Word of the day

July 29, 2013

Kummerspeck – (German):  literally grief bacon;  weight gained as a direct result from emotional overeating; added fat caused by stress-induced overeating.


Rural round-up

July 29, 2013

ZESPRI CEO can’t rule out more issues in China:

ZESPRI’s CEO Lain Jager told Q+A host Susan Wood he couldn’t rule out more trade issues in China because “what was accepted practice in China isn’t accepted practice any more. There is a real focus on corruption,” but he says the company is doing all it can to make sure it is fit for business.
 
Earlier this month, a ZESPRI subsidiary lost its appeal in China against a smuggling conviction for under declaring customs duties between 2008 and 2010 which saw the company fined nearly a million dollars.
 
Today on Q+A, Jager distanced ZESPRI from the actions of the importer there. . .

Minor fire in Synlait boiler – Alan Wood:

Synlait Milk says a fire in one of its boilers at its Dunsandel plant will not impact production plans.

The Canterbury milk nutrition products producer said it had a minor fire in one of its boilers the plant south of Christchurch yesterday evening.

The manufacturer today said all automated systems functioned properly and the fire brigade were alerted directly when the smoke sensor was activated in the boiler facility. Several fire appliances were at the scene on standby during the incident.

The company, which has recently raised capital, said no damage was suffered and the boiler was now fully operational. . .

Town girl aiming for life on land – Sally Rae:

Alena Schwartfeger may have had an urban upbringing but her heart is now firmly in the country.

Miss Schwartfeger (18) has been awarded the Beef and Lamb New Zealand Telford Agribusiness Scholarship for 2013, which contributes to the cost of tuition fees up to a maximum of $4000.

Originally from Hawera in Taranaki, she came to Telford last year and completed a certificate in agriculture and, this year, is studying towards a diploma in rural business. . .

Fertiliser price cut aids dairy – Tim Cronshaw:

Further price cuts to fertilisers will be welcomed by dairy farmers, but fertilisers are likely to be off the shopping list for money- tight sheep and beef farmers recovering from a tough drought.

Ballance Agri-Nutrients is normally the first of the major fertiliser co-operatives to put out a new price list, but Ravensdown took the lead this week.

Ravensdown lowered the price of urea by $55 a tonne to $660/t and diammonium phosphate (DAP) by the same amount to $865/t. . .

Back to basics secret to successful farm – Tony Benny:

The farmer who topped the Lincoln University Dairy Farm’s profitability by 12 per cent says there’s no secret formula – it comes down to doing the basics well.

“There’re four or five real basic things but they’re quite hard to achieve,” said Mark Slee.

“It’s getting cows in good condition prior to calving and that’s one of the hardest things to keep doing year in, year out.” . . .

 

Four little lambs settle in – Jenna Lynch:

A busy Waikato mum has her work cut out for her after the sudden arrival of quadruplets this week.

Peter Bos’ ewe gave birth to four small woolly bundles of joy on Thursday night – amazingly, all happy and healthy.

As the ewe has only two teats, the chance of survival for all four lambs would normally be very minimal, said New Zealand Sheep Breeders Association president Ian Stevenson.

“If you’ve got bossy brothers, you mightn’t get too much to drink,” he said. . .


Clark part of Auckland housing problem

July 29, 2013

The imbalance between supply and demand for houses in Auckland which is the biggest factor behind swiftly rising prices there didn’t happen overnight.

It has been building for more than a decade and local and central governments should have been addressing the issue years ago before it got this bad.

Who was leading the government for nearly a decade as the prices soared?

Oh yes, Helen Clark and she’s part of the problem of houses owned by foreigners.

Rob Hosking points out:

It’s a mark of how bogus the housing debate has become that Labour’s figures about foreign owners of New Zealand houses almost certainly include former leader Helen Clark and her four houses. . .

Labour says more than 11,000 foreigners own houses here they don’t live in.

. . . What Mr Shearer didn’t say is the figure comes from “non-resident” taxpayers who pay tax on houses they own in New Zealand.

Most of those are ex-pat Kiwis who are renting out property they own here while working overseas.

How could Labour put out a policy so badly researched?

This conversation on twitter explains it:

 

  1. Shearer’s ‘foreign investor’ figures are mostly expat Kiwis – people like Helen Clark & her four houses [PAID] http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/shearers-foreign-investor-figures-are-mostly-expat-nzers-rh-p-143493 …

     
  2. .@robhosking This is frustrating. It took you less than a day to find the holes – why aren’t Labour peer reviewing before policy release?

     
  3. @MeganCampbellNZ Own arse. Both hands. Lack of a GPS navigational device not to mention basic hand/eye co-ordination.

But it gets worse – Labour’s policy is not only based on faulty figures, it also contravenes the Free Trade Agreement with China that was negotiated by the last Labour government.

  1. Lemme get this right. Labour’s housing ban stops expat Kiwis from buying homes here but the FTA lets Chinese buy, along with Aussies? WTF?

     
  2. @BillyRalston very slightly rushed out policy, you reckon?

     
  3. @toby_etc I think someone in Shearer’s office had a brain bypass.

     
  4. @CactusKate2 @BillyRalston @toby_etc C’mon you can’t put this FAIL on the ‘office’. Good politicians ask questions &understand own policy

     
  5. @MeganCampbellNZ @CactusKate2 @BillyRalston @toby_etc EXACTLY. Blaming minions is what Aaron Gilmores of this world do, not would-be PMs.

Oh dear, faulty figures based on incomplete understanding and no idea about the FTA a Labour government negotiated – is anyone in Labour thinking?

Hat tip: Keeping Stock

P.S. – in case you think I’m guilty of Clark derangement syndrome.The post is to show Labour’s shortcomings – in government for not recognising and acting on the growing imbalance between supply and demand of houses and now for this ill-thought out policy –  not to comment on her investment decisions about which I have no criticism.


Maori business less dependent on govt

July 29, 2013

Finance Minster Bill English says Maori  economic development is becoming less dependent on government.

Mr English said the Government is becoming less important to the progress of Maori business.

He said increasingly Maori innovation, cultural distinctiveness and unique relationships are becoming more important to whether Maori families get ahead.

Mr English said he can’t recall the last time that someone representing a Maori entity referred to grant schemes which used to be the currency interaction with Government.

He says Maori are also open to doing business with a range of people, which is an example that other business leaders should follow. . .

This is good news and reinforces the importance of getting Treaty claims settled.

Ngai Tahu has shown what an Iwi can do when it stops looking backwards and moves from grievance to growth.

That success and independence isn’t just good for its members it also makes a significant and positive wider economic and social impact.


Including ag emissions in ETS red not green

July 29, 2013

Federated farmers’ president Bruce Wills explains why including agricultural emissions in an ETS isn’t good policy:

In every other country, putting farm biological emissions in an ETS type-framework is as alien as Richie McCaw donning the green and gold and singing Advance Australia Fair.

Take this golden Daily Mail headline in Britain from last year: “Buy New Zealand lamb to save the planet.” Then in May came the UK’s Observer with: “Why worrying about food miles is missing the point.” . . .

We would argue that inclusion penalises us for being good farmers that will only leak carbon to less efficient countries. Where’s the global good in that?

As Jay Rayner put it to his British readers when comparing apples with, well, apples: “The researchers found that the actual weight of nitrogen fertiliser used was roughly similar in both countries (80kg per hectare in NZ to 78kg in the UK).

“However, in New Zealand they were getting a yield of 50 tonnes per hectare, as against 14 tonnes in Britain. Where lamb was concerned yield was higher in the UK than New Zealand, but so was nitrogen fertiliser use by a factor of more than 13.

“New Zealand simply has a better landscape and climate for rearing lamb and apples.”

This doesn’t fit with the radical red anti-trade agenda which would take us back centuries to when almost all food was grown locally.

Letting New Zealand farmers do what we do best and shipping the produce half way round the world is being better for the environment than buying local in Britain.

A tax which would reduce production here and increase where they can’t farm as efficiently as we can, as including agricultural emissions in an ETS would,  is red policy not green.


Southern success due to conservative spending?

July 29, 2013

Southerners’ Scottish ancestry and their carefulness with money could be one of the reasons Southland’s economy is doing so well:

Conservative spending by Southlanders might be the reason the region’s economy is in better shape than the rest of the country, SBS Bank chief executive Ross Smith says.

After SBS’s 144th annual meeting in Invercargill yesterday, which was attended by more than 100 people, Smith said Southland’s economic performance was “probably in better shape than the rest” and put it down to conservative spending, avoiding debt.

“Southlanders spend what they earn this year, whereas Aucklanders spend what they earn next year; Southlanders are more conservative in their spending,” he said. . .

The south was largely settled by Scots who have a reputation for being very careful with their money.

Is it the preponderance of tartan genes in the south that’s helping keep the economy in good shape?


How will Labour’s housing policy work?

July 29, 2013

Labour plans to restrict purchases of existing homes to New Zealadners and Australians.

Steven Joyce asks a couple of pertinent questions about it:

 
Around 37% of Aucklanders born offshore. How would Labour tell the “real” foreigners from the ones that used to be foreigners? #foreignban
 

And how come Australians would be allowed? Are they not as foreign as “real” foreigners? ‪#‎foreignban‬ ‪#‎panickypolicy‬ ‪#‎notthinking‬
 
The answer to the second question is that Australia has a similar policy but excludes New Zealanders so Labour’s policy is reciprocal.
 
But that question leads to another: what if people come to Australia from another country, gain residency and then comes here? Will they be counted as Australian or even more foreign foreigners for the purposes of Labour’s policy?
 
And what if foreigners want to buy in places where property prices aren’t sky rocketing and might even by declining?
 
 

Prime Minister John Key said there was a limited number of overseas-based foreign home buyers.

“So the reality is that not that many people come in and buy properties that aren’t either permanent residents or aren’t going to take up personal residencies.”

There were also ways to “get around that system”, he said.

It was unlikely to be the determining factor in the shortfall in the housing sector, he said.

“The number of people who live overseas who are not going to be permanent residents, who are not going to be citizens…I would have thought is pretty small.”

Housing Minister Nick Smith said it was a sign of how desperate Labour and Mr Shearer had become.

“The oldest trick in the political book, whether it be over crime or unemployment or affordable housing, is always to blame the foreigners.

“There’s no evidence that overseas buyers are having any discernible affect over house prices.”

It was an “unprincipled” policy because it exempted Australia, Dr Smith said.

“They are the largest group of non-resident home buyers.”

One of the biggest faults of the policy is that there are easy ways to circumvent it:

Property commentator Olly Newland said the policy would not work.

Australians would be exempted from the scheme, because of a reciprocal arrangement where New Zealanders were able to buy properties there.

Mr Newland said that made the policy “a bit of a nonsense” because Australians bought the highest number of properties here of all foreign buyers.

“Secondly, of course, any overseas buyer would very quickly find somebody else to buy a house for them here in their name and hold it in trust for them.

“There are a thousand ways to get around it if they want to come here,” he said.

“It sounds good but in practice it just won’t work.”

Like a lot of Labour’s policies it might have superficial appeal but it won’t work.

 

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