Word of the day

March 12, 2019

Latrocination – the act of robbing, plundering, or pillaging; highway robbery; overcharging; a depredation.


Rural round-up

March 12, 2019

It’s all about the bloodline – Luke Chivers:

Central Hawke’s Bay farmers Harry and Kate de Lautour are dedicated to bloodline but it isn’t just about their ancestry. Luke Chivers reports.

From  the crack of dawn to the close of day sheep and beef farmer Harry de Lautour is set on challenging his animals for the betterment of their health.

The 31-year-old from Flemington has a long-standing connection with the primary sector, sheep genetics and performance recording.  

Growing up in rural New Zealand instilled that passion.

“I grew up on a sheep and beef farm in Hawke’s Bay and absolutely loved it,” he says. . . 

Auckland wants to protect productive soils – Neal Wallace:

In the next 30 years up to a million new houses could be built in Auckland on designated land that excludes elite and prime soils.

Land Squeeze Dinkus 1The city’s rural-urban boundary provides an urban edge with 15,000ha – equivalent to twice the urban area of Hamilton – of rural land identified for future urban expansion, Auckland City Council urban growth and housing director Penny Pirrit said.

In addition, land in Auckland’s existing urban area has space for another 240,000 houses.

Supplying infrastructure for that degree of expansion is estimated to cost $20 billion over 30 years.

When the council was formed in 2010 one of its first roles was to plan for future residential and industrial growth. . . 

Good start to grape harvest – Simon Hartley:

Central Otago’s grape harvest is well under way and recent dry conditions are having barely any effect, Central Otago Winegrowers Association past president James Dicey says.

Harvesting started late last month, mainly of sparkling grape varieties and other varieties are due to start soon, through to mid-to-late March.

While Australia’s wine sector has been devastated by its hottest summer on record and drought, Central Otago has not been similarly hit, despite the past summer in New Zealand having been recorded as one of the hottest on record. . . 

Wilding pines are ‘a blanket of green like a marching army over a landscape’ – Georgie Ormond:

It looks like a harmless Christmas tree but Pinus Contorta is wreaking havoc on the landscape in some parts of New Zealand.

Tragically, Contorta was originally planted in the central North Island for conservation, to help stabilise the alpine scree slopes, and for forestry.

Fifty years later it’s an insidious wilding pine that is taking over the Central Plateau.

Craig Davey from Horizons Regional Council says that’s because Contorta has the lightest seed of all our pinus species. . . 

Finding satisfaction in contrary conditions – Mike Weddell:

The end of the fishing season is not far away but it does not seem long since it started, so we need to make the most of it.

Conditions have been great for fishing recently and it seems like not much will change in the short term.

My last two outings were scorchers, bright sun and little wind which, combined with clear water, were great days.

Reading traditional fly-fishing books, they mostly state that these are the worst conditions for fishing – but in my experience, the contrary is true.

Some of my best days ever have been on hot sunny days. . . 

‘Head in the sand’ approach outdated – Richard Kohne:

There is a fine line between a consumer fad and a long-term structural shift in a way of thinking, but most people in food production would agree that the Australian consumers’ focus on sustainability is here to stay.

This means a “head in the sand” approach is well and truly off the table. In fact, most producers are well aware of the risk they take when delaying their response to such a shift in thinking, and so are now looking for a way to meet this consumer desire. 

Few might appreciate however, that responding to this desire for sustainable produce could in fact make them more profitable. . . 


Dog walker vs farmer

March 12, 2019

Who wins in dog walker vs farmer😕

A Peak District farmer has been forced to give up his “gentle” highland cattle after a single dog walker complained that they felt unsafe around the herd.

Alex Birch, 32, has roamed his 27-strong herd on Baslow Edge in the Peak District for 40 years, ever since his grandfather David Thorp first introduced them to the land as a young man.

Walkers in the national park regularly encountered the red-haired cattle, described as “the most photographed cows in the world”, as they grazed on the bracken.

They were even the face of BBC Look North’s weather programme.

But ramblers cannot find the animals on Baslow Edge anymore, as Mr Birch has been forced to sell and slaughter his cattle following a complaint to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) from an anonymous dog walker.

The complaint stressed concern after a walker claimed that one of the highland cows attempted to attack their dog. . . 

An online petition has been launched in support of the farmer:

It has gained over 23,000 signatures in just 24 hours. The petition says: “For over 40 years a herd of Highland cattle have been allowed to graze on the moorland of Baslow Edge in the Peak District, delighting walkers, cyclists and photographers.

“They have also played a crucial part in maintaining and enriching this beautiful moorland. The highland cattle actively helped the biodiversity of the area.

“Sadly, the HSE has decreed that these gentle creatures should be removed from this area due to the complaints of one individual who, by walking with a dog too close to the herd, felt that they were in danger of attack.”

It adds: “Baslow Edge is visited by thousands of people every year, who enjoy the sight of these magnificent creatures, are respectful of their space, particularly when the cows have calves, with no incident.

Cows with calves are very, very protective.

“This petition is also to show support to the farming community and Mr Thorp, the farmer who owned the herd of highland cattle on Baslow Edge. Quite simply, the act of removing this herd was uncalled for and a knee-jerk reaction to one individual.”

Despite fierce public backlash against the decision, a HSE spokesman said the matter has been ‘satisfactorily resolved’. .  .

People wanting more access to farmland in New Zealand often look to the UK’s right to roam as an exemplar.

It’s stories like this which keep farmers here maintaining their private property rights which include the right to restrict entry and bar dogs on a lead or not.


Quote of the day

March 12, 2019

Art is essentially simple and an expression of emotion. The first duty of an artist is to find beauty in everyday life, to express this for the benefit of all mankind, which is the basis of all art. Rita Angus who was born on this day in 1908.


March 12 in history

March 12, 2019

538  Witiges, king of the Ostrogoths ended his siege of Rome leaving the city in the hands of the victorious Roman general, Belisarius.

1622  Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits, was canonized a saint by the Catholic Church.

1689 The Williamite war in Ireland began.

1821  Sir John Abbott, third Prime Minister of Canada, was born  (d. 1893).

1831 Clement Studebaker, American automobile pioneer, was born  (d. 1901).

1832 The Filippo Taglioni ballet La Sylphide received its première performance at the Paris Opéra.

1832 Charles Boycott, British land agent and source of the term to boycott, was born (d. 1897).

1864 Arthur’s Pass was “discovered”.

 Arthur's Pass 'discovered'

1868 Henry O’Farrell attempted to assassinate Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh.

1869 – George Forbes, New Zealand lawyer and politician, 22nd Prime Minister of New Zealand was born (d. 1947).

George William Forbes.jpg

1880 Henry Drysdale Dakin, British-American biochemist, known for the Dakin-West reaction, was born (d. 1952).

1881 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, first President of Turkey was born (d. 1938).

1881 Andrew Watson made his Scotland debut as the world’s first black international football player and captain.

1894  Coca-Cola was sold in bottles for the first time.

1908 Rita Angus, New Zealand painter, was born  (d. 1970).

1910 – Masayoshi Ōhira, Japanese politician, 68th Prime Minister of Japan was born (d. 1980).

1912 The Girl Guides (later renamed the Girl Scouts of the USA) were founded in the United States.

1913  Canberra Day: The future capital of Australia was officially named Canberra.

1913  – Agathe von Trapp, Hungarian-American singer and author was born (d. 2010).

1918 Moscow became the capital of Russia again after Saint-Petersburg held this status for 215 years.

1924  – Mary Lee Woods, English mathematician and computer programmer was born (d. 2017).

1928 The St. Francis Dam in California failed, killing over 600 people.

1930 Mahatma Gandhi led a 200-mile march, known as the Dandi March, to the sea in defiance of British opposition, to protest the British monopoly on salt.

1932 Barbara Feldon, American actress and model, was born.

1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation for the first time as President of the United States in the first of his “fireside chats“.

1934 Konstantin Päts and General Johan Laidoner staged a coup in Estonia, and banned all political parties.

1938 Anschluss: German troops occupied Austria.

1940 Finland signed the Moscow Peace Treaty with the Soviet Union, ceding almost all of Finnish Karelia.

1946 Liza Minnelli, American singer and actress, was born.

1947 The Truman Doctrine was proclaimed to help stem the spread of Communism.

1948  James Taylor, American musician, was born.

1957 Marlon Jackson, American singer and musician (The Jackson 5), was born.

1966 Suharto became President of Indonesia.

1968  Mauritius achieved independence.

1971 The March 12 Memorandum, was sent to the Demirel government of Turkey and the government resigned.

1975 – New Zealand Red Cross worker Malcolm ‘Mac’ Riding  was killed in a plane crash in Vietnam.

New Zealand Red Cross worker killed in Vietnam

1992 – Mauritius becomes a republic while remaining a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

1993 Several bombs exploded in Mumbai killing about 300 and injuring hundreds more.

1993 North Korea said it planned to withdraw from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refused to allow inspectors access to its nuclear sites.

1993 – The Blizzard of 1993 – Snow began to fall across the eastern portion of the US with tornadoes, thunder snow storms, high winds and record low temperatures.

1994 The Church of England ordained its first female priests.

2003 –  Zoran Đinđić, Prime Minister of Serbia, was assassinated in Belgrade.

2004 – A President of South Korea, Roh Moo-hyun, was impeached by its national assembly for the first time in the nation’s history.

2005 – Tung Chee Hwa, the first Chief Executive of Hong Kong, stepped down from his post after his resignation was approved by the Chinese central government.

2009 – Financier Bernard Madoff admitted to scamming $18 billion, the largest in Wall Street history.

2011 – A reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant melted and exploded and released radioactivity into the atmosphere a day after Japan’s earthquake.

2014 – An explosion in the New York City neighbourhood of East Harlem killed 8 and injured 70 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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