365 days of gratitude

April 17, 2018

Monday was washing day for my mother.

The job wasn’t as arduous as it had been for her mother who had to boil a copper.

But the wringer washing machine Mum had made doing the laundry much more time consuming than the automatic one I have.

A lot of other housework is much easier now than it was for previous generations and I’m grateful for that

 


Word of the day

April 17, 2018

Beaze – to dry in the sun.


Rural round-up

April 17, 2018

Station owner hopes for ‘permanent lake’ after landslide stabilised :

A landslide between Gisborne and Wairoa which caused a large lake to form has been stabilised.

On Monday, Gisborne District Council said strategic management of the slip in Muriwai had stabilised the area, and the previously-closed Paparatu Rd had been reopened.

Last month, Hawke’s Bay Civil Defence manager Ian Macdonald said the landslide, which was likely triggered by a small, localised earthquake, had become a “significant hazard” and people were warned to stay away from it. . . 

Enthusiasm’ wins award for family:

Waipahi sheep farmers Ross, Alexa and Logan Wallace are this year’s Otago Ballance Farm Environment Awards winners.

Their win was announced at a dinner at the Lake Wanaka Centre on Friday night. Judges described the family as a supportive, close family unit with clear vision, great goal-setting and financial discipline.

“They have incredible enthusiasm and a passion to learn — taking on ideas, good use of external advice and analysing data for the best outcomes.

“They have a strong environmental focus; land and environment plan, nutrient budgeting, wetland construction, retention of biodiversity and water quality emphasis, as well as an outstanding commitment to community and industry.” . . 

Ploughing in her blood – Nicole Sharp:

Ploughing is not your ordinary type of sport, but national finalist Tryphena Carter, of Riversdale, is not your ordinary type of lady.

Driving a tractor while towing a conventional plough is not a sport most would think of getting into, but Miss Carter was born to plough.

She is now in full preparation for the New Zealand Ploughing Championships, being held at Thornbury, Southland, this weekend, where she will compete in the Silver Plough class.

She started in the sport aged 15 and these championships will be her eleventh. . . 

Environment award winners delight in swimming in rivers around their Tararua dairy farm – Jill Galloway:

The dairy farmer winners of a farm environment award are proud to be sandwiched between two swimmable rivers in Tararua.

Swimming in them was a source of pleasure after media reaction to dairying’s contribution to poor river quality, said Andrew Hardie and Helen Long.

The pair showed off their dairy operation Te Maunga Farm near Dannevirke to about 70 people at a field day celebrating their performance as supreme winners of the Horizons Ballance Farm Environment Award.

Hardie said it was a robust, sustainable and profitable farm, which enabled them to fence off almost 14 kilometres of riparian strips. . .

First skin-pack cuts dispatched:

Alliance Group has dispatched its first major shipment of product in vacuum skin tray packaging to Hong Kong following a successful trial.

Skin packaging is technology that hermetically seals right to the edge of the meat cut, extending its chilled shelf life for up to 11 weeks, retaining colour and optimising meat tenderness. . . 

 

Chairman and incumbent director returned to Silver Fern Farms Co-Operative Board:

Rob Hewett and Fiona Hancox have been re-elected to the Silver Fern Farms’ Co-operative Limited’s Board of Directors.

The results of the election, which closed at 3.00pm on Monday, 16 February 2018, were: . .

A2 shares rise as new distribution deal opens up South Korean market – Paul McBeth

(BusinessDesk) – A2 Milk Co has signed an exclusive distribution deal with Yuhan Corp in South Korea, more than a decade after an earlier foray into that country which ended in litigation. The milk marketing firm’s shares rose 1.3 percent.

The Auckland-based, Sydney-headquartered company today signed an exclusive sales and distribution agreement with Yuhan to promote and distribute a2 branded products in South Korea, it said in a statement. . . 

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Fonterra to pay faster

April 17, 2018

Fonterra is changing its policy of delaying payment to trade suppliers by up to 90 days.

The dairy giant will in August return to “an industry norm” of paying small businesses on the 20th of the month following the end of the month in which an invoice is received. . .

Fonterra attracted widespread condemnation in 2016 when it changed its standard payment terms to make suppliers wait until 61 days after the end of the month to be paid. Those terms applied to the likes of tradespeople and contractors and not to farmers who supply Fonterra with milk.

It didn’t apply to farmers but it did apply to the small businesses, some of which service and supply us. Anything which increases their costs and viability poses risks to us but even if it didn’t it’s the principle.

Good businesses treat others as they would want to be treated.

The 2016 move came when milk solid price forecasts were wallowing in the doldrums at about $3.90 and was labelled “classic bully-boy tactics” by former National MP Chester Borrows.

Rob Spurway, Fonterra’s chief operating officer of global business, said Fonterra was revising its stance after listening to what its smaller suppliers had been saying.

“This is doing the right thing. It is about providing them with that transparency and certainty.”. .

Delaying payment was using small businesses as a bank, adding to their costs and adversely affecting their cash flow.

Returning to paying on the 20th of the month is the right thing.

The better thing would have been to do that all along.

 


More rivers improving than degrading

April 17, 2018

New Zealand river quality is improving:

National River Water Quality Trends released by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) today, reveal that for all river water quality parameters monitored over a 10 year period, more sites were improving than deteriorating. This encouraging national picture has been welcomed by scientists and local government who pointed to freshwater ecosystem management practices as likely contributing to the progress.

Trends analysis was led by Cawthron Institute Freshwater Group Manager and Ecologist, Dr Roger Young. He described the overall picture as encouraging and said, “Looking back from 2016 at a decade of data, for every monitored parameter, more sites showed evidence of improving water quality, than degrading.

“My hope is this could represent a turning point in New Zealand’s river health story.

“While this analysis gives us cause for optimism, water quality is just one indicator of river health and there is still more work to be done. While all parameters show there are more sites improving than degrading, there are still degrading sites for all parameters. In order to continue further improvements, we need to invest in freshwater ecosystem management, routine monitoring, and further research and innovation,” said Dr Young.

The National River Water Quality Trends (2007 – 2016) released by LAWA follows a similar 10 year analysis released in 2015 by National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Compared with the 2015 report, a change in the trend of nitrogen is particularly noteworthy, with significant progress in the number of improving sites compared with the number that are deteriorating. . . 

This report shows an encouraging trend.

However, it might not persuade the government enough is being done:

The Government is planning a more centralised regulatory approach to fresh water management and Environment Minister David Parker warns farmers he is not afraid to make unpopular decisions.

Parker indicated the shift in approach in an address to a Catchments Otago symposium on water and biodiversity issues, hosted by Otago University. 

He said he will get off the back of rural New Zealand when he sees water quality is no longer deteriorating.

“If we can’t get a collaborative outcome from stakeholders, someone has to make a decision and I’m prepared to be that person.”

The LAWA report shows that rural water quality is improving.

That has been achieved by on-farm improvements with the encouragement and education by regional councils, and industry bodies including Federated Farmers, DairyNZ and dairy companies.

The country’s recent economic growth had been at the expense of the environment, especially through the expansion and intensification of dairy and Parker was unequivocal that will no longer be the case.

Behavioural change will come only through education, regulation and price and Parker said regulation to improve compliance, monitoring and enforcement is the most important instrument.

Price? Does this forebode a new tax in the Budget?

That will be driven through changes to the National Policy Statement on Freshwater.

The document established national standards to be applied locally for emissions such as nutrient and sediment discharges, land intensification and deadlines for improvement.

Parker said he is also seeking scientific advice on appropriate nutrient and sediment loadings, the impact of beef feedlots, intensive winter grazing and cattle in waterways.

He told the 70 delegates his priority is to stop further degradation and said agriculture will have a generation to reverse damage to waterways but he expects to see some material improvement within five years.

Waterways didn’t degrade overnight. It will take time to completely reverse the degradation but the LAWA report shows improvements are happening.

Land use and land management decisions are the most common cause of water quality degradation and it has been exacerbated by agricultural intensification and what he called poor land practice by some.

The speed with which dairying expanded caught local and central government by surprise as the sector sought to produce dairy products for Asia but now exceeds carrying capacity in some areas.

Parker believed possible solutions are to shift to high value horticulture and cropping.

It is the government’s role to set standards, not to dictate how they will be achieved. Horticulture and cropping can degrade water too.

Farmers have a vested interest in ensuring waterways on and near their farms are clean.

That’s the water we drink and swim in.

Any action taken by government to further improve water quality must be based on facts.

It should acknowledge that waterways in irrigated areas is cleaner than those without irrigation and that water quality in urban areas is often much worse than that in the country.

 


Quote of the day

April 17, 2018

I know of a cure for everything: salt water…in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.  – Karen Blixen who was born on this day in 1885.


April 17 in history

April 17, 2018

1397  Geoffrey Chaucer told the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II.

1492 Spain and Christopher Columbus signed the Capitulations of Santa Fefor his voyage to Asia to acquire spices.

1521 Martin Luther spoke to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1524 Giovanni da Verrazzano reached New York harbour.

1555 After 18 months of siege, Siena surrendered to the Florentine-Imperial army. The Republic of Siena was incorporated into the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

1620 Marguerite Bourgeoys, founder of the Congregation of Notre Dame, was born (d. 1700) .

1797  Sir Ralph Abercromby attacked San Juan, Puerto Rico in what became one of the largest invasions of the Spanish territories in America.

1820 – The American sealer General Gates was sent to Sydney under guard.

<em>General Gates</em> sent to Sydney under guard

1820 Alexander Joy Cartwright, Inventor of the Modern Game of Baseball, was born (d. 1892).

1837  J. P. Morgan, American financier, was born  (d. 1913) .

1861 American Civil War: Virginia seceded from the United States.

1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Plymouth began.

1865 – Ursula Ledóchowska, Polish-Austrian nun and saint, founded the Congregation of the Ursulines of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus was born (d. 1939).

1865 Mary Surratt was arrested as a conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

1880 New Zealand’s first inter-city brass band contest was held.

First inter-city brass band contest

1885 Karen Blixen (Isak Dinesen), Danish author, was born (d. 1962) .

1895 The Treaty of Shimonoseki between China and Japan was signed. This marked the end of the First Sino-Japanese War, the defeated Qing Empire was forced to renounce its claims on Korea and to concede the southern portion of the Fengtien province, Taiwan and the Pescadores Islands to Japan.

1905 The Supreme Court of the United States decided Lochner v. New Yorkwhich held that the “right to free contract” was implicit in the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

1907 The Ellis Island immigration centre processed 11,747 people, more than on any other day.

1916 – Win Maung, 3rd President of Union of Myanmar, was born (d. 1989).

1918 William Holden, American actor, was born  (d. 1981).

1924 – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios was formed by the merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company.

1925  – René Moawad, Lebanese lawyer and politician, 13th President of Lebanon, was born (d. 1989).

1929 James Last, German band leader, was born.

1941 World War II: The Kingdom of Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany.

1942 French prisoner of war General Henri Giraud escaped from his castle prison in Festung Königstein.

1945 Brazilian forces liberated the town of Montese, Italy, from German forces.

1946 – Clare Francis, English sailor and author, was born.

1949 At midnight 26 Irish counties officially left the British Commonwealth. A 21-gun salute on O’Connell Bridge, Dublin, ushered in the Republic of Ireland.

1957  Nick Hornby, English author, was born.

1961 Bay of Pigs Invasion: A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1964 The Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Mustang at the New York World’s Fair.

1964  Jerrie Mock became the first woman to circumnavigate the world by air.

1969 Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of assassinating Robert F. Kennedy.

1969 Czechoslovakian Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubček was deposed.

1970 Apollo 13 returned to Earth safely.

1971 The People’s Republic of Bangladesh formed, under Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

1971  Sierra Leone became a republic.

1973 German counter-terrorist unit GSG 9 founded.

1974 Victoria Beckham, English singer (Spice Girls), was born.

1975  The Cambodian Civil War ended. The Khmer Rouge captureed the capital Phnom Penh and Cambodian government forces surrendered.

1982 Patriation of the Canadian constitution in Ottawa.

1984  Police Constable Yvonne Fletcher was killed by gunfire from the Libyan People’s Bureau in London during a small demonstration outside the embassy. Ten others were wounded.

1986 The Three Hundred and Thirty Five Years’ War between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly ended.

2006 – Sami Hammad, a Palestinian suicide bomber, detonated an explosive device in Tel Aviv, killing 11 people and injuring 70.

2012 – Ilias Ali, organizing secretary of Bangladesh Nationalist Party and a former MP, disappeared from Dhaka with his chauffeur, allegedly abducted by government forces.

2013 – An explosion at a fertiliser plant in the city of West, Texas, kills 15 people and injures 160 others.

2014 – NASA’s Kepler confirmed the discovery of the first Earth-size planetin the habitable zone of another star.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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