Word of the day

25/11/2020

Trireme – an ancient Greek or Roman war galley with three banks of oars; a galley with three rows or tiers of oars on each side, one above another, used chiefly as a warship.


Sowell says

25/11/2020


Rural round-up

25/11/2020

Biotech sector report calls for genetic modification rules review :

The biotech sector wants the government to review the rules around genetic modification saying the restrictions are holding the industry back.

A landmark report on the sector predicts the industry could be worth as much as $50 billion.

However, the Aotearoa Boosted by BioTech report pulls together a raft of constraints and challenges identified over the last decade, that need to be overcome before this can happen

A burgeoning part of the wider technology industry, BioTech mainly innovates out of the primary sector but is also popular in health, industrial and environment. . .

Moeraki’s indomitable slow fish legend :

Fleurs Place, in Moeraki, is one of New Zealand’s best-loved restaurants, and many people call it the best seafood restaurant in the country. However, Fleur Sullivan never even wanted to start a restaurant when she first came to Moeraki nearly 20 years ago. That’s just how things ended up after she started trying to help people out.

Thinking this month about Slow Fish – which is about preserving traditional fishing communities and connecting people more directly with the fish they eat, as much as it is about protecting marine reserves – Moeraki is an interesting case study. It illustrates just how vulnerable such fishing communities in Aotearoa have become in recent decades.

Ask most people what it is they like about Fleurs Place and, in addition to the beautiful setting and homely atmosphere (not to mention Fleur herself, who personally greets nearly every guest as if they’re old friends), a common answer will be its simplicity and honesty.

Fleur serves wholesome, simple, delicious food made with high quality local ingredients – including fresh fish caught by local Moeraki fishers, landed right on the dock beside the restaurant door. It seems like a simple enough model: put a restaurant by the jetty of a sleepy old fishing village, and serve fish straight off the boats. But as anyone who knows anything about commercial New Zealand fisheries will know, this “simple” set up is anything but simple. . .

Hunt scoops leadership award – Sudesh Kissun:

Southland drystock farmer Bernadette Hunt has scooped the 2020 primary industry’s leadership award.

The award, presented last night at the 2020 Primary Industries conference dinner in Wellington, recognises Hunt’s commitment to advocating for farming, particularly given her efforts to highlight the challenges farmers face nationwide measuring up to the government’s new freshwater regulations.

“Bernadette has the rare combination of having a clear vision of what’s right and wrong, being able to articulate a strong message and bring others on the journey. She absolutely leads by example,” Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland said.

The Outstanding Contribution award, sponsored by Massey Ferguson and presented by chief executive Peter Scott, went to Beef and Lamb’s Rob Davison. . . 

Kiwifruit orchard wins inaugural award for excellence in Māori horticulture :

A kiwifruit orchard in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has taken out the inaugural Ahuwhenua Trophy for excellence in Māori horticulture.

The Ahuwhenua Trophy competition, which is in its 87th year, celebrates excellence by Māori across the farming sector.

For this first time this year the award was focused on recognising excellence in horticulture.

The award went to Te Kaha 15B Hineora Orchard, a 11.5 hectare freehold block of Māori land at Te Kaha, 65km east of Ōpōtiki. . . 

Training targets farm freshwater plans:

As farm freshwater plans are set to become part of industry requirements following the Government’s Essential Freshwater reforms, Massey University has created short courses to meet what will be a growing demand for training in the area.

As a result of changes to the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, almost all farms in New Zealand will need to have a freshwater plan.

One of the concerns voiced by the industry about that, is there are not enough people with the necessary training to make that requirement a reality.

Massey dairy production systems professor Danny Donaghy says the new short courses are designed to fill that gap and move away from the traditional “hours and hours of online lectures,” and will instead focus on flexibility, new technologies and case studies. . . 

Constellation Brands NZ enters agreement  with Giesen Group to sell its Riverlands Winery:

New Zealand’s largest exporter of New Zealand wine to the US, Constellation Brands New Zealand, has sold its Marlborough-based Riverlands Winery to family-owned Giesen Group.

One of three Constellation-owned wineries in New Zealand, the Riverlands Winery has been part of the company’s portfolio since 2006. While the facility is no longer suited to Constellation’s ambitious growth plans, its capacity for smaller production runs ensured a great fit with Giesen’s production plans. Its location across the road from Giesen’s existing Marlborough winery cemented the extension as a logical and exciting strategic move for the innovative New Zealand-owned brand.

The sale of the winery is planned to settle in mid-December this year, in time for the upcoming 2021 harvest. Giesen is hopeful all current Riverlands employees will join the their team and be part of their future growth plans for the winery. . . 

Primary producers set to crack into nut producing orchard up for sale:

One of New Zealand’s biggest commercial macadamia nut orchards and associated macadamia nut processing and manufacturing operations have been placed on the market for sale.

The 8.1-hectare Top Notch Macadamias operation at Patetonga on the Hauraki Plains near the base of the Coromandel produces more than 15 tonnes of the high-value hand-harvested nuts annually – all of which are processed on-site and marketed through an established retail network, and directly via on-line sales.

Among Top Notch’s vast product catalogue range are salted nuts, roasted nuts, chocolate-coated macadamia nuts, honey caramel nuts, macadamia muesli, sweet macadamia brittle, macadamia butter, and macadamia dukkha. . . 

Classic country pub with mini golf course has buyers teed up:

A modern country pub operating in one of New Zealand’s premier year-round outdoor adventure and tourism regions – coming complete with its own 18-hole mini-golf course – has been placed on the market for sale.

Schnapps Bar in the centre of the North Island is located near the pivotal junction of State Highways 47 leading into and out of Tongariro National Park, and the north to south routed State Highway 4.

With World Heritage status, nearby Tongariro National Park is New Zealand’s oldest national park. Situated just a few hundred metres from National Park’s only petrol station and grocery store, Schnapps Bar is one of only a few licensed hospitality premises operating in the area. . . 

 


Yes Sir Humphrey

25/11/2020


Whanau Voices of Aotearoa Far From Home

25/11/2020

UK-based New Zealand singers have come together to deliver a musical love song far from home:

As the arts continue to suffer internationally due to this pandemic, New Zealand’s UK based opera singers are coming together to record a concert of purely NZ/Māori/Pasifika songs to be broadcast and shared internationally from the Royal Albert Hall this November.

What started as just a simple idea of performing again has grown into something that is bringing dozens of Kiwi performers together from all around the UK to share and celebrate our country, our culture, and what unites us.  We have been silenced for months through no fault of our own and we are incredibly proud and excited to share the smallest of insights into what it feels to be us at the moment: what our Whānau means to us, and how we long for home, for better times and to be together once again. 

We are hugely grateful to the Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, Royal Albert Hall, Foundation for Australia & New Zealand Arts, NZ High Commission, RNZ Concert (our proud broadcasting partner for this concert) without whom we couldn’t be performing, and the ongoing support of our colleagues and friends back in NZ: Auckland Opera Studio, New Zealand Opera, New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, SOUNZ Centre for New Zealand Music, Chamber Music New Zealand, Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and all our family and friends.

Please join us for the release of this concert, set for broadcast later in November, to enjoy some of NZ’s finest opera singers and musicians performing a stunning concert of NZ/Māori/Pasifika songs and ensembles. Please consider donating to help each one of these world class singers/musicians through this incredibly tough time, and we hope you enjoy this concert: our ode to Aotearoa/New Zealand.

Ngā mihi nui,

Kiwi opera singers in London

You can donate to help here.

RNZ has a story on the concert here.


If some more is good . . .

25/11/2020

The Helen Clark Foundation and Institute for Economic Research are calling for an increase in the minimum wage.

. . . Institute deputy chief executive Todd Krieble told Mike Hosking the industry needs a reset.

“Now’s the time for change because it’s cheap to borrow and we can’t continue to rely on on low wage migrant workers to fuel the economy.”

Krieble says employers need to be thinking of how to retain staff and improve overall performance.

He says investing in people will provide more output and increased efficiency.

It was Labour policy to increase the minimum wage faster. This report goes further, wanting it to be raised to the living wage.

. . . Krieble said lifting the minimum wage to the level of the living wage of $22.10 would boost productivity.

Why stop there? If some more pay is good wouldn’t much more be better?

“It would encourage investment from employers in skills, either technical skills or soft skills, and it would help employees to hang around.” . . .

Not necessarily, especially now which is not the time to be adding costs to businesses:

A sharp boost to the minimum wage would see fewer jobs created as businesses struggle under a tidal wave of government-imposed costs, National’s Economic Development spokesperson Todd McClay says.

The Helen Clark Foundation has today called for wealth to be ‘pre-distributed’ through a sharp increase of the minimum wage to boost productivity.

“Sadly this will have the opposite effect. It will be especially hard on small businesses still struggling from debt taken on during the Covid-19 lockdowns,” Mr McClay says.

“Businesses need policies that will help them grow the economy and create jobs, not greater costs that will slow the job market.”

MBIE forecasted that 6500 jobs would be lost when the minimum wage was last increased. As employment costs increase, businesses find it hard to afford to replace workers who leave. This in turn slows job creation – a lagging indicator for unemployment.

The way to help businesses pay people more is through better rules, less red tape and lower costs. This in turn leads to job creation and wage growth,” Mr McClay says.

“The Government is proposing to increase the minimum wage quickly, double sick leave, impose another public holiday and reintroduce 1970s-style collective bargaining at a cost or more than $2.8b per year on Kiwi businesses at a time when they can least afford it.

“Now is the time for the Government to reduce costs on businesses and make it easier for them to create jobs, not make it harder for them to pay their bills.”

Businesses expect modest increases in the minimum wage but steep rises are counter-productive.

They are  much more likely to lead to investment in technology which reduces the need for people rather than in their staff and to make it much harder for people who are younger, unskilled, inexperienced or with any other disadvantage to find work.


%d bloggers like this: