Word of the day

27/06/2019

Blenky –  to snow very lightly.


Blue Smoke

27/06/2019

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

27/06/2019


Rural round-up

27/06/2019

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

27/06/2019

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

27/06/2019

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

27/06/2019

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.


June 27 in history

27/06/2019

1358  Republic of Dubrovnik was founded.

1709  Peter the Great defeated Charles XII of Sweden at the Battle of Poltava.

1743  War of the Austrian Succession: Battle of Dettingen: On the battlefield in Bavaria, George II personally led troops into battle. The last time that a British monarch would command troops in the field.

1759  General James Wolfe began the siege of Quebec.

1838 Paul von Mauser, German weapon designer, was born (d. 1914)

1844  Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his brother Hyrum Smith, were murdered by a mob at the Carthage, Illinois jail.

1846 Charles Stewart Parnell, Irish independence fighter, was born (d. 1891).

1850 Jørgen Pedersen Gram, Danish mathematician, was born (d. 1919).

1865 Sir John Monash, Australian military commander, was born (d. 1931).

1869 Emma Goldman, Lithuanian/American anarchist and feminist, was born (d. 1940).

1880 Helen Keller, American deaf and blind activist, was born (d. 1968).

1895  The inaugural run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad’s Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.

1898  The first solo circumnavigation of the globe was completed by Joshua Slocum.

1905  (June 14 according to the Julian calendar): Battleship Potemkin uprising: sailors started a mutiny aboard the Battleship Potemkin, denouncing the crimes of autocracy, demanding liberty and an end to war.

1923  Capt. Lowell H. Smith and Lt. John P. Richter performed the first ever aerial refueling in a DH-4B biplane.

1936 – An estimated crowd of 1200 Māori and Pākehā from around the country converged on Manukorihi Pā in Waitara, Taranaki, to attend theunveiling of a memorial to ‘one of New Zealand’s greatest men’, Sir Māui Pōmare.

Māui Pōmare memorial unveiled

1941  Romanian governmental forces, allies of Nazi Germany, launched one of the most violent pogroms in Jewish history in the city of Iaşi, resulting in the murder of at least 13,266 Jews.

1941  German troops captured the city of Białystok during Operation Barbarossa.

1942 Bruce Johnston, American musician (The Beach Boys) was born.

1950  The United States decided to send troops to fight in the Korean War.

1951 Mary McAleese, President of Ireland, was born.

1954  The world’s first nuclear power station opened in Obninsk, near Moscow.

1967 The world’s first ATM was installed in Enfield, London.

1970 John Eales, Australian Rugby Player, was born.

1973  The President of Uruguay, Juan María Bordaberry,  dissolved Parliament and headed a coup d’état.

1974  U.S president Richard Nixon visited the U.S.S.R..

1975 Mark Williams reached No 1 with Yesterday Was Just The Beginning of  My Life.

Mark Williams hits No. 1

1976 Air France Flight 139  was hijacked en route to Paris by the PLO and redirected to Entebbe, Uganda.

1977  France granted independence to Djibouti.

1982  Space Shuttle Columbia launched from the Kennedy Space Centre on the final research and development flight mission, STS-4.

1989 The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, ILO 169 convention, was adopted.

1991  Slovenia  was invaded by Yugoslav troops, tanks, and aircraft, starting the Ten-Day War.

2007 The Brazilian Military Police invaded the favelas (slums)of Complexo do Alemão in an episode which is remembered as the Complexo do Alemão massacre.

2008 – In a highly-scrutinised election President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is re-elected in a landslide after his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai had withdrawn a week earlier, citing violence against his party’s supporters.

2013 – NASA launched the Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph, a space probe to observe the Sun.

2014 – At least fourteen people were killed when a Gas Authority of India Limited pipeline exploded in the East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, India.

2015 – A midair explosion from flammable powder at a recreational water park in Taiwan injured at least 510 people with about 183 in serious condition in intensive care.

2017 – A series of powerful cyberattacks using the Petya malware begins that swamped websites of Ukrainian organizations and counterparts with Ukrainian connections around the globe.

Sourced from NZ HIstory Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

26/06/2019

Pandiculate – to stretch the torso and upper limbs, typically accompanied by yawning.


Sowell says

26/06/2019


Rural round-up

26/06/2019

Farmers urged to submit on carbon bill – Pam Tipa:

Both DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ are urging farmers to have their say on the proposed Zero Carbon Bill by July 16.

DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says the potential implications of this legislation, in particular the targets for methane reduction, are huge for the agriculture sector.

“That’s why farmer engagement is so important,” he says. He is encouraging dairy farmers to make a submission.

The bill’s full name is the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. . . 

Kiwi’s quinoa dream now a reality – Andrew Stewart:

A liking for a particular food on a foreign trip is paying dividends for Dan and Jacqui Cottrell and providing extra income for their Taihape farm. They told Andrew Stewart how they discovered quinoa and set about growing it in the central North Island.

Dan and Jacqui Cottrell didn’t realise an overseas adventure would change their lives forever. 

The year was 2012 and the couple were making the most of their South American odyssey when they had an epiphany in Peru. 

They had been eating a lot of quinoa, of which 80% of the global supply is grown in Peru, on their trip.  . . 

 

DIRA changes fall short – farmers – Sudesh Kissun:

Farmers want dairy industry regulations to apply equally to all milk processors in New Zealand.

They still want an end to the open entry/exit provisions of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA) and an end to Fonterra providing subsidised raw milk to rival processors.

However, in proposed DIRA changes the Government has retained the open entry provisions but has allowed Fonterra the right to refuse milk from suppliers who are “not compliant with the co-op rules and from new dairy conversions”. . . 

Small kiwifruit have big taste – Richard Rennie:

Fruit size is providing the headwind to the new kiwifruit season while taste is the tailwind thanks to an exceptional late season ripening period that has left Zespri marketers with a paradigm for foreign markets.

Zespri’s grower alliance manager David Courtney said Green fruit size this season is 2.5 sizes smaller than usual and SunGold two sizes down on usual with the long, dry, ripening period scaling fruit down but pushing up drymatter levels to create exceptionally well flavoured fruit.

“We have had one grower who has been growing kiwifruit for 40 years who said he has never reported better drymatter levels in his crop.” . . 

New Zealand’s most fertile land dug up for housing – Indira Stewart:

Over the last decade more than 200 produce growers in Auckland have closed up shop as more rural land has been rezoned to residential to keep up with the demand for housing.

Now, after 60 years of growing vegetables in South Auckland, celery farmer Stan Clark has decided to close up as well.

Mr Clark’s celery farms were re-zoned from rural to residential in 2009 and the rising land rates are making business unsustainable.

The family is preparing to sell their much-loved farms in Pukekohe, a suburb that holds some of the country’s most fertile land, much of which is being dug up for housing. . . 

Large-scale dairy conversion farm with its own lake-sized reservoir placed on the market for sale:

A large-scale dairy conversion farm – complete with a huge lake-like reservoir –which has seen primary sheep and beef production replaced over the past decade in favour of milking, has been placed on the market for sale.

Strathallan Station some 26-kilometres north-west of Gisborne is a 1,213-hectare property currently milking a herd of 1,000 cows. Towards the centre of the property is a two-and-a-half-metre-deep ‘reservoir’ lake large enough for recreational kayaking and duck hunting. The reservoir sustains not only the farm’s irrigation needs, but also its milk shed requirements. . .


A tale of two caucuses

26/06/2019

National leader Simon Bridges announced a minor reshuffle of portfolios yesterday:

“Paul Goldsmith will become the spokesperson for Finance and Infrastructure following today’s announcement from Amy Adams that she will leave at the next election.

“Paul is the natural choice for the Finance role. He has done an outstanding job holding the Government to account in the Economic and Regional Development portfolio.

Shane Jones will be very happy with this change, though he shouldn’t relax, the two taking over Paul’s portfolios will be just as effective at holding the Minister to account.

“Regional and Economic Development will now be split across two spokespeople. Todd McClay will look after Economic Development, while Chris Bishop will take over the Regional Development and Transport portfolios.

“Chris has done a brilliant job as spokesperson for Police and deserves to take on more responsibility.

“Jo Hayes has been appointed the spokesperson for Māori Development and Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations following the departure of Nuk Korako. Jo is a passionate advocate for Māori.

“Gerry Brownlee will pick up the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Brett Hudson will take on the Police portfolio and Tim Macindoe will become the Shadow Attorney-General.

“Other changes include Michael Woodhouse as the Associate Finance spokesperson, Maggie Barry taking over the Disability Issues portfolio, Stuart Smith will be the spokesperson for Immigration, Todd Muller will be the spokesperson for Forestry, Nicola Willis will take on the Youth portfolio and our newest MP Paulo Garcia will become the Associate Foreign Affairs spokesperson.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank both Amy Adams and Alastair Scott for their valuable contributions to the National Party and Parliament. Amy was a brilliant Minister across a range of portfolios. The changes she made to domestic violence laws as Justice Minister have made families in New Zealand safer. Amy has excelled as our Finance spokesperson and has been an outstanding member for Selwyn.

“Alastair should be proud of the work he has done to prevent drug driving, and for the way he has represented and advocated for the people of Wairarapa. I’m pleased they will be here for the rest of the term to help us form policies for the 2020 election.

“National is the largest and most effective Opposition this country has ever seen. I’m proud to lead such a talented and hardworking team.” 

There are no surprises there and there will probably be none in tomorrow’s reshuffle of Cabinet but there is a major difference between the two caucuses – there’s plenty of talent in National’s with many MPs capable of becoming Ministers.

By contrast Labour’s is a shallow pool and, as Barry Soper noted:

. . .The reshuffle will be minor because most of those who should be in Cabinet are already there. And the amount of time Ardern’s taken getting around to shuffling the chairs just goes to show how hard leadership is for a person who clearly finds it hard to be hard. . . 

Ardern doesn’t have much to choose from and, if past form is a guide, will be reluctant to demote the poorest performers.


Quote of the day

26/06/2019

A wasting memory is not only a destroyer; it can deny one’s very existence. A day unremembered is like a soul unborn, worse than if it had never been. What indeed was that summer if it is not recalled? That journey? That act of love? To whom did it happen if it has left you with nothing? Certainly not to you. So any bits of warm life preserved by the pen are trophies snatched from the dark, are branches of leaves fished out of the flood, are tiny arrests of mortality.  ― Laurie Lee who was born not his day in 1914.


June 26 in history

26/06/2019

363  Roman Emperor Julian was killed during the retreat from the Sassanid Empire. General Jovian was proclaimed Emperor by the troops on the battlefield.

1284  The legendary Pied Piper led 130 children out of Hamelin.

1409 Western Schism: the Roman Catholic church was led into a double schism as Petros Philargos was crowned Pope Alexander V after the Council of Pisa, joining Pope Gregory XII in Rome and Pope Benedict XII in Avignon.

1483  Richard III was crowned king of England.

1541  Francisco Pizarro was assassinated in Lima by the son of his former companion and later antagonist, Diego Almagro the younger.

1699 – Marie Thérèse Rodet Geoffrin, French businesswoman, was born (d. 1777).

1718  Tsarevich Alexei Petrovich of Russia, Peter the Great’s son, mysteriously died after being sentenced to death by his father for plotting against him.

1723  After a siege and bombardment by cannon, Baku surrendered to the Russians.

1817 Branwell Bronte, British painter and poet, was born (d. 1848).

1848 End of the June Days Uprising in Paris.

1857  The first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park.

1866 George Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon, English financier of Egyptian excavations, was born (d. 1923).

1870  Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1892 Pearl S. Buck, American writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1973).

1898 Willy Messerschmitt, German aircraft designer, was born (d. 1978).

1908 Salvador Allende, Former President of Chile (1970-1973), was born (d. 1973)

1909  Colonel Tom Parker, Elvis Presley’s manager, was born (d. 1997)

1909  The Science Museum in London became an independent entity.

1913 Maurice Wilkes, British computer scientist, was born.

1914 Laurie Lee, British writer, was born (d. 1997).

1917  The first U.S. troops arrived in France to fight alongside the allies in World War I.

1918  The Australian steamer Wimmera was sunk by a mine laid the year before by the German raider Wolf north of Cape Maria van Diemen.

1918  World War I, Western Front: Battle for Belleau Wood – Allied Forces under John J. Pershing and James Harbord defeated Imperial German Forces under Wilhelm, German Crown Prince.

1921 Violette Szabo, French WWII secret agent, was born (d. 1945).

1924 American occupying forces left the Dominican Republic.

1927 – The Cyclone roller coaster opened on Coney Island.

1929 – June Bronhill, Australian soprano and actress, was born (d. 2005).

1934  President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Federal Credit Union Act, which establishes credit unions.

1936  Initial flight of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first practical helicopter.

1940 Billy Davis, Jr., American singer (The 5th Dimension), was born.

1940 World War II: under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, the Soviet Union presented an ultimatum to Romania requiring it to cede Bessarabia and the northern part of Bukovina.

1942  The first flight of the Grumman F6F Hellcat.

1943 Georgie Fame, British singer, was born.

1945  The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco.

1948 – William Shockley filed the original patent for the grown junction transistor, the first bipolar junction transistor.

1948 Shirley Jackson‘s short story The Lottery was published in The New Yorker magazine.

1952 The Pan-Malayan Labour Party was founded, as a union of statewise labour parties.

1959  The Saint Lawrence Seaway opened, opening North America’s Great Lakes to ocean-going ships.

1960 The former British Protectorate of British Somaliland gained its independence as Somaliland .

1960 – Madagascar gained its independence from France.

1963  John F. Kennedy spoke the famous words “Ich bin ein Berliner” on a visit to West Berlin.

1973  At Plesetsk Cosmodrome 9 people were killed in an explosion of a Cosmos 3-M rocket.

1974  The Universal Product Code was scanned for the first time to sell a package of Wrigley’s chewing gum at the Marsh Supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1975  Indira Gandhi established emergency rule in India.

1975 – Two FBI agents and a member of the American Indian Movement were killed in a shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservationin South Dakota.

1976  The CN Tower, the world’s tallest free-standing structure on land, was opened to general public.

1977 The Yorkshire Ripper killed 16 year old shop assistant Jayne MacDonald in Leeds, changing public perception of the killer as she is the first victim who was not a prostitute.

1978 – Air Canada Flight 189 to Toronto overran the runway and crashed into the Etobicoke Creek ravine. Two of 107 passengers on board died.

1987 – A.J. Hackett bungy jumped from Eiffel Tower.

A.J. Hackett bungy jumps from Eiffel Tower

1991  Ten-Day War: the Yugoslav people’s army began the Ten-Day War in Slovenia.

1993 The United States launched a missile attack targeting Baghdad intelligence headquarters in retaliation for a thwarted assassination attempt against former President George H.W. Bush in April in Kuwait.

1994  Microsoft no longer supported MS-DOS and the development ofFreeDOS began.

1995  Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani deposed his father Khalifa bin Hamad al-Thani, as the Emir of Qatar, in a bloodless coup.

1996  Irish Journalist Veronica Guerin was shot in her car while in traffic in the outskirts of Dublin.

1997 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Communications Decency Act violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

2003  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Lawrence v. Texas that gender-based sodomy laws were unconstitutional.

2008 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution protected an individual right, and that the District of Columbia handgun ban was unconstitutional.

2012 – The Waldo Canyon Fire descended into the Mountain Shadows neighbourhood in Colorado Springs burning 347 homes in a matter of hours and killing two people.

2013 – Riots in China’s Xinjiang region killed at least 36 people and injuring 21 others.

2013  – Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani became Prime Minister of Qatar.

2015 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges declared that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marriage under the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

25/06/2019

Blenk  – to blink; to shine; to look.


Thatcher thinks

25/06/2019


Alastair Scott standing down

25/06/2019

National’s Wairarapa MP Alastair Scott will stand down at the next election.

MP for Wairarapa Alastair Scott has today announced that he won’t contest the 2020 election.

“It has been a privilege to serve the electorate of Wairarapa for two terms. I have decided that I will not nominate as a National Candidate in the forthcoming selection for Wairarapa.

“I’m confident that I leave my seat in good shape for the 2020 election. I am announcing today because it is very important to me that we have sufficient time to find and support our new National Wairarapa candidate for the 2020 election.

“I am grateful to the National Party for the opportunities and support it has shown me over the past six years. The party is full of dedicated individuals who are committed to working hard for New Zealand. I will extend my full support to the newly selected candidate.

“It will be business as usual in my office until the election. As always, people should not hesitate to get in touch with myself or my staff.

“I have every confidence that National will claim victory at the next election.”

If MPs aren’t planning to contest next year’s election it is better as Alastair, and Amy Adams  did earlier, to give the party and would-be candidates for selection plenty of notice.

National leader Simon Bridges will announce a minor reshuffle of portfolios this afternoon.


Amy Adams retiring

25/06/2019

Selwyn MP and former Minister Amy Adams will retire from politics next year:

Amy Adams has announced she will retire from politics at the 2020 election and as a consequence of that decision she has chosen to stand down from the spokesperson roles she holds in the Party.

Ms Adams has been the MP for Selwyn since 2008 and is currently both the Finance spokesperson and the Shadow Attorney General.

“I have been incredibly privileged to serve as the MP for Selwyn and a member of the National Party Caucus for almost 12 years,” Ms Adams says.

“Making the decision to step away from politics has not been an easy one but it is the right time for me and my family and I’m looking forward to whatever the future holds.

“I have every confidence in the National Party under Simon Bridges leadership and their prospects for the 2020 election.  My decision is purely about what is right for me and the life I want to lead going forward. 

“I’ve chosen to make this announcement now as given the seniority of the positions I hold in the Caucus I felt that it was important new people have time to establish themselves in those roles as we head towards 2020.

“From now until the election I will continue to work hard as the advocate for the people of Selwyn.” 

Amy’s popularity hasn’t been confined to National supporters. She came into parliament with a good majority, increased that and has always gained one of the highest electorate votes.

I am sorry that she is going and appreciative of her service as an MP.

Announcing her retirement now shows Amy understands the importance of allowing time for whoever takes over her portfolios to get to grips with them well before the election.

It also shows she appreciates the importance of giving plenty of time for the selection process in her electorate and for whoever succeeds her to do the work necessary to win the seat.


A little light reading for lexophiles

25/06/2019

I changed my iPod’s name to Titanic.  It’s syncing now.

England has no kidney bank, but it does have a Liverpool.

Haunted French pancakes give me the crepes.

This girl today said she recognized me from the Vegetarians Club, but I’d swear I’ve never met herbivore.

I know a guy who’s addicted to drinking brake fluid, but he says he can stop any time.

A thief who stole a calendar got twelve months.

When the smog lifts in Los Angeles U.C.L.A.

I got some batteries that were given out free of charge.

A dentist and a manicurist married.  They fought tooth and nail.

A will is a dead giveaway.

With her marriage, she got a new name and a dress.

Police were summoned to a daycare centre where a three-year-old was resisting a rest.

Did you hear about the fellow whose entire left side was cut off?  He’s all right now.

A bicycle can’t stand alone; it’s just two tired.

The guy who fell onto an upholstery machine last week is now fully recovered.

He had a photographic memory but it was never fully developed.

When she saw her first strands of gray hair she thought she’d dye.

Acupuncture is a jab well done.  That’s the point of it.

I didn’t like my beard at first.  Then it grew on me.

Did you hear about the crossed-eyed teacher who lost her job because she couldn’t control her pupils?

When you get a bladder infection, urine trouble.

When chemists die, they barium.

I stayed up all night to see where the sun went, and then it dawned on me.

I’m reading a book about anti-gravity.  I just can’t put it down.

Those who get too big for their pants will be totally exposed in the end.

I was going to write with a broken pencil but I realised it was pointless.


Rural round-up

25/06/2019

Farmers have a tough time ahead let’s stand with them – Tom O’Connor:

The message from environment campaigner Guy Salmon of the need to adapt farming operations to avoid an eventual environmental catastrophe is not new.

It has been repeated many times in many ways by a growing number of far sighted people for several decades. For most of that time many of these people have been pilloried and ridiculed by those with vested interests or others who refused or were unable to understand the consequences of accelerated climate change.       

When Salmon told a conference of the Waikato Small Milk and Supply Herds Group at Lake Karapiro recently, unlike previous generations of dairy farmers, many of those in attendance would have been well aware of what he was talking about and the situation they face but unsure how to prepare for it. . . 

Farm credits on table – Neal Wallace:

The Government is considering letting farmers use riparian planting and shelter belts to offset their greenhouse gas emissions.

To qualify now, vegetation must meet area, height and canopy cover criteria which primary sector leaders claim favours plantation forestry and ignores the carbon sequestering function of most farmland.

Livestock and horticulture sector representatives have been lobbying the Government to broaden the definition, saying New Zealand needs every available tool to meet the goal of being carbon neutral by 2050 . . .

OIO review brought forward a year – Neal Wallace:

The Government has brought forward by a year a review into the screening of foreign forestry investors in response to concerns from rural leaders that large-scale tree planting is destroying communities.

The review was to be started by October next year but Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has confirmed it has already started and will look at the impact of Government changes to the Overseas Investment Act to identify any areas of concern.

The changes streamlined the vetting by the Overseas Investment Office of foreign forestry companies to reflect the fact about 75% of forest companies operating in New Zealand are owned by offshore entities. . . 

Leading food industry figures point to a positive future for New Zealand red meat:

Listen to the episode of Let’s Talk Food NZ podcast feature discussion panel HERE. Download images of the event HERE.

Last night, an expert panel made up of scientists and food industry experts were tasked with tackling the challenging question; Does New Zealand-produced red meat have a role in a healthy and sustainable diet?

Hosted by the Northern Club in Auckland in front of a crowd of food writers, nutritionists, dietitians and other interested parties, the panel covered a range of topics addressing whether we can meet the nutritional needs of exponential population growth, whilst working within the sustainable limits of planetary health.

The discussion was facilitated by NZ Herald journalist and editor-at-large of the Healthy Food Guide, Niki Bezzant who was joined by Dr Denise Conroy, Senior Scientist at Plant & Food Research; Dr Mike Boland, Principle Scientist at the Riddet Institute; Dr Mark Craig, a Auckland-based GP advocating a whole food, plant-based diet; Jeremy Baker, Chief Insights Officer for Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ltd; and Angela Clifford, CEO of Eat New Zealand. . . 

Ballance partners with Hiringa for Kapuni hydrogen project – Gavin Evans

(BusinessDesk) – Ballance Agri-Nutrients is to develop 16 MW of wind generation at its Kapuni site as part of a plan to produce renewable hydrogen there.

The fertiliser maker has partnered with Hiringa Energy to develop the $50 million project at its site in southern Taranaki.

Up to four large wind turbines would provide a 100 percent renewable power supply for the existing plant and to power a series of electrolysers to produce high-purity hydrogen, either for feedstock for the plant or to supply zero-emission trucking fuel. . .

 

Open letter to the non-agricultural community – John Gladigau:

Hi

We need to talk.

Firstly – apologies to you, because we are not always that good at doing this. We all too easily get defensive, up in arms and occasionally confrontational when we are challenged, accused or criticised. The thing is, we get a little sick of being called uneducated and ignorant when we have a lifetime of experience and many of us have qualifications which are similar to (or even exceed) our city cousins. It hurts us when people tells us we are cruel to animals, don’t care for the future of the planet and are blasé about food safety whereas for the majority of us the opposite is true. It frustrates us when people with little agricultural knowledge or experience lecture us on social media about the dangers of chemicals, our contribution to a changing climate, soil health, genetic modification and more when we have spent a lifetime working in, studying, experiencing and developing strategies to not only benefit our businesses, families and communities – but also those we produce for that we don’t even know. . . 

 


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