Word of the day


Halfpace – a raised floor or dais or a platform or footpace at the top of steps (as for a throne or an altar); small stage on which something stands; a landing of a staircase like a broad step between two half flights; a platform of a staircase where the stair turns back in exactly the reverse direction of the lower flight.

Sowell says


Dissolution delayed


The dissolution of parliament has been delayed until Monday.

. . . This means Parliament will continue to function. The Government and Cabinet could have continued without Parliament, but it would have no way to pass new legislation if that was needed to respond to an outbreak.

Former National Leader Simon Bridges urged an election delay, saying the amount of media attention the Prime Minister would attract during a second outbreak of Covid-19 would stack the odds of victory in her favour.

“I’ve just cancelled public meetings and a lot of volunteers doorknocking.

“Meanwhile, Labour, while suspending campaigning, continues with all machinery of Govt and thus the power of the airwaves,” Bridges said in a Tweet.

Both National leader Judith Collins and ACT leader David Seymour had called for the ending of the 52nd Parliament to be delayed, as Auckland heads into Covid-19 alert level 3 and the rest of New Zealand into alert level 2. . . 

Delaying the dissolution of parliament is the right decision.

Postponing the election should follow.

It is just over a couple of weeks until early voting begins and little more than a month until election day.

Candidates can’t campaign at lockdown level 2, let alone level 3 which is where Auckland is.

These restrictions are only supposed to last a few days but news that one of the people who has tested positive to Covid-19 travelled to Rotorua doesn’t give a lot of confidence that the lockdown will not be extended in time and area.

Rural round-up


Leading by example – Gerald Piddock:

Being responsible to their land, animals, people and their community has earned a Hawke’s Bay couple the Fonterra Responsible Dairying Award. Gerald Piddock reports.

Being a responsible dairy farmer means more than just being industry role models to Nick and Nicky Dawson.

It involves working beyond the farm bubble in the wider community and nurturing the health of people, the environment and their animals.

“It’s all interconnected,” Nicky says. 

“It’s like a three-legged stool. You can’t have one without the other.” . . 

Time running out for ag contractors as spring approaches – Gerald Piddock:

October is looming as a crunch-month for agricultural contractors and dairy farmers as the scramble continues to find staff to drive machinery to plant summer feed crops and cut grass cut for silage.

Waikato Federated Farmers vice-president Ben Moore said there was huge concern that contractors would not have enough staff on the ground to meet demand from dairy farmers as border restrictions continue to prevent overseas farm machinery operators from entering the country to work this spring and summer.

The region was still recovering from last summer’s drought with feed reserves on many farms already low. 

Moore feared there could be a potential disaster if farmers are unable to get their summer supplementary feed supply organised and there was another very dry summer. . . 

Ag contractor training gearing up – Mark Daniel:

Agricultural contractors are warning about a severe shortage of skilled machinery operators for the upcoming harvest season.

The shortage is due to New Zealand’s closed borders, shutting out staff from overseas. In response, a number of training organisations are offering displaced local workers and jobseekers a basic grounding in the sector.

In the South Island, the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) is promoting its ‘An Introduction to Agricultural Contracting’ course – based at its Telford Campus, near Balclutha. This initiative was the result of SIT’s discussions with Rural Contractors NZ Ltd (RCNZ) and some key players in the contracting sector in Otago and Southland – who all wanted to do something positive to address the need for trained contracting staff. . .

Lake Hawea to host world ploughing championships

The world’s best exponents of the art of ploughing are coming to Lake Hawea, but not for quite a while.

An Upper Clutha group of ploughing enthusiasts announced on Saturday they had secured the 2028 world championships.

That means 60 of the best “ploughmen” from farming communities around world will load up their tractors and ploughs, ship them to New Zealand and carve out furrows across the flat paddocks south of the lake.

Organising committee chairman John Osborne said his committee had spent two years preparing Lake Hawea’s case for the event, “basically trying to prove to the New Zealand executive we have facilities up here to have all these world guys here”. . . 

Industry hunters step up for annual event  – Jared Morgan:

Ask hunters where exactly in Central Otago they shot their haul in the annual Manuherikia Boar, Buck and Stag Hunt and they are unlikely to tell you.

They want to protect their turf and believe the results speak for themselves.

Yesterday marked weigh-in day in the annual three-day fundraiser for the Alexandra Scout Group.

It was heartland rural New Zealand at its best if the atmosphere at the weigh-in and prize-giving was anything to go by. . . 

Matching beef yields and consumer expectations :

ENHANCING the red meat value chain through a greater understanding of efficient use of farm resources, better use of grazing mosaics, and the production of cattle that reach and exceed domestic and export ready standards is the aim of a new four-year partnership for the west.

The University of Western Australia and Meat & Livestock through the MLA Donor Company have joined forces to coordinate and drive an integrated research and practice change program for the West Australian beef Industry.

The partnership, BeefLinks, will provide better knowledge and a range of technologies to support the sustainability credentials of products and interconnectivity between producers, processors and consumers. . . 


Don’t people learn?


The announcement that the country was going into alert level 4 led to panic buying of food and other grocery items.

There was no need for that, the country had, and still has, plenty of what we all need providing we all act rationally.

You’d think people might have learned from that but no, the announcement that Auckland is going back to alert level 3 has resulted in more panic buying.

Some people don’t have enough money for anything more than absolute immediate needs but how hard would it be for those who can afford to keep some stores in case of events like this to do so?

Living in the country, we have more than enough stocked up as a matter of course.

Community transmission is back


The 102 days stretch without community transmission in New Zealand has been broken:

Bloomfield said there were four confirmed cases in one family acquired from an unknown source.

An Auckland man in his 50s was tested yesterday after having symptoms. He had no history of overseas travel and was tested a second time today. Both tests were positive.

Six other people were in his family, and three of them have tested positive. The other three tested negative.

Close contacts have been isolated for 14 days regardless of their test results. Casual contacts are also being isolated and cannot leave until they test negative.

Workers at the border are also being tested. . . 

In response to this, Auckland is going back to level 3 at midday today for three days.

The rest of the country is in level 2 until midnight on Friday.

Not knowing the source of the infection is very concerning.

The DG of Health told us last week that community transmission was inevitable.

He’s been proved right – but why was it inevitable? What went wrong? Was it human error or a process failure?


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