Front facing it

June 30, 2014

The National Party team in Dunedin is front footing – or more literally front facing – the election campaign in the city.

They’ve rented a corner site in a main thoroughfare that just happens to be diagonally opposite the opposition MP’s electorate office.

This is what she’ll see every time she looks across the street:

#teamkey #teamdunedin

It looks even better close up:

It's even better with the lights on!

And who wouldn’t want to tick National twice when it would mean getting Michael Woodhouse and Hamish Walker into parliament and into government?


Word of the day

June 30, 2014

Blithesome cheerful; lighthearted; merry; happy.


Which royal are you?

June 30, 2014

Which member of the royal family are you?

Congrats, you are Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall! Even though it has taken a long time to show the world who you really are, you are a warm and friendly figure to all you meet. Although you may be judged harshly for your past actions, you always come out on top. You are happy to be a loyal and supportive figure to those you love, placing others before yourself.

 

 

 


Rural round-up

June 30, 2014

Rustling needs to be a specific offence:

Federated Farmers is asking political parties to develop policies to tackle the scourge of stock theft better known as rustling.

“We know stock theft or rustling has been estimated to cost the farming community some $120 million each year,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers rural security spokesperson.

“In recent weeks we’ve seen a lifestyler raided for breeding ewes in Waikato and over 200 sheep despicably shot in Otago.

“We’ve got to ask if the penalties imposed are serious enough to be a deterrent for either rustling or poaching. Based on our experience to date they are not. . .

Behaviour is the root cause of meat industry’s problems – Allan Barber:

I am not completely sure why we spend so much time and effort complaining about the meat industry or which problems we are trying to solve. However in the interests of encouraging progress and stimulating debate, I will try to define the problem: this appears to be that the meat processing and export sector is not profitable enough, whether in absolute terms or in comparison to dairy. Both may be true.

It is worth stating the unique challenges of the red meat sector up front. First, there is a market at both ends of the chain, procurement and sale of the products; second, New Zealand exports a higher percentage of its production than any other country which must travel further to reach its markets, not all of them equally buoyant; third, sheep and beef must be disassembled into multiple cuts of meat as well as many co-products, all of which are sold into a wide range of markets for variable returns; fourth the climate dictates when the grass will grow and livestock will be ready for slaughter; and last, but not least, the producer can choose when and where to send the livestock for slaughter except in a drought. . .

The recipe for future success:

Blue Sky Meats and its suppliers will be relieved the company is back in black after two challenging years.

The return to profitability – a $1.946 million after-tax profit for the year to March – came on the back of the only two losses in the Southland-based company’s 28-year history.

It has been a much better year for meat companies. Along with Blue Sky – and Lean Meats – the two big co-operatives, Alliance Group and Silver Fern Farms, who both report late in the year, have signalled profitable years. . .

Dairy recovery anticipated – by Christmas – Sally Rae:

Dairy commodity prices are predicted to stay in a trough period for another three to six months.

Speaking at the recent South Island Dairy Event in Invercargill, Rabobank’s director of dairy research for New Zealand and Asia, Hayley Moynihan, said it could be Christmas before there was a more sustained recovery in commodity prices.

It would be a ”reasonably prolonged” trough, as inventories were worked through and an additional seven billion litres of milk available on the world market in the first half of 2014 took time to ”find a home”. . .

Focus on consumers behind Pasture to Plate success – Sally Rae:

King Country farmer William Oliver’s belief in the consumer stemmed from his time studying at the University of Otago.

Mr Oliver and his wife Karen were the overall winners of the Silver Fern Farms’ Pasture to Plate Award.

Silver Fern Farms chairman Rob Hewett said the couple impressed the judges with their focus on the consumer. . . .

Simpler pesticide rules on the way:

The Environmental Protection Authority is aiming to simplify the rules covering pesticides and other hazardous substances.

The authority is marking its third anniversary as the country’s environmental regulator after being created from three agencies – the Environmental Risk Management Authority, the Ministry for the Environment and the Economic Development Ministry.

EPA chief executive Rob Forlong said one of its big achievements has been a wide ranging review of organophosphate chemicals, which resulted in controls on some pesticides being tightened and others phased out. . .

Final countdown for Ultimate Rural Challenge:

The showcase event of the rural calendar is only three days away!

The 2014 ANZ Young Farmer Contest Grand Final begins this Thursday 3 July, 4.30pm with the Official Opening at Lincoln University Library. Here, the top seven contestants will be introduced to the public and compete in their first head-to-head challenge.

The competition over the following two days is a testament to the sophistication of modern farming and level of skill and knowledge required to be successful in the field. The top seven young farmers have made it through to the Grand Final by competing in their local district competition and taking first place in their Regional Finals.  . .

Successful annual conference for Rural Contractors NZ:

More than 100 agricultural contractors from all over the country met in New Plymouth, last week, for Rural Contractors New Zealand’s (RCNZ) annual conference.

Rural Contractors New Zealand is the only national association for rural contractors in New Zealand.

Last week’s conference saw Wellsford-based Steve Levet re-elected as president of RCNZ, with Southland’s David Kean re-elected vice-president. . .

 


Holly Walker resigns

June 30, 2014

Green Party MP Holly Walker is resigning.

UPDATE:

TV3 reports that although she is withdrawing from the party  list she will continue as the Green candidate in Hutt South.


Labour’s anti-immigration policy written by unions?

June 30, 2014

Labour has released an anti-immigration policy :

Increasing points for those willing to work outside Auckland is good in theory but difficult to implement in practice.

Even if they could find a way to keep immigrants out of Auckland the aim of helping the regions is contradicted by the next bit:

. . . Labour will require employers bringing in overseas workers to pay a living wage (after accommodation deductions) where the job offer forms part of the reason the application is accepted. . . .

The living wage  is supposed to be the amount a family of four requires to live on. It has nothing at all to do with the value of the work done and will mean single people are getting more than they supposedly “need”.

Will this also apply to young people who come here with visas based on negotiations for reciprocal rights for New Zealanders in their countries?

Most of them are single and should be able to live very well on a lot less than a family of four would need.

This requirement would effectively shut them out of lots of jobs, many of which are seasonal and don’t appeal to locals. It would also threaten the reciprocal rights of young New Zealanders seeking work experience overseas.

“We will also ensure RSE workers are paid at the rate of at least the minimum wage plus $1.25 an hour, with accommodation provided in addition to wages. Employers in industries with skills shortages and low pay will be required to be involved in implementing training plans before they are given the right to bring in workers from overseas. . .

The RSE scheme is working well as it is and has safeguards against exploitation of workers.

Without these employees businesses would not be able to source enough workers for seasonal activities, particularly in harvesting horticultural produce, for which there aren’t enough locals.

Adding costs to production in this way would add to the cost of produce. That’s the fresh fruit and vegetables which Labour was going to exempt from GST before the last election because they said they were too expensive.

Making labour more expensive would mean the cost would have to be passed on to consumers which could dampen demand, or businesses would have to accept a lower profit, both could threaten their viability.

This policy appears to have been written by unions under the erroneous impression that immigrants are taking jobs from locals.

Employers want the best people for the job with the minimum of paper work and hassle.

Employing immigrants adds time and hassle to the process as it is, adding extra costs will make many immigrants unemployable.

Trevor Mallard launched the policy outside the National party conference on Saturday and hadn’t alerted the media.

It has had little exposure and perhaps that was deliberate because even he must know this is an anti-immigration, anti-regions policy.


Why different for unions?

June 30, 2014

The EPMU national conference has endorsed donations to the Labour Party and Green Party for their election campaigns.

“Our elected conference delegates feel very strongly that a Labour-Green coalition government is the best hope for restoring workers’ rights, rebuilding our manufacturing sector with a sustainable strategy for jobs, and ensuring that all Kiwis get a fair share of the growing economy,” says Bill Newson, national secretary of the EPMU. . . 

Note the Labour-Green coalition emphasising the influence the Green Party would have on government led by a weak Labour Party.

When they say workers’ rights they mean unions’ rights.

Rebuilding the manufacturing sector? Unions are buying in to the manufactured manufacturing crisis too even though the facts belie the panic.

Unions should be looking right not left for a sustainable strategy for jobs.

The Labour and Green strategy is anti-business and anti growth which is the antithesis of sustainable for jobs.

“Despite what the Prime Minister has claimed, unions don’t have millions of dollars to give to political parties,” says Bill Newson. “But this year we have a critical opportunity to make things better for New Zealand workers and their families and making donations to Labour and the Greens is one way we can make that happen.”

The donations total:

· $60,000 to the Labour Party

· $15,000 to the Green Party

“In addition the EPMU will be campaigning hard to get voters enrolled and turned out to vote in the election period,” says Bill Newson. “All voters deserve to have a say in who forms the next government.” . . .

What would be the reaction if a business gave $75,000 to National and one of its coalition partners, influenced candidate selection and policy then paid its staff to campaign on their behalf?

There would be cries of corruption.

Why is it any different for unions?


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