Word of the day

23/07/2020

Kompromat – compromising information. Sometimes forged or fabricated, collected for use in blackmailing, discrediting, or manipulating someone, typically for political purposes; information or reports that could damage someone’s reputation; documents, photographs, etc that may be damaging to a person’s reputation, kept as a potential tool for blackmail.

Hat tip: Business Desk


Sowell says

23/07/2020


Rural round-up

23/07/2020

Synthetic products ‘kick int he guts’ – Alice Scott:

When it comes to supporting the New Zealand wool industry, East Otago sheep and beef farmer Georgie McGregor reckons there needs to be a new hashtag started for synthetic apparel: #senditback.

“The big farm retailers not only stock synthetic clothing and hats but they also run these promotions and send what is essentially a plastic bush shirt to us for buying a certain product in bulk.

“It’s one thing to stock this cheap synthetic product, but to give it away to farmers who are out there every day trying to make part of their living out of wool, well it’s a kick in the guts really.

“I just think we should all start sending back this plastic stuff they give us and make it their problem. If we don’t say anything, nothing will change,” she said. . . 

No place for Tom, Dick or Harry :

Migrants are a critical and valued part of dairying in New Zealand, filling skills shortages on farms when there aren’t enough local workers available.

The sector currently has about 4000 migrants on work visas (18% of total sector employees) and another 1500 on resident visas (mostly employees but some employers).

The NZ Government, like other governments around the world, is facing a growing unemployment queue thanks to Covid-19. They are under pressure to employ locals. But it isn’t as simple.

All those out-of-work Queenstown baristas are hardly likely to give up and move sticks to the Waikato, don an apron and start milking cows.

Cost control the biggest influence for farmers in latest survey – Gerald Piddock:

DairyNZ’s latest economic survey reveals that cost control continues to be a key driver for New Zealand dairy farmers as the industry faces ongoing challenges in both production and profitability.

The survey for the 2018-2019 year showed that operating profit per hectare for owner-operators was $2154. This is down on the previous year’s total of $2238, but above the average for the previous decade of $1696, DairyNZ principal economist Dr Graeme Doole said.

 Dr Doole says that volatility will remain a significant challenge for farmers to manage.

Feed continues to be a farmers largest expenditure area at 28.5% of total expenditure. It has been farmers’ expenses category since 2007-2008. . . 

Five southern farmers grade-free for 10 years – Yvonne O’Hara:

Five Fonterra suppliers have earned blocks of cheese and plaques as recognition for being grade free for 10 years or more, for the past season.

Thirty-four suppliers nationwide earned the plaque, five of whom are in Otago and Southland.

In addition to the Weir family, of Inch Clutha, there are the Chalmers family of Kaitangata, the Morrisons, of Kaitangata, the Rutter/Hannah families, of Kaka Point, and the Cricketts of Otautau. . . 

Bees to help elephants and tribes thrive in Africa: a powerful new partnership to help save the wild:

Comvita, New Zealand’s largest producer of UMF Mānuka honey, has today announced a new multi-year partnership with wildlife charity Saving the Wild, which will see the two organisations work together on global projects to help protect ‘nature in need’.

As the major Sponsorship Partner of Saving the Wild, Comvita will be acting upon its founding values, with the mission to connect people to nature at the heart of the partnership.

Established in 1974, Comvita and came to life in a counter-culture movement built on respect for nature and humankind. Saving the Wild was founded in 2014 by Jamie Joseph, with a mission to protect endangered African wildlife and ultimately the priceless biodiversity of the planet. . . 

Livestock birth-management companies for sale provide fertile opportunities for new owners:

Two livestock birth-management firms enabling New Zealand farmers to be among the most productive primary producers in the world has been placed on the market for sale.

Cattle pregnancy testing company Ultra-Scan was established in 1994 to examine the fertility rate of pregnant cows. Ultra-Scan now has 20 franchises throughout New Zealand – with 14 in the North Island and six in the South Island. The majority of the company’s North Island franchise operations are located in the Greater Waikato and King Country districts.

While initially founded to deliver cow gestation scanning services, Ultra-Scan’s service offering has subsequently gone on to include similar pregnancy tests for sheep, deer and goats, as well as the de-horning of young calves aged between four days and 10 weeks of age – in a Ministry for Primary Industry-approved practice known as ‘disbudding’ on calves – as well as DNA sampling, electronic calf tagging for identification, and teat removal. . . 


Media release ready not shovel ready

23/07/2020

The delay in releasing the list of shovel-ready projects is putting jobs at risk while playing politics:

National Leader Judith Collins is demanding Labour Leader Jacinda Ardern release the list of the shovel-ready projects her Government has agreed to fund but is keeping secret for political reasons.

Ms Ardern told Parliament today that the list of projects was signed off by her Government nearly a month ago, on 29 June.

Her Deputy, Winston Peters, told the Wellington Chamber of Commerce yesterday that “I have the list; the whole lot”.

“This is not a game, Ms Ardern and Mr Peters,” Ms Collins said.

“The livelihoods of more than 200,000 construction workers and their families depend on getting the shovels out of the shed, the diggers on the roads and hundreds of new projects underway.

“The construction industry needs to see the list to keep those people employed.

“Stop playing games with Kiwis’ jobs, Ms Ardern and Mr Peters, and release the list today.”

Why won’t the government release the list?

Could it be they want to drip feed it milking opportunities for photo opportunities?

Or is the problem that the list is not of shovel-ready projects but media release ready ones, perpetuating grounds to accuse the government of being much better at making announcements than delivering on them?

Even if there is a far better reason than either of these, it would be difficult for it to be good enough to justify the delays that are putting jobs and even businesses at risk.


A house of representatives

23/07/2020

There are so many losers from the premature end, albeit self-inflicted, to two parliamentary careers this week.

Chief of those are the families of the transgressors.

Some media have gone to them which might be of interest to some of the public but it is not in the public interest.

Other MPs are also among the losers, tarred with the same dirty brush which led to the resignations.

That isn’t fair.

Partisan as I am, I respect most, and admire many Members of Parliament regardless of which party they represent. They are in politics for the right reason, to make the country a better place for everyone. They work hard for their constituents in their electorates, on their areas of responsibility and in parliament.

It is almost always unfair to judge all members of any group by the few who let them down and it is certainly unfair to judge all MPs by the actions of two made public this week.

Parliament is a house of representatives and it is almost certainly like the rest of the country – there are a few spectacular players, a mercifully few who for a variety of reasons improve any place by leaving, and the rest are spread between the extremes.


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