Word of the day


Pseudothyron -a false door behind a building;  a disguised door or secret entrance.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Major task ahead for NZ farming – Matthew Reeves:

New modelling from the Climate Change Commission has outlined a major task ahead for the agribusiness industry in New Zealand.

The Government has committed to an extensive emissions reduction plan in order to combat climate change, involving a 10% decline in agricultural emissions by 2030, and a 24% to 47% decline by 2050.

Achieving this target will require major changes across the agricultural sector, including a significant decline in herd sizes and the uptake of new technologies.

The agriculture sector is the largest greenhouse gas emitter in New Zealand, accounting for around 40% of current emissions in the country. The bulk of this comes from livestock methane emissions, including 51% from the country’s 6.1 million dairy cattle, and 47% from the country’s 26.2 million sheep and 4 million beef cattle. . .

Milk packs punch agaisnt flu – Gerald Piddock:

We already know milk is good for the bones, but now research shows that drinking milk could help ward off the flu.

New research has found that a protein-based ingredient from milk is an effective antiviral agent against a common influenza virus species.

The study commissioned by New Zealand company Quantec, and completed by an independent US laboratory, found that Immune Defence Proteins (IDP) was 120% more effective against the virus Influenza A when compared to the protein lactoferrin.

Testing on the herpes simplex virus netted a similar result. . . 

‘RA 20 virus’ a danger to New Zealand farming – Doug Edmeades:

There is another pandemic sweeping the nation.

It is a new, exceedingly virulent virus which is likely to do more damage to the New Zealand economy in the long term than Covid-19, if left unchecked.

I am calling for an immediate lockdown – total elimination is essential to prevent New Zealand agriculture slipping back to the dark ages.

It is coded RA20 but the full medical name is “Regenerative Agriculture 2020”. . . 

Better connection now – Rural News:

We may now be into the third decade of the 21st century, but unfortunately much of NZ’s rural broadband and mobile coverage remains at third world levels.

That is unacceptable in a modern, first-world country like New Zealand. How is it still the case that many farmers and rural businesses around the country have to buy costly equipment to get broadband, while many others cannot even get mobile phone coverage at all?

As the Technology Users Association of NZ (TUANZ) chief executive Craig Young says, rural people should be getting the same level of connectivity in terms of broadband and mobile coverage as the people who live in urban areas.

It is even more important for rural people to have high quality connectivity, given their often remote locations and the fact that they are running significant businesses – not only farming, but other service related enterprises. . . 

Manuka saving honey’s buzz – Richard Rennie:

While demand for Manuka honey continues to surge, other honey varieties remain moribund, with low prices starting to pressure beekeepers out of the industry.

The latest Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) 2020 Apiculture Monitoring report has highlighted how a good harvest season last summer translated into a surge in volumes of all honey produced, with per hive yield of manuka up 39% on the year before in the North Island.

Overall however, the sector experienced a slide of 6% in average export prices despite a weaker NZ dollar, with a significant 28% export volume increase driving the overall 20% increase in total export value.

The report has highlighted the growing gap between high-value manuka and all other multi-floral manuka/non-manuka honeys. . . 

Helping emerging industries is growing Australian agriculture – John Harvey:

Opportunities within the agricultural sector are constantly evolving.

We see consumers hungry for new products and changing requirements and expectations for food production.

You only have to look at shifting attitudes about eating meat to see how quickly things evolve.

And that is one of the reasons I think it is vital that Australia continues to invest in our emerging agricultural and food production industries. . . 

Yes Sir Humphrey


If you can’t afford to isolate . . .


Close contacts of people with Covid-19 are told to self-isolate, but some can’t afford to:

There’s concern people will choose not to scan Covid-19 QR codes because they can’t afford to go into self isolation.

More than 1000 people who were at Kmart Botany at the times of interest have been asked to stay home for 14 days.

Up to $585 per week is available for people who can’t work because they need to isolate.

That won’t come close Ro cover outgoings for a lot of people.

Auckland University’s Des Gorman told Heather du Plessis-Allan he is disappointed the Government isn’t willing to increase the payments.

He says compliance matters, and we have already see the cost non-compliance in this country. 

“I don’t think the Government’s thinking clearly enough about the counterfactual, the cost of lockdowns.

“Whatever the cost of properly subsidising people is, it’s going to be small against the cost of lockdowns.” 

Paying people enough is the carrot, is there also the need for a stick for those who then don’t comply?

However, Gorman also wants to see close or casual contacts more accountable for not complying. 

He says that there needs to be some surrendering of privileges in order to protect the community.  . . 

Heather du Plessis-Allan agrees:

I think we might’ve struck on the very reason that we have this Covid outbreak in Auckland right now:  Families can’t afford to stay home and isolate for two weeks 

The government support money is too miserly. 

We’ve been told this is the very reason that families of Papatoetoe High School students didn’t isolate for the full two weeks they were supposed to: because they need money, so they have to work. 

And today, a guy called Jeff phoned Kerre’s show to say a very similar thing. He was at Kmart when the infected worker was there so he is expected to stay home for the full two weeks.

He says he can’t afford to stay home on the government and, this is what should be ringing alarm bells for health authorities, if he’d known that he would have to stay home on this money, he wouldn’t have admitted he was at Kmart . . .

He also says he wouldn’t admit it again and who can blame him when you do the maths:

The truth is the government isn’t enough. The payment for a full time worker each week is $585.80. That might not sound that bad by itself, but annualise, and it’s $30,400. That’s not a lot – the hourly rate, is $14.6, that’s not even the minimum wage .

I wish I could tell the government was open to raising the payment but listen to Chris Hipkins yesterday.

“We are never going to be able to compensate everybody for every eventuality for every cost that they may occur as part of our Covid-19 response.” . . 

The government had multi-millions of dollars to throw at big tourist businesses but doesn’t have enough to pay people to stay home to prevent the spread of the virus and threat of lockdowns.

Paying people their full wage, or close to it would be expensive.

It would also be open to abuse by people who feel like a paid holiday.

But the border isn’t secure which makes the risk of community transmission real with the subsequent need for lockdowns.

Until now most people have been compliant but each time there’s an outbreak with or without a lockdown, more will run out of patience.

Each  time more will decide the risk of running out of money if they self-isolate is worse than the fear of the disease.

And each time that happens the likelihood of community transmission and lockdown increases.

Given all that’s been thrown at eliminating the disease already, it’s worth properly compensating people who self-isolate, and that would then justify having strong enough consequences to discourage anyone from not complying.

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