6 – 8 weeks to re-register UF

June 19, 2013

The Electoral Commission is requiring United Future to have signed, dated membership forms from at least 500 members before it will be re-registered.

The forms can be submitted to the party electronically.

Once the Commission has the forms and the party rectifies other deficiencies in its application it will process the application which is expected to take six to eight weeks.

The Commission is notifying the speaker because this could have an impact on United Future’s position in parliament and funding for its leader, Peter Dunne.

The requirement for 500 members is a very low hurdle for a party to jump and it reflects very poorly on United Future that it let its membership slip under that number.

It is possible other wee parties don’t have 500 members but haven’t fronted up to the electoral Commission.


Word of the day

June 19, 2013

Incogitant – thoughtless, inconsiderate.

Rural round-up

June 19, 2013

Exporter confidence is up – innovation and online offset strong dollar:

•59% of exporters confident about next 12 months orders
•Currency number 1 challenge
•Australia and China biggest opportunity and threat
•Online the key to export future

New Zealand exporter confidence is up despite the strong kiwi dollar, as exporters focus on factors they can control and deploy strategies ranging from importing to focusing on the online environment.

The ninth annual DHL Export Barometer survey found that 59% of New Zealand exporters are confident that export orders will increase in the next 12 months. This is an increase from last year where confidence was at an all-time low (51%) in the history of the survey. . .

Chase opportunities primary sector  urged– Gerald Piddock:

New Zealand businesses need to better harvest free-trade opportunities if the aim of doubling overseas trade by 2025 is to be achieved, a National Fieldays seminar has been told.

An obvious place to focus on that increase was the primary sector because more than half of New Zealand’s exports came from the sector, said a panel of experts at an international markets seminar.

The Government’s aim is for New Zealand to lift export earnings from 30 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP by 2025. That would double New Zealand’s total export value from $60 billion to $120b.

It would require sustained above-trend growth in the primary sector to achieve that, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Mark Trainor said. . .

Passing on of family farms to be researched – Tim Cronshaw:

Handing over the family farm can bring out the worst in people, but it’s hoped the results of a new survey will help the process go more smoothly.

Lincoln University is about to survey 2500 farmers about ways they use to pass on farms to family.

This is part of research into succession planning by Dr Kevin Old and Dr Peter Nuthall from the university’s commerce faculty.

Old said most families looked for a fair and equitable way to hand over the family farm for all members including the exiting owners, but this could sometimes go astray. . .

Irrigation projects head Wills’ wishlist –  Tim Cronshaw:

Water will need to play a big part if the Government’s plan to double agriculture’s value to $60 billion by 2025 is to be successful, Federated Farmers president Bruce Wills says.

New Zealand had plenty of water, but in many areas there was not enough water at the right time of the year. To solve this the building of water storage facilities must be encouraged, he said.

“If farmers are going to meet the Government’s growth agenda of doubling agricultural receipts by 2025 from $30b to $60b then water must form an integral part of this success,” said Wills at National Fieldays at Mystery Creek. . .

ANZ chief –  farmers in line for China boom – Lisa Murray:

NZ Banking Group chief executive Mike Smith says China is about to do for Australian farmers what it did for the country’s miners a decade ago.

But he also added his voice to a building chorus of calls for Australia to follow New Zealand’s lead and sign a free trade agreement with China to make the most of the growing demand for agricultural goods.

While everyone is talking about the end of the minerals boom – something he disagrees with – Smith said insufficient attention had been paid to the potential surge in Chinese demand for soft commodities, such as grain and meat. . .

Farming champions meet minister – Jessica Hayes:

MEMBERS of the Farming Champions movement met with Agriculture and Food Minister Ken Baston last week to discuss the challenges facing the agricultural industry.

Kukerin farmer Mary Nenke, Varley farmer and former CWA president Margaret Sullivan and communications adviser Cate Rocchi, provided the minister with a perspective on the current shape of the agricultural industry.

All three women were heavily involved with the movement through the recent ‘Farmer on Your Plate – Getting Agriculture Back on the Political menu’ held in the Perth CBD earlier this year and the renowned Facebook group ‘Alarming Farming’. . .



Fresh Breath of Farm Air

June 19, 2013

From Peterson Farm Bros:

If . . .

June 19, 2013

You’ve just been given the power to make the country a better place.

What would be the first five things on your list?

An isolated case?

June 19, 2013

They had applied for building consent.

The City Council  responded with several queries.

One of those was a request for a furniture plan.

A furniture plan?

Why should anyone but the owners be concerned about where the furniture goes and why does it matter for a consent?

Is this an isolated case or is it one of many examples of compliance requirements which add to the time and cost of building for no useful purpose?

More Green madness

June 19, 2013

David Farrar has performed a community service by reading the Green party food policy which includes:

Studies show that the majority of the ecological footprint of food comes from food processing, storage, packaging and growing conditions. In addition plant-based diets are recognised as having a reduced impact on the environment as less land is used to produce the same number of food calories. For example, a cow eats five plant calories to produce one milk calorie, and ten plant calories to produce one calorie of beef.

Societies whose food energy comes mostly from starchy plants rather than livestock have smaller environmental impacts because they only require about a quarter the land area to produce the same number of food calories.

Societies whose food energy comes mostly from starchy plants also tend to be third world. As their economies develop the demand for protein increases.

Calories are only part of the picture.

A balanced diet requires a range of  food providing protein, calcium, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients  many of which are more easily obtained from animals than plants.

And much of the land that is used to raise animals isn’t suitable for fruit and vegetables.

Promote, by labelling and education, dietary choices that have a reduced impact on the environment, recognising that these will differ in different places. For most people in New Zealand this will involve eating more locally grown organically produced seasonal food with less processing or packaging and eating less meat and animal fat.

Many of us would benefit from eating less meat and animal fat but the case for organic food is weaker.

The case for eating local is based on emotion rather than science which is why food miles are rarely mentioned now. Lincoln University proved that New Zealand lamb had a smaller environmental footprint after it crossed the world than British lamb at home.

We export most of the food we produce but we also import a lot. Our diets would be much more restricted if imported and out of season produce was reduced or eliminated.

We could also damage our economy because if we stopped importing other peole’s food they might stop buying ours.

If we followed the Green prescription for farming with less irrigation and a much higher price for carbon, food supplies would drop and the price would increase.

These policies would come at a very high cost for people, and the poor who could least afford more expensive food would suffer most.

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