchleswig to Denmark.

1934 The U.S. Great Smoky Mountains National Park was founded.

1935 Jack Lovelock won the “Mile of the Century“.

Lovelock wins ‘Mile of the century’

1937 – Anna Hazare, Indian activist, was born.

1937 A German expedition led by Karl Wien lost sixteen members in an avalanche on Nanga Parbat. The worst single disaster to occur on an 8000m peak.

1941 – Harry Nilsson, American singer-songwriter, was born (d. 1994).

1943 Muff Winwood, British songwriter and bassist (Spencer Davis Group), was born.

1944 World War II: Battle of Saipan: The United States invaded Saipan.

1944 In the Saskatchewan general election, the CCF, led by Tommy Douglas, was elected and forms the first socialist government of North America.

1945 The General Dutch Youth League (ANJV) was founded in Amsterdam.

1946 – Demis Roussos, Egyptian-Greek singer-songwriter and bass player (Aphrodite’s Child), was born (d. 2015).

1946 Noddy Holder, British singer (Slade), was born.

1949 – Simon Callow, British actor, was born.

1949 – Russell Hitchcock, Australian singer (Air Supply), was born.

1954 UEFA (Union des Associations Européennes de Football) was formed in Basle.

1955 The Eisenhower administration stages the first annual “Operation Alert” (OPAL) exercise, an attempt to assess the USA’s preparations for anuclear attack.

1959 – The Chinese Gooseberry was renamed kiwifruit.
Chinese gooseberry becomes kiwifruit

1963 Helen Hunt, American actress, was born.

1971 Nathan Astle, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1973 Pia Miranda, Australian actress, was born.

1978 King Hussein of Jordan married American Lisa Halaby, who took the name Queen Noor.

1982 Mike Delany, All Black, was born.

1985 Rembrandt’s painting Danaë was   attacked by a man (later judged insane) who threw sulfuric acid on the canvas   and cut it twice with a knife.

1991 Birth of the first federal political party in Canada that supported Quebec nationalism, le Bloc Québécois.

1992 The United States Supreme Court ruled in United States v. Álvarez-Machaín that it was permissible for the USA to forcibly extradite suspects in foreign countries and bring them to the USA for trial, without approval from those other countries.

1994 Israel and Vatican City established full diplomatic relations.

1996 The Provisional Irish Republican Army exploded a large bomb in the middle of Manchester.

2002 Near earth asteroid 2002 MN missed the Earth by 75,000 miles (121,000 km), about one-third of the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

2012 – Nik Wallenda becomes the first person to successfully tightrope walk over Niagara Falls.

2013 – A bomb exploded on a bus in the Pakistani city of Quetta, killing at least 25 people and wounding 22 others.

2014 – Pakistan formally launched a military operation against the insurgents in North Waziristan.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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