Word of the day


Negotiosity – state of being busy; constant occupation in business or other matters; multitude of business.

Thatcher thinks


Rural round-up


Miles Hurrell permanently appointed Fonterra chief executive officer:

Fonterra Co-operative Group (FCG) has announced the permanent appointment of Miles Hurrell as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), with immediate effect.

Mr Hurrell had been the Co-operative’s interim CEO since August last year.

Fonterra Chairman, John Monaghan says the Co-operative’s Board has been impressed by Mr Hurrell’s leadership and commercial skills as it continued to breathe fresh air into the Co-operative. . . 

Fonterra caught in death valley :

The sale of Tip Top is crucial to Fonterra’s aim of reducing its debt by $800 million before the end of this financial year, dairy industry commentator Peter Fraser believes.

Fast-moving consumer goods companies can command some very high multiples of earnings when being traded.

Fraser is an economist who advised the Ministry of Agriculture during Fonterra’s restructuring attempt a decade ago and has commented on the dairy industry since.  . . 

M. Bovisfoundonthreefarms – Sally Rae:

Bulk milk testing from all dairy farms has confirmed Mycoplasma bovis infection on three farms, the Ministry for Primary Industries’ latest stakeholder update says. All three properties had previously known links to the bacterial cattle disease.

Another 51 farms would be further investigated as part of routine surveillance while testing was yet to be completed from about 50 farms that calved later in the season.

Testing would begin shortly after calving because the bacteria was more likely to be shed during times of stress, such as after calving and the start of lactation, the update said. . . 

Alex woolhandler to represent NZ at champs – Sally Rae:

It’s bonjour France for Alexandra-based woolhandler Pagan Karauria. Karauria (30) will represent New Zealand at the world championships in Le Dorat in July, after gaining selection at the Golden Shears in Masterton on Saturday night.

Her success was even more remarkable given she suffered life-threatening injuries in a vehicle crash in Central Otago 10 and a-half years ago and has battled with the lasting effects since. . . 

Indoor lambing unit is in enviro contest – Joanna Grigg:

Richard Dawkins of The Pyramid has entered his family sheep and cattle business in the 2019 Cawthron Marlborough Environmental Awards and is up against forestry, marine, wine industry, landscape/habitat, community innovation and business innovation entries for the supreme title.

The winners will be named on March 22.

The Pyramid is in contention for the Federated Farmers Award for sheep and beef entries.  . . 

Farm loan delinquencies highest in 9 years as prices slump – Roxana Hegeman:

The nation’s farmers are struggling to pay back loans after years of low crop prices and a backlash from foreign buyers over President Donald Trump’s tariffs, with a key government program showing the highest default rate in at least nine years.

Many agricultural loans come due around Jan. 1, in part to give producers enough time to sell crops and livestock and to give them more flexibility in timing interest payments for tax filing purposes.

“It is beginning to become a serious situation nationwide at least in the grain crops — those that produce corn, soybeans, wheat,” said Allen Featherstone, head of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Kansas State University. . . 


Landcorp pays ERG $1500/day


An OIO response to questions from Rural News shows that members of Landcorp’s environmental reference group are earning $1500 a day :

Landcorp is paying members of its contentious environmental reference group (ERG) $1500 a day each – far more than other government body payments.

This has been revealed in answers to an Official Information Act (OIA) request by Rural News to the Government-owned farmer (trading as Pāmu Farms).

“Each ERG member and the chairman is paid a flat fee of $1500 per day they attend the ERG meeting,” Landcorp’s OIA response says.

“In addition, the chair is paid an hourly rate for meeting preparation.”

During the 2017-2018 year, the state farmer also paid $2740.11 in travel costs and another $2451.43 in accommodating out-of-town ERG members for the four meetings it held in Wellington. . .

Meanwhile, it looks like members of Landcorp’s ERG are on a pretty good wicket at $1500-a-day, compared with other Government-paid bodies. Members of the Primary Sector Council are paid $500 a day, with chair Lain Jager earning $800 a day. The Tax Working Group members earned $800 a day and chair Sir Michael Cullen earned $1000 a day.

Are members of the ERG worth three times as much as members of the Primary Sector Council, nearly twice as much as members of the Tax Working Group and half as much again as its chair?

What does the group do and what has it achieved?

Is Landcorp getting value for money from what looks like significant over payments, and given we own the company what’s the value to taxpayers?

Quote of the day


He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past. – Gabriel García Márquez who was born on this day in 1927.

March 6 in history


12 BC – The Roman Emperor Augustus was named Pontifex Maximus, incorporating the position into that of the emperor.

632 – The Farewell Sermon (Khutbah, Khutbatul Wada’) of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.

845 – Execution of the 42 Martyrs of Amorium at Samarra.

961 – Byzantine conquest of Chandax by Nikephoros Phokas, end of the Emirate of Crete.

1204 – The Siege of Château Gaillard ended in a French victory over King John of England, who lost control of Normandy to King Philip II Augustus.

1323 – Treaty of Paris of 1323 was signed.

1454 – Thirteen Years’ War: Delegates of the Prussian Confederation pledged allegiance to King Casimir IV of Poland who agreed to commit his forces in aiding the Confederation’s struggle for independence from the Teutonic Knights.

1475 Michelangelo Italian artist, was born (d. 1564).

1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Guam.

1665 – The first joint Secretary of the Royal Society, Henry Oldenburg, published the first issue of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, the world’s longest-running scientific journal.

1788 – The First Fleet arrives at Norfolk Island in order to found a convict settlement.

1806 – Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English-Italian poet and translator was born (d. 1861).

1820 – The Missouri Compromise was signed into law by President James Monroe. The compromise allowed Missouri to enter the Union as a slave state, brought Maine into the Union as a free state, and made the rest of the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase territory slavery-free.

1830 – Outbreak of the ‘Girls‘ War’,  fought between northern and southern Ngāpuhi at Kororāreka (now Russell).

Outbreak of the 'Girls' War' at Kororāreka

1834 – York, Upper Canada, was incorporated as Toronto.

1836 – Texas RevolutionBattle of the Alamo – After a thirteen-day siege by an army of 3,000 Mexican troops, the 187 Texas volunteers, including frontiersman Davy Crockett and colonel Jim Bowie, defending the Alamo were killed and the fort was captured.

1843 – Martha Burton Williamson, American malacologist and journalist was born (d. 1922).

1857 – The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in the Dred Scott v. Sandford case.

1869 – Dmitri Mendeleev presented the first periodic table to the Russian Chemical Society.

1870 – Oscar Straus, Viennese composer and conductor was born (d. 1954).

1879 – Jimmy Hunter, New Zealand All Black, rugby player was born (d. 1962).

Jimmy Hunter 1904.jpg

1882 – The Serbian kingdom was re-founded.

1899 – Bayer registered “Aspirin” as a trademark.

1902 – Real Madrid C.F. was founded.

1904 – José Antonio Aguirre, Spanish lawyer and politician, 1st President of the Basque Country was born (d. 1960).

1912 – Italo-Turkish War: Italian forces became the first to use airships in war, as two dirigibles drop bombs on Turkish troops encamped at Janzur, from an altitude of 6,000 feet.

1917 – Frankie Howerd, English comedian, was born (d. 1992).

1921 – Portuguese Communist Party was founded as the Portuguese Section of the Communist International.

1926 – Alan Greenspan, American economist and politician was born.

1927 – Gabriel García Márquez, Colombian journalist and author, Nobel Prize laureate was born (d. 2014).

1930 – International Unemployment Day demonstrations globally initiated by the Comintern.

1942 – WWIIBattle of Java, allied troops among them Dutch colonial troops had to retreat from Buitenzorg after a Japanese attack.

1943 – Norman Rockwell published Freedom from Want in The Saturday Evening Post with a matching essay by Carlos Bulosan as part of the Four Freedoms series.

1944 – Kiri Te Kanawa, New Zealand soprano and actress, was born.

Kiri Te Kanawa 2013 (cropped).jpg

1944 – Mary Wilson, American singer (The Supremes), was born.

1945 – World War IICologne was captured by American troops.

1945 – World War II: Operation Spring Awakening, the last major German offensive of the war, began.

1946 – Ho Chi Minh signed an agreement with France which recognised Vietnam as an autonomous state in the Indochinese Federation and the French Union.

1946 – David Gilmour, English singer-songwriter and guitarist (Pink Floyd) was born.

1947 – Kiki Dee, English singer-songwriter, was born.

1947 – Dick Fosbury, American high jumper, was born.

1947 The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra made its debut performance– opening the concert in Wellington’s Town Hall with God Save The Kingthe performing selections from Dvorak, Brahms, Butterworth, Enesco, Wagner and Richard Strauss.

Debut performance of NZ Symphony Orchestra

1951 – Cold War: The trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg began.

1953 – Georgy Malenkov succeeded Joseph Stalin as Premier of the Soviet Union and First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.

1957 – Ghana became the first Sub-Saharan country to gain independence from the British.

1964 – Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad officially gave boxing champion Cassius Clay the name Muhammad Ali.

1964 – Constantine II became King of Greece.

1965 – Premier Tom Playford of South Australia lost power after 27 years in office.

1967 – Cold War: Joseph Stalin’s daughter Svetlana Alliluyeva defected to the United States.

1968 – Three rebels were executed by Rhodesia, the first executions since UDI, prompting international condemnation.

1970 – An explosion at the Weather Underground safe house in Greenwich Village killed three.

1975 – For the first time the Zapruder film of the assassination of John F. Kennedy was shown in motion to a national TV audience by Robert J. Groden and Dick Gregory.

1975 – Algiers Accord: Iran and Iraq announced a settlement of their border dispute.

1983 – The first United States Football League games were played.

1984 – A walkout at Cortonwood Colliery in Brampton Bierlow signalled the start of a strike that lasted almost a year and involved the majority [but never all] of the country’s miners.

1987 – The British ferry MS Herald of Free Enterprise capsized in about 90 seconds, killing 193.

1988 – Three Provisional Irish Republican Army volunteers were shot dead by the SAS in Gibraltar in Operation Flavius.

1992 – The Michelangelo computer virus began to affect computers.

2008 – A suicide bomber killed 68 people (including first responders) in Baghdad on the same day that a gunman killed eight students in Jerusalem.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia

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