Four reasons powering back to socialist 70s won’t work

April 21, 2013

Tweets of the day:

  1. 4.Polish shipyard approach discourages investment & jobs in NZ. Capital is mobile, Lab doesn’t understand, Greens don’t care #policyfail

  2. 2. Labour has #policyfail form. Under them, power prices up 70%. National’s more than halved that. Well-regulated competition = lower prices

  3. 1. It won’t work. Intl examples show power shortages, taxpayer subsidies, dramatic price incr. Even Lab govt opposed it (2006) #policyfail


Word of the day

April 21, 2013

Undulant – having a rising and falling motion or appearance like that of waves; undulating; resembling waves in form, motion, pattern or occurrence.


Postive affirmations

April 21, 2013

affirmations

From Story People by Brian Andreas


Rural round-up

April 21, 2013

New water use plan for Canterbury – Annette Lunn:

A new water plan will allow more land to be irrigated in Canterbury – but has set strict limits on the amount of phosphorus in the waterways.

Environment Canterbury has accepted recommendations in the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan after months of public consultation.

The plan allows 70,000 more hectares of land to be irrigated. . .

Take good care of your farming mates – Pasture to Profit:

This week on Twitter there was a Multi-Nation discussion and concern about “farmers being in dark places” as a result of stress.
Extreme weather events in many countries including Ireland, UK, West Australia and New Zealand are putting farmers under immense stress. Stress about money, feed availability and the costs of buying in expensive feed when pasture is not growing. 
Hell it’s tough! . . .

Inspirational Young Farmers Win Supreme Title in 2013 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards:

An innovative and hard-working young couple has collected the Supreme Award in the 2013 Greater Wellington Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

Central Wairarapa farmers Michael and Karen Williams received the award at a special Ballance Farm Environment Awards (BFEA) ceremony on April 18, 2013.

Their 224ha arable, lamb finishing and beef unit, Ahiaruhe Farm, was described by BFEA judges as a very well organised business “run by an inspirational young couple”.

The Williams have immense passion for their farming operation, applying considerable business acumen to everyday decisions, judges said. . .

Gloves off in CAP reform:– Douglas MacSkimming:

THE GLOVES are off and the fight is on to secure the best possible deal for Scotland’s farmers in the CAP reform package.

This was the message from Rural Affairs CabSec Richard Lochhead, who this week outlined the wishlist he would pursue in the last push to agree a reform deal by the end of June.
Addressing a CAP modelling conference in Edinburgh, on Wednesday, Mr Lochhead stressed: “The negotiations aren’t over – we still have the opportunity to fight for Scotland’s remaining demands.
“Like a level playing field on coupled payments – we want to see 15% for all member states, not just for some. Like ensuring that the national reserve rules will help new entrants of all ages, not just those under 40. . .

The Mysterious Mr Black: A farm story (bit of a true story bit of a yarn) – Mad Bush Farm:

When you’re just a kid of five or six years old, things are always larger than life. It took bravery to venture into the old chicken houses on the farm next door. They made for a ramshackle collection of buildings, slightly on a lean, with rusted corrugated iron,  the timbers full of dry rot. Inside the groaning slowly collapsing sheds, were the old nesting boxes, some with eggs still in place, the hens that had laid them long since vanished. I vaguely recall the flocks of White Leghorn hens out in the paddocks foraging away for their feed of grubs and insects between the blades of long rich dairy grass, where once cows had grazed. They had long since gone as well and the walk through milking shed had been abandoned to the elements.

All kids like to venture into places they’re not supposed to go into. That’s the fun of it, doing something you’re not supposed to do, and go looking where you shouldn’t. . .

Pregnant sheep survives 11 days under snow at Scottish farm:

A pregnant sheep who survived 11 days buried under snow at a farm in south west Scotland is on the road to recovery.

The animal is already walking around and eating after its ordeal and was one of only four sheep that managed to survive.

It has even gained some notoriety for managing to stay alive, with thousands of Facebook users ‘liking’ a post that brought news of its amazing feat.

Young farmer Stuart Mactier spoke of his excitement at finding the ewe alive. . .

From The Farmacy:

Photo


Bonding works well for rural vets

April 21, 2013

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has welcomed 30 new vets onto the 2013 intake of the Rural Veterinary Bonding Scheme.

“The scheme is now in its fifth year and is making real headway in tackling the rural vet shortage,” says Mr Guy. . . 

“The scheme is a solid incentive, helping to make rural practices more attractive to junior vets who might otherwise end up in city clinics or heading overseas. . .

The Veterinary Association says  the scheme is working well.

The rural veterinary bonding scheme for Massey graduates is fully subscribed with 102 veterinary graduates working in rural veterinary practices around New Zealand according to official figures released today.

“Even better, 96% of those entering the scheme from the time it commenced in have stayed in it,” Gavin Sinclair, president of the NZVA said.

“While it is still early days, and there still seem to be some stubborn (hard to recruit) rural regions, this result is encouraging. The New Zealand Veterinary Association (NZVA) lobbied hard for the introduction of the scheme at a time when there were gaps appearing in the thin green line that is the veterinary rural workforce in New Zealand.

“The first tranche of graduates received their first payment of $33,000 before tax ($11,000 per year) just prior to Christmas. At that point, four had left the scheme, and ten had moved to other rural practices. This is just what we wanted; young veterinarians settling into rural practice and hopefully remaining there. They are sorely needed,” Dr Sinclair said.

Government has significant responsibilities for food safety, animal welfare, and biosecurity and it relies on the thin green line of veterinarians to monitor livestock to ensure these responsibilities are met.  The risks arising from late recognition of an exotic disease outbreak, food safety concerns, and animal welfare disasters, on our international markets are serious. Veterinary involvement in managing all these risks has been recognised in part by government support of the scheme.

For farmers, it also means a viable, sustainable, cost effective and responsive rural veterinary workforce for the ongoing day-to-day, 24/7 demands of both routine and emergency clinical services.

“A rural veterinary practice faces many risks and challenges, not the least being able to sustain the 24/7 on call requirement.  These practices have a high workload and a surprisingly low level of remuneration which can make the work unattractive to young graduates,” Dr Gavin Sinclair explained.

National introduced bonding for graduates in human and animal health professions who were prepared to work in hard to staff rural areas soon after coming into government.

It’s one of the best ways of student support. It keeps graduates in sought-after disciplines in New Zealand, directs them where they’re most needed and provides them with a financial incentive for going there.

He commented there are also demographic trends, most notably the increasing numbers of female graduates (85% of new graduates from Massey are female) who are wanting flexible working arrangements, often part time over time, and increasingly in companion animal (pet) practices in urban areas. . .

That demographic trend isn’t confined to vet practices.

As more women combine work with raising families the demand for flexible working arrangements increases.


What will they be doing?

April 21, 2013

Question of the day:

mw 2

Apropos of which is the quote of the day:

mw


Power prices

April 21, 2013

I was the National Party’s electorate chair when Max Bradford introduced the power reforms.

It wasn’t an easy time to be a volunteer in the party – people inside and outside opposed the changes.

More than a decade later many still regard them as a mistake and blame them for steep increases in the price of power.

But as this graph from Kiwiblog shows, that is wrong.

Electricity-Prices-1982-2012

Labour are saying that it was the Bradford reforms that led to increased prices. in fact the four years after the reforms saw the smallest increases in 25 years.

Also worth noting that of the increases in the last four years, two of them were due to external factors – the GST increase (which had compensating tax cuts) and the introduction of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

A variety of factors impact on the price of power.

The most obvious one this graph shows is Labour governments and the LabourGreen plan to nationalise wholesale power could well make that worse.


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