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Oamaru sheep massacre still baffles Police

Oamaru police want some “definitive answers” on the cause of death of 215 sheep in Ngapara, and are seeking a second opinion from a forensic vet.
Last month, 195 sheep were killed on Peter and Janine Stackhouse’s farm, and about 20 sheep were found dead on a neighbouring property the following weekend.
Detective Warren Duncan, of Oamaru, says police are looking at information from the public as well as investigating other possible causes of death by extending working on the sheep themselves.

Initial investigations led police to believe that a firearm was used in the massacre, however, Police are now dubious of this theory and a forensic vet will be employed to examine the sheep.

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Westland dairy payout betters Fonterra

The West Coast's dairy co-operative has forecast a higher payout than dairy giant Fonterra.
Westland announced this morning it's forecast payout of $6.00 - $6.40 per kilogram of milk solids for farmers in the 2015 season.
This forecast is marginally better than Fonterra's forecasted payout of $6.00.

Chief Executive Rod Quin says Westland's predicted payout was in line with the predictions of other companies.

Quin says the decline in pay-out for 2014-15 is due to lower international dairy prices and the relatively high New Zealand dollar.

“The market has continued to decline as customers limit their purchases due to higher inventories in their supply chains, and growth in milk and dairy product supply from Europe and the USA."

Quin says that some industry commentators have speculated that the weakening New Zealand dollar might off-set the impact of lowered dairy prices and therefore benefit pay-outs.
However, Rod Quin says to date,the decline in the dollar has been very small and the currency remains over valued and farmers should be cautious in spending.


Dairy payout prediction plunge

Fonterra Cooperative Group has cut its forecast 2015 milk price payout by 14 percent, working out to be a $4 billion cut.
The Farmgate Milk Price forecast for the 2014/2015 year was reduced to $6 a kilogram of milk solids from a previous forecast of $7 per kilogram of milk solids.
This move has been mirrored by Westland Milk Products who has also revised their own forecast payout to $6.00 - $6.40 per kilogram of milk solids.

Federated Farmers dairy spokesperson Andrew Hoggard was surprised by the drop and believes twenty percent of farmers will be now losing money after the payout unless they’re able to drastically reduce costs.
Both companies have cited a decline in global dairy prices in the face of strong global production, a build up of inventory in China and falling demand in emerging markets.

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Northern Southland 1080 aerial drop confirmed

The Department of Conservation has confirmed it will dump 1080 on almost 7000 hectares of Waikaia Forest in Northern Southland because of high rat numbers.

DOC says the aerial drop is the only way to ensure the survival of the endangered mohua and other threatened species during a heavy beech mast.
Environment Southland has granted DOC consent for the drop which is scheduled for August/September this year.
However, opponents of the operation say the rat count is misleading and are refusing to give up the fight to stop the aerial drop.

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Labour Party promises meat sector restructure

Labour is promising to lead and help fund a meat sector restructure.
Labour Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the declining meat sector needs an upgrade to maintain a secure, skilled workforce and compete in overseas markets.
Damien O’Connor says Labour will be working with Iwi and large agricultural companies to consolidate efforts and interests for the long term.
He says the party will also review the Primary Growth Partnership grants to the meat sector to ensure they are contributing to a more strategic industry future.
Labour is also promising a better collaborative between companies and workers to ensure greater security for both parties.

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Alliance set for new CEO

Alliance Group chief executive Grant Cuff will step down in December following the company’s annual meeting.

Cuff leaves the company as demand for red meat strengthens and lambs prices are expected to improve this season.
Alliance Group chairman Murray Taggart says under Cuff’s leadership the Alliance Group had been at the forefront of emerging market development including China, Brazil and India.

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National Country Music Awards 2014

National Country Music Awards 2014

Founders Theatre Hamilton  (Hamilton)

Kiwi Pro-Am presents the 2014 National Country Music Awards at Hamilton’s Founders Theatre on Saturday 16 August.
Featuring some of New Zealand’s brightest country music stars in annual star-studded red carpet awards and show night, this year’s special guests include The Howie Morrison Trio, Pat & Brendan Dugan, Leslie Nia Nia, Kylie Austin and Australia’s Morgan Evans (who toured with Taylor Swift!).
Also performing is the 2014 Horizon Award nominees Cameron Luxton, Sarah Conlan and Daniel Cosgrove, as well as 2013 Horizon winner Cameron Scott.
Howie Morrison Trio
Featuring Howie Morrison Jnr, Russell Harrison and Chris Powley the HMT take their audiences down memory lane with a mix of nostalgic toe-tapping, sing-along tunes that were made famous by the Howard Morrison Quartet.
Morgan Evans
Singer/songwriter Morgan Evans is one of the hottest young performers in Australian country. He has just released his self-titled debut album and has toured with international superstars like Taylor Swift and Alan Jackson - playing to over 50,000 people in Nashville at the world’s biggest country music festival. In 2013, Morgan was awarded the New Oz Artist of the Year award at the CMC Music Awards. His music is driven by an optimism shaped by life’s bumpy journey, a faith in the power of love and hard work to overcome the obstacles we all face every day.

Pat & Brendan Dugan
Known as ‘The Godfather of Country Music’, Pat Dugan first sang at the Christchurch Civic Theatre at the age of 10 and now at over 80 years of age he still has a strong and wonderful voice. In 1990 he was awarded a QSM for his services to country music. Apart from singing and teaching music, Pat also won the New Zealand finals for Atlantic Plough Competition and joined his father in trotting horse breeding industry. Asked if he would like to pass any tips to others, he replied, "A smile costs nothing but makes a lot of people happy”. In 2012 Pat & his son Brendan Dugan were inducted into the Hands of Fame at the NZ Gold Guitar Awards.

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