March 10 in history

March 10, 2019

241 BC Battle of the Aegates Islands – The Romans sank the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.

1606 Susenyos defeated the combined armies of Yaqob and Abuna Petros II at the Battle of Gol in Gojjam, which made him Emperor of Ethiopia.

1762 French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, died after being tortured by authorities; the event inspired Voltaire to begin a campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform.

1804 Louisiana Purchase: In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

1814 Napoleon I of France was defeated at the Battle of Laon in France.

1830 The KNI, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army, was created.

1831  The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.

1844 – Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer was born (d. 1908).

1847  Kate Sheppard, New Zealand suffragist, was born  (d. 1934).

1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified by the United States Senate, ending the Mexican-American War.

1861 El Hadj Umar Tall seized the city of Segou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali.

18867 – Lillian Wald, American nurse, humanitarian, and author, founded the Henry Street Settlement, was born (d. 1940).

1869 The New Zealand Cross was created because New Zealand’s local military were not eligible for the Victoria Cross. Only 23 were awarded, all to men who served in the New Zealand wars, making it one of the rarest military honours in the world.

New Zealand Cross created

1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call by saying “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

1891 Almon Strowger, an undertaker patented the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.

1905 Eleftherios Venizelos called for Crete’s union with Greece, and started the Theriso revolt.

1906 Courrières mine disaster, Europe’s worst ever, killed 1099 miners in Northern France.

1912 Yuan Shikai was sworn in as the second Provisional President of the Republic of China.

1917  Batangas was formally founded as one of the Philippines’s earliest encomiendas.

1922 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.

1933  – Elizabeth Azcona Cranwell, Argentinian poet and translator, was born (d. 2004).

1933 An earthquake in Long Beach, California killed 115 people and causes an estimated $40 million dollars in damage.

1945 The USA Army Air Force firebombed Tokyo, and the resulting firestorm killed more than 100,000 people.

1946  – Mike Hollands, Australian animator and director, founded Act3animation, was born.

1947 – Kim Campbell, Canadian lawyer and politician, 19th Prime Minister of Canada

1952 –  Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, was born.

1952  Fulgencio Batista led a successful coup in Cuba and appointed himself as the “provisional president”.

1957 Osama bin Laden, Islamist and leader of al-Qaeda, was born (d. 2011).

1959 Tibetan uprising: Fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama’s palace to prevent his removal.

1964 Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was born.

1969 James Earl Ray admitted assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later retracted his guilty plea.

1970 Captain Ernest Medina was charged with My Lai war crimes.

1977 Rings of Uranus: Astronomers discover rings around Uranus.

1980 Madeira School headmistress Jean Harris shot and killed Scarsdale diet doctor Herman Tarnower.

1983 – Carrie Underwood, American singer-songwriter and actress, was born.

1980 – Formation of the Irish Army Ranger Wing

1990 In Haiti, Prosper Avril was ousted 18 months after seizing power in a coup.

1995 – Auckland Warriors debuted in the New South Wales Rugby League’s expanded Winfield Cup competition.

Auckland Warriors debut

2000 NASDAQ Composite stock market index peaked at 5132.52, signaling the beginning of the end of the dot-com boom.

2006 The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars.

2017  – The impeachment of President Park Geun-hye of South Korea in response to a major political scandal is unanimously upheld by the country’s Constitutional Court, ending her presidency.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Higher min wage = higher prices + fewer jobs

December 20, 2018

The minimum wage will go up to $17.70 next April, the highest relative to the average wage in any country in the developed world.

On the surface it’s good news for workers.

Below the surface there are risks to jobs and the very real prospect of increased taxes and prices eroding any benefit of higher wages.

Wellington Chamber of Commerce chief executive John Milford points out, it needs to be at least matched by an increase in productivity.

“Research shows that any minimum wage increase has a cascading effect on workers paid above the minimum wage too. This particularly hits SMEs who are unable to pass on or manage their costs easily.

“We urge the Government to accelerate productivity-enhancing policies such as investing in strategically important transport networks, freeing up labour supplies to desperate primary industry employers, and raising the quality of tertiary education graduates.

“MBIE’s minimum wage review estimates the employment restraint impact from today’s announcement at 8,000. But Kiwis have already started to see an impact from the significant minimum wage hikes foreshadowed.

“The past four quarters added 6,000 new jobs per month on average, a marked slowdown from the preceding two years when over 10,000 new jobs were added per month on average, despite the currently hot labour market. . . 

Milford also points out that without tax reform much of any increase will be clawed back in tax.

The Employers and Manufacturers Association also points to problems if wage increases aren’t matched by increased productivity.

 The EMA’s Chief Executive Kim Campbell says, “When you take into account the current rate of $16.50 (up from $15.75 per hour) that came in on April 1 this year, you are looking at a 27 per cent increase in the minimum wage over a four-year period.

“That change was 4.8 per cent (75 cents), to be followed a year later by another 7.3 per cent ($1.20) increase on April 1, 2019. New Zealand already has the highest minimum wage in the OECD relative to the average wage.

“These are significant costs for business to swallow, particularly for those in the small-to-medium [SME] sector or for those large employers with significant numbers of young and entry level staff on the minimum wage.  

And who pays?

Mr Campbell said it was uncertain what impact such a large increase might have on the hiring intentions of employers but he expected such a large wage increase to be passed on in charges to customers and consumers.

“We do know that large increases in minimum wage structures in Canada and the United States led to large increases in unemployment numbers, but we are in an already very tight labour market in New Zealand where employers simply cannot find the staff they need.

“I think we are more likely to see increases in costs to consumers as a result, as many employers are already working to very skinny margins.

“Minimum wage increases also tend to flow through an organisation as other, higher-paid employees want to retain their pay relativity levels and seek adjustments to their own wage rates.

“That puts additional payroll pressure on employers who may also opt out of offering additional benefits to new employees to maintain differentials with existing staff.”

Mr Campbell says the main concern is that while additional costs and conditions were being heaped on employers through multiple changes in employment legislation, there was no focus on measures to boost productivity.

“There is no research anywhere in the world that shows simply boosting wages (and therefore costs) leads to an increase in productivity,” Mr Campbell says.

It doesn’t increase productivity and it can and does have other perverse outcomes.

When wages for resthome carers was increased the difference between their wages and that of registered nurses led to some nurses opting to work as carers rather than nurses.

The added responsibility and stress that came with the nurse’s role simply wasn’t enough to justify the smaller difference in pay.

Arbitary increases in wages also leads to employers seeking ways to do more with fewer staff.

A friend who is in horticulture increases mechanisation every time changes to wages and conditions make it more expensive and difficult to employ people.

Nationals employment spokesman Scott Simpson says:

“You simply can’t just legislate your way to prosperity – if you could you’d simply make the minimum wage $50. But artificially inflating wages is no substitute for an economic plan. . .”

The plan that’s needed for increased productivity to sustain higher wages must include tax reform – at the very least a change in tax brackets to reflect inflation.

It must also include other policies which encourage businesses to take the risks and make the investments necessary the for growth which safeguards existing jobs and provides opportunities for new ones.

 


More strikes in last 9 months than past 9 years

June 26, 2018

Labour is supposed to value workers, why are so many striking when that party is leading the government?

The worrying increase in strike action under this union-friendly Government will slow our economy, make it harder to do business and affect the access of New Zealanders to public services, Opposition Leader Simon Bridges says.

Union friendly isn’t necessarily worker friendly.

“After less than nine months of this Government 32,000 workers have been involved in industrial action, or signalled their intention to be – compared to just over 27,000 that undertook strike action in the entire nine years of the previous Government.

“And the strike action is escalating.

“Today 4,000 core public servants at MBIE and IRD as well as 150 Wairarapa meat workers announced they would undertake industrial action, following on from the likes of bus drivers and cinema and port workers who have repeatedly disrupted businesses.

“On top of this, around 49,000 teachers are also considering their options.

“That’s around 81,000 workers involved in or considering strike action this year.

“All this is going to make it harder for New Zealanders to do business and access public services like healthcare.

“National supports higher wages and the average wage increased by $13,000 under the previous Government, but the way to do that is to grow the economy while this unrest unleashed by the Government will just slow it down.

“Already the uncertainty is impacting peoples’ quality of life and ultimately the economy. With business confidence already low Labour needs to put the needs of the public and economy first, not its union backers.

“The situation will only get worse when Labour’s proposed employment law reforms are implemented, which are specifically targeted at strengthening unions and weakening the ability of New Zealanders to run their businesses.”

Kim Campbell, chief executive of the Employers and Manufacturers Association also says proposed changes will make it worse:

In a world in which collaboration and flexibility are key to the modern workplace, it seems strange we are trying to reinvent an industrial relations framework which appears built on a foundation of “them” and “us”.

Let’s get the elephant in the room out upfront. Yes, some employers are poor operators, but the employment relations system is effective at addressing this. The financial and reputational costs are high for employers who breach employment laws or seek ways around them.

But the law does not catch all such operators, many workers are exploited and I agree there are problems to address.

My question is, why address this with a major law change seemingly based on the premise that all employers are bad and all employees are vulnerable?

Enforcement is a key part of a functioning framework and more labour inspectors seems an obvious solution.

We need an industrial relations framework that enables employers and employees to have the flexibility to meet the growing demands of the future of work, not stifle it. Recently, IAG and Lion NZ pushed the need for flexible working policies, saying these benefit both staff and employers. This embodies the sentiment that employers want to work alongside modern, forward-thinking unions that offer solutions to help move the business forward. . .

Proposed changes will take employers and employees back to last century, not equip them for this one.

 


March 10 in history

March 10, 2018

241 BC Battle of the Aegates Islands – The Romans sank the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.

1606 Susenyos defeated the combined armies of Yaqob and Abuna Petros II at the Battle of Gol in Gojjam, which made him Emperor of Ethiopia.

1762 French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, died after being tortured by authorities; the event inspired Voltaire to begin a campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform.

1804 Louisiana Purchase: In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

1814 Napoleon I of France was defeated at the Battle of Laon in France.

1830 The KNI, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army, was created.

1831  The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.

1844 – Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer was born (d. 1908).

1847  Kate Sheppard, New Zealand suffragist, was born  (d. 1934).

1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified by the United States Senate, ending the Mexican-American War.

1861 El Hadj Umar Tall seized the city of Segou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali.

18867 – Lillian Wald, American nurse, humanitarian, and author, founded the Henry Street Settlement, was born (d. 1940).

1869 The New Zealand Cross was created because New Zealand’s local military were not eligible for the Victoria Cross. Only 23 were awarded, all to men who served in the New Zealand wars, making it one of the rarest military honours in the world.

New Zealand Cross created

1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call by saying “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

1891 Almon Strowger, an undertaker patented the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.

1905 Eleftherios Venizelos called for Crete’s union with Greece, and started the Theriso revolt.

1906 Courrières mine disaster, Europe’s worst ever, killed 1099 miners in Northern France.

1912 Yuan Shikai was sworn in as the second Provisional President of the Republic of China.

1917  Batangas was formally founded as one of the Philippines’s earliest encomiendas.

1922 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.

1933  – Elizabeth Azcona Cranwell, Argentinian poet and translator, was born (d. 2004).

1933 An earthquake in Long Beach, California killed 115 people and causes an estimated $40 million dollars in damage.

1945 The USA Army Air Force firebombed Tokyo, and the resulting firestorm killed more than 100,000 people.

1946  – Mike Hollands, Australian animator and director, founded Act3animation, was born.

1947 – Kim Campbell, Canadian lawyer and politician, 19th Prime Minister of Canada

1952 –  Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, was born.

1952  Fulgencio Batista led a successful coup in Cuba and appointed himself as the “provisional president”.

1957 Osama bin Laden, Islamist and leader of al-Qaeda, was born (d. 2011).

1959 Tibetan uprising: Fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama’s palace to prevent his removal.

1964 Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was born.

1969 James Earl Ray admitted assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later retracted his guilty plea.

1970 Captain Ernest Medina was charged with My Lai war crimes.

1977 Rings of Uranus: Astronomers discover rings around Uranus.

1980 Madeira School headmistress Jean Harris shot and killed Scarsdale diet doctor Herman Tarnower.

1983 – Carrie Underwood, American singer-songwriter and actress, was born.

1980 – Formation of the Irish Army Ranger Wing

1990 In Haiti, Prosper Avril was ousted 18 months after seizing power in a coup.

1995 – Auckland Warriors debuted in the New South Wales Rugby League’s expanded Winfield Cup competition.

Auckland Warriors debut

2000 NASDAQ Composite stock market index peaked at 5132.52, signaling the beginning of the end of the dot-com boom.

2006 The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars.

2017  – The impeachment of President Park Geun-hye of South Korea in response to a major political scandal is unanimously upheld by the country’s Constitutional Court, ending her presidency.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Can’t get prosperity by decree

October 26, 2017

The Employers and Manufacturers Association says the minimum wage increases announced by the government could “bring the economy to a grinding halt”.

Employers and Manufacturers Association (EMA) chief executive Kim Campbell said the initial increase was not much more than what a National-led Government would have implemented.

However, he saw the $20-an-hour target as too high and it meant New Zealand would have among the highest minimum wages in the world.

“The first step was well signalled… and it’s not very responsible signalling it so well in advance because it sets up inflationary expectations,” he said.

“You can already see a reflection of that in our exchange rate, which has gone down because overseas they can sees that New Zealand’s costs are going up.

A drop in the exchange rate will make our exports less expensive overseas but it will add to the cost of imports including clothes, fertilizer, fuel, machinery, medicine and vehicles.

“Exporters are going to do a bit better but you’d have to do the sums to see how they land but it will all turn into an inflationary spiral which is a really good way to bring the economy to a grinding halt.”

Campbell said businesses would be worried by what the cost increases would mean for them. . . 

Businesses have got used to gradual increases in the minimum wage and have factored them into their planning.

But getting to $20 by 2021 is too much too fast for many.

We had dinner out on Tuesday evening.

The business owner, unprompted, told me she was very worried about the new government. “People already say dining out is expensive, but if we have to pay too much more for wages we will have no choice but to increase prices.”

That’s how the inflation spiral starts – with wage increases which aren’t related to productivity increases or other cost decreases.

And that’s what drives business owners to look at ways to reduce staff numbers, including more mechanisation.

Robots are expensive now, but improvements in technology and increases in production will bring prices down.

You can’t get prosperity by decree and attempts to reduce or eliminate poverty by imposing unrealistic rises in wages will threaten business sustainability and job security.


Rural round-up

September 5, 2017

NOSLaM meeting: 

Randall Aspinall, from Mt Aspiring Station, will speak at a North Otago Sustainable Land Management Group meeting at Five Forks on Thursday.

He will discuss the challenges of being a high country farmer in the Wanaka area and share lessons that had been learned.

NOSLaM was revived several years ago by a group of farmers who were keen to improve water quality and promote good pastoral management practices. . .

Water scheme grew from ground up – Hamish MacLean,

In the 1950s, rural water schemes sprang up in North Otago but the 1989 local government reform, and then progressively stringent legislation aimed to improve drinking-water standards, started to take the control of water schemes away from the farmers who used them.

This winter, after a three-year trial, a community-led non-profit company signed a five-year agreement with the Waitaki District Council to manage four rural water schemes from the grass-roots, Hamish MacLean reports.

Corriedale Water Management Ltd was formed when the Waitaki District Council rewrote its water bylaw four years ago.

A “fundamental” philosophical difference separated the way its users wanted to operate and the way council-owned water schemes were expected to work, chairman Bill Malcolm, of Airedale, said. . .

Does OAD lift productivity?:

In their quest to increase six-week in-calf rates, a growing number of farmers are looking at once-a-day (OAD) milking as a way to improve herd reproductive performance. How effective is this strategy?

The success of taking this approach depends on how long cows are milked OAD before mating. It’s important to note that the benefits of whole-season (or full lactation) OAD on herd reproduction don’t necessarily translate to the use of short-term OAD milking around mating. . . 

Vivid flavones from a vivid country – Joelle Thomson:

Wine writer Jamie Goode says simplicity is key in communicating New Zealand wine to global markets.

The British blogger visited New Zealand to speak at the country’s second Organic and Biodynamic Winegrowing Conference in Marlborough in June this year. His message was emphatic.

“You will maintain an edge in international markets by sticking to a simple clear marketing message going forward in the same way as you have done in the past with Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough. It’s consistent, reliable and there are no nasty surprises. . .

ExportNZ has released its manifesto for the 2017 election:

ExportNZ Executive Director Catherine Beard says exporting is critical for the economy and voters should choose a Government that supports trade.

“The single biggest policy issue is whether there is support for TPP-11 and other key potential trade deals. These have the best practical ability to grow jobs and incomes,” Catherine Beard said.
Exporters wanted to see a Government keeping the pressure off the New Zealand dollar by balancing the budget and keeping interest rates low through a focused target on inflation. . .

Export vital for New Zealand’s prosperity:

Support for TPP11 and the wider trade agenda by the incoming government is crucial for New Zealand now and in the future, says the EMA.

The need to speed up the growth of exporting was one of the key recommendations in the EMA 2017 Election Manifesto.

“As a nation we rely heaving on trade for jobs and growth. With a population the size of ours, we need a vibrant exporting sector for New Zealand’s prosperity, says Kim Campbell, CEO, EMA. . .


March 10 in history

March 10, 2017

241 BC Battle of the Aegates Islands – The Romans sank the Carthaginian fleet bringing the First Punic War to an end.

1606 Susenyos defeated the combined armies of Yaqob and Abuna Petros II at the Battle of Gol in Gojjam, which made him Emperor of Ethiopia.

1762 French Huguenot Jean Calas, who was wrongly convicted of killing his son, died after being tortured by authorities; the event inspired Voltaire to begin a campaign for religious tolerance and legal reform.

1804 Louisiana Purchase: In St. Louis, Missouri, a formal ceremony is conducted to transfer ownership of the Louisiana Territory from France to the United States.

1814 Napoleon I of France was defeated at the Battle of Laon in France.

1830 The KNI, the Royal Netherlands East Indies Army, was created.

1831  The French Foreign Legion was established by King Louis-Philippe to support his war in Algeria.

1844 – Pablo de Sarasate, Spanish violinist and composer was born (d. 1908).

1847  Kate Sheppard, New Zealand suffragist, was born  (d. 1934).

1848 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified by the United States Senate, ending the Mexican-American War.

1861 El Hadj Umar Tall seized the city of Segou, destroying the Bambara Empire of Mali.

18867 – Lillian Wald, American nurse, humanitarian, and author, founded the Henry Street Settlement, was born (d. 1940).

1869 The New Zealand Cross was created because New Zealand’s local military were not eligible for the Victoria Cross. Only 23 were awarded, all to men who served in the New Zealand wars, making it one of the rarest military honours in the world.

New Zealand Cross created

1876 Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful telephone call by saying “Mr. Watson, come here, I want to see you.”

1891 Almon Strowger, an undertaker patented the Strowger switch, a device which led to the automation of telephone circuit switching.

1905 Eleftherios Venizelos called for Crete’s union with Greece, and started the Theriso revolt.

1906 Courrières mine disaster, Europe’s worst ever, killed 1099 miners in Northern France.

1912 Yuan Shikai was sworn in as the second Provisional President of the Republic of China.

1917  Batangas was formally founded as one of the Philippines’s earliestencomiendas.

1922 Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in India, tried for sedition, and sentenced to six years in prison, only to be released after nearly two years for an appendicitis operation.

1933  – Elizabeth Azcona Cranwell, Argentinian poet and translator, was born (d. 2004).

1933 An earthquake in Long Beach, California killed 115 people and causes an estimated $40 million dollars in damage.

1945 The USA Army Air Force firebombed Tokyo, and the resulting firestorm killed more than 100,000 people.

1946  – Mike Hollands, Australian animator and director, founded Act3animation, was born.

1947 – Kim Campbell, Canadian lawyer and politician, 19th Prime Minister of Canada

1952 –  Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, was born.

1952  Fulgencio Batista led a successful coup in Cuba and appointed himself as the “provisional president”.

1957 Osama bin Laden, Islamist and leader of al-Qaeda, was born (d. 2011).

1959 Tibetan uprising: Fearing an abduction attempt by China, 300,000 Tibetans surround the Dalai Lama’s palace to prevent his removal.

1964 Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, was born.

1969 James Earl Ray admitted assassinating Martin Luther King Jr. He later retracted his guilty plea.

1970 Captain Ernest Medina was charged with My Lai war crimes.

1977 Rings of Uranus: Astronomers discover rings around Uranus.

1980 Madeira School headmistress Jean Harris shot and killed Scarsdale diet doctor Herman Tarnower.

1983 – Carrie Underwood, American singer-songwriter and actress, was born.

1980 – Formation of the Irish Army Ranger Wing

1990 In Haiti, Prosper Avril was ousted 18 months after seizing power in a coup.

1995 – Auckland Warriors debuted in the New South Wales Rugby League’s expanded Winfield Cup competition.

Auckland Warriors debut

2000 NASDAQ Composite stock market index peaked at 5132.52, signaling the beginning of the end of the dot-com boom.

2006 The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter arrived at Mars.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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