Word of the day

September 13, 2017

Twizzle – to spin, twirl or twist; cause to spin around;  form by twisting; a maneuver in which a skater performs rapid, continuous rotations on one foot while skating forward or backward over the ice.

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Rural round-up

September 13, 2017

Election stunt doomed to fail – Pam Tipa:

The Greens’ proposed ‘nitrogen tax’ is a vote catching policy which is highly unlikely to see the light of day, says Federated Farmers vice-president and dairy farmer Andrew Hoggard.

However the problem with such an election stunt is that it perpetrates misconceptions, he says.

“The best way of improving waterways where they need to be improved is by a catchment focus basis,” he told Dairy News.

“With the Greens’ policy, they are focusing on just nitrogen and only from one source. If a catchment has an issue with nitrogen you need to focus on it from all sources.

“Nitrogen is not the issue in all catchments; if swimmability is what people are after then it’s E.coli they need to be looking at; sediment may be a big factor.” . . 

Penalize abusers not users of water – Tim Cadogan:

Before I write another word, I need to make two very clear points.

Firstly; I am outraged that New Zealand’s waterways have been degraded over the last decade or two to the point that many are unswimmable and/or devoid of wildlife. This should never have happened and, as a nation, we must work together to fix this.

Secondly; I am apolitical. Any comments I make here in relation to Labour’s proposed irrigation tax/royalty would be made by me whether the idea was coming from Labour, National, Greens or whoever. My job is to stand up, as I see best, for Central Otago, no matter who is on the other side.

On that basis; I wrote a letter to Jacinda Ardern pointing out what I saw as the unfairness of the irrigation tax/royalty as proposed by Labour, but set in a tone of “something needs done”. I stand by the comments I made in that letter. . .

Lamb prices reach record highs – Jemma Brackebush:

Farmers say it’s been a fantastic season for lamb, as a global shortage of the meat is pushing up the prices.

Ewes are being sold with new season lambs, fetching up to $170 at sales.

Chilled export lamb prices have reached historically high levels, with the average price of $14.50 per kg, a 20 percent increase on the year before, according to AgriHQ.

Bright-coloured stock trucks line the streets of Feilding every Friday morning, as sheep and cattle are carted from around the district and brought to the yards, which lie in the centre of town. . .  

The Sunday roast is a ritual of the past – Amy Williams:

You could be forgiven for thinking millennials are to blame for the demise of the Sunday roast and that smashed avocado on toast has replaced a great family tradition.

After all, at almost $5 each, a kilogram of avocados will set you back about the same amount as a leg of lamb. It’s the modern-day equivalent.

The time-honoured tradition of eating a weekly roast meal was alive in New Zealand until at least the 1980s when a cut of fatty lamb was cooked well-done till browned and blackened, accompanied by vegetables cooked in the meaty juices.

But then fat became the enemy and now we’re more aware of our health, our wallets and the environment and, if you’re like me, eating a leg of lamb each week is extravagant for all those reasons. . . 

No farms, no food, no future.

Blue cod catch limit discussed – Hamish MacLean:

Recreational bag limits for blue cod are some of the most liberal in the country off the Dunedin and North Otago coasts — and they could be about to drop.

At the weekend, up to 140 — mostly recreational — fishermen attended two drop-in sessions hosted by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), in Dunedin and Moeraki, in the first stage of public consultation on its proposed national strategy for the native fish. A further 800 people had filled in the online survey, MPI Dunedin team manager Allen Frazer said.

There was a queue to get into  the building at 1pm on Sunday at  Coronation Hall, in Moeraki. . .

Town’s bid to be dark sky community – Jono Edwards:

Naseby’s residents have stars in their eyes as the village edges closer to becoming New Zealand’s first internationally recognised Dark Sky Community.

Naseby Vision plans to submit its application to the International Dark-Sky Association in December, after about a year of planning.

To support the bid, the Maniototo Community Board last week decided to officially endorse the project.

Naseby Vision chairman John Crawford said this was an important and necessary step.

“The mayor has written a letter of support and some other groups are doing the same. We’ve got to show the wider community is on board.” . . 

Predator Free 2050 Ltd on the hunt to fund bold conservation projects:

 New Zealand conservation groups committed to broad scale predator eradication are encouraged to lodge an expression of interest for funding and support from Predator Free 2050 Ltd.

The organisation – tasked with eradicating possums, rats and stoats from New Zealand by 2050 is seeking Expressions of Interest from regional and local councils, community organisations, mana whenua, businesses, Non-Governmental Organisations and other entities capable of delivering eradication initiatives in line with its 2025 goals.

The 2025 goals include enlarging target predator suppression to an additional one million hectares of mainland New Zealand, eradicating predators from at least 20,000 hectares of mainland New Zealand without the use of fences, eradicating all predators from New Zealand’s island nature reserves and achieving a breakthrough science solution capable of eradicating at least one small mammalian predator from the mainland. . . 


Let’s not tax this

September 13, 2017


This is why we’re #backingbill

September 13, 2017

Prime Minister Bill English had a very clear message in Ashburton yesterday:

. . .”We want to achieve higher environmental standards and apparently no one’s thought of this until about six weeks ago. It’s all new, apparently, lifting the quality of water in our rivers – brand new idea,” he said.

“All that tells you is they [opposition parties] take no notice of you. They have no idea what you do, how you do it or why you’re so good at it.

“We’re backing you”.

Farmers were “being lectured” by people who did not understand the regions and National was committed to both raising productivity and environmental standards.

“Any politician who does not know about the intensive, difficult, critical, collaborative work that’s gone on around water quality must be living on another planet,” he said.

“It will be cash sucked out of your business, taken out of this region, sent off to Wellington and people who don’t even know what you do or how you do it will be deciding how to make you do it better. And that’s a ridiculous waste of time and money.” . . 

That’s so true –  it will be cash sucked out of your business, taken out of this region, sent off to Wellington and people who don’t even know what you do or how you do it will be deciding how to make you do it better.

This is what happens when parties don’t have MPs in the regions.

They are out of touch and have no idea what’s happening.

National knows, understands and values the regions.

But the PM and the party aren’t just pushing farming :

National leader Bill English has strayed from the expected message of cows and crops in regional New Zealand.

English hit the campaign trail in Palmerston North and Levin on Monday but there was more than just fancy farming promises in his bag of tricks.

The leader once again turned his attention to pressing social issues, saying it’s worth focusing on vulnerable people one-by-one. . . 

English started his day at Te Tihi in Palmerston North, where the staff brought him up to speed on Te Tihi’s clients: 95 Housing New Zealand households, 224 individuals – 43 per cent of which run out of food every week due to lack of money.

They also told English about their alternative resolution model pilot, which offered a pre-charge alternative resolution to non-serious offenders.

The programme, which launched in 2013, has included 39 local Māori. Between the 39 there was a total of 1039 offences, costing the community $14.25 million.

Of the 39, 22 continued to engage with Kainga Whānau Ora over the past few years and the total cost of their offending dropped from $663,000 in 2013 to $105,725 in 2016. Meanwhile, 16 of the 22 haven’t come back into the justice system.

In the past, Palmerston North man Rodney Wilson received up to 80 police callouts relating to domestic violence in a year. Since becoming part of the programme, Wilson has had one callout relating to domestic violence.

“If it hasn’t been for Whānau Ora, I’d be locked up in jail,” Wilson told English. “I live for my daughter and her children, and I can’t be with them if I’m in jail.”

Wilson was picked up by police after trying to pawn a stolen laptop and he was given the choice of joining the programme.

With the help of his navigator – similar to a case worker – he set goals for himself and put a plan into motion in order to achieve his aspirations. He now works as a cleaner and has a closer relationship with his family. 

English asked Wilson what was different about this programme.

“When you’re finished with the programme, it’s not over. They’re always here to help me.”

Then the National leader turned his attention to the staff: What works well? How is this programme different? What do you need from central government to get the programme to scale?

English was engaged with the clients, directors, navigators, police, Housing New Zealand staff, and DHB staff in the room.

He truly wanted to know how to help break the cycle for more New Zealanders in the same situation. . . 

But in each location he finished with social issues, sharing the story of what was happening in Palmerston North and a similar programme run by Life to the Max in Levin.

“If they can change 39 families, they can change Palmerston North,” he said.

These were families with the most challenging set of social circumstances, and English said National wanted to help them, and other struggling Kiwis.

“It’s worth focusing on them one by one.” . . 

“We’ve been in Government a long time but we still have a lot of things we want to do. We haven’t run out of steam and we haven’t run out of ideas,” English said.

Focusing on people one by one is National’s social investment policy in action, turning lives around.

This is why we’re #backingbill.

 


Quote of the day

September 13, 2017

The trouble with human beings is not really that they love themselves too much; they ought to love themselves more. The trouble is simply that they don’t love others enough. –  Mary Midgley who was born on this day in 1913.


September 13 in history

September 13, 2017

509 BC – The temple of Jupiter on Rome’s Capitoline Hill was dedicated on the ides of September.

122 The building of Hadrian’s Wall began.

533 General Belisarius of the Byzantine Empire defeated Gelimer and the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimium.

1213  Ending of Battle of Muret, during the Albigensian Crusade to destroy the Cathar heresy.

1475 – Cesare Borgia, Italian cardinal, was born (d. 1507).

1503 Michelangelo began work on his statue of David.

1504 Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand issued a Royal Warrant for the construction of a Royal Chapel (Capilla Real) to be built.

1584   San Lorenzo del Escorial Palace in Madrid was finished.

1601 – Jan Brueghel the Younger, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1678).

1743  Great Britain, Austria and Savoy-Sardinia signed the Treaty of Worms.

1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham: British defeated French near Quebec City in the Seven Years’ War.

1775 – Laura Secord, American-Canadian war heroine, was born(d. 1868).

1808 Finnish War: In the Battle of Jutas, Swedish forces under Lieutenant General Georg Carl von Döbeln beat the Russians.

1812  War of 1812: A supply wagon sent to relieve Fort Harrison was ambushed in the Attack at the Narrows.

1814 – Francis Scott Key wrote The Star-Spangled Banner.

1847  Mexican-American War: Six teenage military cadets, Niños Héroes, died defending Chapultepec Castle in the Battle of Chapultepec.

1848  Vermont railroad worker Phineas Gage  survived a 3-foot-plus iron rod being driven through his head; the reported effects on his behavior and personality stimulated thinking about the nature of the brain and its functions.

1850 First ascent of Piz Bernina, the highest summit of the eastern Swiss Alps.

1857  Milton S. Hershey, American confectioner, was born (d. 1945).

1877 Stanley Lord, captain of the SS Californian the night of the Titanic disaster, was born (d. 1962).

1882  The Battle of Tel el-Kebir  in the 1882 Anglo-Egyptian War.

1894 J.B. Priestley, English playwright and novelist, was born (d. 1984).

1898  Hannibal Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film.

1899 Henry Bliss was the first person in the United States to be killed in a car accident.

1899  Mackinder, Ollier and Brocherel make the first ascent of Batian (5,199m – 17,058 ft), the highest peak of Mount Kenya.

1900 Filipino resistance fighters defeated a small American column in theBattle of Pulang Lupa, during the Philippine-American War.

1906 First fixed-wing aircraft flight in Europe.

1914 – World War I: The Battle of Aisne began between Germany and France.

1916 Roald Dahl, British writer, was born (d. 1990).

1918 – Ray Charles, American singer-songwriter and conductor, was born (d. 2015).

1919 – Mary Midgley, English philosopher and author, was born.

1922 The temperature (in the shade) at Al ‘Aziziyah, Libya reached a world record 57.8°C (136.04°F).

1922 – The final act of the Greco-Turkish War, the Great Fire of Smyrna, commenced.

1923  Military coup in Spain – Miguel Primo de Rivera took over, setting up a dictatorship.

1927 – Tzannis Tzannetakis, Greek politician, Prime Minister of Greece (d. 2010)

1933 Elizabeth McCombs became the first woman elected to the New Zealand Parliament.

NZ's first woman MP elected

1935  Rockslide near Whirlpool Rapids Bridge ended the International Railway (New York – Ontario).

1941 David Clayton-Thomas, Canadian singer (Blood, Sweat & Tears), was born.

1943  Chiang Kai-shek elected president of the Republic of China.

1943 – The Municipal Theatre of Corfu was destroyed during an aerial bombardment by Luftwaffe.

1944 –  Noor-un-Nisa Inayat Khan (نور عنایت خان) (2  British heroine of World War II renowned for her service in the Special Operations Executive was executed.

1944 Peter Cetera, American musician (Chicago), was born.

1946 – SS-Sturmbannführer Amon Göth, former commandant of the Kraków-Płaszów concentration camp was executed in Kraków.

1948  Margaret Chase Smith was elected senator, and became the first woman to serve in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the United States Senate.

1952 Randy Jones, American musician (The Village People), was born.

1953 Nikita Khrushchev appointed secretary-general of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1956 Anne Geddes, Australian photographer, was born.

1956 The dike around the Dutch polder East Flevoland was closed.

1956 – IBM introduced the first computer disk storage unit, the RAMAC 305.

1964  South Vietnamese Generals Lam Van Phat and Duong Van Duc failed in a coup attempt against General Nguyen Khanh.

1967 Michael Johnson, American athlete, was born.

1969 – Shane Warne, Australian cricketer, coach, and sportscaster, was born.

1971 Chairman Mao Zedong‘s second in command and successor MarshalLin Biao fled China after the failure of alleged coup against the supreme leader, the plane crashed in Mongolia, killing all aboard.

1976 Craig McMillan, New Zealand cricketer, was born.

1987  Goiânia accident: A radioactive object was stolen from an abandoned hospital in Goiânia, Brazil, contaminating many people in the following weeks and leading some to die from radiation poisoning.

1988  Hurricane Gilbert, the strongest recorded hurricane in the Western Hemisphere to that date.

1989  Largest anti-Apartheid march in South Africa, led by Desmond Tutu.

1993 – Public unveiling of the Oslo Accords, an Israeli-Palestinian agreement initiated by Norway.

1993 Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin shook hands with PLO chairmanYasser Arafat at the White House after signing an accord granting limited Palestinian autonomy.

2007 The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted.

2008  Hurricane Ike made landfall on the Texas Gulf Coast of the United States, causing heavy damage to Galveston Island, Houston and surrounding areas.

2013 – Taliban insurgents attacked the United States consulate in Herat,Afghanistan, with two members of the Afghan National Police reported dead and about 20 civilians injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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