Word of the day

January 22, 2014

Pococurante – indifferent; apathetic; nonchelant; caring little; one who doesn’t care.


Rural round-up

January 22, 2014

Rural contracting nears a billion-dollar-a-year industry:

New Zealand’s rural contracting industry contributed almost a billion dollars to the country’s economy last year, according to recently published research.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) says a report, prepared for it by research company Infometrics, shows that the rural contracting sector contributed some $947 million to New Zealand’s GDP in 2013.

“This research shows that the rural contracting industry is not only a major contributor to our all-important agri-sector, but also a strong and vital part of New Zealand’s over all economy,” says RCNZ chief executive Roger Parton.
This contribution to the national economy came from some 5255 registered rural contracting businesses. . . .

Hastings apple orchard attacked:

A Hastings fruit and vegetable grower is picking up the pieces after vandals destroyed 5,500 apple trees on one of his orchards.

Kulwant Singh says he arrived at the orchard one morning in November to find his 10 hectare apple block had been destroyed.

He says it was a deliberate attack by people who knew what they were doing.

He says 100 rows of trees had been cut or snapped in such a way as to destroy them. . .

Queenstown chef wins accolade – Hamish McLeod:

A Queenstown chef has been named one of New Zealand’s “culinary rockstars”.

Ben Batterbury, head chef at the True South Dining Room at the Rees Hotel in Queenstown, was one of five chefs awarded the Beef + Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Chef title, and was the only one from the south.

Beef + Lamb NZ communications manager Kim Doran said 2014 was the second year Mr Batterbury had received the title.

The five ambassadors were chosen from 164 recipients of the 2014 Beef and Lamb Excellence Award. . .

Gates speaks at ag innovation forum:

BILL GATES will call on participants to help create another agricultural revolution in our lifetime to support a world where most of the poorest are farmers.

He will speak upcoming Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA), which claims to be world’s largest showcase of game-changing agricultural innovations and technology.

The solutions-driven event and will run from February 3-5 at Abu Dhabi’s National Exhibitions Company (ADNEC). . .

 

 NSW mine licence cancellation emotional news for farmer – Lisa Herbert:

A Hunter Valley farmer who’s been fighting a nearby mine proposal for the past five years says the NSW Government’s decision to rip up the mining licence caught him by surprise.

Late yesterday afternoon Premier Barry O’Farrell announced the Government will introduce legislation to cancel the exploration licences for Doyles Creek, Mount Penny and Glendon Brook; mines that were at the centre of two high-profile corruption inquiries.

In December, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) recommended the cancellation. . .

Campaign touts benefits of wool:

An international wool industry leader is crediting the ongoing Campaign for Wool for raising awareness of the environmental benefits of the fibre.

Peter Ackroyd, chief operating officer of the campaign and president of the International Wool and Textile Organisation (IWTO), is in New Zealand to meet wool industry representatives.

He said the four-year-old campaign, under the patronage of Prince Charles, had focused on promoting the natural and sustainable attributes of wool over competing artificial fibres. . . .

Fonterra Issues Renminbi Bond to Support China Growth:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited announced today it has raised 1.25 billion Chinese renminbi (approximately NZD250 million) through a 5 year “dim sum” bond issue (Chinese renminbi raised offshore) as part of its ongoing commitment to developing its China business.

Fonterra Chief Financial Officer, Lukas Paravicini, said the funds raised from the dim sum bond issue will be used to further strengthen and support the growth of Fonterra’s businesses in China.

“Along with refinancing some of our existing China operations, we will also be using funds to support further growth in this market. This will include the further expansion of our consumer, foodservice and farming operations,” he said. . .

Mt Difficulty Wines
Six seeds in a berry – meant to be impossible! Going to be large berries and bunches this season… #‎pinotcentral‬ ‪#‎nzwine‬
Six seeds in a berry - meant to be impossible! Going to be large berries and bunches this season... #pinotcentral #nzwine

New marketing collaboration to grow Hawke’s Bay wine sales in China

Funding has been confirmed for a $500,000 three-year programme to increase awareness and sales of Hawke’s Bay wine into China.

Hawke’s Bay Winegrowers’ Inc., the regional organisation representing local grape growers and winemakers, has secured a dollar for dollar grant from the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust (AGMARDT), an agribusiness trust, to get a collaborative China marketing project underway.

The programme includes up to nine education and tasting events per year in addition to PR and social media campaigns. . . .

#MondayMotivation Even in the cold and on holidays, our #Farmers & #Ranchers keep working!


International incident

January 22, 2014

As international incidents go, it’s pretty minor but this email exchange between an Australian immigrant and his North American (I think) neighbour did make me smile.

Be warned, as it escalates, the language deteriorates and might be considered NSFW.


Labour to stick with tax and spend prescription

January 22, 2014

Labour leader David Cunliffe has ditched the party policy to remove GST from fresh fruit and vegetables and exempt the first $5,000 of income from tax.

The GST proposal was never going to have a significant influence on the price of fresh produce and it would have complicated what is an enviably simple tax.

Cunliffe’s predecessor David Shearer had made this decision when he was leader.

Exempting the first $5000 of income from tax would have reduced churn for poorer people who get it back through programmes like Working for Families but it would also have helped the rich as well as the poor which would be anathema to Labour.

The one redeeming feature of both policies was that they were reducing taxes which would have been a pleasant change for that party.

The reason for the policy change shows Labour hasn’t changed:

The Labour Party is ditching two of its flagship tax initiatives from the last election, giving itself an extra $1.5 billion for alternative policy promises.

That’s our money and shows Labour is sticking to its old focus on tax and spend policies.


It’s not Tourism Bits of NZ

January 22, 2014

When you live in the country you get used to categories in forms not being specific enough.

Many ask for a city or, at best a town.

Facebook, for instance, keeps asking me to put my home city and gives me no option for living in the country.

That doesn’t particularly worry me as anyone close enough already knows where I live and those not so close don’t need to.

However, being able to tick the right box for your location matters a lot more for businesses, especially one in the tourism industry.

Oamaru tourist lodge owner James Glucksman is concerned that Tourism New Zealand is omitting Oamaru/Waitaki from its list of destinations.

Mr Glucksman who is owner/host of Pen-y-bryn Luxury Lodge with James Boussy in Oamaru, said the matter came to a head when Tourism NZ invited him to Luxperience, an annual trade show in Sydney to promote luxury travel around the world.

The forms he was sent to fill in specified destinations such as Nelson/Marlborough, and excluded Waitaki, mentioning only Dunedin and Southern Lakes. . . .

I checked the Tourism NZ website and on the page aimed at people bringing tourists to New Zealand found only Dunedin and Coastal Otago which, did lead me to Oamaru and the Waitaki District but all it said was:

Oamaru, well known for its white stone architecture.

Back on the homepage I clicked on Planning a holiday go to NZ.com and there found that Waitaki is listed as a destination:

The Waitaki is a place of scenic contrast. Journey along the Waitaki Valley and the landscape changes from green pasture to the dryness of Central Otago.

Snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes contrast with the bare brown hills that rise up from the valley floor.

Driving towards the mountains, stop and see the Earthquakes, an impressive formation of limestone cliffs. Nearby you’ll find Maori rock drawings made from red ochre, charcoal and animal fat.

Further along the highway, you come to Kurow, a farming town with many historically important limestone buildings. If you like fishing or hunting, this is a good place to stop. Kurow’s also a great place for a spin in a jet boat. 

All of which is good and true – but it’s tells only a very little of Waitaki’s story.

There’s more to the Waitaki Valley than is covered and a lot more to the Waitaki District – including Oamaru with its historic buildings, the Victorian precinct, little blue penguin colony, Steampunk HQ, Janet Frame’s family home . . . . and further afield you have Moeraki,  the Vanished World fossil trail, Alps to Ocean Cycle trail, and many other activities and attractions.

Tourism NZ is:

an international marketing agency responsible for marketing ‘destination New Zealand’ offshore. We market in 12 countries around the world, through more than 100 staff in 16 offices. . . .

It’s not Tourism just bits of New Zealand and destination New Zealand should include all tourist destinations.

Oamaru and the wider Waitaki District are now destinations in their own right. They should be recognised as such not a cursory add-on to Dunedin.

Mine is of course a parochial view but others from further afield share it.

We’ve had friends from all over the world who rave over what they discover in Oamaru and a young Auckland who spent a couple of days with us recently was fascinated and enthralled by what she discovered there.

I had an hour to kill while waiting for a try alignment on Monday and spent it in the historic precinct which was bustling with tourists so people are discovering it.

A little more help from Tourism NZ might direct more people this way.

Google is a traveller’s friend and will lead you to the Visit Oamaru website which would be far more helpful than the Toruism NZ website.

How hard would it be to have Oamaru and Waitaki as a destination on that website with a link to Visit Oamaru and to include them on forms used for trade shows?


GDT up 1.4% butter, cheese soar

January 22, 2014

The GDT Price Index increased 1.4 in the second GlobalDairyTrade auction of the year boosted by steep rises in the prices paid for butter and cheese.

GDT Trade Weighted Index Changes

 

 

gdt 22.1

The price of anhydrous milk fat increased 2.2%; butter soared 10.8%; butter milk was up by 3%; cheddar increased 10.4%; milk protein concentrate rose 7.2% rennet casein increased 4.2%; skim milk powder dropped .5% and whole milk powder eased up .1%.

 

 

 


Doing better environmentally and economically

January 22, 2014

The old adage that if you give a dog a bad name it will stick is unfortunately true.

Farming, and dairying in particular, has got a bad name for poor environmental performance even though most are doing all that’s required of them, or more.

Despite 5.7 dairy cattle for every man, woman and child in Southland, the region now boasts some of most environmentally compliant farmers in New Zealand. 

“The compliance monitoring results from Environment Southland, which came out before Christmas, was a real boost for our guys,” says Russell MacPherson, Federated Farmers Southland provincial president.

“It is not just us in the far south but this is a trend throughout New Zealand.  After catching talkback radio recently, the shame is that some people have been suckered in by a clever but increasingly redundant slogan. 

“I mean the Ministry for the Environment’s “River condition indicator Summary and key findings” must be the most non-reported study of 2013.  A 10-year review of water quality found, “of the parameters we [the MfE] monitor, all are either stable or improving at most monitored sites. Four of our parameters show stable or improving trends in 90% of sites”.

“Take the Mataura River, which received the regional award for the most improved river at the first New Zealand River Awards.  There are physical results proving that it is working and it goes to show how Southland’s farmers are hitting their straps environmentally.

“The majority of Southland’s 887 farming effluent discharge consent holders inspected by Environment Southland were fully compliant with their consent conditions.

“While we farm in what seemingly feels like a glass house, the fact is we are doing better each year environmentally and economically.

“In terms of ground and surface water, the vast majority of our farms are doing pretty well here as well. 

“Federated Farmers believes a new attitude shown by Environment Southland, to actively work alongside farmers like in Taranaki, is starting to pay off.  Farmers previously felt like they’d be belted for anything but we’re now seeing partnership and greater understanding.

Councils and farmers working together will achieve better results than if there’s an antagonistic attitude between them.

“The way town and country are coming together is also evidenced by the way the New River Estuary has galvanised Invercargill residents around storm and wastewater. 

“It will upset those who have made a career out of grievance but truth eventually cuts through spin.

“Perhaps that’s the nub of the issue we face as it’s all about perception, much like that Lincoln University survey from last year.  There’s what some people think we do and what we actually do.  Trying to connect the two is going to take time.

“That could start by having the same scrutiny our farms are put under extended to our local councils. 

“. . . there’s been three human sewerage spills within a month into Lake Wakatipu and the latest one closed a 200 metre stretch of beach right where our family, like many, swim and boat when on holiday.

“If town and country had the same level of scrutiny then the national conversation, I feel, would be much better,” Mr MacPherson concluded.

Poor environmental practices in one area doesn’t excuse it anywhere else and there’s no room for complacency about water quality in urban or rural areas.

Some farmers have been far too slow to get the message about their responsibility for water quality and act on it. But the majority are compliant and are working hard to ensure they stay that way.


%d bloggers like this: