365 days of gratitude

June 19, 2018

North Otago tends to get a lot of blue sky cold – a frost followed by sun in clear blue skies.

It is a wee bit chilly early in the morning but the sun warms us up.

Unusually we’ve had a run of cloud and muzzle – misty drizzle – when it stays cold all day.

Last night the sky cleared, we woke up to a light frost and have had a sunny day.

Everything looks brighter and it definitely feels warmer and for that I’m very grateful.


Word of the day

June 19, 2018

Beef-witted – stupid, dull.


Rural round-up

June 19, 2018

In wake of M. Bovis, look after each other

To those who in some way are in the depths of New Zealand’s farming world, or part of the sector in some way, and to those who might not read this because they are not farmers — I’m thinking of us all, writes Mischa Clouston.

This Mycoplasma bovis is colossal. It will reach far and affect many of us in some way. In a huge, indescribable way.

I’m scared for my cattle owner friends; it must be such a heavy weight to carry just now, knowing you could lose so much.I’m scared for fellow managers or milkers; if there are no cows, do we even have a job in the dairy and beef industries? .

I’m worried for the health sector, helping support the strain and worry. But let’s not forget the agribusiness owners whose business is on farms or with product or services for cattle — the small business owners relying on the spending from farmers who may, in time, have little left in their own pots. . .

Otago water rights: ‘It’s time for this to be sorted out’ :

Water is the new gold in Otago and there is a mountain of work to bring water allocation in the area in line with the rest of the country before time runs out.

The Otago Regional Council is working to have the region’s antiquated water take regime brought in line with the Resource Management Act by the October 2021 deadline.

Water rights in Central Otago and parts of the surrounding districts were first allowed as mining rights to aid in the extraction of gold in the mid 19th century. . .

Down to earth and sharing the view glamping style – Sally Rae:

Patrick and Amber Tyrrell are genuinely living the dream.

It sounds a little like something out of a film script:  South African farmer’s son meets Waitaki Valley farmer’s daughter in a co-operative agricultural community in the Israeli desert.

Eventually, they move to the Waitaki Valley, where they build an off-the-grid home with spectacular views, and  focus on getting down to earth — literally. In February last year, Mr and Mrs Tyrrell launched Valley Views Glamping  (glamorous camping) on their property in the foothills below Mount Domett.

“It feels like we’ve found our calling in life,” Mrs Tyrrell said . .

Government needs to rethink Landcorp:

The Government needs to shrink their ownership of farms through Landcorp and use them to give young Kiwi farmers the opportunity to lease and ultimately own some of these farms, National Party spokesperson for Agriculture Nathan Guy says.

“The Government owns massive tracts of productive land through Landcorp, 385,503 hectares – or around six times the size of Lake Tāupo, even though there is little public good from Crown ownership.

“Landcorp not only provides a poor financial return to taxpayers but the Governments’ ownership of these farms is keeping Kiwi farmers out of the market. . . 

Northland farmers gain insights on Queensland beef sector:

Northland sheep and beef farmers Kevin and Annette Boyd were among a group of 20
farmers who attended a week-long educational beef tour in Queensland last month
organised by agricultural banking specialist Rabobank.

The tour featured two days at the world-renowned Beef Australia event in Rockhampton
as well as visits to a range of beef operations throughout Queensland including
Brisbane-based meat retailer Farmer in the City, Grassdale feedlot in Miles, the Roma
saleyards and Emerald-based Clissold Downs (beef trading) and SwarmFarm (agritechnology).

The tour was organised by Rabobank to provide the bank’s local and international beef
clients with an opportunity to network with other farmers and to learn more about beef
operations in Queensland. . . 

Lack of decision support tools in forestry:

Recent comments by officials and “experts” on planting one billion trees, the plight of hill country forestry and woody debris flows, have not touched on the total lack of decision support tools so that farmers and other local forest investors can make the right decisions. Without engaging a costly consultant, farmers are expected to take a risk on a 25-year land commitment in an information vacuum.

Unlike the plethora of levy and government funded systems and tools available to farmers on agricultural decisions, there is next to nothing on forestry. The forest grower levy is mostly consumed by overseas owned forestry corporates looking to protect and enhance their assets, to maintain a social license to operate in a foreign land. As a result the forest levy doesn’t get spent expanding a local forest industry. . . 

Bayer North Canterbury Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 announced:

Congratulations to Zoe Marychurch from Bell Hill who won the Bayer South Island Regional Young Viticulturist of the Year competition on Friday 15th June.

This is a new regional competition added to the Young Vit competition this year and is open to contestants from Nelson, Canterbury and Waitaki. The winner goes through to represent their own region so Marychurch will represent North Canterbury in the National Final in August.

Four contestants battled it out at Greystone in Waipara – three from North Canterbury and one from Nelson. “The calibre of the contestants was high and it was great to see their enthusiasm and passion for viticulture evident throughout the day” says Nicky Grandorge, National Co-ordinator. They were tested on a wide range of skills including budgeting, trellising, pruning and pests and diseases. . . 


So bad so soon

June 19, 2018

How did it get so bad so soon?
It’s a mess of ministers
acting like goons.
My goodness how the
mess has grewn.
How did it get so bad so soon?

With apologies to Dr Seuss, how did it get so bad so soon?

Audrey Young writes that Jacinda Ardern will forgive Winston Peters for anything, even the unforgivable.

A National MP joked this week that the Opposition didn’t want things to get so bad under Jacinda Ardern’s maternity leave that the country was desperate for her return – they just wanted a medium level of dysfunction.

That threshold was almost reached this week even before the big event, and things got worse as the week wore on.

Ardern’s faith in Winston Peters being able to manage the inevitable bush fires that will flare when she is away must be seriously undermined given that he and his party have caused many of them.

A series of accidental and deliberate mishaps has raised questions about a series of important issues including basic coalition management, ministerial conventions, the application of the “No Surprises” policy, and when a minister is not a minister. .  .

Stacey Kirk calls it a three ring circus with one ringmaster at the centre .

Consensus government in action, or a bloody awful mess? 

It’s difficult to characterise the past week as anything but the latter and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern may be worried about whether she’ll have a Government to come back to when she returns from maternity leave. . .

Patrick Gower wants the old Kelvin Davis back.

Patrick Gower on The AM Show. Credits: Video – The AM Show; Image – Newshub.

Kelvin Davis is a “wounded man walking” who better watch out, says Newshub national correspondent Patrick Gower.

The Corrections Minister on Wednesday announced plans for a new prison, but appeared to be unaware how many of its inmates would be double-bunked.

Corrections boss Ray Smith interjected after Mr Davis froze, confirming Newshub’s suggestion it would be around half.

“I get nervous before interviews,” was Mr Davis’ explanation, when asked about it on The AM Show. . . 

Duncan Garner describes government MPs as misfit kids.

. . .It’s taken them three minutes to look as shabby, arrogant and as broken-down as a third-term government suffering rampant hubris and pleading to be put out of its misery.  . .

Sue Bradford thinks the Greens are in mortal danger.

The Green’s water bottling decision exposes potentially fatal flaws and complacency at the heart of Green Parliamentary operations 

The Green parliamentary wing seem to be clueless about the mortal danger they face following news this week that their own minister, Eugenie Sage, has signed off on the sale and expansion of a water bottling plant at Otakiri Springs. . . 

Hamish Rutherford writes with Winston Peters in charge everything could be up for grabs.

. . . These are extraordinary times. Suddenly, with a Government already battling to keep business confidence up, with a story that the economy keeps on rocking, it seems as if everything is up for grabs.

We are now being handed lessons that have been coming since Peters walked into the Beehive theatrette on October 20 and announced he was forming a Government with the Left.

A Government so broad that the issues on which there is division become so amplified that they could almost appear to outnumber ones where there is consensus.

Where previous coalitions since the creation of MMP managed to keep together because the centre of power was so obvious, the timing of Peters’ action will be further unsettling. . . 

Health Minister David Clark has been accused of trying to gag a health board chair.

A leaked voicemail message appears to show Health Minister David Clark attempting to gag top health officials over the woeful state of Middlemore Hospital buildings. 

Clark has rejected the accusation, which has stemmed from audio of him telling former Counties Manukau District Health Board chair Rabin Rabindran it was “not helping” that the DHB kept commenting publicly.  

Emails suggest he also attempted to shut down the DHB from answering any questions along the lines of who knew what, and when, about the dilapidated state of Middlemore buildings. . . 

Peter Dunne asks is the coalition starting to unravel?

Almost 20 years ago, New Zealand’s first MMP Coalition Government collapsed. It was not a dramatic implosion on a major point of principle, but was provoked by a comparatively minor issue – a proposal to sell the Government’s shares in Wellington Airport – and came after a series of disagreements between the Coalition partners on various aspects of policy.

There has been speculation this week in the wake of New Zealand First’s hanging out to dry of the Justice Minister over the proposed repeal of the “three strikes” law that the same process might be starting all over again. While it is far too soon to draw conclusive parallels, the 1998 experience does set out some road marks to watch out for. . . 

Michael Reddell writes on how the government is consulting on slashing productivity growth.

 . .  I have never before heard of a government consulting on a proposal to cut the size of the (per capita) economy by anything from 10 to 22 per cent.  And, even on their numbers, those estimates could be an understatement. . . .

Quite breathtaking really.   We will give up –  well, actually, take from New Zealanders –  up to a quarter of what would have been their 2050 incomes, and in doing so we will know those losses will be concentrated disproportionately on people at the bottom.   Sure, they talk about compensation measures . . 

But the operative word there is could.  The track record of governments –  of any stripe –  compensating losers from any structural reforms is pretty weak, and it becomes even less likely when the policy being proposed involves the whole economy being a lot smaller than otherwise, so that there is less for everyone to go around.  The political economy of potential large scale redistribution just does not look particularly attractive or plausible (and higher taxes to do such redistribution would have their own productivity and competitiveness costs). . . 

And the Dominion Post lists mis-steps and mistakes and concludes:

. . .Some of this has been simply amateurish.

Such things are often a sign of a government that has outlived its mandate and begun to implode around the core of its own perceived importance. In its tiredness it can trip over the most obvious hurdles.

This Government is barely nine months old. It needs to find its feet, and quickly.

Has there ever been a government that has attracted this sort of criticism just a few months after gaining power?

How did this government get so bad so soon?


Quote of the day

June 19, 2018

Sincerity makes the very least person to be of more value than the most talented hypocrite. Charles Spurgeon who was born on this day in 1834.


June 19 in history

June 19, 2018

1179 The Norwegian Battle of Kalvskinnet –  Earl Erling Skakke  was killed, and the battle changed the tide of the civil wars.

1269 King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.

1306 The Earl of Pembroke’s army defeated Bruce’s Scottish army at theBattle of Methven.

1566 King James I of England and VI of Scotland, was born  (d. 1625).

1586 English colonists left Roanoke Island, N.C., after failing to establishEngland’s first permanent settlement in America.

1770 Emanuel Swedenborg reported the completion of the Second Coming of Christ in his work True Christian Religion.

1807  Admiral Dmitry Senyavin destroyed the Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Athos.

1816  Battle of Seven Oaks between North West Company and Hudson’s Bay Company, near Winnipeg.

1821  Decisive defeat of the Philikí Etaireía by the Ottomans at Drăgăşani (in Wallachia).

1834  – Charles Spurgeon, English pastor and author was born (d. 1892).

1846 The first officially recorded, organized baseball match was played under Alexander Joy Cartwright’s rules on Hoboken’s Elysian Fields with the New York Base Ball Club defeating the Knickerbockers 23-1. Cartwright umpired.

1850 Princess Louise of the Netherlands married Crown Prince Karl of Sweden-Norway.

1861  Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, British Field Marshal and Commander of British forces in WW I, was born (d. 1928).

1862  The U.S. Congress prohibited slavery in United States territories, nullifying the Dred Scott Case.

1865 Dame May Whitty, English entertainer, was born  (d. 1948).

1865  Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, were finally informed of their freedom.

1867  Maximilian I of the Mexican Empire was executed by a firing squad in Querétaro.

1870  After all of the Southern States were formally readmitted to the United States, the Confederate States of America ceased to exist.

1875  The Herzegovinian rebellion against the Ottoman Empire began.

1896 Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor, was born (d. 1986).

1910  The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1915  The USS Arizona (BB-39) was launched from the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York..

1929 Thelma Barlow, English actress, was born.

1934  The Communications Act of 1934 established the United States’Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

1940 The trans-Pacific liner Niagara was sunk by a German mine off the Northland coast..

Niagara sunk by German mines off Northland

1943  Race riots  in Beaumont, Texas.

1944  World War II: First day of the Battle of the Philippine Sea.

1947 Salman Rushdie, Indian author, was born.

1953  Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed at Sing Sing, in New York.

1961  Kuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom

1963 Rory Underwood, English rugby union footballer, was born.

1964  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

1966 Shiv Sena was founded in Mumbai.

1970  The Patent Cooperation Treaty was signed.

1977 Rebecca Loos, Dutch model, was born.

1981 Moss Burmester, New Zealand swimmer, was born.

1982  In one of the first militant attacks by Hezbollah, David S. Dodge, president of the American University in Beirut, was kidnapped.

1982 – The body of God’s Banker, Roberto Calvi was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge in London.

1987  Basque separatist group ETA committed one of its most violent attacks, in which a bomb is set off in a supermarket, Hipercor, killing 21 and injuring 45.

1990 The international law defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, was ratified for the first time by Norway.

2006  Prime ministers of several northern European nations participated in a ceremonial “laying of the first stone” at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen, Norway.

2009  British troops began Operation Panther’s Claw, one of the largest air operations in modern times, when more than 350 troops made an aerial assault on Taliban positions and subsequently repelled Taliban counter-attacks.

2009 – Mass riots involving over 10,000 people and 10,000 police officers break out in Shishou, China, over the dubious circumstances surrounding the death of a local chef.

2009 – Pakistani Armed Forces opened Operation Rah-e-Nijat against the Taliban and other Islamist rebels in the South Waziristan area of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.

2012 – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange requested asylum in London’s Ecuatorian Embassy for fear of extradition to the US after publication of previously classified documents including footage of civilian killings by the US army.

2014 – Felipe VI, Prince of Asturias, rose to the Spanish throne following the abdication of his father, Juan Carlos I.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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