Word of the day


Prebend – a stipend furnished by a cathedral or collegiate church to a clergyman (such as a canon) in its chapter;  property or tithe providing the endowment for such a stipend; the property from which a prebend was derived; the form of benefice held by a prebendary.

Rural round-up


Mycoplasma bovis – Media Update Monday 31 July 2017:

A second dairy farm in South Canterbury that was already under biosecurity controls has today been confirmed as positive for the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis.

This farm is linked to the initial property under investigation and is part of the 16 farm Van Leeuwen Dairy Group. The detection was not unexpected given close connections between the 2 farms.

MPI is today continuing sampling and testing for the disease on all farms in the enterprise, as well as neighbouring farms. . .

Business beats nostalgia for Elsthorpe sheep breeder Rick Lee – Kate Taylor:

Central Hawke’s Bay farmer has moved away from his dual purpose roots to breed stud sheep focused on meat production. He talks to Kate Taylor.

It’s hard to see the motorbikes from the mud as Rick Lee and his father Charlie pull up to the sheds on their Elsthorpe farm.

It is a wet winter after a dry summer, but there’s a smile on both faces under their woolly hats.

Charlie has been fixing something in the yards and Rick has checked the stock. A team of dogs have also done their duty for the morning and are tied up at the woolshed. It’s morning tea time. . .

Dairy with ‘pasture plus’ – Keith Woodford:

A key and consistent message over many years from DairyNZ to its 12,000 farmer members has been the importance of optimising the use of grass. Aligned to this, has been an ongoing negativity to non-pasture supplementation.

I know of no-one who disputes the ongoing importance of grass to the New Zealand dairy industry. However, there are many who would argue – and I am one of them – that DairyNZ has become blinkered to the opportunities that can arise from ‘pasture-plus’ dairy systems.

Ironically, despite the DairyNZ focus, there has been a steady drift by farmers to increasing use of supplement since the turn of the century, typically by matching stocking rate to peak pasture production and then feeding supplements in the shoulder seasons. . . .

Hamilton leaving SFF in strong position –  Dene Mackenzie:

Silver Fern Farms chief executive Dean Hamilton is leaving the meat processing group at the end of the year.
He made the announcement yesterday just days after saying SFF has never been in a stronger financial position.

He has been chief executive for three years.

Along with chairman Rob Hewett, Mr Hamilton helped drive the merger deal with Shanghai Maling, giving the Chinese company a 50% stake in the Dunedin-based SFF. . .

Milk ’em instead – Peter Burke:

Massey University sheep milking expert Craig Prichard’s fun exhibit at Fieldays — allowing site visitors to milk a sheep — had seriously optimistic intent.

Behind the fun was positive news about the rapidly growing sheep milk industry in NZ.

He noted that people have a sort of anxiety about food, prompting them to query its health properties and ponder whether it will make them feel better. People want to learn more about products made from sheep milk, Prichard says. . .

Dairy farmers warned to watch out for ergot – Nicole Sharp:

Three dairy farms in Southland and South Otago have been affected by ergot poisoning after feeding infected ryegrass to dairy cattle.

To date, only dairy cows had been affected but ergot poisoning can affect other animals.

Ergot is a naturally occurring fungus which can affect grains and grasses, and produces potent alkaloids poisonous to animals.

A Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) spokesman said ergot poisoning occurred sporadically when environmental conditions were suitable in New Zealand. . .

Dyes in poultry feed meet demand for bright yellow egg yolks – Amanda Cropp:

Kiwi consumers are crazy about vividly coloured egg yolks, but Asian customers of an egg exporter prefer a paler version.

The New Zealand Egg Producers Federation confirmed synthetic carotenoid food dyes, or more expensive natural ones made from marigold, turmeric or paprika extracts, were fed to both caged and free-range laying hens.

Federation technical advisor Kerry Mulqueen​ said many commercial egg farms used them because New Zealanders preferred brighter yellow yolks.

The diet of some free range hens also included the colour additive because they did not eat a lot of grass, he said. . .

New face solves only one of Labour’s problems


Andrew Little has resigned and been replaced by Jacinda Arden.

Labour also has a new deputy in Kelvin Davis.

I don’t think this was the fresh approach the party’s now obsolete billboards were promising and it will solve only one of its problems.

The new face will get more, and more positive, publicity than the old one did, at least for a while. But she’s still leading the same party and has inherited all its other problems.

One of those is a lack of money which will be exacerbated by the expense of new hoardings and any other publicity already produced.

Another is confusion about what it stands for and poor policies which result from that.

And the big one is the memorandum of understanding with the Green Party.

The Green’s have been the only ones to gain from that and have shown contempt for both Labour and the MOU.

If they can’t be trusted in opposition, how on earth could they be trusted in government, especially if New Zealand First was also in the mix?

P.S. Echoing Nick at No Minister, spare a thought for the volunteers. It’s no fun when your party is in disarray and it will be the volunteers who will be doing most of the work taking down and replacing the hoardings.

Jobs come, go, come


The failure of a business, like A&G Price and subsequent loss of jobs is difficult for everyone involved.

However, an appeal by Waikato Engineering Careers Association for work for the staff facing unemployment resulted in 40 job offers in 40 minutes. 

Not all are in Thames which means those taking up the offers will have to move or commute and that’s not good for the town but Work and Income are working on that too:

A task force was set up in response to the situation, community liaison adviser Joe Waterhouse said.

“The first thing we did was contact the local radio station to get information out to the workers. Two support sessions were held on Friday, with 32 workers attending the early morning one, which is fantastic, as some people are reluctant to approach Work and Income,” he said.

The sessions are to let people know what financial help and jobs are available. Workers who do not make contact with Work and Income will be approached privately so no one misses out.

The task force is led by work services manager Catherine Henderson and acting service centre manager Peter Davies, Waterhouse said.

“They are coordinating current vacancies and scrutinising jobs coming in. At 1.15pm on Friday, 23 jobs were emailed to Thames Coromandel District Council. Our community is experienced with big layoffs and closures of factories employing many workers.

“There is no shortage of jobs and we believe our help will mainly be to transition them back into the workforce.”

In most parts of New Zealand there is no shortage of jobs which is a very good reflection on the state of the economy.

The closure of a business like this that employs a large number of people or the establishment or expansion of a business involving big numbers of employees always makes headlines. Small numbers of job losses and gains don’t usually.

But jobs come, some go and others come all the time.

Increased mechanisation and technical advances which make work easier and faster can lead to job losses at particular work places and in particular industries.

But increased mechanisation and technical advances also create new jobs.

Think of the jobs that have become easier, those that have disappeared and those that have been created in the last 100 years.

The advent of the car meant far less work for farriers and saddle makers but it created jobs for the people who build, sell and service vehicles and all the bits and pieces from which they’re made.

Computers have come a long way, made a lot of jobs redundant and created many more.

Some fear that as they continue to advance they will replace a lot more jobs. But is it just wishful thinking to believe that something with the wit to equal or surpass the human brain would also have the wit to create new jobs?

Quote of the day


Good poetry is like effective prayer, it feeds the human spirit, it nourishes, it puts us in touch with forces far greater than ourselves – Lorna Goodison who celebrates her 70th birthday today.

August 1 in history


30 BC Octavian(later known as Augustus) entered Alexandria bringing it under the control of the Roman Republic.

10BC Claudius, Roman Emperor was born (d. 54).

69 Batavian rebellion: The Batavians in Germania Inferior (Netherlands) revolted under the leadership of Gaius Julius Civilis.

527 Justinian I became the sole ruler of the Byzantine Empire.

607  Ono no Imoko was dispatched as envoy to the Sui court in China.

902 Taormina, the last Byzantine stronghold in Sicily, was captured by the Aghlabid army.

1203  Isaac II Angelus, restored Eastern Roman Emperor, declared his sonAlexius IV Angelus co-emperor after pressure from the forces of the Fourth Crusade.

1291  The Swiss Confederation was formed with the signature of theFederal Charter.

1461  Edward IV was crowned king of England.

1498 Christopher Columbus became the first European to visit what is nowVenezuela.

1545 Andrew Melville, Scottish theologian and religious reformer (d. 1622)

1619 First African slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia.

1664  The Ottoman Empire was defeated in the Battle of Saint Gotthardby an Austrian army led by Raimondo Montecuccoli, resulting in the Peace of Vasvár.

1774 The element oxygen was discovered for the third (and last) time.

1779 – Francis Scott Key, American lawyer, author, and poet, was born (d. 1843).

1798 French Revolutionary Wars: Battle of the Nile (Battle of Aboukir Bay)began when a British fleet engaged the French Revolutionary Navy fleet in an unusual night action.

1800  The Act of Union 1800 was passed which merged the Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1818  – Maria Mitchell, American astronomer and academic, was born (d. 1889).

1828 Bolton and Leigh Railway opened to freight traffic.

1831  A new London Bridge opened.

1832  The Black Hawk War ended.

1834  Slavery was abolished in the British Empire as the Slavery Abolition Act 1833 came into force.

1842 Lombard Street Riot erupted.

1855 First ascent of Dufourspitze (Monte Rosa), the second highest summit in the Swiss Alps.

1893  – Alexander of Greece was born (d. 1920).

1894 The First Sino-Japanese War began between Japan and China over Korea.

1902 The United States bought the rights to the Panama Canal from France.

1905 – Helen Sawyer Hogg, American-Canadian astronomer and academic, was born (d. 1993).

1907  Start of First Scout camp on Brownsea Island.

1914 Germany declared war on Russia at the opening of World War I.

1916 Anne Hébert, French Canadian author and poet, was born (d. 2000).

1927 The Nanchang Uprising – the first significant battle in the Chinese Civil War between the Kuomintang and Communist Party of China. This day is commemorated as the anniversary.

1934 – John Beck, New Zealand cricketer, was born (d. 2000).

1936 Yves Saint Laurent, French fashion designer, was born (d. 2008).

1937  Tito read the resolution “Manifesto of constitutional congress of KPH” to the Croatian Communist Party in woods near Samobor.

1941  The first Jeep was produced.

1942 Jerry Garcia, American musician (The Grateful Dead), was born (d. 1995).

1944  Anne Frank made the last entry in her diary.

1944  Warsaw Uprising against the Nazi occupation began.

1947 – Lorna Goodison, Jamaican poet and author, was born.

1949 Kurmanbek Bakiyev, President of Kyrgyzstan, was born.

1951 Tommy Bolin, American musician (Deep Purple), was born (d. 1976).

1957  The United States and Canada formed the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD).

1959 –  Joe Elliott, English musician (Def Leppard), was born.

1960 – Dahomey (later renamed Benin) declared independence from France.

1964  The Belgian Congo was renamed the Republic of the Congo.

1966 Charles Whitman killed 15 people at The University of Texas before being killed by the police.

1966  Purges of intellectuals and imperialists became official Chinese policy at the beginning of the Cultural Revolution.

1967  Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

1968 The coronation of Hassanal Bolkiah, the 29th Sultan of Brunei.

1975  CSCE Final Act created the Conference for Security and Co-operation in Europe.

1980  Buttevant Rail Disaster killed 18 and injured dozens of train passengers.

1981 MTV began broadcasting in the United States and aired its first video, “Video Killed the Radio Star” by the Buggles.

1987 Maori became an official language in New Zealand.

Maori becomes official language

1993  The Great Flood of 1993 in the US Mid-West  peaked.

1995  The first Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

1996  Michael Johnson broke the 200m world record by 0.30 seconds with a time of 19.32 seconds at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia.

2001 – Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore had a Ten Commandments monument installed in the judiciary building, leading to alawsuit to have it removed and his own removal from office.

2004  A supermarket fire killed 396 people and injured 500 in Asunción, Paraguay.

2007  The I-35W Mississippi River Bridge collapsed during the evening rush hour.

2008 – Eleven mountaineers from international expeditions died on K2, the second-highest mountain on Earth in the worst single accident in the history of K2 mountaineering.

2010  – Convention on Cluster Munitions entered into force.

2014  – Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence entered into force.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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