Word of the day


Gombeen – involved in the lending of money at unreasonably high interest rates; the act or practice of loaning money at an exorbitant rate of interest; an exorbitant or unlawfully high amount or rate of interest; the practice of usury; a mean, underhanded, corrupt person, usually applied to politicians; corrupt, shady, underhanded.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Vegetation grown on farms offsets agricultural emissions

Farmers are welcoming an independent study which has found New Zealand’s sheep and beef farms are already close to being carbon neutral.

The study, led by Dr Bradley Case at the Auckland University of Technology, estimated the woody vegetation on farms was offsetting between 63% and 118% of their on-farm agricultural emissions.

If the mid-point in the report’s range was used, on average the woody vegetation on sheep and beef farms was absorbing about 90% of these emissions.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand chief executive Sam McIvor said absolute greenhouse gas emissions from New Zealand sheep and beef production have reduced by 30% since 1990.

“This research shows that of the remaining emissions, the vast majority are being offset by the trees on our farms and New Zealand sheep and beef farmers are well on the way to being carbon neutral by 2050. . . .

Oxford University researchers are pushing for a new method of measuring greenhouse gas emissions and their warming impact

Myles Allen, Ph.D., a professor of Geosystem Science and head of the Climate Dynamics Group at Oxford Martin, University of Oxford, has a beef with how the impact of methane emissions on global warming is wrongly calculated — and then misconstrued to blame livestock for climate change.

He and his Oxford Martin colleagues have proposed a new metric called GWP* (global warming potential – star), which focuses on the warming effects of the different gases, rather than their rate of emissions. The current mischaracterization of methane’s impact on warming, Allen told The Daily Churn, ignores the “white elephant” in the room — fossil fuel-based carbon dioxide emissions. This in turn could lead to misguided policies that inaccurately target animal agriculture.

“If we all turn vegetarian, but we don’t do anything about fossil fuel emissions, in five years we’ll be in exactly the same position we were before,” Allen says of rising global temperatures. But “we’re vegetarians.” . . .

Southland farmer makes finals – Sally Rae:

Helping people is a big part of what makes Bernadette Hunt “tick”.

Mrs Hunt, a Chatton farmer and vice-president of Southland Federated Farmers, is a finalist in the primary industry leadership award in this year’s Primary Industries New Zealand awards which will be announced at a function in Wellington on November 23.

Balancing farming, family — she and her husband Alistair have two primary school-aged daughters — and rural advocacy was a “real juggle” and there were certainly times when the balance was not right.

However, she was a firm believer in volunteering — “that’s what makes communities tick” — and also role modelling that to her own children. . . .

Title ton: shearer celebrates milestone :

A South Canterbury farmer has become the first person in the world to win 100 blade-shearing finals. 

Tony Dobbs won the open blades title at the Waimate Shears Spring Championships last night, a competition he first competed at in 1979.

Dobbs won the title by shearing four sheep in 14 minutes and 48 seconds.

He beat the reigning individual world champion Allan Oldfield, who is also from South Canterbury. . . 

Feet first :

Draining abscesses on cows hoofs may be a mucky job but Johan Buys loves it.

“When I get rid of that I can get rid of the pain,” he says.

Johan is known as ‘The Hoofman’ and spends his days tending cows’ hoofs, curing lameness.

He says it’s hugely satisfying watching a cow that limped in for treatment, leave for the paddock pain-free. . . 

Wairarapa sweeps 2020 Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, 2020 best year yet:

Wairarapa Olive Oil makers have swept the annual NZ Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards, winning four of the five major awards for Olive Oil Excellence, with the region’s growers also taking home 58 medals.

Beginning in 2020, the New Zealand Olive Oil Awards recognise excellence in NZ Extra Virgin Olive Oils (NZ EVOO). This year’s winners were announced tonight at the Olives NZ 2020 Award Ceremony.

Four Wairarapa Olive Growers received top awards: . . 

Yes Sir Humphrey


$401,489.97 per job


Newsroom has analysed the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) and uncovered the cost per job created:

Nationwide it is anticipated 15,062 jobs will be directly created by projects funded by the PGF. Dividing the approved funds with the expected jobs gives a figure of $401,489.97 per job. . . 

That’s bad enough, but the number of jobs created is only an estimate and may not even be accurate:

National Party spokesman for regional economic development Michael Woodhouse says one reason the job numbers were likely inaccurate was because the PGF hadn’t actually been tracking them properly when the fund was set up. 

“The initial jobs for PGF funding did not even have the fundamental question of ‘How many jobs are you going to create?’.

“It [the PGF] hasn’t achieved the intended goals of sustainable job growth – which has been one of the most disappointing aspects of the fund – because they can’t even tell us how many jobs have been created.”

As several media outlets reported, in the end Jones simply got the Provincial Development Unit (PDU) to ring around PGF recipients and ask them how many jobs they expected to create.

An Auditor-General report into the fund also found there was a lack of clarity as to what counted as a “job” for the purposes of the PGF’s goals. 

This reached the public realm in July with a press release which touted the PGF as having exceeded its goals with the creation of 12,936 jobs.

Only problem was 6531 of those jobs (50 percent) had already been disestablished when the release was sent out

Woodhouse sees the PGF as more an attempt to shovel money into rural regions which were either marginal seats or held by National.

“The electorates that have received the highest amounts of money are marginal and mostly National-held electorates, so the likes of East Coast, Northland, Tarawhiti. 

“I can’t get past the possibility that they are political expediencies for NZ First and the Labour Party.” . . .

It does look very much like that, but whether or not it is a vote buying vehicle, $401,489.97 per job, some of which had already been disestablished, can not possibly be giving value for money.

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