Word of the day

September 20, 2019

Chirality – asymmetric in such a way that the structure and its mirror image are not superimposable;  dissymmetry.


Thatcher thinks

September 20, 2019


Rural round-up

September 20, 2019

Call for an end to scaremongering – David Hill:

Incessant scaremongering over the threat to the livestock industries from plant-based food has to end, the chief executive of the Foundation for Arable Research says.

Dr Alison Stewart says while the attention on plant-based proteins could be seen as a win for the arable sector, the debate should not be seen as an ”either/or” scenario.

”New Zealand has to stop endlessly talking about what its future could look like and just go out and make things happen, and it has to stop the incessant scaremongering around the threat to the livestock industries from plant-based food.

”It should not be an either/or situation but a win-win where New Zealand is seen as a leader in both animal and plant production systems.” . . 

Enjoy NZ meat and dairy without guilt – Katie Milne:

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne explains why consumers can tuck into the milk and meat that New Zealand produces without qualms about global warming and health impacts.

You are what you eat.

To each his own.

Two time-worn sayings that have much to recommend them, and that are relevant in today’s discussions about vegetarianism, red meat, nutrition and the environment.

They’re certainly worthwhile topics to talk about and in recent years voices saying meat eaters are doing a disservice to their health and the planet have become more insistent and strident. . . 

Freshwater changes not set yet – Yvonne O’Hara:

The Government’s   Action Plan for Healthy Waterways  proposal includes tighter restrictions for farmers, including restrictions on land intensification, improvements to “risky” farm practices, and more controls on changing land use to dairy. Consultation meetings in Southland attracted hundreds of vocal farmers. Yvonne O’Hara reports.

Farmers need to “make some noise”, says Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s general manager policy-advocacy Dave Harrison.

All farmers, rural business owners and employers are urged to make submissions to the Ministry for the Environment (MFE) about the Government’s Essential Freshwater: Action for healthier waterways package.

The Government has released a discussion document that outlines proposed changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management and the National Environmental Standards, to clean up and prevent further water quality degradation. . . 

 

5 Fast Takes after Freshwater Consultation Meeting – Siobhan O’Malley:

Summary of my thoughts after attending the Freshwater Consultation Meeting in Nelson for the Ministry for the Environment last night…

Number 1 – gratitude. I am so grateful for industry organisations like Beef+Lamb, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers who look at all the details of this legislation through the lense of their industries and who have teams of people who understand policy fineprint. There are so many details and implications to be understood. The farmer is already working 90 hours a week right now in calving and lambing, and it isn’t their zone of genius to analyse policy. So I felt mega grateful we have those organisations to do the heavy lifting. I plan to check out the summaries they have emailed me, because I realised last night I need help understanding this far reaching and massively complex legislation.

Number 2 – wow this is going to cost a lot. This is something not being well communicated in the current media reporting, who seem to be describing mainly what farmers will have to do. I began to appreciate the scale of spending required by local councils all over the country to upgrade their infrastructure for sewage, wastewater and stormwater, and that about blew my mind. And that was before I thought about how much individual farmers will be spending on farm environment plan consultants, fencing, riparian planting and infrastructure, as well as loss of income from retired land.  . . 

Vote for those who understand farming – Rhea Dasent:

Local elections are coming up and Federated Farmers reminds members how important it is to vote.

The quality of local government in rural communities can mean the difference between dodgy roads and safer ones, thousands of dollars in rates, and the kind of regulation you face on-farm.

Councillors have an important role in influencing the development and implementation of regional and district plans.

Councillors who know and understand farming, or who recognised the practical need to engage with farmers on plan development and implementation, are critical to good resource management. . . 

Female farmers gather to celebrate women in ag at Longerenong – Gregor Heard:

THE INSPIRING story of a former Vietnamese refugee now part of a broadacre farming business in South Australia’s Barossa Valley was a highlight at this week’s Emmetts Celebrating Women in Agriculture Ladies Day event at the Longerenong field days site in Victoria’s Wimmera region.

A large crowd of females in agriculture gathered at Longerenong for the day, organised by Emmetts, one of south-eastern Australia’s largest John Deere dealerships.

The group heard the story of Yung Nietschke, who along with participating in her family farm business with her husband, also works as an educational consultant developing mentoring programs for women and youth. . . 

 


Full & final

September 20, 2019

The Ihumātao dispute is getting messier and government interference is to blame.

When it began, Mana Whenua had an agreement with Fletchers, who own the land.

Then, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called a halt to any building while negotiations continued and now Mana Whenua have backed out of the agreement with Fletchers and are siding with the protesters in wanting the land back and she’s not ruling out buying it:

. . . But there was a breakthrough on Wednesday, with the Māori King announcing all mana whenua “want their land returned” and calling for the Government to negotiate with Fletchers “for the return of Ihumātao to its rightful owners”.

While National Party leader Simon Bridges quickly called for the Government to reject entering into such negotiations, Ardern is refusing to rule it out.

Speaking from Japan, Ardern said she was “incredibly grateful” for the work Kiingitanga had facilitated but wouldn’t say what action the Government would take. 

“There is still a bit more work to be done, but we will be mindful, as we go from here, of issues like Treaty precedent, the commercial interests, but also the heritage issues,” she said.

“At this stage, our focus is on picking up the good work that has been done by Kiingitanga.”

She wouldn’t discuss whether Auckland Council should be a party to negotiations with Fletchers, calling that speculative.

Bridges said on Wednesday that Fletchers legally owned the land and if the Government began negotiations, it could set a precedent.

“If this settlement is brought into question then so will all other full and final Treaty of Waitangi settlements,” he said. 

A spokesperson for Kiingi Tuuheitia said on Wednesday that the return of land was “outside of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process” and called for an “innovative and modern solution that does not financially disadvantage iwi”.  . . 

The government buying the land off Fletchers is not an innovative and modern solution it would be the start of another, very expensive problem.

Treaty negotiations have always ruled out private land and been agreed as full and final.

Wrong was done all those years ago and the amount Iwi have got in settlement of its grievances is well below the value of what was taken, but that doesn’t alter the agreement nor can it open up a re-negotiation when the younger generation feel their elders didn’t get enough.

If the Iwi want to buy the land and Fletchers are willing to sell it there is no problem.

But if Fletchers don’t want to sell and/or the Iwi aren’t prepared to buy it but want the government to, there is a very big problem.

And while all this is going on, the building of the much-needed houses can’t start at great cost to the legal owners of the land.

The government’s interference has made matters worse and is yet another signal that it doesn’t understand and has no sympathy for business.


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