Rural round-up

Help sought for flooded farms:

Northland Rural Support Trust has put out a call for emergency grazing and feed supplies for farmers whose land is under water after the past week’s storm and prolonged rainfall.

Trust co-ordinator Julie Jonker said the flood prone Hikurangi Swamp area, north of Whangarei, has been one of the worst affected.

“We’ve got up to 30 farms flooded in the Hikurangi Swamp area, we’ve got nine at least flooded further down in Tangiteroria, and even those that aren’t actually flooded are still cut off”, she said. . .

Greens’ water policy unrealistic:

Irrigation New Zealand (INZ) thinks that there is some merit in the Green Party’s environmental policy relating to water announced today, but is concerned about the economic and social impacts of the policy and about how the Green Party will achieve its outcomes.

INZ agrees that dams must not be built on New Zealand’s pristine rivers and where possible new dams should be located off-river. It also agrees that ‘no go’ areas should be identified.

But INZ does not agree that dams and irrigation destroy rivers or add to pollution if they are designed and constructed properly.

“The reality is that New Zealand needs large scale water storage. This is essential for town and city drinking water supplies, as well as to produce fresh food,” says Andrew Curtis, chief executive of INZ.. .

Green’s need to get on the water policy bus:

Instead of attacking policy that will massively improve New Zealand water quality, Federated Farmers says the Green Party would be more credible if it showed a lot more bipartisan leadership in supporting that policy.

“The new National Policy Statement (NPS) of Freshwater, actually requires regional councils to maintain or improve water quality while giving the wider community the choice of how far they want to go in order to improve our lakes and rivers,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson.

“If the community wants to ensure that certain rivers and lakes are safe for swimming that is supported within the NPS.  But the NPS also requires they be fully informed as to the effect upon jobs, rates and their local economy, when making that choice.

“To leap into swimming as the gold standard for all, without some sort of exceptions regime, will likely cost urban ratepayers massively in the pocket. . .

Fonterra cheese jewel on target – Esther Ashby-Coventry:

The $73 million expansion of the Fonterra mozzarella factory at Clandeboye near Timaru is on track to go online in August 2015.

More than 360 contractors and tradespeople have been working on the project this off-season, with the majority from local companies. Most of the construction materials were bought within New Zealand and the rest manufactured offshore. At any one time there are between 75 and 100 people on the project.

More than 25 new staff members will be required for the factory once it is complete. They are being employed in staggered groups to begin their training. . .

Where is PGG Wrightson heading? –  Keith Woodford:

The last decade has been tumultuous for leading agricultural services company PGG Wrightson. The current company was formed in 2005 with the merger of Pyne Gould Guinness and Wrightson. That merger was led by well-known agribusiness entrepreneur and former Fonterra CEO, Craig Norgate,

Norgate then took PGG Wrightson on a rough ride. It was he who provided the intellectual leadership behind the massive land buying associated with the PGG Wrightson offshoot Farming Systems Uruguay. This subsequently ran into trouble with the coalescence of a major drought and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Norgate also led the proposal for PGG Wrightson to purchase a 50% share in Silver Fern Farms for $220 million. That too ran into trouble due to the Global Financial Crisis. . . .

NZ butchers defend tri-nations title

New Zealand’s Sharp Blacks have defended their tri-nations butchers title against Australia and the United Kingdom.

The team of six Kiwis battled the Brits and Aussies over two hours at the Royal Yorkshire Show in Harrogate as they turned a side of beef and a whole lamb into 50 products fit for a top shelf butcher’s display.

New Zealand won the tri-nations on home slabs at Wanaka last year and captain Corey Winder, from Christchurch, says winning gold on the other side of the world has been a career highlight. . . 

Japan deal opens FDI money flow – Tony Boyd:

ONE of the least understood aspects of the Australia-Japan trade agreement signed this week is the profound change it will bring to foreign direct investment (FDI) into Australia.

The agreement lifts the screening threshold at which private Japanese investment in non-sensitive sectors is considered by the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) from $248 million to $1 billion.

Japanese takeovers in excess of $250 million have never caused a problem for the FIRB and there have been plenty of those over the past 10 years. Nevertheless, the free trade agreement has reserved policy space to screen proposals for investment in agricultural land and agribusinesses at lower levels than $1 billion. . .

New Zealand bra fence braless again:

A fence with hundreds of bras tied to it in Central Otago is looking a bit bare.

Hundreds of bras were cut from the controversial Cardrona Valley bra fence about four or five days ago, Cardrona Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Barrie Morgan told NZ Newswire.

The whimsical fence has existed for about 14 years and has become a popular tourist attraction but some locals regard it as an eyesore and traffic hazard.

The council took it down in 2006 but it was revived a short time later. Bras were mysteriously removed in 2013. . .

27 Responses to Rural round-up

  1. Mr E says:

    ““The Green’s may say the NPS is too soft and they would be harder, excepting of course, those areas where most of its supporters are. A soft exemption regime excusing urban water bodies is playing Pork Barrel politics with water and really questions their environmental integrity”

    Pork barrel politics! Now where have I heard that term lately?

  2. The Greens…again, Mr e – get a room!
    Mike Joy on RadioLive this afternoon made the farmers’ union guy sound like an orc!

  3. Garner supports the Greens water policy – what’s wrong with wanting rivers that we can swim in, he asks? Nothing. Only orcs would settle for rivers that are safe only for boating on (don’t get any water in your mouth, grandson, you could die!).

  4. Mr E says:

    What’s wrong with wanting rivers that we can swim in? Nothing I think. Lucky we have rivers that we can swim in!!! Phew.

    You Greens can retire now. Thanks.

  5. robertguyton says:

    That percentage, Mr e, of our lowland rivers that are safe to swim in, what was it again…?

  6. Mr E says:

    Oh, I see. You want all rivers and streams swimmable.

    Proud moment – I’ll cite myself

    “What makes me laugh is around 48% of our waterways are defined as “predominantly indigenous forest”

    Approximately 8% of them are at ‘alert status’ for contact recreation based on their ecoli status.

    That is 16,000 km of Native bush rivers that need cleaned up. How do we do that? Kill some of the wildlife? Provide corks to Tourists? Maybe little doggy bags?

    16,000km is roughly from Auckland to Invercargill 10 times. That’s all. Easy.

    Approximately 4% of the Native bush rivers are getting worse – That is another 8,000km. Should they be managed too?

    And this is before we look at Pasture land”

  7. robertguyton says:

    Well now, let’s look at pastutre land then, shall we?
    With feeling this time, what percentage of our lowland rivers are rated as safe for swimming, Mr e?

  8. Mr E says:

    Sure Robert – Pastoral land boundaries about 44% of our rivers and streams. That is another 110 times we have to travel the country eliminating any issues that can be found. Testing – finding – spending – going broke.

    Approximately 40% of these pastoral rivers/streams breach the alert level of contact recreation. This land includes 42million ruminant livestock which mostly defecate on the land they feed on.

    Then there is the Urban areas. Of which nearly 80% fail. This land contains 4.4million people and their pets and some wild life. But “stuff” is predominantly captured and treated. And 80% fail! WHAT????!!!!! Where do you think all this ecoli comes from. Dirty towns folk. Yuck!

    Yet the good old Greens turn a blind eye to the towns folk. “Pork barrel polictics”. Yep yep yep… Well identified by the Feds I think.

  9. That’s a terrible indictment, isn’t it! Rural and urban, both contributing to the sorry state of our rivers and estuaries, lagoons and coastal lakes. It’s a crying shame. I’m proud that the Greens have said, enough! We’ll commit to making them swimmable. Your, Ele’s and other detractors pretending that the Greens are absolutists and won’t accommodate such things as natural or unavoidable contaminant sources doesn’t affect my respect for the position the Greens have taken on this at all. I want a champion who says, I’ll fix it, to one who says, it’s too hard, I’ll do a little bit. Swimmable rivers (Greens) or okay-for-wading (National). For an environmentalist like me, the choice is very, very easy. The public too, will choose the Green’s offer as they share the vision of rivers that are safe for swimming. It’s only polluters who would be satisfied with the alternative.

  10. Mr E says:

    “Greens are absolutists”
    No mountain too high
    No valley too low
    Now economy too great
    We’ll fix it all.

    Pardon the scepticism – but I think absolutists needs to be replaced with ideologists.

    Nationals plan is to allow communities to decide what they can and can’t afford to improve. Most opportunities come at a cost and communities should balance this.

    Your plan is – well improve it all, no matter the cost to communities, and whether they like it or not.

    That’s a fail Robert – of catastrophic proportions. Communities know this. Good luck convincing them otherwise.

  11. As I said…

    “Your, Ele’s and other detractors pretending…”

    Thank you for you wishes of good luck – I’ll tuck those away for later when I might need them. For now, the Green proposal for swimmable rivers will resonate beautifully with the wider public, mark my words. It’s effective policy and you know it. You called it, “pork-barrel” because you know it will resonate with the public. It is already proving popular and will add to the sense the public has that there is one party that truly focusses on the environment and that is the Greens. It will help them see too, that National are a poor fit for the environment because they fail to resonate with its needs.

  12. A fail of catastrophic proportions…
    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    That’s a satisfying bit of humour to be heading off to bed with, thanks, e.

  13. Mr E says:

    “It’s effective policy and you know it”

    Clearly you don’t listen – and you know it.

  14. Here is catastrophe;

    “A new NOAA study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, applies a recently developed global climate model to the Australian situation, evaluating both the likely causes of the chronic dryness and the likely future of the region’s climate. By simulating climate change scenarios involving both manmade and natural causes, the research team was able to mostly eliminate non-anthropogenic causes, like volcano eruptions and changes in the Sun’s radiation. With these gone, the precipitation changes fell squarely on human-caused increases in greenhouse gases and continued ozone thinning.

    “In our simulations, many aspects of the observed regional rainfall decline over southern and southwest Australia are reproduced in response to anthropogenic changes in levels of greenhouse gases and ozone in the atmosphere,” the study summarizes, “whereas anthropogenic aerosols do not contribute to the simulated precipitation decline.” More specifically, large-scale climate drivers include, “poleward movement of the westerly winds and increasing atmospheric surface pressure over parts of southern Australia.”

  15. “The National government’s policy for economic growth has been simple: pump up dairy production, export more low-value milk powder, and keep low-value farmers as the “backbone of the economy”. To achieve this, they’ve dismantled democracy in Canterbury, pillaged rivers, thrown hundreds of millions of dollars at subsidising irrigation schemes, gagged DoC from speaking up for conservation, and gutted the RMA. And to deal with the obvious consequence of shit in our rivers, and shit in our drinking water, they’ve lowered water quality standards so that rivers will be defined as clean even when you have a 5% chance of infection just from touching them.

    Over the weekend the Greens responded with a different proposal: lets have clean rivers instead:”

    NRT

  16. farmerbraun says:

    “Here is catastrophe;”

    Absolutely! A catastrophe for science and rational thought when otherwise intelligent people parrot garbage like this to keep the population in a permanent state of anxiety.
    The gummint must do something .

    Yeah right!
    One word : simulation.

  17. Simulations are not valid scientific tools?
    Really?

    This is interesting:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11293403

  18. farmerbraun says:

    Simulation do not produce evidence Robert : they are merely possibilities. Simulations which do not correspond with reality are of limited value.

  19. farmerbraun says:

    “We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.”

    So perhaps climate change hysteria may yet have to burn itself out much like a disease pandemic. Meanwhile traditional science-backed climate studies will continue to have an uphill fight against the propensities of human nature and the madness of crowds.

  20. Humans are known too, for ignoring collapses as they unfold.
    Fiddling while Rome burns captures that propensity nicely.
    Initially, I thought your ‘communities “impressed by one delusion” was going to be about the John Key fixation that many New Zealanders have suffered until recent times. [deleted off topic]

  21. In connection with my comment above to farmerbraun:
    [deleted off topic]

  22. Paranormal says:

    “By simulating climate change scenarios involving both manmade and natural causes, the research team was able to mostly eliminate non-anthropogenic causes,” – in other words they’ve made it up and guess what – it suits their narrative. Isn’t that an incredible coincidence.

    RG the public have moved on from AGW/CC or whatever its called today. perhaps you should start listening and move on as well.

  23. farmerbraun says:

    “move on as well.”

    I’ll go for that. But “spook” games are boring. I mean who trusts politicians anyway?
    Kim Dotcom is a big yawn.

  24. Who trusts politicians anyway, farmerbraun?
    I trust the Green MPs.
    That must sound very odd to you, I know, but there you go!
    I do. That’s not to say any of them might make a mistake or be less than perfect, but I do trust them with the programme they are promising by their words and actions.

  25. [deleted – off topic. You know the rules Robert – I’ve lost patience with trolling.]

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