Word of the day

March 24, 2020

Tessellate – to form of small squares or blocks, as floors or pavements; form or arrange in a checkered or mosaic pattern; decorate with mosaics; cover a flat surface by repeated use of a single shape, without gaps or overlapping.


Sowell says

March 24, 2020


What’s essential at the Warehouse?

March 24, 2020

The Warehouse will be staying open during the four-week lockdown:

In an announcement to the sharemarket, The Warehouse said it was a provider of key consumer goods for New Zealanders.  . .

“In the past two weeks the group has seen unprecedented demand for essential items across all our brands. Goods sold included essential items to prepare themselves for the mandatory isolation period of at least four weeks,” the retailer said. . . 

The Warehouse had already implemented limits on high-demand products such as toilet paper, hand sanitiser and face masks.  . . 

If you need loo paper, hand sanitiser, face masks and any other essentials, you could get them at supermarkets and/or pharmacies which will be open.

There’s also calls for liquor stores to remain open after panic buying.

If we are to take seriously the need for staying at home, venturing out only for essentials from the supermarket or pharmacy, no other retailers should be open.

People are going to get bored, people are going to get fractious, allowing them to browse and buy anything but basic essentials will encourage retail therapy, increase the potential for infection to spread and undo any of the good that isolating at home will be doing.


Rural round-up

March 24, 2020

Farmers want essential services clarity :

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne is urgently seeking clarity from the Government about what primary sector activities will qualify as essential after the Government effectively put the country into lockdown for four weeks to stop the spread of covid-19.

Milne said she has made it clear in conversations with the Government the definition of essential business has to be as wide-ranging as possible so farmers can keep functioning.

“They are part of the food chain and we need them. 

“The people who do service farming, they have an as equally critical role as us who are growing the food.  . . 

Otago farmers nervous about labour from border restrictions :

Uncertainty over travel for the international workforce is compounding what has been a difficult season for orchardists in Central Otago.

Border restrictions and reduced airline capacity in response to Covid-19 are creating anxiety in the industry.

Summerfruit New Zealand chairman and chief executive of 45 South – New Zealand’s largest cherry exporter – Tim Jones said traditionally two-thirds of his workforce came from overseas, half on Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) visas and half backpackers.

“As a grower, I sit here nervous about labour and we know we use as many Kiwis as we can but to supplement that we employ RSE labour and we employ a lot of backpackers and our obvious concerns are they may not be around in the sort of numbers we’ve had recently. . . 

A DIRA decision – Elbow Deep:

As the world is faced with torrents of horrific news as the pandemic sweeps the globe, it feels like there is little to be positive about. But over recent weeks there have been two small gems for New Zealand dairy farmers.

The first piece of good news was Fonterra’s half year financial results, which are a remarkable turnaround from the Co-op’s first ever loss posted last year. The loss wasn’t insignificant or so small it could be dismissed as a rounding error, the Co-op lost over half a billion dollars which only makes the recent turnaround even more impressive.

At a time of mass uncertainty when many people don’t know if they’ll still have a job in a few months, it is somewhat relieving that these results will see Fonterra inject more than $11 billion into the New Zealand economy through milk payments to their farmers. Those farmers will in turn spend over half of that in their local communities, communities which need money now more than ever before. It’s not just Fonterra farmers who will benefit from the Co-op’s strong performance; independent processors around the country will be benchmarking themselves off the Co-op’s strong performance. . .

Rural sector crying out to recruit more staff – Jacob McSweeny:

While thousands of people around the country are facing joblessness a recruiting company is calling out for workers in the primary sector, saying there were 40 jobs in South Canterbury available now.

Agstaff, Canstaff and New Zealand Dairy Careers managing director Matt Jones said the need for workers had increased as a result of implications from the Covid-19 outbreak.

“The work does not stop — it’s ramped up as some of our clients in the primary production sector increase production to meet New Zealand’s needs.

“The cows still need milked and the crops must be picked,” Mr Jones said.

He said he had a client in South Canterbury who needed 40 people to start immediately. . . 

Post-quake study reveals hort potential – Nigel Malthus:

Large areas of North Canterbury and South Marlborough – affected by the 2016 Kaikoura Earthquakes – offer wide potential for horticulture.

A Plant and Food Research investigation has found that several crops – in particular, apples, grapes, hazelnuts and walnuts – could be grown in pockets throughout the region.

It identified 41,515 ha of land – or about 9% of the total 466,000ha – that would potentially be suitable. . . 

Vets offer Covid-19 advice:

The New Zealand Veterinary Association has some advice for animal owners amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The association representing New Zealand veterinarians says COVID-19 should not reduce the care owners give to their animals’ health and welfare.

“We appreciate there are many issues that people are dealing with in relation to COVID-19, particularly those self-isolating or with family members taking this precautionary measure,” says New Zealand Veterinary Association chief veterinary officer, Dr Helen Beattie.  . . 

Why cradle-to-cradle needs to be included in fashion’s sustainability rating tools :

A review of a leading environmental impact tool for apparel finds that unless improvements are made, weaknesses in the underlying science could lead to misleading results, with potentially far-reaching consequences for the environment.

What do textile lifecycle assessment tools do?

Textile lifecycle assessment (LCA) tools aim to understand, quantify and communicate the environmental credentials of textiles with the intent of minimising environmental impact.

The Sustainable Apparel Coalition’s Material Sustainability Index (MSI) is increasingly being adopted by industry but this LCA method currently fails to account for the complexity of the textile industry.

“Several significant environmental impacts and processes are excluded from the MSI and PM, including recyclability, biodegradability, renewability of resource used, microfibres, abiotic resource depletion (minerals) and abiotic bioaccumulation,” said Dr Steve Wiedemann of Integrity AG & Environment.  . . 


Don’t panic

March 24, 2020

What is it people don’t understand about food production in New Zealand?

We turn grass into high quality protein via sheep and cattle; we grow lots of superb fruit and vegetables; we grow grain that’s turned into flour.

We do enough of all that to feed ourselves many, many times over.

That food production, the processing, delivery and selling of it are considered essential services and they’ll continue when the country goes into alert level 4 on Wednesday.

There was no need for the panic buying that started a week or two ago and reached frenzy levels at many supermarkets yesterday.

Not only will the farms, factories, transporters and shops keep operating as near to normal as possible, the people who service and supply them will too.

Putting the country into lockdown as the Prime Minister announced yesterday, has never happened before.

Whether it will work to stop community transmission of Covd-19 won’t be known for weeks.

Jobs will be lost, businesses will fail, and there might be other consequences of the shutdown, but the country running out of food will not be one of them.


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