Word of the day

02/10/2020

Unctuous – excessively flattering or ingratiating;  having, revealing, or marked by a smug, ingratiating, and false earnestness or spirituality; characterised by excessive piousness or moralistic fervor, especially in an affected manner; excessively smooth, suave, or smug; fatty, greasy, oily;  smooth and greasy in texture or appearance; of the nature of or characteristic of an unguent or ointment; (chiefly of minerals) having a greasy or soapy feel.


Sowell says

02/10/2020


Rural round-up

02/10/2020

Freshwater rules take toll on confidence – Sally Rae:

Southern sheep and beef farmers have experienced their worst fall in confidence in a recent survey by Beef+Lamb New Zealand, as the Government’s freshwater rules are cited as a major factor.

Nationally, confidence dropped to the lowest recorded level since August 2017 with less than half — or 46% of farmers — confident in the future of New Zealand’s sheep and beef industry compared to 58% in May.

Farmer confidence was down in all regions, except for the northern North Island, and the largest fall was in the southern South Island at 32% (down 27%), followed by the central South Island at 42% (down 19%).

In a statement, B+LNZ chairman Andrew Morrison, a Southland farmer, said sheep and beef farmers were increasingly concerned at the speed and scale of government-led reforms. . . 

26 million national flock down 2.3% – Sally Rae:

Sheep numbers in New Zealand have dropped 2.3% over the past year to 26.21million — a far cry from the 57.85million recorded in 1990.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s annual stock number survey estimated this spring’s lamb crop would be 4.2% lower — or 980,000 head down — compared with spring 2019, while adverse weather events could lessen that further.

Ewe condition during mating was poor to average due to lower overall feed availability while ewe pregnancy scanning results were 5%-10% lower due to dry conditions and feed shortages. Fewer ewe hoggets were also mated.

In a statement, B+LNZ Economic Service chief economist Andrew Burtt said drought meant farmers decided to have fewer hoggets, weaner cattle and cows mated which would have impacts on future stock numbers. . . 

Fruit picker shortage reaches new levels :

With closed borders and no backpackers or casual labour coming in, the fruit picking industry desperately needs more workers than ever before.

Today The Detail looks at why it’s so hard to fill the gaps and whether robots are the answer to the labour shortage for what even employers admit is a “shit” job.

Horticulture is a $10b industry and is one that will continue to grow despite covid-19.

But the lack of workers has been something that has plagued the sector for years, even before the pandemic. . . 

Work experience helps fresh talent into dairying

Gillian Saich from Invercargill is new to dairy farming and was thrilled when a dairy farmer offered her work experience on his farm.

Gillian recently finished DairyNZ’s GoDairy Farm Ready Training, designed to give Kiwis throughout New Zealand entry level training to work on dairy farms.

After the training, dairy farmer Edwin Mabonga from Otautau offered Gillian two weeks’ work experience and she jumped at the chance.

“It’s been brilliant to get hands-on experience. I have learned so much and have been involved in lots of aspects on the farm, including calving and milking,” she says.  . .

NZ cheese sales a lockdown silver lining:

Everywhere, everyone agrees that 2020 has been one of the most challenging years. For many NZ cheesemakers that has meant quickly adapting and finding new markets as farmers’ markets, some specialty retail food stores, cafes and restaurants closed during lockdown.

However there is a silver lining, while New Zealanders hunkered down staying safe they used their free time to explore and support NZ made produce, including New Zealand cheese, which is enjoying record sales.

According to Nielsen Scantrack[1] – a record of supermarket sales for the year to 9 August 2020 – total value for all cheese sales is up by 12.2% for the 12 months. Among these numbers is a strong increase for speciality cheese – up in value by 9.5%. Always a favourite with families, blocks of cheese are up 14.5% in value and grated cheese sales were up a whopping 25.1%. . . 

Silver Fern Farms awards additional scholarship in light of Covid crisis:

Silver Fern Farms has announced their Plate to Pasture Youth Scholarships recipients for 2020, adding two additional scholarships this year, on top of the six normally offered, to strengthen their support for the industry through the challenges presented by Covid-19.

Silver Fern Farms Chief Executive Simon Limmer says the commitment Silver Fern Farms has to developing young people and their careers has become even more important as the red meat industry responds to disruption around the world.

Over 60 people applied for this year’s scholarships. “They were asked to identify outstanding opportunities for the red meat industry in light of the Covid-19 crisis and to share the role they could play in New Zealand’s recovery. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

02/10/2020


Spread the word

02/10/2020

David Farrar is seeking donations to fund an advertisement to show just how woeful Labour’s delivery has been:

I’ve donated – you’ll find out how you can too by clicking on the link above.

This is the advertisement:

. . . All money received will go on paid advertising to get it seen far and wide. The best value for money appears to be Facebook. If enough is donated, could look at other mediums also.

The potential views may be huge. If we get $20,000 donated, then according to this site we would get:

  • 1.87 million impressions
  • 14,000 clicks through

The good thing with this is we are not selling anything. The ad is the product. If people click through, that’s a bonus. But what we want is for them to see the advert and hopefully realise how incompetent the delivery of promises has been. . . 

The information on which the graphic is based comes from this post at Kiwiblog.


Welcome back Listener

02/10/2020

The Listener is back and in her editor’s letter, Pamela Stirling writes:

. . . At a time when debate is increasingly polarized and governments around the world, including our own, are acting by decree with sweeping powers that represent the greatest infringements on our civil liberties in living memory, the need for strong, respected and independent media is greater than ever.

What’s certain is that never again in a democracy like New Zealand should an award-winning and profitable current affairs publication like the Listener be so casually deemed “non-essential” by the central government. While we supported, in general, New Zealand’s stance in fighting COvid-19 we cannot, even now understand why magazines were the only products banned from the supermarkets.

This was just one of many examples where the arbitrary and contradictory essential shut down businesses which could have operated safely had safe been what governed decisions.

As the March lockdown began, the Listener was being produced remotely from home, with the same controlled and safe printing and distribution systems as newspapers. If the weekend papers with their insert magazines were permitted to publish weekly, why couldn’t we?

A conspiracy theorist might say this was politically motivated to shut down analysis, debate, and potential criticism.

I wouldn’t go that far. I think is was cock-up rather than conspiracy, the result of a government Which,  contrary to the propaganda, did not go hard and early, but was late, lax and then harsh.

However, the outcome was the same – by decreeing only businesses it deemed essential could operate,  it did shut down analysis, debate and potential criticism at a time when it was so very important.

The Listener’s 30,000 subscribers could simply have had their magazines delivered in their sanitiser plastic wrapping directly to their homes via post or courier as always. Retail copies could have been sold in supermarkets. Instead at a time when even cigarettes and alcohol were deemed essential items, the reckless dismissal of this 80 year-old New Zealand icon felt like cultural vandalism. . . 

Cultural vandalism, and albeit by accident rather than design, political opportunism.

Some in the daily media have done, and continue to do, a very good job of holding the powerful to account. But we’ll never know what the more in-depth analysis that is possible with a weekly publication like the Listener and a monthly like the soon-to-be relaunched North and South, might have uncovered.

We’ll never know what we might have learned, what might have been different, what might have changed for the better,  had their journalists been able to investigate and report.

But we can be grateful that they’re back and, as the editor’s letter shows, coming back strongly.


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