Blue Smoke

August 15, 2019

The people who introduced New Zealand to Blue Smoke are to be inducted into the Music Hall of Frame:

The singer, guitarist and song-writer who kickstarted New Zealand’s music industry with the release of the country’s first hit song Blue Smoke are to be inducted into the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame.

This morning it was announced Pixie Williams, Ruru Karaitiana and Jim Carter will be honoured at this year’s Australasian Performing Rights Association’s Silver Scroll awards on 2 October.

The 1949 hit is recognised as the first record to be produced locally – from recording to pressing.

It sold 50,000 copies in two years, was covered by a string of big-name international musicians, and started the recording era here with a bang. . . 

 


Word of the day

August 15, 2019

Sleeky – sleek, smooth; having a fawning and deceitful character or quality; sly.


Sowell says

August 15, 2019


Rural round-up

August 15, 2019

WeatherWatch launches new site: RuralWeather.co.nz

WeatherWatch.co.nz has launched a new website and it’s the biggest weather data dump in NZ history: www.RuralWeather.co.nz.

The new website gives people all over the country the power of weather data, allowing for a much clearer and deeper understanding of incoming weather trends and patterns, particularly useful for farmers, gardeners, market growers, surfers, pilots…and of course, every day weather nerds!

We’ve included trends for dew-point, which helps with fog forecasting (and yes city/town folk, you can use our new Fog Forecaster in the main centres too if you’re about to fly somewhere!). We also have air pressure trends, rainfall figures, frost forecasting and much more – and it’s all incredibly granular and specific to where you live. . . 

A quarter century of transforming Taranaki’s river and stream banks – Mike Watson:

The year is 1993. 

Jim Bolger’s National Government has been returned with a one seat majority, MMP is voted in as Winston Peters establishes NZ First, and Taranaki’s Regional Council (TRC) embarks on an ambitious riparian management plan to encourage farmers to fence off plant trees and flaxes along the banks of every river, stream and drain on their properties.

Fast forward 25 years to 2019.

A Labour-led coalition Government grapples with transitioning the country to a low emissions economy within 30 years, Winston Peters is deputy Prime Minister, and farmers speculate what their economic future will look like by 2050. And the TRC celebrate a significant milestone.

The council-promoted and implemented riparian management programme has reached a 25 year anniversary and the milestone brings with it impressive statistics that would appear to underline the scheme’s success. . . 

Smith promises more MPI engagement – Peter Burke:

MPI’s director-general, Ray Smith, wants his staff to engage more with the rural sector.

He told Rural News this is a key element in his just released strategic plan for this year.

Smith says he’s told his management team to engage more, be agile, open and proactive, and be much more available to local communities.

We have to be seen to be listening and acting on things people want us to do to support them. We are the Ministry FOR the Primary Industries and our job is to back industry to win,” he says. 

Pigeon Valley fire deemed accidental :

Fire and Emergency New Zealand has confirmed that one of the country’s largest plantation forest fires was accidental.

The Pigeon Valley fire was started on 5 February by sparks from an agricultural contractor working in a dry, stony paddock.

The report found that sparks from the discing equipment – from metal on stone or metal on metal contact – ignited dry grass in the paddock.

Strong winds at the time spread the fire quickly, and over the next couple of weeks it burned through 2300 hectares of commercial plantation forest, property and pastures. . . 

Ravensdown to reinvest in innovation and environment on back of good result :

Ravensdown has announced another good financial result with profit before tax and rebate from continued operations of $52 million (2018: $63m, 2017: $51m) for the year ending 31 May 2019.

The co-operative is paying $35 million in total back to farmers who bought fertiliser in the financial year. As part of its commitment to responsible governance and balance sheet strength, 23% of the profit ($12 million) is being retained by the co-operative to reinvest in improved infrastructure, research and development, product innovation and new technology.

A total rebate of $30 per tonne is made up of the $15 early interim rebate paid in June plus $15 that will be paid in August. “After five years of consistently profitable results, our shareholders tell us that the rebate in any one year is not the be all and end all,” said John Henderson Ravendown’s Chair. “What matters to them is a sustainable co-operative that offers great service, quality products, surety of supply, competitive pricing throughout the 12 months and ways to help them perform in the long term.” . . 

North Canterbury farm shows off new rare breed calf – Emma Dangerfield:

A new arrival to a Rangiora farm is making waves in bovine and rare breeds circles.

Stonewall Farm this week announced the birth of a three-quarter Nadudana Zebu heifer.

Nadudana Zebu Cattle are one of the world’s oldest cattle breeds and the only true miniature cattle breed. . . 

Breeder looking to provide what the customer wants – Gregor Heard:

THE HEAD of one of Australia’s largest plant breeders has said her company was looking to engage with end-use customers more than ever before to create products the market wants.

Tress Walmsley, Intergrain chief executive, said there was a strong focus on working with customers at the end of the supply chain, both locally and abroad.

“We recently visited a brewer in Vietnam and it was the first time they had ever been visited by a plant breeder, they welcomed the chance to tell us about what they wanted from barley,” Ms Walmsley said. . . 


Houses bad, trees good?

August 15, 2019

The government has launched a draft National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) that proposes a nationwide approach to protecting our most productive land.

New policies and standards could protect the most fertile and versatile land as soon as next year.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Environment Minister David Parker have put out proposals to value high-quality soils as a resource of national significance.

“The threat to elite soils in this country has been very real,” O’Connor said. 

“We’ve been losing soils for the past 20 years at an alarming rate.

“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to visit Pukekohe and see what is happening.

And not only Pukekohe. Urbanisation creep and the development of lifestyle blocks have been encroaching on productive land all over the country.

The Government has released a draft National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land that proposes a nationwide approach to protecting NZ’s most productive land for future generations . . .

It is intended to target the high-value classes 1 and 2 soils that account for 5% of NZ’s soil profile but almost 85% of high-value crop production.

“One of the greatest challenges facing the world right now is the need to feed a growing population. 

“We have a well-earned reputation for producing some of the best food in the world,” O’Connor said.

“Continuing to grow food in the volumes and quality we have come to expect depends on the availability of land and the quality of the soil. 

“Once productive land is built on we can’t use it for food production, which is why we need to act now.” . . 

These are exactly the arguments farmers, councils and other advocates for rural communities have been using against the government’s policy that incentivises planting pine plantations on land better suited for cattle, deer and sheep.

We can’t eat trees and once farmland is converted to forestry it is both difficult and expensive to convert it back.

“We appreciate the balance for councils between the need to provide more houses and the need to protect their soils and economic activity,” O’Connor said.

Since April last year the Government has been looking at the best options for the protection of NZ’s high-value soils.

“This is not about spatial planning.

“It doesn’t dictate exactly what will happen.

“But it does place an obligation on councils to ensure there is enough highly productive land available for primary production now and in the future and to protect it from inappropriate subdivision, use and development.”

Councils will have to complete a cost-benefit analysis of using land for growing fruit and vegetables, assessing that against the short-term value of converting it to housing.

The criteria will be consistent nationwide but be flexible enough to allow councils to take into account their local situation and circumstances. 

“The NPS is not absolute protection for all soils. 

“It does consider local growth aspirations and the reality of where urban growth is now but it does force the councils to recognise the value of this soil for its productive capacity not just its subdivision capacity.”

Until now councils have not always had to consider the productive value – decisions have simply been based on market value and the potential for subdivision. . . 

All of that sounds vague enough to drive several tractors through especially if people who have bought land on the edge of urban areas at prices that reflect development potential seek to prevent the loss of value if it has to kept for food production.

The Taxpayers’ Union points out:

The Government’s plans to prohibit housing on ‘productive’ farmland will serve as yet another regulatory tax on housing, and is a shameful breach of Jacinda Ardern’s promise to fix housing supply, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union.

“Maddeningly, Government is now introducing even more restrictions on housing, ensuring prices will continue to rise, all for the sake of a small gang of potato-growers who want to keep urban farmland prices artificially low. This is a slap in the face for aspiring homeowners, and makes a joke of the Government’s claimed concern over housing affordability.”

“There is no need for the Government to intervene here, because the market already works to allocate land to its most productive use. If the land is more productive as farmland then farmers will outbid housing developers, and vice versa.” . . 

Ending the incentives for forestry on farmland could happen immediately without providing anyone with viable reasons to oppose the move.

It must happen for exactly the same reasons the government wants to protect class 1 and 2 soils – so we can keep growing the quantity and quality of food the country and the worlds needs.


Quote of the day

August 15, 2019

A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect. Sir Walter Scott who was born on this day in 1777.

 


August 15 in history

August 15, 2019

778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland was killed.

927 The Saracens conquered and destroy Taranto.

982  Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna.

1018 Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles blinded and capturedIbatzes of Bulgaria by a ruse, ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II’s conquest of Bulgaria.

1040  King Duncan I was killed in battle against his first cousin and rivalMacbeth.

1057  King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.

1185  The cave city of Vardzia was consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.

1248  The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.

1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor.

1309  The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes.

1461 The Empire of Trebizond surrendered to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II – regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David was exiled.

1534 Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates took initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.

1599  Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambushed English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.

1717  – Blind Jack, (John Metcalf ), English engineer, was born (d. 1810).

1760  Seven Years’ War: Battle of Liegnitz – Frederick the Great’s victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.

1769  Napoléon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was born (d. 1821).

1771  Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet, was born (d. 1832).

1807 – Jules Grévy, French lawyer and politician, 4th President of the French Republic, was born (d. 1891).

1824 Freed American slaves founded Liberia.

1843  The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii was dedicated.

1843  Tivoli Gardens amusement park  opened in Copenhagen.

1858 – E. Nesbit, English author and poet was born (d. 1924).

1869  Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, was born (d. 1941).

1863 The Anglo-Satsuma War began between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom.

1875 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor , English composer, was born (d. 1912).

1881 – Helen Connon became the first woman in the British Empire to gain her Master of Arts degree.

First woman Master of Arts in British Empire graduates

1893 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, was born (d. 1950).

1907 Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.

1909  A group of mid-level Greek Army officers launched the Goudi coup, seeking wide-ranging reforms.

1912  Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)

1912 – Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003).

1914  Julian Carlton, servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, set fire to the living quarters of the architect’s home, Taliesin, and  murdered seven people.

1914 The Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.

1917 – Jack Lynch, Irish footballer and politician, 5th Taoiseach of Ireland, was born (d. 1999).

1924 Robert Bolt, English playwright and screenwriter, was born (d. 1995).

1935 Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed after their aircraft develops engine problems during takeoff.

1939  13 Stukas dived into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer.

1940  An Italian submarine torpedoed and sank the Greek cruiser Elli at Tinos harbour, marking the most serious Italian provocation prior to the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in October.

1941  Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason.

1942  Operation Pedestal – The SS Ohio reached the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.

1944 : Operation Dragoon – Allied forces landed in southern France.

1945  Victory over Japan Day – Japan surrendered.

In New Zealand VJ Day was celebrated. Sirens immediately sounded, a national ceremony was held, and the local celebrations followed.

The war is over! VJ Day

1945 – World War II: Korean Liberation Day.

1947  India gained independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth.

1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.

1948 The Republic of Korea was established south of the 38th parallel north.

1950 Princess Anne, Princess Royal, was born.

1951 The troop ship Wahine  was wrecked en route to the Korean War.

Troop ship Wahine wrecked en route to Korean War

1952 – A flash flood  in Lynmouth,Devon, killed 34 people.

1954 Stieg Larsson, Swedish writer, was born (d. 2004).

1954 Alfredo Stroessner began his dictatorship in Paraguay.

1958 – Simon Baron-Cohen, English-Canadian psychiatrist and author, was born.

1960  Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.

1961 – Conrad Schumann fled from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.

1962  James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after running across the Korean DMZ.

1963 Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.

1963  President Fulbert Youlou was overthrown in the Republic of Congo, after a three-day uprising in the capital.

1964  – Melinda Gates, American businesswoman and philanthropist, co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was born.

1965 – The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, in an event later seen as marking the birth of stadium rock.

1969 The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opened.

1971  President Richard Nixon completed the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.

1972 Ben Affleck, American actor, was born.

1973  – Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ended.

1974  Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea, was killed during an apparent assassination attempt on President Park Chung-hee.

1975  Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and most members of his family were killed during a military coup.

1975 Miki Takeo made the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.

1977  The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University received a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.

1984– The Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey started a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military with an attack on police and gendarmerie bases in Şemdinli and Eruh

1998  Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles.

1999 – Beni Ounif massacre ; some 29 people were killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border.

2007  An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastated Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.

2013 – At least 27 people were killed and 226 injured in an explosion in southern Beirut near a complex used by Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. A previously unknown Syrian Sunni group claimed responsibility in an online video.

2013 – The Smithsonian announced the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivorous species found in the Americas in 35 years.

2015 – North Korea moved its clock back half an hour to introduce Pyongyang Time, 8½ hours ahead of UTC.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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