Word of the day

November 1, 2017

Gnashnab – someone who complains all the time; nitpicker; moaner; grumbler.


Rural round-up

November 1, 2017

Farmers’ efforts rewarded with improving water quality – Esther Taunton:

Taranaki has recorded its best stream health trends in 21 years, a new report shows.

The 2017 Healthy Waterways report showed water quality in the region was ‘fit for purpose’ by almost all measures within the compulsory national criteria at almost all sites most of the time.

Published by the Taranaki Regional Council, the report looked at trends from 20 years of monitoring and showed most measures were improving or not changing significantly for the ecological health and physical and chemical state of 99 per cent of Taranaki rivers and streams. . . 

No Sign of Bonamia in wild oysters:

The latest testing of the Bluff wild oyster fishery shows no sign of Bonamia ostreae, says the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The testing was part of MPI’s surveillance programme for the invasive parasite, says MPI Director of Readiness and Response Geoff Gwyn.

“This is great news for the local industry and everyone involved in the response,” says Mr Gwyn. . . 

Global meat trends look positive – Allan Barber:

2016 saw widely differing agricultural export performances between New Zealand and our trans-Tasman neighbours. According to the Red Meat Advisory Council’s State of the Industry 2017 report, Australia broke all records by increasing its exports of red meat to A$15.1 billion, up by nearly A$6 billion since 2009. It was the world’s biggest exporter of beef, second biggest for sheep meat and third biggest live exporter.

In contrast New Zealand’s exports of red meat and offal declined by $909 million to $5.9 billion or 7.4% from 2015; the fall was shared fairly evenly between beef (down $481 million) and sheep meat (down $415 million), although the percentage drop for beef was much higher at 14.4% compared with 4.6% for sheep meat. Both volume and value contributed to the decline, with the United States responsible for three quarters of the beef shortfall and the EU, including UK, responsible for half that of sheep meat. . . 

Building a NZ brand:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s market development team is building a compelling case for the red meat industry to work with a New Zealand brand story under which individual brands could sit.

Michael Wan, who led a marketing team on a research trip to China, United States, Germany, India, Indonesia, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates and New Zealand, says this country needs a strong value proposition at a national level and to invest in telling its story.

The trip, which included comprehensive qualitative research at every level of the supply chain in each of the markets they visited, highlighted both a low awareness of NZ – especially its food production systems – but also the potential for growth in the lamb category. . .

Farmer Fast Five – Charles Douglas-Clifford – Claire Inkson:

The Farmers Fast Five: Where we ask a Farmer five quick questions about Farming, and what Agriculture means to them. Today we talk to Ballance Farm Environment Award Winner and Proud North Canterbury Farmer Charles Douglas-Clifford.

1.         How long have you been farming?

I have been involved in farming in one way or another all my life. I grew up on the family farm as a 6th generation descendant, finished
school and worked on various farms in Australia for a year. I then went to Lincoln University to study a BCom Ag. I went on to spend 6 years working as a rural bank manager for the National Bank in Palmerston North, Nelson and Timaru. Then in early 2012 I returned home to Stonyhurst with Erin, after getting married and have been here ever since.           

2.         What sort of farming were/are you involved in?                    

In the 6 years working as a rural manager I got to see a wide range of farming operations throughout the country. I was also
fortunate to have been in the finance sector through the global financial crisis. . . 

2017 Fonterra Elections Results Announced:

Returning Officer Warwick Lampp, of electionz.com Ltd, has declared the final results of the 2017 elections for the Fonterra Board of Directors, Directors’ Remuneration Committee and Shareholders’ Council.

Shareholders voted to elect incumbent Director John Monaghan and new Directors Brent Goldsack and Andy Macfarlane. . . 

Velvet market underpinned by growing demand:

The new deer velvet season has opened strongly, with farmers reporting early enquiry from buyers at prices 10-15 per cent above last season’s close.

Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) Asia market manager Rhys Griffiths says the price recovery is timely, given the investment many farmers are making in upgrades to their velvetting facilities.

“Regulatory changes in China last season led to a loss of buyer confidence and a dip in prices that did not reflect the steady growth in demand for NZ velvet from China and Korea, our major markets,” he says. . . 

Biosecurity Week 2017 kicks off:

Pests and diseases from offshore can cause serious harm to New Zealand’s unique environment and primary industries; and the Port of Tauranga is one of many potential gateways.

Biosecurity Week activities highlight the importance of biosecurity and the role that everyone in the Bay of Plenty can play in managing unwanted biosecurity risks says Kiwifruit Vine Health Chief Executive Barry O’Neil.

“We’re looking forward to talking to people who work on and around the Port about biosecurity – it’s such an important issue and one that really does affect everyone.” . . 

NZX plans to launch skim milk powder option contract – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – NZX, the financial markets operator, plans to launch a global skim milk powder option contract in December in response to customer demand.

The Wellington-based company said trading volumes in its skim milk powder futures market are up 113 percent this year as interest in its suite of dairy risk management tools increases. The new contract will add to the NZX’s existing futures contracts for whole milk powder, skim milk powder, anhydrous milk fat and butter, and its whole milk powder options. . . 

Innovative trading platform Syndex announces partnership with agritech firm:

Online share exchange Syndex is supporting New Zealand agritech company Regen to undertake a major expansion.

Syndex is an independent online trading platform for any proportionally owned asset for the private economy. Fractions of agricultural assets, units in commercial property and private equity can all be funded and purchased through the Syndex exchange. . . 


NZ best for ease of doing business

November 1, 2017

New Zealand is first in the world for ease of doing business for the second consecutive year.

. . . Doing Business measures aspects of regulation a ecting 11 areas of the life of a business. Ten of these areas are included in this year’s ranking on the ease of doing business: starting a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity, registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors, paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency. Doing Business also measures features of labor market regulation, which is not included in this year’s ranking. . . 

For eight of the 11 Doing Business indica- tor sets, the report’s traditional focus on e ciency—de ned as the time, cost and number of interactions necessary to incorporate a new business or connect a warehouse to the electrical grid—has been complemented with a new focus on regulatory quality. Doing Business data shows that e ciency and quality go hand in hand, reinforcing each other.

Despite these additions and improve- ments, one aspect of Doing Business has remained unchanged: its focus on pro- moting regulatory reform that strengthens the ability of the private sector to create jobs, lift people out of poverty and create more opportunities for the economy to prosper. The notion that the private sector has substantial economic, social and development impact is now universally recognized. Responsible for an estimated 90% of employment in developing economies, the private sector is ideally placed to alleviate poverty by providing the opportunities to secure a good and sustainable standard of living.

Policy reforms catalyze private investment. Promoting a well-functioning private sector is a major undertaking for any government. It requires long-term policies of removing administrative barriers and strengthening laws that promote entrepreneurship.

Hard data helps do that. It gives a voice to the people to demand improved public services. It also increases government accountability. . . 

There is a message here for people who think capitalism has failed. It’s the private sector which is ideally placed to alleviate poverty. The government’s role is to remove barriers and strengthen laws that promote entrepreneurship.

The rankings are here.

While New Zealand does well overall, there’s lots of room for improvement in four areas: getting electricity, enforcing contracts and resolving insolvency.

 

 

 


Popular yes but will it work?

November 1, 2017

Labour will make residential property ‘sensitive’ which will be a de facto ban on foreign buyers.

Anyone who was not either a citizen or resident of New Zealand would not be allowed to purchase existing homes.

“The Government will introduce an amendment to the Overseas Investment Act to classify housing as ‘sensitive’ and introduce a residency test,” Ardern said in her first post-cabinet press conference. . .

Ardern expected the legislation would be introduced by Christmas and passed in the new year.

“This does not impact our Korean FTA, nor will it impact the TPP – if we pass it before it takes effect,” Trade Minister David Parker said.

“Our underlying ethos here has been that if you have the right to live here long-term you have the right to buy here.”

The ban needed to passed fast because if New Zealand signed up to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without passing the legislation the TPP provisions allowing foreign investment would then effect other trade agreements under “most favoured nation clauses,” effectively taking away the right to do this for good, Parker said. . .

National’s Finance spokesman Steven Joyce describes the proposal as half-cooked:

The first and strangest thing about Labour’s announcement is that it isn’t an actual ban. Putting houses through a sensitive land purchase criteria is definitely bureaucratic but does not constitute a ban on such sales,” Mr Joyce says.

“There are also all sorts of definitional questions. Is an apartment on the fourth floor of a building ‘sensitive land’? Is a two hectare property with two houses on it that’s being sold for development able to be sold to an international investor?

“This proposal would also be a massive compliance cost for house buyers of all types. For example, will somebody with a foreign sounding name have to prove their citizenship to the real estate agent?

“The whole announcement was very strange,” Mr Joyce says. “There has been no paperwork released and the Prime Minister indicated many of the detailed decisions remain to be made.

“This smacks very much as a ‘bright idea’ with absolutely no detail or evidence base behind it. The Prime Minister even spoke as if the Auckland property market was still rapidly appreciating whereas in actual fact it’s been flat to falling for the last year.

“Finally, if the idea gets over all the hurdles, would it actually work in terms of satisfying the concerns of our trading partners? It appears on the face of it that it would treat investors from other countries less favourably than New Zealand investors.

“This is a policy that’s designed to solve a political problem. Evidence in both Australia and here in New Zealand is that overseas buyers don’t have a significant impact on the housing market.”

Eric Crampton writes on the issue at Offsetting Behaviour and asks whether those on work-to-residence visas will be able to buy houses under this policy.

Even if they can, migrants on work visas will be caught by the ban. That will be many of the skilled people we need for jobs that we can’t find New Zealanders willing and able to do.

Liam Hehir also questions whether the proposal would be effective:

. . . Figures released earlier this year showed that home buyers without citizenship or residency accounted for about two percent of transferees. So while it might be effective as a ban, I wouldn’t be holding my breath about it doing much more than the scratching of a populist itch.

This will be popular but will it achieve its aim of making it easier for New Zealanders to buy houses?

Popular policy isn’t always good policy and only time will tell if this will help make housing more affordable without compromising any free trade agreements and deterring skilled migrants from coming here.


Quote of the day

November 1, 2017

A piece of writing is like a piece of magic. You create something out of nothing.Susanna Clarke who celebrates her 58th birthday today.


November 1 in history

November 1, 2017

996  Emperor Otto III issued a deed to Gottschalk, Bishop of Freising, which is the oldest known document using the name Ostarrîchi (Austria in Old High German).

1179  Philip II was crowned King of France.

1348  The anti-royalist Union of Valencia attacked the Jews of Murviedro on the pretext that they were serfs of the King of Valencia and thus “royalists”.

1512 The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, painted by Michelangelo, was exhibited to the public for the first time.

1520 The Strait of Magellan, was first navigated by Ferdinand Magellan during his global circumnavigation voyage.

1549 – Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain, was born (d. 1580).

1604 William Shakespeare‘s tragedy Othello was staged for the first time, at Whitehall Palace.

1611  William Shakespeare‘s romantic comedy The Tempest was staged for the first time, at Whitehall Palace.

1612 Time of Troubles in Russia: Moscow, Kitai-gorod, was captured by Russian troops under command of Dmitry Pozharsky.

1755 Lisbon earthquake:  Lisbon was destroyed by a massive earthquake and tsunami, killing between sixty thousand and ninety thousand people.

1762 – Spencer Perceval, English lawyer and politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1812).

1765 The British Parliament enacted the Stamp Act on the 13 colonies in order to help pay for British military operations in North America.

1782 – F. J. Robinson, 1st Viscount Goderich, English politician, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1859).

1790  Edmund Burke published Reflections on the Revolution in France.

1800  US President John Adams became the first President of the United States to live in the Executive Mansion (later renamed the White House).

1805 Napoleon Bonaparte invaded Austria during the War of the Third Coalition.

1814  Congress of Vienna opened to re-draw the European political map after the defeat of France, in the Napoleonic Wars.

1831 – Harry Atkinson, English-New Zealand politician, 13th Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born (d. 1892).

Sir Harry Albert Atkinson, ca 1885.jpg

1848 The first medical school for women, The Boston Female Medical School (which later merged with the Boston University School of Medicine), opened.

1859   Cape Lookout lighthouse was lit for the first time.

1861 American Civil War: US President Abraham Lincoln appointedGeorge B. McClellan as the commander of the Union Army, replacing the aged General Winfield Scott.

1870  The  U.S. Weather Bureau (later renamed the National Weather Service) mafr its first official meteorological forecast.

1876  New Zealand’s provincial government system was dissolved.

1881 – – Perikles Ioannidis, Greek admiral (d. 1965).

1884 The Gaelic Athletic Association was set up.

1886 Ananda College, a leading Buddhist school in Sri Lanka was established with 37 students.

1887 – L. S. Lowry, British painter of industrial scenes, was born  (d. 1976).

1894  Nicholas II became the new Tsar of Russia after his father, Alexander III, died.

1896 –  A picture showing the unclad breasts of a woman appeared inNational Geographic magazine for the first time.

1898 The New Zealand parliament passed the Old-Age Pensions Act.  A world first, the act gave a small means-tested pension to destitute older people ‘deemed to be of good character’; Chinese were specifically excluded. It is considered one of the major achievements of Richard Seddon’s Liberal government.

Old-Age Pensions Act passes into law

1911  The first dropping of a bomb from an airplane in combat, during the Italo-Turkish War.

1914 World War I: the first British Royal Navy defeat of the war with Germany, the Battle of Coronel, was fought off of the western coast of Chile, with the loss of HMS Good Hope and HMS Monmouth.

1916  Paul Miliukov delivered in the State Duma the famous “stupidity or treason” speech, precipitating the downfall of the Boris Stürmer government.

1918  Malbone Street Wreck: the worst rapid transit accident in US history with at least 93 deaths.

1918  Western Ukraine gained its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

1920  American Fishing Schooner Esperanto defeated the Canadian Fishing Schooner Delawana in the First International Fishing Schooner Championship Races in Halifax.

1922  The last sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Mehmed VI, abdicated.

1924 – Süleyman Demirel, Turkish engineer and politician, 9th President of Turkey,  was born (d. 2015).

1928 The Law on the Adoption and Implementation of the Turkish Alphabet, replacing the version of the Arabic alphabet previously used, came into force in Turkey.

1935  – Gary Player, South African golfer, was born.

1937  Stalinists executed Pastor Paul Hamberg and seven members ofAzerbaijan‘s Lutheran community.

1938  Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral in an upset victory during a match race deemed “the match of the century” in horse racing.

1939  The first rabbit born after artificial insemination was exhibited to the world.

1941 American photographer Ansel Adams took a picture of a moonrise over the town of Hernandez, New Mexico that became one of the most famous images in the history of photography.

1942  Matanikau Offensive began during the Guadalcanal Campaign.

1943  Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, United States Marines, the 3rd Marine Division, landed on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.

1944 –   More than 800 Polish refugees from war-torn Europe landed in Wellington from the troopship USS General George M. Randall.

Polish refugees arrive in New Zealand

1944 – Oscar Temaru, President of French Polynesia, was born.

1944 World War II: Units of the British Army landed at Walcheren in the Netherlands.

1945 The official North Korean newspaper, Rodong Sinmun, was first published under the name Chongro.

1946  – Yuko Shimizu, Japanese graphic designer, created Hello Kitty was born.

1948   6,000 people were killed as a Chinese merchant ship exploded and sank.

1948 – Amani Abeid Karume, Zanzibar accountant and politician, 6th President of Zanzibar was born.

1950 – Pope Pius XII claimed Papal Infallibility when he formally defined the dogma of the Assumption of Mary.

1951  Operation Buster-Jangle: 6,500 American soldiers were exposed to ‘Desert Rock’ atomic explosions for training purposes in Nevada.

1952  Operation Ivy – The United States successfully detonated the first large hydrogen bomb, codenamed “Mike” [“M” for megaton], in the Eniwetok atoll, in the Marshall Islands.

1954 The Front de Libération Nationale fired the first shots of theAlgerian War of Independence.

1955 The bombing of United Airlines Flight 629 killed all 39 passengers and five crew members aboard the Douglas DC-6B airliner.

1957  – Murray Pierce, New Zealand rugby player, All Black, was born.

1957  The Mackinac Bridge, the world’s longest suspension bridge between anchorages at the time, opened to traffic connecting Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas.

1959 – In Rwanda, Hutu politician Dominique Mbonyumutwa was beaten up by Tutsi forces, leading to a period of violence known as the wind of destruction.

1959 – Susanna Clarke, English author and educator, was born.

1960 – Tim Cook, American businessman and engineer, CEO of Apple Inc. was born

1961  50,000 women in 60 cities participated in the inaugural Women Strike for Peace (WSP) against nuclear proliferation.

1963 The Arecibo Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, with the largest radio telescope ever constructed, officially opened.

1970  Club Cinq-Sept fire in Saint-Laurent-du-Pont, France killed 146 young people.

1981  Antigua and Barbuda gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1982  Honda becomes the first Asian automobile company to produce cars in the United States with the opening of their factory in Marysville, Ohio.

1993 The Maastricht Treaty took effect, formally establishing the European Union.

2000 – Serbia joined the United Nations.

2005 First part of the Gomery Report, which discussed allegations of political money manipulation by members of the Liberal Party of Canada, was released in Canada.

2009  The inaugural Abu Dhabi Grand Prix was held at the Yas Marina Circuit.

2012 – A fuel tank truck crashed and exploded in the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh killing 26 people and injuring 135.

2013 – A gunman opened fire at Los Angeles International Airport, killing a US Transportation Security Administration employee, and wounding seven other people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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