Word of the day


Brainish – characterised by undue haste and lack of thought or deliberation; headstrong;, impetuous, impulsive; passionate.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Farming on a senseless slippery slope:

A recent decision to extend 5.8 million hectares of land designated as ‘low slope’ to 9.6 million hectares is causing trouble for affected farmers.

The controversial map deeming 9.6 million hectares of NZ’s pastoral land as ‘low slope’ with specific stock exclusion zones has been described by North Otago farmer and sustainability advocate Jane Smith as “not fit for human consumption” let alone being stamped as regulation.

“Some bureaucrat has managed to change the topography of New Zealand – with the area defined as ‘low slope’ – growing from 5.8 million hectares in 2019 to 9.6 million hectares overnight with a simple stroke of a pen,” Jane Smith says.

She has no doubt this will be the ruling that breaks farmers’ backs. . .

Dairy industry proves durable under Covid-19 – NZIER report – Eric Frykberg:

Dairy sales have gained strength despite the pandemic but the industry could be undermined by government policy, an NZIER report says.

The report, written by the economic consultancy’s principal economist Chris Nixon, said the industry had brushed aside Covid-19 – earning more money, not less – and had defences against a movement towards trade protectionism and dairy substitutes such as almond milk.

It said the dairy industry had proven itself to be a durable part of the New Zealand economy and this would continue for the foreseeable future, but it needed careful attention from the government to maintain confidence.

Nixon said while many primary sectors rose modestly during Covid-19, or fell, dairy sales were strong. . . 

Out there living life and going places – Sally Rae:

Nine years ago, Anita Kendrick’s life was thrown upside down when she broke her back in a quad-bike accident while mustering sheep. Facing life in a wheelchair, she did not let her disability deter her from continuing her career in farming. Sally Rae reports.

Anita Kendrick is on the hunt for a job in the South Island.

The 27-year-old King Country shepherd said she had been keen for a long time to move south but, until now, had not had the confidence to do so. But that was now instilled and she was ready for a change.

Armed with her team of working dogs, she did not have the ideal job in mind — nor an area — although she was keen to work with sheep more than cattle, as they were more “user friendly”. She was also interested in getting involved in the stud aspect of breeding. . . 

Feds relieved wilding pine control efforts to ramp up:

Federated Farmers is relieved to see the government put more muscle today behind a nationwide plan to tackle more than 800,000 hectares of wilding pine infestations.

Last week’s massive fire in the Mackenzie Basin burnt an area of 2,000 hectares, mostly the pest ‘wilding’ pine trees and scrub.

Civil Defence Minister Peeni Henare went to the Mackenzie District last week to survey the fire damage near Lake Pukaki, the spread of which has in part been attributed to the wilding pines. . .

East-West divide dictates meat returns :

An East-West Covid split is dictating global meat returns for New Zealand farmers.

Countries like China, Taiwan and Japan, which acted early and implemented successful lockdowns, now find their economies on a firmer footing.

This is reflecting on receipts for NZ meat exports to these countries, says Westpac senior agri economist Nathan Penny.

A resurging Chinese economy bodes well for lamb and mutton demand as the country accounts for a large share of New Zealand’s exports. . .


Innovative technology protects crops, farmers and our future – Balwinder Singh Kang:

The swarm of locusts was so large, it blackened the sky in the middle of the day.

If we hadn’t known that this plague of pests was coming to attack our farms, we might have thought it was a massive dust storm or an eclipse of the sun.

Because we knew the locusts were on the move, we were ready for them. As they descended on our crops, our entire village came out to defend our fields. This was a struggle for survival-and the lesson we learned is that farmers like us need the best technologies to defeat this threat to our way of life. . . 

Labour will make poor poorer


What is Labour thinking with its plan to have 100% renewable energy generation by 2030?

Labour’s energy policy will hammer Kiwis’ back pockets by increasing the cost of electricity by as much as 40 per cent, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

The Government’s own advice from the Independent Climate Commission said the 100 per cent renewable electricity will increase power prices for New Zealand businesses and families.

“The day after Grant Robertson pledged there would be no new taxes, we’re seeing even more costs piled onto New Zealanders.

“This is a policy that will cost thousands of jobs and put even more people on to the unemployment benefit.

“While we want to see more renewable electricity, all this policy will do is increase electricity prices and reduce reliability.

“While Labour wants higher taxes and hiked power prices, National wants to get the economy moving and create jobs for New Zealanders.”

Like the ban on oil and gas exploration, this policy isn’t evidence-based:

A goal of 100% renewable electricity needs to evidence-based and thoroughly tested, according to the Petroleum Exploration and Production Association of New Zealand (PEPANZ).

“The Government’s own Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) warned against a 100% target for 2035 given that it would be very expensive and have only minimal impacts on emissions,” says PEPANZ Chief Executive John Carnegie.

Nearly as bad as the oil and gas ban that will make emissions worse.

“We’d want to see careful consideration of the costs and benefits of bringing a 100% target even further forward, as well as for all other policies.

“A Government-backed hydro scheme is likely to be a major deterrent to any private sector energy investment given it could render them unprofitable. Its need could become self-fulfilling.

What are the chances of a hydro scheme, government-backed or not, getting through the resource consent process in time for it to be operating by 2030?

“The pace and nature of our transition will ultimately be determined by global economics. New Zealand has tried to hide from market forces before without success and at massive long-term economic and social cost. We cannot subsidise our way to prosperity, especially in the current highly uncertain global environment. . . 

Why would Labour, the party that imposed significant costs on landlords with the aim of making houses warmer, plan to implement a policy that will make it more difficult for poor people to heat their houses by significantly increasing power prices?

Why would the party whose leader said reducing child poverty was one of her most important priorities even consider a policy that will make poverty worse?

Why wouldn’t the party that exhorts us to follow the science on Covid-19, follow the science on energy, the environment and economics?

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