Contradictions fuel frustration

05/09/2019

Climate change is supposed to be this government’s nuclear moment.

More renewable energy generation  is consistent with that.

But the government has killed off the Waitaha River hydro scheme even though it had sign-off from the Conservation Department, Iwi, and local councils.

The government wants farmers to reduce methane emissions but the   National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management and rewritten National Policy Statement want more wetlands and wetlands produce methane.

The policy also wants to reduce E.coli in rivers but that pollution in several waterways, including the Kakanui River from which we get our drinking water is caused by seagulls. Those birds are protected and so can’t be moved.

Farmers are very concerned about today’s announcements and contradictory messages sent by measures like these fuel their frustrations.

 


Word of the day

05/09/2019

Prorogation – the action of discontinuing a session of a parliament or other legislative assembly without dissolving it;  a formal mechanism to end a session of the UK parliament, normally lasting only a short time until proceedings begin again with a new Queen’s speech; extension of a commander’s imperium in ancient Rome.


Sowell says

05/09/2019


Rural round-up

05/09/2019

Time for a grownup conversation about gene-editing – David Hughes:

 In the late 1990s public scepticism cast genetic modification as “The answer to the question no-one was asking”. Today, the new technology of gene editing is emerging as a real option in facing some of our world’s biggest challenges in food production, medicine, conservation and climate change.

The Institute I lead, Plant & Food Research, has committed our science to helping New Zealand’s agri-food sector deliver the best quality foods from the world’s most sustainable production systems. We believe gene editing can help us meet that commitment. 

Today, Plant & Food Research breeds only 100 per cent GM-free fruit, vegetables and grains. We have never developed GM foods for commercial use and industry does not fund us to do so. Yet our discovery-focused teams routinely use gene technologies to further our knowledge. 

They’ve learned that gene editing can help us achieve our traditional breeding targets around sustainability and nutrition much faster. That means consumers get more healthy whole foods sooner.  . . 

Trees debate ratchets up – Colin Williscroft:

Large swathes of agricultural land need not be planted in trees for New Zealand to meet its greenhouse gas emissions targets, NZ’s largest carbon farmer says.

In presenting NZ Carbon Farming’s submission to the Environment Select Committee on the Zero Carbon Bill, company founder and managing director Matt Walsh was questioned by MPs who said they had been told by officials that 30% of NZ’s agricultural land will need to be planted in trees to meet the Bill’s carbon dioxide emissions target of zero by 2050.

Walsh said he has heard the 30% figure before and is puzzled where it came from. He does not believe it is correct.

NZ Carbon Farming has asked officials how they got the number but has not had a definitive answer. . . 

Shear happiness for young women – Yvonne O’Hara:

”Shearing is an art.”

So says Ariana Te Whata, of Mossburn, who was taking part with three other young women in a course run by Elite Shearer Training on the Dowling family’s farm near Gimmerburn last week.

Three of the women, Tatjiana Keefe, of Raupunga, Cheyenne Howden, of Feilding, and Ariana work for Dion Morrell Shearing. They all intend to go shearing full time.

Ariana grew up in a shearing shed and her parents, Vanessa and Mana Te Whata, are shearing contractors and run Shear Tech. Mr Te Whata is a champion competitive shearer.

”I love shearing,” Ariana said.

”I love the art of it and it is beautiful to watch. . . 

Promoting eucalypts– David HIll:

Gary Fleming’s efforts to advocate for the value of eucalyptus trees has been recognised.

The North Canterbury farmer was named South Island Farm Forester of the Year at the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association conference held in Rotorua.

‘‘It’s a good award to get, as it takes a fair bit of dedication,’’ Mr Fleming said.

‘‘There’s a lot of people in the South Island who grow trees and anybody in farm forestry can apply for it.’’

The North Canterbury branch chairman was nominated by his branch committee earlier this year, after missing a meeting due to illness. . . 

Food tourism helps farmers survive – Tim Fulton:

A group of Queensland farmers is making the most of food tourism, proving town and country can work in harness for culinary satisfaction.

Maleny calls itself a hinterland town though, by Australian standards, it’s only a skip from the big smoke.

Perched on the Blackall Range, about 40 minutes from Sunshine Coast beaches, the area catches day trippers on Queensland’s hinterland tourist drive. . . 

 

Love lamb week to encourage better use of carcase :

Yorkshire farmer’s daughter and Great British Menu chef Stephanie Moon is calling on chefs to make better use of the lamb carcase as the country prepares for Love Lamb Week.

The annual campaign, commencing from the 1st of September to the 7th, aims to change perceptions of when to eat lamb.

It highlights that the highest volume of UK product is actually available during the last six months of the year, despite many consumers typically choosing to enjoy lamb around Easter time.

The National Sheep Association (NSA) will be involved in the industry-wide campaign, alongside AHDB Beef & Lamb and other UK levy bodies. . . 

 


Be ovarian cancer aware

05/09/2019

The symptoms of ovarian cancer are vague and can be mistaken for other, less serious conditions.

Know your body and learn the symptoms.

Every woman and those who care about them should know the symptoms.

If they persist for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor.

Ovarian cancer isn’t detected by a smear test. It affects one in 75 women.


KiwiBuild failed

05/09/2019

The government’s KiwiBuild reset is an admission of how flawed the policy was in the first place.

The 10,000 houses it said it would build wasn’t a target, it was a figure plucked out of the air, completely distanced from reality.

Worse than the unrealistic number, was the money wasted on houses no-one wanted to buy and houses sold to people who should not have been beneficiaries of taxpayer assistance.

Now Housing MInister Megan Woods has announced another plan, with no targets, which includes selling the houses no-one wanted – almost certainly to be a win for the buyers and a lose for the public.

There’s also a government backed low equity scheme that sounds horribly like the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac scheme in the USA that precipitated the Global FInancial Crisis.

The Taxpayers’ Union points to the potential  dangers that poses to taxpayers:

Replacing KiwiBuild with easy credit policies for first home buyers places significant risk on taxpayers, says the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union. 

Taxpayers’ Union Economist Joe Ascroft says “The American housing crash and ensuing Global Financial Crisis was driven in part by the American Government’s decision to offer subsidized mortgages to low income households, who then failed to meet debt repayments when interest rates increased. Our Government’s decision to adopt a similar approach by offering taxpayer-backed mortgages to households who can only scrape together a 5 percent deposit is an uncomfortable echo to those easy credit policies which induced a housing crash overseas.”

“If households on ultra-low deposits ever failed to meet repayments due to rising unemployment or interest rates, either taxpayers or the banking system would be put under significant pressure.”

“Of course, the best approach to housing unaffordability isn’t to load on more debt and subsidies – which will inevitably push housing prices higher – but to enact meaningful supply-side reform. Allowing our cities to become more dense and removing the rural-urban boundary would be good places to start.”

The new policy, like many of this government’s lack details and the Minister’s repeated “we’ll build as many as we can as quickly as we can” is no substitute for a target tand a concrete plan to get there.

The root of the housing problem is simply one of supply not keeping up with demand, this hasn’t been helped by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s calling a halt to development at Ihumātao.

The solution is more houses, faster which requires sorting out the infrastructure restraints, regulations that make the consent process so long and costly, and building here so much more expensive than in many other countries.

Anything which gives people more money without increasing the supply of houses will only make them more expensive.

KiwiBuild failed because it didn’t deal with the underlying causes of the problem and the so-called reset will do very little, if any, better.

We’d all benefit if the government set about addressing the constraints on supply rather than throwing more taxpayers’ money at policies that will benefit a relatively few people at considerable cost and risk to all of us.


Quote of the day

05/09/2019

Whoever you pretend to be, you must face yourself eventually. – Al Stewart who celebrates his 74th birthday today.


September 5 in history

05/09/2019

1661  Fall of Nicolas Fouquet:  Louis XIV’s Superintendent of Finances was arrested in Nantes by D’Artagnan, captain of the king’s musketeers.

1666  Great Fire of London ended: 10,000 buildings including St. Paul’s Cathedral were destroyed, but only 16 people were known to have died.

1698  In an effort to Westernize his nobility, Tsar Peter I of Russia imposed a tax on beards for all men except the clergy and peasantry.

1725 Wedding of Louis XV and Maria Leszczyńska.

1774  First Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1781  Battle of the Chesapeake.

1793 French Revolution the French National Convention initiated the Reign of Terror.

1798  Conscription was made mandatory in France by the Jourdan law.

1800 Napoleon surrendered Malta to Great Britain.

1812 War of 1812:  The Siege of Fort Wayne began when Chief Winamac’s forces attacked two soldiers returning from the fort’s outhouses.

1816  Louis XVIII had to dissolve the Chambre introuvable (“Unobtainable Chamber”).

1836 – Justiniano Borgoño, Peruvian soldier and politician, 57th President of Peru, was born (d. 1921).

1836 Sam Houston was elected as the first president of the Republic of Texas.

1839  The First Opium War began in China.

1840  Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Un giorno di regno at La Scala, Milan.

1847  Jesse James, American outlaw, was born (d. 1882).

1850 Jack Daniel, Creator of Jack Daniel’s, was born (d. 1911).

1862  James Glaisher, pioneering meteorologist and Henry Tracey Coxwell broke the world record for altitude whilst collecting data in their balloon.

1877  Indian Wars: Oglala Sioux chief Crazy Horse was bayoneted by a United States soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse.

1880 – José María of Manila, Spanish-Filipino priest and martyr, was born (d. 1936).

1882  The first United States Labor Day parade was held in New York City.

1887  Fire at Theatre Royal, Exeter, killed 186.

1899 – Helen Creighton, Canadian author and educator, was born (d. 1989).

1902 – Jean Dalrymple, American playwright, producer, manager, and publicist, was born (d. 1998).

1904 – Vera Bradford, Australian pianist and educator, was born (d. 2004).

1905  The Treaty of Portsmouth, mediated by US President Theodore Roosevelt, ended the Russo-Japanese war.

1910 – Leila Mackinlay, English author, was born (d. 1996).

1914 World War I: First Battle of the Marne begins. Northeast of Paris, the French attack and defeat German forces who are advancing on the capital.

1915 The pacifist Zimmerwald Conference began.

1916 – Frank Yerby, American novelist, was born (d. 1991).

1918 – Buddy Williams, Australian singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born (d. 1986).

1918 Decree “On Red Terror” was published in Russia.

1927  The first Oswald the Lucky Rabbit cartoon, Trolley Troubles, produced by Walt Disney, was released by Universal Pictures.

1929 Bob Newhart, American actor and comedian, was born.

1932  The French Upper Volta was broken apart between Ivory Coast,French Sudan, and Niger.

1935 – Helen Gifford, Australian composer and educator was born.

1935  – Werner Erhard, American author and philanthropist, founded Werner Erhard and Associates and The Hunger Project, was born.

1938  A group of youths affiliated with the fascist National Socialist Movement of Chile were assassinated in the Seguro Obrero massacre.

1939 Prime Minister, Michael Joseph Savage, declared New Zealand’s support for Britain and attacked Nazism.

1939  – Claudette Colvin, American nurse and activist was born.

1939 John Stewart, American musician (The Kingston Trio), was born (d. 2008).

1939 George Lazenby, Australian actor, was born.

1940 Raquel Welch, American actress, was born.

1942  World War II: Japanese high command ordered withdrawal at Milne Bay, first Japanese defeat in the Pacific War.

1944 Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg constituted Benelux.

1945 – Eva Bergman, Swedish director and screenwriter, was born.

1945 Al Stewart, Scottish singer and songwriter, was born.

1945  Cold War: Igor Gouzenko, a Soviet Union embassy clerk, defected to Canada, exposing Soviet espionage in North America, signalling the beginning of the Cold War.

1945 – Iva Toguri D’Aquino, a Japanese-American suspected of being wartime radio propagandist Tokyo Rose, was arrested in Yokohama.

1946  Freddie Mercury, Zanzibar-born English singer and songwriter (Queen), was born (d. 1991).

1951 Michael Keaton, American actor, was born.

1960 Poet Léopold Sédar Senghor was elected as the first President of Senegal.

1969  My Lai Massacre: U.S. Army Lt. William Calley was charged with six specifications of premeditated murder for the death of 109 Vietnamese civilians.

1972 Munich Massacre: “Black September” attacked and took hostage 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympic Games. 2 died in the attack and 9 die the following day.

1977  Voyager 1 was launched.

1978 Chris Jack, New Zealand All Black, was born.

1978 Camp David Accords: Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat began peace process at Camp David, Maryland.

1980 The St. Gotthard Tunnel opened in Switzerland as the world’s longesthighway tunnel at 10.14 miles (16.224 km) stretching from Goschenen to Airolo.

1984  The Space Shuttle Discovery landed after its maiden voyage.

1984  Western Australia became the last Australian state to abolish capital punishment.

1986  Pan Am Flight 73 with 358 people on board was hijacked at Karachi International Airport.

1990 – An Angel at my Table screened at the Venice Film Festival.

<em>An Angel at My Table</em> screens at Venice Film Festival

1990 Eastern University massacre, massacre of 158 Tamil civilians by Sri Lankan army.

1991 The  Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, came into force.

1996 – Hurricane Fran made landfall near Cape Fear, North Carolina as a Category 3 storm with 115 mph sustained winds

2000 The Haverstraw–Ossining Ferry made its maiden voyage.

2005 Mandala Airlines Flight 091 crashed into a heavily-populated residential of Sumatra, killing 104 people on board and at least 39 on the ground.

2007 – Three terrorists suspected to be a part of Al-Qaeda were arrested in Germany after allegedly planning attacks on both the Frankfurt International airport and US military installations.

2012  – A firecracker factory exploded near Sivakasi,TamilNadu, killing 40 and injuring 50 others.

2012 – An accidental explosion at a Turkish Army ammunition store in Afyon, western Turkey killed 25 soldiers and wounded 4 others.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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