366 days of gratitude

April 19, 2018

We’ve been having heating problems – again.

The weather has been warm, so we haven’t missed it too much,  and the fix-it man turned up today, worked his magic and got the motor which heats the water which heats the house going again for which I”m grateful.


Word of the day

April 19, 2018

Equivocate – to use equivocal language especially with intent to deceive; to avoid committing oneself in what one says; to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate or hedge; speak in a way that is intentionally not clear and confusing to other people, especially to hide the truth.


Rural round-up

April 19, 2018

Zespri says Gold3 licensing tender to generated as much as $195M in 2018 – Rebecca Howard:

 (BusinessDesk) – Zespri Group said corporate revenue from the 2018 allocation of the Gold3 license release will be $190 million to $195 million, or around $253,000-to-$260,000 per hectare, a figure that is up on the prior year.

The range is the combined revenue estimate resulting from 700 hectares of Gold3 licence, and 50 hectares of Gold3 Organic new development licence, both released under a closed tender bid mechanism, New Zealand’s statutory kiwifruit exporter said in a release. The validation process for all bids is still ongoing and all bidders will be notified of their outcome from May 1. . . .

Water quality results show pleasing improvements:

Federated Farmers says all the hard work being done to improve our freshwater quality is starting to pay off.

The release of the National River Water Quality Trends by Land, Air, Water Aotearoa (LAWA) show that many more sites are improving than deteriorating for all the river water quality parameters monitored over a 10 year period.

“There are lots of good things going on, both urban and rural, to help improve the quality of our waterways,” Federated Farmers water and environment spokesperson Chris Allen says.

“It is very good news. To see that the effort being made is starting to show results.” . . 

Bigger role for water companies in farm strategy:

Irrigation companies have a bigger role to play in helping farmers make strategic decisions on land use, future innovation strategist Roger Dennis says.

Dennis is a key-note speaker at Agri Innovation in Ashburton on 2 May, held jointly by MHV Water, Ashburton Lyndhurst Irrigation and Barrhill Chertsey Irrigation.

He says many organisations influence farmers, but none is more agnostic about how farmers use their land than the company that delivers their water. . . 

Irrigation body confident of big projects despite govt cuts

Irrigation New Zealand is confident that an end to government subsidies will not spell the end of large-scale irrigation projects.

The lobby group is holding its biennial conference this week and looking at the future of the sector now that the tap has been turned off on the $450 million worth of loans the previous government promised.

Under National, irrigation was seen as one of the key ways of driving economic growth, resulting in it setting up Crown Irrigation Investments, a company willing and able to dole out millions in loans to fledgling irrigation schemes.

Irrigation New Zealand chief executive Andrew Curtis said in the end it only granted a small portion of money with the most significant contributions still to come. . .

Broken food systems – developing a citizen-centric NZ food strategy – Nadine Porter:

The global devaluation of food in developed countries due to physical, digital and biological advances has been the catalyst for destruction of both social, cultural and economic systems and New Zealand, in the absence of an ethical humanity centred ‘whole food system’ risks the same deterioration and consequences, other first world nations are attempting to reverse.

Lack of understanding around the role of food as a connector in every facet of our lives not only diminishes the importance of food production – it further industrialises and negates the responsibilities of the process, which in turn reshapes the‘economic social, cultural and human context in which welive’.(1)

At a time when discourse and a disconnect between those on the land and those in built up areas is at unparalleled levels, questions and negative scrutiny has and will continue to be levelled at the New Zealand farming fraternity – the scapegoats and the legacy of citizens who have been progressively severed from their local food systems. . . 

Govt risking rural communities’ mental health:

The Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will begin shutting its doors due to a lack of support from the Government and may not be able to provide vital mental health services into the future, National Party spokesperson for Mental Health Matt Doocey and National Party spokesperson for Rural Communities Matt King say.

“It has been confirmed that RHAANZ will begin shutting its doors because they don’t have critical infrastructure to hold Government contacts, including the rural mental health initiative,after the Government failed to commit funding to ensure the alliance could continue,” Mr Doocey says. . . 

Government again targets regional New Zealand:

National stands behind New Zealand’s international commitments to reducing emissions but has cautioned against drastic action which will unfairly impact New Zealand farmers and businesses, spokesperson for Climate Change Todd Muller says.

“The Government has today established an Interim Climate Change Committee that will work on New Zealand’s efforts to meet our international climate change commitments – and right away set it the task of targeting regional New Zealand.

“New Zealand’s international commitments were made by the previous National Government because we believe New Zealand can and should play its part – but that we must do so in a sustainable way. . . 

Wintering practices important for farm economics and environment – Bala Tikkisetty:

The weather already this year has been a mixed bag of wet and dry. The winter season is now around the corner and who knows what that will bring!

Soil health damage during winter has been recognised as a significant issue for the farming community. It coincides with high stock densities and high soil moisture conditions.

It’s general practice during winter to graze stock intensively on winter forage crops supplying large quantities of feed in a relatively small area. . . 


Thursday’s quiz

April 19, 2018

You are invited to pose the questions.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win a virtual batch of apple muffins.


Private property is private regardless of size

April 19, 2018

Increasing numbers of visitors are increasing problems for landowners who may restrict or refuse access.

This was one of the issue identified by Walking Access Commission Ara Hīkoi Aotearoa in the South Island High Country Access Report.

One landholder, who has a popular walkway that crosses his property, spoke of the numbers of people increasing from approximately 30,000 per year in 2013 to an expected 70-100,000 people in 2017.

While most private landholders, the Department of Conservation and local authorities all agreed that the percentage of poorly behaved visitors wasn’t getting worse, the number increases mean the impact of poor behaviour is still growing.

One noted issue was the impact of the internet making it harder to predict which walks/areas will become popular – one viral Instagram post or YouTube video can result in thousands more people coming to a place previously only known to locals.

Increased numbers and unpredictability are also making landholders warier of opening new access points. A farmer happy to have a track with 1000 people per year might be less willing to do so if they are fearful they will instead have 20,000 people per year.

With more people you get more problems with people who don’t understand outdoor etiquette – leave gates as you find them, don’t disturb stock, take only photos, leave only footprints. . .

Friends have a musterers’ hut near a walking trail. Trampers found the key, went into the hut, turned on the gas, used it and left it on, left rubbish then posted where to find the key on social media.

Many interviewees pointed out that numbersin themselves are not necessarily a bad thing, but rather it is the unpredictability and thelack of control over where people go that can cause problems. Positives of increased numbers include more money owing into regions, and more opportunities for farmers to diversify their income streams to help subsidise bad years in their core operation – such as accommodation on trails, concessions for guided tours, and more. . . 

The lack of appropriate infrastructure to go along with tracks and trails was noted repeatedly, in particular a lack of toileting facilities and the impact that has on the environment. . . 

Who pays for the infrastructure and attends to its upkeep? Landowners who get no return for access don’t want to, nor do councils with small rating bases when most of the visitors aren’t ratepayers.

The report looks at the different wants of cyclists, mountain bikers, day walkers, trampers, horse riders, hunters and fishers and then summerises:

A focus on public access, and the associated infrastructure, is necessary to ensure that locals and domestic tourists can experience and enjoy New Zealand’s great outdoors, and that tourists have a positive experience that turns them into ambassadors for our tourism industry. As well as economic development opportunities, easy and  enjoyable public access opportunities can benefit public health through increased exercise and active transport methods. 

In order to achieve the full benefits, the areas that need to be addressed are:

Numbers
Create new access opportunities through the area, with a focus on opportunities that will prove attractive to people currently using tracks and trails that are over or near capacity. Also focus on activities that are currently under catered for, such as horseriding. 

Pilot new methods of digital and other communication to help direct tourist traffic to areas that have capacity, and away from areas that are over capacity.

Find solutions to manage access, in particular on working farms and in sensitive conservation areas, to ensure negative impact is minimised.

Infrastructure
New funding streams, in particular for lowratepayer base councils, to enable central and local government agencies to build appropriate public access infrastructure such as toilets and carparks.

Clarify who is responsible for access infrastructure where private landholders have gifted secure access, and on tracks and trails that cross multiple land tenure types.

Explore funding options for ‘less sexy’ maintenance and infrastructure that volunteer groups currently find it difficult to fundraise for.

Collect better data that allows for more reliable future modelling, so infrastructure can be built ahead of or alongside increasing demand, rather than always playing catch-up.

Information
Creation of a single, trustworthy digital source of information on where people can go in the outdoors and what they can do there, regardless of land ownership.

Integration of safety information where necessary in this information source.

Behaviour
Funding to address systemic behaviour issues, such as rubbish bins, multi-lingual signage etc.

Explore resources targeted at international tourists on appropriate behaviour – perhaps in conjunction with airlines or rental car companies.

A focus on education at a school and university level to teach people about how to behave in the outdoors from a young age so it stays with them for life.

Connections
Coordination between agencies to do landscape level planning for tracks and trails, to connect existing ones to each other, to local amenities and to population centres, with the authority to work alongside the Department of Conservation, local government, iwi and community groups to coordinate planning and activities.

A role for this agency in Tenure Review and Overseas Investment Act processes, as key ways of creating new access.

That is all very reasonable but overlooks one very important fact.

Private property is private property regardless of size.

No-one would expect open access for recreation on a small private section in town but some don’t understand they aren’t entitled to do that on bigger properties in the country.

Rural landowners has the exact same right to quiet enjoyment of their properties and the exact same rights to allow, restrict or refuse access as urban property owners.

That many are becoming increasingly less open to public access isn’t helped by politically anti-farmer rants like this from Fish and Game although it is calling for curbs on tourism numbers in the high country.


Quote of the day

April 19, 2018

It’s amazing how we will suffer pain and abuse to keep our lives predictable. We’ll let our inner voices brutalize us, rather than live with the possibility that we might be wrong about how we see things. We’ll think, ‘Well at least it’s a pain that’s familiar’. Uncertainty.Ruby Wax who celebrates her 65th birthday today.


April 19 in history

April 19, 2018

65 – The freedman Milichus betrayed Piso’s plot to kill the Emperor Nero and all the conspirators were arrested.

531 – Battle of Callinicum: A Byzantine army under Belisarius was defeated by the Persian at Ar-Raqqah (northern Syria).

1012 – Martyrdom of Alphege in Greenwich, London.

1529 At the Second Diet of Speyer, a group of rulers and independent cities protested the reinstatement of the Edict of Worrms, beginning the Protestant Reformation.

1587 –  Francis Drake sank the Spanish fleet in Cádiz harbour.

1686 – Vasily Tatishchev, Russian ethnographer and politician was born (d. 1750).

1713 With no living male heirs, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, issued the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 to ensure that Habsburg lands and the Austrian throne would be inherited by his daughter, Maria Theresa of Austria (not actually born until 1717).

1758 – William Carnegie, 7th Earl of Northesk, Scottish admiral was born (d. 1831).

1770 – Captain James Cook sighted Australia.

1770 Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI by Proxy marriage.

1775  American Revolutionary War began at the Battle of Lexington and Concord.

1782 John Adams secured the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, became the first American embassy.

1809 An Austrian corps was defeated by the forces of the Duchy of Warsaw in the Battle of Raszyn, part of the struggles of the Fifth Coalition.

1809 The Austrian main army was defeated by a First French Empire Corps led by Louis-Nicolas Davout at the Battle of Teugen-Hausen in Bavaria; part of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.

1810 Venezuela achieved home rule: Vicente Emparan, Governor of the Captaincy General was removed by the people of Caracas and a Junta was installed.

1832 – José Echegaray, Spanish poet and playwright, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1916).

1839 The Treaty of London established Belgium as a kingdom.

1847  New portico at British Museum opened

1855 Visit of Napoleon III to Guildhall, London.

1861 American Civil War: Baltimore riot of 1861, a pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, Maryland, attacked United States Army troops marching through the city.

1884 – Royal honour awarded to NZ woman for first time. – The Royal Red Cross was awarded to Miss Alice Crisp, matron of Auckland Hospital, in a ceremony at Government House, Auckland.

1877 – Ole Evinrude, Norwegian-American engineer, invented the outboard motor, was born (d. 1934).

1892 Charles Duryea claimed to have driven the first automobile in the United States.

1893 The Liberals subdivided the Cheviot Estate.

Liberals 'burst up' Cheviot Estate

1894 – Elizabeth Dilling, American author and activist was born (d. 1966).

1907 – Eliot Ness, American law enforcement agent, was born (d. 1957).

1919 Leslie Irvin of the United States made the first successful voluntary free-fall parachute jump using a new kind of self-contained parachute.

1927 Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex.

1928  The 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary was published.

1930 – Ewan Jamieson, New Zealand air marshal, was born (d. 2013).

1933 – Dickie Bird, English cricketer and umpire was born.

1935  Dudley Moore, English actor, comedian and composer, was born  (d. 2002) .

1936 First day of the Great Uprising in Palestine.

1937 – Joseph Estrada, actor and 13th President of the Philippines, was born.

1941 Alan Price, English musician (The Animals, The Alan Price Set), was born.

1942 World War II: In Poland, the Majdan-Tatarski ghetto was established, situated between the Lublin Ghetto and a Majdanek subcamp.

1943 World War II: German troops enter the Warsaw ghetto to round up the remaining Jews, beginning the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

1943 Eve Graham, Scottish singer (The New Seekers), was born.

1943 – Bicycle Day – Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately took LSD for the first time.

1946 Tim Curry, British actor, was born.

1950 – Julia Cleverdon, English businesswoman and philanthropist, was born.

1951 – General Douglas MacArthur retired from the military.

1953 – Ruby Wax, British-based Jewish-American comedian, actress, and screenwriter, was born.

1954 – Constituent Assembly of Pakistan decided Urdu and Bengali to be national languages of Pakistan.

1955 – The German automaker Volkswagen,  founded Volkswagen of America in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

1956 Actress Grace Kelly married Rainier III of Monaco.

1960 Students in South Korea held a nationwide pro-democracy protestagainst their president Syngman Rhee, eventually forcing him to resign.

1961 The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ended in success for the defenders.

1967 – Dave McKenzie set a new course record of 2 hours 15 minutes 45 seconds and became the first New Zealander to win the Boston marathon.

Dave McKenzie wins the Boston Marathon

 

1971  Siaka Stevens became first president of Sierra Leone Republic.

1971 – Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans Against the War began a five-day demonstration in Washington, DC.

1971 – Launch of Salyut 1, the first space station.

1975 India’s first satellite Aryabhata was launched.

1984 Advance Australia Fair was proclaimed as Australia’s national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.

1987 The Simpsons premiered as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show.

1989  A gun turret exploded on the USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors.

1993 The 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian building outside Waco, Texas, ended when a fire broke out. Eighty-one people died.

1993 – South Dakota governor George Mickelson and seven others were killed when a state-owned aircraft crashed in Iowa.

1995 Oklahoma City bombing: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was bombed, killing 168.

1997 – The Red River Flood of 1997 overwhelms the city of Grand Forks, ND. Fire breaks out and spreads in downtown Grand Forks, but high water levels hamper efforts to reach the fire, leading to the destruction of 11 buildings.

1999 The German Bundestag returned to Berlin.

2005 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave.

2011 – Fidel Castro resigned from the Communist Party of Cuba’s central committee after 45 years of holding the title.

2013 – Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured while hiding in a boat inside a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts.

Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia


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