Saturday soapbox

Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

 

Albert Einstein's photo.

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge. – Albert Einstein

254 Responses to Saturday soapbox

  1. farmerbraun says:

    Australia, the recipient of the third largest number of U.N sanctioned refugees, is criticised for having some rules, apparently.
    Witness the recent bleating of the Greens and Labour recently.
    Where were these bleeding hearts when the U.S/U.K. embarked on their destabilisation/regime -change interference in Syria?

    http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/09/04/new-york-times-warns-europe-against-australias-successful-migration-policies/

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  2. farmerbraun says:

    Hmm, – “recent” and “recently” may both be redundant in the above.

    🙂

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  3. homepaddock says:

    9 with a couple of guesses and missing one I ought to have known.

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  4. tom hunter says:

    I thought I would transfer a some comments made by the ever-present Green, Dave Kennedy, from an older thread to this one, and respond to them. The debate started with a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt about the difference between “Great” and “small” minds – and the debate flowed from there, ending up with this:

    In reality this Government does the very things that the Greens are being accused of by Tom.

    I could not agree more, the latest Health and Safety abortion championed by Mr Woodhouse being merely the latest example. But, as usual, the Greens did not provide a counter-example. Their complaints were that the bill did not go far enough in prescriptive regulatory control and more people would die as a result.

    National Standards were implemented without …

    Same again. I’m well aware of this and I object to it as a top-down solution. Similarly “Common Core” has been implemented in the USA, starting with Bush(R) and accelerating under Obama(D). Another top-down imposition that is the natural result of a top-down system – which is exactly the sort of central government approach supported by the left. For example, the Federal Department of Education was only established in 1979, by Jimmy Carter. Before then US education was handled at the level of the 50 states, a reasonable example of “local” government and “participatory democracy”. But I guarantee that any attempt by the GOP to abolish the forty year old central government institution would be met with fierce resistance from the left: here in NZ I’ve no doubt it would be met with scoffing noises from the Greens about the typical stupidity of American right-wingers who don’t value education.

    That is why Brash’s witch hunt failed ….

    Brash only saw the surface sheen of PC, in the sense of langauage, and never understood the deep phillsophical underpinnings of the idea, so had no idea how to go about uprooting it. Moreover, he chose as his vessel of investigation, one Wayne Mapp, a National party member whose post-MP comments in forums such as Kiwiblog have revealed him to be at best ignorant of PC or fully enamoured of it himself. He’s what the US right would call a “squish”, or what was called a “wet” during Thatcher’s time in the UK. The combination of both is what doomed that effort, not that it does not exist.

    I had intended to finish this with a simple question for DK, based on the last part of his comment:

    … we would have greater freedom of choice under a Green Governance. We would be changing from an autocratic style to one where participatory democracy and fairness would dominate instead.

    My question would simply be to ask, if the above is true, what laws, rules and regulations – outside of sex and drugs – the Greens would be willing to scrap, and which they would refuse to implement?

    But having read the article he so approvingly linked to, I now see that there is no need for DK to answer, because as the article goes on to explain, the nanny state is largely a myth, and is, in any case good for us:

    regulation is not the antithesis of individual liberty, as so often proposed, but rather the counterpoint that provides for free choice.

    That specific article is about public health, but its philosophical basis means it could be applied to any facet of human life – and will be. The Greens will not oppose more rules and regulations because the more there are, the better things will be.

    I’ve heard echoes of that somewhere before:

    War is Peace
    Freedom is Slavery

    I would have added the last famous slogan, but in the face of a man who firmly believes that more regulation means more or better individual choice it seemed redundant.

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  5. farmerbraun says:

    farmerbraun says:
    September 5, 2015 at 7:14 am

    ” we would have greater freedom of choice under a Green Governance. We would be changing from an autocratic style to one where participatory democracy and fairness would dominate instead.”

    I’d be interested to hear the nuts and bolts of this Green plan , in particular with regard to the revisions to the RMA.

    Like

  6. Dave Kennedy says:

    Where Tom and I agree is that there are often top down reactionary decisions and legislation passed that are not based on evidence or consultation. This Government has also passed much legislation under urgency when it wasn’t necessary, or implemented the likes of Novopay when it wasn’t ready. This Government has also demonstrated poor Ministerial oversight when the likes of Solid Energy collapses with a loss of $600 million; the Health and Safety bill gets pushed through without properly consulting the only agency that has useful data on safe and dangerous workplaces; and suddenly after seven years it is discovered that our state houses and schools haven’t been properly maintained.

    This is because this regime has created a culture where reporting the reality of what is occurring is discouraged (especially if it will result in extra costs or reflect negatively on the Government) and there is encouragement to shape reporting to fit the Government’s agenda (crime statistics, National Standards…). The Children’s Commissioner had to do his own research to assess the extent of child health and poverty because the Government refused to do so.

    Funding to departments and Ministries have become arbitrary decisions and not properly based on need. Applying a population based model on the Southern District Health Board has had disastrous consequences when it has the added expenses of having wide geographical area to cover as well as the expense of resourcing and staffing a teaching hospital (most DHB’s don’t have the same extra funding demands). Also by focusing on the likes of elective surgeries it has ignored the importance of preventative medicine and primary care to reduce the amount of surgeries needed. There is an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff mentality and to little being done at the top of the cliff that would actually save costs later.

    There is little professional trust now, scientists are ignored unless they agree with Government policy, teachers are not properly consulted for educational change, the medical profession have limited input regarding priorities for health funding and when Relationships Aotearoa wrote a submission regarding their inability to fulfill contracts when funding was cut they had it cut altogether.

    When I talked about participatory democracy under a Green Government it would be because we would have greater transparency around decisions and give greater autonomy to regions and communities. Our school hubs policy was about basing more social services in schools to address our huge child health and welfare problems. The school community could then establish their own priorities for supporting their children and families and the attached nurses and welfare officers etc would then be based in an environment where different agencies could coordinate better and have access to the children concerned on a daily basis. The current system of supporting vulnerable children is clearly failing and is not cost effective.

    I was recently asked to write a position paper for the AUT where i outline the potential of growing food that is best suited to the region and developing regional cultures and cuisines like it occurs in Europe:

    These are quotes from that paper:

    “When travelling in Europe I became aware of how different regions are celebrated for the food they produce and the seasonal nature of food production has been recognised in lifestyles and culture. This is beginning to happen in New Zealand and I think this should be encouraged. The Southland climate is not so good for growing kiwifruit or grapes but it has been identified as one of the best in the world for oats and we grow wonderful gooseberries, currents and apples.”

    “The Open Orchards Project, led by the South Coast Environment Centre, has identified over eighty different varieties of apples that were growing in the many old farm orchards in the Southland region. The project has grafted them all and new orchards are being established with old, uniquely named varieties: Dipton Redburst, Peasgood Non Such, Merton Russet, Keyswick Codlin, Cornish Aromatic…”

    “Imagine the potential of a well-established New Zealand food brand that was based around a natural, clean and green, GE free environment. Our quality wines, artisan cheeses, craft beers (New Zealand hops are internationally recognised), fruit and pasture-raised meat would attract premium prices.”

    “New Zealand’s potential as a tourist destination would be greatly enhanced if we could offer more than just beautiful scenery. Tours of different regions based on their unique food and beverage cultures would be attractive to more mature, affluent tourists and could add another dimension to our many new bicycle trails.”

    “New Zealand has a proud history of innovation and self-sufficiency and by capitalising on our mild climate and abundant farmland we can build a resilient economy based on healthy and diverse food production. By celebrating and encouraging regional diversity and cottage industries our agricultural sector will become more sustainable and diverse. The opportunities are great and the possibilities are endless.”

    Although I agree with Mr E that our policy for increasing the number of organic farms is impractical, you have to admit that if we had been in Government, and it had been achieved, our agricultural economy would be in a better position now.

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  7. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, as for the RMA, you will need to describe yourself the particular aspects where you believe it is actually failing as distinct from what is expected from councils. It appears to me and to research that the vast majority of consents are managed on time and cost effectively. It also appears that any problems with the RMA are more of a result of it being poorly understood and processes not being well managed. Given the number of environmental disasters that we still have, perhaps it needs to be strengthened further.

    https://researcharchive.lincoln.ac.nz/handle/10182/2046

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  8. farmerbraun says:

    Dave , you seem to be saying that the Green plan , in respect of the RMA, would be for more “participatory democracy and fairness “.
    Is there such a plan?

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  9. Dave Kennedy says:

    I’m not sure if we even have specific policy on the RMA. As I asked before, what specific parts of the RMA do you object to? It appears that many of the problems identified in the research that I linked to is is because of poor management by councils. Also given the state of many of our environments one would have to say that the RMA probably needs to be stronger. According to LAWA and the Environment Commissioner more of our rivers are degrading than improving in quality, We have some extensive and shocking erosion in many hill country areas and New Zealand has 2,788 species endangered with extinction, with a further 3,031 species are believed to be endangered.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11160833

    //www.google.co.nz/search?q=Hill+erosion+in+NZ&rlz=1C5CHFA_enNZ503NZ503&espv=2&biw=1260&bih=940&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0CB4QsARqFQoTCIDmhc2Y38cCFUJ9pgodZ7cJRA

    http://www.nhc.net.nz/

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  10. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Can you please qualify this statement?

    “According to LAWA and the Environment Commissioner more of our rivers are degrading than improving in quality”

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  11. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr, Sigh… direct quotes below, the most important being the one stating that more sites recorded an increase in contamination than an improvement:

    Summary of national nutrient picture

    There is a lot of variability in the national nutrient data collected, which often corresponds to land use in a river’s catchment. Rivers drawing water from catchments that have predominately indigenous land-cover have generally very high quality water. In comparison, rivers in lowlands surrounded by pasture and cities are often of poorer water quality.

    Trends show that in some areas and for some nutrients, river water quality is decreasing, with pressure associated with land cover likely to be the driver for these changes.

    More pasture sites had an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the last 10 years compared to a decrease in concentrations, whereas more urban and indigenous sites improved (i.e., lower nitrate-nitrogen concentrations) than deteriorated.

    The most significant source of nitrate-nitrogen at a national scale is animal urine. Ammonia in urine is rapidly nitrified by bacteria in soil, where it leaches into waterways as nitrate-nitrogen.

    Current national state

    Higher concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen generally occur on the lowland regions of the Canterbury Plains, Southland, Waikato, Hauraki Plains, Manawatu Plains and Taranaki.

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  12. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I think you’ve been busted telling bull poppy again. What’s is even worse is when questioned you repeated it.

    When referring to NZs river water quality LAWA never said “that more sites recorded an increase in contamination than an improvement”

    It’s not even a stretch of the truth. It is just wrong.

    Like

  13. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, here is the quote I have used in the past:
    “Nitrate-nitrogen concentrations are increasing (i.e., water quality is deteriorating) in about a quarter of monitored sites. The majority of sites monitored for the macroinvertebrate community index showed no evidence of a trend, with around 7% of sites improving and 13% declining. Rivers and streams in (or downstream of) urban areas tend to have the poorest water quality (the highest concentrations of nutrients and bacteria, and lowest macroinvertebrate community index (MCI) scores).”

    It is the sites in the urban areas that are showing the most improvement, however: “Urban streams make up less than one per cent of the total length of New Zealand’s rivers.”

    You are confused about what the percentage of sites represent, it does give an indication of the extent of improvement but if all the improving sites represent less than 1% of the total length of rivers and the deteriorating sites represent much greater volumes of water than the picture is even worse.

    Most low land rivers in pastural situations have poor quality water…or to quote LAWA yet again: “…rivers in lowlands surrounded by pasture and cities are often of poorer water quality.” and “More pasture sites had an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the last 10 years compared to a decrease in concentrations”

    For heaven’s sake Mr E, it is like showing you something that is clearly black and you keep insisting you are seeing white. These are LAWA’s own summaries and you continually refuse to accept them. Please don’t go back to your simplistic little pictographs again as they represent sites not volumes and it is LAWA’s own narrative about the sate of our water that is most important!

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  14. Dave Kennedy says:

    Also Mr E, using the same data that LAWA used here is what the Commissioner for the Environment said 2 years ago:

    “The outcome of the modelling exercise is not good news. I had hoped it would be otherwise. It is almost inevitable that without significantly more intervention, we will continue to see an on-going deterioration in water quality in many catchments across the country.”

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  15. I’m interested in people’s opinions on the recently released Green Party policy which includes plans to reduce the size of 2,400 dairy farms by 75 cows each. In my opinion this would exacerbate bad years like this and hamstring the benefits of good years. It is poorly presented policy with no mention of the cost to the farmers or the national economy. My lay person calculation is 75 cows producing 475kgMS per year each comes to 35,625kgMS per farm per year. On a bad year like this at $3.85kgMS that means $137,156 less to cover fixed costs which would mean an increased loss and higher farm working expense per kgMS because of the lower milk solid total. The loss of 75 cows based on the long run average milk price of $6.50kgMS cuts each farms income by $231,562 which is not insignificant to say the least. This is money needed to smooth over the years like this with low milk prices, retain staff, fund compliance, make contribution to the local community and invest in environmental improvements. Two years ago the cost of Green Party interference would have been $309,937 from this single policy based on the record $8.70kgMS milk price. All these numbers are before tax by the way so the Government and wider economy would miss out on this money being injected into the regions. At $8.70kgMS the loss in direct export income to New Zealand is $743,850,000 from this one single policy and at the current $3.85kgMS New Zealand can hardly forgo $329,175,000. We would then further hamstring ourselves by charging Fonterra a carbon tax on their coal fired plants despite biomass being unsuitable and the Green’s well aware there is no reticulated gas at those plants (and Greens being against exploration near those plants).

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  16. Mr E says:

    Funny,
    Sighing and forheaven saking.

    But no evidence of the claims that you have made.

    All the signs that reinforce my suspicion of poppy.

    LAWA talk about land use and catchments trends, and so does the PCE.
    Nothing in their data or claims suggest a nationwide water quality decline.

    That is all you…. It seems you are announcing another crisis that you own sources don’t support.

    Is there any surprise you’d be claiming a crisis that doesn’t exist? Anyone surprised?

    Like

  17. They also plan to tax an equivalent of 8c/kgMS for undefined “dairy emissions” emissions from cows with no mention of how it would encourage climate friendly farming or what this would look like. Their plan to regulate farm dumps sounds like a duplication of efforts also. Other assumptions in the document are far fetched also like increasing efficiency of the entire vehicle fleet by 20%! The Greens were far more polished than this under Norman. James Shaw is clearly an amateur. I should also post a link to the policy PDF file: https://www.greens.org.nz/sites/default/files/policy-pdfs/Yes%20We%20Can%20FINAL.pdf

    Like

  18. Mr E says:

    James,
    I love your work. Well done.

    The Greens policies sound shameful. Sounds like their faux fear for Dairy farmers is exactly that.

    Like

  19. Dave Kennedy says:

    James, if farmers shifted to more natural practices or organics the increase in value for their milk will far out way a drop in stock numbers. Shifting to greener ways of drying milk will just increase our credibility to higher end markets who want clean green products. We are moving in the right direction 🙂

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/71254726/fonterra-desperate-for-high-value-organic-milk

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/68368728/Fonterra-launch-organic-milk-brand

    http://www.interpack.com/cipp/md_interpack/custom/pub/content,oid,14821/lang,2/ticket,g_u_e_s_t/~/Global_organic_food_and_beverages_market_to_reach_104_billion.html

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  20. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Nothing in their data or claims suggest a nationwide water quality decline.”
    Except that is EXACTLY what they are saying in their own summary, Mr E.

    “More pasture sites had an increase in nitrate-nitrogen concentrations over the last 10 years compared to a decrease in concentrations”

    Increasing nitrate-nitrogen concentrations causes a decline in quality so more pasture sites are showing declining quality than improving. There is no way that this can be interpreted any differently and I would really enjoy seeing how you can.

    Canterbury and Southland have also been identified as having the largest deterioration.

    Like

  21. TraceyS says:

    “I should also post a link to the policy PDF file:…”

    1. Open document
    2. Search “we” (>79 instances).
    3. Replace “we” with “you”
    4. Search “our” (>49 instances)
    5. Replace “our” with “your”
    6. Re-read
    7. Weep

    Incidentally, the words “you” and “your” only appear in the original document 1 and 0 times respectively.

    A shame really, because that’s precisely what they mean (if only the document was written transparently).

    And anyone who isn’t worried about that (because they aren’t a farmer etc) should be if they consider what a transference of this level of interference might look like if applied to aspects of their own lives.

    8. When the time comes, vote.

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  22. tom hunter says:

    Where Tom and I agree is that there are often top down reactionary decisions and legislation passed that are not based on evidence or consultation.

    Stay on message. Stay on message. Stay on message…….

    The siren song of the professional politician.

    No Dave, you and I don’t agree on anything about this. Imposing top-down solutions from a central authority is wrong, even when there is evidence and consultation.

    That’s because such things form the classic self-deception of the central planner: that with enough evidence and “consultation” the planner can get it right.

    They can’t. I see some nonsense has recently arisen suggesting that perhaps the Soviet Union and company could have worked better with computers. What utter idiots: Hyeck demonstrated 70 years ago that such planning and control could not conceptually work – it had nothing to do with a lack of data processing power.

    More regulation equals more and improved freedom of choice: your average commissar could not have said it better. Like the RMA, though strangely it has narrowed my choices considerably every time I’ve engaged with it.

    Participatory democracy? Pfft. That just means “consultation”, which amounts to being listened to in bored fashion by bureaucrats and other worthies who supposedly already know more and are smarter then we are – after which they’ll do what they want anyway. Len Brown’s survey of Auckland Transport was a recent, classic example. Points I could have made were not even in the options for the most part. If it had been submitted for marking as a market research paper it would have gained an “E” for deliberately herding the surveyed where the masters wanted them to go.

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  23. Dave, if organics were that much better then farmers would already be doing it. One example of why organics is unworkable is that there is no organic processing capacity in the South Island. I guess Fonterra aren’t that desperate for organic after all. The biggest reason organic won’t work in my mind is that you can’t use sprays. Look at thistles for example. They already grub small stands of thistles over several afternoons and the thought of grubbing the large stands of thistles is enough to make anyone cry because you would need a dedicated staff member for thistle control, and maybe another half staff member for gorse control. There are two problems there – firstly such a worker would need to retire at 65 because it’s hard work. That fits the Green’s world view but they require Labour to govern which means that such people doing hard work have to wait another two years to retire. Secondly, it’s hard to calculate with any certainty but that organic premium would be soaked up by decreasing milk solids and higher wage bills before you have even paid your organic audit fees.

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  24. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Imposing top-down solutions from a central authority is wrong, even when there is evidence and consultation.”

    Tom, this Government does this far more than many Governments before in forcing top down decisins. Tomorrows Schools were essentially Charter Schools and yet when National Standards were introduced they bullied the independent bioards of trustees into submission by threatening to sack them and replace them with a commissioner if they didn’t comply. It is constantly removing local admin and centralising it. Housing NZ is the classic. It is removing local knowledge and the ability to shape action to the local context. The bottom lines we need are things like minimum water quality, air quality and maximum road speeds etc, but there should be greater ability for collaboration in communities to find their own solutions and approaches to manage their environments, businesses and social services.

    “Dave, if organics were that much better then farmers would already be doing it.”
    James, I bet many farmers were wishing that they were doing it now. You are right one of the reasons they haven’t is the existing processing and business model didn’t support it. Sadly it isn’t always the farmers choice when industry direction (not always matched with market forces or potential) traps them into one way of operating. Retro-Organics is one example of a local farm that have put themselves in a stronger position by swimming against the industry tide. This Government and Fonterra were chasing the easy money with no appreciation of the sustainability of the industry or recognising future markets.

    http://www.retroorganics.co.nz/

    As for your thistle concern, it seems like spray is always considered the only solution, but there may be other solutions.

    http://onpasture.com/2013/05/27/is-teaching-cows-to-eat-weeds-a-beneficial-weed-control-technique/

    Mixed farming and including a herd of goats may also be a solution:
    http://www.goatseatweeds.com/questions.html

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  25. Thanks for the reply Dave but your argument is still a bit weak because there is no evidence of a great rush of farmers becoming organic because of the current milk price, even where there is organic processing. Also, farmers are aware of your weed control solutions but making cows eat thistles will end up with more woody tongue and organic farmers are restricted on the cure (antibiotics). Goats would eat some thistles but not the worst ones like Californian Thistle which has an underground network of roots and will just keep coming back unless sprayed with herbicide to kill the root. Goats are also very hard to keep in their paddock. Your reference also claims herbicides don’t work which isn’t the case in my experience, especially when used as per the instructions. All of the above are reasons why the Greens can’t be allowed near power. They want to interfere with the economy without any reference to the real pros and cons or how it affects the people on the ground who will be stuck with the extra work and cost.

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  26. Dave Kennedy says:

    James, for many dairy farmers the high payout meant that poor practices could still produce a tidy income and many older farmers I have spoken to have been appalled by the pasture management and animal husbandry demonstrated by many of those coming into the industry when profits were strong. Most meat and fibre farmers have been in the game for a long time and know their land and how to farm more sustainably.

    Those who are now organic farmers are inspired by the more sustainable approach and/or are able to see market potential. I take my hat off to the likes of Farmerbraun because it takes more skill and knowledge to operate an organic farm successfully and I could imagine some dairy farmers may not be bothered and always go for the easy money (this is just human nature in any industry). There is also a delay from deciding to be organic and being certified and there is the possibility of going to all the trouble of converting and then milk prices increasing again.

    We can also see that many farmers prefer hassle free farming so the HT swedes are still being purchased, despite the worrying deaths and poor quality, because it is much easier to spray and sow. If there was much more support and infrastructure in place for organic dairy farming I’m sure numbers would noticeably increase. Fonterra is starting to do this with the financial incentive of $90 per cow in the conversion years and about $270 per cow in the following three years. There will obviously be a bit of a lag while farmers weigh up the pros and cons and see where prices are heading.

    As for the thistle thing, I just randomly threw up a couple of solutions that didn’t involve spray but I have read that constant mowing also reduces the ability for the root systems to become established and they become less invasive. I have also heard talks from farmers who use combinations of different animals to better manage the growth of weeds and limit disease. There are symbiotic benefits from farming more than one species apparently. If sprays were banned tomorrow I bet some solutions would be found that may not be as instant as sprays but would manage the problem. One aspect of organic farming (i understand) is to reach a point where co-existence with weeds can occur and can they can be managed rather than eradicated.

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  27. farmerbraun says:

    James , i have been an organic farmer, predominantly dairy , for over 30 years.
    What you are doing is transferring the problems of your existing system onto an organic system, which in my experience does not have those problems.
    It is therefore obvious to me that you do not perceive that sustainable agriculture of which organic farming is an example, is a different paradigm which you do not understand.
    So your objections are more apparent than real.
    Do you fear change? Because it is quite clear that change is inevitable, if not desirable.

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  28. farmerbraun says:

    ” If sprays were banned tomorrow I bet some solutions would be found “.

    I think we are talking about an economic problem ; not a cultural or management problem.
    The fact is that the modern NZ dairy farm is not sufficiently and consistently profitable to maintain a stable and sufficient workforce to actually look after the land properly. So short cuts are taken.

    It constantly amuses me that the farmers with the weed “problems” are the same farmers who are using the herbicides ; funny that!

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  29. Dave Kennedy says:

    Thanks FB for adding your experience into the discussion. What worries me is that now there are even greater pressures being placed on many farms, even more “short cuts” will be taken and it will probably be the environment that will have to deal with the consequences. This will no doubt produce some trends for Mr E in five years time (no instant revelations with LAWAs current monitoring system).

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  30. farmerbraun says:

    “more “short cuts” will be taken and it will probably be the environment that will have to deal with the consequences.”

    I am not so sure : certainly stocking rates have decreased; in some cases whole herds have been culled and other land uses employed.
    Where stocking rate, bought-in feed , and dairy-support have all decreased there will be less nitrogen excreted /Ha, and there could also (potentially) be less soil damage in winter.
    Many farmers will do less cropping , so carbon losses from cultivation could decrease.
    And it is possible that farmers will rediscover the clover-based sward, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.

    If the use of nitrogen fertiliser were to cease completely then that would be a game-changer for the environment but at present most dairy farmers cannot see a way out of this trap. It may be easier to get off heroin , I think. 🙂

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  31. “…many older farmers I have spoken to have been appalled by the pasture management and animal husbandry demonstrated by many of those coming into the industry when profits were strong.”

    That’s a different issue isn’t it. We could find agreement there even but that’s down to the individual level and does nothing to suggest that the Green party should take 75 cows away from the good farmers as well. The bad ones will naturally go out of business as the price drops (they are probably out of business already) and also as the water quality rules come into force (and will reduce stocking rates in some places anyway).

    I certainly have nothing against organic farmers or their ethos, but forcing all farmers to become organic is not the way to go. You mention that low quality people are coming into what you regard as the “easy” farming in high price times. How do you expect that to improve under a more difficult system? As if farmers need more stress, work and compliance!

    Thanks for your input Farmerbraun, it’s always interesting looking over the fence. Even if it’s only electronic! You may be interested to know two things about our conventional farm – we don’t have a weed problem and we do use sprays for larger stands of gorse and thistle, grub smaller stands regularly, and also mow+irrigate larger patches on the platform when mowing anyway (Dave got one of his “random” solutions right!). You can’t get a tractor everywhere though. Keeping on top of it is the trick. You will also be pleased to know we have a good proportion of red clover in our sward to the point we don’t need to sow it.

    Dave might be surprised to find how natural a system 4 farm can be. But yes, change is coming. Antibiotics will be more restricted and other challenges. Such is business, such is farming. Let’s not make it harder than it needs to be. Because most people in Wellington don’t know about farming that means keeping the Govt out of it as much as possible, especially if the Greens are involved. Otherwise they do things like take away sprays because they “…bet some solutions would be found…”

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  32. Farmerbraun what are your thoughts on mixed grazing? I understand cows dont like grass sheep have grazed. Also, there’s a good reason we don’t go below 1,500kgDM/ha.

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  33. Dave Kennedy says:

    James, the mixed grazing I heard about recently was rotating deer and cows. Apparently both animals benefit from following the other in a grazing regime.

    The difference between National and the Greens style of governorship is continually misunderstood. While National are authoritarian and force their ideology onto others (National Standards in Education were implemented without a trial and legislation made their introduction a legal expectation, schools that refused to engage became law breakers).

    While our policies describe a high % of organic farming would be a goal under a Green Government this doesn’t mean that we would take National’s aggressive approach. People don’t tend to implement things with much enthusiasm when it is a forced expectation. Our Good Farm Stories are a good example of working with the industry to highlight existing farms that demonstrate good practice or have found solutions to environmental problems. We are hoping to add to them and update them.
    https://home.greens.org.nz/goodfarmstories/list

    The Green Party also opposes the opening of new coal mines because of the detrimental impact of burning coal, however we protested against Solid Energy closing its mines and reducing employee numbers without a planned transition and support in place for the miners and the families affected.
    https://blog.greens.org.nz/2012/09/06/asset-sales-costing-jobs-not-creating-them/

    A similar approach would be taken to introduce organic farming, it would need a robust strategy and transitional approach to implement. We learned a valuable lesson some years ago with the introduction of solar water heating before the quality of the systems could be relied on and enough properly trained installers were available. Some people ended up with substandard results because of this. Bullying farmers into organics without the supporting infrastructure and advice would be unwise. Farmerbraun may have some idea around what would be necessary to accomplish this and using the wisdom of existing organic farmers’ would be crucial in designing a suitable strategy.

    Most of our recent policy documents are informed by research and working with those in the field. When National is asked to produce its evidence and research to support its roading or education policies it generally turns out that little exists, most is ideology driven. Gerry Brownlee was forced to admit that many of the Roads of National Significance are being built because he thought they are a good idea, despite the fact that traffic volumes have been static for some time and most Auckland people just want more investment in public transport.

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  34. And yet I would rather have a Govt build roads than interfere with farming practices. You make it sound like farmers will have a choice about whether they are low input or not! The carbon tax and various other sticks in that policy suggest otherwise. It’s clear that the Greens think farmers are getting special treatment from the Govt. What a load of rubbish. Your policy might be based on some research but certainly more could have been done before launching this policy – like costings!

    Like

  35. farmerbraun says:

    ” what are your thoughts on mixed grazing? I understand cows don’t like grass sheep have grazed. Also, there’s a good reason we don’t go below 1,500kgDM/ha.”

    I run cows , sheep and meat goats.
    I regard mixed grazing as an essential part of internal parasite management ; we use no anthelmintics. Pasture “cleaned” by sheep grazing is used for calves after a suitable recovery, but of course that is not the whole story of successful young stock rearing ; protein intake is critical which is why we do not calve in springtime. Brown grass in summer guarantees young stock ill-thrift which predisposes to parasite infestation.
    Autumn calving means that stock are a year old before they encounter challenging summer conditions.
    I have never experienced cows rejecting pasture after sheep grazing , probably because the interval would be considerable if the herd were to be offered the correct cover. Residual D.M. for milking in winter needs to be higher than 1500 if recovery is not to be compromised.
    Sheep do not have to graze below 1500Kg D.M/ha, and prefer not to.
    Goats are even more “picky”.

    Like

  36. farmerbraun says:

    ” Bullying farmers into organics without the supporting infrastructure and advice would be unwise. Farmerbraun may have some idea around what would be necessary to accomplish this “.

    Education!
    Everyone wants to be sustainable in their farming practice ; most don’t know what it means, although everyone seems to be able to recognise unsustainability when the bank comes knocking with the bad news.

    Few dairy farmers would be aware that there are other farmers out there making $3500-4000 EBIT/Ha , year-in, year-out , come drought or flood or whatever.
    Not only that but such farmers are increasing the depth of topsoil , and building social capital with year round employment for a permanent workforce.

    What’s not to like?

    The reality is that dairy farmers are brain-washed into thinking that there is no alternative to seasonal commodity production.Jim Bolger famously remarked in respect of this mindset :- “We will never get rich by selling to the poor”.
    A turnover of $2.5- 3 million from 120 cows is , after all, not a serious operation 🙂

    Like

  37. farmerbraun says:

    ” policy might be based on some research but certainly more could have been done before launching this policy – like costings!”

    That is true , but the one thing that is not talked about at discussion group is how much money the farmer is making.

    “how many pivots ‘ya got eh?” LOL!
    “how many Kgs ‘ya doing (buying)? ”

    It’s very funny. But it is very bad form to say that one is laughing all the way to the bank . . . . every year without fail.

    Like

  38. Very interesting farmerbraun. And true that too much emphasis has been placed on production by Dairy NZ and of course everyone listened. However, they have changed their tune over the last couple of years. Discussions at the groups I have attended have focussed on the profit more of late. I’m guessing you are farming in warmer climates than we are to grow grass for milking in Winter!

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  39. farmerbraun says:

    In regard to warmer climates, there have been farmers milking in winter from Kaitaia to Dunedin since the towns developed.
    It is less about climate and more about stocking rate and conserved feed.
    The stocking rate for town milk before the industry was destroyed, was about 1.6 milking cows /Ha , or just over half a cow /acre.
    The point is that by milking year round , with a constant daily output, these farmers could participate in the added value markets, and receive higher prices which more than compensated for the increased feed conservation.
    Such participation is practically impossible in an industry which has little or no milk for three months of the year.
    Then there is the economic cost of having 250-300 million dollar powder plants lying idle for a quarter of the year, and only achieving 50% utilisation annually.
    No climate doesn’t come in to it ; there are very few places in the world where cows can be milked outside on pasture all year round.
    We really should play to our strengths.
    The good thing is that nobody is prevented from doing this, unless they belong to a seasonal dairy co-operative. 🙂

    Like

  40. Dave Kennedy says:

    “And yet I would rather have a Govt build roads than interfere with farming practices. You make it sound like farmers will have a choice about whether they are low input or not!”
    James, it seems that for education, medicine, construction, mining… it is alright to provide guidelines, advice, regulations and oversight to ensure good practice and high standards but when it comes to farming you believe this industry alone should be treated differently. Farming has a much bigger impact on our environment than any other industry and operates on the majority of our low land areas. It is one of our country’s most important income streams and so many communities and associated businesses are dependent on on it. To constantly claim that farmers should be free to do as they wish in a laissez faire manner seems dangerous to me.

    This is the industry that has sprayed its way to the point where bees and other important insects are disappearing around the world. It is also the industry that has one of the highest rates of accidents and fatalities. This is the industry that is largely responsible for the poor state of our rivers. This is the industry that imports over 1 million tonnes of PKE and 1 million tonnes of cadmium laden phosphate from the Western Sahara a year. It is also the industry that is largely dependent on huge coal powered driers to produce milk powder for others to add value to (we have increased our annual production of milk solids to feed these driers by 283,000,000 kg since 2011).

    A 2006 research paper from Lincoln estimated that dairying cost the Canterbury region over $60 million a year in external costs that were having to be absorbed by rate and taxpayers. Farmers do not exist outside our New Zealand community as some sort of special class, their stewardship of our land dictates its long term viability and as Farmerbraun will attest most of our soils are so degraded that many are dependent on constant artificial inputs to maintain pasture growth.

    I suggest that there should be a collective approach to farm more sustainably and try and produce higher quality products that will have greater value for our country’s collective benefit and there is great collective waggling of fingers. Farmers explain to me that they are too special to be regulated and it is an insult for those outside the industry to want them to operate more sustainably. I am also told that if there are too many restrictions and environmental expectations then farmers will no longer be profitable and this is where Farmerbraun’s comments become interesting. He has focussed on farming in an environmentally sustainable way and he is finding his income is more reliable as a consequence.

    The Greens Good Farm Stories was a small project, but something similar on a march larger scale could be hugely valuable as it is based on what farmers are currently doing and what works. This isn’t top down dictatorship (other than just expecting the industry to be more environmentally sound), but appealing to the industry itself to replicate what already works across the industry. Retro-Organics operates successfully as a stand alone organic operation in the middle of the Deep South and Farmerbraun appears to be successful too, what would be so bad if 50% of our farms operated similarly?

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  41. farmerbraun says:

    ” Farming has a much bigger impact on our environment than any other industry and operates on the majority of our low land areas. ”

    No industry could possibly have a bigger impact on the environment than the construction of a city such as Auckland, where the soil is mostly covered in concrete, asphalt and buildings, where little or no sunlight and rainwater are harvested , and the enduring output is pollution.

    Most NZ cities have sprawled all over our most productive soils; many have destroyed the natural paths of our waterways and wetlands by both channelling and stopbank construction; and then proceeded to further desecrate the waters by disposing of polluted stormwater and sewage.
    I am disinclined to buy that one Dave. 🙂

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  42. Dave Kennedy says:

    I agree about the impact of cities Farmerbraun, but it actually makes more environmental sense to manage large populations in concentrated sites then spreading them around the country. However I don’t think we plan or manage our cities as well as we could as you rightly point out. Despite this fact farms do dominate more of our lowland areas than cities by a large margin and according to LAWA the water quality near urban areas is actually improving while pasture dominated sites are degrading.

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  43. Yes, ironic that the Greens strongholds are all in the worst environments in the country! Our cities. That’s where the worst fresh water pollution is too, despite what the Greens say.

    I disagree there farmerbraun – Golden Bay for example has a much better growing season through winter than does Otago/Southland where there is little growth. I wasn’t referring to feed conservation – that’s obvious that you need to do that but it’s to a greater extent down south. Having said that, we milk year round but it’s harder with frozen cups in the morning, frozen effluent etc.

    Dave, those other industries such as education, medicine, construction and mining are not farming. It’s a weak argument to say because one industry is heavily regulated that another should be too – it’s akin to saying because other countries ban homosexuality then we should too. It’s just completely irrelevant and you are comparing apples with oranges. It doesn’t make farming special – it just means don’t unnecessarily restrict people from going about their business.

    Of course farming DOES already have regulations, guidelines and standards etc. There’s nothing laissez faire about it. It’s a scientific industry. My point is that you don’t want too much of that stuff and don’t want it prepared by people who don’t know what they are doing The Green policy we are talking about demonstrates a lack of thorough research and therefore knowledge of the industry and is case in point.

    As for the industry direction, Retro Organics are a good example of why most of our milk is powdered for export. Retro Organics don’t export further than Aussie. If you make, say, cheese it is expensive to ship compared to milk powder because we are so far away from market.

    Like

  44. Dave Kennedy says:

    James you are over-reacting to what I am saying. I am not actually talking about heavy regulation but only what is necessary. I think there is too much prescription in education and not enough professional trust to meet the special needs of individual communities. However schools still need to meet certain standards of teaching and the quality of education must be aimed high. The same approach can be used for farming.

    Teaching is actually an evidence based profession that generally applies an ongoing cycle of personal and professional review of outcomes and how that relates to improving practice. Sharing good practice and collaboration is an important part of ensuring ongoing improvement in a school. When classes are too large and assessment moves teaching away from what in the best interests of children it limits good outcomes. When professional development is limited and we don’t attract the best possible people into the profession it is also problematic.

    I don’t see farming as any different. Farmers learn from each other and benefit from the latest research. Constantly evaluating practice and outcomes (environmental and income) and being aware of best practice should dominate in the farming sector too. Teachers have regular appraisals, they need to be open to the feedback of children, parents and those in management roles above them. The Clean Streams Accord was an example of why letting farmers self evaluate and operate without scrutiny doesn’t work and Pike River is the tragic outcome of limited standards or regulation and every farm death or polluted stream are unnecessary outcomes.

    Achieving the right balance of regulation and self determination is important. Regulation shouldn’t limit innovation but there needs to some industry overview to ensure that poor farmers are identified and managed in a timely fashion, and what successful farmers are doing is shared. There needs to be good infrastructure to help that happen. In teaching it can happen informally and good teachers will always set high standards, but the poorest performers can do a lot of damage if not managed and the bulk of teachers in the middle always need to be inspired by the best.

    It does appear that you could learn a lot by spending time with Farmerbraun 😉

    Like

  45. Dave Kennedy says:

    “As for the industry direction, Retro Organics are a good example of why most of our milk is powdered for export. Retro Organics don’t export further than Aussie. If you make, say, cheese it is expensive to ship compared to milk powder because we are so far away from markets.”

    You are wrong. Retro Organics are just one Southland Farm and already they have established export markets because of the added value they provide. As one small farm their brand is probably already better known than Fonterra’s in Australia. Fonterra just provides the ingredients for others to add value to and add their own brand to the product.

    We still export cheese and butter and other value added products long distances but it is mainly basic cheddar that we export and we have not tried to meet high value markets in the same way the wine industry has. Imagine if wine and cheese were both regarded as where New Zealand excels internationally.

    Like

  46. farmerbraun says:

    Much of the difficulty with the effects of farming comes from the lack of science , particularly with diffuse pollution. We have ended up with a regulatory framework that has been based a on a totally inadequate tool , namely Overseer.
    Hill country erosion is easily observed and measured.
    Phosphate and nitrate in water are problematic because we have no baseline pre-agriculture measurements,, and because of the conflict between having deficient soils and almost pristine rivers. We cannot have fertile soils without enriching the waterways.
    But for all that the Thames River in England has nitrate levels 60 times those of the worst N.Z. river (probably the Waihou, Waitoa , Piako or Waikato rivers.)

    But it does seem reasonable that where a farm is importing 40% of the feed consumed by cows, and is applying even more nitrogen as fertiliser, that some limit must be imposed. The question is how to measure the effect of all that additional nitrogen because soils will differ in their ability to sequester the nitrogen. All that we know so far is that more carbon in the soil and an active biology helps greatly.

    Like

  47. Mr E says:

    James,

    Dave likes to misrepresent the LAWA data and also the PCE. He makes foolish assertions like pasture Nitrate trends in some catchements represent Nationwide water quality trends.
    Some time ago he was trying to convince readers that Canterbury’s water quality trends were the same as NZ’s, even though the data said otherwise. Why? I can only guess silly ideas like that suit his agenda.

    The truth is LAWA and the PCE have not made statements about NZs overall water quality. How can you? If Phosphate is largely improving and the other contaminants are largely stable, can you say water quality is improving? . Even if Nitrate is declining in more catchments than improving in others – can you claim Overall NZs water quality is declining. No, that is silly.

    Regarding the Greens policies around organic’s I think you have it pretty well pegged.

    Prior to the election the Green Parties election promise was encourage 50% of NZ Farms to be organic by 2021 and the rest in transition. Their response to concern around this. – It is an ambitious goal and may not be achieved. Sounded like a half promise to me.

    And their carbon tax – sounds like it has not changed since prior to the election. The BERL report they cited was largely focused on whether the Dairy industry could afford the policy. BERL reported that at a $7.10kgMS payout only 10% of dairy farmers would be significantly hurt by it. Now we’re at $3.85kgMS and the Greens are still pushing it. It suggests Greens are anti dairy when they ignore obvious conclusions from their own reports. As a side note – why on earth would Ganesh (BERL) use $7.10kgMS. I hope that report was not expensive because I think the conclusions are poor.

    The significant difference between the National party and the Green party seems to me to be:

    National tends to lobby on strong well considered policy and consequently gets the votes. They stand by those election promises as unpopular as they may be with some.

    The Greens on the other hand seem to lobby on scant detail. I wonder if it is simply because the know that when it comes to it, they’ll almost never be able to honour the promises they make. So their promises are vague non specific and often full of self doubt.

    Regarding Organic systems – research shows organic farms only have about two thirds of the productivity of conventional farms.(585kgMS/ha CF 982kgMS/ha)

    At a 3.85kgMS payout the organic payout would have to be $6.40/kgMS or a premium of about $2.60 to offset the lost production. Unfortunately the premium is only $1.5/kgMS. At a $6kgMS the payout would need to be $10, not $7.50/kgMS as they would get. That is a wopping great $2.50kgMS shortfall.

    Part of that shortfall could be in reduced feed, animal health . The problem is these items will never make up the shortfall in $/kgMS. Here in Southland if you took feed and animal health down to zero that is worth about $1.30kgMS. Fonterra and the market are a mile away from paying the premium needed to encouraging widespread organic dairying.

    Imagine how much premium would exist if 100% of NZ was organic…… Greens want to force farmers into a organics that dont pay enough on todays markert. And with the flooding of the market with organic product will simply send Dairy farms broke.

    Dave said “if farmers shifted to more natural practices or organics the increase in value for their milk will* far out way a drop in stock numbers. ”

    It is a long time since I heard such wild predictions. I think it was when a snake oil salesman was last in town.

    * my emphasis.

    Click to access ghg-report.pdf

    Like

  48. Dave Kennedy says:

    Most teachers have 3-4 year degrees and then have to teach for two years under an advice and guidance programme to become registered and already after 3 years away from full-time teaching (despite my 35 years experience and management positions) i am described as subject to confirmation and will need oversight to ensure I am still able to teach using current expectations and knowledge.

    This is how the dairy industry is promoted to overseas workers:
    “Many farms have their own “on farm” training when you start work. They may have an induction programme and offer development opportunities. The best way to find out about these is to ask your employer or manager. There may be a cost for the training so be sure to ask who pays for it. Also ask whether the time to do the training is included in your work hours or is in your own time.”
    https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/resources/working-in-dairy-farming

    It appears that many farms have on farm training which means it isn’t an expectation and a good number won’t. It does appear that anyone can work on a dairy farm and the quality of training and induction will vary greatly. I have also heard some horror stories of lack of training and safety awareness (hence the high accident and death rate I guess).

    What qualifications and knowledge skills and attributes are deemed necessary to manage a 500-800 dairy herd? What percentage of those managing and working on dairy farms have the soil and pasture management skills of Farmerbraun and how many of those who work on dairy farms have qualifications in animal husbandry?

    One search on examples of animal cruelty and neglect in NZ Dairy farms immediately brought up lots of shocking stories and these are only the ones that reached the media:
    https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&rlz=1C5CHFA_enNZ503NZ503&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=animal+neglect+dairy+farm+nz+2015

    “Of course farming DOES already have regulations, guidelines and standards etc. There’s nothing laissez faire about it.”

    James, Farmerbraun has exposed the lack of science and it is easy to find examples of a laissez faire approach to training and worker management. It certainly looks as though there is room for improvement.

    Like

  49. farmerbraun says:

    Just to correct your numbers Mr E, if Fonterra was paying for organic milk using the Milk Price Manual , then the organic farmers would be receiving $15/Kg M.S. at the current market realisation for organic SMP and WMP.
    I would not say that is a great price, but it beats the hell out of $4.
    At present the fonterra organic farmers are subsidising the non-organic farmers.

    Like

  50. farmerbraun says:

    Call it a wild prediction if you like , but I got it directly from the horse’s mouth.

    Like

  51. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E you excel in misrepentation, you turn aspirational statements into ‘goals’ and ignore our latest climate change strategy released by James Shaw the other day:
    “Farmers – who are exempt from the ETS – would pay a reduced rate of $12.50, but the Greens are now mooting a five-year grace period before farmers are liable for the tax.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/71706610/green-coleader-james-shaw-outlines-climate-change-plan.html

    Matthew Hooton claimed on National Radio this morning that Greens should not have been so soft on farmers. Perhaps he’s right. I guess even within our own party our strong Rural Greens Group (that includes many farmers) have been effective in their lobbying, politics within politics… However in moving to less intense farming methods, adding value and stocking less will actually reduce emissions anyway.

    “National tends to lobby on strong well considered policy and consequently gets the votes.” Nope, National is the best funded party with all its corporate sponsors, has little substantial policy (“more of the same” dominated the rhetoric in the last campaign) and successfully maintains a presidential campaign where Key competes with the Labour leader. Destroy the perception of the opposition leadership and the election is won (0f course labour didn’t help itself in this regard). The Greens barely get a look in as we are blocked from taking part in the main leadership debates and struggle to get our own messaging out through the MSM. More people hear Key’s version of Green Policies than our one. National also has built an expensive and effective comms team to spin anything that happens to support the Government in an effective way.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/national/blogs/tracy-watkins-on-politics/1882711/Nationals-well-paid-media-advisers

    Spending on communications and media has increased greatly since the 2009 article was published:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0910/S00041/government-lines-its-own-pockets-at-our-expense.htm

    Like

  52. Mr E says:

    FarmerBraun,

    I don’t think you have corrected my numbers. The current premium is $1.50/kgMS. Up from $1.30/kgMS due to demand.

    Like

  53. farmerbraun says:

    Oh I agree that is what Fonterra is paying:I am just pointing out what the market says that it is worth, and that there is some cross subsidisation going on.
    Farmers who do not supply organic milk to Fonterra are receiving much higher payouts: up to $20, but more commonly, around $11-12/Kg M.S.

    Like

  54. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You are quite right the Greens carbon tax policy appears to have changed. They have kept the rate of $12.50 per tonne just exempted Dairy for 5 years. Why I wonder? The BERL report says it would hurt 10% at $7.10kgMS. Most banks have reduced their long term predictions to less than $6kgMS.

    The tax policy was stupid then and stupid now. An exempt does little to comfort me.

    “National also has built an expensive and effective comms team”

    “The Greens barely get a look in as we are blocked from taking part in the main leadership debates and struggle to get our own messaging out through the MSM”

    It seems even the MSM is not interested in the Greens rhetoric.

    And what your seem to be saying is National pay well trained media people – well, whilst the Greens volunteers are paid below minimum wage and well below the living wage.

    There is an old unkind saying – Pay peanuts get monkeys.

    It is an admission as shameful as it may be.

    You might want to reflect on your own comments before you go making brash statements about the level of education and wages in the dairy industry.

    Like

  55. farmerbraun says:

    My comment was in support of Dave’s contention that organic dairy is worth more.
    Even Fonterra admits that , but they don’t have to pay out the full value to get enough organic milk to keep the Hautapu factory reasonably full.
    What I do not support is the need for politicians to get involved.
    Economic necessity , market forces and environmental regulation will sort this out.
    I expressed the same view to Jeanette Fitzsimmons before the Green Party was formed: I see no reason to change it.

    Like

  56. farmerbraun says:

    Mr E , I assumed that you were aware that organic SMP and WMP are realising over $10,000/tonne in comparison with the $2000/tonne for non-organic at the present time.

    Like

  57. Mr E says:

    Farmerbraun,
    I understand the point you are trying to make.

    I was simply reiterating you were not correcting my numbers. They were already correct.

    Like

  58. farmerbraun says:

    Fair enough.
    My point was that your numbers , while correct, did not counter the contention that organic milk was worth considerably more.

    Like

  59. Mr E says:

    FB,
    I get that. Sadly being worth more does not necessarily translate to being paid more.

    The hidden costs of switch over seem significant.

    Like

  60. Dave Kennedy says:

    “You might want to reflect on your own comments before you go making brash statements about the level of education and wages in the dairy industry.”
    No brash statements, I was quoting industry sites Mr E. Just like I quoted LAWA’s summaries. You are welcome to produce proof that it is other than what I represented 😉

    As for the the Greens, it has been widely accepted that we are actually very effective as regards our media and communications. We dominated the internet for many years and our social media reach is extensive. We are also a living wage employer and many great people work for us (we had the All Blacks media guy working for us a few years ago) because they support our values rather than being attracted by salaries over $100,000 a year.

    “The hidden costs of switch over seem significant.”

    The economic and environmental costs of not switching over are growing all the time. I would much rather be Farmerbraun at this point than a conventional dairy farmer and Retro Organics seem to be going from strength to strength since they were stall holders at our farmers market.

    Like

  61. farmerbraun says:

    That is the price of belonging to a co-operative it seems. Still the Commerce Commission seems intent on ensuring that there is genuine competition for raw milk supply, so it would appear that Fonterra is vulnerable to losing organic milk supply in not passing on the value to its farmers .
    I have to say that I never experience difficulty in obtaining organic raw milk from local farmers when I want it for a top-up.
    So I regard Fonterra’s reported desperation for more organic milk as being somewhat misleading.
    The milk is out there. I think that it is organic winter milk which held back the Fonterra effort in the local market this past winter. The winter premium was miserly at only a further $1.50/ Kg M.S. on top of the organic premium. Of course organic farmers calving in the Autumn were not totally dissatisfied.
    Until a second Fonterra factory is dedicated to organic production then they probably don’t need more seasonal milk.
    If they did want it they would pay more than they do.

    Like

  62. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    What sites were you quoting when your were referring to the level of farmer education?

    Sure your quoted LAWA. But you are making foolish connections and therefore misrepresenting them, and the PCE for that matter.

    As for your claim that “it has been widely accepted that we are actually very effective as regards our media and communications”, this comment seems as odds with your comment regarding failure with MSM.

    So the Greens pay a living wage. How many people do you have working for you that get paid nothing at all?

    You say “The economic and environmental costs of not switching over are growing all the time.”

    I have largely disproved your comment regarding economic cost. The premium is not large enough to encourage switch over. Did you not read FBs comment. And if large numbers did switch over I suspect the market premium would largely disappear. Niche products are not niche products when the market is flooded with organic product.

    Your policy would kill agriculture as we know it. And why? I tend to think we have an small issue with Nitrogen. LAWA and the MFE say 26% of waterways are deteriorationg, 21% improving and the remainder stable for nitrogen.

    Some of these issues may well be solved with the lag of trend data still occuring. As you have pointed out before, effluent managemenet is much different to what it used to be. And even now old consents are running out and new standards regarding effluent mgmt are being applied on farms.

    Radical actions are not needed. Tweaking of the systems are required. And I tend to agree with James. I think a little education will get us there.

    Regarding your support of Farmerbrauns system. I like it too. But the reality is, if all of his neighbours copied him – he’d probably go caput. Am I right FB? How many FB systems would there need to be before your premium was gone?

    Like

  63. Dave I will just make one more comment! I still disagree with most things you are saying and you don’t have a good handle on the true state of the conventional dairy industry which is further demonstrated by your rant on working conditions! Back to the topic – you say “I am not actually talking about heavy regulation but only what is necessary.” However you don’t have first hand knowledge of what you are preaching. Therefore I am taking on board what FB is saying but have to say that Mr E seems to be on the button. Thanks for your opinions guys, I have found this robust and informing.

    Like

  64. farmerbraun says:

    “if all of his neighbours copied him ”

    Given that I’ve been doing it for 30 odd years , and there are are so far no successful imitators , although there have been a couple of failed attempts (at the behest of the supermarkets)that I’m aware of , what could we reasonably conclude?

    I think we would need to know quite a bit more about what I actually do.
    The question then might be whether I could continue to stay out in front by various diversifications that are available to me.
    What nobody could do of course is take away the basic resilience of the farm as I have developed it ; it still has a huge number of unexploited opportunities. i have only developed one to any great extent.
    Regardless of what anybody else does it would continue to outperform on sustainability.
    It is important to note that there is no premium at retail level , so I would reject the idea that my economic performance depends on premiums. In my view , premiums for organic are non-existent at the retail level, and who needs them? All you want is some market share.
    So my short answer Mr E. is that i would expect to be unaffected , because I play to my strengths, as would any other entrants. The field is wide open with room for everybody.

    In export terms your argument fails , at least for dairy.
    If the entire NZ dairy output, on a year round basis, was organic , it would be about ten billion litres.
    That amounts to two litre of milk per week for the wealthiest 5% of Asians for all their grass-fed free-range dairy requirement of ice-cream , cultured food and a little bit of ESL milk.
    Not a hard sell in my view.

    And then there is the question of brands and brand loyalty 🙂

    Like

  65. farmerbraun says:

    I think that it may be missing the point to attribute what success I have had to organic practice.
    Certified organic status is just a quality assurance scheme and it bestows nothing more than traceability.
    Mind you that is precisely what many consumer are increasingly desirous of; they want to know what they are eating and where it came from.
    Most of my success I would attribute to that alone.
    Then you add in clean, green and fresh ; the dominant consumer trend for the last 50 years.

    From a financial viewpoint, it is the fact that not one litre of my milk goes into a storable commodity that is important. no water is taken out and processing cost is consequently very low. Margins therefore are excellent.
    We also work hard ; the two of us put in a month’s work every week.
    That is we do 160 hours over 7 days between us. It would be unusual if there was not some reward for that level of committment.

    And I got an excellent and very broad education, especially in science. That has been critical for process and product development.

    On top of all that I’ve had some extraordinary luck at critical times , notably post the 1987 crash, when we were gone for all money.

    Some of this may explain why the neighbours haven’t all gone for it, and seem unlikely to do so in large numbers.

    Like

  66. farmerbraun says:

    “The hidden costs of switch over seem significant.”
    You may have something there ; it depends on the state of the farm prior to switching. That’s obvious enough.
    There seems to be a real problem in getting off the nitrogen fix ; it can only happen very slowly. The reasons why seem not to be understood.
    It may be that the re-establishment of rhizobia and other VAMs /PSMs is problematic when practices that are deleterious to microbial life have been intensive and enduring. By that I mean the persistent usage of herbicides and fungicides in particular, although the long term effects of constant urea application are not well documented.

    But the real obstacle , in my view , is in changing the way that the farmer thinks. There are many older farmers who would have no difficulty ; they already think that way.
    Many young farmers , particularly agricultural graduates seem to have no idea of wholistic resource management ; they are barely able to think of a farm as a biological organism.
    It remains true that the best fertiliser is the eyes of the farmer, but his footsteps will be very useful.

    Like

  67. Dave Kennedy says:

    James, you may be interested to know that most of my views are a result of talking to people involved in the dairy industry and reading a range of reports. Obviously i know a number of dairy farmers who are environmentally aware and treat their workers well, but we both would be aware that the range of competency is very broad with a good number shockingly poor. I have talked to managers in Fonterra and Dairy NZ who are quite open about the fact that they would be happy to lose at least 10% of farmers who are giving the industry a bad name. I in 10 farmers involves a lot of land and workers. There would be some concern if a tenth of all teachers were that bad, but then our training and appraisal systems are so much more robust.

    Mr E, FINALLY an admission that more rivers are deteriorating than improving, but try and explain how nitrogen is a minor problem to scientists desperately trying to save our threatened native fish.

    What sites were you quoting when your were referring to the level of farmer education?

    “What sites were you quoting when your were referring to the level of farmer education?”

    It wasn’t so much the farmer education but those involved with the day to day work. Many farm workers are only trained in the basics and the support that they are given varies greatly. I describe what are the minimum requirements for a teacher and asked you to produce the minimum requirements for a farmer or a dairy worker. For instance i don’t think you are qualified to be a teacher, but if I had a few million to put a deposit on a dairy farm, am I allowed to manage it with my current level of experience and knowledge?

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  68. farmerbraun says:

    ” i don’t think you are qualified to be a teacher, but if I had a few million to put a deposit on a dairy farm, am I allowed to manage it with my current level of experience and knowledge?”

    Yes you are; innocent until proven guilty.

    Just as I , not qualified as a teacher, was able to home-school my children . All that I had to show was that they were receiving an education that was at least as good as what they might receive in the (average) system.
    It wasn’t a very high bar , that’s for sure.
    But the standard was not set at what the worst 10% of schools/teachers might have delivered.

    Like

  69. Dave Kennedy says:

    FB, I believe the number of home schooling situations involve a very small % of children but I wonder what % of farms have the day to day running being undertaken by people with minimal training. There seems to be a large number of animal neglect and cruelty charges being reported in the media and there must be a good number going unreported.
    https://www.google.co.nz/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=animal+neglect+and+cruelty,+dairy+farm+NZ&start=0

    Like

  70. farmerbraun says:

    I think that you may be heading up the wrong tree with this training approach.
    The thing that is needed is ability , which must be preceded by attitude.
    It is my experience that most of the extreme cases of neglect and cruelty result from some combination of stress, isolation, and depression : in short, the mental health of the perpetrator.
    In some cases, e.g. breaking cows’ tails, anger management in combination with the aforementioned mental health may be an important factor.

    Like

  71. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I have said all along that when it comes to Nitrate in waterways 26% were deteriorating, whilst 21% were improving and the remainder were stable.

    Sure that indicates a possible decline in water quality regarding Nitrate.

    Conversely phosphate is improving in 40% of waterways whilst only 11% are deteriorating and the rest are stable.

    Do either of these things show and improvement or decline in overall water quality? You seem to think so, but you are the only one saying it.

    I wonder if the scientist that are desperately saving fish are celebrating the improvement in phosphate?

    Regarding you questions around education, you seem to be confusing farm ownership with management.

    Pretty much any Nzer can buy a farm.
    Pretty much any Nzer can buy a school.
    When it comes to buying things – if you have money – go to town.

    The difference occurs when it comes to hands on involvement. Believe it or not there are very strict requirements on farm staff when it comes to farm involvement.

    Farmer owners can get prosecuted if staff use machinery and have incidents.
    Training is therefore a requirements for new entrants when it comes to quad bikes, tractors and chainsaws and machinery. For some that training is informal for others it is part of NZQA qualifications.

    The same goes for stock management. MPI patrol the country looking for farmers getting it wrong. Inexperienced farmers go through on farm training in most cases and some get NZQA qualifications.

    As FB has pointed out the threat of prosecution is so high, training levels are high.

    Do you think farmers are getting it wrong and are largely unqualified to do what they do?

    I have to say I am largely impressed with what I see in farmers. The amount of knowledge required to successfully run a farm is high and so incredibly variable. I see a high amount of innovation as farmers test their own ideas and theories. FB is a prime example.

    Like

  72. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    I’m interested in your suggestion that many entrants producing your products would not influence your markets.

    To me that is a perversion of the Economic theories of Supply and Demand.

    You seem to be saying that Chinas market is so very big, our influence is insignificant. I think you are wrong. Here are my reasons.

    Currently we are suffering a down turn in milk returns. There is an over supply of milk products in the market and China is buying less of them. Supply and Demand is having a major effect even when we target Chinas biggest market.

    The demand for China imports of milk products is only 2 million tonnes of milk and the production of milk in NZ is 19 million tonnes of milk.

    That demand input of 2 million tonnes really is small relative to their population and that is considering it is largely filled by basis milk products which will be of low value relatively speaking.

    The point is we make 19 million litres of milk, and even when target Chinas biggest market (and lowest paid), they only want 2 million tonnes.

    Changing ALL of NZ dairy to organics, as is the wish of the Green Party would be an absolute disaster for NZ, in anyones language.

    Like

  73. farmerbraun says:

    Mr E the basis of my contention was that new entrants to the market would fail if they tried to copy my operation. Some have tried and failed.
    I am saying that they would have to convince the supermarkets and the consumers that their particular offering was better.
    The reason that most of my customers are incredibly loyal , and will accept no other brand , even when that brand is “on special”, is that they think my product is consistently delicious.
    That is a result of my investment in research to make a delicious additive -free, organic, grass-fed, free- range, clean , green fresh and traceable dairy product.
    A competitor would have to make a product which exceeds mine on all or most of those attributes.
    It wouldn’t be that easy.
    And they would need a brand which heralds all those attributes in a more alluring fashion.
    Again, not so easy.

    Like

  74. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are incorrigible. While it is good that some contaminants are reducing, because more sites are showing growing levels of nitrates than those that are improving, the overall situation is one of deterioration. Also by just referring to the number of sites as an indication of general water quality is flawed because the volumes of water at each site will differ considerably and LAWA has stated that most of the sites showing improvement were located in urban areas which only involved 1% of the total flows.

    As far as training and qualifications for farming goes, I am well aware of what goes on in many farms, where training and safety are taken seriously. However as you say there are few minimum requirements and I have first hand knowledge of some appalling operations and the ACC statistics (obviously not recording all that happens) demonstrates a huge difference between the best and worst.

    “According to ACC, 13 farmers died in accidents on New Zealand farms last year. There were 18,600 injuries on farms and the most common causes of injuries were poor handling of animals, quad bikes and farm machinery.” (2010)

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/3816977/A-farmer-dies-every-28-days-ACC

    “In 2013, a person was killed every three weeks on a farm and 20,000 people were injured.”

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/233384/'too-many'-dying-or-injured-on-farms

    Note that 4 more people died on a farm in 2013 (compared to 2010) and 1,400 more people were injured.

    Do you think farmers are getting it wrong and are largely unqualified to do what they do?

    Combining what Farmerbraun says about the general lack of knowledge in how to manage a farm sustainably, the large numbers of abused stock and the horrendous safety statistics, I would have to say, yes!

    A high number of farmers are also not good employers and while most keep accurate records regarding the performance of their cows around 50% can’t be bothered keeping accurate employment records despite being constantly reminded:
    http://www.prlaw.co.nz/article/163/Compliance-issues-in-the-dairy-industry/

    Like

  75. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “Mr E, you are incorrigible.”

    Sure, when it comes to the facts. I like to stick to them.

    “While it is good that some contaminants are reducing, because more sites are showing growing levels of nitrates than those that are improving, the overall situation is one of deterioration”

    Comedy statement of the week. You seem to ignore phosphate because it does not suit your agenda and for some bizarre almost extraordinary reason think that 26% rivers increasing N vs 21% declining, represents NZs overall quality. It is a bizarre revelation that I think shows the public the desperate lengths the Greens will go to paint a crisis.

    I am not sure what you are saying regarding flow. When it comes to the overall picture, land use flows seem somewhat irrelevant.

    I will try and paraphrase what you are saying. You think (generally) that farmers are uneducated, animal abusing, staff abusing, polluters.

    All of this when you have spent bugger all time on any farm. Your greatest agricultural claim to fame seems to be a vege plot on the back of your section. To you, it seems walking a mile in someone elses shoes an activity done with your fingers and a laptop.

    I do wonder if you would face up to a group of farmers and say the same? Or whether you save these displays for blogs only?

    Like

  76. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,

    You seem to have painted a reasonably good picture of why value add is not as easy as many might think.

    You must realise though that Demand and Supply could eventually result in such high price variation that those hurdles that you describe as ‘not easy’ will be achievable. It you doubled your price of product new entrants can survive on less for longer, and their ability to afford clever marketing ploys.

    Imagine 5 sales people in the supermarket with product tasting stands, in front of your product. Their sales pitch, ‘Tastier then Farmer Braun’s for half the price’.

    Product loyalty only goes so far. I hope you are not underestimating the potential effects of demand and supply.

    Like

  77. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are manipulating the site data to fit your own flawed narrative. For arguments sake we could say that five sites are on large rivers flowing through pastureland and each shows a deterioration, six sites are on small streams adjacent to urban areas. The pasture sites represent 95% of total water flows and the urban sites represent 5%. You would use the site data to claim that overall quality is improving because 6 sites are better than five even though the amount of water involved is disproportionate. LAWA claimed that the urban sites showed improvement but they only represented 1% of the water tested. The Environment Commissioner would have used LAWAs data to assist her with her assessment of water quality and she also found that there is a worsening trend.

    Rather than personalising the argument regarding the quality of farming practice, Mr E (I note you do this when you lack a good counter argument), how about addressing the data and information that I and Farmerbraun presented.

    According to ACC, farming is the most dangerous occupation, 20,000 injuries and 17 deaths in 2013 are not just the result of a highly dangerous industry, but a poorly managed one.

    The advice from Preston Russell Law showed some exasperation that despite their repeated advice, the farmers they were dealing with were refusing to keep accurate employment records and having a cavalier approach to safety. I thought the last paragraph was a telling one:

    “As we discussed in our seminars, it is not about compliance and what you need to do to avoid penalties. It is about preventing injury and death in the workplace.”

    Farmer braun said:
    “Everyone wants to be sustainable in their farming practice ; most don’t know what it means”

    So yes, farmers are generally uneducated around what sustainable farming means and more than 50% are irresponsible employers (records and safety). You can personally attack me all you wish but all I am doing is reproducing what is already common knowledge.

    Your attempt to diminish organic farmers as competing suppliers at farmers markets is pure ignorance. Fonterra has been forced to recognise the global demand for organic dairy and even if all our farms became organic overnight we couldn’t fill the market. It would be a huge win/win if we pursued organic/sustainable farming with a some energy. It would drastically reduce imports of KPE and phosphate, reduce stock numbers, help clean up our rivers and potentially increase export incomes and stabalise prices. As FB explained, organic farming is hard work but if income increases through tapping into high value markets, then there is room to employ more people to do it.

    Like

  78. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    You have shown your ignorance of what the LAWA data is. It is a model. Many of the data points (sites) are actually not measured rather a calculation of other data points.
    The reason why they do this is to provide weighted results. The overall results are therefore weighted to recognise the proportion of land represented by land use. Consequently the overall result that says 26% of sites deteriorating and 21% improving for nitrate is weighted for land use. And also the data says 40% of sites are improving and 11% are deteriorating for phosphate.

    Regarding your condemnation of farmers, I think it is appropriate to personalise the issue, as it shows the qualification of your statements.

    You are using your own agricultural farming knowledge, Farmer Brauns comment, some Health and Safety claims as justification to claims farmers are dumb, careless, animal abusing, staff abusing people. The truth is your experience and the silliness of your connections shows you really know very very little about what you are talking about.

    I know this because of my many many years on farm, and the many many letters that sit next to my name. I know this because I have been formally trained in in quad bike use. In chain saw use. In tractor use. In chemical use. In animal treatment and feeding. etc etc.

    I have rolled a quad bike 3 times that I recall. And I have fallen off a 2 wheeler more times than I care to remember. I have scars on my hands from a chainsaw incident.

    Some of my incidents have occurred whilst doing things by the book. One incident – quad bike rolling, that could have killed me, I was doing exactly as the quad bike trainer instructed. Exactly.

    To say (as you seem to be doing) there are farmer accidents and animal welfare issues and environmental issue so generally our farmers are thick, careless, polluters, serial animal and staff abusers, is quite obviously wrong. I know this because I have walked in farmers shoes. All the education in the world, will not eliminate these issues.

    Regarding organics, can you please qualify this statement
    “even if all our farms became organic overnight we couldn’t fill the market.”

    It seems this comment suggests this market is not already being attended to. That seems silly to me.

    Like

  79. Mr E, I checked out of this conversation long ago as it was clear that Dave has his poorly informed and entrenched Green Party views and won’t be changing them regardless of how logical you put an argument, regardless of his lack of farming experience or knowledge and regardless of how many different ways you try to explain what is actually happening on the ground. Political people are there to change your views – not to change their own!

    Like

  80. Not to say I don’t appreciate Dave putting his opinions forward of course. It’s good to get a variety of view points.

    Like

  81. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, then how do you explain LAWAs own explanation that urban sites represented only 1% of water volume tested? Please link to your evidence for your claim around how LAWA weights the site data. It does seem unusual to use a land weighting system rather than water volume to determine overall water quality.

    “I think it is appropriate to personalise the issue, as it shows the qualification of your statements.”

    That could be true if you were just arguing against my own personal views, but you aren’t. Are your really telling me that the numbers of deaths and accidents in farming are an acceptable reality of the job? When I attended the launch of the new farm safety initiative in Southland there seemed to be the general acceptance that the industry as a whole wasn’t managing farm safety well. Poor attitudes to farm safety was highlighted by a local law firm I linked to.

    You are little better than me if you think that your own experience as a farmer is enough to make a judgement on the performance of the whole industry. Are you a dairy farmer? You certainly aren’t an organic farmer.

    “so generally our farmers are thick, careless, polluters, serial animal and staff abusers.”

    I would rephrase that as: generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these).

    The emotive use of “stupid”, “careless” and “abuser” are just an hysterical reaction and typical of your debating style when you can’t use convincing evidence to support your argument. I believe most farmers work hard and most are intelligent, but they have also been trapped into supporting a model of farming that has now passed its use by date. This is not just my personal view but because farmers like FB are now leading the industry in terms of economic resilience.

    Rather than attacking me personally you need to convince me by explaining how the water in pastural environments is clean enough to swim in, how farming is managed sustainably to limit the reliance on imported feed, fertilizer and chemicals and how those who work on farms are safe and well paid. You will also need to explain how the current strategy of exporting bulk milk powder, and increasing volumes rather than quality, will create a resilient and sustainable industry.

    Rather than “fill” the market I perhaps could have said “satisfy” the market.
    http://www.fonterra.com/global/en/hub+sites/news+and+media/media+releases/fonterra+expands+its+organic+milk+business+to+meet+growing+consumer+appetite/fonterra+expands+its+organic+milk+business+to+meet+growing+consumer+appetite

    I will be interested in your response, more personal, emotive attacks or logical and factual responses to my evidence?

    Like

  82. Mr E says:

    James,
    You seem to have things well figured.
    I’d say keep watching. This blog can be very entertaining and politically informative.
    Prior to blogging I was relatively apolitical. Interacting here has activated me to a degree.

    I also appreciate Dave’s presence. Largely because he provides me platform to dispel anti farmer myths out there.

    Like

  83. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Of the modelled sites Urban makes up 1%. Of the monitored sites Urban makes up more. The model was created so statements about NZs overall water quality could be made. Not just statements about water quality from monitored sites.
    When LAWA say 40% of river site have improved water quality, it is a weighted (modelled) result.

    Did you realise that the model represents over 700,000 sites but only 1400 are measured.

    LAWA are not interested in water quantity because water quality for all of the measures is on a concentration basis. If water gets to urban sites and water quality declines the water they are putting into the catchment must be worse than the current state. If it improves the water is cleaner.

    You do raise an important point though. LAWA has been criticised because it has not made adjustments for water quantity. If more of less water travels down NZ rivers this is not adjusted for. This flies in the face of National recommendations for NZ water quality monitoring. But to put is simply, for the 600,000 sites they have modelled, they would have to create a modelled quantity adjustment. So the modelled water quality would be adjusted by a modelled water quantity. Obviously that starts creating concerns around validity.

    The LAWA data therefore assumes water quantity in our rivers stays the same. I am reasonably ok with this. Research does exist that has adjusted for water quantity and I am happy to use this if you prefer. But I would warn you, it wont help your argument. But just say it and I will post the link.

    You don’t like the terminology I have used to describe your views. You prefer the following:

    “generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these). ”

    I pray of you – please please please send this link to the Southland times.

    I think this is tantamount to hate speech. I’m beginning to think the Greens and Winston Peters have a lot more in common than I thought.

    But to correct you:

    Last year MPI responded to 698 animal welfare complaints and 28 presecutions were made. 222 of those were lifestylers and nearly 500 lifestylers were visited by MPI and SPCA. Over 4 years only 100 prosecutions have been made. Over 4 years 800 claims were “unsubstantiated”

    How many farms are there nationwide? 25,000 odd? with many more actual farmers. And you think that 25 prosecutions a year means that generally farmers mistreat their animals? Shame on you Dave.

    Same applies to your safety claims. I’m absolutely baffled that you think a law firm who recently employed a health and safety expert (a friend of mine) and is looking for more business is a good source of information. Some weeks ago 3 farm safety experts – one a Govt official, told me there is a lot of scaremongering going around. But don’t let that affect you Dave. According to you farmers are careless and mistreat staff. Shame on you Dave.

    So don’t let the fact get you down Dave. Keep bashing farmers with your ridiculous connections and obvious hate speech.

    And one more question for you though. “how the water in pastural environments is clean enough to swim in”
    Can you provide me evidence to show that pastoral areas are less safe to swim in than other areas?

    Like

  84. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Dave has his poorly informed and entrenched Green Party views and won’t be changing them regardless of how logical you put an argument”
    “I also appreciate Dave’s presence. Largely because he provides me platform to dispel anti farmer myths out there.”

    James and Mr E, I have been quite open about my reasons for commenting here and have actually been disappointed in the debates I end up having. What I say doesn’t necessarily reflect Green Party Policy and I am open to arguments supported by evidence.

    Mr E is being dishonest when he suggests that i am anti-farmer, I am arguing against many common farming practices that are clearly failing both our economy and our environment. I am not using pure ideology or promoting views without substance. The decline in water quality in Southland is clearly connected with the growth of dairying and ACCs statistics are hard to dismiss.

    Farmerbraun has put forward a strong case for changing farming practices and I have talked to enough people within the industry to know what field tiles do in Southland and how the common use of herbicides, fertilizer, pesticides and irrigation is destroying soil structure and quality. FB explained this well.

    I have also linked to our Good Farm Stories site where we use actual farmers to support more sustainable practices.

    Mr E is not arguing against myths, he is attempting to argue against environmental evidence, Fonterra’s own pronouncements, ACC statistics, industry lawyers and organic farmers like FB (who actually works within the industry).

    Mr E’s main counter argument so far is that because he is a farmer his opinion trumps mine. I am not trying to change views (this is highly unlikely judging by the entrenched disdain for the Green Party) but I am wanting logical and well argued challenges (supported with evidence) to what I am saying and this isn’t happening. Putdowns and personal abuse just confirm the weakness of your position.

    Mr E, your attempt rally the support of James and to frame yourself as an honest and noble farmer who is fighting the good fight against anti-farming urban greenies is the biggest myth here. Your arguments aren’t honest and you clearly don’t represent all farmers. You are also arguing against someone who lived and worked in farming communities for many years (I was even a the vice president and newsletter editor of a Young Farmers Club at one time) and who has many contacts and friends within the farming industry. I even remember, very early on in our initial discussions, that you praised me for being well informed and arguing logically. I wonder what caused the change of heart 😉

    Like

  85. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, my above comment was published before I saw your last response.

    I would be interested in links to support your water modeling claims. It does appear that it is best to refer to the Commissioner of the Environment who must have taken all of this into account in her assessment.

    Oh dear, oh dear I am now being accused of hate speech. What emotive nonsense.

    The treatment of stock goes wider than just complaints and prosecutions. I would suggest that continuing to use HT swedes after recent revelations would support animal cruelty and when I talk to experienced dairy farmers I hear their concern regarding the level of animal husbandry and cruelty that occurs on other farms. I would be interested to hear from Farmerbraun whether grazing cows on most pastures in an intensive way has a negative impact on cow health. This may be a value judgement but I believe it is a valid one.

    Remember I also lumped the treatment of stock and employees together and I provided evidence to show that the is a strong possibility that over 50% of farmers do not treat their employees fairly in terms of record keeping and pay.

    “Some weeks ago 3 farm safety experts – one a Govt official, told me there is a lot of scaremongering going around.”

    You must be referring to the ACC data I produced, yes it was pretty scary when you think that your own accidents probably didn’t register on it. However to call this scaremongering is a desperate stretch it doesn’t need any further elaboration to be scary 😉

    “Can you provide me evidence to show that pastoral areas are less safe to swim in than other areas?”
    What on earth will this prove, other than pointing the finger at others also polluting our rivers?

    “Keep bashing farmers with your ridiculous connections and obvious hate speech.”

    Good grief, Mr E you really are desperate and very predictable 😉

    Like

  86. Mr E says:

    Farmer Dave (ed NZYFC newsletter),

    How wrong was I to judge your lack of farming credentials. You were the editor of the Young Farmers Club Newsletter.!!!! No doubt an extremely important credential for any aspiring farmer. Perhaps it should be part of these qualifications that you are calling for. It is fair to say I am now on my knees, bowing, and droning “we’re not worthy”

    Also I am not trying to frame myself as an honest and noble farmer. I am not a farmer. And I have never claimed to be honest and noble, so assume that is your real view of me – thanks!

    Regarding your claims of dishonesty – you’ve not backed those up – so I call that bull poppy.

    I also noticed you have the violin out claims some sort of personal attack. That is also wrong. If you think me suggesting your strongest agriculture qualification being your vege patch is a personal attack, I don’t think so. What is wrong with having a vege patch. I think you should pop that in you CV, along with editor for a newsletter next time you are applying for a farming career.
    There’s nothing wrong with being a vege patch owner, or newsletter writer. If there was I am sure you would not mention such things.

    Heck I have a vege patch, and a newsletter. (these things have just been added to my CV)

    Regarding my own farming credentials. I actually have farmed organically. To the Biogro certification standard. I have done dairy, sheep, deer, beef, apples, and others. I have farmed many environments in many regions. And I learn(t) bucket loads every day.

    Like

  87. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    Regarding the water modelling questions. Download the data. Have a look for yourself.

    If you are looking for an article where water quantity was adjusted for, Scott Larned etal 2004. It is the last time the full NRWQT was reviewed and publish in a Journal (that I am aware of)

    With regard to you ongoing claims that generally farmers abuse their animals, that is obscene, and I suspect offensive to most.
    Recently DairyNZ came out and claimed there was no problem with HT swedes provided they were not fed late. DairyNZ are independent from the seed manufacture. Your claims indicate you don’t understand science or don’t pay attention.

    I noted you are trying to back out the veracity of your animal abuse claims. You said “many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff”. There was not “or” in there. It was an “and”.

    Ill give you the opportunity to correct yourself though. – fire away.

    “You must be referring to the ACC data I produced”

    You didn’t get an A for comprehension did you?

    “What on earth will this prove, other than pointing the finger at others also polluting our rivers?”

    I see NO reference in water quality data to pastoral areas when it comes to swim-ability. So I call it bull poppy. Prove me wrong, I bet you can’t.

    Actually I know you can’t because I know the data. I have analysed and critiqued it an found errors that I have reported to MFE, after they published it. They admitted to the faults.

    On this blog your wear you anti farming sentiment like a banner. It is obvious to me and I am sure to anyone else reading that you seek the tiniest shred of evidence to target farmers with. You take this evidence add 1+1 get 8 and multiply it by 25000 and then start hating on farmers. I think it is pathetic behaviour and unbecoming or a politician.

    Particularly a Green one. Or should I not mention the Green party? You seem to be distancing yourself from them. Worried about anything you might have said?

    Like

  88. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I am now getting the full works, sarcasm, misrepresentation, and hysterical charges. Bullying tactics again 😉

    There was an attempt to make me appear as if I only had an urban perspective of farming, my background has clearly got a rural base. While you sarcastically mock my involvement you were clearly wanting me to put you on a pedestal for your:
    “many many years on farm, and the many many letters that sit next to my name. I know this because I have been formally trained in in quad bike use. In chain saw use. In tractor use. In chemical use. In animal treatment and feeding. etc etc.”

    “Regarding my own farming credentials. I actually have farmed organically. To the Biogro certification standard. I have done dairy, sheep, deer, beef, apples, and others. I have farmed many environments in many regions. And I learn(t) bucket loads every day.”

    I wonder how many dairy farmers and workers have your work history and qualifications? Interestingly when I read your exchanges with Farmerbraun, your Biogro experience wasn’t obvious. Since there is no way of verifying all your amazing credentials and self praise, your claims cannot be verified. Your anonymity could be hiding all manner of dark secrets that may negate anything you say. We only have your word and your dishonest argument style could indicate dishonest elsewhere.

    You have lost the water argument because even if you can actually prove widespread improvement in quality, all the current expert commentary explains how our lowland rivers are not in a healthy state and increased dairying is the major factor.

    There is no scaremongering around farm safety, the industry has a shocking record and is in denial. The frustrations experienced by Preston Russell just confirm this. I wonder how they feel about your attempt to minimalise their sincerity?

    The treatment of dairy workers is an ongoing issue and for farmers to plead ignorance for not understanding basic employer obligations when they have sophisticated systems to track the performance of individual cows is appalling.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/67577313/Wages-breaches-found-in-dairy-farm-investigations

    As for what is deemed acceptable in terms of animal welfare may be a value judgment, but there does appear to be a high level of cruelty and abuse within the system.
    http://www.nzdairy.org/thelifeofadairycow.htm

    Although I do note some extreme practices have recently been cut back.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/252356/inducing-cows-for-early-milking-to-stop

    Over to you again, Mr E. I wonder if you will provide actual evidence of your own credentials so that i can use your actual record to assess your ability to comment as you have done with mine 😉

    Like

  89. Too right Mr E, I can’t tear my eyes away! Dave, I do side with Mr E because his evidence is more robust than Green party links, lawyer websites (which can only represent a tiny amount of farmers) and cherry picked newspaper articles that single out the worst of a good industry. I presume you are university educated Dave, in which case you must admit most of your references are not robust.

    More to the point you often go off topic and that was why I stopped arguing the point about the Greens taking farmers cows away – I had clearly gained as much information from you as you were able to provide on the topic.

    Here’s the crux of the problem as I see it:
    “Mr E is being dishonest when he suggests that i am anti-farmer, I am arguing against many common farming practices…”
    That just doesn’t make sense and you must see that, but I can understand that you have to toe the party line. The guts of it is that it’s the farmer’s job to choose farming practices to his own benefit or detriment whether it’s my conventional farming or Farmerbraun’s organic farming. It’s not for the Green party to dictate, transition or whatever. Especially given the lack of understanding and excessive politicising of the issues by prospective law makers.

    Like

  90. Dave Kennedy says:

    James, you have obviously ignored all I have said before about how change should be a collaborative process and how much I dislike the dictatorial manner of this current Government.

    I also note that while my links are criticised Mr E and yourself provide few in return.

    I think you will find that poor strategic thinking by the Government and Fonterra will probably remove more cows than the Greens have suggested and drive more farmers to suicide. I wonder how many cows Farmerbraun will have to remove to adjust to a drop in dairy prices 😉

    “The guts of it is that it’s the farmer’s job to choose farming practices to his own benefit or detriment whether it’s my conventional farming or Farmerbraun’s organic farming.”

    I would suggest that farmers often have little choice in reality. Many have to buy Fonterra shares and comply to their demands and banks apply pressure to expand herds and production. They must also comply to environmental demands provide an ‘acceptable’ management plan to have a conversion approved. What obligation should there be for a farmer to be a responsible steward of the land and a responsible employer?

    How about joining the discussion properly and defend your ‘conventional’ farming.

    Like

  91. Mr E says:

    Funny Dave the Farmer,

    You say:
    “generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these). ”

    Then you say I am using bully tactics. Why? Because you lack a sense of humour?

    “my background has clearly got a rural base. ”

    Yes I get that Dave. I am impressed by your editor and vege garden credentials. Heck why arent you a farmer? Someone with your knowledge and education should be a farmer.

    “I wonder how many dairy farmers and workers have your work history and qualifications?”

    Why does that matter? I tend not to measure myself against others. If I was to, I would say I am equal to some and below others. I would guess about average in knowledge. The level of knowledge that I see in farmers humbles me on a regular basis. The title list of the average farmer has me in but admiration:
    Soil expert
    Insect expert
    Water hydrolgist
    Forage agronomist
    Animal welfare expert
    vet technician
    Weather researcher
    Cash flow manager
    Business manager
    staff trainer and manager
    HR coordinator
    Mechanic
    Environmentalist
    etc etc etc etc………

    “There is no scaremongering around farm safety, the industry has a shocking record and is in denial”

    Ummmm Scaremongering…..

    You claim many, possibly 50% +, of farmers mistreat their staff. Your evidence for this – a survey of 29 farmers. And the survey claimed most of the problems were in record keeping. For you poor record keeping = abuse of staff. That is a stupid connection Dave. Stupid.

    That is like me saying the Green party is full of idiots because of the support Steffan Browning though behind homeopathy. I would say that. Steffans behaviour is not a reason why I would conclude the Greens are a party full of idiots.

    Regarding the law firm in question. I suspect they would agree with the facts I have presented. Because they are facts. Law firms tend to do that.

    Now lets move on to the very serious matter where you have accused most farmers of animal abuse. Lets have a look at you evidence. Oh no, it is a vegan website, that contains a heap of sill rhetoric. That is your evidence…. Next you will be spouting staff abuse because of the lack of Homeopathy 😉

    Dave, we have codes of welfare that use science to make sure animals are cared for. It is an extremely thorough process which uses Science and the best train animal health experts to guide the industry.

    https://www.mpi.govt.nz/protection-and-response/animal-welfare/codes-of-welfare/

    Instead you prefer a vegan website to provide your animal welfare expertise, and because of it you have claimed the average farmer is an animal abuser.

    I think you are really letting your party down Dave. You seem to be painting yourself as an extremist. I think this could be the very reason why you have not managed to get any more votes in the region. You seem to hold so many people in contempt using extremist unscientific standards.

    I am in 2 minds about you doing it. I feel sorry for the farmers you seem to be bullying, particularly when so many are suffering in inclement weather and tough financial conditions. But on the other hand you really are helping me to strongly form my political views. 3 years ago I could well have considered the Green party and you for my vote. I now could not be further from consider you. Actually I have had the thought that before. I suspect you will try and drive me further away with more of your acidic, bullying, offensive, unscientific claims.

    Regarding my back ground, I am sure you will believe what you want. I know what is true.

    I am quite happy to answer any organic type questions that FB might have to prove it. Surely with your extensive agricultural background, your editorial experience and vege gardening you could judge my knowledge for yourself.

    Like

  92. Mr E says:

    Opps. Slip of the tongue.

    *I wouldn’t say that*

    Like

  93. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, oh dear, you are really using all your personal attack arsenal now 😉

    Let us deal with the treatment of workers first. There are so many reports of poor record keeping, under paying and abuse of workers to be able to dismiss the issue as you have. The 29 farmers surveyed was a random selection and I would imagine a larger one would expose even more. It isn’t just about record keeping, pay rates are amongst the lowest of any job and bullying and physical abuse is common:

    Click to access MigrantWorkers_YW_0619.pdf

    There is no getting away from the fact that the accident and death rate on farms is unacceptable and no matter what you say the majority of them could have been avoided if there wasn’t such a relaxed attitude to safety. At the launch of the Farm Safe programme Russell McPherson gave a good speech about how this is a real issue and needed to be taken seriously. I believed him.

    I wish you would actually read what I said about animal welfare before going off on a abusive tangent. I explained how animal welfare can be a value judgement and many commonly accepted practices on farms are seen as cruel to many. The public backlash about pig farming has caused the industry to change their practices and I believe the same would have to happen if all that occurs on a conventional dairy farm was commonly known. I thought you may have read the accusations and addressed the practices questioned, but you chose to attack the source instead. The common practice of inducing abortions has recently stopped but many other practices continue.

    The industry may indeed have codes of practice and useful guidelines but that doesn’t mean that they are being followed. Dairy farmers don’t like scrutiny and prefer to be self-regulating and yet when their claims of how they were addressing the protection of waterways under the Clean streams accord (in one region) were actually tested most had lied about what they had done.

    I noticed in the paper today that dairy farmers are complaining about the new water management rules and having scrutiny applied to the use of tile drains. They weren’t defending the system and claiming that there are no environmental consequences, they were concerned that their farms may no longer be economic once it is known what is happening.

    “I feel sorry for the farmers you seem to be bullying, particularly when so many are suffering in inclement weather and tough financial conditions.”

    Good grief, I could even hear the violin playing in the background.

    Your dishonesty is so clearly apparent when you claim that you once considered voting for me, what manipulating clap trap.

    Rather than your emotional outbursts of personal abuse and attempting to label me as an extremist and bully, how about some deep breaths and then tapping out some more rational and considered responses.

    Like

  94. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I’ve made no personal attack. Repeating it doesn’t make it true. And as seems to be your style you flinging accusations without qualification, and at times poor qualification.

    Regarding workers – you think a survey of 29 farmers is representative of the industry and a larger survey would expose a greater issue. Why does it not surprise me that you use scant detail to throw stones and presume the worst. I think attitudes like that are anti farming.

    “At the launch of the Farm Safe programme Russell McPherson gave a good speech about how this is a real issue and needed to be taken seriously.”

    Good on Russell, sounds like he didnt do what you did and accuse them of not taking it seriously.

    “I wish you would actually read what I said about animal welfare”

    I did.

    “before going off on a abusive tangent”

    There was no abuse. Prove me wrong.

    ” I explained how animal welfare can be a value judgement and many commonly accepted practices on farms are seen as cruel to many.”

    Ummm no you didn’t. You provided a link to a vegan site. I would say that relatively speaking, they are a few.

    But who’s view do you prefer? A vegan who wants no one eating meat or the process of Vets and animal health experts using science to determine what is right and wrong?

    You seem to side with the views of the Vegan and have accused the average farmer of animal abuse. These are amazing revelations given that vastness of your Agricultural qualifications.

    I’ve noted to date that we have been talking about farmers in general and you have suddenly changed tact. You are now targeting dairy farmers.

    You say Dairy farmers dont like scrutiny regarding the Clean streams accord. That is stupid. Dairy farmers were part of the establishment of the clean streams accord. Then you accuse most farmers in a region of lying. We have tackled this issue before and your accusations are your own not shared by others. The truth is the presence of a waterway can vary greatly on any day and the different judgements can vary greatly due to weather. You claim lies but that shows ignorance. Point to one other person that has said farmers lied. Again you seek to bully farmers using scant poor detail and poor understandings.

    Then you move to this weird accustation of dairy farmers.

    “I noticed in the paper today that dairy farmers are complaining about the new water management rules and having scrutiny applied to the use of tile drains.”

    That is a gross misrepresentation. Only one farmer complained about drains – Dairy farmer Russell MacPherson. The expert you like to believe from earlier.

    He was not complaining about scrutiny of his drains. He was complaining that this new rule could:

    ” get rid of the tiles altogether.”

    “If we did try to run the stock units without drainage the water quality would be far worse.”

    “Environment Southland councillor Nicol Horrell said tile drains had been a contentious issue at many of the public meetings and the approach would have to go through a substantial change for the plan.”

    And the meeting was made up of all sorts of farmers and is obvious from its title. Funnily enough I know this to be true.

    None of them were complaining about scrutiny as you suggest. You are again you misrepresenting articles and people grossly.

    “Your dishonesty is so clearly apparent when you claim that you once considered voting for me, what manipulating clap trap.”

    Your arrogance and accusations seem to be out of control. Of course I considered you. I read your name on the form, have read your profile, all in an action to consider your mendicancy. As I do for all candidates. Doesn’t matter who they are. Now days I would only read it out of sheer entertainment. I think your careless attack farmers in some anti farming tirade and that currently rules you out for me.

    I do believe in peoples ability to change though. But boy do you have a long road to be winning back my vote.

    Long
    Long
    Road

    Good Luck.

    Like

  95. Dave, I see no need to post links because I am not attempting to change your mind. You are trying to change mine and I am just testing your assertions the same way I do for any any political interference from any party. I am still at the conclusion that the text of the policy we were talking about does talk about collaboration etc, but also makes it clear that those who don’t adhere to the Green’s uninformed low input farming model will be forced to adhere at some point after their phasing in period. However, I do understand that you have to push a green barrow, hence the various tactics I see in play between you and Mr E. You probably aren’t responsible for the actual policy anyway so I don’t hold it against you personally, but the Green Party still seems nuts to me. This policy is a major black mark against James Shaw’s early leadership.

    Like

  96. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I am not likely to ever win your vote and I will never take you seriously either while you talk yourself up as god’s gift to farming but keep your true identity hidden. How do you expect people to accept your word on anything, especially when most that you present is just your opinion.

    It is your analysis of the the LAWA data that you want me to accept when it doesn’t fit with any official commentary and rather than deal with he specifics of what I link to you would rather take an emotive and personal line instead.

    Your are an enthusiastic apologist for things that are clearly beyond explanation. With regards to the clean streams accord the difference between the claimed level of stock exclusion from waterways to the reality cannot be explained by the weather (an utterly rediculous defense). Rather than a 69% exclusion rate MAF found that the reality was only 17%. “The discrepancy calls into question the credibility of the accord figures”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/6209132/Self-policing-of-waterways-woeful

    Many dairy farmers have a history of bullying tactics to avoid scrutiny and the field tile issue is just another example of many, do you really expect me to believe that it is only Russell who is concerned about them?
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2012/04/dairy-farmers-and-bullying-tactics.html

    Anyone reading our exchanges will quickly be aware that I am careful to support what ever I say with evidence and many of my links are directly from industry sources and expert commentators. I do have difficulty discussing issues with a someone who hides behind a nom de plume and stands on a fabricated pedestal (for all I know) to cast judgment on my motives and character and expect me to regard your many opinions as fact.

    Farming is an important industry but farmers are not so special that they deserve kid glove treatment. Fishermen work hard and have multiple skills, so do doctors, plumbers, teachers, police, rest home workers, builders… but none have the same impact on our environment or economy.

    Farming does need close scrutiny but it also needs a greater investment in support and training as farmers themselves have recognised:

    “The program was the brain child of Southland Federated Farmers president Russell MacPherson who said employers struggled to get the right people to work in the agriculture and agriculture service industries.

    “The youth futures programme would enable youngsters to be matched up with suitable employers so they could learn the ropes and become passionate about the industry, he said.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/66329308/Southland-seeks-12-000-new-workers

    I have noticed that my comments have been less generous to farmers than I was in the past and this is partly because of you, Mr E. You are so extraordinarily defensive of farming and so reluctant to accept any criticism, that you are having the opposite effect that you probably intend. I don’t roll over for bullies and the sort of emotional manipulation you always revert to just hardens my resolve.

    Like

  97. tom hunter says:

    … and banks apply pressure to expand herds and production.

    You simply have no idea what you are talking about. Every farmer I know who deals with banks knows that they have at least as good an understanding of the economics as they do – sometimes better – so that simple increases in production are not encouraged by the banks. The cost/benefit is the key and that figure has not worked for a long time. In the case of one bank I deal with, they recently lost two clients because they did not think their expansion plans worked financially. If anything it’s the banks often holding farmers back.

    You claim many, possibly 50% +, of farmers mistreat their staff. Your evidence for this – a survey of 29 farmers. And the survey claimed most of the problems were in record keeping. For you poor record keeping = abuse of staff. That is a stupid connection Dave. Stupid.

    I do hope DK never taught children statistics, especially when it came to sample sizes and extrapolation, not to mention definitional games.

    …. change should be a collaborative process and how much I dislike the dictatorial manner of this current Government.

    The Greens are so “collaborative” that many of NZ’s most well known communists – an ideology that has always worshipped collaboration – flocked to them over the last twenty years. The only reason they’re slowly disappearing now is old age.

    “Mr E is being dishonest when he suggests that i am anti-farmer, I am arguing against many common farming practices…

    The degree of lip smacking satisfaction that accompanies many of the “farmers-will-change-or-else” comments on these farming practices suggest otherwise.

    I can easily seem myself being forced to sell my relatively small unit to the big boys across the road when the Greens decide that the $100K I’ve spent on effluent treatment is still not good enough and up the demands again. I’m quite sure that DK will be playing no violins then, more that we will leave the land to the sound of gleeful, envious cackles and shouts of Your rich! What are you complaining about?”

    You and your party really are very nasty pieces of work. I hope your vote total goes down in the next election, and to that end I hope that someone in Southland will gather up your words on this and other threads and disseminate them as widely as possible in rural communities.

    Like

  98. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom, I have a cousin who works as a banker in the farming sector and agree that many have a good knowledge of the industry and provide good support, but this isn’t always the case and hasn’t been always so in the past. Let’s hope our banks don’t become as aggressive as those in Australia (often the same banks) when there is a financial down turn:
    https://www.interest.co.nz/rural-news/77422/farmers-bankers-who-farmers-survey-shows-banks-have-stepped-plate-during-dairy

    I agree that my statistics around employment practice could not be called reliable but it is supported by the many other articles, concerns from the farmworkers union and general acceptance that there is an issue. You are welcome to criticise my statistics but I note that you don’t put up anything to show the opposite. The issue is actually accepted by Federated Farmers and this is a quote from last year:
    “Waikato Federated Farmers president Chris Lewis said things would have to change. Lewis, along with the federation’s dairy executive chairman Andrew Hoggard and a member of their policy team hoped to have made progress on setting guidelines for farmers by the end of this month.”
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/agribusiness/10427102/Farm-workers-wage-model-unsustainable

    It is also interesting that the farmworkers union gave a substantial donation to the Green Party in the last election, probably because of the support we have given in the past.

    You obviously think on similar lines to Mr E by somehow relating “collaboration” to communism. That kind of emotional misrepresentation is a sure sign of desperate tactics when referring back to that hoary old chestnut. You lose all credibility once you stoop to that level of debate 😉

    “I can easily see myself being forced to sell my relatively small unit to the big boys across the road when the Greens decide that the $100K I’ve spent on effluent treatment is still not good enough and up the demands again.”
    You are either scaremongering or you really are afraid of the Greens (possibly even more than Fish and Game). If you have spent $100K on effluent treatment it should be an effective system and I can’t see why you would be forced off you farm if your environmental management is sound. Rather than condemning those making a genuine effort we would be the first to celebrate it if it was an improvement on what was happening before, our Good Farm Stories supports this approach and I do the same:
    http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2011/07/dairy-story-with-happy-ending.html

    Reading your extraordinary list of accusations it appears that every attack on the industry is being attributed to myself and my party:
    “You and your party really are very nasty pieces of work. I hope your vote total goes down in the next election.”

    Interestingly my speeches to Federated Farmers at the last two elections regarding our policies to support the farming sector were generally well received.

    Like

  99. tom hunter says:

    You lose all credibility once you stoop to that level of debate

    Pffft. As much as the Greens lose credibility when they accuse others of being racists and such like? Funny how you lot never seem to think that’s losing credibility.

    Hardly a surprise though when I don’t see any indication that you understand how much credibility the Greens lost for years by having the likes of Loch, Bradford and Norman on board. Given what you think “collaboration” amounts to and that more regulation means more choice, no wonder you see nothing wrong with their beliefs. I happen to know a couple of Greens who were very suspicious of them, but the majority of Greens thought they were great – the sort of people who think the Cuban healthcare system is great too. Right DK?

    The effluent system I have is “effective” – but so was the modern system I implemented in 2000 for $50K. I was very proud of it but by 2010 I was being pressured by Fonterra – who in turn were under attack by the likes of you with “Dirty Dairying” as the catchcall – that it was not good enough. God knows what will be required if you get into power.

    Finally there’s this as yet another example of your emotive dishonesty:

    Many dairy farmers have a history of bullying tactics …

    So I link to your site, thence to the MSM report, only to find that the claim is based on a bunch of farmers who booed their Federated Farmers chairman and then walked out of the meeting.

    Ooooooooo – how scary. Really meets the definition of bullying in the adult world.

    If that’s your standard for “bullying”, then the various Green-led protests over the years that have involved disrupting meetings and yelling over the top of opponents trying to speak, would qualify as bullying++. But of course they would not be classified as such because you have one set of standards for yourself and one for your opponents.

    Typical victimology ploy, and then you have the gall to complain when the tactic is used against you, with the “violin” comeback to Mr E.

    And given those differing standards you’re probably misinterpreting the responses you get at Federated Farmers meetings: they typically treat their opponents with a measure of decency beyond a Green audience – at least when they’re not being directly screwed over or told they’re uncaring sods.

    Like

  100. tom hunter says:

    Oh – and I’ll repeat this simple question again from the start of this thread, based on your comment from another thread that

    we would have greater freedom of choice under a Green Governance. We would be changing from an autocratic style to one where participatory democracy and fairness would dominate instead.

    If the above is true, what laws, rules and regulations – outside of sex and drugs – the Greens would be willing to scrap, and which they would refuse to implement?

    I’ll give you a hint, there’s a quick hit of freedom for one type of dairying. Let’s see if you can figure it out.

    Like

  101. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom, you have unintentionally revealed the true nature of your opposition to the Greens, It seems that every bit of environmental pressure must be tracked back to our Party. The fact that Fish and Game coined the Dirty Dairying name, that scientists like Mike Joy exposed the damage being done to our waterways, the Environment Commissioners findings and the work of regional councils are all contributing to these pressures appears to be ignored. Your own industry (Dairy NZ and Fonterra) has accepted the need to take greater environmental action and I’m sure it was through wider pressure and science than just the Greens influence. Lawyers, accountants, the CTU and groups supporting migrant workers have all exposed issues around farmers employment practices.

    While some farmers obviously do operate in environmentally responsible ways and treat their workers there are still too many who don’t. That is why high trust models like the Clean Streams Accord have failed and tougher management has been necessary. If representatives from Dairy NZ and Fonterra have openly told me that they would be glad to see around 10% of operations gone because of poor practice, I would imagine the reality is probably much greater.

    I do think the level of regulation and rules needs to reflect the need for them and although I would rather rely on good will and “cooperation” it seems that may be a difficult proposition.

    Like

  102. tom hunter says:

    So not a single law, rules or regulation to eliminate then? Just more of them.

    Figures. Typical statist.

    Of course if I’d asked the same question of the average Labour or National politician I would have received the same answer – or perhaps a chirp of that focus-group tested standby, “I’m for deregulation” (like “cooperative” or “collaborative”).

    As far as Fonterra is concerned you do realise that we’re talking about the same bunch of management clowns who we both agree have not managed the strategy of the company particularly well. You think they’re smarter when it comes to environmental regulations or treatment of farmers?

    When I was told that my effluent system would have to be upgraded I had a discussion with them about the reasons why and definitions around the rules. They had none – except to refer back to Environment Waikato, who in turn had nothing beyond the decision of whatever bureaucrat visited the farm. For example, “ponding”: no definition, as the Fonterra rep said to me, “it could just mean that shit splashes onto their boots while walking the paddock”. It was a roll-your-eyes-just-comply attitude. This was $100K poured down a drain.

    That’s actually fairly typical for big corporates. About a decade ago I read a review of a book by a guy who’d started as a young lawyer working for General Motors in the early 70’s. This was in the wake of Nader’s Unsafe At Any Speed, and GM was constantly being sued by people claiming their accidents and injuries arose from poor safety in GM cars. These were all settled out of court and the corporate lawyers eventually went to senior management and explained that most of these claims were bogus and should be fought in court: they figured they could win most of them. The big wigs said no; it was more cost-effective to settle out of court rather than risk bad publicity. That was their attitude across the board and it did not work anyway: people assumed they were guilty because they always gave in. It took two decades for that stupidity in multiple areas to bankrupt them.

    That’s Fonterra today – and of course it’s much easier to arm twist 14 people in the boardroom than 12,000 dairy farmers.

    And I’m sure that anybody reading your comments here will realise what you’ve “unintentionally” revealed about yourself and the Greens – that you don’t trust people and that you love endlessly increasing the power of the state to “manage” them. Syriza with chlorophyll.

    Like

  103. Dave, Tom Hunter and Mr E are running circles around you mate. Kudos for recognising the weaknesses of your argument though. Not sure what the unions have to do with it. You have a tendancy to divert the debate. One other political tactic I always think is amusing is how greenies often say they were well received at Fed Farmers meetings. You say that. Mike Joy says that and even got a bottle of wine. It’s almost like you are surprised that farmers are mostly a civil bunch who are tolerant of others views!

    Speaking of Mike Joy – he is more activist than scientist. The last time I read his propoganda was his attempt to put a cost on the dairy industry which fell down once Fed Farmers exposed that his data was over a decade old and current data was freely available! That was the last time I bothered with him and I see the media is once bitten twice shy too!

    Anyway, amongst all the text above you can find the problem in your own words: “If you have spent $100K on effluent treatment it should be an effective system and I can’t see why you would be forced off you farm…”
    Except that you will take 75 cows off Tom if you were in power which for all you know will have the same effect.

    Like

  104. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom, I really feel sorry for you 😉 You are clearly under attack from almost every institution and organisation, and not one of them understands that you know best. Environment Waikato are a bunch of mindless bureaucrats, the Fonterra board bows to any outside pressure (despite being a cooperative for farmers) and the Greens are just nasty statists out to regulate you out of business. Even Farmerbraun believes that honest conventional farmers like yourself aren’t doing the right thing. It does seem grossly unfair that you had to spend $100,000 because shit splashed on the boots of the bureaucrat.

    I wonder if Farmerbraun suffers from the same amount of mindless persecution?

    Perhaps it’s just because “conventional” dairy farming just doesn’t cut it any more…

    You obviously won’t listen to any advice a quarter acre vege gardener and ex Young Farmers member from the 80’s can give you but you may listen to these guys:

    https://home.greens.org.nz/goodfarmstories

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/68887792/Organic-milk-provides-a-feel-good-factor

    http://m.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11500185

    Like

  105. Dave Kennedy says:

    James, I’m not naive, I do generally get a polite hearing from the local Feds, most are nice guys (despite our political differences) and I enjoy talking to them. However I also know that if they disagree with what I say they’ll tell me. They supported our simplified small business tax regime, tax cuts, increased funding for R&D, support for Invermay, carbon credits for riparian planting and the $100 million fund to support the planting…

    Also read the above 😉

    Like

  106. tom hunter says:

    Tom, I really feel sorry for you 😉

    Sarcasm with a smiley face. Excellent.

    Well, I look forward to the continuation of your political failure and powerlessness. What you’ve written here alone should enable that.

    mindless persecution?

    More like your taunt – mindless bureaucracy. They actually can’t even be bothered to prove they’re smarter and more knowledgeable than me, I’m expected to just take their word for it and do what they say.

    Think of it as a larger version of the classrooms you used to teach.

    Read Kafka: he wrote of people like you.

    Like

  107. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Well, I look forward to the continuation of your political failure and powerlessness. What you’ve written here alone should enable that.”

    Tom, I don’t believe what I’ve written here will effect my vote, few commenting here will vote for me no matter what I do or say.

    I also know that Federated Farmers (the farmers union) do not represent all farmers and the Green Party have a growing farmer membership. We also had more candidates with direct farming and business experience than National in our top 20 (the dominant career for them is law). If we did get into government our business support for SME’s would be much stronger than what National is providing and our investment in R&D would be much greater.

    The real issue for farmers like yourself if we got into power is our support for organics and our environmental concerns. I was present at one of John Key’s presentations to Southland’s Feds and he enthusiastically told those present how the Greens would aggressively attack farmers and run them out of business if we got into Government. I think he was a little surprised to discover a number of Green candidates in the room and Green voting farmers, one of those farmers stood up and challenged his comments.

    If the Greens had got into government the farming sector would be in a much stronger position than it is now.

    I note that you only installed your effluent treatment system because you were forced to do so and had no idea why it was necessary. I would have thought that any environmentally aware farmer would have already understood the impact of their operations and would have been one step ahead of the authorities in managing it. You obviously think that what you had to do was an unnecessary waste of money.

    It seems that for “conventional” farmers the Invercargill law firm is correct, too many just look at what is needed to be compliant and how to avoid penalties rather than just getting on and doing what is right. I would hazard a guess that the farmers I linked to earlier have few issues around compliance to environmental rules and all are financially viable. 😉

    Like

  108. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “Mr E, I am not likely to ever win your vote”
    “few commenting here will vote for me no matter what I do or say.”

    Really sounds like you are defeated because you doubt people will ever believe in your views, no matter what you say. It actually sounds like you doubt the validity of your own claims. Either that or you simply hold the masses in contempt. I think both are attitudes that must be challenging when trying to find your place in the political landscape.

    “and I will never take you seriously either while you talk yourself up as god’s gift to farming but keep your true identity hidden. How do you expect people to accept your word on anything, especially when most that you present is just your opinion.”

    You want to know my identity. I give you as much as you need to know, and you claim I am talking myself up as gods gift to farming. This after I told you I am about equal in knowledge to many and below some. You think I am talking myself up? You hate that you don’t know my identity – I give you some and you get nasty.
    That is ridiculous Dave.

    Given your extensive knowledge of Agriculture, you should have figured out who I am by now. That you haven’t makes me wonder how far your Bachelor of Vege Garden Science and diploma of YFC newsletter editing has got you. 🙂

    “Your are an enthusiastic apologist for things that are clearly beyond explanation.”

    Apologist – Gods gift. Goodness Dave you really have lost your rag. I think that is school yard name calling and bullying from an Ex teacher. Shame on you Dave.

    “The discrepancy calls into question the credibility of the accord figures”

    Please explain how you have turned this statement into ‘farmers have lied’. Figures lacking credibility does not necessarily mean dishonest. Only you seem to have drawn that conclusion and I think behaviours are anti farming.

    “Many dairy farmers have a history of bullying tactics to avoid scrutiny and the field tile issue is just another example of many”

    Dave, again – you seem to have missed the point. Russell was not avoiding scrutiny of field tiles. He was complaining that this new rule could:

    ” get rid of the tiles altogether.”

    “If we did try to run the stock units without drainage the water quality would be far worse.”

    Non of that has anything to do with scrutiny. The Council wants wetlands at the end of new tile drains. Russell is saying that wont work.

    Again your are taking 1+1 and coming up with 8. And 8 suits your agenda, your argument. It seems so often you make the wrong connections when you are forming your views. It seems to be a comprehension issue when it is at such a basic level.

    “Anyone reading our exchanges will quickly be aware that I am careful to support what ever I say with evidence and many of my links are directly from industry sources and expert commentators.”

    The problems is Dave, so many don’t constitute evidence of your views and conclusions. Some at best poor evidence of your claims. You seem to connect dots that may not exist, and go on the attack. The ‘farmers lied’ claim is case and point. I think some those connections are just nasty.

    “I do have difficulty discussing issues with a someone who hides behind a nom de plume”

    Perhaps Dave, blogging is just not the right forum for you. A majority of commenters have a nom de plume. And if you feel ‘difficult’ interacting perhaps you shouldn’t?
    My name says plenty about me. I doubt Dave is your given name. Mr E is not my given name – but it is the name I choose to go by here.

    “I have noticed that my comments have been less generous to farmers than I was in the past and this is partly because of you, Mr E.”

    Ha ha haaaaaa – It is my fault! You have claimed that most farmers a polluters, animal abusers, staff abusers and it is my fault?

    Hahaha!!!!!
    What
    A
    Joke!!!!!

    Man up and take responsibility for your words and actions Dave.

    “You obviously think on similar lines to Mr E by somehow relating “collaboration” to communism”

    Ummm nope – didn’t say that. Didn’t even suggest that. I call bull poppy. Prove me wrong – I bet you can’t. (If only I had a dollar for even time I was right after saying that) 🙂

    I suspect I know were you are going with that comment though. You think you know who I am? Perhaps you have figured it out?

    Perhaps.

    Like

  109. Mr E says:

    Tom,

    “So I link to your site, thence to the MSM report, only to find that the claim is based on a bunch of farmers who booed their Federated Farmers chairman and then walked out of the meeting.

    Ooooooooo – how scary. Really meets the definition of bullying in the adult world.”

    The irony – The Feds were right. The Feds booed their president because he undemocratically went against his executive and supported the rule being proposed. This rule was designed to stop dairying in parts of Southland. It has not stopped even one conversion.

    A current new draft of rules will ditch the old rule, and create a new rule. Tougher and also designed to stop dairying in parts of Southland.

    The Feds were right all along. If only ES had listened at day one. Protest would not have been needed. Ineffective rules that eventually get ditched would not have occurred.

    Instead they ignored Feds advice, made a rule and now find themselves wanting.

    I say good on Feds for standing up for what is right.

    The booed President lost his job. And rightly so.

    Like

  110. Mr E says:

    James,

    “Dave, Tom Hunter and Mr E are running circles around you mate”

    Don’t silly, according to Dave I have lost the argument. And apparently I think I am gods gift.

    Like

  111. Dave Kennedy says:

    Ah Mr E, you have spent some time trying to justify yourself and your motives and your arguments ring hollow.

    A discrepancy of 52% from what farmers were claiming to what MAF found regarding water protection cannot be explained by fluctuating weather or honest mistakes, I’m surprised you have even tried to defend this. I am always very careful when accusing others of lying but I think I am on safe ground with this one 😉

    “You hate that you don’t know my identity – I give you some and you get nasty.”

    As for your childish identity games, I don’t give a damn who you are, but do feel that if you are being aggressively critical about my credentials to comment here (that I have been completely open about) you should have the decency to allow me to scrutinise your own. I am quite happy to be judged on my past record and community involvement and let others judge me (as you obviously do) and yet while you continually praise yourself for your great farming skills and experience and general benevolence we must just accept your own word for this. For all I know you could be a drain layer’s assistant with grandiose ideas about himself. I actually don’t mind people commenting from behind nom de plumes, but when they attack other’s credentials while not open about their own, it’s pure hypocrisy. How you can construe this as nastiness is beyond me, but then again I guess most bullies don’t like level playing fields 😉

    “Man up and take responsibility for your words and actions Dave.”

    Obviously I do every time I comment here Mr E, as you have rightly pointed out I stake my public reputation on everything that I say here. You, on the other hand, take no such risks. You are a little like John Key accusing the likes of David Shearer to have some guts regarding action in Iraq. Key is never likely to put himself in the firing line of real conflict and while I may never get into parliament I do put myself into the public arena and openly stand by my opinions. You could man up yourself, Mr E, or continue to throw grenades from your carefully constructed little hidey hole.

    Like

  112. tom hunter says:

    note that you only installed your effluent treatment system because you were forced to do so and had no idea why it was necessary.

    Actually I have written about this before on this blog, in threads on which you were present. Clearly – as with everything else – you’re less interested in engaging than speechifying.

    The original effluent scheme consisted of two oxidation ponds, leaving a slow trickle into a swamp. We hated it: ugly, and I had grave doubts about the final stage, it looked awful.

    But we deal with the technology available and by 2000 I had the chance to put in a spray system. I thought this was brilliant. The horrible, ugly ponds could be bulldozed, the sump pump installed and all the effluent sprayed on to the paddocks to join the cowpats in a lovely, natural cycle of soil absorption. No more trickling into a wetland. I thought I was being a good environmentalist -but that’s never enough for fanatics like you or Fish and Game (incidentally I do trout fishing, but dropped my subscription to those assholes long ago).

    So the world turns and in 2010 I was informed that this was no longer best practice: we could still spray but only on dry, sunny days. The theory being that rain and newly spread effluent would cause runoff. At no stage did anybody even bother demonstrating that this was actually happening on our farm: it was your typical, blanket piece of bureaucracy. And of course it meant I had to build another big, horrible looking pond, even larger than the old ones and parked right where they had been.

    Rather than your sneer of having no idea why, it’s actually that nobody ever bothered demonstrating what was happening or how this would actually be better. Generic measurements of N2 levels in far away areas were the benchmark. No evidence (scientific or otherwise) for any facet of the scheme, just some hair-brained “solution” dreamed by people who knew they could not go as far as shutting down farms. No measurement systems put in place for a scientific before-and-after test.

    Nothing. Just do it. Or else. The Green Party way: the Dave Kennedy classroom way.

    Like

  113. Name Withheld says:

    For all I know you could be a drain layer’s assistant with grandiose ideas about himself.

    Again, we see the nastiness of the greens.
    The mask is slipping a little more perhaps with the realization that…. “Tom Hunter and Mr E are running circles around you mate”…
    I would have more respect for a drain layers assistant than this ex primary school teacher with grandiose ideas about himself.

    There are generally accepted, five rules of propaganda.
    How many do we see employed from this green?

    Simplification: reducing all data to a single confrontation between ‘Good and Bad’, ‘Friend and Foe’.

    Disfiguration: discrediting the opposition by crude smears and parodies.

    Transfusion: manipulating the consensus values of the target audience for one’s own ends.

    Unanimity: presenting one’s viewpoint as if it were the unanimous opinion of all right-thinking people: drawing the doubting individual into agreement by the appeal of star performers, by social pressure, and by ‘psychological contagion’.

    Orchestration: endlessly repeating the same messages in different variations and combinations.

    Like

  114. Dave, don’t stoop to personal attacks.You want to be an MP and it’s unbecoming you to be playing the man rather than the ball in saying Tom Hunter doesn’t know why he has to take $100,000 of his own (or the banks) money to continually upgrade expensive systems. When people are forced to do such thing it’s important to openly appreciate the compliance rather than attack them. Otherwise such rules become unenforceable and the environment suffers.

    Like

  115. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    “but I think I am on safe ground”

    Yes you only think you are on safe ground. The truth is you don’t know if they were lying or simply using different judgement criteria or assessing in , yet you think it is appropriate to call a large number of people liars.

    I think that is a level that very few people would sink to. Yet there you are. In all your glory.

    Good
    Luck
    With
    That

    “I don’t give a damn who you are”

    Good then let’s move on.

    “but”

    Oh no here we go again.

    “that if you are being aggressively critical about my credentials”

    Pleased I have not done that then!!!! I’ve been very supportive of your vege gardening, newsletter editing credentials. Heck I even pointed out I share those credentials.

    ” I am quite happy to be judged on my past record and community involvement and let others judge me”

    I’ll whisper…. That is good because it sounds like you are being judged.

    “yet while you continually praise yourself for your great farming skills and experience and general benevolence ”

    Man O Man have I praised myself. I’ve been blowing my own trumpet like nothing else….. I can’t get over the arrogance I have displayed. Now if only I could find some examples….. Would you mind doing me a favour and pointing them out?

    “For all I know you could be a drain layer’s assistant”

    Drain layer’s assistant!!! That is another qualification you can put down on most farmers CV’s. Yep I’ve done that too, I am proud to say. Back in the day it was field tiles – my hands were so rough from carrying them and following a trench digger. Farmer braun will tell you – the flap of skin between your tumb and forefinger eventually gets scaly like chickens feet. Now days it is mostly plastic, and I just don’t think it is the same. I am more comforted by the thought of clay going into the ground than plastic. But will concede clay tiles do get brittle and fragile over time.

    And sure I assisted my father. He taught me a lot. I was his drain layers assistant. Ah the memories.

    Thanks for pointing that out. You honour me with your suggestions. You are too kind.

    “with grandiose ideas about himself”

    Well it is nice to have goals, you must admit.

    “I actually don’t mind people commenting from behind nom de plumes”

    Good then let’s move on.

    “but”

    Oh no here we go again.

    “when they attack other’s credentials”

    I’ve supported your credentials. I keep pointing them out in support. I am sure we can be vege growing editer buddies. Why don’t we set up a vege gardeners and newsletter writers support group. We can sit around and talk about all that is wrong in the agricultural world.
    🙂

    I think that is a great idea. Don’t you?

    “Obviously I do every time I comment here Mr E, as you have rightly pointed out I stake my public reputation on everything that I say here. ”

    Nope you blamed me for your less than ‘generous’ behaviours and comments. It is my fault apparently. You were trying to drag down my reputation and leave yours unscathed.

    I suspect people will see straight through those attempts though.

    “You, on the other hand, take no such risks”

    Sure I do – My online identity is important to me. I speak with my reputation in mind. And I’m reasonably proud of my reputation here.

    “You are a little like John Key”

    More honouring me – Gosh thanks Dave. That is though, one thing I doubt I could ever add to my CV. But hey – Set high goals I say!!!!

    I am honored you would say such a thing.

    Sadly I doubt you will ever get close to power while you condemn such a wide group of society as polluters, animal abusers, and staff abusers. Sounds like you think the same.

    One day perhaps you might – I never like to give up on someone. And who really knows. Humans are cable of such great transformations.

    “accusing the likes of David Shearer to have some guts regarding action in Iraq. Key is never likely to put himself in the firing line of real conflict ”

    Yes it in nice to think our politicians have some skin in the game before making judgements than affect our people. Luckily when your are accusing farmers being polluters, animal abusers and staff abusers you have all that Agricultural background. All those worms that you are carefully tending too. All those articles you have edited. All those woofers, that you are handing money…. Ummmm…. I better stop there…..

    I think we might need to talk about that in our support group…. I am still excited about that…. Are you?

    “while I may never get into parliament I do put myself into the public arena”

    Dave why so defeatist? There is hope for you. We must make this our second topic in our support group. We’ll invite others on the basis of this topic we’ll call it “How to hate on farmers and win elections at the same time” 😉

    “You could man up yourself, Mr E, or continue to throw grenades from your carefully constructed little hidey hole.”

    Ah ohhhh. Now your are attacking all non de plumes. Dave Dave Dave. This should be third topic of support group. “How to make friends and influence people” 😉

    And by the way. I am feeling man enough right now. I have defended a large group of people against a sustained attack, and what I think is an unfair attack. I’m feeling happy with myself. 🙂

    Like

  116. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tom, thanks for the explanation, I hadn’t read your past explanation. I guess my main concern would be that an effluent management system would be a key part of farm management as regards environmental responsibilities. Situations do change as far as greater awareness of system efficiency over time and just because something looks ugly doesn’t mean it isn’t being effective and constructed wetlands are an accepted part of some management systems. I’m not sure if your swamp was one of these.

    I’m getting some flack about my response to you but I would have thought that being aware of current best practice and being one step ahead of the regional council around effluent management would be a good strategy. It sounded as if you were surprised by the councils demands and you had done no work yourself around what was really happening on your farm to counteract their view. You are welcome to correct me regarding this.

    I am aware of situations where the consent allowed for a smaller pond than was actually needed and famers constructing the minimum required knowing full well it was inadequate. While I hear farmers don’t want to be dictated to regarding their farm management there are too many examples where some haven’t taken environmental responsibility seriously and only do the minimum where they are able and then complain at a later stage when rules are strengthened.

    Name Withheld, what an interesting list, I have experienced them all while commenting here. I would love to see your examples of my own propoganda 😉 I am still waiting for the specific examples of issues with the actual RMA (that is often criticised here) that are not related to Council mismanagement that was described in the paper I linked to. The fact that the Government has had to backdown twice regarding their proposed changes, and hasn’t had the support of expert advice to push them through, says a lot. The potential loss of years of case law, that has actually helped speed up the process, is a significant factor that isn’t well understood.

    “When people are forced to do such thing it’s important to openly appreciate the compliance rather than attack them. Otherwise such rules become unenforceable and the environment suffers.”

    I totally agree with what you are saying, James, which is why a dictatorial approach is not supported by the Greens. The ideal situation would be if more farmers took Farmerbraun’s approach (not just the organic thing) and actually had a holistic approach to their practice. Environmental management would just become an integral part of practice rather than just addressing compliancy and dodging detection.

    Most resilient businesses operate in a way that can predict and be proactive in working within regulatory frameworks and the wider culture that informs them. I find it highly amusing, but also a little frustrating that the Greens and myself are blamed for every environmental regulation that is seen as a burden to farmers. As I indicated before this change in attitude towards protecting the environment was inevitable given the increased knowledge we have on the impacts of intensive farming practices on soils and waterways. If the Greens and those nasty Fish & Game people didn’t exist the changes to rules would probably still occur, only you would have to vent your anger on someone else. When I was younger DDT was sprayed everywhere and farm tips were used to throw everything imaginable into, things change with better understanding.

    I thank Farmerbraun for his earlier comments he has explained the benefits of a different approach well:

    Education!
    Everyone wants to be sustainable in their farming practice ; most don’t know what it means, although everyone seems to be able to recognise unsustainability when the bank comes knocking with the bad news.

    Few dairy farmers would be aware that there are other farmers out there making $3500-4000 EBIT/Ha , year-in, year-out , come drought or flood or whatever.
    Not only that but such farmers are increasing the depth of topsoil , and building social capital with year round employment for a permanent workforce.

    What’s not to like?

    How I can be accused of attacking the man in regards to Mr E is hard to understand. He certainly makes personal attacks on me and my right to share my views here, as everyone knows who I am and possibly even where I live. Mr E is just an artificial construct that could even be operated by a committee as far as I know.

    Like

  117. tom hunter says:

    … being one step ahead of the regional council around effluent management would be a good strategy. It sounded as if you were surprised by the councils demands and you had done no work yourself around what was really happening on your farm to counteract their view.

    Jesus H fucking Christ. The point is that what I was instructed to do came with zero scientific or management argument. But I could even accept that – if the stupid bastards at Environment Waikato put a monitoring system in place that would measure the before and after effect of the new system. I asked Fonterra if they would, but not a clue.

    I was more than happy to spend $50K for the system in 2000 because it made sense. This $100K “investment” is a crap shoot. I have no way of knowing whether the new system is any better than the old: the theory sounds okay – rain+wet effluent = N2 run off. But since there’s nothing in place to test that I don’t know – and neither do they. As a result they could turn up tomorrow with another new dingbat idea – pushed by emotive screams from F&G or the Greens. Obviously I’ll have to do something myself, but you would think that organisations who claim to care this much would want to know themselves.

    That’s why I say it’s bureaucratic bullshit: the 2cm thick rulebook “failed”, so let’s double it to 4cm. There’s nothing scientific, managed or intelligent about that: all I have to show for this is $100K and compliance with a rulebook. And when I get some whinging little shit saying that I obviously haven’t complied with the rules it just makes it doubly infuriating. The response to that is “fuck off”.

    Like

  118. Mr E says:

    Fanciful statement number …. I lost track.

    “He certainly makes personal attacks on me and my right to share my views here.”

    Personal attacks – phooey

    Questioned your right to share views – phooey.

    No qualification in any of that nonsense.

    “Mr E is just an artificial construct that could even be operated by a committee as far as I know.”

    Oh that is right Dave – I don’t exist. I am a figment of your imagination.

    Jeepers you Greens come up with some weird ideas.

    Like

  119. Mr E says:

    TOM!
    Language!

    Don’t let him get to you.

    I too, have protested F&G licence. It was my duck licence. Luckily there are ways around it.

    Infact I have been calling for the government to provide alternatives. When F&G acts as political as they do, people should have alternatives.

    Like

  120. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Yes you only think you are on safe ground. The truth is you don’t know if they were lying or simply using different judgement criteria or assessing in , yet you think it is appropriate to call a large number of people liars.”

    The only way that there could have been some confusion over the width of a stride and the height of a red band gumboot would be if the farmers were all ex Tallblack reps and the MAF assessors were all dwarfs (possible, but unlikely).

    I certainly hit a nerve, Mr E, and your nom de plume feels threatened 😉

    “I have defended a large group of people against a sustained attack”
    Yes I have noted your vigorous efforts to defend all farmers from a dangerous backyard gardener and I’m pleased that it makes you happy. However, it will be clear to most readers that despite the numerous grenades being desperately flung from your little trench that you head remains firmly below the top.

    Like

  121. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Obviously I’ll have to do something myself, but you would think that organisations who claim to care this much would want to know themselves.”

    I am actually surprised that the staff couldn’t point you to any research supporting or otherwise the system you had and the new one you have installed. I actually agree with you that anything you are forced to spend money on should be evidence based and It surprises me that it wasn’t the case for you.

    Like

  122. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “The only way that there could have been some confusion over the width of a stride and the height of a red band gumboot would be if the farmers were all ex Tallblack reps and the MAF assessors were all dwarfs (possible, but unlikely).”

    All that gardening and editing I would have thought you would know better. Infact I think a 3 year old should know better.

    Water way flows vary greatly. Have you ever heard the word ephemeral? We can talk about it in support group. Keen?

    “I certainly hit a nerve, Mr E, and your nom de plume feels threatened ;-)”

    Ummm Nope! I laugh at the thought at you trying to figure out who I am.

    “the numerous grenades being desperately flung from your little trench”

    Where these grenades are is a mystery. They seem to be a figment of your imagination. Or perhaps you are the softest politician in the world and don’t like people giving you credit for vege gardening?

    Like

  123. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Water way flows vary greatly.”
    If you are trying to convince me that MAF wouldn’t understand that and then checked the farms in the middle of a flood? You are an able pin dancer, Mr E 😉

    “I laugh at the thought at you trying to figure out who I am.”
    Yes, I can hear you giggling in your trench regarding how clever you are at hiding. However I gave up playing hide and seek when kids grew out of it, so you may have to play by yourself.

    “…and don’t like people giving you credit for vege gardening?”

    My vege garden doesn’t deserve any credit at the moment it desperately needs attention because I waste too much time talking to a nom de plume sitting in a trench with a pile of little hand grenades 😉

    Like

  124. Mr E says:

    “If you are trying to convince me that MAF wouldn’t understand”

    I’m suggesting that MPI would understand that water flows vary on a daily basis. They would know that assessments as subjective and time sensitive. For that reason that would question the credibility of the data rather than call farmers liars as you have.

    The irony of this situation is you accuse me of throwing ‘grenades’ without qualification and call farmers liars without qualification.

    This sort of level of humility is not what I expect from those seeking election.

    Like

  125. Dave Kennedy says:

    “This sort of level of humility is not what I expect from those seeking election.”
    Mr E, I don’t promote myself as someone whose farming knowledge is so superior that anything they say should just be accepted on face value (without providing the ability to verify those grandiose claims).

    I am a semi-retired school teacher who gardens, reads and writes a bit and is involved in a few voluntary roles I have often described here. I think you will struggle to find anything I have said that states I am anything else. I do try to do what all politicians should do, talk to a range of people and question anything that doesn’t appear to be in the best interests of our local community or the country. I don’t apologise for having some strongly held views or for my green philosophy, despite the heavy attacks I often get here for just being a Green (some even liken me to Stalin 😉 )

    It is quite clear from what you write that you believe farmers are above all others and to question what they do is some sort of heresy. You have reprimanded me for questioning Fonterra’s narrow vision, promoting organics and accused me of hating farmers because I question some practices. Most of what I say are not purely my own view but shared by a good many others, hence my multiple links.

    Interestingly much of what i have promoted appears to have been verified since. Fonterra has been forced to put more energy into diversifying and is desperate to expand organic farming after reducing the number of organic farms to half of what they were. Farmerbraun has put up some strong arguments in support of the resilience of organic farming that many would have wished they had pursued earlier. I have had not one response to my challenge regarding the specifics of what is wrong with the RMA, it appears that anytime a farmer is blocked from doing something they want it is blamed on that legislation, just like the Greens are blamed for every environmental rule or restriction (our power and influence is extraordinary).

    As for the farmers that i accused of lying, the discrepancy between their claims and the reality was so extreme it can’t be explained by the weather, dwarves, faulty gumboots, poor eyesight or ignorance. Those farmers deliberately grossly exaggerated the true extent of their water protection by 52%, they simply lied and it was hugely embarrassing when they were caught out at the time.

    I write here to have my strong views challenged with logic and facts and when you constantly resort to challenging my right to question the industry, and make constant disparaging remarks about my motives and worthiness as a prospective politician it does your argument no favours. You may win the support of others for giving it to the greenie, but that is just bullying. It is especially sad (not clever) when you do all this while hiding behind a nom de plume and giggle because I don’t know who you are.

    Like

  126. TraceyS says:

    “I don’t apologise for having some strongly held views or for my green philosophy, despite the heavy attacks I often get here for just being a Green (some even liken me to Stalin…”

    Dave – why do you expect kid-glove treatment? Many times in the past you have given as good as you got. You also frequently supported your brother-in-law when he was frenetically name-calling and smearing here. Not once did I ever see you denounce his behaviour. Instead, for a while after he was banned, I think you basically took over from him albeit with a milder manner and greater use of smileys 🙂

    Is your memory short? Or perhaps it is simply that you consider you’ve got the moral high ground regarding the subject-matter so a different set of rules apply to you?

    That’s the crux of the argument it seems – whether or not you have the moral high ground. You will have to be more than an armchair critic to occupy that space, and by my reckoning, you have a long, long, way to go!

    Like

  127. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, if I wanted to be treated with kid gloves I wouldn’t comment here, and I certainly don’t want anyone to hold back on their arguments. Robust discussion is what I want and I am quite used to parrying five or six people all taking a different position from my own (and at length as you know).

    You don’t seem to realize that I’m am only calling out Mr E because of his dishonesty and hypocrisy. Even though he is inappropriate and abusive I have far more respect for Paranormal who states what he believes is true with some vigor. Mr E uses all manner of manipulative means to imply and suggest thing to attack myself rather than the argument and does so behind a nom de plume.

    “perhaps it is simply that you consider you’ve got the moral high ground regarding the subject-matter so a different set of rules apply to you?”

    It is Mr E who regularly attempts to take a moral high ground as the honest hard working farmer who is generous of spirit (he has gone to some lengths to explain that), but then often tries to discredit me rather than deal with the facts. He often brings in aspects of my personal life but then hides his own. He’s a hypocrite and a bully, it’s that simple.

    Like

  128. Name Withheld says:

    I am quite used to parrying five or six people

    Sigh……..My hero.

    You are beyond parody
    But
    Here goes.

    Like

  129. Dave Kennedy says:

    NW, hardly heroic, but factual. FB has supported me on some aspects, however.

    I wonder how many of you support me in expressing concern about Silver Fern Farms being owned by China? I can’t believe the complacency around the Government allowing so much of our NZ property and businesses being owned off shore. Over the past five years over 640,000 hectares of New Zealand property was sold to foreign investors, about 1/3 the total land involved in dairying (1.7 million hectares).

    SFF will possibly be bought by Bright Food, which owns 51 per cent of dairy producer Synlait.

    Like

  130. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 3:04pm, Mr E has not claimed he is a farmer.

    Like

  131. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey:

    “I know this because of my many many years on farm, and the many many letters that sit next to my name. I know this because I have been formally trained in in quad bike use. In chain saw use. In tractor use. In chemical use. In animal treatment and feeding. etc etc.”

    “Regarding my own farming credentials. I actually have farmed organically. To the Biogro certification standard. I have done dairy, sheep, deer, beef, apples, and others. I have farmed many environments in many regions. And I learn(t) bucket loads every day.”

    If it looks like a farmer, smells like a farmer and talks like a farmer, then it probably is a farmer. I don’t think he is a dentist 😉

    I still regard myself as a teacher because it is my training and what I did for 35 years, even though I am not teaching at present.

    Most doctors remain doctors even when they retire.

    For Mr E to constantly claim I should just accept his word for many things because he has farmed and I haven’t and then claim he isn’t a farmer is just just nonsense. It is using bizarre semantics to create this silly sense of mystery about the person hiding behind the nom de plume. I think he watched too many episodes of the Lone Ranger when he was younger.

    Like

  132. homepaddock says:

    If everyone stuck to debating the issues and not getting personal it wouldn’t matter who did what.

    I’m not interested in who started it, you’re not children and I’m not your mother.

    Like

  133. Dave Kennedy says:

    Good call, Ele. I withdraw my remark about the Lone Ranger, it was a step too far. I also have too much to do in my quarter acre to be concerned about Mr E.

    The Silver Fern Farm sale is a real issue that deserves proper discussion.

    Like

  134. Will Dwan says:

    I think most of us are concerned about the Silver Fern Farms situation. Mr English lays the problem at the farmers’ feet but seems to ignore the role banks and govt. had in bringing this about. North Island farmers fought the PPCS takeover of Richmond Meats (Hastings) with everything they had but were unable to prevent it. My memory may be faulty here, but didn’t Landcorp dump their significant shareholding, along with Maori Affairs? It was all too much for the struggling sheep/beef farmers to counter.

    And banks financed the whole thing, at the same time financing the shift away from meat to dairy. Now it seems they have made a choice and want out of the debt-ridden company they helped create.

    $100 million will give the Chinese government control of the company which will likely see the end of the processing plant. (The added value bit.) China likes to do that stuff themselves and certainly they can do it cheaper. (Perhaps I should not say this here, but outsourcing the processing is one of the contingency plans my company has if the Left’s fart taxes come into play)

    The result will be terrible for local employment, I’m not sure what effect it would have on farmers’ returns. Yes, the government could create a loan ( Not a gift!) which would see the company remain NZ but…what would the political fallout be!?

    I can just imagine how opposition politicians and the media would use this…’corporate welfare, subsidies for farmers, bailouts etc. No wonder National is running a mile from it.

    So it goes.

    Like

  135. homepaddock says:

    Which would you rather have – foreign investment which allows the company to continue or for it to fold?

    Bill English is right, farmers (its shareholders) own it. They can put up their own money or find someone else’s but it should not be public money.

    Like

  136. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will and Ele, there is a precedent in Government support for corporates and companies already that is substantial: almost $200 million to Warner Bros; Solid Energy has had a few hundred million of public money to keep it afloat, Rio Tinto received a $30 million gift and one Saudi businessman received $11 million.

    We have already lost 640,000 hectares of NZ to foreign owners over the last five years and while the percentage each year may seem small, as each year goes by the total creeps up.

    Already the equivalent of 1/3 of all dairy land is foreign owned and in an effort to give Fonterra competition it was forced to supply milk to foreign owned companies (the Green Party has never seen the sense in subsidising overseas competitors). We are actually giving away sovereignty of our own land, resources and industries to overseas interests and wondering why our country has less income to support our own.

    Like

  137. A lot of farmers no longer own shares in either of the main meat processors anyway as they don’t have confidence (Ruth Richardson said merging them isn’t the answer as both are “foul” models and putting them together will still result in a foul model. I’m hoping Fonterra took note at how those cooperatives lost that support. Fonterra do seem to be moving back towards cooperative rather than corporate ethos. Time will tell.

    Like

  138. Will Dwan says:

    Nobody “subsidises” foreign competitors, the milk is sold to them at cost. You use that word too freely. And that figure of 640 000 ha. is full of fishhooks as well. How many of those ha. were sold to foreigners BY foreigners? I believe there is a lot of that in forestry particularly.

    I’m not convinced SSF will fold without the new money. They seem to be holding on ok. It’s just the banks getting cold feet.

    Like

  139. Will Dwan says:

    The Air New Zealand investment would be a better argument than Rio Tinto I think. The tax payer got a return on that and should from the meat industry as well. Unless the Greens crash the whole industry of course. The Warner Bros example is different, they just got a better tax deal.

    Like

  140. Dave Kennedy says:

    Will, you are right that much of the foreign owned land has been in forestry, but that 640,000 hectares has actually the total for the last five years and most of the current sales are in dairy. You can imagine what could happen in the next five years.

    The deal with Warner included $95m of subsidies and grants, as well as offsetting $12m of the company’s marketing costs.

    Let’s hope SSF can hold on.

    Like

  141. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    You seem to be saying you get attacked here for sharing your Green views and questioning farming activities .

    Of course that is not what I have focused on. I have challenged your judgements of farmers.

    You said:
    “generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff ”

    You also said:
    “yet when their claims of how they were addressing the protection of waterways under the Clean streams accord (in one region) were actually tested most had lied about what they had done.”

    I believe none of the links you have provided are evidence of the judgements you have made.

    It seems ironic that I am questioning the activity of poorly, unfairly, judging farmers, and you call that bullying. I also note that others have raised this same concern in this thread.

    That is not bullying. If you are going to unfairly target farmers, of course you are going to be called out on it. Unless of course you think politicians are above scrutiny?

    Regarding your remark – “He’s a hypocrite and a bully, it’s that simple.” I call that name calling. And unless you can provide evidence, I call that defamation of character. Of course I expect you won’t even try and present evidence. Because you can’t.

    It seems Bullying behaviour. More irony, and it seems hypocrisy.

    It was not that long ago that another Green Party member was blocked from this site for similar name calling.

    I did note that comments started off challenging the Greens policies and topic was quickly changed after an acidic barrage of claims about farmers. I wonder if this is the new Greens? Attack is the best defense?

    I also note that Tracey understands the difference between past and present tense. And it seems as though you don’t.

    Like

  142. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, your counter argument has largely focussed on my motives and background and you have produced no convincing evidence other than you own opinion as a well qualified “nonfarmer”.

    If Federated Farmers branch president confirms an issue and unions, lawyers, anecdotal evidence, ACC and a survey (the only one I could find) and migrant worker support collectively show a high level of accidents, poor employment management and a cavalier attitude, then I think I am on safe ground to suggest widespread abuse. You may attack a small survey as being of no relevance because of its sample size but if you had produced another survey that showed the opposite then that would have formed a stronger rebuttle. Telling me and others that I am just attacking farmers because I am nasty and a poor politician and that you won’t vote for me is not an argument.

    I constantly hear the argument from Federated farmers and others that farmers can be trusted to do the right thing by the environment and you had a very strong emotional response when I questioned the honesty of one group. The Clean Streams Accord was an opportunity for farmers to prove that they could self-regulate and be honest about their levels of water protection to build that trust. A 52% difference between MAFs assessment and one group of farmers (when the measurement used was made simple so it couldn’t be easily confused) cannot be explained by weather. You can’t honestly be telling me that variance in flows wouldn’t have been accounted for by both groups? This incident was a huge embarrassment at the time and I have found no argument since that has put forward as an explanation for the farmers involved. Again you expect me to take your word that weather and water flow caused the difference. If the farmers had been honest and there had been genuine confusion then that would have been used as a defense, but it wasn’t (perhaps you can find a link?).

    I also think you need to understand the definition of bullying:
    “use superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone)”

    You have accused me of bullying farmers, but what superior strength or influence am I using to influence and intimidate the industry and those that work in it? As you clearly stated someone who gardens a quarter acre and once edited a little newsletter has no standing in the farming community and clearly has little influence. It is also obvious that my Green views are in the minority when commenting here. You accuse me of being unfair to farmers without providing evidence to disprove my claims. When people claim that teachers are lazy, have long holidays and protect child abusers, I don’t whimper that they are being unfair and bullying, I just present the evidence to show the hours of work (actually probably less than many farmers as it is around 50 hours a week) and provide a fact based rebuttle. I only draw a line at being personally called a child abuser.

    One of my voluntary roles is providing support to those in the education sector who have employment issues. Bullying is a common issue and I have been trained (as you have for quad bike use) in spotting it:

    A bully is someone who tries to establish their own superiority and diminish the standing of the one they are bullying. By describing at length ones superior knowledge and sarcastically putting down another’s is a bullying technique. Attacking someone from behind protection or cover while the other is exposed is bullying. Rallying others around them to support an attack on an individual is bullying. Talking about someone to others in a negative way while the person in question is present is also bullying. Bullies also do not like to be exposed and often try to portray themselves as the victim and will go to great lengths to try and generate sympathy through emotionally manipulating minor incidents into major ones.

    Mr E, I am very careful not to make make strong accusations unless I have evidence to support it and Ele is quite right to express frustration at discussions that become more personal than topic based.

    “I did note that comments started off challenging the Greens policies and topic was quickly changed after an acidic barrage of claims about farmers.”

    I think you will find through rereading the comments that this essentially became a discussion around making farming more sustainable over the long term. I was supported by FB regarding organic farming being part of the solution. This morphed into a discussion about the future of conventional farming techniques and how the Greens would lead change if it had the opportunity.

    Air NZ has just embarked on a journey towards sustainability that involves considering a package of economic, social and environmental initiates to achieve that aim. It is my view that current environmental, employment and economic farming practices are not sustainable and i tried to produce evidence to support both the current reality and how changes could be made. Criticising my grammar and suggesting I should be banned from commenting here are not counter arguments but yet more examples of bullying to shut down views you don’t like.

    Rather than trying to yet again to portray yourself as some sort victim that needs Ele’s protection, do you have an opinion on the Silver Fern Farms?

    Like

  143. Dave Kennedy says:

    Oops should read (second last paragraph) “environmental initiatives.

    Like

  144. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    You have claimed most farmers abuse their staff, animals and environment . None of you links have made the same claim.

    That is all you – nobody else. I don’t need links to back that up. It is obvious. In fact none of your links come even close to even suggesting that. All the evidence I need to portray is that your evidence is not evidence of what you claim.

    I think this discussion really comes down to what is a measure of mistreatment or abuse of staff, the environment and animals. I think a good measure is convictions of those things.

    In 2013 and 2014 Worksafe saw through 20 agricultural prosecutions – that is an average of 10 per year

    Similarly approximately 15 prosecutions occur for animal abuse, as a result of MPI investigations.

    The reality of the situation is less than 0.05% of farmers are convicted of animal abuse or job place safety issues.

    But your seem to think there are 10s of thousands that join that handful. Based on your judgement. That is a frightful conclusion to be hearing from a person seeking political power.

    “As you clearly stated someone who gardens a quarter acre and once edited a little newsletter has no standing in the farming community and clearly has little influence. ”

    Where did I clearly state any such thing???? If it is so clear it should be easy to reproduce. Wait for it everyone……

    “You have accused me of bullying farmers, but what superior strength or influence am I using to influence and intimidate the industry and those that work in it?”

    You are not saying it to influence change? You don’t think such claims intimidate industry individuals? Of course they do. Of course you are. By your definition I think your judgements are bullying.

    “I only draw a line at being personally called a child abuser.”

    You’ll no doubt recall I defended you when such comments were being made.

    Here is a list of your own comments that I think are entertaining.

    “A bully is someone who tries to establish their own superiority”

    “One of my voluntary roles is providing support to those in the education sector who have employment issues. Bullying is a common issue and I have been trained (as you have for quad bike use) in spotting it:”

    “sarcastically putting down another’s is a bullying technique”</I

    "Tom, I really feel sorry for you 😉 You are clearly under attack from almost every institution and organisation, and not one of them understands that you know best"

    Attacking someone from behind protection or cover

    What like behind a computer screen and not face to face.?

    Rallying others around them to support an attack on an individual is bullying

    Pleased I never did that then…

    Talking about someone to others in a negative way while the person in question is present is also bullying.

    to Tracey
    “For Mr E to constantly claim I should just accept his word for many things because he has farmed and I haven’t and then claim he isn’t a farmer is just just nonsense. It is using bizarre semantics to create this silly sense of mystery about the person hiding behind the nom de plume. I think he watched too many episodes of the Lone Ranger when he was younger.”

    “If it looks like a farmer, smells like a farmer and talks like a farmer, then it probably is a farmer. I don’t think he is a dentist ;-)”

    “It is Mr E who regularly attempts to take a moral high ground as the honest hard working farmer who is generous of spirit (he has gone to some lengths to explain that), but then often tries to discredit me rather than deal with the facts. He often brings in aspects of my personal life but then hides his own. He’s a hypocrite and a bully, it’s that simple.”

    “You don’t seem to realize that I’m am only calling out Mr E because of his dishonesty and hypocrisy. Even though he is inappropriate and abusive I have far more respect for Paranormal who states what he believes is true with some vigor. Mr E uses all manner of manipulative means to imply and suggest thing to attack myself rather than the argument and does so behind a nom de plume.”

    ” and often try to portray themselves as the victim and will go to great lengths to try and generate sympathy through emotionally manipulating minor incidents into major ones.”

    Dave – you have called me a bully and hypocrite and made nasty claims many many times. When I have requested evidence you have not provided any. I therefore then you are going to great lengths to manipulate minor……..to generate sympathy….

    You seem to fail your own definition of a bully. Whilst I don’t agree with much of your definition I am very concerned about your self image. You powers of bully identification must not be overcome by a mirror?

    “Rather than trying to yet again to portray yourself as some sort victim that needs Ele’s protection”

    I’ve not done that…. Not at all. What’s there to protect against. Your judgements are often hollow and they don’t bother me.

    Like

  145. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I think a good measure is convictions of those things.”

    I would say that is the worst measure. When it comes to humans only 13% of reported sexual violations end in a conviction and it is estimated that 90% of violations aren’t reported. Animals require others to report abuse (they are incapable of doing this themselves) and few people witness what goes on on individual farms. I’m sorry Mr E, but that argument has no substance and the few cases where prosecutions occur are at the extreme end.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/70675251/dairy-farmer-michael-whitelock-guilty-of-cruelty-to-cows

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10864116

    As I tried to explain earlier by using the examples listed on a Vegan website (that I used on purpose), there is a wide range of beliefs on what constitutes cruelty and many accepted practices like induced abortions are now widely regarded as unacceptable cruelty. Rubbishing vegans did not address that argument. I had an uncle and aunt who had a battery hen farm, at the time it was considered acceptable management even though I remember seeing some pretty horrific sights. Free range eggs are now more acceptable and get better prices.

    “The boundary between acceptable and unacceptable treatment of animals – whether farmed, companion, working or wild – is continually evolving. Mirroring New Zealand’s dependence on maintaining its reputation for leading animal welfare leadership in the global market place, New Zealand has responded to continually changing influences by developing animal welfare legislation that is progressive and robust in terms of its compliance and enforcement of animal welfare standards.”

    http://www.lawsociety.org.nz/lawtalk/lawtalk-archives/issue-818/a-stonger-sentence-was-needed

    Mr E, in respecting Eles wishes I am not going to continue your mind games and feed your need to for self-justification. Your lengthy comments to explain how my views don’t bother you are also interesting 😉

    I stand by all my quotes that you have reproduced and suggest readers go through the comments and see who provides the most attempts to verify and support their statements and whose arguments are mainly based on emotion and innuendo and bullying strategies. I am happy to be judged on the evidence here on this thread and my 35 links to a variety of sources. You dismissed every one of mine as having no value (with very few specifics) and produced 2 in return.

    Here are some challenges to test your sincerity:
    1) If you are not a farmer then what perspective are you arguing from?
    2) I am prepared to meet you face to face (and confidentially if you feel that your secret identity that you hide behind is so important). This will mean we will no longer clog up Ele’s blog with our personal differences. Here is my email to contact me so that we can meet and talk over a coffee or a single malt if you prefer 😉 (my shout): david.kennedy@greens.org.nz

    Over to you…

    Like

  146. TraceyS says:

    “Calling it bullying at the start is likely to make resolution difficult. If you are wrong, your credibility will suffer. If you work through this initial stage carefully, then if it really is bullying, that will emerge. Describing the behaviour should be enough. (my bold)

    http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/information-guidance/all-guidance-items/bullying-guidelines/flowchart-am-i-being-bullied

    Dave, you say:
    “…I am very careful not to make make strong accusations unless I have evidence to support it…”

    But you did not have any evidence to refer to me as a supporter of worker exploitation. Yet I did not call your behaviour bullying – partially in the hope that it was possible to resolve the matter.

    But it was not possible to resolve the matter. You were immovable; the hallmark of someone who does not want to reach a resolution. I believe that your credibility might have suffered while mine remains intact in spite of your name-calling towards me.

    Like

  147. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, a response to Mr E is awaiting moderation as I inadvertently included too many links. You and Mr E use very similar strategies and your hysterical reaction when I accused you of inadvertently supporting worker abuse if you voted for National is wearing a little thin.

    You must have forgotten the evidence I used to support my comment, but here is more:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_River_Mine_disaster
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/284181/govt-'pushes-responsibility'-onto-ngos
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/70160965/government-move-on-zero-hour-contracts-under-fire
    I would provide much more but it then requires moderation 😉

    This isn’t a soccer game where you can get penalties for feigning injuries during robust political dialogue.The only time I have complained about an unacceptable comment was after an accusation that was so bad even Mr E came out is support (which I did thank him for at the time).

    Like

  148. TraceyS says:

    Dave, do you really think that your earlier contributions on this thread (and many others) are an example of “robust political dialogue”?

    I don’t.

    Like

  149. Dave Kennedy says:

    “do you really think that your earlier contributions on this thread (and many others) are an example of “robust political dialogue”?”

    Tracey, my comment September 5, 2015 at 9:19 pm is an an example of what I try and do, present an opinion and then support it with evidence. I think that is a fairly robust and useful approach. If someone disagrees with me then they can challenge my evidence. One of my links claimed:
    “Global organic food and beverages market to reach $104 billion
    A new report, “Global Organic Foods & Beverages Market Analysis by Products, Geography, Regulations, Pricing Trends, & Forecasts (2010 – 2015)” forecasts an estimated compound annual growth of 12.8 percent for the global organic food and beverages market. This will result in a significant expansion of the market, which was estimated at $57.2 billion in 2010. By 2015, the global organic food and beverages market is expected to reach $104.50 billion.”

    My assertion supported by this sort of evidence seems robust and logical to me. But I guess you take a different view 😉

    Like

  150. TraceyS says:

    Dave, you can provide all the links you want, but that won’t change the fact that organics isn’t going to work for our farm. Much of what you like to call ‘evidence’ is about the past you see, and the links which refer to the future are predictions, not evidence! You must recognise that claims are not the same thing as evidence. Surely?

    Farmerbraun is a fine role model I’m certain. But his property has very different characteristics to ours. However, that doesn’t mean we farm any less sustainably under our model than he does under his. A conclusion, either way, could not be reliably drawn without an extensive fact finding mission involving a least a visit to both properties and assessments carried out by experts. Now that’s what I would call evidence.

    I think that you sorely need to listen to those with practical experience rather than engaging in these monotonous, dogmatic, attempts to trump practice with some superficial stuff you googled on the web. What have you got to lose by trying to place yourself in the shoes of others and see things from their point of view? Not much! I have seen nothing written by you on the topic of farming which qualifies you as anything other than an armchair expert who is blind to his own lack of material knowledge. You have everything to gain from listening to Mr E if only you didn’t allow your ego to prevent you.

    Like

  151. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, again you misrepresent me. Where did I say that all farmers should shift to organics in that comment. My links just supported the comment that the organic market was growing and the industry was moving in that direction. That was all, there was nothing ‘superficial’ in any of those links.

    You are welcome to produce evidence to provide a counter view to mine.

    I’m sure Mr E appreciates your support, you make a tight team 😉

    Like

  152. TraceyS says:

    It is Green Party policy, Dave. You represent that party.

    “Mr E appreciates your support”. Did he appoint you his spokesperson?

    You’re pretty good if you can represent both.

    (BTW why would I want to refute the prediction you support? I think growth is good. Glad we can agree on that!)

    Like

  153. Name Withheld says:

    I think that you sorely need to listen to those with practical experience rather than engaging in these monotonous, dogmatic, attempts to trump practice with some superficial stuff you googled on the web.

    Well said TraceyS

    Like

  154. farmerbraun says:

    ” organics isn’t going to work for our farm. ”

    That is interesting. If the land that you are currently farming was in agricultural production before , say, 1950, then it is not inaccurate to say that it would have , at that time , complied with the Standards NZ definition of organic.
    That being so , what is it that makes it unworkable in the future ?

    As a sometime organic advisor , I like to hear what people see as obstacles to becoming more sustainable.

    Like

  155. TraceyS says:

    It probably would have complied when we bought it as it had been neglected and was covered in gorse which we would never have got on top on without the use of herbicides and helicopters.

    This country is not suitable for organic farming. We will always need to use herbicides.

    Like

  156. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “When it comes to humans only 13% of reported sexual violations end in a conviction”

    What a ridiculous bow you are stringing, correlating human sexual violations to animal abuse, environmental abuse and staff abuse.

    I suppose you will claim you have some sort of link that correlates the two? No?
    Of course you don’t. These are desperate claims from a desperate argument. Why you seem so desperate to claim most farmers are animal, staff and environmental abusers, is beyond me. As has been pointed out, such ridiculous claims can hurt credibility.

    “As I tried to explain earlier by using the examples listed on a Vegan website (that I used on purpose), there is a wide range of beliefs on what constitutes cruelty”

    Is that some kind of admission that your judgements are a rsult of extreme views?
    What is obvious from the vegan link is there is no realisation of why many of the practices are completed.

    As an example, it seems vegans would prefer cows gore each other during transport, rather than have horn growth removed at a young age, in accordance with welfare codes.

    Perhaps they just think farmers do these things just for fun. Thoughtlessly and cruelly.

    “New Zealand’s dependence on maintaining its reputation for leading animal welfare leadership

    Umm Dave, you said “many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals”

    The two statements don’t really line up do they?

    The truth is, animal, staff, and environmental welfare are a continuum. Even you own links say NZ is considered at the best end of that continuum. For that reason, I am stunned at your unproven claims of widespread abuse.

    “Here are some challenges to test your sincerity:”

    I need to explain what I do each day and meet you to prove that I am sincere?

    I think it is obvious I am sincere about defending your claims of widespread abuse.I would not spend the time here if I was not.

    I have provided you with a large content of my CV already. You should be able to tell I am capable enough to debate views on farming.

    Whilst I can see value in a face to face, if you treat people with the same contempt as you treat them here, Id prefer to avoid interactions like that.

    I’m curious – have you ever fronted up to farmers face to face and accused them of being animal, staff and environmental abusers? If so what sort of reception did you receive. If the answer is “No” why do you think it is appropriate here and not face to face? Other than it is my fault….

    Regarding some suggestion I am in some team with Tracey, you know that is not true. You are now low grade politicking Tracey. Is that your style Dave? Offend people in order to motivate them into debate?

    Like

  157. Mr E says:

    Farmer braun,

    Thinking about summer moist farming sheep – where internal parasites are rampant, historically very tough penalties are applied to farmers who use anthelmintic drenches. For that reason often farmers only drench when parasite levels get to a threatening level.

    The same goes for many vaccinations.

    What do you think is better for animal welfare? Animals that are treated for ailments representatively, or animals that are treated for ailments reactively?

    Essentially I am asking, do you think there is an animal welfare cost in moving to organics? Part of the answer will lie in stocking rates, but I don’t expect that to be the full answer.

    (I realise a new certified organic drench is available, and also know that the relatively high cost is determining it as a reactive product, rather than preventative product)

    Like

  158. Mr E says:

    Opps
    Animals that are treated for ailments proactively….

    Like

  159. Dave Kennedy says:

    So Mr E,
    You seriously believe that there is a high level of reporting and conviction rate for animal cruelty.
    You don’t accept that there is changing tolerance for management practices that used to be acceptable.

    “many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these).”
    -treatment of bobby calves
    -induced abortions
    -feeding HT swedes with current knowledge
    -docking tails
    -untreated mastitis
    -general physical abuse at different times, especially when farmers are stressed.
    -Limited shelter provided on many farms…

    I also had numerous links supporting widespread abuse of workers with poor record keeping, low pay, long hours and verbal and physical abuse often occurring.

    All you had in return was the the conviction rate for animal cruelty and accusations that I am being nasty. There certainly is a relationship to how abuse is managed in human society and how it is for animals. Abuse of animals on farms is much easier to hide and only the very extreme cases are prosecuted. You will need show evidence regarding the level of reporting and how easy it is to get a conviction if you are to convince me otherwise. You can’t possibly have personal knowledge of what goes on on every farm.

    My 38 different links to a variety of sources to support my argument is my style. You have provided a good deal of emotion and threats and only two attempts to verify your points. You dare me to front up to a group of farmers F2F and make the same claims, how on earth is that evidence of whether my argument is true or not? I guess I would probably get a similar reception to what Farmerbraun would receive when stating that most farmers don’t know what sustainability means and most are brainwashed.

    “I have provided you with a large content of my CV already. You should be able to tell I am capable enough to debate views on farming.”
    No I don’t, for all I know you may have convictions for animal abuse and have been forced of a farm for poor financial management. You also claim that you’re not actually a farmer but someone with a lot of certificates who has experienced a range different farms. Given your regular use of exaggeration, who would know the truth.

    To ally your fears of any F2F, I am just over 5′ 5″, non violent and you can view my publicly available online Linkedin CV

    I loved the Leunig cartoon but I’m not sure who you saw as who. If you are in the hole then we shouldn’t see your head, but if you are trying to convince me that your claimed CV is better than mine then perhaps you see yourself on the pedestal. Either way a F2F will have us on equal footing. Perhaps since you are so keen that I share my views with more than one farmer, you could have a support person.

    Over to you 😉

    Like

  160. Will Dwan says:

    I can answer that Mr E. Yes, there are serious welfare issues. Fly-strike is worst, worms can be a serious problem for young stock, especially barber’s pole which is a killer. You can farm sheep without antibiotics – blood poisoning is not a pleasant way to die, but only a few will be affected. These days we breed against most diseases and use medicines as a backup. Nice to have though. Weeds will always be an issue without sprays.

    Like

  161. farmerbraun says:

    Tracey says:
    “This country is not suitable for organic farming. We will always need to use herbicides.”
    Do you mean that the gorse has not yet been adequately controlled by herbicides , or is there another problem?

    Like

  162. farmerbraun says:

    Mr E says:
    September 15, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Questions there that go to the heart of the sustainability issue Mr E.
    I’ll get some thoughts organised , but I just want to find and post my favourite Leunig.

    Like

  163. farmerbraun says:

    Like

  164. TraceyS says:

    farmerbraun at 2:39pm:

    Under control but ongoing need to spray fencelines where birds drop seeds, patches amongst native bush, areas that can’t be worked, riparian strips, around trees in areas fenced off from stock etc. Seeds lie dormant for many years and birds bring them in from adjacent properties. As long as the neighbours have gorse so will we. No other weed issues.

    Like

  165. tom hunter says:

    A bully is someone who tries to establish their own superiority and diminish the standing of the one they are bullying. By describing at length ones superior knowledge and sarcastically putting down another’s is a bullying technique.
    ….
    Bullies also do not like to be exposed and often try to portray themselves as the victim and will go to great lengths to try and generate sympathy through emotionally manipulating minor incidents into major ones.

    Incredible. I’ll go with one of my favourite quotes from Bull Durham

    The world is made for people who aren’t cursed with self awareness.

    Let’s hope that’s not true in this particular case.

    Like

  166. farmerbraun says:

    “What do you think is better for animal welfare? Animals that are treated for ailments proactively , or animals that are treated for ailments reactively?

    Essentially I am asking, do you think there is an animal welfare cost in moving to organics? ”

    Clearly it is better that animals are exposed to disease risks as little as possible.
    It is worth recalling the phases that comprise the transition to “organic thinking” using internal parasites as a case in point.
    1. Efficiency – e.g the farmer begins faecal egg counting and drenches strategically only some animals .
    2. Substitution – e.g employing 1. but substituting an “organic” drench.
    3. Redesign- e.g. employing ” novel” management techniques to avoid creating the need for interventions.

    So no. 3 is the paradigm employed by successful organic farmers. They do not drench because there is no need.

    Remember that it is a stipulation for organic certification that animal welfare cases are not occurring because EFFECTIVE treatment MUST be provided for animals with clinical symptoms. So that addresses your third question. An animal welfare cost is not permitted , and annual audit with spot audit ensure that this is so.

    The redesign will be multi-faceted :- sheep/cattle balance; stocking rate; residual dry-matter; mineral deficiency (especially copper for helminths) ; frequent rotation ; pasture spelling ; pasture cleaning by non-susceptible animals ; supplementary feeding during stress conditions . . . . etc.

    Like

  167. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “You seriously believe that there is a high level of reporting and conviction rate for animal cruelty.”
    I seriously expect your to uphold the concept of innocent until proven guilty. Your guilty until proven innocent attitudes are not those I seek in politicians. I doubt many voters do.

    You have created a list, but have made not comments regarding it.
    I’m not sure what you are inferring by this list:

    -treatment of bobby calves
    -induced abortions
    -feeding HT swedes with current knowledge
    -docking tails
    -untreated mastitis
    -general physical abuse at different times, especially when farmers are stressed.
    -Limited shelter provided on many farms…

    Given you have claimed most farmers abuse their livestock perhaps you might want to start qualifying your claims. Rather than ambiguity, I would like to see as least some attempt. You seem to be making virtually no attempt. 38 links with literally no qualification of the numbers of farmers involved in your claims of abuse.

    “how on earth is that evidence of whether my argument is true or not?”

    For some I guess it is easier to make factless, offensive claims from behind a computer screen than it is face to face.

    “for all I know you may have convictions for animal abuse and have been forced of a farm for poor financial management.”

    Knowing your propensity for factless contempt, I am surprised you have not thought worse of me.

    ” I am just over 5′ 5″, non violent and you can view my publicly available online Linkedin CV”

    I’m not scared of you Dave. I wouldn’t be scared of you if you were 10 foot 10 and had a criminal history loaded with assaults.

    The reality is I’m not the one you are accusing of abuse. It is thousands of farmers. Seemingly you are back stabbing thousands.

    So why don’t you stop worrying about me and start thinking about them. The impacts of your words, and judgements.

    Like

  168. farmerbraun says:

    ” there are serious welfare issues. Fly-strike is worst,”
    Will, have you not heard of blowfly traps?
    Now is the time to start the trapping.
    We have found that early lambing/tailing, and traps , combined with strategic timing of shearing works.

    Of course the Polled Drysdales that we breed here are much easier to manage in this latter regard because of the 5 -month shearing interval.

    Like

  169. Mr E says:

    Farmerbraun

    3. Redesign- e.g. employing ” novel” management techniques to avoid creating the need for interventions.

    Do you think for sheep farmers in summer moist environments management techniques reduce the parasite numbers to conclude welfare is as good as conventional? In my experience they don’t. And I believe that is a significant barrier to more farmers becoming organic. Some farmers see skinny daggy sheep and think ‘that is not for me’

    “sheep/cattle balance” – Cattle are proven not to reduce parasites in lambs. But I will concede will improve pasture quality.

    “pasture cleaning by non-susceptible animals” – Again cattle do not have a positive on lamb worms.

    Copper and Helminths – I am interested in this comment. I realise that monezia may compete with the animal for copper, but doubt it is a factor worth considering for most. Copper issues in sheep are pretty rare. Monezia is generally considered as irrelevant.

    The other suggestions – stocking rate, residuals, pasture spelling, supplementary feeding are all good points. They all come at a significant cost too. My question is whether these tools provide organic farmers with animal welfare as good as conventional farmers. I am interested in your experience and a judgement from you. I am focusing on Summer moist conditions because that is where the greatest parasite challenges are.

    “EFFECTIVE treatment MUST be provided for animals with clinical symptoms”

    So is preventative better than reactive? In which is welfare better? What is your experience. Do you think there is no difference?

    If parasites are not a good example, think about abortions from Toxoplasmosis, Campylobacter and Salmonella.

    Preventative vaccinations are prohibited in most situations. (unless approved) yet nearly all farms would have less abortions as a result of using these product. What is the ‘redesign’ to deal with this?

    Like

  170. Mr E says:

    Farmer braun,

    You have had a lot more success with fly traps than we did then.

    Our experience was that the traps made things worse. Then again our block was small and the traps attracted and endless supply of flies from neighbours. 3 years I persisted without an ounce of let up. The stench of the traps made our stock a target for flies from miles around. I share Wills view.

    Having only a water hose and hand shears was a heart breaking, soul destroying challenge. In my last year we had a certified treatment product, but it was still only half as good as conventional maggo. There was no preventative treatment for us. Aussie green fly attacks meant regardless of the cleanliness of livestock anything was fair game in some years.

    That aside breeding has the opportunity to make a big impact. Wool-less bums is a very heritable trait. And your Polled Dorets are good breed to display this point. I suspect with time, breeding will be of great help, but not to the point of a preventative IGR. The best solution for Aussie green fly is IGR preventative.

    Like

  171. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, as you know I have many F2F meetings with farmers and we have robust discussions and disagreements. They have no doubts about my beliefs and concerns and many may even read them here.

    You are as slippery as an old man eel with your twists and turns and emotional framing. This guilty until proven innocent thing is your fabrication, no one is being charged here in a formal court of law and I could say the very same thing when being accused of Stalinism or attempting to take down New Zealand’s whole farming industry (I think that was one of yours 😉 ).

    This is just a debate over the moot that “possibly 50+ of farmers mistreat their stock or employees”. I have found evidence, in my mind, that indicates widespread concerning practices in animal welfare and the management of employees. it is your job in this debate to provide evidence of the opposite and form a constructive argument. Telling me to front up to a group of farmers and say the same thing to them to see what happens sounds more like a threat of potential violence than an argument. However, even given the nonsense behind this approach I am prepared to call your bluff and will do so to a group of farmers of your choosing and yourself. Name the place and time.

    Before you start accusing me of back stabbing think of your own hidden position. I present my arguments openly where everyone knows who I am, and possibly even my address. I roll up to farmers meetings and talk directly with local farmer leaders. Your furtiveness around your identity and threats of potential violence for daring to present some factually supported concerns is a judgement on your own character. You claim to be defending ‘thousands of farmers’ against an unfair attack, but are actually letting them down by not having a solid argument in return.

    And thanks to Farmerbraun I have another argument to support my view on animal welfare. He suggests that conventional dairy farmers unnecessarily expose their cows to risks and choosing organic management techniques “avoids the need for interventions”.

    I await the next round of little grenades to emerge from your trench 😉

    Like

  172. farmerbraun says:

    “sheep farmers in summer moist environments “.

    This is not something that I personally would attempt. It is assumed that an organic farmer will, in respect of livestock, employ the “tools” of diversity, balance and integration.
    This applies equally to pasture and animals ; monoculture appears to be a less sustainable option. And so an ” organic sheep farmer” seems to be a contradiction in terms ; if it was a sheep monoculture it would be nearly impossible to be organic, but I admit to never having tried it.

    “Skinny daggy sheep”. Well the shearers constantly complain of the high bodyweights that they encounter here.

    Re. lambs , my experience is that residual D.M. and frequent shifting are the keys to avoiding worms.

    From what I see, animal welfare is much better on my farm , but that may not be solely or even partly attributable to “organicness’.

    It may be economic, in that I don’t have to use production stock to achieve grazing pressure, which to me is where the conventional farmer creates most of his problems . . . underfeeding and overgrazing.

    I would be inclined to the view that it is the farmer which is the critical factor , regardless of the system employed.

    As Pliny the Elder famously remarked :”Majores fertilissium in agro oculum domini esse dixerunt” .

    Stockmanship has no substitute.
    Integration means that animals cross over/alternate in their grazing.
    Dry ewes prepare pastures for the calves which are weaned at 5-6 months (reared entirely on wholemilk), and dry cows prepare pastures for lamb weaning ( Nov-Dec).

    You can see immediately that everything is different; time of lambing (July) and calving (Jan, Feb, Mar Apr) and everything works together and provides complementarity.

    Like

  173. farmerbraun says:

    The literature on copper in sheep (and more especially in goats) is mixed.

    Click to access effectiveness_of__copper_against_sheep_parasites_2015.pdf

    Like

  174. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “This guilty until proven innocent thing is your fabrication”

    Nope- You have judged thousands farmers of widespread abuse, with proof of just a handful. All those others that you don’t have proof – Guilty according to you.

    “I could say the very same thing when being accused of Stalinism or attempting to take down New Zealand’s whole farming industry (I think that was one of yours 😉 ).”

    Pleased I never said either of those things. Ever.

    “I have found evidence, in my mind, that indicates widespread concerning practices”

    Crickey that is a huger backwards step. One minute ‘possibly 50+ mistreat animals and staff’. Next widespread concerning practices. Massive difference between concerning practices and ‘mistreament’. And I am the slippery eel… Funny funny stuff!!!!

    “Telling me to front up to a group of farmers and say the same thing to them to see what happens sounds more like a threat of potential violence than an argument.”

    Why because you expect violence from farmers regarding your views????? More of those contemptuous ideas it seems.

    “Before you start accusing me of back stabbing think of your own hidden position.”

    Umm Dave – do you know the meaning of backstabbing. I am speaking to you, knowing full well you will read my remarks. You are accusing thousands of farmers of abuse, knowing full well they wont hear your remarks.

    “I am prepared to call your bluff and will do so to a group of farmers of your choosing and yourself. Name the place and time.”

    Beauty – Ill make it easy for you.

    Send this link to Evan Harding. Reporter for the Southland times.
    I’d be happy if you prepared to lecture farmers for 30 minutes on their ‘abuses’ prior to any of the Fed Farmers meetings that ES are holding during October. Heck given that you are accusing most farmers wouldn’t it be appropriate to go to all?

    Thanks Dave. You’ll earn some of my respect for doing this.

    To make it easier
    evan.harding@stl.co.nz
    https://homepaddock.wordpress.com/2015/09/05/saturday-soapbox-138/

    Like

  175. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,

    I dont think you are understanding my question. Or where I am going with it.

    The Green Party want 100% of NZ farms organic. I am trying to get to the bottom of if you think their is a welfare cost to that.

    The example is sheep in summer moist environments.
    Or any sheep in NZ unable to receive preventative vaccinations.

    Do you think there is an animal welfare cost to their policy?

    I am fine with a ‘no’. If that is your view.

    Like

  176. farmerbraun says:

    You know Mr E, this morning about 5.30 a.m. I could hear the neighbour “rounding up” his cows.
    It is not the first time that I have heard the screaming; far from it.
    Invariably when I read about animal abuse , I ask what has driven the farmer to this.
    And I ask myself -where was the Dept. of Social Welfare in all this.
    The answer is always – nowhere to be seen.

    I think there is a significant welfare problem when farmers are under the hammer, and support services are usually non-existent or blissfully unaware.

    Like

  177. farmerbraun says:

    “The Green Party want 100% of NZ farms organic. I am trying to get to the bottom of if you think their is a welfare cost to that.”

    In the absence of a massive support mechanism for the farmers forced into such a radical change, there would be huge welfare costs to animals, farmers , families and staff.
    I think that the Green Party would be better to focus their effort on sustainability, and let those who want to take that to the highest levels do so.
    I just don’t think that the training and expertise is at a requisite level for this sort of experiment.
    The worst conventional farmers would make abyssmal organic farmers. The best conventional farmers would have no difficulty, if their economic situations would allow the change to be managed.

    Like

  178. Mr E says:

    Farmerbraun,

    I don’t think you answer had much to do with the question.
    Never the less I will soldier on. Your opinion is just one.

    Regarding your link to a copper study, I would not be hanging my hat on that research. Actually I would not hang any hat on it.
    No replicates
    Tiny number of animals (10 for a FEC is minimum)

    Like

  179. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun

    “I don’t think your answer had much to do with the question”

    I spoke too soon – apologies.

    Well said.

    Like

  180. farmerbraun says:

    “Actually I would not hang any hat on it.”
    Agreed; just an example of the “mix” of views.

    Like

  181. farmerbraun says:

    It is interesting to think back to when 100% of NZ farms were “organic” . . . . say around 1945.
    The economic situation could scarcely have been more different, and that is the flaw that I see with the Green “aspiration”.
    Farmers , by and large , do not have the capital that existed back then , whether it be social , financial or environmental.
    The chances of rebuilding that capital do not look good at present, even if the will were there.

    Like

  182. Mr E says:

    It is interesting to think back to when 100% of NZ farms were “organic” . . . . say around 1945.

    Back then organic was conventional.

    Like

  183. farmerbraun says:

    “Back then organic was conventional.”
    Right , and on a long enough time – line , it still is.
    It is the post-war agriculture which is unconventional.

    Like

  184. Dave Kennedy says:

    “I think that the Green Party would be better to focus their effort on sustainability, and let those who want to take that to the highest levels do so.”

    FB, I agree with your views on organic farming and have explained this many times here before that unless a farmer is convinced that a particular practice has merits beforehand there is no point in forcing the issue. It would be the same as forcing National Standards on schools with no evidence and all schools being forced to take part in a nationwide trial (with threats of legal action if refused). I can imagine the number of tractors chugging up the steps of parliament if a similar approach was done to farming.

    When I lived and taught in rural communities in the 80s the farming industry was undergoing the painful withdrawl from subsidies. Many I knew said that one good season in three kept them going, but they were hardly wealthy. Most said they farmed because it was in their blood and they loved the lifestyle. A good number of farms then were family farms.

    The white gold rush has seen an enormous change in the industry and bottom lines and profit now dictate decisions and many managing dairy farms are not the landowner. The Waituna Landcare Group and its farmer members have worked hard to limit the effects of their farming on the lagoon but told me they struggle as a number of farms in the catchment have constant management changes and they have to try and re-educate newcomers on what is expected in this sensitive area.

    Farming sustainably is actually a philosophy or state of mind that is hard to force on those who are mainly driven by balance sheets and I have been told many times that when there are economic downturns, good environmental practices are the first to be cut. I have been told that forcing farmers to operate sustainably would be economic suicide. Yet surely farming unsustainably will push the environmental limits too far and destroy the industry anyway. The cadmium levels on Waikato farms are slowly growing to the extent that:
    “Based on recent sampling, it is estimated that perhaps 11% of Waikato’s pastoral soils and 17% of Waikato’s horticultural soils already exceed 1 mg/kg soil cadmium. For horticultural soils, this would represent approximately 1775 hectares of land. For pastoral soils (sheep, beef and dairy land), this would represent about 157000 hectares. Within the pastoral soils sample set, all soil samples that have so far exceeded the 1 mg/kg agricultural guideline have been from dairy farms.”

    “In total, productive pastoral soils (mainly sheep, beef and dairy farms) comprise 57% of Waikato’s land area (about 1,430,000 hectares). At current loading rates, the average cadmium concentration over all pastoral surface soils in the Waikato region is expected to reach the 1 mg/kg guideline in under 40 years.”

    “It is important to note that these estimates are based on averages: on specific properties the guideline has been reached, or will be reached in a shorter time.”

    http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/tr200551/

    The latest North and South has a well written article about the capture of water for farming in Canterbury that has seen large rivers run dry for much longer periods and over-allocation in many catchments. It takes 1000 litres of water to produce 1 litre of milk and the constant encouragement to increase production has obviously stretched the water supply. This is unsustainable and I wonder if unchecked that Canterbury will go the same way as California.

    Now that Fonterra has been forced to acknowledge the value of organic and more sustainable practices (natural farming and biological farming) there will be supporting infrastructure to grow the number of such farms again. http://www.biologicalfarmers.nz/

    I think it is farmers like yourself who will actually drive change faster than anything decreed by politicians. As farmers find their conventional practices failing they will look around for those farms that are the most resilient and try and emulate them. What Governments should be doing is invest in research and education and ensure those working in the industry have access to solid independent advice (too much is industry based like with fertilizer). It should also be the Governments job to work with the industry in identifying potential markets and help build a sustainable economy. This Government’s goal of doubling production rather than adding value to what was produced and strengthening our brand has made the industry very vulnerable.

    We may disagree on climate change but I fully support your endeavours to educate those locked into conventional farming practices that are clearly failing on so many levels.

    Like

  185. Mr E says:

    It is the post-war agriculture which is unconventional.

    I don’t see it that way, and painting organics as conventional plays roulette with markets. But I get where you are angling.

    Frankly I would like to see processing companies to market research the standard that most NZ farmers meet.

    Our grass fed systems are low input and low cost and I think the average consumer would identify most of what conventional farmers do as organic.

    I used to run a dryland farm, where we did not drench for 6 years based on FEC every 2 weeks Nov-Mar.
    If we modified our fly/lice treatment and ploughed rather than direct drilled, we would have been organic.

    Our dryland environments are an area where we can create some market opportunities, around practices that already exist. Same goes for much of what NZ farmers do compared to other countries.

    Like

  186. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    What is your solution to Cadmium build up?

    Like

  187. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Our grass fed systems are low input and low cost and I think the average consumer would identify most of what conventional farmers do as organic.”

    I think you would have difficulty supporting this statement Mr E and the reality says something else.

    I am not necessarily supporting what is proposed here, although it is well argued, but the article certainly supports much that I was saying about public perceptions, animal welfare on conventional farms and the issues of unsustainable practices:

    Click to access Paper_Pow_2014.pdf

    Have you organised a place and time for our meeting yet?

    Like

  188. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Dave, What is your solution to Cadmium build up?”

    Using biological soil management and not using the Western Sahara Phosphate that is a morally dodgy source and contains higher cadmium levels. New Zealand has been shamefully named as one of two countries that are involved with the exploitation of the resource:

    ” “Such trade is deeply unethical, as it directly undermines the UN peace efforts. It is taking place in violation of the Saharawi people’s legitimate right to manage their own resources. The Saharawis have a right to self-determination over their land and resources, and both Morocco and the involved companies don’t seem to care at all”, Eyckmans stated. ”

    “Of the remaining four companies that are not registered on any stock exchange, two are farmer owned cooperatives in New Zealand, while the two remaining are fully or partially owned by the Government of Venezuela.”

    http://www.wsrw.org/a105x3185

    I can arrange a meeting with the guys at Soil Health ltd as they can explain it better than I 😉
    http://www.soilhealth.co.nz/whatwedo.html

    Like

  189. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I think your own link says it.

    “New Zealand has been renowned for its traditional pasture based dairy farming. The public likes to see cows grazing grasslands displaying natural behaviour. ”

    “Fully housed cows systems, very common in the Northern Hemisphere, are relatively new in
    New Zealand but are increasing in numbers especially in the South Island”

    As I said – Our grass fed systems are low cost and low input. The public likes that…..

    NZ farmers don’t have the subsidies that many foreign countries have. That is a testament to our low cost systems.

    Regarding time and location – I’m not sure the Feds have times and locations yet.
    Email your mate Russell MacPherson. He’ll know. Would pay to let him know what you are planning to do so he can encourage farmers to come early.

    russ-carol@woosh.co.nz

    If you email your plan to Evan- I am sure an article from him will motivate an audience to come.

    Like

  190. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “Using biological soil management” – I am quite sure all farmers claim to do that.

    If you are not using Western Sahara phosphate, what phosphate will you use?

    Like

  191. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I note that every time I call your bluff, you run a mile. You draw a line in the sand and when I step over it you back off. I already am in email contact with Russell and we have had a number of lengthy conversations in that forum. You are the one who has claimed you are fighting against me on behalf of thousands of farmers, you challenged me, I accepted your challenge and now you demand that I organise it. What!!!?

    “Our grass fed systems are low cost and low input. The public likes that…..”

    Only they are not any more, we import millions of tonnes of supplementary feed every year.

    “Changes to farming systems made during the last six years had eroded dairy farmers’ low-cost base, DairyNZ principal scientist John Roche told about 120 farmers at the organisation’s Taranaki Farmers’ Forum in Stratford.”

    “Roche said rising feed costs had eroded the competitive advantage of New Zealand dairy farmers and had undermined their resilience.”

    “The greatest operating expense on dairy farms was purchased feed, so those heavily reliant on bought-in supplements were exposed to the vagaries of international commodity prices. Farming systems that imported feed could be profitable, but only if they were well-managed.”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/68144618/Rising-feed-costs-eroding-NZ-dairyings-competitive-advantage

    “Using biological soil management” – I am quite sure all farmers claim to do that.”
    Farmerbraun has responded to that myth already.

    “If you are not using Western Sahara phosphate, what phosphate will you use?”

    While I do struggle with the sustainability of any phosphate source most countries do not get their phosphate from the Western Sahara because of respecting the interests of the rightful owners. There are other sources. If we farmed less intensively we would need less.
    http://www.viafos.co.nz/

    Like

  192. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    “Mr E, I note that every time I call your bluff, you run a mile.”

    Umm nope. I provided 2 email addresses for you to face up to farmers with your claims.

    Feds have the capability to run farmer meetings. And they are planning some in October. All I am doing is suggesting you tack on to one of there’s. Farmers are already going, great sensible way to ensure you have an audience. Think of the environment and all that fuel saving by tacking onto an already there meeting.

    Flick a couple of emails – to Russell and Evan. Not hard to do considering the criticisms you have flung. And only fair too I think.

    “Only they are not any more, we import millions of tonnes of supplementary feed every year.”

    Let me repeat and say it slowly so you hear it….. Oooouuuurrrr graaaaaassssss fedddddddd systemmmmmmmms…….

    Did you get it this time?

    You dodged my Phosphate question. It was simple – If we dont get Phosphate from Western Sahara where should we get it. You have not said we should quit phosphate all together – so where?

    Like

  193. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Umm nope. I provided 2 email addresses for you to face up to farmers with your claims.”
    How brave of you, Mr E. Sadly sarcasm is all that response deserves. Remember it was your challenge and that is the extent of your response, a couple of emails of people I am already in contact with. I thought you were going to rally a few of your friends and enjoy the spectacle of them giving me a good roasting…but no 😛

    “Oooouuuurrrr graaaaaassssss fedddddddd systemmmmmmmms…….”

    You debating techniques are being extended with this one. I put up a link to say that our grass fed, ‘low cost’ systems have been eroded to the extent that the cost of supplementary feed is a dominant factor in farm budgets, and that is your response.

    “You have not said we should quit phosphate all together – so where?”
    Just read the link, Mr E, a number of sources were mentioned.

    Like

  194. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    Wow did you call my bluff. I suggested a perfect opportunity…. But no….. You’d rather not….

    You seem to also forget. I am a townie. Not a farmer. A speaking spot at any Feds meeting would be a perfect opportunity. Perfect. But no. Not for you. It seems you would rather hide your views here.

    Regarding your apparent complete and utter lack of comprehension regarding my grass fed comment;

    I was saying to FB that there seems a great opportunity for our processors to establish markets that tend towards our strengths. Our grass fed systems have always been our strength. If we create markets specific to them, we could pay premiums to ‘grass fed farming’ operations. There are a lot of farmers that still fit this profile.

    I was not saying all our systems are grass fed. Nor have I claimed that grass fed systems aren’t diminishing. I am saying there are enough of grass fed farmers around that if the market was interested and a premium was there, we could encourage this system.

    I’d be surprised if you were against this concept.

    Like

  195. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 2:00pm said:

    “FB, I agree with your views on organic farming and have explained this many times here before that unless a farmer is convinced that a particular practice has merits beforehand there is no point in forcing the issue. It would be the same as forcing National Standards on schools…”

    No it would not be the SAME!

    Schools are public institutions. Farms are (mainly) private businesses. Of course the State has more direct input into schools than farms – BECAUSE IT FUNDS THEM for goodness sake!

    Dave, I suggest that if you wish to control farming practice then you should go out and buy/lease one. A guy like you, in semi-retirement, must be looking for something to keep himself busy.

    If controlling your own farming practice isn’t satisfying enough for you, and you simply must control (or try to control) that of others, then you are far too big for your boots!

    Give it a go. From what I have read here you would get a lot out of it. We have. Thoroughly recommend it to you! (warning – doing things outside the box can get expensive and take a long time to realise any results).

    Like

  196. Mr E says:

    Oh and regarding phosphate – I guess you are suggesting Javanese Rock phosphate be our only source. – it is hard to tell from your lack of supporting comments

    There are several issues with that. Guano rock phosphate is only 2-3% of the worlds supply. If NZ demanded only that product it would be gone in a very short time.

    The second issue is Rock Phosphate does not work in many environments. Were rainfall is under 100mm and pH is over 6.0. (Quin Zaman 2012)

    So a big chunk of the country would miss out on your recommendation, and the rest would miss out after a short period of time.

    Awe inspiring.

    Like

  197. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, again you completely missed my point and it doesn’t matter if it is farming or a professional body, forcing change or “controlling” an industry is a stupid concept. Your suggestion that I personally want to do that is just bizarre.

    “Regarding your apparent complete and utter lack of comprehension regarding my grass fed comment”

    Mr E, you just have to explain it in more detail then, because this is what you stated: “Our grass fed systems are low cost and low input.”

    Apparently the low cost low input system is a thing of the past. as the article stated. Here is some further evidence that we are rapidly moving away from that model:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/dairy/10361253/Grass-greener-when-it-saves-cash

    “The reality is, the gap between the maximum potential yield of New Zealand’s pastures and utilisation of this pasture has diminished to the point where little incremental growth in production is possible without alternative feed sources.”

    “It is no surprise that continued increases in dairy production have gone hand in hand with significant increases in the use of imported supplementary feed stuffs, such as palm kernel which, with increased rates of applied nitrogen, contribute to nutrient loading on dairy farms.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11348343

    “I guess you are suggesting Javanese Rock phosphate be our only source.”

    Where did I state that? That was only one of the sources identified. I was only giving examples of other sources that other countries use without having to sell their souls. You seem to also be accepting that the cadmium issue is just something we should put up (when it is clearly a growing problem) and it is alright to go against an international boycott to access the stuff. Oh dear.

    Like

  198. TraceyS says:

    “…it doesn’t matter if it is farming or a professional body, forcing change or “controlling” an industry is a stupid concept..”

    Professional body? Schools are not, first and foremost, about the profession of teaching or the “professional body”. They’re about childrens’ education! In most cases State education. Are you saying that the State should not have some control over the services it funds?

    I don’t care if you think your point was missed. I picked up on a more subtle, and important, one. Such is my liberty.

    Like

  199. Dave Kennedy says:

    If an average of 75 cows a farm (depending on current stocking levels and degree of sustainable practices) it would actually achieve a very positive result. We could reduce the need for supplementary feed, return to pasture based farming, reduce the amount of phosphate needed, limit the demand more costly irrigation schemes (that our sucking our river systems dry) and help bring credibility to our marketing of a pasture based industry. Increase the number of organic farms and our economy will start to hum again 😉

    Like

  200. Dave Kennedy says:

    Yep, Tracey, you have the liberty and the ability to say as you wish, just don’t expect me to agree with your bizarre logic. The teaching profession lead the activities in each school just as the medical profession leads the work in a hospital. The idea of a politician deciding how and what should be assessed in children is just as stupid as a politician deciding how and what doctors should assess in their patients. The Civilians take on charter schools summed up this kind of approach brilliantly 😉
    http://www.thecivilian.co.nz/government-to-introduce-charter-hospitals/

    Like

  201. TraceyS says:

    Teachers lead the activities within a framework set by the board Dave. At least that is how it is supposed to work.

    Politicians represent the stakeholders who pay the taxes without which our education system would cease to exist. Such stakeholders (most importantly, parents) are represented at this level but also at board level.

    Farms are not funded by tax payers. Outside intervention should be limited to the stake held (if indeed any).

    You will argue that some of the effects of some farms are socialised at a cost to the public and, therefore, create a public stake. If this is the case, public intervention should be relative to the proven effect. This would be representative of their stake or interest.

    Your musings here go way beyond that, as Mr E has been at pains to point out, and which you doggedly refuse to accept. You spend a lot of time and effort here pumping (and exaggerating) the public stakeholder interest in farming. To suit your purpose, you have clearly tried to rope in greater numbers than is deserved.

    We all know that is so you can build a case which attempts to justify intervention of an ideological nature to satisfy the whims and wants of your party supporters. Without these stakeholders your party would cease to exist, so you must.

    I understand that. Just don’t expect me to go along with you.

    Like

  202. Dave Kennedy says:

    No Tracey, the principal is the professional leader and manager of the school and the curriculum taught in a school is shaped by the national curriculum and consultation with the school community. The Principal and teachers are responsible for what goes on in the classroom and the BOT ensure that the Principal is supported in his role and they appraise his performance against professional standards and fulfilling the school charter. Both the Board and the Principal have to be accountable to the NEGs and the NAGs and ERO also uses these documents and the Government’s priorities to assess the performance of both the Board and the Staff.

    Farmers may own land but they also have the responsibility of being stewards of that land and need to manage their business according to similar guidelines as the NEGs and NAGs that schools have to abide by. There are environmental expectations, consents needed for specific activities, animal welfare considerations and responsibilities as an employer. If they are a dairy farmer then they have to comply by Fonterra’s requirements too.

    My musings go no further than putting forward a case for different farming methods and ways of operating. I appreciate the comments of Farmerbraun because he confirms (with his experience) that a more sustainable approach to farming would be better for the industry and our economy.

    It appears that challenging conventional farming with some energy and promoting sustainability is very threatening for some. I think you will find that this isn’t just an ideological approach, but evidence based. Teaching is an evidence based profession, as is medicine. This current Government is ideologically based in it’s policies but the Green Party is evidence based. Like me, my party like to include evidence with our key election policies and evidence is what drives our Good Farm Stories.

    Not a lot of evidence has been used against my argument other than Mr E’s approach of claiming that because he is a townie with a lot of certificates and farming experience I should just take his word for everything he says. I do agree with Farmerbraun that too many farmers are brainwashed into believing that conventional farming is sustainable and has a long term future. Apparently using that approach the Waikato will have largely poisoned itself in forty years, if not before.

    Like

  203. farmerbraun says:

    Perhaps we could agree that having more farms moving towards sustainability is an aspirational goal, sort of like the aspiration of having a nation wholly united behind a new flag.

    🙂

    Like

  204. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,

    Many people view the term sustainability differently. I think most people think about the triple bottom line when they think of sustainability and most put their best endeavours into getting it right.

    I think there are a small number that do get it wrong, either socially, financially, or environmentally, and much of the monitoring data suggests that is true.

    eg Our water quality is largely stable ecoli, sediment, significant improvements in phosphate and possibly a small deterioration in N.

    eg Financially there are always a few businesses and homes that are turned over by the banks each year.

    eg And socially, communities can have issues going on.

    Success in each of those areas is a continuum. One persons measure of financial success- sustainability is another persons failure. Same goes for any of the triple bottom line.

    There is no doubt that there are people out there who look at your farm operation as an environmental disaster. For some caring for the environment is about returning it to it’s pre human state. And there are others who will admire your system.

    So when I read your comment that we could have more moving toward sustainability – It is my view that most are all ready there. I believe that a small number have got it wrong and I think about how that handful get the knowledge to do it right.

    Will unfairly accusing the masses of abuse achieve anything? Nope. They are likely to turn around and prove a lack of credibility in the claims. Because accusing the masses of abuse, accuses the masses of having a poorer understanding. Such attitudes are elitist or extremist, particularly when they are unqualified views.

    What will make progress is questioning the practices of the small number that get it wrong. That is what I look for in a Government. A moderate approach that deals with the real issues.

    I don’t look for a Government that bullies and bashes the masses.

    Like

  205. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    All this talk about Me…. I love it.

    So far you have suggested many many things here is a list:

    Farmer
    Dentist
    Drainlayers asisstant
    Apologist
    Gods Gift
    Bully
    Hyporcrite

    And now you continue to make stuff up about me.
    eg
    “Mr E’s approach of claiming that because he is a townie with a lot of certificates and farming experience I should just take his word for everything he says”

    That is all bull poppy and you know it. I have never ever said anything of the sort. I think you say things like that in an attempt to upset people.

    I can tell you it doesn’t upset me. That is because it shows up the flaws in your argument. If your argument was good enough you would not need such approaches.

    So when I see things like that. I simply think D grade politicking. Trying to distract from the true debate. And usually it makes me smile and sometimes laugh.

    Regarding Phosphate – you have claimed that we shouldn’t use Western Sahara products. You have claimed we should use other sources and produced links. Viaphos uses Guano Rock phosphate and the world reserves of Guano are all but exhausted. If NZ used Guano only, it would be all going in a very very short time. Your other link to SoilHealth Ltd has no mention of phosphate at all.

    So you are in charge of the phosphate switch. And your just switched off Western Sahara, what now. Guano is all but gone and wont work on many farms….. What now?

    You must have thought about this? Surely if you are going to be critical of an entire industry you must have alternatives?

    I noticed you have gone cold on the idea of speaking to farmers about your accusation of abuses. I can do you a favour. Would you like me to email Russell and request it on your behalf? Before you accept just know my email address is similar to my identity here.

    So if you want me to put the effort in – I can. It will take me 5 minutes to try and sort it. Just give me the go ahead.

    Like

  206. farmerbraun says:

    Re sustainable.
    It seems to be self-evident, that if something is here today , then it has been sustainable up until now.
    The question is always – will it still be here in the future.
    It’s impossible to give a definite answer.

    But if we say that more capital provides more resilience, and therefore enhanced sustainability, then increases in capital, whether economic, environmental, or social, could be said to be increasing the sustainability.
    But it only takes one of the three capitals to be exhausted to cause the other two to be mined until collapse.

    I do still enjoy having farmer groups visit and display their adherence to their paradigm.
    We could be looking at a 50 year old pasture that has survived droughts and floods etc, and they will insist that it is rubbish.
    Or we could be in drought, looking at a productive field of Ella cocksfoot , and they will insist that it is a weed and they would not have it on their farm under any circumstances.
    Having initially denied any possibility of my success, their parting shot has been “well it might work here , but it won’t work anywhere else.”
    It has seemed to me that in most cases the visiting farmers see no way out of the economic hole that they are in, and environmental and social considerations necessarily take a back seat.
    In the EU, they would be assisted by subsidy, but let us hope that NZ never goes down that track again.

    Like

  207. Mr E says:

    Farmer Braun,
    I have seen some very successful organic farm operations. And I have seen some very successful conventional operations.

    All have fit my view of sustainability. You don’t need to be one or the other.

    I have seen places where cocksfoot is a weed. I have seen places where farmers spend a lot of money on cocksfoot. Both are right.

    I have seen farmers with dogstail browntop grasses very successfully finish lambs. I have seen ‘best farmers in the district’ with ryegrass dominance.

    One or the other is not necessary. Variation is our strength. The irony is the Greens keep talking about diversity in farming businesses but want 100% organic.

    Like

  208. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Our water quality is largely stable ecoli, sediment, significant improvements in phosphate and possibly a small deterioration in N.”

    Even if that is true Mr E, it’s no thanks to farming, according to LAWA: “…rivers in lowlands surrounded by pasture and cities are often of poorer water quality.”

    “So when I read your comment that we could have more moving toward sustainability – It is my view that most are all ready there.”

    Not according to those who believe most farmers are reliant on imported feed, not based on water quality in pastural areas, not according to Waikato data showing the growth of cadmium levels, not according to scientists claiming that our native fish are becoming extinct, not according to the level of water use that is pushing available resources to the limit and is over allocated in many areas…

    “Will unfairly accusing the masses of abuse achieve anything?”

    I agree that accusing farmers of abuse will not encourage them to change, I would not use that approach in normal circumstances. It would only be unfair because as Farmerbraun said, most are brainwashed as to the legitimacy of their practice. However there is strong evidence to show that many deliberately ignored their responsibilities as employers and the debacle with the Clean Streams Accord was telling as regards environmental awareness.

    As for you organising a meeting, you are more than welcome to but there is little point as I meet with them fairly regularly anyway. The whole idea, as you would know, was to call your bluff to see if you would personally make a public stand in support of your views. You constantly bring my background and personal life into the argument but determinedly hide your own. I have no issue with you hiding behind a nom de plume but it is a cowardly practice to fight from a hidden position to make personal attacks and not allow others to make similar judgements of oneself. You talk tough but quickly run and hide when challenged. I think this particular exchange should end here as I although I haven’t discovered who you are (and don’t really want to expend a lot of energy finding out) I have exposed what you are. I’m sick of your little circular games and I’m sure Ele and others are tired of this particular line of debate as well.

    Like

  209. Mr E says:

    “Even if that is true Mr E, it’s no thanks to farming”

    You keep saying farming dominates the landscape and is the major contributor to water quality. How can it possibly be that any issues are the farmers fault, but stability or improvements have nothing to do with farmers.
    You must see how illogical that is.

    I said:
    “It is my view that most are all ready there”

    Regarding your “Not according to those”. I think many of those comments have nothing to do with sustainability.

    I am bothered by the native fish concerns. But I think the greatest improvement opportunities are beyond farmers and local councils have much of the responsibility.

    “I agree that accusing farmers of abuse will not encourage them to change, I would not use that approach in normal circumstances”

    I think you have done that here. Why here and not in normal circumstances?

    “most are brainwashed as to the legitimacy of their practice”

    I don’t subscribe to that belief. Accusing ‘most’ of general bad behaviour, smacks of smugness and elitism. It shows contempt of the masses. Whoever does it, I think they need to self reflect.

    “However there is strong evidence to show that many deliberately ignored their responsibilities as employers”

    There is no evidence to say that they ignored their responsibilities. A survey of 29 farmers that found 19 farmers with fault is not strong evidence that most farmers get it wrong. That must me obvious to nearly anyone.

    “and the debacle with the Clean Streams Accord was telling as regards environmental awareness.”

    You call it a debacle. I call it a difference in assessment. What does it tell us about environmental awareness?

    “As for you organising a meeting, you are more than welcome to but there is little point as I meet with them fairly regularly anyway.”

    So am I getting a nod to go ahead? Yes?

    There is a lot of point. I doubt you have fronted a meeting of many and claimed widespread animal, staff and environmental abuse. As you say you “would not use that approach in normal circumstances”.

    Shine your light Dave, don’t hide it behind a bushel.

    “The whole idea, as you would know, was to call your bluff to see if you would personally make a public stand in support of your views”

    Umm that may have been your agenda. For me the whole idea was always about you facing those who you hold in contempt.

    Finding out who I am really won’t make you any wiser than you are now. Other than it would elay any fears that you might have that I am some broke, convicted farmer. I am not. You can choose to trust that. Or not. I care not.

    “You constantly bring my background and personal life into the argument.”

    You raised your background. Not me. I may have repeated it. Largely in a supporting fashion. I stopped talking about your background ages ago. I can keep supporting it if you would like?

    “I have no issue with you hiding behind a nom de plume”

    Good good. Let’s move on.

    “but”

    Not this again….. Over and over and over.

    “it is a cowardly practice to fight from a hidden position”

    Who is fighting? Not me. I’m debating and putting my views forward.. That is the point of blogging. Most people have a non de plume. Let it go Dave.

    I exist here within the rules. Let go. If you can’t, I suggest you question your own presence blogging. Not everyone else here.

    “to make personal attacks”

    You keep claiming I make personal attacks but provide no evidence. We have been over this ground again and again and agian. The readers must be bored to tears with your apparent inane repetition without qualification.

    “I think this particular exchange should end here”

    Brilliant !

    “I although I haven’t discovered who you are (and don’t really want to expend a lot of energy finding out) I have exposed what you are.”

    And thanks for doing that. I have made a pretty solid attempt as providing a defence for your attacks against farmers in their absence. I’m pretty proud of that, and have you to thank for the opportunity. You’ve helped me to retain my reputation, for standing the truth and the facts. That is what I am. A person that defends facts.

    “I’m sick of your little circular games”

    Say what?

    “I’m sure Ele and others are tired of this particular line of debate as well”

    I guess Ele is. James on the other hand couldnt get enough. He could peel his eyes away at one stage.

    Never the less I was hoping we were coming to a conclusion.

    Our meeting – The one I will try to arrange. Are we all go?

    And phosphate – where else can it come from. I am on the edge of my chair in anticipation….. I’m not sure how many times I need to ask a straight question before I get a straight answer.

    Like

  210. Dave Kennedy says:

    Go ahead and organise the meeting, Mr E, I have already confirmed that you are able to do that. Since I am prepared to do this I do find it interesting that you don’t feel comfortable about joining us but have called on the local “heavies” 😉 to front me instead. So be it i guess.

    As for the phosphate issue, I am appalled that you think it is acceptable to support the destruction of another’s future and economy to progress ours. A random search produced at least two other sources. However there’s already ample in our soils, bound to soil particles. It just needs efficient and effective management to unlock it and make it available to plants.

    Also how about the vast amounts of phosphorus that in our
    lagoons and estuaries? Why not recover that rather than pour more and more onto the soil. Our farms are responsible for huge energy leakage as much that is applied to paddocks washes and leaches into our water systems.

    Reactive rock phosphate, in any case, is the route to take,
    if you must. Slow release, buffered phosphorus is far safer for the
    environment that soluble phosphate – superphosphate, acidic and water soluble, is a prime example of farming at its worst – short-term gain and significant damage to the environment.

    I’m sure Farmerbraun has an opinion on this as someone who has more experience in this than I.

    Like

  211. Mr E says:

    “Go ahead and organise the meeting, Mr E”

    Emails have been sent.

    “Since I am prepared to do this I do find it interesting that you don’t feel comfortable about joining us”

    Who said I wouldn’t come?

    “but have called on the local “heavies” 😉 to front me instead”

    More contempt of farmers

    “As for the phosphate issue, I am appalled that you think it is acceptable to support the destruction of another’s future and economy to progress ours.”

    Say what? I haven’t said anything that would allow you to draw such conclusions.

    “Why not recover that rather than pour more and more onto the soil. Our farms are responsible for huge energy leakage as much that is applied to paddocks washes and leaches into our water systems.”

    There is a business for you Dave. Dig it up and sell it. Good luck getting a consent to do that.

    It is worth noting that monitoring of many water ways shows significant improvement in Phosphate concentrations. Have you seen the ES state of the Environment report. 26 out of 69 sites improving?

    So perhaps your should rest easy Dave.

    “Reactive rock phosphate, in any case, is the route to take”

    From where Dave? Which RPR is your product of choice?
    What do the farmers use who have a pH higher than 6.0 and rainfall less than 1000mm? Burt Quin has suggested RPR wont work for these farmers.

    Like

  212. Dave Kennedy says:

    “Emails have been sent.”
    Perhaps you can include me in future ones so that we can establish a time that suits?

    “It is worth noting that monitoring of many water ways shows significant improvement in Phosphate concentrations. Have you seen the ES state of the Environment report. 26 out of 69 sites improving?”

    And it is also worth noting that the improvement is from a pretty appalling earlier position and the worst sites that have been identified are those in pastural environments, most of the improvement was identified in the urban sites. I hope you don’t want me to reproduce LAWAs quotes all over again.

    Rather than continuing to throw the real problems I have identified with phosphate back at me, how about explaining how conventional farmers are addressing it. I get the feeling that they think there are no alternatives to continuing with an unsustainable practice or are unaware of the problem. Can you provide a link to any evidence that anything is being currently done to find alternative sources, other than the Western Sahara, and what farmers are doing to reduce their dependence?

    Like

  213. Mr E says:

    “Perhaps you can include me in future ones so that we can establish a time that suits?”

    When Feds come back to me, ill ask them to contact you.

    “improvement is from a pretty appalling earlier position”

    That is a position of relativity. NZ to other OECD countries – we’re the best equal.

    “most of the improvement was identified in the urban sites”

    Regarding Southland SOE – these are the areas where phosphate improvements were recorded.

    Aparima River at Dunrobin
    Cromel stream at Selbie Road
    Mararoa River at The Key
    Mararoa River at Weir Road
    Oreti River at Three Kings
    Whitestone River d/s Manapouri-Hillside Rd
    Cascade stream at Pourakino Valley Road
    Pourakino River at Trail Road
    Waihopai at Queens drive
    Otepuni Creek at Nith street
    Waikawa river at Progress valle
    Waikopikopiko Stream at Haldane CurioBay
    Waituna Creek at Marshall Road
    Waituna Creek at Mokotua
    Mataura River 200m d/s Mataura Bridge
    Mataura River at Gorge Road
    Mataura River at Mataura Island Bridge
    North Peak Stream at Waimea Valley Road

    Most of those sites are rural I am sure you will agree.

    I did note a mistake about – I was supposed to say 26% of the 69 sites.

    Like

  214. TraceyS says:

    Dave says:

    “…the BOT ensure that the Principal is supported in his role and they appraise his performance against professional standards and fulfilling the school charter. Both the Board and the Principal have to be accountable to the NEGs and the NAGs and ERO also uses these documents and the Government’s priorities to assess the performance of both the Board and the Staff.”

    NZSTA says:

    Board Responsibilities:
    A board has a wide range of responsibilities…key areas of contribution are to:

    – Set and, as needed, modify the vision, mission, and values of the school
    – Protect the special character/values of the school
    – Ensure a sensible and feasible strategic plan
    – Approve and monitor the annual plan
    – Develop and review the general policy direction
    – Monitor and evaluate student learning outcomes
    – Appoint, assess the performance of, and support the principal
    act as a good employer
    – Provide financial stewardship
    – Oversee, conserve, and enhance the resource base
    – Approve major policies and programme initiatives
    – Manage risk
    – Commit to a programme of professional development that includes new trustee induction
    – Build a broad base of community support
    – Exercise governance in a way that fulfils the intent of the Treaty of Waitangi by valuing and reflecting New Zealand’s dual cultural heritage

    http://www.nzsta.org.nz/accountability/board-responsibilities

    This makes it pretty clear that I am correct in saying “teachers lead the activities within a framework set by the board” (and that includes the Principal).

    I think there is a pattern emerging whereby you, Dave, leave out any information that does not suit your argument. Notably, your description left out all of the vision, mission, values and strategic responsibilities that are not solely guided by professional practice, but also the needs and objectives of parents and communities.

    “Farmers may own land but they also have the responsibility of being stewards of that land and need to manage their business according to similar guidelines as the NEGs and NAGs that schools have to abide by.”

    The public don’t fund farms. The public interest is limited to the public effects (the sort of stuff consents deal with). What is lawfully carried out without more than minor effects on the public (including the environment) is not public business in my opinion.

    Therefore provided I am farming my property without negative effect on the public/environment, and provided my activities are lawful, organic or not – I would say that you or any other politician should mind your own business. The same simply cannot be said for schools where the public interest is much greater.

    Your approach here is clear. You are trying to trump up the public interest in farming to justify intervention which in most cases is neither good nor necessary.

    It’s a similar strategy deployed by those who oppose consent or similar applications – exaggerate, exaggerate, exaggerate!

    Like

  215. farmerbraun says:

    Here is the gen on RPR. Chatham Rise phosphorite is mentioned.

    http://www.groupone.co.nz/quinformation-2/fertiliser/reactive-phosphate-rocks/

    Like

  216. TraceyS says:

    PS. May I please be invited to the meeting where Dave will bravely, face-to-face, tell farmers that the majority of them suck?

    That will sure be worth a trip down South.

    Like

  217. farmerbraun says:

    “the majority of them suck?”

    It’s not clear that the above is the message.

    Like

  218. farmerbraun says:

    ” . . . provided [that] I am farming my property without negative effect on the public/environment, and provided [that]my activities are lawful, . . . you or any other politician should mind your own business. ”

    That was the situation in law until the passing of the RMA.
    Thank you Simon Upton /sarc.

    Like

  219. Mr E says:

    Also regarding phosphate this is what LAWA claims for DRP

    “Overall, across all land cover types, the number of monitoring sites where improving dissolved reactive phosphorus trends (DRP) were detected (40%) outweighed those that showed a deteriorating trend (11%). Because this pattern occurred over all land covers, it may be due to factors unrelated to management such as long term climate variation.”

    Phosphate improved over all land classes.

    Like

  220. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    I’ll let you know the date when I hear back.

    You’d be welcome to stay with the family and get some good old fashioned Southland hospitality. Before you see Daves version of hospitality.

    Like

  221. TraceyS says:

    Thanks, Mr E. Will take you up provided you can also accommodate the hubby. We both just love southern hospitality. Of course we won’t come empty-handed.

    farmerbraun at 5:08pm: I look forward to testing my interpretation at the meeting by reading out some of Dave’s comments and asking for his verbal elaboration on them. This will add another dimension but, to be honest, I don’t know if it will be good. I’ll keep open-minded though.

    …and at 5:11pm: The freedom I still have under the current regime is to avoid activities which are on anyone’s radar. That is why I so oppose Green’s 100% organic/transition policy goal. No longer possible would be choosing a quiet(ish) life on the land where one can avoid nosy political interference and just get on with being good. That’s our retirement goal and I’ll fight to keep it.

    Only a fool would accept Dave’s word that policies such as this (and others such as ‘encouraging’ farmers to live on-farm) would not eventually become enshrined within the RMA or other legislation.

    Like

  222. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    Of course hubby is welcome. If he is like most blokes he can check out my old vehicle collection.

    I like your concept of questions.

    Although I don’t want to get ahead of myself Feds have to say yes.

    Like

  223. TraceyS says:

    “Also how about the vast amounts of phosphorus that in our
    lagoons and estuaries? Why not recover that rather than pour more and more onto the soil.”

    Although it borders on self-interest, I think that is a pretty good idea, Dave.

    But it certainly is not sustainable. It is not sustainable because it cannot be done without utilising another finite resource – fossil oil.

    In addition, the disturbance to ecosystems would be enormous.

    Like

  224. TraceyS says:

    Did I spot James Shaw in Dunedin today Dave? Outside Otago Uni bout 9.30am…

    I waved. But he was peering at his phone.

    May have been a lookalike. ODT online has nothing.

    Like

  225. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, I guess it comes down to what you mean by “framework” it certainly isn’t a term used anywhere in the key documents. The New Zealand Curriculum guides what should be taught, the character and vision describes things like cultural perspectives and areas of special character. Most of the Board’s responsibilities are around the building and resourcing. The NEGs and NAGs generally dictate policy. Here are the Principals professional standards:
    http://www.educationalleaders.govt.nz/Leadership-development/Professional-information/Professional-standards-primary-school-principals

    Yes, it probably was James.

    Like

  226. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, Given Tracey’s comment it looks as though this proposed meeting that I have agreed to (in good faith on my part) is turning into something rather sinister, I have no intention of telling farmers that “the majority of them suck”. The kind of gleeful request of Tracey’s to be able view my supposed demise in front of a room of farmers sounds like similar behaviour to someone turning up to a beheading with their knitting.

    I have already indicated my willingness to talk to you F2F which you have steadfastly refused to do, I then agreed to meet with a group of farmers with you and now it seems as though (from Tracey’s reaction) you are organising a hit team from the “Feds’ to do your dirty work while you still remain in hiding. At the same time you are welcoming Tracey down to watch the spectacle. What kind of people are you?

    If Farmerbraun is confused about the messaging (5:08), and he is hardly a great supporter of all I say, we may have a problem.

    Like

  227. TraceyS says:

    Dave, the governance framework is made up of the charter, mission, vision, values and strategic planning, policies etc.

    You say that “[m]ost of the Board’s responsibilities are around the building and resourcing.” This is simply not correct. In fact, it is seriously incorrect. Section 75 of the Education Act 1989 spells it out:

    Functions and powers of boards
    (1) A school’s board must perform its functions and exercise its powers in such a way as to ensure that every student at the school is able to attain his or her highest possible standard in educational achievement.
    (2) Except to the extent that any enactment or the general law of New Zealand provides otherwise, a school’s board has complete discretion to control the management of the school as it thinks fit.”

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1989/0080/latest/DLM179565.html

    The board’s primary concern is student achievement. See NZSTA’s page on “What is Governance”. The term “framework” is used. The framework ensures the board acts within the legislation – something we all have to do whether school or farm.

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1989/0080/latest/DLM179565.html

    I’m well aware of the principals professional standards. While extremely important, these do not supplant governance.

    Like

  228. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 12:10am: If it makes you feel better I won’t go.

    For the record I’ve got nothing to do with the meeting arrangements. Nor would I be likely to turn up on the day with my knitting. However, I would turn up with my brain and ask you some questions. You could ask me some too and answer your own question “what kind of [person] are you?” Or not. Ball’s in your court I think.

    Like

  229. Dave Kennedy says:

    Tracey, you referred to the legislative framework that school boards and principals must work within. This isn’t decided by the board and dictated to the principal, it exists outside of both. It is the boards responsibility to ensure that Schools comply to the NEGs and NAGs and in reality and in most cases the Principal leads the majority of the work as they are the ones with the professional knowledge.

    “a school’s board has complete discretion to control the management of the school as it thinks fit.”

    That may be stated as such but things aren’t as simple as that, as I said earlier boards can’t ignore the legislation and their control over the “management” generally involves the appointment of the principal and then appraising them in terms of the job description that they appointed him/her under. As governors, boards rarely interfere with the day to day management of the school. A lot depends on the capability and confidence of any board to the extent of their involvement and the majority (using their discretion) provide the principal with a good deal of freedom to lead.

    Interestingly until the Government introduced Charter Schools, Tomorrows Schools in New Zealand were described as a form of Charter School on Wikipedia, as they all operated under a charter and as you pointed out boards were supposed to be given the ability to independently oversee the management of their schools. That has definitely been eroded to the extent that they are subject to such a level of compliance that they have limited authority. This was especially highlighted with the introduction of National Standards where a large number of boards questioned the manner of implementation and requested meetings with the Ministry. They were virtually told to shut up and comply otherwise they would be sacked and commissioners put in their place.

    https://blog.greens.org.nz/2011/08/18/when-is-civil-disobedience-justified/
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/5343976/School-forced-to-adopt-national-standards
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10744444

    As for your attendance at my lynching, Tracey, it would be lovely to meet you in person (and I have even extended the offer of being a Facebook friend in the past) but if your main purpose was to see me being punished, it just seems a little icky 😛

    Like

  230. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    Sinister?
    It seems Tracey has interpreted your view of farmers from some of your commentary. I guess there are differences of opinion regarding that. I think the ‘suck’ comment was a joke.

    It sounds to me that she simply wants to find out if you stand by all your statements? I don’t think there is anything sinister in that. She seems quite genuine..

    You do stand by all your statements don’t you Dave? If not it is probably a good idea to speak sooner rather than later.

    It’s possibly not the best idea to go into a meeting regarding statements you have made – if you don’t truly believe them.

    Maybe you should read back through before the opportunity is confirmed and marketed through the media.

    “you are organising a hit team from the “Feds’ to do your dirty work while you still remain in hiding.”

    I don’t think the Federated Farmers have a “hit team”. They seem a very reputable organisation. Some of the local exec seem really nice. I think you can trust them to be fair. You’ll know this from your meetings with them.

    I dont know what you mean by dirty work. This is a chance for you to talk about your views more widely with the public. Aren’t you a politician? Don’t you want your views heard? What is dirty about that?

    Maybe, just maybe, do you think you could have got a little carried away? And do you think that maybe, just maybe you might have overstepped the mark, and spoken harshly about farmers due to your dislike of me?

    If that is the case, I’d prefer to table it now rather than waste anyones time.

    But if not – I dont see the drama. Facing up to views and statements is a basic tenet of politics, is it not?

    Like

  231. Paranormal says:

    DK said – “and in most cases the Principal leads the majority of the work”. Do you have any understanding of the difference between governance and operation or is this just more proof of your lack of corporate understanding?

    Mr E, when DK talks of ‘hit team’, could it be he is thinking of the Feds as a union and, in his mind, associating them with using the same bullying tactics he is used to in unions?

    Like

  232. Will Dwan says:

    That’s very astute Paranormal. Dave’s view of agriculture always seems to be at odds with the reality. Tracey often suggests he get his own farm and have a go for a few years. I think it is the only way. The communication gulf is unbridgeable.

    Like

  233. Mr E says:

    Will
    There is an old saying about walking a mile in someone else’s shoes. I made reference to it earlier in the comment thread.

    Like

  234. Mr E says:

    Paranormal,

    Dave’s earlier comments indicate he has good relations with Feds. I don’t think he has anything to worry about.

    Like

  235. TraceyS says:

    Dave at 9:18am. The only person who indicated you would be “punished” was you.

    Like

  236. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, I certainly stand my original statement but it seems that a certain amount of hysteria has developed since. My original statement claimed that “many” farmers “mistreat” their animals and staff, and this morphed into me supposedly “accusing the masses of abuse” and then saying that “all farmers suck”.

    “May I please be invited to the meeting where Dave will bravely, face-to-face, tell farmers that the majority of them suck? That will sure be worth a trip down South.”

    It certainly appears like a lynch mob being organised with the vultures gathering.

    Also what was agreed as a chat to a group of farmers has apparently turned into a “chance for you to talk about your views more widely with the public” and seemingly a “30 minute lecture on abuses” to a full meeting of the Feds with the Southland Times recording my supposed demise.

    It does appear that your whole intention is a bullying one of increasing the stakes higher and higher until I either back down or get publicly squashed with Tracey gleefully watching on. All this to avoid a F2F meeting with you and perhaps a couple of your farmer mates.

    What I also perceive is an extremely high level of hypocrisy when Farmerbraun (who I paraphrased and agreed with in my original comment) regarding sustainability claimed:

    “Everyone wants to be sustainable in their farming practice ; most don’t know what it means” and then suggested that most dairy farmers are “brainwashed”

    He also explained far more graphically than I the reality of a stressed industry on animal welfare.

    “You know Mr E, this morning about 5.30 a.m. I could hear the neighbour “rounding up” his cows.
    It is not the first time that I have heard the screaming; far from it.
    Invariably when I read about animal abuse , I ask what has driven the farmer to this.
    And I ask myself -where was the Dept. of Social Welfare in all this.
    The answer is always – nowhere to be seen.”

    “I think there is a significant welfare problem when farmers are under the hammer, and support services are usually non-existent or blissfully unaware.”

    Just to remind you Mr E, it was always me who has been the first to offer F2F meetings (and do so regularly anyway as you know) but I do find it amusing that the only way I can meet with you is when you have massed the whole Southland famers union around you in preparation. While I am flattered that 1) You think that I deserve that much attention; 2) that my comments on this blog have such an effect on the farming industry; 3) that you feel inadequate to manage me by yourself …I do wonder if what you envisage could be done even better.

    As this seems to be planned as an event at a Federated Farmers meeting I don’t believe that I am necessarily the best person to argue my entire case (remember it covered environmental, employment and social welfare considerations). Why don’t we make it a proper debate about ideas and facts, rather than just about bullying me into submission?

    I used to debate for the Wendonside Young Farmers club, so know there is a history of debating within the farming community.

    If we make the moot “The conventional farming practices of today have no moral, economic or environmental future in New Zealand”

    We could have two teams presenting more robust arguments in a more informative, and perhaps more entertaining way than watching a quarter acre gardener attempt to represent the entire case convincingly.

    What do you think? I am even happy to contact Allan myself with the proposal 😉

    Like

  237. Dave Kennedy says:

    I just had another idea, because I have heard on the campaign trail that many believe John Key’s statements that if the Green Party ever got into Government they would destroy the farming industry, this could be a way of seeing first hand what the Greens really do believe rather than hearing Key’s version.

    Like

  238. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    I think it unkind that you are suggesting people may want to bully you into submission, when you have not even faced those you have accused of mistreating staff, animals and the environment.

    You seem to be pre-empting peoples responses, seemingly afraid of them. Why is that, I wonder.

    I have already framed the opportunity for Feds. If you want to morph it into something else that is up to you and them.

    I do though think you are trying to back out of what you agreed to. Now you want a team to defend your views. This after you spent much time explain your views were yours. Not necessarily those of the Party.

    “It certainly appears like a lynch mob being organised with the vultures gathering.”

    That is pretty unkind considering the efforts I am going to, to provide you a platform and the efforts others would go to, to come and listen.

    Do you always refer to your audience as “vultures”?

    Like

  239. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    It seems to me like you are trying to water down your statements too.

    This is your original statement:
    “generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these).”

    This seems vastly different from:

    ““many” farmers “mistreat” their animals and staff.”

    I hope you don’t do that during the potential meeting. Sounds like Tracey could be there to remind you.

    Like

  240. Dave Kennedy says:

    “That is pretty unkind considering the efforts I am going to”
    Mr E, I understood you had just sent off some emails 😉 I hadn’t realised that you were putting any more time into this.

    “I have already framed the opportunity for Feds”
    I would also be interested in seeing what was “framed” in those emails as evidence of your honesty. If what was being organised is just as you claim, there should be no problem in you doing so. I guess it would be good to have some transparency around the organisation. You could forward them to me david.kennedy@greens.org.nz

    There is no hiding the intent behind Tracey’s comment and it is as vulture like as anything I have heard in this forum, she could clearly smell the blood. As far as continuing that as a reference to the whole audience, I guess that depends on how you have presented the event to those you contacted and I guess I will see this in the forwarded emails.

    I am quite prepared to stand on my beliefs but obviously don’t want to let down my side, as I will invariably be seen as the Green candidate representing Green Party views.

    I am not trying to back down on anything, I think the moot I suggested is robust in representing what is actually being discussed here and I will be still fronting my views to your audience. It’s just that I believe that the debate would have far more value in drawing out the real arguments behind the issues and allowing the support for conventional farming be presented better than you could here. There would be value in this for both sides.

    I guess it comes down to whether this is just about me or about the real facts and the future of farming. I have already had a platform twice before to present my case to the local Feds, it’s nothing new, my suggestion will be a more newsworthy event.

    As I said I am quite willing to chat to Allan about it as an extension to what you have already proposed to him and it would be nice to have your support. I could even do this tonight as it would be great to get it underway.

    Like

  241. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, (12:08) I thought it was clear I was talking about how the key words of “many” and “mistreat” seemed to become “most” and “abuse” in your framing here. Hence my interest (for transparency’s sake) to see how you framed it to Allan. But i guess I will soon see how you did that when I see the emails and talk to him myself.

    Like

  242. Mr E says:

    Dave,
    I’ve spent a lot of time on this opportunity. So have you. As is evident from this dialogue.

    “I would also be interested in seeing what was “framed” in those emails as evidence of your honesty.”

    All factual stuff. But part of a personal email. And not sent to Allan, but if I don’t hear back soon will also be sent to him.

    “There is no hiding the intent behind Tracey’s comment and it is as vulture like as anything I have heard in this forum, she could clearly smell the blood.”

    What blood are you talking about? You seems to be painting yourself as some victim. Do you think you are a victim Dave?

    “I will invariably be seen as the Green candidate representing Green Party views.”

    Depends on how you frame your comments I guess.

    “I guess it comes down to whether this is just about me or about the real facts ”

    You dont think you represent the real facts??? What a bizarre thing to say. Unless I am reading it wrong.

    “it’s nothing new, my suggestion will be a more newsworthy event.”

    I suspect you underestimate how newsworthy this could be.

    Like

  243. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, you are a slippery character 😉 when forwarding the email you can remove the personal stuff and just leave the “framing” its easy to do and it makes the organisation quite transparent. I thought you would be dealing with Allan by the sound of what you were planning and all the “time” you are putting into it. Should I be talking to Russell instead? Or is it Graeme or Steve?

    “Depends on how you frame your comments I guess.”
    Not at all, if you have presented me as the local Green then that is the framing. If you have presented me as a semi-retired teacher and quarter acre gardener then it may be quite different. However, even if the latter was the case I don’t think there is any escaping what I will be representing in the eyes of those present, as I have spoken to them in the past as the Green Candidate.

    In talking about the real facts, I was actually meaning on the side of conventionial farming because your argument here has largely been an emotional one 😉

    “I suspect you underestimate how newsworthy this could be.”
    Hence my interest in transparency Mr E, for Dave Kennedy to front up in support of a comment on a blog thread will hardly drag the media in. It would be the decent thing to share your planned approach rather than staging an ambush. I’m not sure why there is such secrecy around who you are talking to and what you are saying. Obviously the more secretive you are, the less likely you are planning something that is fair and you don’t have a good track record here regarding honest debate. It would be great to see proof of goodwill.

    Like

  244. TraceyS says:

    “possibly 50%+…mistreat their animals and staff”

    That’s what you said, Dave. And what I think is that people who mistreat their animals and staff suck. Don’t we agree on that? Do we also agree that 50%+ is a majority?

    That’s all there is to my comment. Nothing at all sinister.

    Oh and glee? Is it not obvious that I enjoy a good robust contrasting of views? That’s all I was looking forward to. Nothing wrong with being gleeful about that.

    You’ve gotten things all distorted and exaggerated in some of your comments. I think you should avoid the meeting until your thoughts have had a bit more time to crystallize (feel free to decline my advice though).

    I’ve already said I am willing not to go if that makes you more comfortable. Just let me know what you’d prefer. I would also be happy to abide by any ground rules, including forwarding questions in writing prior to the meeting, if this is what you want.

    Like

  245. Mr E says:

    Dave,

    Patience patience patience. If Feds are keen I will be asking them to contact you. Relax a little. All good things take time.

    “Not at all, if you have presented me as the local Green then that is the framing”

    Umm no. If your views are not those of the Party, it is easy enough to state to avoid any confusion. Easy.

    An ambush…? Me? How on earth could I achieve that? I have offered up the opportunity to a 3rd party. It really has little to do with me if they accept.

    “I’m not sure why there is such secrecy around who you are talking to and what you are saying”

    I am sure you will realise it is a common courtesy not to discuss what is in another’s mail. So I don’t and I won’t.

    And I noted more accusations of dishonesty with no qualification. That is not very polite Dave.

    Like

  246. Mr E says:

    Tracey,
    “I think you should avoid the meeting until your thoughts have had a bit more time to crystallize (feel free to decline my advice though).”

    I’ve given Dave plenty of outs, but he seems keen. Don’t discourage the man.

    All we need is an audience of willing question askers. If I am right, that won’t be a problem.

    Like

  247. farmerbraun says:

    At 248 comments on a two week -old thread, it could be time to kick it in the guts Trev, and communicate meeting details between the parties.
    Just saying 🙂

    Like

  248. Dave Kennedy says:

    “it is easy enough to state to avoid any confusion” Sorry Mr E, having media training and first hand experience of yourself, Cameron Slater, Anne Tolley and some reporters etc, what is stated doesn’t necessarily get presented as such.

    “I have offered up the opportunity to a 3rd party”
    What “opportunity”? Forward the email with the personal bits removed and I can judge for myself. Especially when: “I suspect you underestimate how newsworthy this could be.”

    “it is a common courtesy not to discuss what is in another’s mail”
    What utter nonsense, the email is in relation to myself and directly related to an activity that I will be invited to attend. If I was inviting a speaker to a meeting and they wanted to know the context etc, I would have no trouble forwarding what was proposed. The only time that courtesy would be valid would be if it was none of my business and you could hardly say that applies here. Nice try.

    “And I noted more accusations of dishonesty with no qualification.”
    The way you manipulated and changed implication of my statement here is a perfect example, and Tracey is taking it even further 😉

    So lets see what I know so far:

    I am being invited to:

    “lecture farmers for 30 minutes on their ‘abuses’… prior to any of the Fed Farmers meetings in October ” that includes “an audience of willing question askers”.

    And your right hand women, Tracey says:
    “May I please be invited to the meeting where Dave will bravely, face-to-face, tell farmers that the majority of them suck? That will sure be worth a trip down South.”

    Then you say:
    You’d be welcome to stay with the family and get some good old fashioned Southland hospitality. Before you see Daves version of hospitality. (I would be interested to know what you think my version of hospitality is? I suggest you look at the feedback we have received on our Wwoofer page before you start slandering, as there is the clear suggestion that I am not hospitable. This is most offensive when I generously offered to share some of my single malt during a friendly meeting at my place and you ungraciously declined. What a nerve.)

    You have spent some time orgainising this but haven’t contacted Allan and you won’t tell who you are talking to so that I can contact them and add to the idea to make it better for everyone.

    You won’t share the framing with me because “it is a common courtesy not to discuss what is in another’s mail” even though it is about me.

    This is what I call honest transparent organisation for someone to get a fair and open hearing 😉

    I do find it entertaining “honest” Mr E that I appear to have accepted just about every one of your challenges and yet you have failed to respond to most of mine. Are you aware of the meaning of good faith?

    Like

  249. Dave Kennedy says:

    “it could be time to kick it in the guts Trev, and communicate meeting details between the parties. Just saying 🙂

    I would love that FB, I have attempted to take our largely personal exchange off line, but that doesn’t appear to be Mr E’s way.

    However, you make a good point that this must appear a little tedious to most and will withdraw immediately. Mr E can contact me via Email from now on if he is genuine and If I don’t hear from him today responding to my reasonable requests I will ring around and start organising something myself. I think my debate idea actually has merit.

    Like

  250. Mr E says:

    “Sorry Mr E, having media training and first hand experience of yourself”

    Then I am sure you will able to handle the media and peoples interpretation just fine. I doubt you are frightened to engage with the media with all that training.

    What “opportunity”?

    The opportunity of meeting farmers and discussing your accusations from here, obviously.

    “What utter nonsense, the email is in relation to myself and directly related to an activity that I will be invited to attend.”

    That is not established yet. All I have done is point out the opportunity to Feds. The rest is up to you and them. Be patient.

    “The way you manipulated and changed implication of my statement here is a perfect example,”

    Can you point out what dishonest manipulation / implication I have made. It almost seems like the accusations are never ending.

    “And your right hand women, Tracey says:”

    Tracey and I have no affiliation, and I doubt that comment is fair to Tracey. Nor is likening her remarks or her as a vulture or vulture like.

    I would ask that please – if you are unhappy with me, don’t let unkind remarks spill over to others. If you must, focus them on me.

    “Before you see Daves version of hospitality. (I would be interested to know what you think my version of hospitality is? I suggest you look at the feedback we have received on our Wwoofer page before you start slandering, as there is the clear suggestion that I am not hospitable. This is most offensive when I generously offered to share some of my single malt during a friendly meeting at my place and you ungraciously declined. What a nerve.)”

    I think that is ridiculous Dave. I’d have no idea what your version of hospitality might be. There is no suggestion of slander. Only you know what you might say and how hospitable you will be. I will be interested though, how you might make this hospitable to a visiting crowd:
    “generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these).”

    “This is most offensive when I generously offered to share some of my single malt during a friendly meeting at my place and you ungraciously declined.”

    I don’t believe that I “ungraciously declined”. Do you care to provide evidence of that claim?

    “You have spent some time orgainising this but haven’t contacted Allan and you won’t tell who you are talking to so that I can contact them and add to the idea to make it better for everyone.”

    If you were paying attention you would have heard. But frankly I think your suggested modification of the meeting is a perversion of what was originally discussed. To me it almost seems like you are trying to get out of our agreement.

    “I do find it entertaining “honest” Mr E ”

    I am pleased I can be of entertainment. 😉

    “I have attempted to take our largely personal exchange off line, but that doesn’t appear to be Mr E’s way.”

    There is nothing more than needs to be said about the meeting. Dave keeps asking questions. But if he is patient, I am sure the answers will get to him in due course.

    Like

  251. Dave Kennedy says:

    Mr E, take FB’s advice, as I have. It is becoming a little tiresome and I’m surprised Ele hasn’t stopped it. I have agreed to your challenge I have nothing more to prove. Just send me the email to establish good faith and the final details and we’re away. No need to clog up this space any more.

    Like

  252. Name Withheld says:

    generally our farmers are ignorant of sustainable practices, polluters, and many (possibly 50%+) mistreat their animals and staff (I provided evidence to support all of these).

    Mr Kennedy, you have a penchant for exaggeration, hyperbole and sometimes deliberate untruths in your comments on this blog. Nothing unusual in that, as we expect this from politicians.
    You have been called on the above statement, which may contain none, some, or all of those things, and challenged to repeat it outside of the comfort of this little group of protagonists.
    Your attempts to divert are unsurprising.

    Like

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