Word of the day

26/11/2020

Anthropause –  a global reduction in modern human activity, especially travel.


Sowell says

26/11/2020


Rural round-up

26/11/2020

Pandemic pressure affects export supply chain – Richard Rennie:

Exporters can expect frustrating delays for container deliveries port schedules over the peak of the export season, as logistics and trucking companies struggle with supply chain bottlenecks.

National Road Carriers Association chief executive David Aitken says his members are experiencing unprecedented delays at container depots and ports, with trucks queueing for several hours before collecting their container load.

“There are capacity issues right now, with ships sometimes running 10-12 days behind schedule; I do not think they are taking as many voyages in and out,” he said. 

“The vehicle booking system (for container exchange) is simply unable to keep up. We have trucking companies that now have to give two to three days’ notice for container collection.” . . 

Convinced wool’s worth investing in – Sally Rae:

Bruce Abbott acknowledges he has got a lot out of the wool industry and, conversely, he always felt he should put something back.

Mr Abbott (74) retires at the end of this year as executive officer of the New Zealand Wool Classers Association. He will still keep his hand in an industry in which his involvement has spanned 60 years.

Established in 2006, NZWCA was established to promote the interests of its wool classer, grader and woolhandler members. It also welcomed participation of people working in other parts of the wool value chain.

Mr Abbott, who lives in Mosgiel, was on the board of NZWCA for four years before being appointed executive officer, a role he has held for six years. . .

PINZ Awards presented in Wellington:

The primary industry’s ‘Leadership Award’ was presented last night to Southland drystock farmer Bernadette Hunt at Te Papa in Wellington.

The Primary Industries awards are in their second year and aim to recognise and celebrate achievement within New Zealand’s most valuable industry.

Bernadette’s award recognised her commitment to advocating for farming, particularly given her efforts to highlight the challenges farmers face nationwide measuring up to the government’s new freshwater regulations.

“Bernadette has the rare combination of having a clear vision of what’s right and wrong, being able to articulate a strong message and bring others on the journey. She absolutely leads by example,” Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland said. . . 

Decision on pay affects Alliance – Sally Rae:

Alliance Group’s annual result includes a $19.9million provision for back-paying employees for the time spent putting on and removing work-related protective gear and clothing.

In May last year, the Court of Appeal declined an appeal from meat industry employers against an Employment Court decision that ruled “donning and doffing” was “work”.

That decision meant workers would be paid for the time they spent preparing to go to and from rest and meal breaks, including taking off and cleaning their safety equipment and going through complex hygiene processes.

In a statement announcing the annual result yesterday, Alliance Group said a proposal to resolve those claims was subject to ratification by the New Zealand Meat Workers Union. . .

The dog and ram run :

Grizz, the huntaway, is not fond of being touched.

Which doesn’t make veterinarian Tara Gower’s job easy.

Grizz is one of hundreds of working dogs that, at this time of year, are visited for an annual check-up.

Tara says it makes sense for the vet to travel to the dogs. . .

New Zealand Rural Land Company to list on NZX stock market:

The recently formed New Zealand Rural Land Company is planning to list on the NZX stock market later next month with an initial public offer of shares.

The company is looking to raise between $75 million and $150m, and follows a private capital-raising for wholesale investors in June and July.

The company plans to invest in rural land, without direct exposure to agricultural operations and commodity price volatility.

It is offering between 60 and 120 million shares at an issue price of $1.25 each. . .


Thankful for food

26/11/2020

When I was a child, every meal began with a simple grace expressing thanks for the food we were about to eat,  the people with whom we were sharing it and other blessings for which we were grateful.

Michelle May, author of Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat  says:

While we may be far removed from the origins of our meals, food connects us in ways most of us take for granted. In this gratitude meditation, we’ll consider all those connections. How would our lives change if we took a few moments to express gratitude every time we ate?

 


Yes Sir Humphrey

26/11/2020


Why stop there?

26/11/2020

The Public Service Commissioner is recommending employees include a pronoun in email signatures to signal their commitment to diversity and inclusion.

Pronouns are words used to refer to people (for example, she/her, he/him, or they/them). An easy way to normalise the use of pronouns is to include them in your email signature. There are a few reasons why this is beneficial:

  • When cisgender people include pronouns, it normalises it for everyone and protects trans and gender diverse people when they include their pronouns.
  • Having pronouns in an email signature signals you as an LGBTQIA+ ally.

Why stop there?

Why not include a reference to all groups and individuals of whom you are an ally?

Including pronouns in your email signature is a quick and easy way for cisgender people to have a powerful and positive impact. This is harder and riskier for transgender and gender diverse people because it leads to longer conversations and asks them to educate people. . .

There are all sorts of ways all sorts of people can have a powerful and positive impact but is it appropriate to do this in business correspondence?

When does teaching become preaching and when, if ever, are either appropriate in an official email or letter?

Is this a valid way to promote inclusion or will it promote division?

. . . The effect that bringing racial, ethnic, or sex differences to the forefront of our consciousness will have on social interactions is not hard to imagine. Seeing and immediately judging strangers by the innate characteristics of their group, will conjure out-group hate, strip people of their right to be seen as individuals, and sever bridging social connections in precisely the same nasty way, regardless of whether these people are vilified by racist bigots or sanctified by open-minded progressives. . . 

Gender has become another vehicle for proponents of identity politics which dissects and divides and in doing so emphasises differences rather than reinforcing our common humanity.

Hat tip: Lindsay Mitchell


NZ Covid resilience high but low access to vaccine

26/11/2020

Bloomberg has ranked 53 countries’ Covid-19 resilience:

Bloomberg crunched the numbers to determine the best places to be in the coronavirus era: where has the virus been handled most effectively with the least amount of disruption to business and society? . . .

The Covid Resilience Ranking scores economies of more than $200 billion on 10 key metrics: from growth in virus cases to the overall mortality rate, testing capabilities and the vaccine supply agreements places have forged. The capacity of the local health-care system, the impact of virus-related restrictions like lockdowns on the economy, and citizens’ freedom of movement are also taken into account. . . 

 

Effective testing and tracing is a hallmark of almost all the top 10, embodied in South Korea’s approach. The country approved home-grown diagnostic kits within weeks of the virus’s emergence, pioneered drive-through testing stations and has an army of lightning-fast contact tracers who comb through credit card records and surveillance camera footage to track down clusters. Like Japan, Pakistan and other parts of Asia, Korea has drawn on recent epidemic experience after suffering an outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, in 2015. . . 

The under-performance of some of the world’s most prominent democracies including the U.S., U.K. and India contrasted with the success of authoritarian countries like China and Vietnam has raised questions over whether democratic societies are cut out for tackling pandemics.

Bloomberg’s Covid Resilience Ranking tells a different story: eight of the top 10 are democracies. Success in containing Covid-19 with the least disruption appears to rely less on being able to order people into submission, but on governments engendering a high degree of trust and societal compliance. . . 

The result is an overall score that’s a snapshot of how the pandemic is playing out in these 53 places right now. By ranking their access to a coronavirus vaccine, we also provide a window into how these economies’ fortunes may shift in the future. It’s not a final verdict, nor could it ever be with imperfections in virus data and the fast pace of this crisis, which has seen subsequent waves confound places that handled things well the first time around. Circumstance and pure luck also play a role, but are hard to quantify.

The Ranking will change as countries switch up their strategies, the weather shifts and the race intensifies for a viable inoculation. Still, the gap that has opened up between those economies at the top and those at the bottom is likely to endure, with potentially lasting consequences in the post-Covid world. . . 

Although the USA ranks poorly for case numbers and fatalities it ranks highly for access to vaccine which brings its resilience ranking up.

New Zealand tops the list and has done well with relatively few cases and fatalities but has a lower ranking (2/5) for for access to vaccines.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says we’ll need a ‘certain’ level of herd immunity before our borders open:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed New Zealand will need to have a certain level of Covid-19 herd immunity before border restrictions are significantly altered.

But that may still be a long way off – the Minister of Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins said some travel restrictions would likely remain in place for another 12 to 18 months. . . 

‘Certain’ must mean quite high which will require widespread access to publicly funded vaccines.

No-one is suggesting the government will force anyone to have a vaccine, but governments, and businesses, can restrict access to people who don’t get vaccinated. Qantus has already announced it will require people to be vaccinated before they fly.

People will have the freedom to refuse a vaccination but those who do will find their freedom to travel is restricted.

 


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