365 days of gratitude

September 10, 2018

If polyglotinous was a word, it would fit the English language well.

English has borrowed words from many languages and enriched itself by doing so.

It also has many varieties which have their own distinctive words.

New Zealand English is far richer for the addition of Maori words. Maori Language Week is an opportunity to appreciate that and add to our vocabularies.

Today I’m grateful for the richness Maori adds to our language and culture.


Word of the day

September 10, 2018

Paheko – to combine, cooperate, join.

(For Maori Language Week).


Rural round-up

September 10, 2018

Tasman District Council U-turn on Waimea dam draws mixed reaction –  Cherie Sivignon:

The Tasman District Council decision on Thursday to revoke its earlier in-principle agreement to effectively end the Waimea dam project has received a mixed reaction.

Nelson MP Dr Nick Smith welcomed the 9-5 vote to proceed with the $102 million project after a new funding model was presented to councillors, calling it the right decision for the region’s future.

“The big gains from this project are environmental and economic,” Smith said. “It will enable the minimum flows in summer in the Waimea River to be lifted five-fold and fully meet the national standards for water quality. It will also enable another 1200ha of horticulture, creating more wealth and jobs.” . .

Tough job to get staff – Neal Wallace:

Labour hungry farmers and primary industry employers face stiff competition for school leavers with regional unemployment below 5%, secondary school teachers are warning.

Mid Canterbury’s unemployment rate is 2%, creating a competitive job market with school leavers having multiple offers and attractive wages and employment conditions, Ashburton College principal Ross Preece said.

So the days of farmers offering youth rates or minimum wages and expecting them to work 50-hour weeks are gone. . .

Better understanding of nutrient movement – Pam Tipa:

We need a better understanding of nutrient transport across catchments, says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), Simon Upton.

And he says we also need better understanding of what nutrient models can and can’t do to assist in building a picture and better communication of what is happening to water quality. Upton highlighted several gaps and faults in this information to a recent Environmental Defence Society conference.

The PCE is analysing Overseer as a tool for measuring water pollution from agricultural sources. Upton told the conference he is not yet in a position to preview findings on his Overseer report.

But the need for better understanding of nutrient transport, models and communication were among aspects which so far stand out to him in his findings. . .

Inquiry after lambs killed –  Tim Miller:

Mosgiel man Roy Nimmo says the killing of three of his two-week-old lambs is abhorrent and whoever is responsible should take a long hard look at themselves.

The three lambs were being kept in a paddock next to his home in Cemetery Rd, beside the East Taieri Church, with about 15 other lambs and ewes.

A ewe was also shot in the head but at this stage was still alive, Mr Nimmo said. . .

Agritech deal opens door to US markets – Esther Taunton:

New Zealand’s agritech innovators will have better access to the massive United States market through two new partnerships.

Agritech New Zealand, which represents some of the country’s top tech companies, has signed an agreement with California-based Western Growers, a trade organisation whose members provide more than half the nation’s fresh fruit and vegetables.

Signed last week, the deal will open doors for Kiwi agritech companies to enter the US market via the Western Growers Centre for Innovation and Technology in California and for US-based agritech startups to access the New Zealand market, Agritech NZ executive director Peter Wren-Hilton said. . .

Shortfall of tractor drivers a concern – Yvonne O’Hara:

Although a new apprenticeship scheme will address future labour needs in the horticultural industry nationally, there is also a shortage of skilled tractor drivers and irrigation technicians to work on Central Otago vineyards that needs to be addressed.

The three-year programme provides on the job training and support for 100 new horticulture and viticulture apprentices, and was launched last month.

It is supported by New Zealand Winegrowers, Primary ITO, the Ministry for Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) . .

Don’t take our dairy industry fro granted :

The current drought is showing the detrimental impact that the $1/litre milk and the discounting of dairy products has had on the profitability of dairy farmers across NSW.

Retailers’ behavior to discount dairy products had deteriorated farmers’ economic resilience and the prolonged drought is highlighting the reduced profits of farmers. 

Preparing for drought requires that during good years farmers from across all commodities have extra cash that they reinvest back into their farm to prepare for the lean times. . .


Government’s don’t have magic money tree

September 10, 2018

The Taxpayers’ Union correctly points out that doling out public money will destroy jobs not create them:

Shane Jones’ spending in Kawakawa will destroy jobs, not create them, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “Taxpayers might think that $2.4 million for three jobs is a bad deal. Actually, it’s far worse than that. Taking this much money out of the private sector destroys jobs. It’s $2.4 million fewer dollars that taxpayers could have spent in their communities.”

That’s money that individuals could have used to create, expand or support businesses; provide for their futures, give to charity or simply choose to spend as they wished.

“What’s most terrifying about the Provincial Growth Fund is that, so far, Shane Jones has only spent four percent of his $3 billion. There is so much more spending to come that the public risks becoming desensitised to Shane Jones’ flagrant waste, when we should be outraged.”

“It looks like Shane Jones actually has far more money in the Provincial Growth Fund than he knows what to do with. In that case, he needs to simply give the money back.”

Councils and businesses in the provinces are doing their best to come up with ideas to get their share of this money and they can’t be blamed for that.

If money is being given away, why wouldn’t they try to get some for their pet projects?

But government’s don’t have a magic money tree. Every dollar a government spends comes from taxpayers.

The $2.4 million being splurged on the Kawakawa cultural centre in Northland will create just three jobs.

It could have been spent on health, education, crime prevention, infrastructure or any number of other ways that would give better value for money and a better return on investment.

It could also have been left in the pay packets of the people who earned it.


Quote of the day

September 10, 2018

Animals praise a good day, a good hunt. They praise rain if they’re thirsty. That’s prayer. They don’t live an unconscious life, they simply have no language to talk about these things. But they are grateful for the good things that come along. Mary Oliver who celebrates her 83rd birthday today.


September 10 in history

September 10, 2018

506  The bishops of Visigothic Gaul met in the Council of Agde.

1385 Le Loi, national hero of Viet Nam, founder of the Later Lê Dynasty, was born (d. 1433).

1419  John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy was assassinated by adherents of the Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France.

1509 An earthquake known as “The Lesser Judgment Day” hit Istanbul.

1547 The Battle of Pinkie Cleugh, the last full scale military confrontation between England and Scotland, resulting in a decisive victory for the forces of Edward VI.

1659 Henry Purcell, English composer, was born (d. 1695).

1798 At the Battle of St. George’s Caye, British Honduras defeated Spain.

1813  The United States defeated the British Fleet at the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

1823  Simón Bolívar was named President of Peru.

1844 Abel Hoadley, Australian confectioner, was born (d. 1918).

1846 Elias Howe was granted a patent for the sewing machine.

1852 – Alice Brown Davis, American tribal chief , was born(d. 1935).

1858 George Mary Searle discovered the asteroid 55 Pandora.

1897  Lattimer massacre: A sheriff’s posse killed 20 unarmed immigrant miners in Pennsylvania.

1898  Empress Elizabeth of Austria was assassinated by Luigi Lucheni.

1898  Waldo Semon, American inventor (vinyl), was born (d. 1999).

1904 – Honey Craven, American horse rider and manager, was born (d. 2003).

1914 – An eruption on White Island killed 10 people.

1914 Robert Wise, American film director, was born (d. 2005).

1918 Rin Tin Tin, German shepherd dog, was born (d. 1932).

1919 Austria and the Allies signed the Treaty of Saint-Germain recognising the independence of Poland, Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia.

1932  The New York City Subway’s third competing subway system, the municipally-owned IND, was opened.

1933 Karl Lagerfeld, German fashion designer, was born.

1935 – Mary Oliver, American poet and author, was born.

1939  The submarine HMS Oxley was mistakenly sunk by the submarineHMS Triton near Norway becoming the Royal Navy’s first losss.

1942 World War II: The British Army carries out an amphibious landing on Madagascar to re-launch Allied offensive operations in the Madagascar Campaign.

1951 The United Kingdom began an economic boycott of Iran.

1956 Johnny Fingers, Irish musician The Boomtown Rats, was born.

1960 Colin Firth, English actor, was born.

1961 Italian Grand Prix, a crash caused the death of German Formula One driver Wolfgang von Trips and 13 spectators who were hit by his Ferrari.

1967  The people of Gibraltar voted to remain a British dependency rather than becoming part of Spain.

1974 Guinea-Bissau gained independence from Portugal.

1976 A British Airways Hawker Siddeley Trident and an Inex-Adria DC-9 collided near Zagreb, killing 176.

1977  Hamida Djandoubi, convicted of torture and murder, was the last person to be executed by guillotine in France.

1984 The Te Maori exhibition opened in New York.

Te Maori exhibition opens in New York

1990 The Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d’Ivoire – the largest church in Africa was consecrated by Pope John Paul II.

2001 Charles Ingram cheated his way into winning one million pounds on a British version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

2003 Anna Lindh, the foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed while shopping.

2007  Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan after seven years in exile, following a military coup in October 1999.

2008 The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history was powered up in Geneva.

2014 – The first Invictus Games took place at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

2017 – Hurricane Irma made landfall on Cudjoe Key, Florida  after causing catastrophic damage throughout the Caribbean. Irma resulted in 134 deaths and $64.76 billion (2017 USD) in damage.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.


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