Word of the day


Mangata – the glimmering, road-like reflection that the moon creates on the water.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Faltering forestry risks NZ’s climate strategy – Marty Verry:

Global headwinds are lining up against New Zealand’s number one climate change mitigation strategy – the one billion trees policy. The coming weeks will tell if the Government has given up or is committed to making that policy a success by backing it with its procurement.

But first let us recap on what is at stake. The country’s plan is to use trees to sequester carbon dioxide over the next 30 years while it finds ways to reduce emissions from our other main pollutant sources: transport, buildings, energy and agriculture. If the forestry strategy fails, we will need a more aggressive approach to meeting carbon zero by 2050 – something consultancy EY calculated in 2018 would cost the country $30 billion. New Zealand cannot afford to add that to the $60b Covid tab, so the forestry strategy simply must succeed.

So let’s look at the prospects for forestry. For New Zealand, the battle ground is China. Like it or not, it takes 80 per cent of our log exports. All our logs are in that basket, you could say. . .

Federated Farmers wants migrant workers on Govt’s COVID exemption ‘A-list’ :

Auckland officials are emphasising the economic benefits of letting in America’s Cup crews, but farmers feel they’re being left off the ‘A-list’. 

The Government has granted border exemptions to cup challengers American Magic and INEOS Team UK, each bringing a couple of hundred crew and staff into the country. 

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says they’ll face the same 14-day quarantine rules as New Zealand citizens at the border, to prevent one of them inadvertently bringing in COVID-19.  . . 

Visa uncertainty threatens farm crisis – Richard Harman:

The Government is considering extending temporary work visas due to expire over the next few months so that essential businesses do not lose semi-skilled workers.

But there are big questions about why it won’t announce that it is doing so. POLITIK understands that around 70,000 temporary work visas are due to expire by the end of September.

But following representations from the dairy and aged care sectors POLITIK understands the Minister of Immigration, Iain Lees-Galloway favours an extension of six to 12 months for many of the workers. . . 

Why is it taking so long to install fishing cameras? :

“Cameras are all about transparency. They’re all about public accountability and providing proof that the industry – as they state – have nothing to hide. Now if they have nothing to hide, why aren’t we seeing cameras on some of these big boats?”

That’s the question Newshub reporter Michael Morrah has been trying to solve since National decided they were a good idea and promised to introduce them in 2016.

But their introduction has been pushed back again and again, often quietly.

National’s primary industries minister Nathan Guy was attacked by the then Labour opposition over them; but just a few months after Labour came into office and “the whole idea around accountability and transparency is put on the backburner”, Morrah says. . . 


Horticulture NZ says New Zealand needs more water storage schemes like Northland:

HortNZ says New Zealand needs more water storage schemes like the one just announced for Northland.

‘New Zealand is not really short of water, it is short of water capture and storage,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.

‘People and plants need water – that’s a basic fact. For years, we have known that our climate is changing – droughts are getting more severe – however, red tape and a lack of capital has seen most parts of New Zealand slow to do anything practical about the situation. . . 

New trial could lead to breeding of low methane-emitting cows – James Fyfe:

A trial is underway in the Waikato to see if there is a link between cows’ genetics and how much methane they produce.

If such a link is found, it could mean it’s possible for farmers to fight climate change by specifically breeding cows that emit less methane.

The trial, involving dairy breeding bulls, is being run by Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) and CRV Ambreed, which between them sire 90 percent of the country’s dairy herd through their artificial breeding bulls. . . 

NZ Food Heroes campaign takes off:

Thousands of free-range chooks have been able to keep on laying rather than getting laid off due to lockdown. It’s just one of the heart-warming stories shared in the ‘NZ Food Heroes’ campaign.

From baking to business models – nominations for the NZ Food Heroes Awardare flooding in. Diverse in nature, the entries all reflect the Kiwi brand of innovation and community spirit that has flourished during the COVID-19 crisis ensuring New Zealand has access to fresh, local produce.

Nominee Olliff Farm north of Auckland faced a dilemma. With 95 per cent of their pasture eggs supplying high-end Auckland restaurants and cafes in normal times, lockdown restrictions presented a complete loss of business income. . . 

Fonterra’s Asia Pacific market gets creative in lockdown :

Fonterra’s Asia Pacific market is living proof of the adage “necessity is the mother of invention” Judith Swales says.

Fonterra’s CEO for Asia Pacific told The Country Early Edition’s Rowena Duncum that Covid-19 restrictions had forced the co-op to rethink its approach to customers.

“Our teams have adapted really quickly and they’ve done a lot of great work. It’s about how we adapt to customers and consumers” Swales said.

One example was a trend that had popped up in Korea – creating new recipes for the garlic cream cheese bun. . . 

How can ‘all’ be discriminatory?


The Archbishop of Wellington has condemned a sign reading ‘All lives matter’ that was displayed outside a Catholic church over the weekend.

. . . ”A church should not be politicised this way. A church should be a safe space for everyone, a place where everyone feels welcome without being confronted with politicised material that some could find unwelcoming or offensive.” . . .

A church is private property and the owners have a right to reject a message someone else puts on its sign.

They also has the right to reject to their church being politicised.

Pacific lecturer and native Hawaiian Emalani Case said the church might not have received the same level of backlash six months ago.

“It’s just ill-timed, it’s offensive, it’s disrespectful. We can’t actually say ‘all lives matter’ until black lives matter, because black lives unfortunately often get left out of the ‘all’.” . . 

If any individual or group is missed out then it’s not all. All means everyone, not just some.

That’s the point of using all, to be inclusive not to be divisive or discriminatory.

Emilie Rākete, of Ngāpuhi and Te Rarawa iwi, is an advocate for the Black Lives Matter marches, and said she understood why the sign was vandalised.

“When people see this kind of insistence that ‘no, all lives matter’, they’re angered by it, not because they don’t agree that all lives matter, they’re angry because it’s an attempt to whitewash a very real racist terror that many, many people in this country have to live under the constant threat of.”

Rākete, who is also the spokesperson for People Against Prisons Aotearoa, said the idea that all lives matter was aspirational. “That means it’s a value that doesn’t exist yet in the world we live in”. 

But aren’t people taking to the streets for BLM marches because black lives matter is aspirational, a value that doesn’t exist yet too? If it did there’d be no need for the protests.

”When people say black lives matter and Māori people’s lives matter we’re not saying that because we don’t like white people and we want to put all Pākehā in the ocean, we say it because our lives are treated materially by the state, like they don’t matter.” . . 

That true in some other countries but it is not here.

Maori are over-represented in negative statistics – they’re more likely to do worse in education, have poorer health, be victims or crime and be found guilty of committing crimes. But it is wrong to say they are treated like they don’t matter by the state. If anything, in some ways Maori are sometimes treated as being more equal than other New Zealanders.

Even if it was true, that’s no argument against saying all lives matter.

In contrast to identity politics which highlights differences  and divides, all  embraces our common humanity, it aims to be unifying.

This doesn’t mean there is no discrimination or unfair treatment. It just means the answer isn’t more discrimination and division.

When I say all lives matter it’s not because I think no-one is disadvantaged or discriminated against.

It’s because I believe that disadvantage and discrimination won’t be solved by focusing on what causes the ignorant to discriminate, that gives them an excuse to treat some people as lesser beings, that somehow blinds them to what we all have in common.

The solution to discrimination isn’t more discrimination, it’s acceptance and understanding that all of us are people with the same rights and responsibilities, and what we all have in common is far more important than anything that makes us different.

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