Word of the day

April 5, 2019

Logogogue – one  who legislates about words; a language expert; a person who leads others in the use of words or by the use of words.


Sowell says

April 5, 2019


Rural round-up

April 5, 2019

Hawke’s Bay Primary Sector Awards: The late Renata Apatu honoured at dinner – Blair Voorend:

The annual Hawke’s Bay Primary Sector Awards were filled with emotion as the late Renata Apatu’s life’s work was honoured.

Apatu, who died after a commercial helicopter crash at Ngamatea Station in June last year, was named as the Hastings District Council Hawke’s Bay Primary Sector Industry Leader Award winner.

The award was presented to Apatu’s wife, Sally Apatu.

Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst presented the award and noted Apatu was being honoured posthumously for his leadership, passion and commitment to the primary sector in farming and in particular in his work for wool. . . 

Massive Ngamatea Station has to feed 50 workers:

Fifty workers, two cooks, 42,000 ewes, 25,000 lambs, almost 1000 bales of wool and at least two weeks.

Thirty chickens, 30 sheep, two deer, six pigs, two boxes of fish and a whopping 300kg of spuds plus all the other vegetables.

Shearers are notorious for their prodigious appetites but shearing at Apatu family-owned Ngamatea Station is several orders of magnitude above anywhere else in the North Island. . . 

Environment plan gives proof –  Gerhard Uys:

With increasing pressure on farmers from national policy, regional councils and the public to reduce the environmental impacts of their farms, farmers should have a Land and Environment Plan (LEP) in place and begin mitigating potential environmental risks, Beef + Lamb New Zealand regional associate Briar Huggett says.

A plan begins with a farm assessment, which should be followed by responses to possible environmental risks in a detailed strategy. 

“The key environmental risks on farms are nitrogen, phosphorus, sediment and bacteria loss to water ways,” Hugget said.

The first step in making a plan is to use an aerial farm map to mark farm resources and pinpoint likely hot spots for potential environmental risks. . . 

Family and environment come first for Regional Supreme Winner of Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

Webber Family Farm, owned and operated by Ross and Eleanore Webber, was announced the Regional Supreme Winner at this evening’s 2019 Auckland Ballance Farm Environment Awards run by the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards champion sustainable farming and growing through an awards programme which sees one Regional Supreme Winner selected from each of the 11 regions involved. These Regional Supreme Winners will be profiled at the Awards’ National Sustainability Showcase in Hamilton, on Thursday 6 June, with each in the running for the Gordon Stephenson Trophy. . . 

2019 Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards Winners announced:

The winners of the 2019 Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year competition believe strong relationships and networks are key to their successful business.

Cameron and Nicola van Dorsten were announced winners of the region’s Share Farmer of the Year competition at the Southland/Otago Dairy Industry Awards annual dinner held at the Bill Richardson Transport World in Invercargill last night. The other big winners were James Matheson who was named the 2019 Southland/Otago Dairy Manager of the Year, and Caycee Cormack the 2019 Southland/Otago Dairy Trainee of the Year. . . 

The Naked Farmers live off the grid – Sophie Love:

I guess we are accidental farmers; I bought a farm at Tom’s Creek, NSW, to run and write, and Ged had his bush block up the road to retreat to and raise cattle on. 

I met Ged when he came to quote an upgrade of the tiny solar system; he told me I would never be able to use a hairdryer, toaster, electric kettle or vacuum cleaner again. 

Back then we used 1 kilowatt with 15kw/hour of battery storage, now it is 8kw of solar with 100 kw/h of storage that runs two houses, six freezers, fridge, lights, hoover, electric kettle and toaster and air conditioner. . . 

 


Gumboot Friday

April 5, 2019

Fred Dagg sang in praise of gumboots.

They are essential footwear for work or play when it’s mucky underfoot but even with the best on your feet it’s not easy to walk through mud.

That’s what depression can feel like, dragging yourself through mud all day, every day and that was the inspiration behind GumbootFriday.

 


CGT based on dodgy stats

April 5, 2019

Assertions about the impact of the proposed capital gains tax are based on dodgy numbers.

Troy Bowker writes:

The Tax Working Group (TWG) used an unreliable survey by the Department of Statistics as the basis for its argument that the majority of the proposed capital gains tax (CGT) will be paid by the top 20 per cent of households measured by wealth.

Repeatedly, since the final report was published, Sir Michael Cullen has quoted the “statistic” to the media that 82 per cent of the assets that will be subject to CGT are owned by the top 20 per cent of New Zealand households measured by net worth.

He goes on to state (as factual) the second 20 per cent of wealthy households will be responsible for another 11 per cent , then only 4 per cent for “middle” New Zealand.

In reality, this information is based on what most reasonable people would describe as little more than guess work.

It has been used for political purposes to argue that the majority of the public have nothing to worry about, and it will be mostly the “rich” that will pay CGT.

If it is correct (which it isn’t), it’s a very good argument for Labour and the Greens who desperately want to see a comprehensive CGT implemented.

The problem for those wanting CGT is that the data is completely unreliable and should never have been used. We need to know why public officials used it in the first place when they knew, or ought to have known, it was dodgy statistics. . . 

The stats came from the annual Household Economic Survey (HES) carried out by Statistics NZ.

It was done by conducting interviews of 8000 households, out of approximately 1.7 million households, in New Zealand. That’s only 0.47 per cent of households — s a ridiculously low sample size.

The other reason it is unreliable is most of the information provided is unverifiable. The Department of Statistics asks all sorts of questions about the assets and liabilities of each household and records the answers given. People can guess, underestimate or overestimate or not even volunteer information.

As you can imagine, it’s an extremely invasive and intrusive process that attempts to delve into the most personal financial information of New Zealand homes.

By the Department of Statistics own admission, it contains data that is so unreliable they cautioned against its use. . . 

In spite of the caution Treasury used them in its report to the TWG.

It beggars belief that Treasury decided to use this information in its report to the TWG.

Senior Treasury officials who wrote this report to the TWG obviously knew the information couldn’t be safely relied upon.

Hidden in the fine print of the Treasury report, it states “care should be taken when interpreting wealth estimates because the confidence intervals around any point estimates vary widely”.

In layman’s terms, this is like Treasury saying to the TWG: “You probably shouldn’t be using this information as we really don’t know if it’s accurate and some of it’s completely unreliable.”

This raises some very serious questions about the probity of the process that need answering by Finance Minister Grant Robertson, and the TWG chair Michael Cullen (who is still on the Government pay roll). Hopefully he’s still being paid to answer the question of why the TWG used this data.

Did the TWG specifically request Treasury to dig up statistics to support the political argument that only the top households would pay CGT? Did the TWG know the data they were using was largely unreliable? Treasury obviously had concerns about using it and told the TWG in its report. So why did the TWG use that data? Does the Finance Minister now accept this data is unreliable and shouldn’t have been used for political purposes to justify Labour’s proposed CGT?

These are very serious questions that need to be answered and answered publicly.

The reality is, we don’t have enough reliable information to draw any conclusions at all about which households will pay the most from the proposed CGT.

We do know, however, that there are hundreds of thousands of farmers, business owners, lifestyle block owners, bach owners and sharemarket investors who will pay a lot more tax if Labour are successful in implementing CGT.

There are an awful lot of hardworking ordinary Kiwis who don’t consider themselves wealthy who will pay CGT if Labour are successful in convincing Winston Peters to support it.

For Labour to use these dodgy statistics to mislead the public would be to underestimate the intelligence of the voting public of New Zealand.

The CGT debate has a long way to go. But Labour need to come clean and be honest about the many hundreds of thousands of middle income Kiwis who will pay CGT. They also need to answer some serious questions about how, and why, the HES was used to support the main argument on fairness by the TWG.

This proposal is the most significant tax reform in many years in New Zealand and we deserve better than public officials using dubious and unreliable data to support a preconceived political agenda.

Significant tax reform should not be based on dodgy stats for both ethical and practical reasons.

Ethical because it’s wrong to base assertions on wrong numbers, and practical because if the stats are dodgy there can be no certainty about the outcomes.

It’s not just who would pay how much that matters, but how much tax a CGT would raise.

If the stats on which the assertions of who would pay what are dodgy the conclusions on how much that would raise are also completely unreliable.

The TGW was told any proposals must be revenue neutral – that is, the amount raised by any new tax would be offset by cuts to old ones.

There can be absolutely no certainty about how much it would raise and therefore how much other taxes could be lowered if the whole proposal is based on numbers based on guesswork.

Almost all those favouring a CGT do so based on an ideological and political idea about fairness. 

There is nothing fair about assertions based on dodgy numbers and a tax full of loopholes that would disincentivise investment and sabotage the economy.

 


April 5 in history

April 5, 2019

456 St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop.

1242 During a battle of the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuffed an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.

1254  Willen van Rubroeck, a Flemish Franciscan, meets the Mongolian Khan Möngke

1566 Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.

1609 – Daimyo (Lord) of the Satsuma Domain in southern Kyūshū, Japan, completed his successful invasion of the Ryūkyū Kingdom in Okinawa.

1614 Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.

1621 The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain.

1649 – Elihu Yale, American benefactor of Yale University, was born  (d. 1721).

1722 The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.

1761 – Sybil Ludington, heroine of the American Revolutionary War, was born (d. 1839).

1792  U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.

1804 High Possil Meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland fell in Possil.

1818 In the Battle of Maipú, Chile’s independence movement – led byBernardo O’Higgins and José de San Martín – won a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead.

1827 Joseph Lister, English surgeon, was born (d. 1912).

1837 Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, was born (d. 1909).

1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Yorktown started.

1871 – NZ’s first overseas diplomatic post was created with Isaac Featherston’s appointment as agent-general in London.

1874 Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park,opened in Birkenhead.

1879  Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.

1897  The Greco-Turkish War, also called “Thirty Days’ War”, was declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.

1900 Spencer Tracy, American actor, was born  (d. 1967).

1904 The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan.

1908 Bette Davis, American actress, was born  (d. 1989).

1916 Gregory Peck, American actor, was born (d. 2003).

1920 Arthur Hailey, American writer, was born (d. 2004)

1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began production of balloon-tyres.

1928 Tony Williams, American singer (The Platters), was born. (d. 1992)

1929 Nigel Hawthorne, British actor, was born (d. 2001).

1930  In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi broke British law after marching to the sea and making salt.

1932 Champion race horse Phar Lap died.

Death of Phar Lap

1932  Alcohol prohibition in Finland ended. Alcohol sales begin in Alkoliquor stores.

1932 – Dominion of Newfoundland: 10,000 rioters seized the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government.

1933  U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102“forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates” by U.S. citizens.

1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado killed 233 in Tupelo, Mississippi.

1937 Colin Powell, U.S. Army General, 12th Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff; and 65th Secretary of State, was born.

1937 Allan R. Thieme, American inventor, was born.

1942 World War II: The Japanese Navy attacked Colombo. Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk southwest of the island.

1944 World War II: 270 inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura were executed by the Germans.

1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip “Tito” Broz signed an agreement with the USSR to allow “temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory.”

1946 Jane Asher, British actress, was born.

1946 Soviet troops left the Danish  island of Bornholm after an 11 month occupation.

1949 Fireside Theater debuted on television.

1949 – A fire in a hospital  in Effingham, Illinois, killed 77 people and leads to nationwide fire code improvements in the United States.

1950 Agnetha Fältskog, Swedish singer (ABBA), was born.

1951 – Dave McArtney, New Zealand singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born (d. 2013).

1955 – Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

1955 – Anthony Horowitz, English author and screenwriter, was born.

1956 Fidel Castro declared himself at war with the President of Cuba.

1956  In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was sworn in as the Prime Minister.

1957 In India, Communists won the first elections in united Kerala andE.M.S. Namboodiripad was sworn in as the first chief minister.

1958 Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.

1966 Mike McCready, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.

1969 Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations occured in many U.S. cities.

1971 In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launched insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike.

1976 The April Fifth Movement led to the Tiananmen incident.

1986 Three people were killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin.

1991 An ASA EMB 120 crashed in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 aboard.

1992 Alberto Fujimori,  president of Peru, dissolved the Peruvian congressby military force.

1992 The Siege of Sarajevo began when Serb paramilitaries murder peace protesters Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic on the Vrbanja Bridge.

1998 The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about $3.8 billion, opened to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.

1999 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down  Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988 were handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.

2009 North Korea launched its controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket.

2010 – Twenty-nine coal miners were killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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