Word of the day

July 15, 2014

Clappermaclaw – to claw or scratch; to scold.


Share your story

July 15, 2014

Rural Women New Zealand is inviting people to get creative by writing short stories and taking photos and videos to showcase New Zealand farming life today.

“We are running the competition in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tell the stories behind the primary products we grow on our farms,” says Rural Women national president, Wendy McGowan.

MPI will use some of the photos, videos and stories to promote the New Zealand primary industry brand and our rural values.

“We encourage people to get their creative juices flowing to share the challenges and triumphs of farming and today’s sustainable business practices,” says Wendy McGowan.

“We hope to see entries that reflect our care of the land and our animals, and the skills and ingenuity of the people that make New Zealand’s primary industries so successful.

Rural Women NZ also hopes the competition will highlight the opportunities for great careers that are available in the sector.

The competition is being run as part of Rural Women NZ’s celebrations to mark the 2014 International Year of Family Farming.

“Stories are powerful, and we have some great farming stories to tell,” says Wendy McGowan.
There are five entry categories: Women and men at work on the farm; farm machinery and farm innovation; animals; children; rural communities. Entries close 1 November 2014 and the competition is open to everyone.

More details and an entry from can be found here.

 


Rural round-up

July 15, 2014

Medium scale adverse event declared in Northland:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has declared a medium-scale adverse event for the primary sector in storm-hit Northland.

“This will provide the overarching framework for any Government support as assessments continue to be made.

“The first stage of this is to provide funding for Northland Rural Support Trust (NRST) to deliver help, support, and management advice to farmers and growers. The Trust have been working closely with MPI and local authorities to determine what’s required in the clean-up phase after severe flooding and wind damage.

“The storm has impacted around 80% of the primary sector in Northland with very high winds and heavy rainfall over a solid four day period. I’ve seen for myself the damage today at an avocado orchard severely damaged by wind and dairy farms near Whangarei under water. . .

Grower quits after $100,000 avo thefts – Kristin Edge:

Northland avocado growers are being warned to be on high alert for fruit thieves with one Whangarei grower estimating $100,000 worth of fruit has been stolen over the past five years.

The Whangarei grower, who did not want to be identified because she feared for her safety, said her orchard had been continually targeted by thieves and she was selling up due to the financial losses and emotional stress.

The latest theft comes only days after an industry-wide warning was issued to growers to be extra vigilant to protect the new season’s crop. . .

Farmers focus on debt – Jeremy Tauri:

We spend a lot of time worrying about the residential property market, if prices are out of control and how young people will get their first homes.

But although we have focused on the price of a house and section in the suburbs, many people have ignored what’s been happening out of town.

The rural sector is the biggest driver of this country’s economy and in the regions we feel the impact of farmers’ fortunes even more acutely. But although we’ve been bemoaning that, nationwide, house prices have increased two-and-a-half times since 2000, rural land prices have trebled. Real Estate Institute statistics show the median price a hectare for farms sold in the three months to May 2014 was $25,017. . . .

Shepherd makes tracks to France – Sally Rae:

Come September it will be ”au revoir Waihaorunga” and ”bonjour France” for young South Canterbury shepherd Alex Reekers.

Mr Reekers (23), a member of the Glenavy Young Farmers Club, and Mitchel Hoare (19), of Te Kuiti Young Farmers Club, will represent New Zealand at the final of the World Young Shepherds Challenge in Auvergne, France, in September.

The pair earned the top scores in the preliminary round of the challenge, held alongside the ANZ Young Farmer Contest grand final at Lincoln. . . .

Trust works more at top of the cliff – Sally Rae:

The Otago Rural Support Trust’s emphasis is changing.

Traditionally, the work of the trust had been ”the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff”, mostly during adverse weather events like floods, snow storms and droughts.

But increasingly, the trust was ”doing more work at the top of the cliff”, assisting rural families who were under stress, chairman Gavan Herlihy, of Wanaka, said. . . .

New agri-chemicals safety campaign:

A new rural safety campaign is underway, and this one aims to encourage farmers and growers to wear the right safety gear when using agricultural chemicals.

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has teamed up with agri-chemical industry body Agcarm and WorkSafe New Zealand for the campaign. Rural retailers are also participating by displaying posters and other information in more than 260 stores.

EPA chief executive Rob Forlong said the main point was to eliminate the “she’ll be right” attitude towards farm chemical and safety gear. . .


Politicking but not political?

July 15, 2014

Greenpeace and some of its friends are taking the Electoral Commission to court:

Environmental groups are taking the Electoral Commission to court over a ruling on a climate change campaign.

Greenpeace, Forest and Bird, WWF and others launched the Climate Voter initiative last month.

But the Electoral Commission says the campaign counts as an “election advertisement”, and is therefore subject to rules around wording of communications and spending restrictions.

Greenpeace says the ruling could gag grassroots advocacy groups – and the organisations are planning to take a freedom of speech test case to the High Court. . .

No-one is telling them they can’t say what they want to say.

The Commission is just pointing out that what they say is telling people to vote, or not vote, for certain parties which make it an election advertisement and therefore has to have a promoter statement.

Why wouldn’t they want a promoter statement?

David Farrar reminds us that Greenpeace is appealing a ruling that denies it charitable status because it’s primarily a political organisation:

If they put a promoter statement on their website, then they weaken their own case that they are a charity, not a lobby group. So to try and keep up the pretence they are a charity, they are going to court again.

I hope the Electoral Commission seeks costs, if Greenpeace loses.

No organisation which does as much lobbying as Greenpeace does should have charitable status.

It’s primarily a lobby group which uses the environment to push its hard-left politics and if it wants to persuade voters to opt for or against any parties in election year it has to abide by electoral law.


In which period of history do you belong?

July 15, 2014

In which period of history do you belong?

You got: Ancient Egypt

You’re cooler than Cleopatra and terrific as Tutankhamun. You’re a dreamer who thinks big and acts bigger. After all, a life of luxury is grand, but people remember you in the afterlife by the size of your pyramid!


For those who don’t do queues

July 15, 2014

One of the benefits of living in a country with not many people is that we don’t have to do a lot of queuing.

That is particularly so when you live in the country and do most of your shopping and socialising in a small town.

The problem with that is we tend to get a wee bit impatient if we have to queue.

People who live in more populous places are used to queuing more and for longer.

That doesn’t mean they like it and that’s what planted the seed for a business:

Impatience has a price. Robert Samuel pegs it at $25 for the first hour and $10 for each additional half hour.

Samuel is founder and owner of S.O.L.D. or Same Ole Line Dudes, a professional line-sitting company that fields requests to wait (and wait and wait) for everything from sneaker launches to concert tickets.

“Whatever you want, we wait for it,” he said. . .

The idea for SOLD sprang out of an unemployment stint for Samuel after he was fired by AT&T—ironically for being late.

To make some quick cash, he posted a Craigslist ad offering line-sitting services for an Apple iPhone launch. After a 19-hour wait (his longest) for the gadget, Samuel made $325 and an idea was born.

“I just put the idea in my back pocket, and I’m like ‘Wow, this is a money-making opportunity.’ Let me hold on to this,” he said.

A few months later, he launched Same Ole Line Dude. “Dude” turned plural as business picked up. . .

Time is money  and this business would be very attractive for people with enough of the latter to afford to pay someone to save them wasting too much of the former.


Less tax is better tax

July 15, 2014

Quote of the day from the New Zealand Initiative.:

. . . Taxes are not the price we pay for a civilised society. At best they are the price we pay for a civilised government. But they are also the price of overly bureaucratic procedures, unpredictable outcomes, and the loss of freedom to make our own decisions.

Apropos of which:

Atlas Shrugged The Movie's photo.

Doing more with less is something all governments should aspire to, but I accept that there are times when tax cuts might not be possible.

However, I do think no new tax should be added without reducing or removing an old one to ensure the outcome is at least fiscally neutral.

Less tax is better tax.


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