Sanguinolent – containing or mixed or tinged with blood.
Wellington start-up, Hunter Safety Lab says there needs to be greater awareness around the subconscious psychological factors that can cause safety conscious, experienced hunters to mistakenly shoot another hunter.
The comment came in light of the death of a Southland hunter shot by another hunter over the weekend.
It is the hunting season’s second shooting accident to take place in the space of two weeks since it officially kicked off at the beginning of April. . .
While farming areas in the South Island and the main centres receive rain, very little has fallen in areas affected by the upper North Island’s second consecutive autumnal drought.
“It is clearly a localised drought adverse event covering Waikato and parts of Auckland and Northland,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers adverse events spokesperson.
“I must add that we are also concerned about conditions in Manawatu-Rangitikei too.
“Having been through drought myself last year, I fully understand why farmers up north would dearly like to trade weather with us in the South Island. . . .
Contact Energy’s Wairākei bioreactor – a Kiwi innovation – has been awarded honours at the internationally recognised 2014 IWA Asia Pacific Regional Project Innovation Awards in Singapore. Jointly developed by Contact and Beca, the bioreactor is a unique, world-first solution to improve the quality of water that is discharged from the iconic Wairākei geothermal power station into the Waikato River.
“I’m immensely proud of our bioreactor,” says Contact Energy CEO, Dennis Barnes. “As a world-first it’s great to see this example of Kiwi ingenuity recognised at an international level.”
“To work with Contact Energy from the beginning, developing and testing innovative concepts through to the design and construction of the Wairākei bioreactor has been immensely rewarding for the Beca team”, says Beca CEO, Greg Lowe. “This is another great example of New Zealand talent delivering world class project outcomes.” . . .
Choosing a winner in the 2014 New Zealand Sharemilker/Equity Farmer of the Year competition is a tough task for the judges, due to the varying backgrounds and positions of the finalists.
“It is a really interesting competition this year. A number of the finalists are relatively new to the dairy industry, having changed careers, and they also hold a variety of positions which highlights the many ways people can now progress in the industry,” national convenor Chris Keeping says.
“The greatest factor they have in common – apart from being ambitious dairy farmers – is the majority of this year’s finalists have Bachelor degrees. This demonstrates the industry is attracting talented people who are applying skills learned on the job or in other vocations to excel.” . . .
All twelve rural schools in remote locations around Gisborne and Wairoa now have faster broadband, as a result of the Government’s broadband initiatives, Communications and Information Technology Minister Amy Adams announced today.
Local communications company Gisborne Net has successfully completed the installation of point-to-point wireless broadband for the 12 schools, under a contract signed with the Government last year.
The 12 Gisborne and Wairoa schools are among 57 across New Zealand which will get faster broadband under the Remote Schools Broadband Initiative, because they are beyond the reach of cost-effective fibre deployment.
The schools will have access to broadband capable of peak speeds of at least 10 megabits per second (about four times faster than previous services). . . .
Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of NZ (“REINZ”) shows there were 94 more farm sales (+25.5%) for the three months ended March 2014 than for the three months ended March 2013. Overall, there were 472 farm sales in the three months to end of March 2014, compared to 534 farm sales for the three months ended February 2014 (-11.6%). 1,842 farms were sold in the year to March 2014, 28.5% more than were sold in the year to March 2013.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to March 2014 was $22,342 compared to $22,317 recorded for three months ended March 2013 (+0.1%). The median price per hectare fell 1.3% compared to February. . . .
Sheep and Deer farmers in the South Island can now benefit from faster and more accurate carcass measurements, thanks to a new CT scanner in Mosgiel. The scanner, which uses X-Ray technology to create cross-sectional pictures of the body, is a valuable tool for determining meat yield in livestock.
The new CT scanner is being provided by INNERVISION, a joint venture between Landcorp Farming Ltd and AgResearch. It replaces an older scanner that had been in operation for eighteen years.
CT scanner scientist Neville Jopson said the new scanner was considerably faster than the old machine, scanning a whole carcass in around two minutes compared to as much as two hours previously. The ‘spiral scanning’ feature takes measurements over the entire carcass rather than single slice views at set points, providing a much better understanding of composition. . . .
Continued strong growth in New Zealand has seen specialist agribusiness lender Rabobank relocate to state-of-the-art premises in the new ‘Rabobank Building’ in central Christchurch.
The Christchurch branch of the world’s leading specialist agribusiness bank and the third largest lender to rural New Zealand reopened on Monday 14 April at Level 2, 12 Papanui Rabobank northern south island regional manager David Clarke said the new premises catered for expanding staff numbers and would enable the branch to better service rural farmers and agribusinesses in the Canterbury region.
“We’ve almost doubled in staff numbers in the last decade so we’re excited to move to modern, newer premises with improved technology and more space, which will allow us to grow into the future,” he said. . . .
Wine enthusiasts, as well as new and seasoned home winemakers, can learn the secrets of the profession from veteran vintner Justin Oliver.
Oliver is from Matakana’s famous Mt Tamahunga Vineyard and has over 20 years industry winemaking experience at wineries throughout New Zealand and in California. He is also Senior Cidermaker at Zeffer Cider and has distilled professionally. Oliver is in the throes of launching his own wine brand, Free Range Wine Co, specialising in premium wine on tap.
The Syrah grapes that Mt Tamahunga make into $50 a bottle wine can also be pre-purchased from makewine.co.nz to be collected at the masterclass. The supply is very limited this year – and will be sold on a first in first served. Mt Tamahunga vineyard is one of oldest in the area. It was first planted by the Vuletic brothers for the famous Antipodean Farm wine label of the 1980’s. People may remember a 5-litre bottle of this Bordeaux-styled red selling for $5000 at auction. Those were the days! The Syrah vines were planted in 2004 by new owners, for the premium Mt Tamahunga wine label. . .
That feeling you get when listening to David Cunliffe deliver Labour policy:
Hat tip: the Farming Show
The GlobalDairyTrade index dropped 2.6% in this morning’s auction.
The price of anhydrous milk fat increase .6%; butter dropped 4.9%; butter milk powder dropped 8.6%; cheddar was down 3.3%; milk protein concentrate fell 7%, rennet casein was down 4.3%; skim milk powder went down 4.4% and whole milk powder was down 1.6%.
This doesn’t mean the sky is falling.
The price is still above the long term average.
The lower price is just reflecting greater supply here and overseas, in particular in the USA where a reduction in the demand for crop for biofuels has made cattle feed cheaper.
It does however, mean that sensible dairy farmers will be budgeting on a lower payout next season.
Finance Minister Bill English delivered good news in a pre-Budget speech yesterday:
The Budget next month will show growing surpluses over the next four years, starting with a small surplus in 2014/15.
At the same time, we’ve set out on a longer-term path to repair the damage to our economy caused by excessive borrowing, consumption and spending under the previous Labour government.
So together with households and businesses, we’re rebuilding the economy’s capacity to deliver more jobs and higher incomes over the next decade.
And we’re starting to see positive results.
Employment is rising across the board, wages on average are increasing ahead of the cost of living and consumer and business confidence has lifted.
So the Government has shifted its focus from managing our way out of recession to managing a growing economy.
In particular, we’re aiming for sustainable growth – the kind of longer-term growth that can deliver consistently more jobs and higher incomes.
A short, sharp uplift would lead only to disappointment if we did not work on the longer-term economic fundamentals of investment, skills and productivity.
The Government is taking a long-term view, because some of the factors driving the economy today will peak over the next few years.
Export prices are likely to return closer to normal levels, housing supply will eventually catch up and the Christchurch rebuild will peak and eventually slow.
And the New Zealand economy faces ongoing global risks, including uncertainty about the performance of our two largest and linked trading partners, China and Australia.
Against the background of a growing economy, we have the opportunity to lock in the gains New Zealand has earned over the last six years.
That will mean more investment, better skills and a growing export base – all flowing into higher incomes and more jobs.
But that depends on more of the policies which are delivering good results.
This year is likely to see a political debate between a determined Government and complacent opposition parties who already believe today’s good times are permanent.
And they think we can go on an immediate taxpayer-funded spend-up.
We paid the price of complacency in the years up to 2008.
Until the mid-2000s, New Zealand generally enjoyed a period of low inflation and relatively high growth.
Complacency then led to a rapid pick-up in government spending, policy that undermined competitiveness, soaring house prices and an unprecedented increase in household debt.
By 2008, households faced mortgage rates of almost 11 per cent and business rates exceeded 9 per cent.
Inflation exceeded 5 per cent and, by 2008, the export sector had shrunk significantly since the early 2000s, smothering our earning capacity.
The high cost of capital brought an end to investment and job growth and by early 2008 – well before the global financial crisis – New Zealand was in recession.
We can avoid those problems this time round.
But not with a change in government.
Opposition policies show they haven’t learned the hard lessons from their mistaken belief that more taxes and higher spending will deliver a different result than they did in the noughties.
While some increase in interest rates is an inevitable consequence of a growing economy, we need to do everything we can to ensure they don’t rise too sharply in the next few years.
A lower interest rate cycle will mean less pressure on households with debt, more investment in productive businesses and less pressure on the exchange rate for our exporters.
It is in that context that we will present the Budget next month.
Budget 2014 will build on our success so far.
You will see the Government continuing to be careful with its spending. And we will lay out an ongoing programme to lock in the benefits of sustainable growth.
If governments make large cash injections into the economy when house prices are already high and economic growth is building, interest rates will rise sharply.
We won’t make that mistake.
National’s new spending over the last five and a half years has slowed considerably compared with new spending by the previous government – and public services have improved.
Opposition parties’ answer to every problem is more government spending, despite clear evidence that high rates of government spending have little or no impact.
This was noted by the Salvation Army in its State of the Nation report in 2008. They noted that large increases in spending over the previous five years seemed to have contributed very little to New Zealand’s social progress.
We don’t need large lumps of new spending to get better results for our communities.
There’s a significant difference between quality spending and quantity.
The Budget next month will be about thoughtful targeted spending, not a spend-up. It will invest in better healthcare, more effective education, safer communities and less welfare dependency.
This Government has taken time to improve the quality of government spending, rather than just cut costs.
We have invested significantly more in areas where we can make a positive difference.
Where possible, we’ve reprioritised spending out of areas that were not delivering results and we’ve used that money more effectively.
This has resulted in falling crime rates, fewer sole parents, reduced welfare dependency and higher levels of educational achievement.
In welfare alone, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars up-front to support more people off welfare and into work, training or education.
We’re finding we can improve people’s lives and reduce spending pressure if we really understand who we are dealing with.
For example, there is a group of around 2,000 six- to nine-year olds who had the worst start in life. They will cost taxpayers $750 million if we do nothing to prevent them getting into trouble.
We’ve only recently been able to measure this figure.
The information creates a moral and financial imperative to act more effectively in the interests of these children and the wider community through the Children’s Action Plan.
In another example, the number of young mothers on a main benefit has fallen from more than 4,200 in December 2009 to fewer than 2,600 in December 2013.
The Government has invested in each of them to make sure they have access to a supervising adult who can provide some stability in their lives.
Because of that investment, they have better lives and it’s good for the Government’s books when they succeed.
That’s why we’re confident we can maintain responsible fiscal policy over the next three years and at the same time improve results from public services.
That will include debt repayment, resuming contributions to the New Zealand Super Fund, and replenishing the Crown’s balance sheet.
It will also allow us to invest a little more in priority public services – providing that doesn’t push up interest rates or restrict our ability to get debt down.
A little more is significantly different from a lot more funded by higher taxes which is what the opposition is threatening with us.
We will have more to say about the Government’s future framework for fiscal policy in the Budget.
But, as the Prime Minister confirmed two weeks ago, the Government will stick to its $1 billion Budget allowance for the 2014/15 financial year.
This is the responsible thing to do.
Imagine the effect on interest rates – and the rest of the economy – of a return to the $3 billion-plus annual Budget allowances we saw under the previous government from 2005 to 2008.
By containing government spending, we will help to restrict interest rate increases. This makes a significant and positive contribution to family budgets.
Every one percentage point movement in mortgage interest rates is worth around $40 a week – or $2,000 a year – for a family with a $200,000 mortgage.
So when you hear politicians promising to ramp up spending to pay for expensive election promises, you should remember that this would come at a significant cost to households and businesses.
We know from experience up to 2008 that runaway government spending was one driver of high interest rates.
That cost us twice – first through higher taxes then through higher interest rates.
The other driver was runaway house prices.
The Productivity Commission has noted that the biggest issue is the limited supply of new houses when demand is growing.
House prices doubled between 2001 and 2007, and prices have resumed their upwards march in most areas since the GFC.
There are a number of reasons for this, but there is little doubt that planning processes and rules are important drivers of land and housing costs.
It is now difficult to build some types of affordable housing in our least-affordable cities.
To take a couple of examples, planning rules in Auckland require apartments to be at least 40 square metres.
And balconies are now required to be 8 square metres.
These two rules alone add around $80 per week to the rent.
A range of other rules set minimum subdivision size, ceiling heights, bedroom size and even the width of your front door. All of these push up the cost of housing.
When planners get down to this level of detail they’ve well and truly overstepped the mark.
Local body planners and councillors are not aware of the wider social and economic effects of their complex rules and processes.
I see three major consequences.
First, higher house prices created by excessive planning rules put pressure on interest rates, reducing business investment, lowering productivity and hitting household budgets.
And housing supply that is unresponsive to demand causes price volatility and the risk of a severe correction.
Second, as the cost of housing consumes a greater proportion of income, pressure goes on councils and the Government for greater assistance.
Around 40 per cent of households that are renting receive accommodation support from the Government. This will increase if housing becomes less affordable.
The third consequence is that rising house prices drive inequality.
Inequality in New Zealand has been flat since 2004, but the situation could have been better had housing been more affordable.
That is why we’re working with councils to ensure New Zealanders have access to more affordable housing.
We have signed a Housing Accord with the Auckland Council, and this is already delivering results.
And we’re working to sign more accords with councils in Christchurch, Tauranga, Queenstown and the Wellington region.
We’re reforming the social housing system to bring in community housing groups, increase competition and get social houses where they are needed the most.
We’re reforming the Resource Management and Local Government Acts to cut red tape and reduce costs.
And we’re continuing to invest around $2 billion annually in accommodation support for Kiwi households.
So we’re making steady progress to deliver more affordable housing to more New Zealanders.
It takes time to change the way councils make decisions on housing and for developers to get more projects up and running.
That’s why it’s important that we continue to focus on every measure that can reduce the cost of housing over the next few years.
The biggest pressure on house prices is low supply and councils have a significant impact on that.
Before finishing today, I want to highlight the opportunity we have to lock in the benefits of sustainable and broad-based economic growth.
Despite our good progress, we still have much more to do to improve New Zealand’s economic growth and to support higher incomes across the board.
Containing government expenditure and improving housing supply are steps along the way.
The Budget will also set out the next stage of the Government’s wider programme to continue building on our competitiveness so we can lock in the gains for households and businesses.
As I said earlier, this is not the time to think about putting our feet up.
A third-term National-led Government will build on the momentum we’ve achieved across our programme.
Quarterly GDP or current account statistics are not, in themselves, what matter to families. Jobs, higher incomes and opportunities to get ahead are what really matter.
Everyone’s situation is different and many families are still finding times are challenging.
But the benefits of a sustainably growing economy are tangible and meaningful. Let me give you an example.
Over the past two years, as economic momentum has picked up, the average full-time wage has increased from $51,700 a year to $54,700 – an increase of $3,000.
Looking ahead, in the Budget next month Treasury will forecast annual GDP growth of between 2 per cent and 4 per cent a year out to 2018.
Based on that growth, Treasury’s preliminary Budget forecasts show the average wage will rise further to around $62,200 a year in four years’ time.
This would mean an increase of another $7,500 by 2018.
So, if you take that six-year period as a whole, the average wage will have gone up by $10,500, or around 20 per cent, compared to inflation of just over 12 per cent over the same period.
The Budget forecasts will also show around 170,000 more people working by 2018. Together with a falling unemployment rate, this will build on the 66,000 jobs created in the past year alone.
That’s what a sustainably growing economy actually means for hard-working New Zealanders.
And that’s why it’s important that we remain focused on our programme of considered and consistent change over time.
Under John Key’s leadership, this Government, alongside households and businesses, has managed New Zealand through some of the most significant challenges we’ve seen in generations.
Providing we stay the course, we will have a faster-growing, more sustainable economy. Wages will continue to increase faster than the cost of living and tens of thousands more jobs will be created every year.
We will provide more elective operations, we will help more New Zealanders off welfare and into work, and the crime rate will continue to fall.
We’re on track to surplus next year and larger surpluses in subsequent years, which will give us choices. And we’ll soon be able to start reducing debt and investing a bit more in priority public services.
The alternative is to put all of this at risk at the election and radically change direction.
We’ve already had a taste of what that change of direction would involve: a combination of high government spending, economic experiments from the 1970s and a lack of focus on what really matters.
That is a backward-looking policy prescription, particularly when New Zealanders’ impressive resilience is starting to pay dividends.
We now have the opportunity to significantly improve New Zealand’s economic fortunes and provide a better future for New Zealand families.
We are making good progress, but there is a lot more to be done.
Providing we stick to our plan, I’m confident that we will build the brighter future New Zealanders deserve.
We’ve got a strong foundation but only a National-led government will deliver policies which build on it sustainably.
Dear Hawkes Bay,
You have moved a step closer to drought-proofing a significant area of productive land with the release of a draft decision granting 17 resource consents for the $265 million Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme by the Tukituki Catchment Proposal Board of Inquiry.
Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has proposed building the dam as a way of alleviating drought problems and boosting the local economy through improved primary production on the Ruataniwha Plains near Waipawa and Waipukurau.
The project would involve the construction an 83-metre-high concrete dam on the Makaroro River to store water for irrigating 25,000 hectares of land across the plains. . .
In its decision the board granted the 17 resource consent applications relating to the dam and water storage scheme, subject to conditions.
It allowed the plan change based on a detailed set of conditions including limits on nitrogen and phosphorus levels in the Tukituki catchment. . .
The decision pleases the Iwi:
Irrigation New Zealand says the decision is bold and encouraging:
Chief Executive Andrew Curtis says the decision was welcome news – particularly following the organisation’s biennial conference in Napier earlier this month where benefits of the scheme were discussed and attendees were assured of steps being taken by the industry to protect New Zealand’s water quality. This includes initiatives such as SMART irrigation (www.smartirrigation.co.nz) to ensure smart and sustainable farming is practiced in New Zealand.
“Seeing first-hand the drought that is starting to crush many parts of the North Island we can only conclude that Ruataniwha is not only overdue, but essential if the Hawkes Bay is to survive. Creating and investing in water storage throughout New Zealand needs to continue to be a priority for the Government, particularly on the East Coast, which the recent UN Climate change report confirms will only get drier.”
In response to the EPA’s decision to turn down the Hawkes Bay Regional Council’s proposed ‘single nutrient’, Mr Curtis says this aspect of the decision wasn’t entirely unexpected.
“Phosphorus and nitrogen, along with sediment and riparian stream protection all need to be managed to protect water quality – each aspect is covered through the Farm Environment Plan approach to be implemented as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme.”
“The EPA’s decision is a positive step to New Zealand unlocking its renewable resources for the benefit of all. It’s now down to the local farming and business communities to get on board – both as investors and also to increase initial uptake,” says Mr Curtis.
Federated Farmers says the scheme has now got to second base:
With the Ruataniwha Water Storage scheme getting the tick from a Board of Inquiry appointed by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), the concept of water storage has passed a major milestone but a greater one is to ensure it is financially viable.
“You could say Ruataniwha has now got to second base,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.
“First base was getting Hawke’s Bay Regional Council’s leadership to take it forward while second base was the Board of Inquiry.
“Third base will be the scheme’s all-important financing and whether the nutrient limits make it viable for farmers to invest. It also has to be analysed to make sure it still works within the regional plan too.
“If these all stack up then it will be a home run once construction hopefully starts.
“Federated Farmers believes water storage is core economic, cultural, social and environmental infrastructure for a changing climate. . .
My farmer and I were in Hawkes Bay a couple of weeks ago with the Pastoral Management Group. We were briefed on the scheme and taken to the site.
The next day the two of us were asked to speak to farmers at Onga Onga.
My farmer finished his comments with a challenge:
“Go home tonight and think ahead 30 years. What will your grandchildren be saying?
“Will they be thanking you for being visionaries, of will they be saying you were silly old bastards?”
If you don’t grasp the opportunity you’ve got future generations will be thanking you, if you don’t, those who are left will be wondering how you could have been so stupid.
We have seen irrigation transform North Otago.
Ours was the first farm in our valley to get water and during droughts it used to stand out like a blot of green ink on parchment. Now, thanks to the North Otago Irrigation Scheme it’s the few dry paddocks which stand out.
This scheme, like yours, wasn’t cheap.
But drought’s expensive too and it’s not just drought that costs.
Have you every worked out what you lose by having to farm conservatively in the okay and good years because you can’t rely on getting enough rain?
The returns from reliable production in good years and bad more than justify the expense and the financial benefits aren’t confined to farms.
The people who work for us, service and supply us have benefited too, no longer subject to the boom and bust cycles which followed the vagaries of the weather. The wider district and the country are better off because we have water when we need it.
Imagine how much more prosperous towns like Waipukerau would be if you had water when and where you need it.
The benefits aren’t just financial, they’re environmental and social too.
We have fragile soils which blew over from the Waitaki Valley. They used to keep blowing in droughts, now they stay put.
The Waiareka Stream which was little more than a series of stagnant ponds much of the time now flows cleanly all year and native wildlife has re-established in it.
The NOIC scheme was the first to require environmental farm plans from all its shareholders. These are independently audited each year and supply of water is dependent on passing that audit.
Water has brought a social transformation too.
There were four houses on our farm and those of our two closest neighbours before we got water. Now there are 14 and we’re building a 15th.
My farmer and I are the oldest in any of those houses by more than a a decade. Most others are early 30s or younger and several of them are having children.
The average age of the district has plummeted as a result and for the first time since the ag-sag of the 1980s farmers’ adult children are returning home.
Most of the farms which have got water here have converted to dairying. But there is also cropping, most notably a large-scale operation which specialises in bird seed.
The conditions in the resource consent for Ruataniwha might preclude dairying for most of you but your climate gives you the potential for many other land-use options not available to us down here.
You already know what you can grow when the weather favours you. With irrigation you’ll be able to do all that and more whatever the weather.
The Ruataniwha scheme is providing you the opportunity to do something not just for yourselves but for your province and for the future.
Don’t let this chance go by, Hawkes Bay.
Your grandchildren are depending on you.
Campbell Live wanted to do a series on party leaders at home.
It is the sort of publicity politicians can’t buy and an opportunity to show voters the people behind the politics.
John Key was first up last week.
Peter Dunne and Winston Peters declined to take part.
David Cunliffe was scheduled for Monday evening this week but he pulled out.
. . . Mr Cunliffe has also cancelled an invitation for a second time to have television cameras in his home for an election year leaders series. Mr Parker says Mr Cunliffe has a young family and a right to privacy. . .
His family does have a right to privacy but if last week’s session at home with the Keys was anything to go by, there would have been no need for the family to be involved.
It is much more likely he doesn’t want people to see he doesn’t live in a modest house, in a modest suburb.
The family was a silly excuse and his decision an error of judgement similar to turning down the invitation for a weekly interview on the Farming Show.
It has been compounded by his not turning up in parliament at Question Time, choosing to address some business leaders instead.
We’re not hearing him on the Farming Show, we’re not see him on TV and we’re not seeing him in the House yet only last week he was complaining because he wasn’t going to be seen enough with the Royals.
Does he want to be seen and heard or doesn’t he?