Word of the day

July 17, 2014

Hereism – faithfulness in marriage; monogamy.


Rural round-up

July 17, 2014

Shock treatment makes waves – Sally Rae:

It has been an electrifying experiment.

A research team at the University of Otago has been using short bursts of high-voltage electricity in a bid to improve the tenderness of red meat.

The research, in conjunction with Alliance Group and led by Dr Alaa El-din Bekhit, of the university’s food science department, has been cited as having the potential to open up new opportunities for lifting returns on lower-value carcass cuts. . . .

Landowners want history kept alive:

A Taranaki Maori landowner of an award-winning farm wants tribal descendants to know about the land’s history, not just its success.

Te Rua o te Moko farm near Hawera won this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy recognising Maori excellence in farming.

The farm is made of four land blocks, one of which was confiscated by the Crown in 1863 and is being held in a land bank. It is due to be given back as part of the Ngaruahinerangi iwi Treaty of Waitangi settlement. . .

Landcorp’s huge dairy plans start to take shape

Three new dairy farms that have been converted from forestry will begin milking for the first time in the new season as part of Landcorp’s large-scale dairy development near Taupo.

The state-owned enterprise has converted nine farms from forestry in partnership with landowner Wairakei Pastoral. In total, the nine dairy units encompassed 5300ha and milked 13,000 cows, chief executive Steven Carden said. Based on its current timetable, Landcorp hoped to have everything completed by 2020. To date, the project has cost $87 million.

“We have four this year, four the next year and four the year after. When the whole thing is finished we are looking at 24 farms and around about 30,000 cows across 25,700ha of land.”  . . .

Knock-on effects of less beer drinking – Sonita Chandar:

Fewer people are drinking beer and farmers are getting a hangover.

As beer consumption falls, breweries require less malt and malting companies need less barley from farmers.

The change in Kiwis’ drinking habits is being felt at the Marton malting factory of MaltEurop NZ.

Operations manager Tiago Cabral says some barley growers are likely to feel the effect more than others.

“We will need less barley and will have to contract less tonnage from our growers,” he says. . . .

2014 Beef + Lamb New Zealand Sheep Industry Awards Finalists Announced:

The finalists have been announced for the third Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) Sheep Industry Awards.

About 300 people are expected to attend the awards dinner – which recognise top-performing New Zealand sheep breeders – on 6 August in Napier.

Five industry-related awards will be presented. In addition to the Sheep Industry Trainer of the Year, Individual or Business Making a Significant Contribution to the New Zealand Sheep Industry and the Sheep Industry Innovation Award, two new awards have been added: the Sheep Industry Science Award, recognising a project, business or person undertaking science that is having a positive impact on farming now, and the Sheep Industry Supplier Award, which recognises a farmer supplier nominated by processors for consistently meeting company specifications and other key performance indicators. . .

CRV Ambreed appoints artificial insemination expert to Tasman, Marlborough area role:

Dairy farmer, breeder and artificial insemination expert Nigel Patterson has been appointed field consultant for the CRV Ambreed team, in which he will be managing the Nelson, Marlborough, Murchison area.

CRV Ambreed’s South Island sales and services manager Mark Duffy said the company was delighted to have someone with such a strong background in dairy join the team.

“Nigel has over 26 years’ experience in the dairy industry, including running his own pedigree Jersey herd, share milking, providing testing services and supporting farmers through artificial insemination (AI),” said Mr Duffy. . . .

New Zealand’s leading analytical testing laboratory celebrates 30 years:

In July 1984 a young Waikato scientist by the name of Roger Hill left a small soil testing laboratory in Cambridge to launch his own in Hamilton.

Roger and his wife Anne’s initial business intention, he says, was simply to “have a go” on their own.

Yet three decades later the company, well-known nationally and internationally as Hill Laboratories, is the largest privately owned testing laboratory in the whole of New Zealand. . .

Ballance signs up record shareholders:

A record number of farmers from around the country have secured shareholdings in Ballance Agri-Nutrients in time to receive a rebate on their fertiliser purchased from the farm nutrient co-operative in September this year.

Ballance’s rebate and dividend in the 2013 financial year averaged a record $65 per tonne.

Nearly 1000 farmers signed up to become shareholders for the 2014 financial year which ended on 31 May. . .

Reduce winter nitrogen loss – Bala Tikkisetty:

Winter is a time when farmers should take special care to protect both profits and the environment from the effects of increased nitrogen leaching at this time of year.

Applications of nitrogen fertilisers in winter are generally least effective for promoting grass growth.

That’s because slow growth of pasture and drainage from increased seasonal rainfall can result in nitrate leaching directly from fertiliser before plants can take it up. The nitrogen can then make its way to waterways where it can stimulate nuisance algal growth. . .


For the people

July 17, 2014

Parties on the left appear to think more is better when it comes to taxpayers’ money.

They want to take more so they can spend more.

In stark contrast to that National has focussed on getting value for money in the knowledge that in many areas the quality of spending is more important than the quantity.

The left’s policies tend to foster dependence where National is determined to help those who can stand on their own feet to do so.

That’s government for the people to their benefit, helping them lead more independent, hopeful and productive lives.

 

Under a National-led government people are more confident they can make a difference in their own lives.


Thursday’s quiz

July 17, 2014

It’s your turn to ask the questions.

You don’t have to follow the five-question formula I usually use.

Anyone who stumps everyone will win an electronic batch of shortbread.


If an election was held tomorrow . . .

July 17, 2014

The question polling companies ask is if an election was held tomorrow which party would you vote for?

The answer to that is very encouraging for National and very depressing for Labour and the parties it would need to cobble together a government.

Last night’s Roy Morgan poll and today’s Fairfax Media Ipsos poll, both confirm the trend of National above 50% and Labour and the GIMPs below it.

But the election isn’t being held tomorrow and while the odds favour National that could actually work against it.

No party has won 50% support since we’ve had MMP and the high support could lead to complacency.

National supporters might think they don’t need to vote or they can afford to play with their party vote.

That certainly isn’t the case.

Complacency or over-confidence from centre right voters could let Labour and the Green, NZ First and Internet Mana parties cobble together a coalition of the unwilling and ill-disciplined.

 


Anti-farming policies cost poor most

July 17, 2014

 

Photo

In New Zealand we don’t only need farmers to produce our food, we need them to produce food for other parts of the world.

Opposition parties which are anti-farming don’t seem to realise that policies which make farming more difficult and expensive will make food more expensive.

That is not an argument against environmental protection and enhancement and fair work practices.

It is a plea for practical policies based on good science, not political ideology and emotion.

We will all pay for bad policy and  those who will literally and figuratively pay most  are the poor these same parties purport to represent and in whose interests they purport to be working.


Fine policy working

July 17, 2014

National’s policy of requiring fine-dodgers to pay-up or be banned from driving is working:

The Ministry of Justice has collected $4.6 million in just four months from people who risked being banned from driving under a tough new enforcement tool for overdue fines, Courts Minister Chester Borrows says.

Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs) can be placed on anyone who fails to pay traffic-related fines imposed by a Court, Police or local government authority – or reparations imposed by a Court for traffic-related offences.

Since DLSOs were launched on 17 February, the Ministry of Justice has issued 87 warning letters, and served only one DLSO – and that was subsequently lifted after the person set up arrangements to repay their fines.

“This initiative was designed to send a compelling message to offenders who’ve racked up overdue traffic debts,” says Mr Borrows.

“It seems the threat of losing their driver licence has motivated many of those with fines owing who have, until now, ignored their obligation to pay up or enter an arrangement to pay the debt off over time.”

DLSOs target the most difficult to reach people – a hard core of around 25,000 drivers who each owed fines and reparation totalling more than $2,000, and had ignored repeated reminders to pay it off.

Of that group, over 10,800 have contacted the Ministry of Justice in the past three months, to make repayments totalling $4.6 million.

“The fact we’ve recovered $4.6 million from a stubborn group, who had ignored all previous reminders about their obligations, without having to take anyone’s licence away shows how effective the DLSO sanction is.”

While those with the largest outstanding fines have been targeted first, the Ministry of Justice will step up the issuing of DLSO warning letters over the next six months to others.

“We are focussing on the worst offenders first, but the message is clear. If you have an outstanding fine we will catch up with you,” says Mr Borrows.

“Anyone with an overdue fine should seize this opportunity to contact the Ministry of Justice and make a payment arrangement if they wish to hold on to their licence.”

Background

The Government is committed to ensuring that fines remain a credible sanction.

The Courts and Criminal Matters Bill, passed by Parliament in July 2011, gave the Ministry of Justice wider powers to collect fines – including the ability to issue Driver Licence Stop Orders (DLSOs).

DLSO’s help send the message that ignoring fines is not an acceptable, or sensible, option.

DLSOs are initiated with a warning letter giving people 14 days’ notice to either pay up or set up a payment plan. Those notified will get one more reminder, and if they ignore that, a bailiff will be sent to seize their driver licence. Licences will remain suspended until the fine is paid in full, or payment arrangements are in place.

People who have their licence suspended due to unpaid fines or reparation will not be able to apply for a limited licence. And if a person flouts the law by driving while suspended, they risk being charged with that offence, and having the vehicle they were driving impounded for 28 days.

DLSOs feature as part of a new media campaign (television, radio, print, online) encouraging people to pay their fines. It began on 2 February 2014 and has run regularly since then.

 For too long fine-dodgers just kept ignoring their obligations and many amassed more fines.

The threat of losing their licences is  tough but fair and it’s working.

 

Earlier this year we introduced new Drivers Licence Stop Orders, to let the Court take away the drivers licence of people who refuse to pay their traffic fines.  From a target group of 25,000 fine dodgers, in the first four months 10,800 people have coughed up $4.6 million - a great result!


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