Word of the day

04/12/2020

Biophilia – an innate and genetically determined affinity of human beings with the natural world; the inborn affinity human beings have for other forms of life; a hypothetical human tendency to interact or be closely associated with other forms of life in nature; a desire or tendency to commune with nature.


The Ad Stuff won’t publish

04/12/2020

Breaking Views reports on an advertisement that Stuff won’t publish:

Two Stuff publications, the Whangarei Leader and the Bay Chronicle have refused to publish an advertisement from Democracy Northland.

This is despite the advert being cleared by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) as being factually correct, despite the editors of each of the two publications initially accepting the ad’, Stuff confirming the booking and accepting payment. The papers reversed their position just a day before the advertisements were to appear.

The only explanation received to date is from the sales rep who says:

“Their decision [a three-member editorial panel] is based primarily off the core values that we are paying extra attention to at this given time. Particularly with our current value realignment, they believe the ad may not align with the message that the company is trying to push forward at this stage. While I appreciate that there should be a certain element of freedom of voice within all publications, it appears that at this time our editorial team is being extra cautious with what is going into our papers due to the sensitive nature of our current value realignment.”

We have asked for a written decision from the editorial panel. That is awaited (as is the refund!).

We are obviously outraged at the decision to block the ad’, and more so because the advertisement was about democracy and did not go into the merits or otherwise of race-based seats. All we want is for everyone to have a say on the matter – it’s what we understand by the meaning of democracy. That clearly does not align with the realignment values of the Whangarei Leader and the Kerikeri Chronicle.

To view the ad’ click here: Its about democracy

 

Stuff is a private business and has the right to refuse an advertisement.

But it is also a media outlet that ought to foster free speech, as Point of Order Points out:.

. . . Just three principles were to be included in a treaty:  Justice, Fairness and Good Faith.

The principles of participation, partnership and protection (which Stuff and increasing numbers of other authorities find compelling) are modern political-social constructs.

But they are potent constructs, often invoked without challenge to change the way we are governed and administered.

Now (in the absence of a Stuff denial) they are being invoked by an influential component of our free press to suppress an expression of opinion.

Muzzling opinions because they conflict with the opinions of editorial managers would be perturbing at the best of times.  Muzzling them when democratic governance arrangements are the critical matter at issue is shameful.

The papers could be given credit for standing on their principles at the cost of advertising revenue.

But are those principles are correct and should they trump free speech?

 

 


Sowell says

04/12/2020


Rural round-up

04/12/2020

Petition seeks rewrite of controversial regulations – Sally Rae:

A petition has been launched this week seeking a rewrite of the controversial new freshwater rules.

It has been organised by Groundswell NZ, a new group which stemmed from a tractor trek in Gore in October expressing farmers’ feelings about the regulations.

It comprised a mix of dairy and sheep and beef farmers and some involved in farm servicing and contracting. All were passionate about the rules being “unworkable”, Greenvale sheep and beef farmer Laurie Paterson, in whose name the petition is listed, said yesterday.

The petition requested the House of Representatives to urge the Government to review and amend the national policy statement for freshwater management to ensure it was based on science and best practice for each catchment and farm, and did not require farmers to sow on specific dates. Mandatory sowing dates would compromise health and safety and stress mental health, Mr Paterson said. . .

Biosecurity more important than ever – Peter Burke:

Biosecurity is even more important to New Zealand as the country starts to recover from Covid-19.

That’s the message from Penny Nelson, head of biosecurity at the Ministry for Primary Industries. She told Rural News, at the recent biosecurity awards at Parliament, that biosecurity underpins our primary sector exports – as well as many of the special taonga we have.

She says we just can’t afford to have big incursions at the moment. “I was interested to hear that in the KPMG’s agribusiness survey, biosecurity has been the top issue for the past 11 years. I think New Zealanders realise we have a special way of life and we want to keep it.” . . 

Zespri aiming for Crown research partnership to develop new kiwifruit varieties – Maja Burry:

Kiwifruit giant Zespri wants to establish a Kiwifruit Breeding Centre in partnership with Crown research institute Plant & Food Research.

In an update sent to growers today, Zespri chief executive Dan Mathieson said the proposed centre would be dedicated to breeding new kiwifruit cultivars, creating healthier, better tasting and more sustainability-focused varieties to fulfil the growing demand from consumers.

Mathieson said the 50/50 joint venture would strengthen the work already taking place in the breeding programme which it runs in partnership with Plant and Food.

“This is an exciting step forward for our industry and a natural evolution of the hugely successful 30-year relationship between Zespri and PFR which has delivered such strong returns. . . 

Licence to grow gold kiwifruit added to Gisborne rateable land value:

Authorities in Gisborne have decided a $400,000 per hectare licence to grow gold kiwifruit adds value to the land, and will mean a sizeable rates increase.

Gisborne is the first region to adjust land valuation methods for gold kiwifruit properties to now include the value of the growing licence on the rateable value of the property.

This follows a meeting between the Valuer-General and valuers in August, in which they decided the licence should be included in the Value of Improvements, which requires the “assessment of the value of all work done on or for the benefit of the land”.

All councils with gold kiwifruit would have to reassess their methods. . . 

Fresh milk in glass bottles vends itself – Abbey Palmer:

When Melissa Johnson first suggested the idea of selling raw milk in bottles from a vending machine, her husband thought it was a “stupid idea for hippies”.

Just over three years and two vending machines later, the Southland partners in life and business are delivering hundreds of bottles to thousands of customers across the South every week.

Following a decision to downsize and do their own thing, the former large-scale contract milkers started their milk business, Farm Fresh South, in Woodlands, with 35 calves in 2017.

Mrs Johnson spotted a raw milk vending machine when holidaying near Nelson and liked the business concept. . . 

Lifestyle venture, wine not?

A fantastic lifestyle opportunity in the heart of the East Coast wine-producing region is set to attract interest from across the country, says Bayleys Gisborne salesperson Jenny Murray.

“The character property at 16 Riverpoint Road, Matawhero typifies the relaxed atmosphere Gisborne is famous for while providing an exceptional home, lifestyle and business opportunity,” she adds.

Spanning nearly 8,000sqm (more or less) across the Waipaoa Bridge on the site of the Old Bridge Hotel, the property is offered for sale by auction at 1pm on 11 December. . . 

 


Yes Sir Humphrey

04/12/2020


Ulterior motive to min.wage increase?

04/12/2020

The government isn’t heeding repeated calls to increase benefits – yet.

One reason for that is to maintain a big enough gap between benefits and wages so that people in full time work earn more than beneficiaries.

But one of the government’s priorities is a steeper increase in the minimum wage. Could there be an ulterior motive in that – to enable anincrease in benefits?

That would be another reason to slow the increases. Even if there is no ulterior motive, the New Zealand Initiative warns against them:

Calls to lift the minimum wage will not fix inequality and could end up hurting the most vulnerable – particularly during a recession, according to a new report by the New Zealand Initiative.

The report is a response to a joint paper released last week by the Helen Clark Foundation and the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research which suggested lifting the minimum wage (presently set at $18.90) to a “living wage” of $22.10, among other proposals.

The minimum wage received a boost earlier this year and the Government may lift it even higher during 2021.

But New Zealand Initiative senior fellow Dr David Law says while international evidence on minimum wage increases is complex, it is wishful thinking that it might fix inequality or enhance productivity.

“This country already has one of the highest rates in the OECD. If this rises to a ‘living wage’ of $22.10, that would take it to 82% of the median wage. Only Colombia would have a higher rate than us.

“Such a high minimum wage would put jobs at risk,” Dr Law says.

The joint paper also justified its ideas by downplaying the negative effects on employment.

But Dr Law says international studies do not nest well with New Zealand’s economic realities and where they do, the positive effect on employment or productivity is vanishingly small.

“Even MBIE’s predictions suggest at least 33,500 jobs would go if the minimum wage rate rose to the proposed ‘living wage.’

“While the authors of the joint paper say such a rate would help the most vulnerable, the evidence actually shows the work prospects of the young and low-skilled are hit the hardest by rate increases,” Dr Law says.

The New Zealand Initiative report advises scrapping any plans to further lift the minimum wage and suggests winding back the 2020 increase as well.

You can read the full paper at: MINIMUM WAGES TO THE MAXIMUM: THE RISKS OF LIFTING THE MINIMUM WAGE


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