Minimum wage hike incentivises mechanisation

March 20, 2018

Case study 1: friend who grows capsicums has gradually been mechanising the processing as technology improves and money allows.

It improves efficiency and lowers costs.

It also requires less labour and he says the minimum wage hike which is being imposed on employers by the government will increase the costs savings and incentivise him to increase mechanisation.

Case study 2: a company which picks and packs fruit has a lot of problems getting enough reliable staff when it needs them, even with the Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme.

The hike in the minimum wage provided the incentive to mechanise further. The process which needed 24 workers now needs only 4.

Most employers accept that regular increases to the minimum wage and the flow-on effect on higher wages is the cost of doing business.

Most cope when the increase is modest.

But the jump in the minimum wage to $20 is considerably more than modest and providing an incentive for those who can mechanise their processes to do so.





Quote of the day

March 20, 2018

The sharp thorn often produces delicate roses. – Ovid who was born on this day in 43 BC.

March 20 in history

March 20, 2018

43 BC Ovid, Roman poet, was born (d. 17 AD).

1600 – The Linköping Bloodbath.

1602 The Dutch East India Company was established.

1616 Sir Walter Raleigh was freed from the Tower of London after 13 years of imprisonment.

1737  Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, King of Thailand, was born (d. 1809).

1739 Nadir Shah occupied Delhi and sacked the city, stealing the jewels of the Peacock Throne.

1760 The “Great Fire” of Boston, Massachusetts destroyed 349 buildings.

1815 After escaping from Elba, Napoleon entered Paris with a regular army of 140,000 and a volunteer force of around 200,000, beginning his “Hundred Days” rule.

1834 New Zealand’s first flag was chosen.

NZ's first flag chosen

1848 Ludwig I of Bavaria abdicated.

1852 Harriet Beecher Stowe‘s Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published.

1861 An earthquake completely destroyed Mendoza, Argentina.

1883 The Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property was signed.

1888 The premiere of the first Romani language operetta was staged in Moscow.

1913 –  Sung Chiao-jen, a founder of the Chinese Nationalist Party, was wounded in an assassination attempt and died 2 days later.

1916 Albert Einstein published his general theory of relativity.

1917 Vera Lynn, English actress and singer, was born.

1922 The USS Langley (CV-1) was commissioned as the first United States Navy aircraft carrier.

1937 Lois Lowry, American children’s author, was born.

1939  Brian Mulroney, former Prime Minister of Canada, was born.

1942 General Douglas MacArthur, at Terowie, South Australia, made his famous speech regarding the fall of the Philippines, in which he says: “I came out of Bataan and I shall return”.

1948 With a Musicians Union ban lifted, the first telecasts of classical music in the United States, under Eugene Ormandy and Arturo Toscanini, were given on CBS and NBC.

1950 Carl Palmer, English drummer (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), was born.

1956 Tunisia gained independence from France.

1957 David Foster, Australian woodchopper, was born.

1958 Holly Hunter, American actress, was born.

1979 Keven Mealamu, New Zealand rugby player, was born.

1980 The Radio Caroline ship, Mi Amigo foundered in a gale off the English coast.

1985 Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the 1,135-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race.

1987 The Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-AIDS drug, AZT.

1988 Eritrean War of Independence: The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front entered the town of Afabet, victoriously concluding the Battle of Afabet.

1990 Imelda Marcos, went on trial for bribery, embezzlement, and racketeering.

1993 An IRA bomb killed two children in Warrington, Northwest England.

1995 A sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway killed 12 and wounds 1,300 people.

1999 Legoland California, the only Legoland outside Europe, opened in Carlsbad.

2003  2003 invasion of Iraq: In the early hours of the morning, the United States and three other countries begin military operations in Iraq.

2004 – Stephen Harper won the leadership of the newly created Conservative Party of Canada, becoming the party’s first leader.

2005 A magnitude 6.6 earthquake hit Fukuoka, Japan, its first major quake in over 100 years. One person was killed, hundreds are injured and evacuated.

2006 Cyclone Larry made landfall in eastern Australia, destroying most of the country’s banana crop.

2006  More than 150 Chadian soldiers were killed in eastern Chad by members of the rebel UFDC seeking  to overthrow Chad president Idriss Deby.

2006 Chris and Cru Kahui, New Zealand murder victims were born.

2012  – At least 52 people were killed and more than 250 injured in a wave of terror attacks across 10 cities in Iraq.

2014 – Four suspected Taliban members attacked the  Kabul Serena Hotel, killing at least 9 people.

2015 – A Solar eclipseequinox, and a Supermoon all occurred on the same day.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


365 days of gratitude

March 19, 2018

We got home on Saturday after 12 days away to find the motor that runs the heating was off and so was the fridge.

Power had been lost for long enough to enable everything in the freezer below the fridge to melt.

But the freezer isn’t very big and all we lost were egg yolks left over from meringues I’d been saving for a dog; bread and some berries.

It would have been much worse if the stand-alone freezer had lost power and I’m very grateful that it didn’t.


Word of the day

March 19, 2018

Dag – one of a series of decorative scallops or foliations along the edge of a garment or cloth; to edge with decorative scallops or the like; a a lock of wool matted with dung dangling from the hindquarters of a sheep; to cut dags from a sheep; an entertainingly eccentric person; a character; a conservative or unfashionable person; an untidy or dirty-looking person.


Rural round-up

March 19, 2018

We need a long cool look at water – Andrew Curtis:

As years go, 2017 was dramatic.

In February, one of the biggest fires in New Zealand history ignited on the Port Hills in tinder dry conditions, causing thousands of residents to evacuate.

In March, the upper North Island was soaked, with Auckland experiencing its wettest March day in 60 years, and over 300 homes were flooded.

July brought flooding to Otago and Canterbury, and snow and strong winds to other areas. . . 

Mix of farming, forestry, engineering keeps McKenzies busy – Sally Rae:

When it comes to thinking outside the square, it would be hard to look past the innovative McKenzie family from Clinton.

Colin McKenzie jokes they have a lot of junk around, but they are incredibly clever at turning that “junk” into all sorts of machinery.

As well as running a large sheep and beef operation, they also do their own forest harvesting, utilising some of their own home-made technology. . . 

Effluent technology set to lift dairy water efficiency – Jamie Thompson:

Nutrient efficiency is vital to Ravensdown as a component of smarter farming — good for the bottom line and the environment.

Water efficiency is now a catch-cry and the dairy sector is being urged to lessen its water ‘footprint’.

Crucial to this challenge is how effluent is managed. Recycling and reusing the nutrients in dairy shed effluent is good practice, showing that dairy farmers are doing the right thing. This comes with a price tag: 70% of dairy farmers’ environmental spending goes on effluent management (see graph). . .

Passion for dairy farming shows through for Canterbury environment award winners:

The Canterbury Ballance Farm Environment Awards have been won by a dairy farming company showing a fantastic level of passion, pride and promotion for its industry. David and Brenda Hislop, Mark Daly and Janet Girvan are partners in Medbury Farm Limited – milking 1240 cows on 442ha at Hawarden.

The awards judges said the partners show strong awareness of farming practices and how they influence the environment. “They show excellent attention to detail to business planning, governance and policies and how that influences and drives the business, as well as great staff and people management.” . . 

Fonterra close to reaching Argentina deal :

Fonterra is close to reaching a deal with Argentina-based dairy co-operative SanCor, according a media report from Buenos Aires.

The Argentine newspaper La Nacion reported that Fonterra was anticipated to finalise a deal with SanCor by the end of this month.

La Nacion, in a translated report, said Fonterra and SanCor would form a new company, of which Fonterra would have 80 to 90 percent control. The remaining shares would stay with the dairy farmers in Argentina. . . 

Education doesn’t encourage creativity’ – Jill Galloway:

The education system does not value creativity enough, says a business commentator.

Chanelle O’Sullivan​ was one of five speakers at a creativity breakfast seminar, one of 10 events being held as part of the Manawatū-hosted Agri Food Week.

Described as an entrepreneur who founded the websites Rural Mums and Virtual Insights, O’Sullivan advised people to not rely on anyone else “as no one is coming to rescue you”. However, people should not feel ashamed of failing. . . 

Four candidates for Silver Fern Farms board :

Conor English, the youngest brother of former Prime Minister Bill English, is throwing his hat in the ring for election to the Silver Fern Farms board of directors.

English is the former chief executive of Federated Farmers who started his farming career at the family farm in Dipton. He is also chairman of Agribusiness New Zealand, a company he founded after leaving Federated Farmers in 2014.

Board members Fiona Hancox and Rob Hewett, and chairman, retire by rotation at the company’s annual meeting in Dunedin on April 18.

Four candidates have put themselves forward for the two available positions on the board. Hancox and Hewett have both advised they will stand for re-election, while nominations have been received for Chris Allen and English. . . 


365 days of gratitude

March 19, 2018

Whoops – forgot to do this last night but for the best of reasons.

We spent yesterday introducing a young Argentinean couple to the delights of North Otago – Oamaru Farmers’ Market and historic precinct, Fleurs Place at Moeraki and the seals past the lighthouse.

I was too busy enjoying their enjoyment of our district to think about social media and I’m grateful for that.


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