Word of the day


Statant – of an animal standing with all four feet on the ground in heraldry; standing in profile with all feet on the ground.

Yes Sir Humphrey


Rural round-up


Forestry issues still need much debate – Keith Woodford:

Land-use decisions between farm and forest need unbiased information from within New Zealand, without Government screwing the scrum towards foreign investors

In my last article on forestry, a little over two months ago, I ended by saying that “there is a need for an informed and wide-ranging debate as we search for the path that will lead to the right trees in the right place, planted and owned by the right people”. Here I take up that issue again.

In the interim, the Climate Change Commission (CCC) has published its draft report on how New Zealand might meet its Paris obligations through to 2050. A key message in the report is that forestry must not be used as the ‘get out of jail card’ (my term) that avoids facing hard decisions elsewhere in the economy.

The CCC estimate is that under current policy settings and with carbon priced at $35 per tonne, then new forests will increase by 1.1 million hectares by 2050. If the carbon price rises to $50 then the CCC thinks new plantings will increase to 1.3 million hectares. . . .

Small steps boost farm’s biodiversity:

Farmers discovered that there are many ways to protect and enhance mahinga kai and biodiversity values while visiting Waimak Farm in Eyreton recently.

The 612-hectare farm includes the largest remaining kanuka stand in North Canterbury. Due to its important biodiversity values this area is being protected by farm managers Richard and Susan Pearse.

Richard Pearse says the kanuka stand provides an important seed source and seedlings have been taken from the area to try and recreate a similar ecosystem in other dryland areas. He is aiming to plant approximately 1000 native trees per year throughout the entire farm.

“It’s important for us to protect this area as there are hardly any of these dryland areas left. It is easier to protect what you already have on farm than starting from scratch.”

Arts approach to rural mental health in Tairāwhiti – Alice Angeloni:

A mental health service that uses mahi toi (the arts) to create culturally safe spaces will reach into rural Tairāwhiti.

The primary mental health service will support west rural and East Coast communities and is expected to start between April and June.

A report before Hauora Tairāwhiti’s district health board last month said $900,000 left over from another Ministry of Health contract would fund the service over two years.

But as it was a “finite resource” to 2022, with no guarantees of funding being extended, building leadership capability within the community would be key to making the service sustainable, the report said. . . 

Nature school demand grows post lockdown – Emma Hatton:

The demand for one-day nature or forest schools is on the rise, with advocates saying if schools do not provide more outdoor-based learning, the demand will continue to grow.

At Battle Hill farm in Pāuatahanui in Wellington, about a dozen children aged between four and 12, gather every Wednesday for nature school.

They start the morning with a hui to decide what the day will look like, possibly geo-caching, tree climbing or making damper to eat over the fire they will build. They also check the weather and debrief on any safety issues. . .

2021 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards winners announced:

The 2021 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Industry Awards Share Farmer of the Year winner is excited to be part of the New Zealand dairy industry, producing dairy products with the lowest carbon footprint in the world and is a major contributor to the New Zealand economy. 

Women achieved a clean sweep, winning all three categories in Auckland/Hauraki. Rachael Foy was named the 2021 Auckland/Hauraki Share Farmer of the Year at the region’s annual awards dinner held at the Thames Civic Centre on Thursday night and won $10,300 in prizes and four merit awards. The other major winners were the 2021 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Manager of the Year Stephanie Walker, and the 2021 Auckland/Hauraki Dairy Trainee of the Year, Emma Udell.

Rachael was named the Auckland/Hauraki Dairy farm manager of the year in 2017 and placed third at the National Finals.

“The benefits of entering the Awards are numerous, including networking, benchmarking my business, the prizes, raising my profile and the National finals week,” she says. . . 

Carbon bank – Uptown Girl:

Everyone is all paper straws, and bicycles, and reusable grocery bags and water bottles, and then we’re over here like, “Here’s our dirt.”

Actually, we call it soil. And we have to make that clarification or our college soil professor will drive down here and make it for us.

But seriously. Did you know our soil, when managed right, is a massive carbon bank? That’s right – we are storing carbon right here, right below our feet!

What you’re looking at is a crop field where we grow grains to harvest every year. You’re seeing green cover crop, that was planted in the fall before harvest of our corn to make sure our soil was never bare. . .


Yes Sir Humphrey


Sea of crosses to show toll ovarian cancer takes


Two young women who have ovarian cancer will stand among a sea of crosses outside parliament at 1pm today to deliver a petition seeking better outcomes for women with the disease.

Each cross represents one of the 182 New Zealand women who die each year – one every 48 hours.

The media release explains:

There is a crisis in women’s health in Aotearoa.

Every 48 hours a woman dies of ovarian cancer. That’s more women, than are killed on the roads. The government spends $1 billion dollars a year trying to reduce the road toll, and most years nothing on awareness and research to reduce the death toll of our least survivable women’s cancer.

Jane Ludemann, the founder of Cure Our Ovarian Cancer, and Tash Crosby of Talk Peach Gynaecological Foundation – want to know why. Both these women have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Today @ 1.00pm they are presenting a petition to parliament with more than 7000 signatures, calling for improvements in outcomes for ovarian cancer. Government steps will be covered in 182 white crosses to represent those lives lost this past year, “a sobering sight for a crisis in women’s health” Tash says/

A recent survey by Cure Our Ovarian Cancer found that 90% of women could not name a single symptom of ovarian cancer before their diagnosis and most experience significant difficulties in accessing the blood test and ultrasound required to find their cancer.

“It’s unbelievable that in this day and age women are still being told that the symptoms are ‘in their head’ or that they ‘just need to lose weight’ or ‘eat more All Bran’ – when in actual fact they have advanced cancer.”  Jane says.

More info on this https://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/well-good/teach-me/300211936/they-said-it-was-ibs-it-was-actually-stage-four-cancer)

Unlike Australia, New Zealand doesn’t have any national guidelines to diagnose ovarian cancer. That means the approach from doctors can vary significantly.

“One in five women receive a diagnosis within a month of seeing their doctor, so we know some doctors are doing an incredible job, but at the other end of the spectrum we also know that one in four women take a year or longer to be diagnosed, and those delays often cost them their life.”  says Tash.

Once diagnosed women face survival rates 5% worse than Australians who have access to more funded treatments and clinical trials. The survival rates for ovarian cancer are less than half that of breast and prostate cancer. A fact that is unlikely to improve unless we start funding research. 

Kelly is a 38 year old working mother of two. She spent two years trying to get help from her GP because she had a constant feeling of fullness. Despite not being able to eat much she wasn’t losing weight, her stomach was getting larger, she was tired and in pain. Her doctor suggested she had a possible personality disorder. In April 2020 her symptoms took her to the emergency department where a scan showed a 3 litre tumour. She was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer called mucinous adenocarcinoma.

The stress of her difficult diagnosis led to a mental breakdown “I felt I was damaged goods – a 39 year old who couldn’t have more children, who had cancer and was still fatigued and I felt like I took ages to recover. I mapped out my suicide, dying was all I ever thought about… – no one quite gets the stress of a cancer diagnosis and its life-long effects.”

Tash says, “We can not understand how this important area of women’s health has been ignored for so long. The current situation is unconscionable. We urge the government to take urgent action to reduce unnecessary deaths from ovarian cancer.” 

Quick ovarian cancer facts:

Every 48 hours one New Zealander dies from ovarian cancer. Maori and Pasifika women experience higher incidence and mortality of ovarian cancer.
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cause of female cancer death and the least survivable women’s cancer – survival rates are less than half that of breast and prostate cancer
Symptoms can include bloating, eating less and feeling fuller, abdominal/pelvic/back pain, needing to pee more or urgently, change in bowel habits, fatigue, indigestion, painful sex, unexplained weight change, menstrual iregularities
Many women mistakenly believe a cervical smear tests for ovarian cancer
More women die of ovarian cancer than the road toll – yet the government funds $1 billion a year to reduce the road toll and nothing to reduce deaths from ovarian cancer, a travesty in the protection of our countries wahine.

On Tuesday 16th of March Tash Crosby and Jane Ludemann will present their petition to Government  to action change, “Women’s day is everyday NOT just once a year”Tash says.

The petition https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/petitions/document/PET_99389/petition-of-jane-ludemann-for-cure-our-ovarian-cancer

The charities involved in the delivery of this petition

‘Cure Our Ovarian Cancer’: cureourovariancancer.org/nz and ‘Talk Peach Gynaecological Cancer Foundation’talkpeach.org.nz

The website created that clearly states our aims- This umbrella website has been put together for both of our charities to join for action at a government level https://www.ovariancancer.co.nz/ (here you will find more info on the petition and sobering personal stories)

Instagram accounts:



Talk Peach Ovarian Cancer Video Campaign Featuring Survivors and Actress Jodie Rimmer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOoIkpv-L5M


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