Word of the day

April 7, 2020

Contango – the normal situation in which the spot or cash price of a commodity is lower than the forward price; a  state in which the price of a futures contract is higher than the eventual or expected spot price of the underlying commodity or security; forwardation.


Help your local cafe

April 7, 2020

SOS Cafe has been set up to support cafes and other small businesses that will be struggling for survival because of the lockdown:

We are DavidJoyce and Naadei. Co-founders of SOS Cafe. 

Like everyone, we felt shocked and a bit helpless when it was announced that NZ would go into level 4 lockdown, and thought about the hundreds of cafés, small businesses etc who would suffer.

Our local businesses add so much colour and culture to our suburbs, it’s now our turn to give back.

We whipped up this website that will allow us to act as agents for businesses who don’t have the ability to take vouchers a way to do that, and to link to those that can. Many customers are loyal to their local coffee shop or restaurant / bar, and want to help. Now they can – if you used to buy a coffee and a muffin every day, then buy a voucher every day instead (or a whole lot!) and give these café’s a fighting chance.

We don’t make any money off this – in fact it’s costing us a bit to do it, and taking a fair amount of time. We are happy to do it to help out, but please bear that in mind! We also have a growing group of volunteers helping us out, which is helping.

“Years ago when I was young and foolish I set up a bar, so I know how hard it is to run a hospo business and how reliant you are on customers.” – David Downs

How you can help

SOS Cafe was set up to help these local businesses sell gift cards that you can redeem later when they re-open*. This will do a part in helping them to stay afloat during this time. 

Our directory will also help you to support those who are currently offering takeaways or pickups. 

We have expanded to other categories to help more local businesses and we need your help to suggest a local business.

Spread the word to your friends and family so that we can help as many local businesses as we can. 

All businesses will be wondering if they will survive the lockdown and recovery.

SOS is providing an avenue to support them.

There’s no guarantee the businesses will survive to enable vouchers to be redeemed, but they’ll have a better chance of doing so if those who can help them in this way do.


Sowell says

April 7, 2020


Rural round-up

April 7, 2020

Queues for meat plant space grow :

Meat companies Silver Fern Farms and Alliance report a dramatic lift in livestock numbers waiting to be processed as their plants are down to half capacity under covid-19 rules.

In a note to its suppliers Silver Fern Farms said queue times at its 14 plants have extended exponentially as suppliers book early to avoid congestion and because of colder weather and diminished feed.

Suppliers might be waiting three to six weeks for space, depending on stock class and region. 

An Alliance update to its co-operative members estimates several weeks’ backlog, with processing down to about 30% for beef. . . 

Famously scenic Arcadia Station sold

A Queenstown farmer has bought a scenic rural property near Glenorchy, famous as a setting for TV commercials and films like The Lord of the Rings, for an undisclosed price.

The 257ha Arcadia Station, bordered by Diamond Lake, Mount Aspiring National Park and Dart River and the Paradise property, has been farmed for 60 years by Jim Veint (83), who in turn bought it off his father, Lloyd.

Mr Veint will continue assisting with the farming operation and help recruit and train a new farm manager. . . 

Beware of false prophets – The Veteran:

There have been calls for ‘value added’ to be the driver for our export industry as long as I can remember.    Much of that directed at the timber industry.   All well in theory.   Reality trumps (bad word) theory most times.

So let’s look at timber.   Some would argue the export of raw timber (logs) should be discouraged/banned in favor of the processed product.   That this would lead to an increased number of jobs in the industry particularly now with the economy predicted to contract. . . 

Support set up for farmers facing feed shortages :

Farming groups have set up advice and support for farmers facing shortages of stock feed as they head into winter.

The Ministry for Primary Industries worked with the groups on the initiative which includes a feed budgeting service and farm systems advice.

Federated Farmers said drought, the cancellation of traditional stock sale forums and reduced processing capacity at meat works meant many farmers were carrying more stock than they anticipated going into winter.

This was putting a huge strain on already stretched feed resources and farmer morale. . . 

No spilt milk during lockdown – Molly Houseman:

Last Friday looked “bleak” for Holy Cow.

The family dairy farm in Reynoldstown, near Port Chalmers in Dunedin, lost about 70% of its customers as restaurants and cafes closed for the Covid-19 Level 4 lockdown, and no longer needed their usual milk orders.

Owner Merrall MacNeille was left wondering: “What am I going to do with all this milk?”

However, business quickly took an unexpected turn. . . 

Rural Ambassador program brought a storm of opportunities – James Cleaver:

Is there anything better than hearing rain on the roof?

Or the smell that rolls in 10 minutes before a thunderstorm?

We all love rain for obvious reasons and let’s hope this small break gets bigger in the next few months.

Rain equals opportunity and options. It’s the tangent to allow things to grow to their full potential. . . 

 


The Story of Bridge Over Troubled Water

April 7, 2020

The first *LP I bought was Simon and Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits.

I had probably heard Bridge Over Troubled Water on the Sunday afternoon or Tuesday night request sessions. I don’t remember when but I do know it was love at first sound.

*For those too young to know what an LP is, it’s a vinyl record, played on a record player, or if you were lucky enough a stereo, at a speed of ​33 ¹⁄₃ rpm.

 


Not the time for contentious legislation

April 7, 2020

The government is, rightly, expecting the opposition to support it through the lockdown.

In return it ought to hold back on contentious legislation.

Instead we have this:

The Government is using Parliament’s select committee process to sneak climate change provisions into the Resource Management Act, National’s RMA spokesperson Judith Collins says.

“A recently-released report by the Environment Select Committee recommends several changes to the Resource Management Amendment Bill, including provisions for climate change considerations in RMA decisions.

“These late changes are an abuse of the select committee process because they were made after public feedback was called for, meaning submitters have not had the opportunity to properly consider the new bill.

“The climate change considerations were not in the original bill, and it appears only some of the people who submitted were aware of them.

“The amended bill also gives submitters the right to cross-examine each other during RMA applications. This would significantly increase the time and cost of hearings.

“The Government’s expert review panel is likely to recommend significant reform when it reports back in May so it makes no sense to proceed with these changes now.

“Last week, Environment Minister David Parker said he was working on ways to improve the speed and certainty of consenting. This bill will have the opposite effect.” 

Could there be a worse time to add such contentious provisions to the Bill?

Now is not the time to be adding contentious, expensive and time-consuming hurdles to the RMA.

Now of all times, the government should understand the need to relook at everything that could hamper the recovery.

When the lock down is over we’ll be facing a new, and much poorer, normal. We need to be reducing red tape and simplifying regulations not adding to it and complicating them.


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