Word of the day

31/07/2020

Didapper – a dabchick or other small glebe; a water-bird that is constantly dipping or diving under water.


Sowell says

31/07/2020


Rural round-up

31/07/2020

Lessees can be forced to cull tahr – Neal Wallace:

High-Country pastoral lessees could be drawn into the contentious tahr cull issue with plans for a population survey on Crown pastoral lease land later this year.

Federated Farmers high-country committee past chairman Simon Williamson believes lease terms will force some landowners to cull tahr.

The Conservation Department has begun a major cull in Aoraki/Mount Cook and Westland Tai Poutini National Parks but operations director Dr Ben Reddiex says it is not eradication.

“The vast majority of commercial hunting takes place on Crown pastoral lease and private land. . . 

Cotter passionate about supporting farmers in need – Janette Gellatly:

Passionate about the rural sector and people’s welfare, Southland Rural Support Trust chairwoman Cathie Cotter says the best aspect of her role is being there for farmers.

‘‘Our role is to talk to farmers who are having some kind of stress and . . .to connect them with the right people to make a positive difference.’’

These could include various agencies, such as mental wellness providers, financial institutions and other rural stakeholders such as DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand. ‘‘We are here to support all farmers [whether it be aquaculture or on the land] in Southland.’’ As part of its holistic approach, the trustees were also volunteers. Most have been through challenging times themselves, so could relate and understand when others were having difficulties, Mrs Cotter said.

It was about farmers helping farmers. . . 

Pilot kickstarts shearing training – Colin Williscroft:

Almost $2 million will be spent developing and delivering sustainable and integrated training for shearing and wool handling.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says $1.86m from the Provincial Growth Fund will be invested over two years to establish a pilot for the Shearing Training Model programme.

It will use micro-credentialing, earn-as-you-learn training to upskill 150 new and 120 existing shearers.

It will target school leavers, unemployed and underemployed people, career changers and those already in the industry who want to learn new skills. . . 

Mataura Valley Milk – the zombie dairy company – Brent Melville:

When it started production outside Gore in late 2018, Mataura Valley Milk was greeted with huge excitement by the Southland community, government ministers and dairy farmers alike.

The growth of infant nutritional product sales into China offered the prospect of an export bonanza.

While the growth of New Zealand-sourced dairy formula exports into China lived up to hype – growing by almost a third last year to 120,000 tonnes and generating $1.7 billion in export receipts – Mataura Valley itself was moving in the wrong direction.

It is, after all, a competitive market with well established distribution channels, dominated by Fonterra, Synlait, Danone and GMP Dairy; so growing pains were expected. . . 

Fieldays Online: 2020 Innovation Awards winners announced :

Forward-thinking Kiwis have been celebrated with the annual Fieldays Innovation Awards, with the winners announced today.

Innovation has been at the heart of Fieldays since its inception over 50 years ago, say organisers.

“It is the very reason Fieldays exists and why Fieldays Online was launched. Innovation is not easy, it requires courage and a willingness to take on risk, yet it is also fundamental to the overall sustainability of any business or industry. It is necessary if we wish to solve today’s problems and prepare the ground for solving tomorrow’s.” . . 

A farmer perspective in the boardroom – Stuart Wright:

Deputy chair of Ravensdown, Stuart Wright on why farmers should throw their hat in the ring and join board rooms.

OPINION: The phrase ‘gumboot directors’ came about in the 1970s when co-operatives like Ravensdown were created.

Originally intended as a jibe from the corporate business world, it became a badge of honour as farmer shareholders put their hand up to influence the businesses they own.

These days, New Zealand’s agri co-operatives are multi-million-dollar operations, with complex business models and risk profiles. And the governance of such organisations has never been more important. . . 


Working together for good

31/07/2020

All parties in parliament have united to pass the first multi-member Bill:

The Crimes (Definition of Female Genital Mutilation) Amendment Bill completed its third reading last night, with support from all parties in Parliament, and is set to become New Zealand law.

The bill is in the names of Jo Hayes MP (National), Priyanca Radhakrishnan MP (Labour), Golriz Ghahraman MP (Greens), and Jenny Marcroft MP (New Zealand First). It is the first time in history a Member’s Bill has been sponsored by more than one MP.

While most forms of female genital mutilation (FGM) were banned in New Zealand in 1996, through an amendment to the Crimes Act 1961 when s204A was added, this amendment will align the legislation with the World Health Organisation (WHO) classifications of all types of FGM and international best practice recommendations.

The bill is part of the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) New Zealand Group, who seek to better the lives of women and girls in Aotearoa. CWP New Zealand has collaborated with FGM Education to highlight the need for this legislative reform. Co-chairs Louisa Wall MP and Jo Hayes MP are grateful to have this important legislation complete all of its stages through the House before the dissolution of the 52nd Parliament.

“We are proud to have brought about this law to protect the lives of women and girls in Aotearoa. As women parliamentarians, we have listened to their concerns and are honoured to have contributed substantive legislative change to protect our wahine,” the co-chairs said.

The bill now awaits Royal Assent, this is the last formal step before a Bill passes and becomes law.

We had seen far too much of the worst of politicians and politics in the last few weeks. It is heartening to see parliament at its best, all parties working together for good.

Dare we hope that the new parliament will see more of this?


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