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Butter prices reach a record high of $5.39 a block

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Butter prices rose 11 percent in August 2017, to a record high of $5.39 a block, Stats NZ said today. The previous record was $5.05 in June 2017.

The average price of $5.39 for a cheapest available 500g block was up 51 cents on July and up $2.07 (62 percent) on August 2016. The annual butter price increase is the largest in percentage terms since 2010.

“We have seen butter prices rising lately due to New Zealand’s export driven market,” consumers price index manager Matthew Haigh said. “Butter prices have experienced all-time highs in the global market, and this also drives the price here at home.”



Overall food prices rose 0.6 percent in August 2017

Vegetable prices rose 5.4 percent in August, and were the main contributor to the 0.6 percent rise in food prices. After seasonal adjustment, however, vegetable prices fell 1.1 percent.

Tomato prices are up to $10.42 a kg, compared with $9.50 in July 2017, and $10.92 in August 2016. Tomato prices are seasonally high in August.

In contrast to vegetable prices, fruit prices fell 0.5 percent (up 0.1 percent after seasonal adjustment). This was mainly due to lower prices for avocados (down 19 percent). Avocado prices usually fall as we approach spring, and they are still coming down from a near record high in June. A 200g avocado cost $2.59 in August, compared with $3.20 in July and $4.52 in June. However, this is still more than the average $1.72 in August 2016.

Prices for non-alcoholic beverages fell 1.2 percent, led by lower prices for supermarket-bought coffee (such as instant and ground beans), down 7.1 percent. This was mostly due to items going on special.

Annual food prices increase 2.3 percent

Food prices increased 2.3 percent in the year to August 2017. This followed a 3.0 percent increase in the year to July 2017. The smaller increase, as compared with the year to July, is due to vegetable prices coming down from recent extremely high levels.

Vegetable prices increased 8.7 percent in the latest year, led by kumara and potatoes. The price for a kilo of kumara was $8.00 in August 2017, up from $3.23 in August 2016.

“The exceptionally wet weather over the past year has had an impact on growing tuber vegetables such as potatoes and kumara,” Mr Haigh said. “The crop losses and extra manual work required for harvesting has translated into higher prices on supermarket shelves.”

Variable speeds to be extended to allow maximum of 100km/hr near Waterview Tunnel

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The NZ Transport Agency says variable speed limits will be extended on sections of State Highways 16 and 20 around the Waterview Tunnel to allow maximum speeds of 100km/hr.

 

“We want to ensure that people’s journeys on the motorway are as safe and easy as we can make them. Variable speeds are increasingly being used to match speed limits with the conditions and provide the right balance between safety and keeping traffic flowing smoothly,” says Brett Gliddon, the Transport Agency’s System Design Manager.

 

“Since opening the Waterview Tunnel we’ve been monitoring the operational and safety performance on the state highways around the tunnel, as well as taking on board customer and stakeholder feedback.”

 

“The motorway system around the tunnel and through the central motorway junction is complex with higher traffic volumes and a significant amount of lane changing and the speed limits need to reflect these conditions while also ensuring we keep motorists safe.”

 

Speed limits inside the tunnel will remain at 80km/h to manage the higher risks associated with an enclosed tunnel environment.

 

Additional physical infrastructure needs to be installed on the motorway system, as well as a legal process completed before the variable speed limits can be put in place. That process is now underway.


Labour confirms Korean trade deal at risk

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Labour must come clean about its plans to renegotiate the Korean free trade agreement which is worth billions to New Zealand’s economy and supports thousands of jobs, National’s Trade spokesperson Todd McClay says.

 

“Jacinda Ardern has said this morning she wants to renegotiate New Zealand’s trade agreement with South Korea – a trading relationship which is already worth more than $4 billion a year to our economy,” Mr McClay says.

 

“This is another example of ill-thought out and vague Labour policy made up on the hoof. It’s simply not good enough for Jacinda Ardern to put the economic fortunes of New Zealand at risk along with thousands of jobs and businesses.

 

“Labour even seems to think it could renegotiate this deal by Christmas when it took five years to negotiate in the first place.

 

“That’s just not credible. Where is the detail on how they would do it? And what concessions would they be prepared to give away in return?

 

“New Zealand is a small country dependent on trade with exports supporting 620,000 jobs and contributing more than $70 billion to our economy every year.

 

“Labour already wants to tax New Zealanders out of business. Now want to renegotiate them out of business too.

 

“The Korean FTA provides greater access for New Zealand forestry, dairy, beef, lamb and kiwifruit, along with opportunities for education, science and technology – it’s our sixth-largest export destination.

 

“How can our exporters plan to grow or invest or hire more staff when there is no certainty?

 

“Voters have a right to know what they are voting for. Labour must front up with the detail,” Mr McClay says.

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오클랜드 카메라타 코러스 중국합창단과 합동공연, 문화 봉사 활동 참여

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MAA.jpg


지난 9월3일 리무에라에 있는 Baradene College 에서 뉴질랜드 중국인들을 중심으로 만들어진 단체 Association of Auckland Music의 창단 15주년 기념 음악회에 오클랜드 카메라타 코러스(Auckland Camerata Chorus / 음악감독 왕주철)가 초청되어 한국민요등을 알리며 합창을 통해 화합과 친분을 다졌다.
800명의 청중앞에서 장구 반주와 함께 한국의 경쾌하고 힘있는 민요 울산아가씨를 알리는 계기가 되었으며, 세계 민요 모음은 영어, 독일어, 중국어, 이탈리아어, 마오리어 및 한국의 아리랑까지 원어로 MAA 합창단과 합동 연주하여 큰 박수와 관심을 받았다.
이번 공연에서는 한국민요, 팝송및 스켓송으로 오펜바흐의 ‘천국과 지옥’을 공연하여 큰 호응을 얻었다.

두 단체는 작년 Auckland Sinfonietta 의 가족음악회도 함께 출연하여 연합으로 연주한 바 있다. 2016년 4월 창단한 오클랜드 카메라타 코러스는 합창곡 선정은 특정 장르에 선을 긋지 않고 가곡, 성가, 가요, 동요, 민요, 팝송등 단원들이 곡 선정에 직접 참여 하여 프로그램을 함께 만든다.

합창단은 공연마다 한국음악을 알리기에 열심을 다함은 물론 공연을 통하여 뉴질랜드 한인 및 뉴질랜드 지역 사회의 문화적 봉사활동 참여에 큰 의미를 갖고 활동하고 있다. 한일수단장 및 전 단원은 음악에 대한 열정이 있는 합창을 통해 즐겁고 행복한 문화 생활과 문화 봉사를 하고 싶은 분들의 더 많은 참가를 환영한다고 밝혔다.


내년 2월 한국 유명성악가들과 함께 공연을 할 계획이며, 늘 즐거운 마음으로 노래를 함께 하고자 하는 열정이 있는 단원을 모집하며 현재 고등학생부터 중년까지 다양한 연령층으로 구성 되어 있는 오클랜드 카메라타 코러스는 비영리단체로 등록되어 있으며 좀 더 자세한 내용은 합창단 홈페이지 www.aklcamerata.org 에서 확인 가능하며 가입 신청 및 문의는 aklcamerata@gmail.com로 이메일을 보내면 된다.


July guest nights up 1.4 percent on a year ago

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There were 39 million guest nights spent in short-term commercial accommodation in the year ended July 2017, an increase of 1.3 million on the previous July year, Stats NZ said today.

The month of July 2017 was relatively quiet, with a modest increase in guest nights of 1.4 percent compared with July 2016. Both international and domestic guest nights had small increases.

The July month caught the tail end of the Lions rugby tour with matches in Wellington and Auckland following eight matches in June.

"The effect of the Lions tour on international guest nights hasn't been as visible in July as it was in June," accommodation statistics manager Melissa McKenzie said. "As July last year was especially busy we didn't see as large an increase as we otherwise could have."



Motels benefited the most from the increase in international guest nights. International visitors spent 13.9 percent more nights in motels in July 2017 than in July 2016. Motel international guest nights have now been increasing for two years when compared with the same month of the previous year.

Of all the regions, guest nights increased the most in the Bay of Plenty, up 5.4 percent in July 2017 compared with July 2016. Auckland was notably flat, but this comes off July 2016 that was 8.4 percent higher than July 2015. Increases occurred in 9 of the 12 regional areas.

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