Word of the day

June 27, 2019

Blenky –  to snow very lightly.


Blue Smoke

June 27, 2019

New Zealand’s first-ever pop song, Blue Smoke, is being remembered 70 years on since its creation.

Blue Smoke was the mastermind of Dannevirke man Ruru Karaitiana in May 1940, before Pixie Williams’ rendition was released in June 1949 and became an instant hit. . . 


Thatcher thinks

June 27, 2019


Rural round-up

June 27, 2019

Culling our cows isn’t the only way to reduce emissions – but greenies shy from the GE option – Point of Order:

Climate  change  warriors  who   are  demanding  NZ’s  dairy  herd   be culled  immediately to  meet  targets of  lower methane emissions  may be confounded by the evidence  that leading farmers  are  already succeeding  in  lowering gas emissions.  And the  prospects  of  huge  advances  in other  aspects  of  dairying,  particularly  in   AI, robotics  and  the development of  new crops,  portend further  gains..

And what’s holding  up another  key development?

It’s the intransigence of the so-called  Green lobby against the introduction of genetic technology. . . 

South Canterbury champion shearers to take on the world’s best – Samesh Mohanlall:

Two South Cantabrians who are New Zealand’s premier blade shearers are headed to France and world shearing championships.

Tony Dobbs from Fairlie and Allan Oldfield of Geraldine are hoping for a good showing when they line up against the world’s best from July 1 at Le Dorat in Haute-Vienne.

The Olympics of shearing round up 35 nations, 300 international shearers, 5000 animals and more than 30,000 visitors, into a small town of 1900 inhabitants in southern-central France. . . 

Venison, velvet and … milk? – Farah Hancock:

How do you milk a deer? Very, very carefully.

In Benio, close to Gore the McIntyre family are doing just that with a herd of 90 hinds. It’s something they’ve been doing for four years and they put their success down to good handling of the deer.

Peter and Sharon McIntyre’s son Chris is in charge of the twice daily milking. He said at first a lot of people didn’t believe the family were milking their deer. Four years on, and with food and innovation awards under their belt not much has changed.

“It depends who you talk to. A lot of people still don’t believe us.” . . .

Fonterra says full-season milk collection up 1.2%- Gavin Evans:

(BusinessDesk) – Fonterra says its New Zealand milk collection for the year through May rose 1.2 percent despite a weak end to the season.

New Zealand’s biggest milk processor collected 1,522.7 million kilograms of milk solids in the year, and noted that the prior year had been a poor production season.

Fonterra said May production by its suppliers fell to 68.4 million kgMS, down 3.5 percent from a year earlier, despite more favourable conditions across many regions in recent months. Conditions in May 2018 had also been more favourable, the firm noted in its latest dairy update. . . 

Lower North Island butchers sharpen up for competition:

Butchers from across the lower North Island sharpened their knives and cut their way through a two-hour competition in the regional stages of the 2019 Alto Butcher and ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year.

It was a close call, but after a fierce competition Simon Dixon from Island Bay Butchery placed first in the Alto Butcher of the Year category and Makalah Stevens from New World Foxton claimed first spot in the ANZCO Foods Butcher Apprentice of the Year category.

This was the second regional competition in a national series to compete in a Grand Final showdown in August to crown New Zealand’s top butchers, culminating in a glitzy dinner – a highlight of the industry’s year. The Lower North Island competition involved the butchers breaking down a size 16 chicken, a boneless beef rump and a full pork loin into a display of value-added products. . .

Australia’s drought now eating into New Zealand’s rainfall figures – Weather Watch:

On Sunday we wrote about how NZ is being affected by Australia’s drought now a review of the past month’s rainfall shows some places only got 10mm of rain.

Farmers are increasingly telling us they have only received about one third of their normal rainfall in some parts of the country so far this year.

Enormous high pressure systems – like the one moving in this week and weekend – have been drifting east from Australia for months now and it is clearly having an affect on our rainfall figures. As we approach the halfway mark of the year the low rainfall is now starting to concern some in the agri sector about the impact this might have on summer. Likewise power companies are watching the South Island’s hydro lakes.

Recent rain should teach us to be careful what we wish for when it comes to Brexit – Tom Clarke:

Not too long ago, farmers were praying for rain, but now surveying our flattened crops and flooded fields, we’re wishing we hadn’t prayed quite so hard. There’s a lesson to be learned here about pushing for a no-deal Brexit, says arable farmer Tom Clarke.

Ten days ago arable farmers across the South and East of England were praying for rain to end the remarkable dry spell we’ve endured since spring 2018.

This week we got what we wanted. Good and hard. In many places, crops lie flattened and fields flooded.

The moral of this story is to be careful what you wish for. If it comes, it might not be quite what, how or when you wanted it. . .

Fertile large-scale certified organic property crops up for sale:

A large scale and diversified Hawke’s Bay certified organic business and landholding has been placed on the market for sale.

The 62-hectare site at Bridge Pa near Hastings consists of an L-shaped property producing commercial quantities of blueberries, carrots, onions, potatoes, kumara, and pumpkin

Much of the produce grown and sold through the site is branded under the true earth™ branding label. true earth™ food products are sold to wholesalers, food processing and manufacturing companies, selected supermarkets and speciality stores, with a small portion exported to Australia and Asia. . . 


The Genter pay gap

June 27, 2019

Labour and the Greens like to think they’re champions of women but there’s a Genter gender gap at the Women’s Ministry:

Women’s Minister Julie-Anne Genter has confirmed that women are paid less than men at the very Ministry that is focussed on eliminating the gender pay gap, National’s Women’s spokesperson Paula Bennett says.

“Julie-Anne Genter told a Select Committee that the men at her Ministry are paid six per cent more than the women. The pay gap at the Ministry has changed in favour of men since this Government came into power.

“If Julie-Anne Genter wants to have any credibility criticising private businesses or other Government departments, she needs to sort out her own Ministry first.

It’s so much easier to talk about the theory than to have it work in practice.

“This is another example of hypocrisy by Green Party Ministers who have swallowed more dead rats than a hungry stray cat. They supported the Waka-Jumping legislation, they didn’t get their Capital Gains Tax and there’s been no progress on the Kermadecs.

“Under a National Government the Gender Pay Gap decreased from 12 per cent to 9 per cent. It hasn’t changed under this Government.

“There are only 30 per cent women in this Government’s Cabinet, fewer than under the National Government. The Prime Minister has the opportunity to address this tomorrow in her reshuffle.

“The Greens were incredibly vocal in Opposition but they’re finding the reality of Government much harder. It’s time for them start walking the walk, because until now they’ve been all talk.”

One of the reasons the two women who were demoted from Cabinet haven’t been replaced is because the most likely candidates are men.

That poses a problem for a PM and a party that worries more about gender than ability and performance.


Urgent need for better cancer care

June 27, 2019

When Blair Vining was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in October he was told he would live six to eight weeks without treatment – and it would take eight weeks to get his first oncologist appointment.

. . . He couldn’t wait that long, went private and is on drugs that have bought him time.

Vining did not have eight weeks to wait, so he went private and the treatment process started within three weeks.

He is on drugs which are costly but buying him time; he’s hoping for another six months.

That’s long enough to keep pushing the Government to form a cancer action plan that ensures faster treatment for patients across the country.

He was not scared of his future, saying it was the hand he was dealt.

His mission now was to make the system better for his own two girls and other New Zealanders.

“I need it sorted for my kids and the future of New Zealand.

“I am very passionate about it, it makes me want to stay around a lot longer to see it actually happen.” . . 

One of those things is funding for a  national cancer agency with oversight of care throughout the country :

. . . Mr Vining has lived a lot of life in the nine months since his diagnosis, but there is one thing he still wants to tick off his bucket list.

“The part that really got to me when I got diagnosed was the lack of prevention and misdiagnosis. It’s not just my story, so many people are being misdiagnosed and they’re not being diagnosed early enough. The lack of prevention in New Zealand is not good enough.”

Most district health boards are falling short when it comes to cancer care and there is no accountability, Mr Vining said.

That was where a national agency with oversight of the whole country could be a game changer. . .

Lack of prevention, misdiagnosis, late diagnosis, and delays in treatment are sadly not confined to bowel cancer and are not unusual.

A patient with cancer is more likely to be diagnosed early, receive treatment sooner and have a better chance of survival in Australia than in New Zealand, Blair said there’s a post code lottery for treatment in New Zealand:

“It’s a postcode lottery,” he said. “If you live in Auckland you get really good treatment, you get seen really quick.

“If you live down in Southland, which has some of the worst rates of bowel cancer in the world, it makes life a lot more difficult because if you have to go private, you have to travel to Dunedin.”. . 

There is an urgent need for better cancer care throughout the country. A national cancer agency, properly resourced, could make a difference to prevention, detection, treatment and survival.

Blair has launched a petition seeking better cancer care for all New Zealanders. You can sign it here and have until tomorrow to do so.

 

 

 

 


Quote of the day

June 27, 2019

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. Helen Keller who was born on this day in 1880.


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