Word of the day

June 28, 2019

Firtle – fidget or move distractedly; mess around; waste time; look busy despite doing very little.


Sowell says

June 28, 2019


Rural round-up

June 28, 2019

More good farmland lost forever:

News that two large New Zealand farms have been sold off-shore, largely for forestry is depressing according to 50 Shades of Green spokesman Mike Butterick. The same owner has purchased both properties.

One farm is 734,700 hectares at Eketahuna that sold for $3.35 million. The other is 1037,000 hectares in Wairoa sold for $6 million.

“It’s bad enough having the land sold to foreigners but having good productive farmland sold for forestry and subdivision is criminal,” Mike Butterick said. . .

Decision time at Westland for Yili bid – Keith Woodford:

The time has come when Westland’s dairy farmers must make their decision. Do they want to take the money and go with Chinese mega-company Yili, or do they wish to struggle on as a co-operative?  We will know the answer after the July 4 vote.

If farmers vote to take the money, it will then be up to the Government to agree or refuse to accept Yili as the new owner. I will be surprised if they disallow the sale under the relevant OIO provisions. The ramifications of that would be severe.

Also important is whether or not the approval from Government is quick or drawn out. It is in no-one’s interest that it be drawn out, but OIO approvals can be remarkably slow.  Yili could step away if approval is not forthcoming by 31 October. . . 

NZ First is not alone in worrying at the implications of a Westland Milk sale to Yili – Point of Order:

Is   Westland  Milk   one of  NZ’s  “key  strategic assets”?

NZ  First  is adamant  it is and believes the government  should be a  applying a  “national interest test”   to the proposed  sale of the company  to the Chinese  dairy giant Yili.

Those  who  see  heavily indebted  companies  like Westland Milk struggling to  make a profit and  not  even  matching  Fonterra’s payout  to its suppliers might take a  cooler view  to  the proposed  sale. . . 

Minister heaps more costs on farmers:

The Minister of Agriculture has confirmed he hasn’t bothered asking his officials the costs farmers will face as a result of the high methane target the Government is imposing, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Nathan Guy says.

“When questioned in Primary Production Select Committee Damien O’Connor scrambled to confirm he’d seen no specific advice for costs per farm, nor has he even asked for any.

“Cabinet have blindly cooked up a methane reduction target of 24-47 per cent, despite scientific evidence suggesting this is too high and without knowing the costs per average farm and the impact it will have on rural communities. . .

Downsizing opens gate to A2/A2 farm:

He’s a dairy farmer with a passion for breeding, striving to be “at the front of the game.” She’s a converted city-girl who fell in love with the dairy farmer, despite her aversion to typical milk.

It doesn’t agree too well with my system,” Stacey White says.

“I used to have soy and almond milk and I’ve tried both them and rice milk; nothing’s really appealed in terms of taste, and baking with those substitutes doesn’t really work either.” 

So when Stacey became aware of A2/A2 milk 18 months ago, she tried it out and found it tasty, creamy, and, crucially, easily digestible.*  . . 

LIC migrates to NZX’s Main Board:

Herd improvement and agritech co-operative LIC will move to the Main Board of the NZX (NZSX) next month, transferring from the Alternative Board.

This comes as NZX announced it will move to a single equities board from July 1 and close the NZAX and NXT.

Of the companies migrating, LIC is the largest by market capitalisation, at approximately $109 million.

There are around 14 agritech companies featured on the NZX Main Board and only one other farmer-owned co-operative (Fonterra). . . 

How NZ farming is like a Steinway piano – Glen Herud:

I wonder if we rely too much on our pasture-based farming or our beautiful scenery or our clean image.

What if the things we think are our strengths are actually weaknesses?

Steinway and Sons had been the leading maker of grand pianos since 1853 when their business was crippled by Yamaha.

Professor Howard Yu explains how Steinway held on to their main strength for far too long and it eventually became a weakness. . .

 


Commonsense emergency

June 28, 2019

The Queenstown Lakes District Council has joined several others in declaring a climate emergency:

Queenstown-Lakes District Council’s ‘climate emergency’ declaration is the country’s most absurd yet, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says, “This is absurd hypocrisy from Councillors who, in different meetings, are trying to choose between expanding an airport and building a new one. Almost the entire district’s economy is dependent on emissions-spewing international air travel.”

“Even the Council itself spent $125,000 on air travel in the previous financial year.”

“Credit is due to the four Councillors who voted against the declaration, choosing not to insult the intelligence of ratepayers. Councils should stick to their knitting, and use their limited meeting time to identify efficiencies and improve core services.”

It’s time to declare a commonsense emergency.

There’s a distinct lack of it among the councillors who don’t seem to understand the hypocrisy in this virtue-signalling when the council spent so much on flights last year, owns the airport, and whose rating base is largely dependent on tourists, most of whom fly in and out.

 


4 – A formula failure

June 28, 2019

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes announced the findings of an investigation into  Gabriel Makhlouf and the Budget debacle:

. . . • Mr Makhlouf acted in good faith, reasonably and without political bias in relation to the advice he gave the Minister of Finance

• Mr Makhlouf’s decision to refer the matter to Police was made in good faith, was reasonable and showed no evidence of political influence

• Mr Makhlouf did not act reasonably in relation to:

o his use of the phrase “deliberate and systematically hacked” in his media statement issued at 8:02pm on Tuesday 28 May

o his use of the bolt analogy in media interviews on the morning of Wednesday, 29 May

o in his media statement on the morning of Thursday, 30 May, continuing to focus on the conduct of those searching the Treasury website rather than the Treasury failure to keep Budget material confidential.

• In relation to Mr Makhlouf’s other written and oral media statements, Mr Ombler found Mr Makhlouf acted in good faith, reasonably and in a politically neutral manner.

The Commissioner said he accepts Mr Ombler’s investigation report and all his findings, which were reviewed by former Solicitor-General Mr Michael Heron QC.

Mr Hughes said his expectations of chief executives when things go wrong is very clear: they need to own it, fix it and learn from it. And stand up and be accountable. He was disappointed Mr Makhlouf’s actions on this occasion fell short of those expectations given the fact there was a breach of the Treasury’s information security, which was his responsibility.

“The breach of security around the Budget documents should never have happened, under any circumstances,” said Mr Hughes.

“The right thing to do here was to take personal responsibility for the failure irrespective of the actions of others and to do so publicly. He did not do that.

“As the investigation found, Mr Makhlouf focused more on the actions of the searchers of the Treasury website rather than his own personal responsibility as Chief Executive for the failure of the Treasury systems.”

The investigation found Mr Makhlouf’s decision to refer the matter to the Police was in good faith, reasonable and was not politically influenced. But Mr Hughes said Mr Makhlouf should have sought more advice before issuing a media statement about the referral.

“In my view it was not managed well by Mr Makhlouf,” said Mr Hughes. “It was a clumsy response to a serious issue and is not what I expect of an experienced chief executive.

“I have concluded that Mr Makhlouf failed to take personal responsibility for the Treasury security failure and his subsequent handling of the situation fell well short of my expectations. Mr Makhlouf is accountable for that and I’m calling it out.”

The Commissioner said the investigation report is very clear that there are no grounds to support allegations that Mr Makhlouf’s public statements or actions were politically biased. . . 

The correct response to mismanagement of this magnitude is the 4-A formula: Admit the mistake, Accept responsibility, Apologise and if appropriate and possible, make Amends, none of which was evident in  Makhlouf’s reply:

Mr Ombler’s investigation was conducted thoroughly and fairly. I have read the report carefully and encourage others to do so. I apologise that Budget information was not kept secure. The inquiry that I asked the SSC Commissioner to undertake will help us understand exactly how that happened and how to stop it happening again.

The report confirms I acted at all times in good faith and with political neutrality. It also confirms that I acted reasonably, other than in my descriptions of the incident. I am pleased that my honesty and integrity are not in question.

It has been my privilege to have had the opportunity to serve New Zealanders and I’m very proud of what my Treasury team has achieved over the last 8 years.

This is a 4-A formula failure and theTaxpayers’ Union is understandably unimpressed:

Responding to the release of the State Services Commission’s findings into Treasury Secretary Gabriel Makhlouf, New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union spokesman Louis Houlbrooke says:

“The State Services Commissioner deserves credit for an investigation that made clear and damning findings. The report finds that the ‘deliberately and systematically hacked’ statement, plus the bolt analogy, were not accurate, and that Mr Makhlouf failed to take personal responsibility for the security failure. In other words, Mr Makhlouf has failed in his first responsibility: to the taxpayers who fund his salary, and who deserve accuracy in the public statements of one of the country’s most highly-paid bureaucrats.”

“Mr Makhlouf’s complete lack of repentance in the face of these findings insults the public, and it is a stunning failure of process that his departure from the job today is allowing him to escape the full wrath of accountability. The Government must order him to face up to the media and public in the next few hours. If he doesn’t have to do this, he’ll be laughing all the way to Dublin.”

“The timing of the announcement of these findings looks cynical; it’s the same day and Makhlouf leaves his job and the Government announces a high profile reshuffle. If he plans on going into hiding for his final few hours, it is the job this Government and the media to flush him out of the woodwork, lest we see a bitter failure in accountability. The public are entitled to expect more accountability than Mr Makhlouf reading the report as he jets off to Ireland.”

The damage done by the initial unreasonable response has been compounded by the lack of repentance by Mackhlouf and the inability for Hughes to do anything about it.


Quote of the day

June 28, 2019

The only real failure is the failure to try, and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment. – Deborah Moggach who celebrates her 71st birthday today.


June 28 in history

June 28, 2019

1098  Fighters of the First Crusade defeated Kerbogha of Mosul.

1389  Ottomans defeated Serbian army in the bloody Battle of Kosovo, opening the way for the Ottoman conquest of Southeastern Europe.

1491 Henry VIII was born  (d. 1547).

1519  Charles V elected emperor of the Holy Roman Empire.

1577 Peter Paul Rubens, Flemish painter, was born (d. 1640).

1635 Guadeloupe became a French colony.

1651  Battle of Beresteczko between Poles and Ukrainians started.

1703 John Wesley, English founder of Methodism, was born (d. 1791).

1712 Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Swiss philosopher, was born (d. 1778).

1776  American Revolutionary War: Carolina Day – commemorates the defense of Fort Moultrie during the Battle of Sullivan’s Island.

1776  American Revolutionary War: Thomas Hickey, Continental Army private and bodyguard to General George Washington, was hanged for mutiny and sedition.

1778 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of Monmouth fought between the American Continental Army under George Washington and the British Army led by Sir Henry Clinton.

1807  Second British invasion of the Río de la Plata; John Whitelock landed at Ensenada on an attempt to recapture Buenos Aires and was defeated by the fierce resistance of the locals.

1838  The coronation of Queen Victoria.

1841 The Théâtre de l’Académie Royale de Musique in Paris premiered the ballet Giselle.

1859  First conformation dog show is held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

1865  The Army of the Potomac was disbanded.

1880  Ned Kelly the Australian bushranger was  captured at Glenrowan.

1881 – Elizabeth Robinson of Christchurch became the first woman to register as a pharmacist under a registration system established by the Pharmacy Act 1880.
First registered female pharmacist
1881 – The Austro–Serbian Alliance of 1881 was secretly signed.

1882  Anglo-French Convention of 1882 signed marking territorial boundaries between Guinea and Sierra Leone.

1895  El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua formed the Central American Union.

1896  An explosion in the Newton Coal Company’s Twin Shaft Mine in Pittston City, resulted in a massive cave-in that killed 58 miners.

1902 Richard Rodgers, American composer, was born (d. 1979).

1902  The U.S. Congress passed the Spooner Act, authorising President Theodore Roosevelt to acquire rights from Colombia for the Panama Canal.

1904  The SS Norge ran aground and sank.

1909 Eric Ambler, English writer, was born (d. 1998).

1914  Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria and his wife Sophie were assassinated in Sarajevo by young Serbian nationalist Gavrilo Princip, the casus belli of World War I.
Assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

1919  The Treaty of Versailles was signed in Paris, formally ending World War I between Belgium, Britain, France, Italy, the United States and allies on the one side and Germany and Austria Hungary on the other side.

1919 – New Zealand Prime Minister Bill Massey’s was the 17th signature on the Treaty of Versailles, the implementation of which formally ended the war between the Allies and Germany.
New Zealand Prime Minister signs Treaty of Versailles

1922  The Irish Civil War began with the shelling of the Four Courts in Dublin by Free State forces.

1926 Mel Brooks, American filmmaker, was born.

1928  Harold Evans, English journalist and writer; editor of The Sunday Times, was born.

1934 – Bette Greene, American journalist and author, was born.

1936  The Japanese puppet state of Mengjiang was formed in northern China.

1940 Romania ceded Bessarabia (current-day Moldova) to the Soviet Union.

1948  Cominform circulated the “Resolution on the situation in the Communist Party of Yugoslavia”; Yugoslavia was expelled from the Communist bloc.

1948 – Deborah Moggach, English author and screenwriter, was born.

1948  Boxer Dick Turpin beat Vince Hawkins to become the first black British boxing champion in the modern era.

1950  Seoul was captured by troops from North Korea.

1951 – Lalla Ward, English actress and author, was born.

1954  A. A. Gill, British writer and columnist, was born.

1956  Protests and demonstrations in Poznań.

1964  – Bernie McCahill, All Black, was born.

1964  Malcom X formed the Organization of Afro-American Unity.

1967  Israel annexed East Jerusalem.

1969  Stonewall riots began in New York City.

1971 Louise Bagshawe, British novelist and politician, was born.

1973 HMNZS Otago sailed for the Mururoa nuclear test zone.

1973  Elections were held for the Northern Ireland Assembly, which led to power-sharing between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland for the first time.

1976  The Angolan court sentenced US and UK mercenaries to death sentences and prison terms in the Luanda Trial.

1978  The United States Supreme Court, in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke barred quota systems in college admissions.

1981  A powerful bomb exploded in Tehran, killing 73 officials of Islamic Republic Party.

1983  The Mianus River Bridge collapsed killing 3 drivers in their vehicles.

1986  ¡A Luchar! held its first congress in Bogotá.

1990  Paperback Software International Ltd. found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program.

1992  The Constitution of Estonia was signed into law.

1994  Members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult released sarin gas attack at Matsumoto, 7 persons killed, 660 injured.

1996  The Constitution of Ukraine was signed into law.

1997 Mike Tyson vs Evander Holyfield II – Tyson was disqualified in the 3rd round for biting a piece from Holyfield’s ear.

2004  Sovereign power was handed to the interim government of Iraq by the Coalition Provisional Authority, ending the U.S.-led rule of that nation.

2005 War in Afghanistan: Three U.S. Navy SEALs and 16 American Special Operations Forces soldiers were killed during Operation Red Wing, a failed counter-insurgent mission in Kunar province.

2009 – Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a local military coup following a failed request to hold a referendum to rewrite the Honduran Constitution. This was the start of the 2009 Honduran political crisis.

2016  – A terrorist attack in Turkey’s Istanbul Atatürk Airport kills 42 people and injures more than 230 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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