Word of the day


Caesura – a rhythmical pause in a poetic line or a sentence; pause in the rhythm of a line after a phrase; usually rhetorical break in the flow of sound in the middle of a line of verse;         in choral work, a moment where singers might catch their breath.


Thatcher thinks


Rural round-up


Henry’s letter proves a hit – Murray Robertson:

YOUNG Tairawhiti farmer Henry Gaddum penned an open letter through The Herald in mid-November that has gone ballistic as readers nationally picked up on his concerns around the theme of Carbon Credits and Pine Trees.

It has been viewed more than 14,800 times on The Herald website since publication, and has been shared widely on Facebook and Twitter.

In it, Henry voiced his deep concerns, and the concerns of others, about the future of the region when it comes to land use and he wants to do something about it. . .

Year in Review: Hawke’s Bay farmer’s heartfelt Facebook post goes viral :

Year in Review: This heartfelt social media post from Hawke’s Bay farmer Sam Stoddart went viral in September. In it he pointed out the strong connections New Zealand farmers have with the communities around them. It was one of The Country’s most popular reads of 2019.

In September Stoddart told The Country he was surprised by the strong reaction to his post, which at that point had nearly 6000 reactions and nearly 3000 shares.

“For a vent to mates out of frustration on Facebook it certainly has gained some momentum.

I can’t believe the positive feedback though. For over 700 comments only about five are negative. Maybe the rural urban divide isn’t as big as we think. . .

Central housing demand prices worry fruit growers – Tess Brunton:

Central Otago fruit growers say housing could come under more pressure as their industry expands.

A recent Southern DHB report found a lack of housing availability was driving up housing prices in Central Otago, forcing some to live in crowded homes or even sleep rough.

While many orchards have staff accommodation available, some businesses say they’re losing good staff who can’t find a permanent place to live.

Sarita Orchard manager Matthew Blanch said he was not sure how fruit growers would find enough staff if big orchard proposals went ahead. . .

Reflecting on our rural past and building for the future – Nikki Verbeet:

Hope. It’s fundamental to our psychology to have something to look forward to, writes Nikki Verbeet.

It would be fair to say that hope hasn’t been in abundance in our rural sector of late.

There is no doubt the sector is experiencing rising costs, environmental pressures, public perception issues, shrinking price margins, cash flow challenges and pressure to meet compliance obligations – all of which impact confidence.

Research around mental health indicates that to have hope we need three things: . . 

Rodeo ‘great thing for the community’ – Hamish MacLean:

After more than three decades in Omarama, rodeo is alive an well in the Waitaki Valley town.

Under sunny skies, the 33rd annual Omarama Rodeo drew hundreds to Buscot Station for the penultimate Christmas series rodeo on Saturday.

“You can see by the crowd — people still enjoy it,’’ Omarama Rodeo Club president Jamie Brice said.

“And this is a great thing for the community. It brings money into the wee town.” . .

High country cattle grazing by Victorian family – Stephen Burns:

Grazing cattle in the Victorian high country has been a practice extending over 150 years, but very few families now take advantage of the summer pastures on the Alpine plains.

But the McCormack family from Mansfield, Victoria proudly continue the timeless trek taking three days to drove their Angus cows with calves slowly along the Buttercup Road over Mountain Number Three to the flats alongside the headwaters of the King River. 

Other Mansfield district families have long had an association with the High Country and include the Lovicks, Stoney’s and Purcell’s. . .


But how did they get those businesses?


Susan Edmonds writes on how the super wealthy got wealthy:

. . .While you can earn your way into the top 1 per cent – former Fonterra boss Theo Spierings earnt $43m in his time in the job – most people who are very wealthy have become that way through their investments.

An Inland Revenue report on high wealth individuals found that “in close to all cases” the wealthiest among us had got their capital base from the non-taxable sale of a business or other capital asset. . .

But how did they get those businesses or capital assets, the ones they sold that gave them the capital to invest?

A very, very few might have won or inherited it.

All the rest worked and worked hard, took big risks, almost always lost large amounts when at least some of the risk didn’t pay off, worked and risked again, invested and reinvested what they earned in their business, and forwent spending on almost anything else but the business.

The column is yet another attempt to argue for capital gains or wealth taxes, as if riches fall from the sky upon a few lucky people without any effort from them.

It’s another complaint about inequality, even though dragging the rich down reduces inequality without improving the lot of the poor; even though Lindsay Mitchell points out, inequality is about average for the OECD and isn’t worsening.

There might be an element of luck in the success of the super wealthy, but its a very small element in comparison to the risks, sacrifices and work required to get where they’ve got.

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