365 days of gratitude

October 25, 2018

Yesterday temperatures were in the mid 20s, today we didn’t get to double figures.

I’m not enjoying the cold but it brought 20 mms of much-needed rain with it and I’m grateful for that.


Word of the day

October 25, 2018

Kame – a steep-sided mound of sand and gravel deposited by a melting ice sheet; a glacial landform; an irregularly shaped hill or mound composed of sand, gravel and till that accumulates in a depression on a retreating glacier, and is then deposited on the land surface with further melting of the glacier; a short ridge, hill, or mound of stratified drift deposited by glacial meltwater; a ridge or mound of stratified drift left by a retreating ice sheet.


Rural round-up

October 25, 2018

Formerly gagged Fonterra director seeks re-election – Sally Rae:

Former gagged Fonterra director Leonie Guiney says she can see very clearly how to solve the co-operative’s “reputational issues”.

The South Canterbury dairy farmer is seeking election to the board in this year’s director elections through the self-nomination process.

Mrs Guiney recently settled a defamation claim against the Fonterra board, over a letter the board sent Fonterra’s 10,000-odd farmer-shareholders explaining why it had sought a court injunction gagging her from speaking about the business.

She left the board last year after serving three years. She said she departed because she was prevented from re-contesting her seat when it came up by rotation, the New Zealand Herald reported. . . 

Transforming a ‘nasty little wet farm’ into an award winner:

When you talk to Matamata dairy farmers Rod and Sandra McKinnon about environmental sustainability it’s easy to understand why the couple won the 2017/18 Waikato Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

When Rod and Sandra McKinnon bought a 44-hectare farm near Matamata in 1992 some people thought they were crazy.

‘I remember someone describing it as a ‘nasty little wet farm’, but it had a stream and some native bush and we could see the potential”, says Sandra.

Fast forward 26 years and following some serious hard work and expansion the farm (now 194-hectares, milking 400 cows on 155-hectares effective) is an award winner, with Rod and Sandra taking out the supreme title at the 2017/18 Waikato Ballance Farm Environmental Awards. . .

NZ Shareholders Association to vote against Wrightson’s sale:

The New Zealand Shareholders’ Association will vote against the $434 million sale of PGG Wrightson’s seeds division to a Danish cooperative.

The retail investor lobby says the mostly cash offer from DLF Seeds is attractive at face value, with a $292 million capital return attached. However, that short-term gain will shrink Wrightson to less than half its current size and leave it holding businesses inferior to the grains and seeds division.

“It seems to us that if shareholders accept DLF’s offer, they will potentially lose in the long run unless PGW can pull a rabbit out of the hat and grow the rump business,” the Shareholders’ Association said.

Discerning customers drive demand for West Coast butter:

New Zealand sales of Westgold butter have just soared past the three million mark, on the back of a consumer shift towards more natural fats.

Produced in Hokitika by Westland Milk Products, Westgold is marketed as the ‘everyday gourmet butter’. It appeared in nearly a quarter of Kiwi fridges last year, and Westgold’s salted butter was the third most purchased butter in North Island New World supermarkets, according to recent Nielsen data. . .

Allbirds: the billion dollar eco trainers brand that’s about to take London by storm – Chloe Street:

Two years ago, San Francisco-based sustainable sneakers brand Allbirds launched with one style of shoe: the Wool Runner; a pair of minimal, slightly fuzzy lace-up trainers crafted from superfine merino wool.

They were the first trainers ever to have been made from the material, and in the first week of trading, Time magazine wrote a splashy article billing them ‘the world’s most comfortable shoes.’

Customers – including half of Silicon Valley’s tech bros – and investors – including the likes of Leonardo Dicaprio – came in droves. Fast-forward two years and the company, who recently sold its millionth pair, has just raised an additional $50 million in funding, valuing it at over $1 billion.

Drystock farm offers a sweet opportunity :

A coastal sheep and beef farm – which also sustains an eco’ tourism business and commercial honey-production venture – has been placed on the market for sale.

Kawakawa Station at Ngawi near Cape Palliser on the south-eastern tip of the North Island is a 1,379 hectare waterfront property traditionally capable of carrying approximately 5115 stock units over winter. As well as running the freehold block, Kawakawa Station also leases some 785 hectares of adjoining hillside grazing land to feed the Romney herd. . . 

Substantial breeding and finishing farms go up for sale:

 A pair of adjoining sheep and beef breeding and finishing blocks – being run as one substantial farming operation serviced by its own airfield and fantastic laneway system – has been placed on the market for sale.

Combined, the two farms near Dannevirke in the Southern Hawke’s Bay encompass a total of 1,738 hectares of rolling countryside fenced into some 160 paddocks, and known as Rolling Downs Station. . . 

 


Petrol pain pressures policy on hoof

October 25, 2018

The pressure from the pain of petrol prices has forced a government backdown:

National Party Leader Simon Bridges has welcomed the Prime Minister’s forced backdown on her regional fuel taxes, and called on her to overturn her excise increases and remove the regional fuel tax imposed on Aucklanders.

“After pressure from the National Party over her Government’s decision to impose more and more new taxes on record petrol prices the Prime Minister has today finally backed down and ruled out rolling the regional fuel tax out beyond Auckland while she is Prime Minister.

“This is in spite of her Government introducing legislation which would have enabled the 11.5 cent per litre regional fuel tax to be rolled out around the country from 2021. It has already been imposed on Aucklanders.

“Fourteen other councils had already started discussions with the Government saying they wanted the tax and will be surprised to hear about the Prime Minister’s backdown today.

“Her Transport Minister was also be surprised at his Prime Minister’s unilateral decision. This was forced policy made up on the hoof by a Prime Minister under pressure over her disregard for the costs her Government is imposing on New Zealanders.

Policy on the hoof is becoming a habit. This time it’s doing the right thing but it’s not a good way to govern.

“New Zealanders will be relieved. These taxes on top of record petrol prices are hitting them hard and pricing them out of their cars yet this Government was blindly forging ahead with new taxes because it can’t get its spending under control.

“The Prime Minister needs to go further, do the right thing and throw her numerous new taxes out completely. She should remove the regional fuel tax from Auckland as well as her first four cent national excise tax increase, and pledge not to impose any more new taxes.”

 She can cast blame on fuel companies but nearly half the cost of a litre of petrol is tax.

It was bad enough when all the money collected was spent on roads, it’s much worse now some is being spent on cycleways and public transport most of us will never use.


Quote of the day

October 25, 2018

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls. Pablo Picasso who was born on this day in 1881.


October 25 in history

October 25, 2018

1147  The Portuguese, under Afonso I, and Crusaders from England and Flanders conquered Lisbon after a four-month siege.

1147  Seljuk Turks annihilated German crusaders under Conrad III at theBattle of Dorylaeum.

1415 The army of Henry V of England defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

1616  Dutch sea-captain Dirk Hartog made second recorded landfall by a European on Australian soil, at Dirk Hartog Island off the Western Australian coast.

1747  British fleet under Admiral Sir Edward Hawke defeats the French at the second battle of Cape Finisterre.

1760 George III became King of Great Britain.

1813  War of 1812: Canadians and Mohawks defeated the Americans in the Battle of Chateauguay.

1825  Johann Strauss II, Austrian composer, was born (d. 1899).

1828 The St Katharine Docks opened in London.

1838 Georges Bizet, French composer, was born (d. 1875).

1854  The Battle of Balaklava during the Crimean War (Charge of the Light Brigade).

1861  The Toronto Stock Exchange was created.

1881 Pablo Picasso, Spanish painter and sculptor, was born (d. 1973).

1888 Richard E. Byrd, American explorer, was born (d. 1957).

1900  The United Kingdom annexed the Transvaal.

1917 Traditionally understood date of the October Revolution, involving the capture of the Winter Palace, Petrograd.

1920  After 74 days on Hunger Strike in Brixton Prison, England, the Sinn Féin Lord Mayor of Cork, Terence MacSwiney died.

1924  The forged Zinoviev Letter was published in the Daily Mail, wrecking the British Labour Party’s hopes of re-election.

1938 The Archbishop of Dubuque, Francis J. L. Beckman, denounced swing music as “a degenerated musical system… turned loose to gnaw away at the moral fibre of young people”, warning that it leads down a “primrose path to hell”.

1941 Helen Reddy, Australian singer was born.

1941 Anne Tyler, American novelist, was born.

1944 Heinrich Himmler ordered a crackdown on the Edelweiss Pirates, a loosely organized youth culture in Nazi Germany that had assisted army deserters and others to hide from the Third Reich.

1944  The USS Tang under Richard O’Kane was sunk by the ship’s own malfunctioning torpedo.

1944  Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history,  between the Imperial Japanese Navy and the U.S. Third and U.S. Seventh Fleets.

1945 China took over administration of Taiwan following Japan’s surrender to the Allies.

1949 IHC was founded.

Foundation of IHC

1962  Cuban missile crisis: Adlai Stevenson showed photos at the UN proving Soviet missiles were installed in Cuba.

1962   Nelson Mandela  was sentenced to five years in prison.

1971  The Christchurch-Dunedin overnight express, headed by a JA-class locomotive, ran the last scheduled steam-hauled service on New Zealand Railways (NZR), bringing to an end 108 years of regular steam rail operations in this country.

End of the line for steam railways

1977  Digital Equipment Corporation released OpenVMS V1.0.

1980  Proceedings on the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction concluded.

1983  Operation Urgent Fury: The United States and its Caribbean allies invaded Grenada, six days after Prime Minister Maurice Bishop and several of his supporters were executed in a coup d’état.

1991 Three months after the end of the Ten-Day War, the last soldier of the Yugoslav People’s Army left the Republic of Slovenia.

1995 A commuter train slammed into a school bus in Fox River Grove, Illinois, killing seven students.

1997 Denis Sassou-Nguesso proclaimed himself the President of the Republic of the Congo.

2009 The 25 October 2009 Baghdad bombings killed 155 and wounded at least 721.

2010 – Mount Merapi in Central Java, Indonesia, began over a month of eruptions.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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