Serry – a crowd or massed bunch of people; to crowd closely together.
Quantum leap in water management policies – Matt Harcombe:
The debate centering on water and agriculture is a tangled web of interlinked policies, on-farm actions, science, emotion, perception and economic and cultural factors affecting its use, availability and quality.
Some factors are well understood, others are not. The biggest issue in the public eye is quality. However, access to water and its use, irrigation and storage are also vital.
While the vast majority of farmers are working hard to adapt and evolve alongside changing public expectations of water quality, they are also trying to keep up with the demands of the Government and regional councils, while working out what it means to their farm. . .
Challenge to grow more food from less – Tim Cronshaw:
New Zealand stands to gain from farmers getting better at growing food in developing countries, says Methven farmer Craige Mackenzie.
Mackenzie became the first New Zealander to sit alongside selected farmers at last month’s Global Farmer Roundtable at Des Moines, Iowa, in the United States.
Contrary to the view that it might be in New Zealand’s best interest if developing countries struggled to supply their own food, he found there were advantages to farmers raising production.
Better-performing farmers could feed their families, change their diet and gain an income from selling surplus food to small towns, which could mean they and other people could afford better food, creating export opportunities for developed countries, he said. . .
Land use change focus of conference – Terri Russell:
Almost 400 farmers, scientists and agribusiness professionals will be in Gore this week to discuss land-use change and what it means for farmers.
The annual New Zealand Grassland Association conference is a chance for industry professionals to network and learn more about current farming issues.
The association’s local organising committee chairman, Nelson Hancox, said this year’s theme, Opportunities of Changing Land Use, was driven by a notable shift to dairy throughout the country. . .
Jim’s greens fit for royalty – Jessie Waite:
Feeding royalty is just another day at the office for Kakanui’s Jim O’Gorman.
The local produce grower will be supplying vegetables to Government House ahead of The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next week.
Prince Charles, who is a well-known advocate of organic produce, is arriving in New Zealand on Saturday to celebrate his 64th birthday. . .
Speech by Jeanette Maxwell, Federated Farmers Meat & 2012 Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre council, Wellington
Good morning and welcome to Meat & Fibre 2012.
I would like to thank our wonderful policy advisor, David Burt and the Events Manager, Hannah Williamson, for putting together an excellent programme. To my Vice-chair, Tim Mackinosh and members of the Executive, thank you.
Above all, it is you, members of the Meat & Fibre council who deserve to be recognised by your peers. . .
Has any newspaper ever had better publicity than Truth in the last week?
The appointment of Cameron Slater as editor received coverage that money can’t buy and that has tranlated in sales.
The grapevine tells me it has sold out in several outlets in Auckland and that extra copies are being rushed to Wellington where, if Twitter is to be believed, it has also sold out:
#nz_truth sells out in downtown Wellington. Who are the nervous pollies?
If I’ve ever bought or read a copy before the experience has been buried deep in the recesses of my memory but I found one in a dairy in Oamaru today and out of curiousity bought it.
A quick thumb-through confirms I’m not the target audience. Politics yes, adult content, no thanks.
That said, and while you can’t judge an editor on a single issue, selling out and getting coverage in other media for content is a very good start.
1. Who said: “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”?
2. What is the Angel’s share of whisky?
3. What are the main ingredients of whisky?
4. It’s boire in French, bere in Italian, beber in Spanish and inu in Maori, what is it in English?
5. Water, whisky and/or wine?
The latest quarterly crown accounts show that tight control on public spending is still essential:
Crown accounts issued today, showing core Crown spending and revenue slightly below forecast for the three months to 30 September, reinforce the need for careful financial management, Finance Minister Bill English says.
“The accounts confirm that the Government is keeping its spending under control, but that revenue can be affected by the uncertain global economic situation and its impact on New Zealand,” he says. “This effect will continue.
“As we work to reduce our deficits and meet our target of returning to surplus by 2014/15, we will need to remain prudent with new spending and ensure existing spending delivers better public services and good value for taxpayers.
“That’s important in a world where economic and financial market conditions remain difficult and unpredictable. We need to remain on top of the factors we can control, so we can minimise our debt and have a strong balance sheet.”
The accounts also show that the danger of opposition policies:
Hon BILL ENGLISH: We continue to perform at moderate levels, but nevertheless better than most other developed countries. In the first half of this year New Zealand grew by 1.6 percent, which is higher than growth rates in the US, Japan, Canada, the UK, and the euro area over the same period. Our quarterly growth rate is about the same as Australia’s. Policies that would put this at risk would include borrowing more, spending more, and printing money, which would fuel costs for households and businesses and put jobs at risk.
Most households and businesses have accepted the need to reduce debt. The government is leading by example with no net Budget increases and continuing emphasis on lowering costs and improving the efficiency of public services and with policies which help export led growth..
These good examples are lost on the opposition which labours under the misapprehension that you can decrease debt by borrowing more and printing money.
Local Body and Primary Industries Minister David Carter has criticised the analysis about the economic impact of the Horizons Regional Council’s One Plan:
. . . A case study for the Manawatu catchment indicates farm profits could fall by 22% to 43% as a result of land use changes needed to meet water quality targets in the plan.
Mr Carter said he will wait for the outcome of High Court appeals from farming and horticulture bodies against the Environment Court ruling, but he’s concerned about the restrictions proposed in the One Plan.
Federated Farmers says it will be challenge the regional council’s cost-benefit analysis under the Resource Management Act.
Chief executive Conor English says the impact would go well beyond farming, causing income cuts and job losses right through the supply chain.
Balancing economic and environmental concerns isn’t easy but the consequences of getting it wrong has serious consequences.
The One Plan has been greeted enthusiastically by some people but with serious concerns by others who think it has gone too far in the environmental direction without giving sufficient weight to the economic and social impact it would have.
Horizons isn’t the only council upsetting its constituents.
. . . There had been an alarming increase in effluent-related prosecutions over the last year relating to incidents which were mostly unintentional, extremely minor and fixed immediately by farmers, the letter said.
Farmers, who in most cases asked the councils for help, got no support and were instead prosecuted.
“Why is it not possible for farmers and the councils to work together to improve farming practices on a consultative basis without the need to resort to prosecutions for the first time or minor offences?” the letter said.
Inspectors have been seen taking photos and flying over properties “looking for any breach possible,” the letter said.
Local councils had moved from being a pragmatic, solutions-focused body to a vindictive, prosecutorial body, it said.
The farmers asked that the focus of local councils be shifted to help them comply, rather than be prosecuted. . .
This could be a consequence of having one body set and enforce rules and also collect the fines for those who breach them.
The object should be improved practices on farms and cleaner waterways. That is far more likely to be achieved by co-operation and eduction than prosecution.
Prosecution might be reasonable for people who deliberately offend and cause serious pollution. But there needs to be tolerance and advice for minor offences and accidents with the aim of compliance, rather than punishment.