365 days of gratitude

June 26, 2018

We flew from Christchurch to Palmerston North then drove to Dannevirke this morning, did what we went up to do, did the return journey this afternoon and drove home safely tonight.

For all the concerns over the road toll, more often than not, such journeys are completed safely and I’m very grateful for that,

 


Word of the day

June 26, 2018

Rime – frost formed on cold objects by the rapid freezing of water vapour in cloud or fog;  an accumulation of granular ice tufts on the windward sides of exposed objects that is formed from supercooled fog or cloud and built out directly against the wind; white incrustation of ice formed when supercooled water droplets freeze almost instantly on contact with a solid surface. a coating, as of mud or slime, likened to a frosty film; to cover (an object) with ice or hoar frost.


Rural-round-up

June 26, 2018

New Zealand primary sector nervous over prospect of trade wars – Jamie Gray:

New Zealand’s primary sector is viewing the rising tide of global trade protectionism with trepidation, but escalating trade tensions between the United States and China have yet to spill over into this country’s main exports.

Primary sector and trade representatives welcomed last week’s launch of trade talks with the EU as positive step.

At the time, European Union trade commissioner Cecilia Malmström voiced concerns about trade issues that have plagued markets in recent weeks after the US Donald Trump administration imposed steel and aluminium tariffs and the US and China stepped up their war of words. . . 

Guy Trafford traces the implications for agricultural trade flows from the game of poker the US is playing with China. All sides are vulnerable, even those not directly involved – Guy Trafford:

President Trump and China’s President Xi Jinping are involved in a high stakes game of poker. Trump played the first hand with a $5 0billion tariff card. Xi Jinping immediately matched it with a similar call and put tariffs on US products, namely sorghum and soya beans.

Trump then matched and raised the stakes by increasing the tariffs to another $200 billion with the threat that if China matched this then another raise to $450 billion would be played.

This threat would put tariffs on over 90% of China’s exports to the US. . . 

Clampdown on foreign farm buyers scares off investors with ‘tens of millions’ in funds, agents say – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – The government’s directive to the Overseas Investment Office to raise the bar in overseas applications to buy sensitive New Zealand land has scared away tens of millions of dollars in investments in rural property and will hurt farm values, real estate firms say.

The ministerial directive in a letter from Finance Minister Grant Robertson last November to Land Information NZ chief Andrew Crisp said the government is concerned to ensure any benefits from overseas investment in rural land “are genuinely substantial and identifiable” and economic benefits must be considered alongside environmental, social and cultural goals. Owning sensitive New Zealand assets was “a privilege, not a right.” The directive came into effect on Dec. 15 last year. . . 

Foreign farm buyer applications withdrawn in the past 12 months have tripled, OIO figures show – Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – The rate at which potential foreign buyers of New Zealand farms subsequently withdrew their applications to the Overseas Investment Office tripled in the past 12 months, OIO figures show.

The data captures the period since the government’s directive to the OIO to tighten rules for overseas applications to buy sensitive New Zealand land (which means any farmland over 5 hectares). The ministerial directive in a letter from Finance Minister Grant Robertson last November to Land Information NZ chief Andrew Crisp said the government aims to ensure any benefits from overseas investment in rural land “are genuinely substantial and identifiable” and economic benefits must be considered alongside environmental, social and cultural goals. Owning sensitive New Zealand assets was “a privilege, not a right.” The directive came into effect on Dec. 15 last year. . . 

Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 announced:

Congratulations to Jonathan Hunt from Delegats, Crownthorpe Vineyard, who became the Bayer Hawke’s Bay Young Viticulturist of the Year 2018 on Thursday 21st June.

This is the third year Hunt has competed and he is thrilled to have won the title and to be going on to represent Hawke’s Bay in the National Final.

Congratulations also goes to Nick Putt from Villa Maria who came second and Grace Petrie from Trinity Hill who came third. . . 

Creative tea and coffee trends good news for NZ dairy:

It’s tea, but not as you know it. Right now people are adding more than just milk and sugar to their cuppa’s and Fonterra is set to meet the demand for adventurous tea and coffee drinks around the world.

Beverages made with yoghurt, topped with cream cheese and mixed with cream are growing in popularity, leading Fonterra to establish a new channel within its Global Foodservice business, Beverage House.

Almost 600 million cups of tea and coffee are consumed out-of-home daily in the Asia Pacific region, a 22% increase on five years ago. . . 

Report Provides Zero Carbon Solution:

Smoke free, plastic free but, more significantly, tillage free.

A report to the Productivity Commission is recommending “bold action” to eliminate tillage or ploughing within the next five to 10 years and replace it with low disturbance no-tillage.

Every time soil is tilled through conventional methods, it releases huge quantities of CO2 into the atmosphere which contribute to global warming.

While the government has introduced a Zero Carbon Bill, it has overlooked the impact of cultivation which causes up to 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions and the report challenges the Minister, James Shaw, through the Productivity Commission, to do something about it. . . 

In dairy, a cutthroat U.S. business versus a Canadian cartel – Jerry Zremski:

A little comparison shopping goes a long way toward explaining why President Trump decided to wage a trade war with Canada.

A gallon of milk cost $2.89 at the Tops Friendly Supermarket on Niagara Street last week, while the same product at the Avonmart on Garrison Road in Fort Erie cost $3.35 in American dollars. And Fort Erie shoppers are getting a bargain: According to Numbeo, a crowd-sourced comparison price guide, the average cost for a gallon of milk throughout Canada is $6.32 in American dollars, nearly twice the U.S. price.

And it’s all because the United States and Canada operate their dairy industries in ways that are as different as a bald eagle and a maple leaf. . . 

World Desertification Day: Stories of Resilience from Somalia :

In observation of World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, delve into four stories of resilience from desert lands in Somalia. Meet two farmers and two female entrepreneurs, who—supported by the Somalia Emergency Drought Response and Recovery Project (SEDRP)—share their experiences of grit, hope, and resilience despite years of drought and famine risks.  Together with partners, particularly the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the project aimed to scale-up drought response and recovery in Somalia.

1. An impressive harvest, a happy farmer

The story of Saed Mohamud may not typically be expected from Somalia in 2017, two years into a severe drought that put the country in a nationwide state of natural disaster and famine—yet Mohamud is not alone. In 2017, thousands of families beat the odds and produced good yields, thanks to concerted efforts from government and partners, and solid donor investment in building farmers’ resilience against drought. . .


More strikes in last 9 months than past 9 years

June 26, 2018

Labour is supposed to value workers, why are so many striking when that party is leading the government?

The worrying increase in strike action under this union-friendly Government will slow our economy, make it harder to do business and affect the access of New Zealanders to public services, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

Union friendly isn’t necessarily worker friendly.

“After less than nine months of this Government 32,000 workers have been involved in industrial action, or signalled their intention to be – compared to just over 27,000 that undertook strike action in the entire nine years of the previous Government.

“And the strike action is escalating.

“Today 4,000 core public servants at MBIE and IRD as well as 150 Wairarapa meat workers announced they would undertake industrial action, following on from the likes of bus drivers and cinema and port workers who have repeatedly disrupted businesses.

“On top of this, around 49,000 teachers are also considering their options.

“That’s around 81,000 workers involved in or considering strike action this year.

“All this is going to make it harder for New Zealanders to do business and access public services like healthcare.

“National supports higher wages and the average wage increased by $13,000 under the previous Government, but the way to do that is to grow the economy while this unrest unleashed by the Government will just slow it down.

“Already the uncertainty is impacting peoples’ quality of life and ultimately the economy. With business confidence already low Labour needs to put the needs of the public and economy first, not its union backers.

“The situation will only get worse when Labour’s proposed employment law reforms are implemented, which are specifically targeted at strengthening unions and weakening the ability of New Zealanders to run their businesses.”

Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association also says proposed changes will make it worse:

In a world in which collaboration and flexibility are key to the modern workplace, it seems strange we are trying to reinvent an industrial relations framework which appears built on a foundation of “them” and “us”.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out upfront. Yes, some employers are poor operators, but the employment relations system is effective at addressing this. The financial and reputational costs are high for employers who breach employment laws or seek ways around them.

But the law does not catch all such operators, many workers are exploited and I agree there are problems to address.

My question is, why address this with a major law change seemingly based on the premise that all employers are bad and all employees are vulnerable?

Enforcement is a key part of a functioning framework and more labour inspectors seems an obvious solution.

We need an industrial relations framework that enables employers and employees to have the flexibility to meet the growing demands of the future of work, not stifle it. Recently, IAG and Lion NZ pushed the need for flexible working policies, saying these benefit both staff and employers. This embodies the sentiment that employers want to work alongside modern, forward-thinking unions that offer solutions to help move the business forward. . .

Proposed changes will take employers and employees back to last century, not equip them for this one.

 


Quote of the day

June 26, 2018

You cannot make yourself feel something you do not feel, but you can make yourself do right in spite of your feelings. Pearl S. Buck who was born on this day in 1892.


June 26

June 26, 2018

363  Roman Emperor Julian was killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire. General Jovian was proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield.

1284  The legendary Pied Piper led 130 children out of Hamelin.

1409 Western Schism: the Roman Catholic church was led into a double schism as Petros Philargos was crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XII in Avignon.

1483  Richard III was crowned king of England.

1541  Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in Lima by the son of his former companion and later antagonist, Diego Almagro the younger.

1699 – Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin, French businesswoman, was born (d. 1777).

1718  Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia, Peter the Great’s son, mysteriously died after being sentenced to death by his father for plotting against him.

1723  After a siege and bombardment by cannon, Baku surrendered to the Russians.

1817 Branwell Bronte, British painter and poet, was born (d. 1848).

1848 End of the June Days Uprising in Paris.

1857  The first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park.

1866 George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, English financier of Egyptian excavations, was born (d. 1923).

1870  Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1892 Pearl S. Buck, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1973).

1898 Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer, was born (d. 1978).

1908 Salvador Allende, Former President of Chile (1970-1973), was born (d. 1973)

1909  Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager, was born (d. 1997)

1909  The Science Museum in London became an independent entity.

1913 Maurice Wilkes, British computer scientist, was born.

1914 Laurie Lee, British writer, was born (d. 1997).

1917  The first U.S. troops arrived in France to fight alongside the allies in World War I.

1918  The Australian steamer Wimmera was sunk by a mine laid the year before by the German raider Wolf north of Cape Maria van Diemen.

1918  World War I, Western Front: Battle for Belleau Wood – Allied Forces under John J. Pershing and James Harbord defeated Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince.

1921 Violette Szabo, French WWII secret agent, was born (d. 1945).

1924 American occupying forces left the Dominican Republic.

1927 – The Cyclone roller coaster opened on Coney Island.

1929 – June Bronhill, Australian soprano and actress, was born (d. 2005).

1934  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, which establishes credit unions.

1936  Initial flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter.

1940 Billy Davis, Jr., American singer (The 5th Dimension), was born.

1940 World War II: under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Romania requiring it to cede Bessarabia and the northern part of Bukovina.

1942  The first flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

1943 Georgie Fame, British singer, was born.

1945  The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco.

1948 – William Shockley filed the original patent for the grown junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.

1948 Shirley Jackson‘s short story The Lottery was published in The New Yorker magazine.

1952 The Pan-Malayan Labour Party was founded, as a union of statewise labour parties.

1959  The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened, opening North America’s Great Lakes to ocean-going ships.

1960 The former British Protectorate of British Somaliland gained its independence as Somaliland .

1960 – Madagascar gained its independence from France.

1963  John F. Kennedy spoke the famous words “Ich bin ein Berliner” on a visit to West Berlin.

1973  At Plesetsk Cosmodrome 9 people were killed in an explosion of a Cosmos 3-M rocket.

1974  The Universal Product Code was scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1975  Indira Gandhi established emergency rule in India.

1975 – Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movementwere killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservationin South Dakota.

1976  The CN Tower, the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land, was opened to general public.

1977 The Yorkshire Ripper killed 16 year old shop assistant Jayne MacDonald in Leeds, changing public perception of the killer as she is the first victim who was not a prostitute.

1978 – Air Canada Flight 189 to Toronto overran the runway and crashed into the Etobicoke Creek ravine. Two of 107 passengers on board died.

1987 – A.J. Hackett bungy jumped from Eiffel Tower.

A.J. Hackett bungy jumps from Eiffel Tower

1991  Ten-Day War: the Yugoslav people’s army began the Ten-Day War in Slovenia.

1993 The United States launched a missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for a thwarted assassination attempt against former President George H.W. Bush in April in Kuwait.

1994  Microsoft no longer supported MS-DOS and the development ofFreeDOS began.

1995  Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani deposed his father Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, as the Emir of Qatar, in a bloodless coup.

1996  Irish Journalist Veronica Guerin was shot in her car while in traffic in the outskirts of Dublin.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2003  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws were unconstitutional.

2008 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protected an individual right, and that the District of Columbia handgun ban was unconstitutional.

2012 – The Waldo Canyon Fire descended into the Mountain Shadows neighbourhood in Colorado Springs burning 347 homes in a matter of hours and killing two people.

2013 – Riots in China’s Xinjiang region killed at least 36 people and injuring 21 others.

2013  – Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani became Prime Minister of Qatar.

2015 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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