365 days of gratitude

February 22, 2018

After three days of steady rain we measured 130mms.

That’s set us up for autumn growth and today the sun came back, for both of which I’m grateful.


Word of the day

February 22, 2018

Pronk – of a springbok or other antelope, leap in the air with an arched back and stiff legs, typically as a form of display or when threatened; a weak or foolish person.


Rural round-up

February 22, 2018

Ban kids from riding quad bikes RCH surgeon urges – Warwick Teague:

IN MY work as a surgeon and trauma prevention advocate, I see few better places to start saving lives than a ban on children getting on quad bikes.

This is a hard line, too hard for some, but I would challenge anyone — farmer, doctor, lawyer, voter, seller, buyer, parent or child to answer the question: How many more children do you think need to be injured on quad bikes before we say “Enough is enough”?

Since 2001, 42 Aussie kids aged under 16 have died from quad bike trauma. . .

Using technology to give farmers an eye in the sky:

Is there anything technology can’t do? It seems everyday something new pops up that makes our lives easier… and now one Taranaki dairy farmer has taken this to new heights, using a drone to get his cows in.

Hayden Fowles says it’s not just about getting the herd to the shed quicker, the drone also helps him keep his cows healthy.

“It gives me another pair of eyes. I can check for lameness and anything that might appear a bit odd sooner than I would if I was on foot or bike.”

Not only is the drone helping to keep his cows healthy, it’s also helping to improve his on-farm health and safety.

“It means a lot less time on and off the bike and I don’t need to go on to the steeper land.” . . 

NFU elects new officeholder team:

Minette Batters has been elected as the new President of the National Farmers’ Union.

Ms Batters, a beef farmer from Wiltshire, has been elected for a two-year term alongside Guy Smith as Deputy President and Stuart Roberts as Vice President.

The election took place after the AGM of the NFU Council, a representative body made up of its elected members, following the annual NFU Conference.

Ms Batters said: “I am delighted to have been elected as President of the NFU and I am grateful to all the members who have given me the opportunity to lead our industry through Brexit and beyond.

“At the heart of the NFU is its members and I would like the organisation to aim even higher on their behalf. British farming is in the spotlight like never before and this is a great opportunity to reposition the sector in the eyes of the nation. . . 

A2 Milk first-half profit soars 150%, aligns itself with Fonterra in new supply deal – Sophie Boot:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk more than doubled first-half profit on strong infant formula sales and has aligned itself with Fonterra Cooperative Group which will see the two companies partner up on a range of products.

Net profit rose to $98.5 million in the six months ended Dec. 31 from $39.4 million a year earlier as sales climbed to $434.6 million from $256 million, Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered a2 said. . . 

A2 shares soar 25%, making it NZ’s biggest listed company – Paul McBeth:

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co shares jumped 25 percent, making the milk marketing firm New Zealand’s biggest listed company on a deal that will give it backing from Fonterra Cooperative Group.

The stock gained $2.31 to $11.60, valuing a2 Milk at $8.47 billion, toppling Auckland International Airport at $7.75 billion, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare at $7.37 billion and Meridian Energy at $7.29 billion. The spike underpinned the S&P/NZX 50 index, which gained 1.5 percent to 8,215.63 as at 2.35pm. . . 

No Change to Existing Synlait And A2 Milk Infant Formula Supply Arrangements:

Synlait Milk Limited and The a2 Milk Company Limited wish to clarify that the announcements made today by The a2 Milk Company and Fonterra do not change Synlait’s exclusive infant formula supply arrangements to The a2 Milk Company.

Synlait and The a2 Milk Company have an exclusive long-term supply agreement for the production of the a2 Platinum® infant formula range for China, Australia and New Zealand. . . 

Red Meat Sector welcomes release of the CPTPP text and National Interest Analysis:

The release of the text of the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (CPTPP) and New Zealand’s National Interest Analysis represents important progress for trade leadership in the Asia-Pacific region, say the Meat Industry Association of New Zealand (MIA) and Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).

‘CPTPP brings some of the largest and most dynamic economies in the Asia-Pacific together around a common goal’, says B+LNZ Chief Executive, Sam McIvor.

MIA Chief Executive, Tim Ritchie, said ‘This new agreement addresses concerns many New Zealanders had with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and is a deal that is good for trade and good for New Zealand.  . . 


Thursday’s quiz

February 22, 2018

The questions are yours for the asking.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual case of peaches.


Will Marks be rolled?

February 22, 2018

There were no surprises when Winston Peters was re-elected leader of New Zealand First unopposed.

The man and the party are almost one and the same thing and there would be no question of dissension

But this morning’s Politik newsletter Richard Harman, who is usually well informed, suggests that Peters might be about to depose Ron Mark as deputy in favour of Fletcher Tabuteau.

The waka jumping legislation hasn’t been passed yet.

If Mark was sufficiently unhappy with show of no confidence in him he could leave the party and still stay in parliament.

That would mean he’d no longer be a minister though and he could well find that too high a price to pay no matter how upset he was.

 

 


Who’s paying for unprepared government?

February 22, 2018

Suspicions that Labour wasn’t prepared for government were right:

. . . But Labour — which she admitted was not prepared to be in Government . . 

The she in the above sentence is the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

This is yet another indictment on her party which spent almost nine years in-fighting, festering and frittering away the time it should have been developing policy and preparing to govern.

Because it wasn’t expecting to be in government it made some rash and uncosted promises in the hope of clawing back enough voter support to provide a foundation on which to build for the following election never thinking it would be in a position to deliver.

But a change of leader, MMP, and Winston Peters’ whim, put the party into government.

The price of this unprepared government is being paid in time wasted filibustering its own bills because it doesn’t have enough legislation ready for parliament.

It’s also being paid in promises broken which included one to patients suffering from rare diseases:

The New Zealand Organisation for Rare Disorders (NZORD) is stunned that the Government is not honouring its election promise to establish a separate fund which would allow rare disease patients to access vital, life-saving medicines.

Dr Collette Bromhead, NZORD Chief Executive said that the decision to take the promised fund “off the table” is devastating to the 377,000 New Zealand patients and their families who live with a rare and life-threatening disease.

“We have been told that the pledged $20m fund, to be spent over 4 years, will now not go ahead.

“And in a double blow, we have now been notified that the Government is also reviewing the contract which enables NZORD to provide the essential services and support for patients and families impacted by rare diseases.”

“The decision to cancel the fund for medicines is a complete u-turn by the Government and has been done without any consultation with the rare disease community. It leaves these vulnerable patients with no way to access the essential medicines that could extend their life and provide them with a better quality of living,” she said.

“During the 2017 election, the Labour Party announced that it would set up a separate fund to enable patients who suffer from rare diseases to access medicines. There are over 7,000 rare diseases and we are well aware of the challenges this creates for any funding model.

“The issue with the PHARMAC model is that it funds medicines based on the number of patients with a disease and while, collectively, over 8% of the population suffer from a rare disease, the number of patients for each disease is relatively small. 

“Rare diseases just don’t fit into this model and need to be evaluated differently. We need to start thinking about the value for the patient, not just the value for money. Many other countries, such as Scotland and Australia, have established programmes for life saving drugs which allow rare disease patients better access to medicines.

“It is disappointing that New Zealand is taking a backward step with regard to its rare disease patients and we are urging the Government to honour its election commitment. We are also strongly advocating to the Government that NZORD’s funding contract needs to needs to continue, so that NZORD can provide vital services to patients,” says Dr Bromhead.

At question time yesterday National’s deputy Paula Bennett did her best to get an answer about how many extra students had enrolled because of the fee-free policy for first years.

. . .So isn’t her policy just an expensive exercise—up to $2.8 billion—that, as the Secretary for Education told select committee last week, no cost-benefit analysis was done on, and, actually, there’s been no increase of students at all this year? 

That she didn’t get a straight answer leads to the very strong suspicion that the money being delivered on this election bribe has had little if any benefit.

People with rare diseases and the people who support them could think of much better use for that money and they too are paying the price for an unprepared government.

 


Quote of the day

February 22, 2018

 Doing a ‘good turn’ may seem a trivial thing to us grown-ups, but a good turn done as a child will grow into service for the community when she grows up. –   Olave Baden-Powell who was born on this day in 1889.


February 22 in history

February 22, 2018

1495 King Charles VIII of France entered Naples to claim the city’s throne.

1632 Galileo‘s Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems was published.

1732 George Washington, First President of the United States, was born  (d. 1799).

1744 War of the Austrian Succession: The Battle of Toulon started.

1797 The Last Invasion of Britain started near Fishguard, Wales.

1819 James Russell Lowell, American poet and essayist, was born  (d. 1891).

1819 By the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain sold Florida to the United States for $US5m.

1847 Mexican-American War: The Battle of Buena Vista – 5,000 American troops drove off 15,000 Mexicans.

1855 Pennsylvania State University was founded as the Farmers’ High School of Pennsylvania.

1856 The Republican Party opened its first national meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

1857 Robert Baden-Powell, 1st Baron Baden-Powell, English founder of the Scout movement, was born (d. 1941).

1862 Jefferson Davis was officially inaugurated for a six-year term as the President of the Confederate States of America in Richmond, Virginia.

1879 Frank Woolworth opened the first of many of 5 and 10-centWoolworth stores.

1882 The Serbian kingdom was refounded.

1889 Olave Baden-Powell, English founder of the Girl Guides, was born  (d. 1977).

1902 The Kelburn cable car opened.

Kelburn cable car opens

1904 The United Kingdom sold  a meteorological station on the South Orkney Islands to Argentina.

1908  Sir John Mills, English actor, was born (d. 2005).

1915 Germany instituted unrestricted submarine warfare.

1918 Robert Wadlow, American tallest ever-human, was born  (d. 1940).

1922 Britain unilaterally declared the independence of Egypt.

1924 U.S. President Calvin Coolidge was the first President to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House.

1926 Kenneth Williams, English actor, was born  (d. 1988).

1943  Members of White Rose were executed in Nazi Germany.

1928 Bruce Forsyth, British entertainer, was born.

1944 American aircraft bombard the Dutch towns of NijmegenArnhem,Enschede and Deventer by mistake, resulting in 800 dead in Nijmegenalone.

1948 Communist coup in Czechoslovakia.

1950  Julie Walters, English actress, was born.

1958 Egypt and Syria joined to form the United Arab Republic.

1959 Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500.

1962  Steve Irwin, Australian herpetologist, was born (d. 2006).

197 An Irish Republican Army car bomb was detonated at Aldershot barracks, killing seven and injuring nineteen others.

1974 Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) summit conference started in Lahore.

1979 Independence of Saint Lucia from the United Kingdom.

1980 Miracle on Ice: the United States hockey team defeated the Soviet Union hockey team 4-3, in one of the greatest upsets in sports history.

1983 The Broadway flop Moose Murders opened and closed on the same night at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.

1986 Start of the People Power Revolution in the Philippines.

1994 Aldrich Ames and his wife Maria del Rosario Casas Dupuy, were charged by the United States Department of Justice with spying for the Soviet Union.

1995 The Corona reconnaissance satellite program, was declassified.

1997 Scottish scientists announced that an adult sheep named Dolly had been successfully cloned.

2002 Angolan political and rebel leader Jonas Savimbi was killed in a military ambush.

2004 – The first European political party organisation, the European Greens, was established in Rome.

2006 At least six men staged Britain’s biggest robbery ever, stealing £53m (about $92.5 million or 78€ million) from a Securitas depot in Tonbridge, Kent.

2011 –  Christchurch was badly damaged by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake at 12:51 pm, which killed 185 people and injured several thousand.

2011 – Bahraini uprising: Tens of thousands of people marched in protestagainst the deaths of seven victims killed by police and army forces during previous protests.

2012 – A train crash in Buenos AiresArgentina, killed 51 people and injured 700 others.

2014 – President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine was impeached by the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine by a vote of 328-0, fulfilling a major goal of the Euromaidan rebellion.

2015  – A ferry carrying 100 passengers capsised in the Padma River, killing 70 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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