365 days of gratitude

September 17, 2018

A text telling you your flight to Queenstown hs been cancelled is not what you want to be greeted with when you land in Auckland after spending the best part of a day travelling.

Wonderful service from Air New Zealand staff to get you on an alternative flight in spite of technical problems helps.

Today I’m grateful for calmness when you would be excused for being anything but, and service above and beyond the call of duty.


Word of the day

September 17, 2018

Atamai –  knowing, quick-witted, ready, intelligent; intellect.

(Celebrating Maori Language Week).


Rural roundup

September 17, 2018

2018-19 lamb and beef exports forecast to both break $3 billion for the second time:

As the 2018-19 meat export season begins, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s (B+LNZ) New Season Outlook 2018-19 report forecasts beef, lamb, and mutton prices to remain firm at historically high levels, helped by an expected weakening New Zealand dollar and strong export demand.

“We forecast slight increases in farm-gate prices for lamb and mutton in 2018-19, as prices are expected to remain relatively steady in New Zealand’s main export markets and benefit from an expected easing of the New Zealand dollar,” says B+LNZ Chief Economist Andrew Burtt. . .

NZ sheep & beef farm profits forecast to slip as expenses rise – Tina Morrison:

(BusinessDesk) – New Zealand sheep and beef farm profits are expected to decline in the coming year as higher spending outweighs a lift in revenue from the products they sell.

The average farm is expected to earn a pre-tax profit of $129,700 in the June 2019 year, down 2.8 percent from a pre-tax profit of $133,500 in the 2017/18 year, according to industry group Beef+Lamb New Zealand. . .

China is the key market for New Zealand sheep meat – Keith Woodford:

Some weeks back I wrote how the New Zealand sheep industry is in a sweet spot, with record prices. I also wrote that China is now easily our largest sheep meat market by volume. Here I share the story of some of the things that have been happening in that market, and how demand for New Zealand sheep meats has potential to further increase.

The starting point is to recognise that China’s own sheep industry is much bigger than New Zealand’s.  Whereas New Zealand has about 27 million sheep, China has about 150 million. However, most of these are farmed on arid lands in the west and far north of China, often at high altitude. Much of the product is consumed by the local people and does not reach the big cities. . .

Dry in south but wet up north – Annette Scott:

A mild, dry winter and a good start to spring has set Canterbury farmers up well but there’s concern of a big dry setting in.

Opuha Water chief executive Andrew Mockford said farmers have revelled in the great winter farming conditions but they have not put snow on the hills or water in the lakes and rivers.

While there was rain and just the third snowfall of the season early this month, there has not been enough to maintain the level of South Canterbury’s Lake Opuha. . .

Fonterra announces manager Fonterra Brands NZ :

Fonterra is pleased to welcome Brett Henshaw to the Co-operative as Managing Director, Fonterra Brands, New Zealand (FBNZ).

Brett is currently Managing Director of The Griffin’s Food Company and he will take up his role with Fonterra in the first week of December.

Fonterra Chief Operating Officer, Global Consumer & Foodservice, Lukas Paravicini, says “we are excited about Brett joining the team. He has an extensive 30-year career in FMCG and we are pleased he is coming on board.  . .

MPI to get tough on stink bug ships:

Biosecurity officials are promising to take tough action against cargo vessels believed to be infested with brown marmorated stink bug during the upcoming risk season.

“Each arriving vessel will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. However, if our officers ultimately determine a ship is infested with stink bug, it will be prevented from discharging its cargo and directed to leave New Zealand,” says Steve Gilbert, Director Border Clearance Services, Biosecurity New Zealand

“We have also introduced a very low threshold for determining contamination. If we find a single bug, we will thoroughly investigate whether the entire vessel is contaminated. . .


Ignorance kills

September 17, 2018

Animal rights activists in Germany killed four cows and left 40 more critically ill:

Idiot  animal rights activists KILLED four cows and left 40 others critically ill after releasing them into a feeding pen where the beasts “ate themselves to death”.

Suspects are believed to have trespassed onto an organic farm in Germany on Saturday night and released dozens of dairy cows and calves.

The cows then headed straight to the feeding pen where they ate up to 10kg of concentrated feed with catastrophic results.

They are normally fed a maximum of 2kg a day.

Anja Schiemann, the farm’s managing director, told the Berliner Zeitung: “Too much concentrate feed causes the digestive system in the rumen to be severely disturbed.

“The damage to the liver is just too much.” . . .

Ignorance kills.

A similar accusation could be made against anti 1080 activists. Without it native plants, birds and insects will die.

The ODT opines:

The case for 1080 use in New Zealand’s forests is overwhelming, no matter the fervent protests of the past two weeks.

Each independent investigation into its use has come to that conclusion. 

Yet, the Department of Conservation and its staff have had to put up with abuse and worse. Tampering with the wheel nuts on vehicles, as has been reported, is downright criminal and dangerous.

Blatant “fake news” and completely misleading photographs have been spread around the internet, news stories hijacked by activists, and 1080 drops disrupted.

There is, indeed,  no doubting the genuine feelings of the anti-1080 brigade, including the majority who act responsibly in their opposition. But they, like the irresponsible, are sadly and badly misguided.

Some of the fervour is understandable.  Dog owners are fearful of the awful death their charges might suffer should they eat carcasses of mammals killed by the poison.  Others are concerned about the deer by-kill, meaning fewer animals to hunt.

Much worse than these concerns, though, is the massacre by possums, stoats and rats. They lay waste forests of birds and chicks, turning them into silent graveyards and disrupting the ecosystem.

Trap instead of poison, say the 1080 opponents. Given the vastness, and ruggedness of New Zealand’s topography, this is totally  and absolutely impractical.

The 1080 kills birds instead of saving them, the opponents add. While it is true 1080 has killed birds as well as pests, birds and reptiles seem to have some tolerance. Doc’s threatened species ambassador Nicola Toki quotes a study where 600 kiwi were monitored by radio transmitters for a long time after 1080 was spread.  Not one died. Meanwhile, 19 of 20 kiwi eggs were eaten by predators in areas without pest control.

The 1080 kills so many pests it allows bird numbers to recover. . .

The strongest advocates of 1080 accept it’s not the perfect answer but it is better than any alternatives that are currently available.

Until there is something better, it is 1080 or death to a lot of native flora and fauna.


Priorities, platitudes, no plan

September 17, 2018

Jacinda Ardern has bowed to Winston Peters – her big speech yesterday talked not of a Labour-led governs but either this government or the coalition government.

The speech was an attempt to show coalition unity after the recent shambles, and told us very little new.

She talked of 12 priorities, but when it came to details, it was mostly the what with little how, and the what was more about what they’ve done or already announced than what they will do.

It was full of platitudes like:

. . .We will:

A. Ensure everyone who is able to, is earning, learning, caring or volunteering . . 

And the plan? It was a whole lot more about where they want to go with little about how they’ll get there.

A good government knows where it’s going, and how to get there,  from the start, not nearly one year into a three-year term.

The “plan” such as it is, is here.


Quote of the day

September 17, 2018

One thing I am convinced more and more is true and that is this: the only way to be truly happy is to make others happy. When you realize that and take advantage of the fact, everything is made perfect. – William Carlos Williams who was born on this day in 1883.


September 17 in history

September 17, 2018

1111 Highest Galician nobility led by Pedro Fróilaz de Traba and the bishop Diego Gelmírez crowned Alfonso VII as “King of Galicia“.

1176  The Battle of Myriokephalon.

1462  The Battle of Świecino (also known as the Battle of Żarnowiec) during Thirteen Years’ War.

1577  The Peace of Bergerac was signed between Henry III of France and the Huguenots.

1631  Sweden won a major victory at the Battle of Breitenfeld against the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years War.

1683  Antonie van Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society describing “animalcules“: the first known description of protozoa.

1778  The Treaty of Fort Pitt was signed, the first formal treaty between the United States and a Native American tribe (the Lenape or Delaware Indians).

1787 The United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia.

1809  Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War, the territory which became Finland was ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.

1859 Joshua A. Norton declared himself “Emperor Norton I” of the United States.

1862 American Civil War: George B. McClellan halted the northward drive of Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army in the single-day Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest day in American history.

1862  American Civil War: The Allegheny Arsenal explosion resulted in the single largest civilian disaster during the war.

1883 William Carlos Williams, American writer, was born (d. 1963).

1894  The Battle of Yalu River, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.

1900  Philippine-American War: Filipinos under Juan Cailles defeated Americans under Colonel Benjamin F. Cheatham at Mabitac.

1908  The Wright Flyer flown by Orville Wright, with Lieutenant Thomas Selfridge as passenger, crashed killing Selfridge who became the first airoplane fatality.

1914  Andrew Fisher became Prime Minister of Australia for the third time.

1916 Mary Stewart, English novelist, was born (d. 2014).

1916   World War I: Manfred von Richthofen (“The Red Baron”), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.

1923 Hank Williams, American musician, was born (d. 1953).

1924  The Border Defence Corps was established in the Second Polish Republic for the defence of the eastern border against armed Soviet raids and local bandits.

1928  The Okeechobee Hurricane struck southeastern Florida, killing upwards of 2,500 people.

1929 Sir Stirling Moss, English race car driver, was born.

1931 Anne Bancroft, American actress, was born (d. 2005).

1939  World War II: A German U-boat U 29 sank the British aircraft carrierHMS Courageous.

1939  Taisto Mäki became the first man to run the 10,000 metres in under 30 minutes, in a time of 29:52.6.

1941 As well as (temporarily) doing away with capital punishment for murder, the Crimes Amendment Act 1941 abolished judicial provision for flogging and whipping.

Death penalty abolished...for the time being

1941  World War II: A decree of the Soviet State Committee of Defense, restoring Vsevobuch in the face of the Great Patriotic War, was issued

1944  World War II: Allied Airborne troops parachuted into the Netherlands as the “Market” half of Operation Market Garden.

1945 Bruce Spence, New Zealand actor, was born.


1948  The Lehi (also known as the Stern gang) assassinated Count Folke Bernadotte, who was appointed by the UN to mediate between the Arab nations and Israel.

1949 The Canadian steamship SS Noronic burned in Toronto Harbour with the loss of over 118 lives.

1956 Television was first broadcast in Australia.

1976 The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, was unveiled by NASA.

1978  The Camp David Accords were signed by Israel and Egypt.

1980  After weeks of strikes at the Lenin Shipyard in Gdańsk, Poland, the nationwide independent trade union Solidarity was established.

1980 Former Nicaraguan President Anastasio Somoza Debayle was killed.

1983 Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America.

1991 – The first version of the Linux kernel (0.01) was released to the Internet.

1992 An Iranian Kurdish leader and his two joiners were assassinated by political militants in Berlin.

1993 Last Russian troops left Poland.

2001  The New York Stock Exchange reopened for trading after the September 11 Attacks, the longest closure since the Great Depression.

2004 Tamil was declared the first classical language in India.

2006  Fourpeaked Mountain in Alaska erupted, marking the first eruption for the long-dormant volcano in at least 10,000 years.

2007  AOL, once the largest ISP in the U.S., officially announced plans to refocus the company as an advertising business and to relocate its corporate headquarters from Dulles, Virginia to New York.

2011 – Occupy Wall Street movement begins in Zucotti Park, New York City.

2016 – Two bombs exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and Manhattan, New York. 31 people were injured in the Manhattan bombing.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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