Max Merritt – 30.4.41 – 24.9.20

25/09/2020

Rock legend Max Merritt has died:

To most New Zealanders, Max Merritt – who died overnight aged 79 – is best known for ‘Slipping Away’, a Kiwi anthem from the mid-1970s. But his career stretches all the way back to the very beginning of rock and roll in New Zealand.

In 1975 Max Merritt and The Meteors were struggling in London and playing the same venues as the then-emerging punk bands. They’d been signed to the fledgling Arista label but the A Little Easier album met with little success. The band had been largely forgotten in Australia and New Zealand when a second single, ‘Slipping Away’, was released off the album, which would give Max Merritt the biggest hit of his career, 16 years after his first record.

Maxwell James Merritt was born in Christchurch on April 30, 1941. At age 12 he was taking guitar lessons with no great enthusiasm, impatient to replicate the hit songs of the day without having to endure endless renditions of ‘Home On The Range’. The boredom was sorted when his teacher, a second-hand dealer, was imprisoned for receiving stolen property. . .


Word of the day

25/09/2020

Nargyle – a foolish person fond of disrupting.


Sowell says

25/09/2020


Rural round-up

25/09/2020

Lower sheep and beef farmers sentiment chief contributor to rural confidence fall – Rabobank – Maja Burry:

Waning sentiment among sheep and beef farmers has pushed rural confidence deeper into negative territory in Rabobank’s latest rural confidence survey.

The survey, completed earlier this month, found net farmer confidence has slipped to -32 percent, down from -26 percent previously. In the last quarterly survey there had been a strong recovery from historic lows recorded early in the year.

Rabobank said the chief contributor to the lower net reading was markedly-lower sheep and beef farmer sentiment. That negated higher confidence levels reported among dairy farmers and horticulturalists, who were bouyed by improving demand for products.

Rabobank New Zealand chief executive, Todd Charteris, said sheep and beef farmers reported lingering concerns over government policy and the on-going impacts of Covid-19. . . 

2021 Zanda McDonald Award to crown two winners:

In an Award first, the Zanda McDonald Award, Australasia’s agricultural badge of honour, have announced today that they will crown not one, but two winners – one from each side of the Tasman – for the 2021 Award.

Eight passionate and talented young individuals in the primary sector have been named in the shortlist for the prestigious trans-Tasman award – four from Australia, and four from New Zealand.

The award, now in its seventh year, recognises talented and passionate young professionals working in agriculture, and provides an impressive prize package. The shortlist have been selected for their passion for the industry, strong leadership skills, and the contributions they’re making in the primary sector.

The change for 2021 comes as a result of COVID-19 restrictions, which prevents the award judges from being able to interview the usual shortlist of six together in one place, to determine the overall winner for Australasia. . . 

The case for trout farming – Clive Barker:

Anglers have long resisted the idea of commercial trout farming but a select committee recently recommended the Government give the idea “serious consideration”. Clive Barker makes the case for trout farming.

The species of fish used for aquaculture were at one time very limited. Carp were the fish used in pond culture originally in China. The method was transferred and developed in Europe during the Middle Ages. This was to help inland populations to follow the centuries-old law of meat abstinence on Fridays. In addition, there was the period of Lent during which eating meat was also prohibited. The 15th and 16th centuries were called the ”Golden Age” of Carp pond farming.

By the 1700s, river trout stock depletion had become a problem and in 1741 Stephen Ludwig Jacobi established the first trout hatchery in Germany. From this time, anglers have started to depend on cultured supplies of trout to increase or substitute the natural wild trout production. . . 

Feds suitably impressed with week of agriculture and horticulture announcements:

This has been a promising week for farmers.

Federated Farmers says it started with an excellent agriculture policy from ACT announced on Monday, followed by Labour’s positive farm plan policy announced by the Prime Minister and Agricultural Minister yesterday and finishing today with a well-researched and well thought out National Party Agriculture and Horticulture policies today.

National’s policy outlines a situation where the border is effectively closed, and New Zealand has lost almost a quarter of foreign earnings in the form of tourism and international education, leaving primary industries keeping the economy afloat.

Federated Farmers National President Andrew Hoggard says all these policies are the shot in the arm that our primary industries require. . . 

Shrek 2 found in Gisborne

First there was the South Island Shrek who came to our attention in 2004 – now a rival has been found in Gisborne.

She’s finally been caught at Wairakaia Station and has been given a name – Gizzy Shrek.

Farmer Rob Faulkner has been on her tail for years, he says.

“She’s been eluding me for about four or five years now and she finally came in through the back paddock”, Ron told Jesse Mulligan.

Empty meat counters – Uptown Farms:

Have you ever had your washer breakdown? It’s a real pain, and can cause a real issue around the house.
Finding someone to fix it is tough – skilled labor is hard to come by.

While you’re waiting, the laundry doesn’t stop coming. Everyone in the house keeps sending more your way. But without the washer – you’re stuck. There’s literally no where for the clothes to go.

Meanwhile, with huge piles of clothes stacking up on one side, clean clothes are becoming pretty scarce. Everyone in the house is wearing their jeans multiple times and getting nervous as they watch their underwear drawer slowly empty out…

This is what’s happening in our meat industry right now. Instead of washers and laundry it’s packing plants and livestock.
Many packing plants have been forced to shut down or run at lowered capacity because of Covid outbreaks and sick employees. Enough that it has created a massive backup on one side. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

25/09/2020


It’s the vibe

25/09/2020

National’s agriculture policy aims to restore farmers’ confidence and pride:

A National Government will reduce regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future.

Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today.

You can read our Agriculture & Horticulture Policy here.

“Agriculture is responsible for 60 per cent of New Zealand’s goods exports and is the backbone of our economy,” Ms Collins says.

Farmers have enough on their plate with weather, interest rates, and international markets, they shouldn’t have to contend with a Government who doesn’t understand their sector and restricts their growth.

“New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of quality and sustainable agricultural products is well known around the world. When we form the next Government, our pledge is to ensure that our agricultural policy focuses on allowing farmers the opportunity to farm their way to better outcomes, rather than being regulated into oblivion.”

National will:

  • Repeal the Resource Management Act (RMA) and replace it with an Environmental Standards Act and Planning and Development Act.
  • Allow skilled workers and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers to enter New Zealand.
  • Create a fast-tracked Primary Sector Visa.
  • Repeal or review the nine new water regulations Labour introduced in August.
  • Promote water storage options.
  • Review the treatment of forestry in the Emissions Trading Scheme.
  • Remove the exemption that streamlines the process for forestry applications in the Overseas Investment Office test.
  • Remove the review process around introducing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2022.
  • Pass seven changes to the Zero Carbon Bill, including a review of the methane target.
  • Pursue an active free trade agenda to open up new markets for New Zealand’s food and fibre products.
  • Enforce stronger penalties for biosecurity offences.
  • Build the infrastructure to ensure better connectivity for rural communities

Labour took farmers for granted. Now as we face an economic crisis we are seeing just how foolish Labour’s treatment of farmers was,” Mr Bennett says.

“National’s approach to agriculture is simple – allow the sector to thrive by investing in and encouraging innovation, not constraining the sector with excessive regulations.

“There will be a demand for more sustainability in our farming practices. Farmers are up for this challenge and this desire for improvement is clear in farmers’ efforts over recent years.

“We’ll address the issues around workforce shortages and ensure that primary sector businesses have every opportunity continue growing and supporting New Zealand’s economy.

“National is proud of New Zealand’s history as the world’s best producer of food and fibre, and we are committed to it being New Zealand’s future as well.”

This has been seized on by Nationals’ opponents as anti-environment.

It isn’t. It has the goals of environmental sustainability but unlike Labour and the Greens, National aims to do it by working with farmers in a way that is economically and socially sustainable.

The details are good and more than that, as Dennis Denuto said in The Castle, it’s the vibe

The policy shows National values farmers and understands the importance of primary production and, unlike the parties on the left, will not attempt to kill off one of the few bright spots in the pandemic’s economic gloom.


This isn’t best use of borrowed money

25/09/2020

Look what the government is spending borrowed money on:

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is questioning the value of the Arts Continuity Grant, a COVID-19 response fund which has so far paid out $16 million in grants to a variety of questionable short-term arts projects.

Since March, Creative NZ has offered grants of up to $50,000 for ‘a short-term arts project, or the stage of a project, that can be delivered within a changed and evolving environment as a result of COVID-19.’

Many of the descriptions of these projects are, frankly, incomprehensible. It’s hard to see how bureaucrats in Creative NZ can make an objective judgment on which projects are worthy of funding, and which aren’t.

The resulting handouts speak for themselves. Creative NZ is fighting COVID-19 by spending taxpayer money on plays about menstrual cycles, Māori ‘healing theatre’, and ‘Indigenised Hypno-soundscapes’. That’s madness and it reflects terribly on the Minister of Arts Culture and Heritage – who happens to be Jacinda Ardern.

These grants are massively unfair to taxpayers, with the benefits skewed toward politically-connected Wellington weirdos. Handouts for fringe interest groups mean less money is available for tax relief that would reward productive work. . . 

Here’s a selection of projects on which this money is being spent:

Every cent of money spent on these projects is borrowed, accruing interest (albeit rates are low) and must be repaid.

Does anyone, except perhaps the recipients, think this is the best use of borrowed money when the country is in recession and facing decades of deficits?

People who can’t get the health care they need, whose schools are in disrepair, and who care about worsening deprivation for far too many children won’t.


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