365 days of gratitude

April 18, 2018

The weather which brought a light shower to our place last night left a sprinkling of snow on the Kakanui mountains.

They stood out against the blue sky this morning, freshly dressed in white, reminding me again how blessed we are to live where nature treats us to such beauty and for that I’m grateful.


Word of the day

April 18, 2018

Exculpatory – tending to clear from a charge of fault or guilt; removing blame; exonerative.


Rural round-up

April 18, 2018

Government should use tertiary funding to push Kiwis into primary industries– Sarah Perriam:

Imagine two high school students.

One drops out to work in a factory.

The other finishes school, and now travels the world with chefs and photographers.

They’re both 25 years old, and earning $100,000.

How did they do it? They chose to work in the ‘food’ industry, which has for too long been called a ‘primary’ industry. . . 

Interim climate change committee immediately asked how to deal with agricultural emissions – Henry Cooke:

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced the members of a climate change committee and asked them to look at how to get agricultural emissions down.

The interim committee is chaired by David Prentice, who was most recently CEO and managing director of infrastructure firm Opus International Consultants, and features former Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Jan Wright.

The interim group will be replaced when an independent Climate Change Commission takes over in May of 2019, when Shaw hopes to pass a Zero Carbon Act, with an amendment at select committee to deal with agriculture. . . 

MPI committed to efficient Mycoplasma bovis compensation payouts:

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is committed to helping farmers affected by the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis receive their due compensation and is working hard to process all current claims.

MPI’s director of response, Geoff Gwyn says MPI has not yet received compensation claims relating to its decision to direct the cull of some 22,000 cattle on infected properties, which MPI announced last month.

“However, we are aware some farmers are nervous about compensation timeframes and I would like to provide reassurance that we are running as fast and efficient a process as possible. . . 

$35,000 paid for Holstein calf – Sally Rae:

A six-week-old heifer calf from North Otago’s Busybrook Holsteins is believed to have set a New Zealand record, selling for $35,000.

The Bayne family held an on-farm “gold label” sale near Duntroon on Friday. The offering included both North American genetics and high-indexing New Zealand-bred cows.

The sale comprised calves, heifers and in-milk cows, with 45 lots sold in total – averaging more than $6700 and grossing $303,200. Buyers came from Northland to Southland, PGG Wrightson agent Andrew Reyland said. . . 

Providing insight into primary industries – Sally Rae:

She calls herself a multipotentialite.

Primary industries advocate Chanelle O’Sullivan wears a lot of hats and there is so much more to her than her Instagram handle, Just A Farmer’s Wife, would lead you to believe.

Indeed, she is a farmer’s wife, but she is also the mother of two energetic young children, an entrepreneur, a social media specialist, a futurist and someone with a never-ending source of ideas.

“Wherever I see anything, I see an opportunity,” she said.

Now she is getting excited about her latest venture — a business that combines her passion for the primary industries and technology to highlight New Zealand’s produce, careers, environment and skills. . .

Seeing trees for the wood :

The forestry sector is fired up with discussion about how to meet the Government’s One Billion Trees planting initiative. Partnering with red meat farmers to help them achieve what they want to achieve with trees in their businesses will be important to persuade any change of land-use, those attending a recent conference heard.

Delegates from throughout the forestry sector were in Wellington last month at ForestWood 2018 (21 March), a pan-sector conference drawing people from forestry companies to wood and paper manufacturers. . . 


That was then . . .

April 18, 2018

Remember how hard Labour and the Green Party campaigned against the then-National Government’s appointing commissioners to Environment Canterbury?

That was then, this is now:

National Party spokesperson for Greater Christchurch Regeneration has welcomed the decision by Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta to follow the previous National Governments’ approach to keep the current Environment Canterbury (ECan) board.

“Nanaia Mahuta is making a sensible decision to keep the current ECan Board and returning to a full democracy at the 2019 local body election, as the previous National Government had planned,” Ms Wagner says.

“Labour made plenty of noise about the lack of full democracy in Canterbury whilst in Opposition. Both present Ministers Eugenie Sage and Megan Woods led an aggressive campaign to have full elections immediately.

“Yet again, now that Labour is in Government it has abandoned its policy and is continuing with the plan started by National.

“Our long-term approach whilst in Government was designed to improve the standards at ECan. In 2009, the previous Government appointed commissioners to ECan following repeated poor performance by the council in achieving their regulatory requirements.

“Thanks to the hard work of the commissioners and the strong, sensible leadership of Dame Margaret Bazley and David Bedford, Canterbury now has one of the best performing regional councils in New Zealand.

“This has always been about making good decisions for Canterbury. The commissioners were put in to complete the water management plan for Canterbury which had languished under the leadership of the previous council.

“Nanaia Mahuta’s decision shows that the long-term plan started in 2009 has been effective. Half of the members on ECan were elected in 2016 and the plan had long been for the full council to be elected in 2019.”

ECan wasn’t working with elected councillors.

Commissioners have improved performance. Half the board are now elected members and as National planned, all members will be elected at the next local body elections next year.


Farmers want Molesworth to stay as farm

April 18, 2018

Farmers want the country’s biggest farm Molesworth Station to stay as a farm.

. . .The Department of Conservation started an online survey on the future of Molesworth Station, between Marlborough and Canterbury, in January to gauge public appetite for a radical rethink of the farm.

The survey follows up a 2013 management plan for the 180,000-hectare Molesworth, about the size of Stewart Island, which looked to move the station away from its traditional farming focus to include more recreation and conservation activities.

But Molesworth neighbour Steve Satterthwaite, of Muller Station, said getting rid of farming could create “major ramifications” for the environment.

“As far as Molesworth is concerned, I believe it should continue to be farmed and there’s plenty of reasons as to why,” he said.

Without farming, there could be pest problems and weed issues, as well as a huge fire risk, Satterthwaite said.

Weeds, pests and fires don’t observe farm boundaries.

Any weed and pest management and fire prevention measures farmers do can be nullified if their neighbours aren’t doing their best too.

It was concerning the public could weigh in on the future of the Molesworth and potentially “sway” what happened with the station, he said.

“It really concerns me that unaffected people that have no knowledge of the utilisation of Molesworth and the risk associated with not farming it can potentially have the input to sway the politicians or the decision-makers because of their numerical numbers,” he said.

“We are in the east of dry land zones, and if the fuel was allowed to be completely uncontrolled and public have unlimited access, the risk of a major fire in that environment would be one that would need to be considered seriously.” . . 

Middlehurst Station farmer Susan Macdonald said she would like to see farming at the station continue, with the possibility of providing a little more public access.

She said it was “important” for farming at the station to continue for pest and weed reasons.

“I would like to see it continue to be farmed in harmony with the environment and in harmony with people.

“There’s a lot of land there and I think it’s got a huge value in terms of agriculture.” . . 

J Bush & Sons Honey co-owner Murray Bush said the “status quo” needed to continue into the future.

“I think there is a good balance between public access and farming but not having farming would actually make the property go backwards, I believe, and then it wouldn’t have that same appeal to the public,” he said.

Bush said allowing public access to the station year-round could create a safety risk.

“If you open the road 52 weeks of the year and let people just do what they want … if it was never closed and it was open, there’s no communication up there so unless there’s millions and millions and millions of dollars going to be spent on public access safety … it’s not an environment to be taken lightly,” he said.

“Unless you’re going to employ people on the ground 52 weeks of the year just to look after the tourists, it’s a real issue and I think people underestimate that environment.” . . .

The neighbours’ concerns about changing the balance between farming and access are valid.

The road through Molesworth is closed in winter and can be closed in summer if the fire risk rises.

That is necessary for public safety and to protect the environment.

Molesworth is farmed by Landcorp which makes a very small return on capital but income from the farm offsets the costs of weed and pest control, and grazing reduces the fire danger.

The station generates an income, looks after the environment and allows some public access.

If the area farmed is reduced the income will drop, even if DoC lets commercial concessions for access,  and costs will increase.

Molesworth is the country’s biggest farm and it should continue to be farmed.


Quote of the day

April 18, 2018

I’m a good person, I hope. But I’m never as good as I want to be, never as nice as I want to be, never as generous as I want to be.David Tennant who celebrates his 47th birthday today.


April 18 in history

April 18, 2018

1025 Bolesław Chrobry was crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.

1480 Lucrezia Borgia, Florentine ruler and daughter of Pope Alexander VI, was born  (d. 1519) .

1506 The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica was laid.

1518  Bona Sforza was crowned as queen consort of Poland.

1738 Real Academia de la Historia (“Royal Academy of History”) founded in Madrid.

1775  American Revolution: The British advancement by sea began; Paul Revere and other riders warned the countryside of the troop movements.

1783 Fighting ceased in the American Revolution, eight years to the day since it began.

1797 The Battle of Neuwied – French victory against the Austrians.

1831 The University of Alabama was founded.

1840 – Samuel Revans printed the first newspaper in New Zealand.

Samuel Revans prints first newspaper

1847 A Maori raid on the Gilfillan farm at Matarawa, near Wanganui, left four family members dead.

Gilfillan killings near Wanganui

1848 American victory at the battle of Cerro Gordo opened the way for invasion of Mexico.

1880 An F4 tornado struck Marshfield, Missouri, killing 99 people and injuring 100.

1881  Billy the Kid escaped from the Lincoln County jail.

1889 Jessie Street, Australian suffragette, feminist, and human rights activist, was born (d. 1970) .

1899 The St. Andrew’s Ambulance Association was granted a Royal Charter by Queen Victoria.

1902  Quetzaltenango, second largest city of Guatemala, was destroyed by Earthquake.

1906 The 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire destroyed much of San Francisco.

1906 – The Los Angeles Times story on the Azusa Street Revival launched Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement.

1909 Joan of Arc was beatified in Rome.

1912  The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brought 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.

1915 Joy Gresham Lewis, American writer, wife of C. S. Lewis, was born (d. 1960) .

1915 French pilot Roland Garros was shot down and glided to a landing on the German side of the lines.

1923 Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built,” opened.

1924 Simon & Schuster published the first Crossword puzzle book.

1927 – Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Polish journalist and politician, Prime Minister of Poland, was born (d. 2013).

1930 BBC Radio infamously announced that there was no news on that day.

1930 Clive Revill, New Zealand born actor, was born.

1940 Mike Vickers, British guitarist and saxophonist was born.

194411  – Michael D. Higgins, Irish sociologist and politician, 9th President of Ireland was born.

1942 World War II: The Doolittle Raid – Tokyo, Yokohama, Kobe and Nagoya bombed.

1942 – Pierre Laval became Prime Minister of Vichy France.

1943 World War II: Operation Vengeance, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto was killed when his aircraft was shot down by U.S. fighters over Bougainville Island.

1945 More than 1,000 bombers attacked the small island of Heligoland, Germany.

1946 Hayley Mills, English actress, was born.

1946 The League of Nations was dissolved.

1949  The Republic of Ireland Act came into force.

1954 Gamal Abdal Nasser seized power in Egypt.

1955 Twenty-nine nations met at Bandung, Indonesia, for the first Asian-African Conference.

1958 A United States federal court ruled that poet Ezra Pound was to be released from an insane asylum.

1961 CONCP was founded in Casablanca as a united front of African movements opposing Portuguese colonial rule.

1962 – Nick Farr-Jones, Australian rugby player and sportscaster, was born.

1971 David Tennant, Scottish actor, was born.

1974 The prime Minister of Pakistan Zulfikar Ali Bhutto inaugurated Lahore Dry port.

1980 – The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) came into being, with Canaan Banana as the first President.

1983 – A suicide bomber destroyed the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.

1988 The United States launched Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II.

1992 – General Abdul Rashid Dostum revolted against PresidentMohammad Najibullah of Afghanistan and allied with Ahmed Shah Massoud to capture Kabul.

1993 – President of Pakistan, Ghulam Ishaq Khan dissolved the National Assembly and dismissed the Cabinet.

1996 In Lebanon, at least 106 civilians were   killed when the Israel Defence Forces shelled the UN compound at Quana where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge.

2007  The Supreme Court of the United States upheld the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act in a 5-4 decision.

2007 – A series of bombings, two of them suicides,  in Baghdad, killed 198 and injured 251.

2013 – A suicide bombing in a Baghdad cafe killed 27 people and injured another 65.

2014 – 16 people were killed in an avalanche on Mount Everest.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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