It's a contradiction in terms: you can be open or you can have government.
— Sir Humphrey Appleby (@YesSirHumphrey) March 2, 2021
Here’s a conundrum for New Zealand: pastoral farming last year produced more than 40% of the country’s export income, but the Climate Change Commission is calling for a 15% fall in the national headcount of sheep and dairy and beef cattle by 2030 and another 5% by 2035.
Even if the productivity of the animals can be improved, the commission appears to be saying that NZ will have to adjust to a flattening out of its export income from farming, and therefore to a slower rate of what already is a slow rise in living standards.
So what is going to fill the gap when the headcount of dairy cows falls?
Or (a better question, surely) is there a better way of meeting NZ’s emission reduction targets than the methods the commission recommends?. .
Severe labour shortages on Hawke’s Bay apple orchards are forcing some smaller growers to only pick their fruit once a week during peak season.
Orchard owners have been fearing labour shortages for months as the peak picking season approaches.
Mr Yummy apples grower and owner Paul Paynter said he was leaving fruit on large trees that were difficult to pick and some trees would only get picked once rather than two or three times.
Paynter said it was even worse for owner-operator orchards. . .
Southland dairy farmer Loshni Manikam is on a mission to help farming women get more out of life. Her new free ebook 12 Tips to Help You Thrive shares practical advice on how women can take time for their own needs, while juggling multiple responsibilities.
In 2018, a Farmstrong survey of nearly 800 women in farming found 90% felt negatively impacted by fatigue, workload, lack of sleep and stress. A third wanted more time off the farm and a quarter wanted more time to themselves.
Manikam says the study also highlighted another issue.
“It’s very hard to get women who are caring and nurturing and prioritising everyone else’s needs above their own – the household, the kids, the farm, the farming team, the stock – to suddenly put themselves at the top of the list,” she said. . .
Nearly 200 Kaimanawa horses could be culled this year and people capable of helping these animals transition from the wild into their care are being sought.
Those interested in taking one of the horses are being urged to act swiftly, in the hopes of averting a mass cull.
Last year’s muster to remove the wild horses from the Kaimanawa ranges was cancelled last year due to Covid restrictions, leaving the herd well over the allowed level. There are currently 500.
Kaimanawa Heritage Horses Welfare Society’s Marilyn Jenks told Morning Report they were seeking those experienced with horses, able to be sensitive to their trauma as they begin adapting to life away from their close family environments on the ranges. . .
The forestry sector continues to provide career opportunities for New Zealanders, with Te Uru Rākau delivering $1.5 million into training and employment projects to help the sector meet labour and skills gaps.
Acting deputy director general Henry Weston says the Forestry and Wood Processing Workforce Action Plan, developed in partnership with the sector, identified up to 5,000 more forestry and wood processing workers would be required by 2025.
“The food and fibre sectors are a key driver for the New Zealand economy and it’s a priority for the Ministry of Primary Industries to invest in projects that attract people to the sector.
“As New Zealand continues to recover from the economic impacts of COVID-19, we need people taking up careers in this important sector. The forestry and wood processing sectors already bring in between $6 and $7 billion each year, employ 35,000 people, and we want to keep helping New Zealanders find exciting and rewarding training and career opportunities. . .
Keep dogs on leads to save ground-nesting birds farmers say – Philip Case:
Dog walkers are being asked to keep their pets on leads at all times in the countryside to help protect young animals and ground-nesting birds.
Farmers and land managers are working hard to try to reverse a decline in ground-nesting bird species through practical measures in agri-environment schemes, such as fallow plots, grass margins and supplementary winter feeding.
Spring and early summer are critical times for breeding birds, and theirs nests need to be undisturbed so they can lay plenty of eggs and raise as many chicks as possible.
However, farmers believe their good work could be undone if roaming dogs are allowed to disturb wildlife during the nesting season. This is in addition to ongoing problems of livestock attacks caused by loose dogs, especially during the lambing and calving season. . .
Cabinet met yesterday to make a decision on whether Auckland should be freed back to level 1 but the announcement won’t be made until late this morning.
It’s been 12 days since there was a case of community transmission.
Is the risk of one being found between yesterday’s meeting and late this morning really greater than the very real cost to businesses and people of delaying the announcement?
Day by day the government’s actions are beginning to look less and less like prudence and more and more like control freakery.