Word of the day

April 4, 2019

Emunction – the act of removing obstructions from or cleaning bodily passages;  the act of blowing or picking one’s nose.


Thatcher thinks

April 4, 2019


Rural round-up

April 4, 2019

Beef and lamb campaign chases conscious foodies – Alan Williams:

Up to 16 million conscious foodies in California are the target of a major new beef and lamb marketing project.

The aim is to make New Zealand top-of-mind for a group passionate about the idea of grass-fed red meat and wanting to know where it comes from.

After months of research Taste Pure Nature was launched in California on March 20 and straight away there were 151 automatic pick-ups on the multi-media release, providing potentially millions of potential impressions among individual consumers, Beef + Lamb NZ market development general manager Nick Beeby said. . . 

‘Devastated’ Northland mānuka honey producers seek chemical markers definition review from MPI – Lois Williams:

The legal definition of mānuka honey could change, if new evidence shows the chemical makeup of the honey is different in Northland, MPI says.

Far North honey producers say the Ministry of Primary Industries’ regulatory definition, published a year ago, excludes up to 50 percent of their honey, based on just one chemical marker – even in areas where the bees have nothing but mānuka to feed on.

About 80 beekeepers and honey producers from Auckland to Kaitaia turned out to challenge MPI scientists at a hui yesterday at Ōtiria marae, near Kaikohe.

They believe the definition established to protect New Zealand’s mānuka brand overseas fails to take into account regional variations in the chemical makeup of the honey. . . 

Diversified and innovative Whangarei orchard wins Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

A Whangarei family growing raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and green and gold kiwifruit have won the Northland Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The Malley family of Patrick and his wife Rebecca and their children Austin, 4, and Eloise, 1, and Patrick’s parents Dermott and Linzi own and operate their diversified horticulture business, Maungatapere Berries, just outside Whangarei.

Raspberries are the biggest berry crop, processed through a packhouse on the orchard, and sold domestically under their own Maungatapere Berries brand along with blackberries, and blueberries under the Eureka brand. Kiwifruit canopy extends over 16.25ha, including 3.36ha of Gold 3 under cover, to target high-taste, high-production, early season fruit. . . 

Diversity and tolerance – now is the time –  Karen Williams:

Federated Farmers arable sector chairwoman Karen Williams says it is time for bold leadership.

With the traumatic events in Christchurch front of mind it has been hard to focus on topics worthy of commentary when so many of our daily tribulations seem comparatively insignificant.

This atrocity is beyond belief.

It has severely affected the Christchurch community, stunned and saddened New Zealand and sent shock waves around the globe. 

Is there something we can take out of this that will at least in some small way add value to a grieving country?

I believe there is. . . 

Australian snail farmer struggling to keep up with demand

Snails, ants and even fried cockroaches are increasingly popping up on Australian menus, as people seek more environmentally friendly meat.

However, with extreme weather and increased popularity, Australian snail farmers are struggling to meet demand.

Claudia Ait-Touati is a not-for-profit snail farmer in Coonalpyn, about 150 km south-east of Adelaide. . . 

Another pea weevil free year needed in the Wairarapa:

The current Biosecurity New Zealand ban on pea growing in the Wairarapa is knocking down the pea weevil population, but another pea weevil free year is needed to be confident of eradication.

The pest was first discovered in the Wairarapa in 2016 and has been subject to an eradication programme since then.

“Our trapping programme did not find any pea weevils in the 2018 surveillance, which is a promising result after the discovery of just 15 the previous season, says Biosecurity New Zealand spokesperson Dr Cath Duthie. . . 

Kiwifruit orchard with growth potential for sale:

One of closest commercial kiwifruit orchards to Auckland’s urban boundary – with potential to treble its production capacity – been placed on the market for sale.

Known as MacLachlan Orchard, the 12.2-hectare property at 90 Mullins Road in Ardmore is planted on flat land, and is forecast to produce some 42,000 trays of fruit in the current season.

The orchard’s 3.3 canopy hectares of productive land comprises some 2.29-canopy hectares of the Hayward green kiwifruit variety and 1.07 canopy hectares of the G3 gold kiwifruit strain picked off vines which were grafted some six years ago. . . 


CGT will hit everyone

April 4, 2019

The Taxpayer’s Union has launched a campaign to axe the capital gains tax (CGT) :

New Zealand’s tax system is admired around the world for its simplicity, affordability, and fairness. The capital gains tax proposed by Sir Michael Cullen’s Tax Working Group would put all of this at risk.

It is bureaucratic, costly, and would be the harshest in the world. It will curtail entrepreneurship and investment, meaning a reduction in all New Zealanders’ economic prosperity.

The rate is one of the world’s highest, it would be unfairly levied on inflation, it would require costly and fraught asset valuation, and in many cases it would break the Government’s promises by targeting the family home.

New Zealanders deserve better than this unfair tax.

    • It unfairly taxes people with assets for inflation
    • It will unfairly tax 350,000 home owners who live on a lifestyle block even if they only have one home
    • It will unfairly impose billions of dollars of compliance costs on 500,000 small businesses
    • It will unfairly tax farmers who sell a farm in order to buy another farm
    • It will unfairly lead to higher rents for over a million tenants
    • It is an unfair double tax on 500,000 business owners who already pay company tax
    • It will unfairly benefit tax lawyers and accountants who can exploit American-style loopholes
    • It will unfairly advantage foreign owners of New Zealand shares and disadvantage 800,000 New Zealand investing in local companies

Who will be affected by the CGT?:

Anyone who owns a business, including a farm, shares, bach/crib/holiday home, lifestyle block bigger than .45 hectares,  or rental property; anyone who claims expenses for a home office; has intellectual property, anyone who owns a home and moves into a rest home without being able to sell it within a year, or buys another and can’t sell the first within a year, or goes overseas for a while; anyone who buys a section for a new home that isn’t completed within a year;  any homeowner who forms a relationship with another homeowner;  and anyone who has taxable assets and migrates.

A lot of people would be hit by the tax directly but everyone will be hit indirectly when costs go up and the economy slows.

Even Inland Revenue advised against it:

Tax officials advised the Government 15 months ago that our small companies, start-ups and innovators were better off without a Capital Gains Tax, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges says.

“Even before Sir Michael Cullen and others were named to the Tax Working Group in December 2017, Inland Revenue officials told the Government that the absence of a Capital Gains Tax in New Zealand was ‘potentially advantageous to start-ups’.

“Not having a Capital Gains Tax is ‘advantageous’ to every Kiwi willing to give it a go by starting a small business and creating jobs. People who take risks with smart ideas and build something bigger than themselves shouldn’t be discouraged.

“Governments should encourage innovators because smart people will take us to a better future. We need people who take risks and stretch themselves because the ones who succeed create more jobs.

“The Government was also told that the lack of a Capital Gains Tax ‘indirectly incentivises’ people to put more of their own money into a venture because they have the chance of a better return when they sell. That could be somebody who wants to stop working, sell the business and retire. . . “

That’s another consequence that would hit a l9ot of people – disincentive to invest and carry out succession as aging farm and other business owners hang on instead of selling.

The economy is slowing.

If it’s going to reverse that the government must take a much more frugal approach to its own spending and axe the CGT.


April 4 in history

April 4, 2019

1081 Alexios I Komnenos was crowned Byzantine emperor at Constantinople, beginning the Komnenian dynasty.

1581 Francis Drake was knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world.

1655 The the Infant of Prague statue was solemnly crowned by command of Cardinal Harrach.

1660 Declaration of Breda by King Charles II of England.

1721  Sir Robert Walpole became the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under King George I.

1802 Dorothea Dix, American social activist, was born (d. 1887).

1812  U.S. President James Madison enacted a ninety-day embargo on trade with the United Kingdom.

1814 Napoleon abdicated for the first time.

1818 The United States Congress adopted the flag of the United Stateswith 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20).

1841 William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and the one with the shortest term served.

1850 The Great Fire of Cottenham, a large part of the Cambridgeshire village was burnt to the ground under suspicious circumstances.

1850 – Los Angeles was incorporated as a city.

1859 Bryant’s Minstrels debuted “Dixie” in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show.

1866 Alexander II of Russia narrowly escaped an assassination attempt.

1873 The Kennel Club was founded, the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world.

1887 Argonia, Kansas elected Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.

1905 The Kangra earthquake killed 20,000, and destroyed most buildings in Kangra, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala.

1913 The Greek aviator Emmanuel Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot victim of the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashed.

1918 – World War I: Second Battle of the Somme ended.

1918 – George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe, English soldier and politician, Leader of the House of Lords, was born (d. 2007)

1928  – Maya Angelou, American author and poet, was born (d. 2014).

1930 The Communist Party of Panama was founded.

1931  – Dame Cath Tizard, New Zealand politician, 16th Governor-General of New Zealand, was born.

Catherine Tizard 1992.jpg

1935 – Geoff Braybrooke, English-New Zealand soldier and politician, was born (d. 2013).

1939 Faisal II became King of Iraq.

1944 World War II: First bombardment of Bucharest by Anglo-American forces killed 3000 civilians.

1945 World War II: American troops liberated Ohrdruf forced labour campin Germany.

1945 – World War II: Soviet Army took control of  Hungary.

1946 Dave Hill, English guitarist (Slade), was born.

1949  Twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

1949 Junior Braithwaite, Jamaican singer (The Wailers), was born  (d. 1999).

1951 Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, was born.

1952 Gary Moore, Irish guitarist (Thin Lizzy), was born  (d. 2011).

1958 The CND Peace Symbol displayed in public for the first time in London.

1960 Senegal independence day.

1963 Graham Norton, Irish talk show host, was born.

1964 The Beatles occupied the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.

1965 The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft  was unveiled.

1967  Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech in New York City’s Riverside Church.

1968 Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated by James Earl Ray.

1968 – Apollo programme: NASA launched Apollo 6.

1968 – AEK Athens BC became the first Greek team to win the European Basketball Cup.

1969 Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the first temporary artificial heart.

1973 The World Trade Center in New York was officially dedicated.

1975 Microsoft was founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen.

1975 Vietnam War:  Operation Baby Lift – A United States Air Force C-5A Galaxy crashed near Saigon shortly after takeoff, transporting orphans – 172 died.

1976 Prince Norodom Sihanouk resignws as leader of Cambodia and was placed under house arrest.

1979 Heath Ledger, Australian actor, was born  (d. 2008).

1979  Jessica Napier, New Zealand actress, was born.

1979 President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan was executed.

1983 Space Shuttle Challenger made its maiden voyage into space (STS-6).

1984 President Ronald Reagan called for an international ban on chemical weapons.

1991 Senator John Heinz and six others were killed when a helicopter collided with their plane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania.

1994 Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark found Netscape Communications Corporation under the name “Mosaic Communications Corporation”.

2001 Dame Silvia Cartwright became Governor General of New Zealand.

Silvia Cartwright becomes Governor General

2002 The Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War.

2007 15 British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran were released by the Iranian President.

2008 – In a raid on the FLDS’s YFZ Ranch in Texas, 401 children and 133 women were taken into state custody.

2013 – More than 70 people were killed in a building collapse in Thane, India.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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