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Our farmed meat is a green food Neal Wallace:
Exporters are not shy in promoting New Zealand red meat as grass-fed and free-range but recent studies by Oxford and Otago Universities have lumped our system in with feedlots to claim the industry is environmentally degrading and unsustainable. Neal Wallace investigates the true environmental impact of grass-fed beef.
Work to differentiate the environmental footprint of New Zealands pasture-based red meat sector from feedlot systems that have a far greater impact has begun.
Beef + Lamb NZ chief insight officer Jeremy Baker said NZ grass-fed, free-range beef has been included in international studies that claim beef production is a major contributor to climate change. . .
Aug. 10 (BusinessDesk) Fonterra Shareholders Fund units, which gives outside investors exposure to Fonterra Cooperative Group, fell to a three-year low after the latest dividend downgrade added to scepticism about the efficacy of the cooperatives structure.
The units dropped 2.7 percent to $4.97, adding to a 20 percent slide so far this year, and fell as low as $4.95, a level not seen since September 2015 when Fonterra was hit by a slump in global dairy prices and offered interest-free loans to its farmer shareholders to tide . .
Duncan Coull, Chairman of the Fonterra Shareholders Council, has expressed his absolute disappointment with todays Board decision to reduce the 2017/18 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by five cents to $6.70 per kg/MS in order to support the balance sheet, and the decision to retain more of the Co-ops earnings which will likely see no further dividend payment to Shareholders over the 10 cents distributed earlier in the year.
Mr Coull: I can understand the Boards rationale and that it is prudent to protect the balance sheet, but the fact that we find ourselves in this situation is unacceptable. . .
For some reason this isnt on the Beehive media release website, but the Minister of Internal Affairs announced a new appointment of Mary Scholtens to head inquiry into the appointment of Wally Haumaha. @cjsbishop: Good to see Govt has taken our advice and appointed a highly respected independent QC for the Haumaha inquiry. Should have 
Minister Robertson makes some good points around business confidence, but this isn't just international business cycle stuff business confidence well down relative to other countries. https://t.co/8V5JvMlEt7 Eric Crampton (@EricCrampton) August 10, 2018 "We would urge other business leaders to be more positive I think the business environment is good right now. So 
There have been overreactions to perceived threats or possible unsavoury speech, particularly from Massey University, but there have also been some concerning reactions. Free Speech Coalition raising funds for legal action against Massey VC The Free Speech Coalition has resolved that, contingent on raising sufficient funds, it will be issuing legal proceedings against the Vice-Chancellor 
"Plastic does not poison anything. Its non-toxic.... Its litter, not pollution. Many people find it unsightly, and the solution is to educate people not to discard it into the environment and to organise, as is done on highways, to have it removed..."Plastic is not poison or pollution, it is litter."~ Canadian ecologist and Greenpeace co-founder Dr. Patrick Moore, quoted in the article 'The War on Plastics is Dangerously Misguided,' and from his own essay, 'Twelve Invisible Eco-Catastrophes and Threats of Doom That are Actually Fake'
There has been a lot spoken and written about free speech in New Zealand lately, sparked by the visit of Canadians Stefan Molyneux and Lauren Southern. Most people seemed to see them as extreme-ish agenda driven attention and money seekers, with many people supporting their right to speak here but not agreeing with what they 
Canadian Jordan Peterson is getting an increasing amount of attention in New Zealand. I see his name coming up more frequently, but know little about him. From a brief look he seems to be quite different to Molyneux and Southern, but Peterson still seems despised by some, particularly on the left. But he seems to 
It hasnt taken long for media to breach the strict controls on coverage of Jacinda Arderns baby at Parliament. TVNZ stuffed up yesterday. Newstalk ZB: TVNZ apologise for filming Jacinda Ardern breastfeeding An apology from TVNZ after one of its cameramen filmed Jacinda Ardern feeding her daughter Neve The Prime Minister today attended the announcement 
Saturdays soapbox is yours to use as you will within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. Youre welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter. The audience . . . that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance. William O. Douglas.
Donald Trump pledged to drain the swamp, but he has become keen on setting up a whole new branch of the US military a Space Force. It has been pointed out that what he proposes is already being covered by existing branches of the military. Is it a big waste of money? What does 
11 August 2018 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general 
11 August 2018 This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isnt spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers 
3114 BC The Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, used by several pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations, notably the Mayans, began.
480 BC Greco-Persian Wars: Battle of Artemisium the Persians achieved a naval victory over the Greeks in an engagement fought near Artemisium.
355 Claudius Silvanus, accused of treason, proclaimed himself Roman Emperor against Constantius II.
1786 Captain Francis Light established the British colony of Penang.
1804 Francis II assumed the title of first Emperor of Austria.
1858 First ascent of the Eiger.
1892 Hugh MacDiarmid, Scottish poet, was born (d. 1978).
1897 Enid Blyton, English author, was born (d. 1968).
1912 Eva Ahnert-Rohlfs, German astronomer and academic, was born (d. 1954).
1915 Morris Weiss, American author and illustrator, was born (d. 2014).
1918 World War I: Battle of Amiens ended.
1919 Constitution of Weimar Republic adopted.
1920 The Latvia...
Utopia has a video on sleep: why we need it and what happens without it.
I was particularly interested in it because we got home from three weeks in Spain last Saturday and Ive had a lot of trouble getting my body and brain back in sync with the clock.
During the day I was in a sleep-deprived fog but at night I was wide awake.
But last night, I got seven hours sleep and when I woke up this morning the fog had lifted for which Im very grateful.
Every week the Dunedin City Council post a bunch of old photos. They provide an interesting window into out past. Today the focus was on road works about a century ago. In my living memory heavy fossil fueled machinery has been almost exclusively used, but in the 1920s horse power, steam power and man power 
The Government announced today that a single use plastic bag ban will be phased in over the next year. Im all for drastically reducing plastic bag use, and plastic use. Waste plastic is creating a lot of problems. Some large retailers are already at least working towards this, so the ban will just push some 
Who cares about farmers? NZ needs them around Anna Campbell:
Buzzwords and trendy phrases have a wave-like cycle.
When you first hear a phrase, your ears prick up, but you dont necessarily take it in. When you next hear the phrase, you start to register its meaning and context. A few more hearings and the phrase becomes embedded perhaps you use it yourself. The end of the phrase-cycle starts when the buzzword or phrase is used so often, it loses meaning and starts to irritate.
There are some tired words and phrases that have started to irritate me recently, so I hope this means they are ending their wave, or at least I stop using them ripe for disruption and social licence to farm are two such examples. In their defence, such phrases come about because they are pithy, topical and represent something worth exploration.
Talking about buzzwords is really my way of introducing my growing irritation at the concept of farmers requiring a social licence to farm. The phrase has come about because there is a realisation in the agri-community we need to improve some of our practices and provide evidence of such changes on the back of a growing rural-urban divide (another term starting to irritate me), food scares and a requirement for transparency around food production. . .
Canines have nose for the job Yvonne OHara:
A request from beekeepers in Canterbury led a Dunedin dog trainer to become a key element in the fight against the devastating bee disease American foulbrood.
Rene Gloor, of Rene Gloor Canine Ltd, is originally from Switzerland and has spent the past 30 years training dogs to detect many odours.
His dogs were used to detect biosecurity risks, including fruit, plants, meat, seeds, eggs and reptiles, for the Ministry of Primary Industries.
Since leaving MPI, he has set up his own business and worked in Taiwan, Korea and other Asian countries for the past eight years. . .
The complexities of Mycoplasma bovis compensation are causing much angst...
Article from the Herald, February 2017. So here we are in 2018. One year later. Why the hell is our plastic still being dumped to landfill? Why the constant excuses from packaging companies and their recyclers that China wont take it any more? This is just one of MANY solutions waiting to be utilised: Company 
Question of the Day: "There are plenty of reasons to dislike Jordan Peterson, but no coherent reason for the lefts obliterating and irrational hatred of Jordan Peterson. What, then, accounts for it?" "IndyWatch Feed Nznews"
[Hat tip Stephen Hicks]
"The young men voted for Hillary, they called home in shock when Trump won, they talked about flipping the House, and they followed Peterson to other podcaststo Sam Harris and Dave Rubin and Joe Rogan. What they were getting from these lectures and discussions, often lengthy and often on arcane subjects, was perhaps the only sustained argument against identity politics they had heard in their lives.
"That might seem like a small thing, but its not. With identity politics off the table, it was possible to talk about all kinds of thingsreligion, philosophy, history, mythin a different way. They could have a direct experience with ideas, not one mediated by ideology. All of these young people, without quite realising it, were joining a huge group of American college students who were pursuing a parallel curriculum, right under the noses of the people who were delivering their official educations...
"This book was putting words to deeply held feelings that many of them had not been able to express before...
"There are plenty of reasons for individual readers to dislike Jordan Peterson ... many legitimate reasons to disagree with him on a number of subjects, and many people of good will do. But there is no coherent reason for the lefts obliterating and irrational hatred of Jordan Peterson. What, then, accounts for it?
"It is because the left, while it currently seems ascendant in our houses of culture and art, has in fact entered its decadent late phase, and it is deeply vulnerable. The left is afraid not of Peterson, but of the ideas he promotes, which are completely inconsistent with identity politics of any kind....
"All across the [US], there are people as repelled by the current White House as they are by the countless and increasingly baroque expressions of identity politics that dominate so much of the culture. These are people who arent looking for an ideology; they are looking for ideas. And many of them are getting much better at discerning the good from the bad."
~ From the Atlantic article 'Why the Left Is So Afraid of Jordan Peterson'
Fonterra has announced a 5 cent drop in the forecast farmgate milk price for the 2017/18 season:
The Co-operative is reducing last seasons 2017/18 forecast Farmgate Milk Price to $6.70 per kgMS from $6.75 per kgMS. The previously announced 25-30 cents guidance range has been held but the Co-operative is indicating that it will be at or slightly below this range and it is likely that the full year dividend will be just the 10 cents already paid in April.
Chairman John Monaghan said the Board has made these decisions in the best long-term interests of its farmer shareholders and unitholders.
It is important for our Co-operative to have a strong balance sheet and, as we indicated in May, the higher milk price, which is good for our farmers, has put pressure on Fonterras earnings, and therefore our balance sheet in a year which was already challenging due to the payment to Danone and the impairment of the Co-operatives Beingmate investment.
You never want to have to reduce the Milk Price at the seasons end, but it is the right thing to do and $6.70 remains a strong milk price.
Maintaining a strong balance sheet has helped us to support farmers during tough seasons through our Co-operative Support Loan and being able to bring forward the Advance Rate Schedule and get money to farmers earlier in the season.
We need to do everything within our control to keep these options on the table for when farmers need them. This means keeping our balance sheet strong.
Mr Monaghan said he wanted to be upfront with farmers and unitholders that to achieve this the Board has taken the step to depart from the amount calculated under the Farmgate Milk Price Manual. This is permitted within Fonterras Constitution.
During the process of closing our books for the financial year end, the need for these actions has become clear. Our forecast performance is not where we expected it would be. While the numbers are not finalised, our margins were less than we forecasted right across our global Ingredients and Consumer and Foodservice businesses.
The Co-operatives full year results will be announced on 13 September 2018.
This is disappointing but not unexpected.
Its also a reminder that the forecast milk price can change and that budgets sho...
"The reason free speech is important is because the alternative is the use of force."
Hold on to your hats. Another new scheme has just been announced
by the Labour government:
Mana in Mahi - Strength in Work will pay a wage subsidy to employers willing to hire a person receiving a main income support benefit, and offer that person an industry training qualification.I'm underwhelmed.
If you're interested in hiring one of our candidates, but they need support to gain the required skills for the job, we may be able to help with a subsidy for things like training or mentoring.Get Jacinda, stealing the limelight yet again, in the fluro vest no less, making another grand gesture to her demographic.
Economist Cameron Bagrie has found a hole in the fiscal bucket:
Steven Joyce is going to be proved right. There is a fiscal hole and a softening economy is making it wider.
I dont like the term fiscal hole. Good policy should dominate over strict debt targets and economic cycles come and go which are often beyond government control.
But the Labour-led Governments fiscal hole is looking deeper by the day and bigger than the $11.7 billion of additional borrowing that Joyce identified. . .
Growth is weaker, the Government is already borrowing creatively to the tune of $6.4 billion via Crown entities (keeping it out of core government net debt metrics) and spending demands are headed one way.
That combination will pressure its fiscal position. . .
The lack of money left in the kitty post the 2018-Budget raised issues of credibility, but the fiscal parameters were technically achievable.
It wasnt going to be easy, but it was possible, so the Government was given the benefit of the doubt.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt was a mistake given their record, policies and the knowledge that coalition partners would add to costs.
But the picture is changing and the Governments ambitions are looking more and more like pipe dreams.
So, what has changed?
Budget spending and investment demands needed funding, whilst at the same time sticking to the narrative of hitting debt objectives and being fiscally responsible.
The result was crown entities borrowing an additional $6.4 billion between 2017 and 2022.
That is an accounting fudge to get it out of the core Government debt figures.
Just because we cant see it doesnt mean its not there....
(ANTIMEDIA) Wildfires in California are burning hundreds of thousands of acres as tens of thousands of firefighters, some who have traveled from as far as Mexico, Australia, and New Zealand work to contain the blazes. Even prisoners have been enlisted to fight the fires (at a rate of $1 per hour plus $2 per day). Though much of the 
Fonterra placed a trading halt on its units yesterday.
Fonterra placed a trading halt on its units on the NZX yesterday as it works through reviewing its earnings guidance.
It expects to update the market by the end of trading today.
Fonterra Shareholder Fund units last traded at $5.11, down more than 18% from a year ago, having started the year at $6.66 in January.
In a brief notice to the NZX yesterday, Fonterra said it was preparing its annual financial statements for the financial year ended July.
As a result of the work being undertaken there may be a variation from the earnings guidance previously given to the market, the company said.
The funds units are open to the public and also farmer suppliers. . .
This is very unlikely to be for positive reasons.
The grapevine thinks this might result in a cut to the forecast dividend rather than the farmgate milk price, but that might be wishful thinking.
Motorists have reported waits of up to 15 minutes at a Dunedin intersection as cycleway construction means traffic lights are being run from Wellington. https://t.co/cbOvNVqHIr ODT Online (@odtnews) August 9, 2018 What? I have no idea why traffic lights are being controlled from Wellington. Dunedin mayor Dave Cull, who also heads Local Government New 
Controversy over the appointment of Wally Hauhama as deputy police commissioner has up-murked even more. NZH: Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugely frustrated with drip feed of information after promotion of Wally Haumaha Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is hugely frustrated information which should have been considered before Wally Haumaha was promoted to deputy police commissioner is 
There was a debate on free speech in Auckland last night, and of course most of the attention was on Don Brash and a few people protesting against him. I didnt watch the debate, I had more important things to do, but it was covered by some in comments here: Brash up-platformed in university debate tonight 
On Wednesday Green MP Golriz Ghahraman claimed Its been a GREAT day in the Houseits basically human rights day! on a day that Greens failed to put one MP up to speak on Winston Peters waka jumping bill that had raised concerns of a chilling effect from New Zealands Chief Human Rights Commissioner. Its 
We are living in a time of trouble and bewilderment, in a time when none of us can foresee or foretell the future. But surely it is in times like these, when so much that we cherish is threatened or in jeopardy, that we are impelled all the more to strengthen our inner resources, to turn to the things that have no news value because they will be the same to-morrow that they were to-day and yesterday the things that last, the things that the wisest, the most farseeing of our race and kind have been inspired to utter in forms that can inspire ourselves in turn. Laurence Binyon who was born on this day in 1869.
An Australian accredited specialist in immigration law who claims to have been working in refugee law since 1990 has raised some serious questions about Green MP Golriz Ghahraman. Ms Ghahraman is not a refugee or a child asylum seeker. Her claims of war and persecution do not stand up to scrutiny. Her claim to be 
10 August 2018 Media Watch is a focus on New Zealand media, blogs and social media. You can post any items of interested related to media. A primary aim here is to hold media to account in the political arena. A credible and questioning media is an essential part of a healthy democracy. A general 
10 August 2018 This post is open to anyone to comment on any topic that isnt spam, illegal or offensive. All Your NZ posts are open but this one is for you to raise topics that interest you. If providing opinions on or summaries of other information also provide a link to that information. Bloggers 
A nationwide campaign has been launched to oppose the Health (Fluoridation of Drinking Water) Amendment Bill, currently before Parliament.
Rethink Fluoride brings together those who oppose the fluoridation of drinking water, man of whom made submissions to the Health Select Committee considering the Bill.
Retired dentists Dr Lawrie Brett and Dr John Jukes said that the vast majority of public submissions opposed the Bill, and are heading the campaign. They said international peer-reviewed research had shown fluoridation to be unsafe and ineffective, which was why it was not endorsed by the majority of international health authorities.
The fluoridation of Drinking Water Bill, introduced by the previous government, sought to shift decision-making from local councils to district health boards, under the direction (or at least heavy influence) of the Ministry of Health, with no public input into decisions. Former Health Minister Annette King acknowledged that as effectively mandatory fluoridation by proxy in her speech at the Bills first reading. Drs Brett and Jukes said.
The coalition behind Rethink Fluoride also claimed that, if the Bill became law, New Zealand would become one of only three countries in the world with mandatory fluoridation without addressing the larger issues arising from fluoridation.
Fluoride Free NZ has lent its support to the campaign, and provided seed funding.
Rethink Fluorides objective is to encourage Parliament not to proceed with the Bill, and to take a fresh look at the fluoridation issue, especially important given a growing body of evidence pointing t harm from fluoride even at levels that had previously been believed to be safe.
The campaign will use social media, pubic relations and networking to raise awareness about fluoridation and to promote debate.
New Zealand is one of a tiny minority of countries that fluoridate drinking water, as a result of ties with the USA, Drs Brett and Jukes said.
Less than five per cent of the worlds population is fluoridated, with more and more cities stopping every year. Unfortunately, New Zealand, as this legislation demonstrates, is apparently intent on travelling in the opposite direction.
We believe that, were New Zealanders better aware of the facts about fluoridation, our parliamentarians would be less inclined against the fluoridation of our drinking water.
In 2014 The Lancet had classified fluoride as a neurotoxin, while 52 of 59 studies that looked at fluoride exposure and effects on brain function found tht damage included lowering of IQ, behavioural deficits, nervous disorders and memory disruption...
955 Battle of Lechfeld: Otto I, Holy Roman Emperor defeated the Magyars, ending 50 years of Magyar invasion of the West.
991 Battle of Maldon: English, led by Bryhtnoth, Duke of Essex, were defeated by a band of inland-raiding Vikings.
1270 Yekuno Amlak took the imperial throne of Ethiopia, restoring the Solomonic dynasty to power after a 100-year interregnum.
1316 Second Battle of Athenry.
1519 Ferdinand Magellans five ships set sail from Seville to circumnavigate the globe.
1557 Battle of St. Quentin: Spanish victory over the French in the Habsburg-Valois Wars.
1628 The Swedish warship Vasa sank in the Stockholm harbour after only about 20 minutes on her maiden voyage.
1675 The foundation stone of the Royal Greenwich Observatory in London was laid.
1680 The Pueblo Revolt began in New Mexico.
1809 Quito declared independence from Spain.
1829 First ascent of Finsteraarhorn, the highest summit of the Bernese Alps.
1840 HMS Britomart arrived at Akaroa, on Banks Peninsula, a week before a shipload of French colonists landed. The ships captain raised the Union Jack to confirm British sovereignty over the area.
My mother was born 99 years ago today.
She was the oldest of eight children in a family poor in material terms but rich in love.
She trained as a nurse and was a tutor sister when she married. As was the norm then, she gave up her career to keep house, raise a family and support her friends and community.
Her first name meant bitter, her second meant sweet. In spite of challenges which might have provoked bitterness, that wasnt in her nature but sweetness certainly was.
Its 17 years since she died but her example, her influence and her love still guide me and Im very grateful for that.
After 30 years of research in the dairy industry, a distinguished service award was well deserved for Harjinder Singh.
The Massey University distinguished professor has won a lot of awards for his work, but last month became the first New Zealander to win the American Dairy Science Association distinguished service award at Knoxville in the United States.
The gong, which Singh joked was a lifetime achievement award, was for outstanding contribution to dairy science and work improving the industry.
Singh, 60, is a food scientist and major figure in the development of dairy science research, having started working at Massey in 1989. . .
Tasman District Council has applied to the Governments Provincial Growth Fund to plug an $18 million hole in funding for the proposed Waimea dam, undaunted by an apparent exclusion for water and irrigation projects.
A guide to the fund called Powering Up Aotearoa-New Zealands Regions is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.
On page 5 of that guide under the headline
Fund exclusions, it says: The following are not eligible for PGF
[the Provincial Growth Fund] as they are funded by other
* Housing (unless it is a core part of a broader project and would not otherwise be required)
* Water and large-scale irrigation
* Social infrastructure (such as hospitals and schools) . .
Four does go into one Sonita Chandar:
Teamwork is the secret to success for the Southland farm judged the best dairy business in the land. Sonita Chandar reports.
Despite three of the four partners living in the North Island the success of a Southland farming business can be attributed to exceptional teamwork and good clear lines of communication.
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