365 days of gratitude

June 4, 2018

Among those who received Queen’s Birthday honours are many that most of have never heard of.

They are the people who dedicate themselves to charities, the arts, sports or other endeavours, at a great cost in time and often financially too.

They are the volunteers who make our communities and our country better and I’m grateful for them.


If I Only Had Time

June 4, 2018

John Rowles has been knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours:

Sir John Rowles has been appointed a Knight Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to entertainment in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“I think it’s just a wonderful thing to have at my age and point in my career,” Sir John said.

“It’s something I can carry with a lot of pride on my shoulders through everything that I’ve achieved in the world – from Kawerau to New York.” . .


Untouchable Girls

June 4, 2018

The Topp Twins, Jules and Lynda, have become Dames in the Queens BIrthday Honours.

They were rebels, activists. Now they’re dames.

Entertainers Jools and Lynda, the Topp Twins, were appointed Dame Companions of the New Zealand Order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Or as Jools – sorry, Dame Julie Bethridge Topp – puts it: “The rebels got their medals.” . . .


Word of the day

June 4, 2018

Hogen-mogen –  high-and-mighty; any grand or powerful person, council or authority; person having or affecting high power; powerful, grand;  (of liquor)strong.


Rural round-up

June 4, 2018

Porirua boy now a top farmer – Neal Wallace:

An extra year’s experience was the telling factor for Harepaora Ngaheu, this year’s recipient of the Ahuwhenua Young Maori Farmer award. Neal Wallace spoke to the Te Teko dairy farmer.

On June 1 Harepaora Ngaheu began contract milking on a Bay of Plenty dairy farm and, according to his long term plan, should own a dairy farm within 10 years.

It is a spectacular turnaround for someone who five years ago was drifting through life and stumbled on the dairy industry through a training course. . .

The social science of Mycoplasma – Dr Gareth Enticott and Dr Anne Galloway:

Usually when animal disease strikes, it is the advice and expertise of the veterinary sciences that is sought.

However, recent disease outbreaks such as Foot and Mouth in the UK in 2001, have led to the recognition that the social sciences should also play an important role in the management of animal disease. They should also be important to help understand and manage the impacts of mycoplasma in New Zealand.

Whilst there are some important differences between Mycoplasma and the UK’s FMD outbreak, there is already a remarkable similarity between the two events. Taking lessons from social studies of animal disease, the following issues should be of concern for all involved in the management of Mycoplasma:

1. Trust

In 2001, the outbreak of FMD in the UK was accompanied by a complete breakdown in trust between farmers, vets and the Government (Poortinga et al., 2004). Why was this? . . 

Youngsters see the light on working outdoors :

Kiwi youngsters in town and country schools are learning about the prospect of farming careers via AgriKids and TeenAg, devised by NZ Young Farmers, says its chief executive Terry Copeland.

They are funded by the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain (TDVC) Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) scheme led by DairyNZ, Fonterra, MPI and others.

AgriKids and TeenAg, respectively, inform primary and secondary schoolers about farming and its career possibilities.

Apple accolades top great season and more trees already in the ground

Hawke’s Bay’s contribution to the world’s “most competitive” apple industry is set to grow, with more than 100,000 new plantings at just one Hastings orchard alone set to further the region’s future standing.

For the fourth year running, the United States-based World Apple Review has named New Zealand’s apple industry the most competitive on the global stage, against 33 major apple growing countries.

The review, released by Belrose Inc, the world fruit market analysts, stated that the innovations emerging from New Zealand’s apple industry would increasingly impact production and marketing throughout the world and added that high productivity gains helped deliver outstanding performance, ahead of its closest rivals Chile and the United States.. . .

Fonterra pays winter milk premium but transport costs eat into profit – Gerard Hutching:

Fonterra and other processors are paying a premium for milk collected during winter but farmers have been cautioned the payments are not the bonanza they seem.

South Island farmers are especially finding it hard to make a good profit because their milk has to be transported to Christchurch, for which they pay a higher transport surcharge.

In the North Island, Fonterra pays an average of $3.15 per kilogram of milksolids for the months of June and July – totalling $9.90 (based on the base price being $6.75 kg/MS). . .

The Perth Valley Project – what is it all about?

As reported in previous updates, we have recently begun working in collaboration with the Department of Conservation and Predator Free 2050 Limited on a new research programme at a 12,000 hectare site within the Perth River Valley (South Westland).

Earlier this month we worked with West Coast Film to produce a short video about this ambitious and exciting programme of work, which aims to completely remove possums (and potentially rats) from the site and prevent them from re-establishing. . . 

Move over kale – steak is the new superfood – Amanda Radke:

Despite the decline in beef consumption in recent decades, America’s favorite protein is still a punching bag for many of our nation’s health woes. From cancer to diabetes to heart disease and more, everyone loves to point the finger at beef and ignore the fact that this product is a nutritional powerhouse packed with zinc, protein, highly absorbable iron, B vitamins and brain-fueling saturated fats.

Yet, this misguided rhetoric is complete white noise when we begin to look at diets that avoid animal fats and proteins altogether.

In a recent article from The Telegraph, Sarah Knapton studies* the long-term effects of vegetarian diets. Her conclusion — going meatless can lead to genetic mutations that raise the risk of heart disease and cancer.

(*I have no idea of the scientific value of this study)

 


Drawn Out

June 4, 2018

Funny People don’t always have funny lives.

Tom Scott’s life has had lots of unfunny times but in his autobiography Drawn Out his stilettos sharp observations and dry wit make for very funny reading.

Although he writes of his gauge being on full self-pity later, there is no trace of that with the light and witty touch he applies to his impoverished childhood with his angry, alcoholic father.

In his book he recounts stories of people and events which changed New Zealand and the world as well as touching on his own deprived childhood, and his student days, career and family life.

As a political columnist and cartoonist he mixed with politicians, media and other people, including Sir Edmund Hillary and John Clarke, who made, or covered, the news from New Zealand and around the world.

He also claims the line New Zealanders going to Australia raise the IQ on both sides of the Tasman as his own and says it was taken by Rob Muldoon.

The front cover describes it as a seriously funny memoir. It is and I recommend it as a must-read for anyone interested in politics, history or life.

Drawn Out published by Allen & Unwin.


Sir Bill has earned his title

June 4, 2018

Former Prime Minister, long serving MP and genuinely good man, Bill English has more than earned the title conferred on him in the Queen’s Birthday honours.

Wallace, the electorate he first won, and Clutha Southland the biggest general electorate in the country, which it grew into under MMP were blue seats.

But it takes hard work, a genuine interest in people and the determination to make a positive difference for them to earn the loyalty and respect from constituents he did.

In the run up to the 2001 election and its aftermath he showed a lot more loyalty to his colleagues and some in the party than they did to him, but as he told us during the election campaign last year, he got back up again.

He did that through hard work, determination and focus not on ideology but on what was wrong and how to make it better.

Soon after he became Finance Minister he called a meeting of senior people from the welfare ministry.  One question he asked was who was responsible for getting people off benefits.

The answer was no one. Bill said that had to change and under his leadership of the social investment approach it did.

The way New Zealand came through the GFC, the focus on the quality of spending rather than the quantity, and the willingness to spend more upfront to reduce long term costs are a very positive reflection on him.

So is the very healthy state that his government left the books in.

The position of Finance Minister demands gravitas. When he became Prime Minister he showed his warmth and wit, and also,the strength of his family.

He isn’t only a good politician, he was an exemplary boss.

One way to judge a politician is by the way they treat their staff. Joanne Black wrote this of Bill:

On my worst day in the Beehive, I inadvertently emailed a sensitive document to someone outside the building with the same name as the intended recipient, who worked for another minister. The person who received it behaved honourably and nothing came of it, and the next day it became public anyway, as intended.

But I will never forget my torment when I realised there was nothing I could do that could fix my error. That was the only occasion I have ever deliberately banged my head against something – my desk, in this case. (It hurt, and it didn’t bring back the email. I do not recommend it.)

Key’s chief of staff, Wayne Eagleson, came in to work out what to do. I went to Bill’s office and waited for a meeting to end so I could tell him what I’d done. He listened, looked down at his papers and said, “Bugger.”

Although my actions must have disappointed him, he did not raise an eyebrow, much less his voice. You need to be more than just a decent person to succeed in politics.

A minister and a Prime Minister who were not only politically on top of their game, but also believed in public service and were calm and humane in that high-stakes environment, inspired great staff loyalty. . .

Another way to judge a politician is by the way they value volunteers.

The grapevine told Bill that I was facing a very difficult situation. He was Prime Minister at the time and there were several particularly challenging matters he was dealing with but on a morning when he had many much more important matters to deal with, he took the time to phone me.

When I thanked him, I said we were immensely grateful for the practical and moral support we were getting, that it really did help to know people cared and that friends all round the world were praying for us. He said, “I will be too,” and meant it.

He is a good man who served his people and his country well. He is no longer in politics but he will still be in service.

For all that and more he has earned his knighthood.

The full Honours List is here.


Quote of the day

June 4, 2018

Life is like a field, where we must gather what we grow, weed or wheat… this is the law, we reap the crop we sow.- Patience Strong who was born on this day in 1907.


June 4 in history

June 4, 2018

1039 Henry III became Holy Roman Emperor.

1584 Sir Walter Raleigh established the first English colony on Roanoke Island, old Virginia (now North Carolina).

1615 Siege of Osaka: Forces under the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu took Osaka Castle.

1738 King George III was born (d. 1820).

1760 Great Upheaval: New England planters arrived to claim land in Nova Scotia taken from the Acadians.

1769 A transit of Venus was followed five hours later by a total solar eclipse, the shortest such interval in history.

1783 The Montgolfier brothers publicly demonstrated their montgolfière(hot air balloon).

1792 Captain George Vancouver claimed Puget Sound for Great Britain.

1794 British troops captured Port-au-Prince in Haiti.

1802 Grieving over the death of his wife, Marie Clotilde of France, KingCharles Emmanuel IV of Sardinia abdicated in favor of his brother, Victor Emmanuel.

1825 French-American Revolutionary War: General Lafayette spoke at what would become Lafayette Square, Buffalo during his United States visit.

1859 Italian Independence wars: In the Battle of Magenta, the French army, under Louis-Napoleon, defeated the Austrian army.

1862 American Civil War: Confederate troops evacuated Fort Pillow on the Mississippi River, leaving the way clear for Union troops to take Memphis, Tennessee.

1876 The Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco, via the First Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after leaving New York City.

1878 Cyprus Convention: The Ottoman Empire ceded Cyprus to the United Kingdom but retained nominal title.

1879 Mabel Lucie Attwell, English children’s author and illustrator, was born (d. 1964).

1907 Patience Strong, English poet and journalist was born (d. 1990).

1912 Massachusetts became the first state of the United States to set a minimum wage.

1913 Emily Davison, a suffragette, ran out in front of King George V’s horse, Anmer, at the Epsom Derby.

1917 The first Pulitzer Prizes were awarded: Laura E. Richards, Maude H. Elliott, and Florence Hall received the first Pulitzer for biography (forJulia Ward Howe). Jean Jules Jusserand receivesd the first Pulitzer for history for his work With Americans of Past and Present Days. Herbert B. Swope received the first Pulitzer for journalism for his work for the New York World.

1919 The U.S. Congress approved the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which guaranteed suffrage to women, and sent it to the U.S. states for ratification.

1920 Hungary loset 71% of its territory and 63% of its population when the Treaty of Trianon was signed in Paris.

1923 Elizabeth Jolley, Australian writer, was born (d. 2007).

1924 Tofilau Eti Alesana, Prime Minister of Samoa, was born (d. 1999).

1927 Geoffrey Palmer, English actor, was born.

1928 Ruth Westheimer, German-born American sex therapist and author, was born.

1928 Chinese president Zhang Zuolin was assassinated by Japanese agents.

1932 Maurice Shadbolt, New Zealand writer, was born (d 2004).

1937 Freddy Fender, American musician, was born (d. 2006).

1937 Robert Fulghum, American author, was born.

1939 Holocaust: The MS St. Louis, a ship carrying 963 Jewish refugees, was denied permission to land in Florida, after already being turned away from Cuba. Forced to return to Europe, many of its passengers later died in Nazi concentration camps.

1940 World War II: The Dunkirk evacuation ended– British forces completed evacuation of 300,000 troops.

1940 – World War II: Nazi forces entered Paris, they finished taking control of the city 10 days later. (June 14, 1940)

1941 Kenneth G. Ross, Australian playwright and screenwriter, was born.

1942 World War II: The Battle of Midway began – Japanese Admiral Chuichi Nagumo ordered a strike on Midway Island by much of the Imperial Japanese navy.

1943 the Cromwell-Dunedin express, travelling at speed, was derailedwhile rounding a curve near Hyde in Central Otago. Twenty-one passengers were killed and 47 injured in what was at the time New Zealand’s worst-ever rail accident.

Rail tragedy at Hyde

1943 A military coup in Argentina ousted Ramón Castillo.

1944 Michelle Phillips, American singer (The Mamas & the Papas) and actress, was born.

1944 World War II: A hunter-killer group of the United States Navy captured the German submarine U-505 – the first time a U.S. Navy vessel had captured an enemy vessel at sea since the 19th century.

1944 – World War II: Rome fell to the Allies, the first Axis capital to fall.

1945 Gordon Waller, Scottish musician (Peter and Gordon), was born.

1961 Ferenc Gyurcsány, 6th Prime Minister of Hungary, was born.

1967 Stockport Air Disaster: British Midland flight G-ALHG crashed in Hopes Carr, Stockport, killing 72 passengers and crew.

1970 Tonga gained independence from the United Kingdom.

1973 A patent for the ATM was granted to Donald Wetzel, Tom Barnes and George Chastain.

1979 Daniel Vickerman, Australian rugby union player, was born.

1979 Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings took power in Ghana after a military coup in which General Fred Akuffo was overthrown.

1986 Jonathan Pollard pleaded guilty to espionage for selling top secret United States military intelligence to Israel.

1989 Ali Khamenei was elected the new Supreme Leader of Iran by the Assembly of Experts after the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

1989 – The Tiananmen Square protests were violently ended by the People’s Liberation Army.

1989 Solidarity‘s victory in the first (somewhat) free parliamentary elections in post-war Poland sparked off a succession of peaceful anti-communist revolutions in Eastern Europe, led to the creation of theContract Sejm and began the Autumn of Nations.

1989 Ufa train disaster: A natural gas explosion near Ufa, Russia, killed 575 as two trains passing each other threw sparks near a leaky pipeline.

1996 The first flight of Ariane 5 exploded after roughly 20 seconds.

2001 Gyanendra, the last King of Nepal, ascended to the throne after the massacre in the Royal Palace.

2010 – Falcon 9 Flight 1  – maiden flight of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, which launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Space Launch Complex 40.

2012 – The Diamond Jubilee Concert was held outside Buckingham Palace on The Mall, London. Organised by Gary Barlow, the concert was part of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

2015 – An explosion at a gasoline station in AccraGhana, killed  more than 200 people.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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