Greens biggest threat

Jamie Mackay asked Prime Minister John Key 20 quick-fire questions on the Farming Show today.

Asked about New Zealand’s greatest strength and/or opportunity, he said agriculture.

To the question of our biggest weakness or threat he answered the Green Party.

The questions and answers were mostly light-hearted but I think these last two were serious and he’s right about both.

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24 Responses to Greens biggest threat

  1. jabba says:

    the man is a natural .. no wonder his political enemies dislike him so much.

  2. Dave Kennedy says:

    I find it highly amusing that during the last election the Greens were being talked up as having more to offer than Labour and we were seriously courted as a possible coalition partner. I remember one National member telling me candidly that he would prefer working with the Greens rather than the ‘fruit loops’ they often have to go into coalition with.

    We even had a memorandum of understanding with National in the first term and the home insulation scheme (one aspect of the agreement) is now touted as one of the most successful initiatives of this Government and one of the main tools in dealing with poverty.

    The Green threat is just so much spin when in reality the Greens credibility in economics is very strong, even one of our younger MPs won over those with sound credentials in economics and law according to Stephen Franks: http://www.stephenfranks.co.nz/genter-plan-is-the-best-kind-of-plan/

    To say that the Greens is the biggest threat to the New Zealand economy is utter nonsense when green industries are the fastest growing in most economies and New Zealand is well behind the rest of the world in this area:
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/nov/05/green-economy-rise-remains-unexploited

    Considering our resources (not just oil and coal) and our skills, our economy could be doing so much better. The Greens won’t be a threat to our economy they would add something to it that is seriously lacking!

  3. Mr E says:

    I have to say I agree with JK.
    In particular the Greens organic farming policy, would significantly hurt the economy. I would guess to the extent of a 20-30% reduction in GDP.
    If I was you Dave, I would sit quiet on this one. JK is right and if you come out swinging you could end up looking silly.

  4. Ken Hillman says:

    John Key doesn’t know diddley-squat about farming and neither do you Mr E judging by your comments about organics. You seem typical of the old boys who pour on the urea and watch the dollars roll in and see little else. Dave Kennedy’s comments seem well considered while yours sound shallow. You must have a reason for your baseless opposition to organic farming but none of your arguments are in any way convincing and I get the impression that you don’t have any knowledge at all of the topic. Perhaps you should stick to big-noting Key and leave agricultural discussions to those who know what they are talking about. Dave Kennedy, I like your balanced and thoughtful comments on farming. You clearly have been out and spoken with farmers and listened to what they have said. If only ‘Mr E’ would get off his office chair and out into the real world we might get some sensible discussion from him.

  5. willdwan says:

    Certainly the Greens are the biggest threat my family faces. Don’t they have some plan to herd us into organics with taxes on fert and agri-chemicals? Then there are the carbon taxes. We are not one of the big rich farms, our only hope is to cling on until the coalition falls apart.

  6. Ken Hillman says:

    willdwan
    You and Mr E should get together and share mad theories. Your illogical fear of the Greens marks you both as loopies.

  7. Mr E says:

    Funny Ken,
    You clearly don’t know me at all by the way you are spewing fact less claims around that are blatantly wrong. i.e. “You seem typical of the old boys who pour on the urea and watch the dollars roll in and see little else.”

    Sure I have reasons for my opposition to mass conversion to organics. I have portrayed them in another blog. Would you like to hear them?

    Maybe Dave does know more about farming that me? Maybe I know more about organics than him? Who knows? Perhaps we should both enter a farming competition and find out?

    Given you have suggested I exit agriculture conversations based on my lack of knowledge, you must have more. I’m keen to hear your words of wisdom on the case. – How about it. Do you think 50% of NZ should convert to organics? Do you think this would be good for the economy?

    Back soon – I need to go and pour on some more urea – to my vege patch. After that I keen to count the dollars raked in from vege patches. Im hoping the big bucks will roll in and I will afford an office chair – Strike that – afford an office. Chair can come after my next lump of urea. Im hoping to become a millionaire from my 8*2m. Urea is my ticket.

  8. Mr E says:

    What would be an estimate of the cost to you Wildman – Say, as a rough percentage of your Gross Income?

    Ken wants me to speak to more farmers. So I’m doing it.

  9. Willdwan says:

    Thousands of dollars of new taxes seems like a logical fear to me, not to mention the Greens implacable opposition to trade deals. I’m just a hill country sheep farmer with little use for urea, but the Waikato is a difficult region to farm sheep in without good technology. I have a long family association with organics too, my Uncle, Ian Stevenson was a pioneer organic farmer – did it for real too, with no inputs, unlike today’s watered-down systems. Just before he died he admitted to me “it doesn’t work.” I have a near neighbour who tried it for a while, converting to dairy now, I hear. And my brother manages a dairy unit that was organic until the system broke down. They were having trouble getting organic supplement so planted a crop, but the crop was hit by insects and needed to be sprayed to save it. So the owner gave up on organics (and paid back the advance premium). My brother tells me the place has “really taken off now.”

    You people just gloss over the failures and inconsistencies of organics, but worst of all – you seem to think everyone wants to be organic, they just don’t know how. I loathe the idea. What other industry just throws away its technology? I love the professionalism of modern farming, solving problems with the best science has to offer, you can’t expect someone like me to faff around with homeopathy when I have an animal in need of assistance. All you will achieve is a black market and an industry full of cheats.

  10. Ken Hillman says:

    Willdwan has no idea of what the Greens would do. He is listening to the mad, fearful clamour in his own head and not applying any reason at all. I too would like to hear his reasoning but am not expecting any. None from you either Mr office-bound E. Real farmers don’t talk the way you do and clearly you haven’ t done your homework. You are hoping willdwan will give you good advice on farming but that shows you haven’t a clue to begin with. Your love affair with urea shows that you would be a danger to agriculture in New Zealand if god forbid you ever got anywhere near a position of influence. If you know nothing of organic farming, get out of the discussion. Make a date to visit willdwan and swap bitter stories with him. Take him a bag of your precious urea. He’ll be thrilled.

  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Wildwan, I actually agree with you about the challenges of organic farming and am keen to promote biological and natural farming as other alternatives.

    However, if the land and climate are not suited for the type of farming being done then natural methods will always fail. If we want to farm as sustainably as possible (which must be the agreed aim for all of us) we may have to think about supporting a much more diverse agricultural sector than we currently have. We are making lots of money out of the dairy industry but it shouldn’t mean that we should have dairy farms anywhere.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/9522856/NZs-dairy-cattle-population-hits-6-6-million

    I agree with you too that turning organic for purely ideological reasons doesn’t make sense, it would be no better than building motorways like we are at present. I have used education as a case in point where forcing systems onto a sector doesn’t work, you get the best results when the evidence supports the practice and there is appropriate support and the resources available to enable it to happen.

  12. Mr E says:

    Fuming, steaming and unhappy are you not Ruby?

    Maybe I haven’t a clue, maybe I have. I’ve offered to explain my thoughts and you reject this, preferring instead silence. Its not a very endearing this request of yours, I have to say. It reminds me of a 12 year old throwing a tantrum and screaming “shut up”. But I understand, for some the truth is hard to hear.

    You’ve still not offered up any of you own thoughts on organics, which does make me wonder if your the best person to judge either Wildman or myself for that matter.

    I’ve noted your profile links the South Coast Environment Centre. Apparently Robert Guyton, a former commenter on this blog, works there from time to time. Wish him a Merry Christmas from me if you wouldn’t mind.

    Thanks and take care Ken,

    Back to the office for me, it is urea milk shake time.

  13. Mr E says:

    Dave please don’t agree with Willdman. You’ll upset Robert. I mean Ken. He appears to have discounted Willdman completely, and agreeing with him undermines Ken completely.

    Rather we should all stare at our screens blankly and chorus the benefits of organics so not to offend sensitivities.

  14. TraceyS says:

    I laugh at “…you get the best results when the evidence supports the practice and there is appropriate support and the resources available to enable it to happen.”

    Straight from the textbook.

    It isn’t that easy Dave. Never will be. What works for Robert Guyton, “Soil Specialist” (http://www.radiolive.co.nz/Soil-Specialist—Robert-Guyton/tabid/506/articleID/39151/Default.aspx) in his home garden, for example, can’t necessarily be extrapolated to a working farm any more than it can be to the moon..

    I’ll take his advice for my extensive home garden. I’ll listen to you, Dave, on educational matters. When it comes to farming I will listen to others – usually old timers who have tried weird and wonderful alternatives and I read the current literature willing to accept or reject it depending on the strength of its correlation with my situation.

    But most of all, our learning will be done by experiment and observation. I will favour the regime which allows for this most unfettered.

  15. robertguyton says:

    Oh this is marvelous! Here we have the pen-named Mr E challenging someone’s on-line identity! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!
    HYPOCRISY at its best!
    I love it.
    Much of what Ken says is pretty close to the mark. Tracey reveals best the position you have all adopted with her ‘weird and wonderful’ description.
    None of you have much clue at all. In typical Right-wing style, you cite ‘a friend/neighbour/family member who failed to make it in the sphere of organic farming, so ALL ORGANIC FARMING IS BAD!!!
    Classic.
    Hopeless.
    I won’t stay and debate, as there is none forming and I have functions to attend but just couldn’t let this hypocrisy and muddled thinking go by without comment.
    Merry Christmas all.

  16. Dave Kennedy says:

    I think you just like to disagree with me no matter what I say Tracey. Where have I ever said that organics is easy and what is wrong with saying that practice should be informed by evidence and science, (what is the difference between that and observation and evidence)? I am always open to talking to others about education and many lay people who are well informed have useful viewpoints. You seem to be implying that I have no right to discuss farming issues unless I am a farmer.

  17. Dave Kennedy says:

    I’m not sure how this ended up here, it should be below Tracey’s comment :-(

  18. Dave Kennedy says:

    Another error I meant to say that science and evidence is no different from experiment and observation. Tracey is just using semantics to try and score points. I’m not sure what her purpose is, at least Mr E is able to discuss things with an open mind.

  19. Mr E says:

    Me? Challenge someones identity? No surely not. It was what I would call a ‘Shadbolt’ moment. Accidentally saying a name I was not told. Twice. I think I need a holiday.

    Tell Ken Merry Xmas please Robert. Perhaps don’t say it was from me. He seems blind with rage and it is too close to Christmas for that sort of emotion.

    Who knew being critical of mass organics could elicit such a response? Then again it seem more like a religion than logic so perhaps I should be more understanding.

    By the way – I have stopped the clock. Cue Viv….

  20. Mr E says:

    Thanks Dave, for the open minded endorsement.
    Don’t tell Kenert, or is it Roben, or Kenton. He thinks I’m “loopy”.
    Before Robert gets all high and almighty – I’m joking. It’s funny no?
    Surely we all need a little humour this time of year. Even Ken.

  21. willdwan says:

    Depends on the price of carbon and the the taxes are unknown. But carbon taxes at $25 per tonne are estimated to cost average farmers about $45 000 each year.

  22. willdwan says:

    Should read ‘tech’ taxes.

  23. TraceyS says:

    “Score points” with whom and for what purpose Dave? I have no reason to score points.

  24. TraceyS says:

    There’s nothing weird and wonderful in organic farming then Robert?

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