365 days of gratitude

June 22, 2018

This was the scene that greeted me when I started my walk this morning.

Today I’m grateful the fog lifted and the sun shone.


Word of the day

June 22, 2018

Snowbroth – melted snow or snow and water mixed; slurry water and ice; any very cold liquid.


Rural round-up

June 22, 2018

Chinese eggs not all in one basket – Fonterra – Sudesh Kissun:

China’s digital world is second to none, but Fonterra isn’t putting all its eggs in one basket in selling fresh and packaged food.

Fonterra chief operating officer global consumer and foodservice Lukas Paravacini says the co-op is embracing e-commerce and traditional brick-and-mortar as its sales strategy.

Speaking at a recent New Zealand China Business Council conference in Auckland, Paravacini outlined lessons Fonterra has learned over the last five years while building a $3.4 billion business in China. . .

Communication seen as key in eradication – Sally Rae:

A Mycoplasma bovis-affected farmer’s heartfelt plea for communication brought a round of applause at a meeting in North Otago yesterday.

About 100 people attended the MPI roadshow at Papakaio, including Waimate farmer Martyn Jensen, who described himself as “farm No39 infected”.

He addressed the meeting reluctantly, as a dairy support farmer who was grazing heifers for a farmer whose herd was confirmed with having M. bovis.

In April, the farmer contacted Mr Jensen to tell him of the infection and, several weeks later, he was contacted by MPI.

What made it harder was they were “perfectly good” heifers and there had not been one clinical sign of the disease. . . 

‘M. bovis’ concerns aired at MPI meeting – Tom Kitchin:

Government officials say they are doing all they can to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis but there are still major concerns from farmers in the Central Otago region.

About 80 people attended a meeting held by the Ministry for Primary Industries in Alexandra yesterday.

A woman in the audience said she thought the ministry was “struggling”. . .  . . 

Rabbits not dying like flies – Nigel Malthus:

Scientists say although the new rabbit calicivirus is working as expected, farmers are not seeing the knockdown they may have hoped for.

The new strain of rabbit haemorrhagic virus disease, RHDV1-K5, was released several weeks ago at 150 sites.

Manaaki Whenua (Landcare Research) has monitored release sites since then. . .

Comvita buys 20% stake in Uruguay’s Apiter for US$6.25M to secure propolis supplies – Jonathan Underhill

(BusinessDesk) – Comvita said it has acquired 20 percent of Uruguay’s Apiter for US$6.25 million and signed a long-term supply agreement to secure another source of propolis for sales into Asia.

The purchase price is comprised of US$5.65 million in cash and milestone earnouts and US$600,000 of Comvita shares, with settlement due on July 2, Te Puke-based Comvita said in a statement. Propolis is made by bees from plant resins to protect and sterilise their hives. . .

New Zealand’s ultimate steak connoisseur judging experience:

We found New Zealand’s Ultimate Steak Connoisseur, Gretchen Binns and brought her along to help determine the country’s tastiest and most tender steak at the PGG Wrightson Steak of Origin competition. Here is her experience of the day:

Foul weather, farmers, red bands galore, Field days 2018!

The ultimate day of all days…well it was for this steak connoisseur.  And no doubt for a nervous farmer or three whose paddock to plate skills were being put to the ‘taste’.

PGG Wrightson/Beef and Lamb NZ’s Steak of Origin finals time. . .

Steady volume at end of season:

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (REINZ) shows there were 71 fewer farm sales (-13.8%) for the three months ended May 2018 than for the three months ended May 2017. Overall, there were 443 farm sales in the three months ended May 2018, compared to 418 farm sales for the three months ended April 2018 (+6.0%), and 514 farm sales for the three months ended May 2017. 1,453 farms were sold in the year to May 2018, 18.8% fewer than were sold in the year to May 2017, with 4.0% more finishing farms, 1.7% fewer dairy farms, 36.3% fewer grazing and 34.3% fewer arable farms sold over the same period.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to May 2018 was $26,219 compared to $27,212 recorded for three months ended May 2017 (-3.6%). The median price per hectare fell 4.0% compared to April. . .

 Get out of farmers’ way: In the end government interventions end up sustaining, not reducing, rural poverty – Sanjeev Sabhlok

While most other sectors were liberalised in 1991, agriculture was not. Indian farmers arguably remain among the most unfree in the world.

Some claim India won’t be able to feed itself without the government playing a hands-on role in agriculture. But countries like New Zealand and Australia with liberalised agriculture have become more productive. Each Australian farmer produces enough to feed 600 people, 150 at home and 450 overseas. Liberalisation of agriculture in 1991 in India could well have made us a middle-income nation by now. Instead, our small farmers remain under chronic stress.

Another argument, sometimes made, is that farmers are frequently seen to agitate for government support. That’s not necessarily true. Farmer organisations like the Kisan Coordination Committee and Shetkari Sangathana have for decades opposed government intervention in agriculture. After their leader Sharad Joshi passed away in 2015, new leaders like Anil Ghanwat have vigorously argued for the government to leave farmers alone. . .


Friday’s answers

June 22, 2018

Teletext gets my thanks for posing Thursday’s questions and can claim a virtual chocolate cream sponge by leaving the answers below should all of us have been stumped.


Conspiracy censorship or . . .?

June 22, 2018

Speaker Trevor Mallard  ruled out an amendment from the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill that would have made a controversial 106-house luxury development in Northland more attractive to wealthy overseas buyers.

The amendment that exempted Te Arai property development near Mangawhai from the consent provisions of the bill was inserted by the office of Associate Finance Minister David Parker, the minister in charge of the bill.

It was included in recommendations on the bill from the Labour-chaired Finance and Expenditure Committee.

That was despite concerns from National members of the committee that the inclusion of a private exemption for Te Arai development through an amendment to a public bill was inappropriate. . . 

Richard Harman wrote a comprehensive post at Politik yesterday explainging the background to this.

National’s Amy Adams questioned the minister about the issue yesterday:

3. Hon AMY ADAMS (National—Selwyn) to the Associate Minister of Finance: What is the purpose of the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill?

Hon DAVID PARKER (Associate Minister of Finance): There are three main purposes. The first is to ban foreign buyers of existing New Zealand homes; the second is to bring forestry registration rights into the overseas investment screening regime to ensure they’re treated similarly to existing screening for freehold and leasehold forests, whilst at the same time streamlining screening for forestry to encourage foreign direct investment in the forestry sector; and the third and equally important purpose is to preserve policy space for future Governments to protect the rights of New Zealanders to own their own land. This policy space would, in practice, have been lost forever had this Government not acted to do these things before the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) comes into effect.

Hon Amy Adams: Was it the policy intent of the bill for developers of multimillion-dollar homes targeted at foreign buyers, such as the Te Ārai property development, to be exempt?

Hon DAVID PARKER: No. The transitional exemption that was put forward but has been ruled out of order was put forward with the intent of helping the iwi who had suffered long delays on the project. It was a time-limited, transitional measure. There was advice from Treasury that this was procedurally appropriate to allow an exemption. However, the Speaker has advised that the select committee’s recommendation is not within the Standing Orders. The Government accepts the Speaker’s ruling, and therefore the transitional exemption will not proceed.

Hon Amy Adams: Well, is it his intention to promulgate regulations under the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill to exempt the Te Ārai development, or any other development linked to John Darby, from the provisions of that legislation?

Hon DAVID PARKER: No, and, indeed, the other regulation-making power in the bill—and the member will know this because she was on the select committee—would not allow such an exemption. . . 

Hon Amy Adams: Since becoming the Minister responsible for the Overseas Investment Amendment Bill, has he had any discussions about the bill and the proposed Te Ārai development exemption with the chairperson of the Finance and Expenditure Committee, Michael Wood; and if so, when?

Hon DAVID PARKER: Obviously on a number of occasions, but I do that with every bill that I’m responsible for.

Hon Amy Adams: Since becoming a Minister has he met, corresponded with, spoken to, or texted John Darby or Ric Kayne, as the beneficial owners of the Te Ārai development, or any representative of their business interests; and if so, for what purpose?

Hon DAVID PARKER: No. I know thousands of people in New Zealand, including Mr Darby. I have bumped into him probably once or twice in the last decade. The last time I can recall talking to him was when I bumped into him, and it’s so long ago I can’t remember when it was.

Hon Amy Adams: Well, since becoming a Minister, has he met, corresponded with, spoken to, or texted any representative of John Darby and Ric Kayne’s lobbying firm Thompson Lewis; and if so, for what purpose?

Hon DAVID PARKER: Everyone in the House will know that GJ Thompson actually was the acting chief of staff here, so I’ve regularly spoken with him—unfortunately for the member, not about this issue. Someone made me aware that Mr Lewis had some involvement in this. I have not spoken to Mr Lewis about this at all nor corresponded with him. The two meetings that I can recall having with Mr Lewis since we were elected were in respect of carbon rights and forestry, and members of staff were present at those meetings to witness them, as well. . . 

Later Matthew Hooton tweeted:

I read the column but if you click on the link now, it’s disappeared.

Is there a conspiracy, is it censorship is there really nothing to see or is there more to come?

 


If they can’t run themselves

June 22, 2018

Labour’s continuing missteps and mistakes in opposition often led to the question – if they can’t be trusted to run themselves how can they be trusted to run the country?

This week we’ve seen the answer – they can’t:

In an extraordinary and potentially unprecedented abuse of power, the Government is attempting to impose new taxes on New Zealanders without proper debate, late at night and under cover of Urgency, National’s Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee says.

“The Government has used Urgency and an amendment to a motion to stop further debate and ram through new laws without proper scrutiny on a matter as important as taking more money off New Zealanders.

“Worse, it’s doing this because of its own incompetence and its inability to carry out a core function of a responsible Government – managing Parliament’s legislative programme.

“And it’s doing so on a Bill which it had already shortened the process for and which it has blatantly failed to win public support for.

“This is not only undemocratic – and potentially unprecedented in the 165 years of New Zealand’s Parliamentary democracy – it is arrogant. The Government is saying to New Zealand that they will be passing new taxes through Parliament by any means possible. 

“This is an unpopular and unnecessary new tax which has been sold as applying to Aucklanders only, but which will be rolled out nationwide in a couple of years, adding hundreds of dollars in costs to the average motorist every year.

“What’s deeply disappointing is the Green Party has chosen to support Labour’s move.

“Both parties have again displayed a breath-taking level of hypocrisy. After being opponents of Urgency and champions of democracy in Opposition, they are taking unconstitutional and unprecedented steps in Government, on matters as fundamental as new taxes.

“The Government has stumbled at every hurdle in its attempt to foist its new regional fuel tax on New Zealanders but it has forged ahead.

“It continues to prove it can’t be trusted. It can’t run Parliament, it can’t run itself and it can’t be trusted to act in the best interests of New Zealand.”

The perception of shambolic government isn’t helped by the Green’s not being sufficiently organised to lodge a question for Question Time.

It cost $310 per minute to run parliament in 2014.

If taxpayers are spending that much we should be able to depend on the government to run it competently.


Quote of the day

June 22, 2018

Grace, respect, reserve, and empathetic listening are qualities sorely missing from the public discourse now. Meryl Streep who celebrates her 69th birthday today.


June 22 in history

June 22, 2018

217 BC  Battle of Raphia: Ptolemy IV of Egypt defeated Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom.

168 BC  Battle of Pydna: Romans under Lucius Aemilius Paullus defeated and captured Macedonian King Perseus, ending the Third Macedonian War.

1593 Battle of Sisak: Allied Christian troops defeated the Turks.

1633  The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe.

1680 Ebenezer Erskine, Scottish religious dissenter, was born  (d. 1754).

1713 Lord John Philip Sackville, English MP and cricketer, was born  (d. 1765).

1757 George Vancouver, British explorer, was born  (d. 1798).

1783  A poisonous cloud from Laki volcanic eruption in Iceland reached Le Havre in France .

1825  The British Parliament abolished feudalism and the seigneurial system in British North America.

1844  North American fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon was founded at Yale University.

1845 Tom Dula, American folk character (Tom Dooley) was born (d. 1868).

1848  Beginning of the June Days Uprising in Paris.

1856  H. Rider Haggard, English author, was born  (d. 1925).

1887 Julian Huxley, British biologist, was born (d. 1975).

1893  The Royal Navy battleship HMS Camperdown accidentally rammed the British Mediterranean Fleet flagship HMS Victoria which sank taking 358 crew with her, including the fleet’s commander, Vice-Admiral Sir George Tryon.

1897  British colonial officers Rand and Ayerst were assassinated in Pune, Maharashtra, India by the Chapekar brothers and Ranade. They are considered the first martyrs to the cause of India’s freedom from Britain.

1898  Spanish-American War: United States Marines landed in Cuba.

1906 Anne Morrow Lindbergh, American author and pilot, was born  (d. 2001).

1906  The Flag of Sweden was adopted.

1907  The London Underground’s Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opened.

1910  John Hunt, Leader of the 1953 British Expedition to Mount Everest, was born (d. 1998).

1911  George V and Mary of Teck were crowned King and Queen.

1918  The Hammond circus train wreck killed 86 and injured 127 near Hammond, Indiana.

1919  The Flag of the Faroe Islands was raised for the first time.

1922 Bill Blass, American fashion designer, was born (d. 2002).

1922  Herrin massacre: 19 strikebreakers and 2 union miners were killed in Herrin, Illinois.

1932 Prunella Scales, English actress, was born.

1936 Kris Kristofferson, American singer/songwriter and actor, was born.

1940 France was forced to sign the Second Compiègne armistice with Germany.

1941  Germany invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. RussianThe 22 June song is devoted to this day.

1941  The June Uprising in Lithuania began.

1941  Various Communist and Socialist French Resistance movements merged to one group.

1942  Erwin Rommel was promoted to Field Marshal after the capture of Tobruk.

1944 Peter Asher, British singer, guitarist and producer (Peter & Gordon), was born.

1944  Opening day of the Soviet Union’s Operation Bagration against Army Group Centre.

1949 Meryl Streep, American actress. was born.

1953 – Cyndi Lauper, American singer, was born.

1954  Pauline Parker, 16, and her best friend Juliet Hulme, 15,  killed Pauline’s mother, Honora, in Victoria Park, Christchurch.

Parker-Hulme murder in Christchurch

1957 Garry Gary Beers, Australian bassist from group INXS, was born.

1957  The Soviet Union launched an R-12 missile for the first time (in Kapustin Yar).

1962  An Air France Boeing 707 jet crashed in bad weather in Guadeloupe, West Indies killing 113.

1964 Dan Brown, American author, was born.

1969  The Cuyahoga River caught fire, which triggered a crack-down on pollution in the river.

1978 Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, was discovered.

1984 Virgin Atlantic Airways launched with its first flight from London Heathrow Airport.

2003  The largest hailstone ever recorded fell in Aurora, Nebraska

2009 June 22, 2009 Washington Metro train collision: Two Metro trains collided  in Washington, D.C., killing 9 and injuring over 80.

2009 – Eastman Kodak Company announced that it would discontinue sales of the Kodachrome Color Film, concluding its 74-year run as a photography icon.

2012 – Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo is removed from officebyimpeachment and succeeded by Federico Franco.

2012 – A Turkish Air Force McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II fighter plane was shot down by the Syrian Armed Forces, killing both of the plane’s pilots and worsening already-strained relations between Turkey and Syria.

2015  – The Afghan National Assembly building was attacked by gunmenafter a suicide bombing. All 6 of the gunmen were killed, with 18 people injured.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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