365 days of gratitude

February 8, 2018

The Rotary Club of Oamaru is  raising money to light up a recently restored historic fountain in the public gardens.

One of the members organised a quiz night this evening as a fundraiser.

The amount raised was boosted by the generosity of a business woman who waived the venue hire and donated the proceeds of the bar to the cause.

A combination of volunteer effort and business support contributed to an enjoyable evening for all present and a good contribution to the cause, for all of which I’m grateful.

P.S. – my team finished in the lower middle of the field – not only couldn’t we answer many of the questions, we were none the wiser when we were given the answers.

 


Word of the day

February 8, 2018

Belirt – to cheat; befool; deceive; beguile.


5/10

February 8, 2018

Only 5/10 in Trans Tasman’s political quiz.


Rural round-up

February 8, 2018

NZ needs more water storage in a changing climate:

The importance of water storage in helping provide a reliable supply of water for urban communities, and for food and energy production in a changing climate needs to be recognised, says IrrigationNZ.

“We are seeing the effects of poor future planning for the effects of climate change on water infrastructure overseas, with Cape Town expected to soon run out of water. By ratifying the Paris Agreement in 2016, New Zealand confirmed it will plan for and take action to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Developing more water storage to supply towns, rural communities and for food and energy production is important to protect the future wellbeing of Kiwis,” says IrrigationNZ Chief Executive Andrew Curtis. . . 

Dairy product prices climb for third straight auction amid supply concern – Margreet Dietz:

(BusinessDesk) – Dairy product prices rose at the Global Dairy Trade auction, rising for the third straight time, as buyers stocked up in anticipation of easing output.

The GDT price index climbed 5.9 percent from the previous auction three weeks ago. The average price was US$3,553 a tonne. Some 22,197 tonnes of product was sold, down from 23,319 tonnes three weeks ago.

Whole milk powder rallied 7.6 percent to US$3,226 a tonne. . .

Have your say: Bill aims to deter livestock theft:

Parliament is now seeking public submissions on a bill aimed at deterring livestock rustling (the theft of livestock from farms or property).

Livestock rustling is estimated to cost the farming community over $120 million each year and is a major threat to farming businesses. It also puts the safety of people in isolated, rural areas at risk because rustlers are often armed. . . 

Bay of Plenty Maori partner with Japan’s Imanaka on high-value dairy products – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – A group of Maori organisations has partnered with Japanese food company Imanaka to develop a milk processing plant to make high-value niche products in Kawerau.

Kawerau Dairy is a collaboration between 11 Maori Bay of Plenty entities, which own two thirds of the venture, and Imanaka’s Cedenco Dairy unit, which owns the remaining third. They expect the first stage of the $32 million project to begin operations early next year.

The dairy venture is following the model of the Miraka milk company in Taupo which was set up by Maori interests with an overseas food group as a cornerstone shareholder, with power supplied from Maori geothermal assets and much of the milk supply sourced from local Maori farms. . . 

Eugenie Sage has questions to answer on cancelled land sale:

Eugenie Sage has questions to answer on her reasons for turning down the sale of the Sullivan Mine on the West Coast to Bathurst Coal Limited against the advice of overseas investment officials, National Party Energy and Resources Spokesperson Jonathan Young says.

“Ms Sage needs to give an absolute assurance that her views as Conservation Minister and as a Green Party MP have not coloured her statutory role as Minister for Land Information,” Mr Young says.

“Bathurst is a significant investor on the West Coast and Southland, creating jobs and economic activity in each region. . . 

NZ’s first avocado shipment arrives safely in China:

The first airfreighted consignment of fresh New Zealand avocados has arrived safely into China, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said today.

This follows agreement and signing of a protocol on phytosanitary requirements between New Zealand and China last November, and a technical audit of New Zealand’s regulatory system for exporting avocados by Chinese officials in January.

“Securing export access for our avocados into China has been New Zealand’s top horticulture priority,” says MPI Director-General Martyn Dunne. . .

Wellington to host FMG Young Farmer of the Year regional final:

A former cocktail bartender, an award-winning contract milker and a drone-flying drystock farmer will face off in the Taranaki/Manawatu Regional Final of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year.

Farmers will descend on the nation’s capital for the event on February 24th.

It’s believed to be the first time the regional final has been held in Wellington. . . 

Nominations Open for Silver Fern Farms Co-Op Board Directors:

Nominations are now open for two farmer-elected Board positions on the Silver Fern Farms Co-operative Board.

Directors Rob Hewett and Fiona Hancox retire by rotation at the Company’s 2017 Annual Meeting.

Rob Hewett and Fiona Hancox have advised they will seek re-election.

Nominations close on Monday 5 March 2018 at 5pm. . .. 


Thursday’s quiz

February 8, 2018

The questions are up to you.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual case of mixed stone fruit.


What do we do with unemployable?

February 8, 2018

Unemployment has fallen to a nine-year low.

The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.5 percent in the December 2017 quarter, down from 4.6 percent last quarter, Stats NZ said today.

“This quarter’s unemployment rate is the lowest since the December 2008 quarter, when it was 4.4 percent,” labour market and household statistics senior manager Jason Attewell said. “However, the underutilisation rate was just over 12 percent –reflecting about 340,000 New Zealanders with potential to work more. This measure is just as important as the unemployment rate.”

Do these people with potential to work more want to, and if they want to what’s stopping them?

I’ve been in the potential-to-do-more-paid-work category for most of my married life but that has mostly been a matter of choice.

Having the potential to do more is only a problem for the individuals concerned if they want to and can’t and there could be many reasons for that.

The unemployment rate for the December 2017 quarter remains considerably above New Zealand’s lowest unemployment rate, which was 3.3 percent, recorded a decade ago in the December 2007 quarter, immediately before the global financial crisis.

In the December 2017 quarter, the unemployment rate for men remained at 4.0 percent, following adjustments to last quarter’s data. By comparison, the unemployment rate for women fell to 5.0 percent, down from 5.3 percent last quarter.

This is getting down to the unemployable – those who can’t or won’t work.

People who aren’t mentally or physically capable of working aren’t included in the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). That leaves people who for a variety of reasons, including lack of skills, can’t find work. Helping them upskill and get work-ready should be a priority.

It was for the National-led government which put a lot of effort, and money, into addressing the causes of benefit-dependency.

Then we come to those who won’t work.

Continuing to address the causes is the solution to that.

One strategy that won’t be helpful is cutting immigration when there are areas and workplaces in desperate need of staff and unable to fill vacancies from the unemployed.


Quote of the day

February 8, 2018

There are three types of words: words we all know, words we should know, and words nobody knows. Don’t use the third category.John Grisham who celebrates his 63rd birthday today.


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