Word of the day

30/04/2021

Importuous– without a port or harbour.


Sowell says

30/04/2021


Rural round-up

30/04/2021

Yes, there will be a cull – it will be aimed at cutting group that launched the “dirty dairying” campaign down to size – Point of Order:

Players in the country’s biggest exporter earner, the dairy and meat industries, would have shown more than a passing interest in two statements from the Beehive yesterday.

Agriculture Minister announced the roll-out of extra monitoring and a range of practical support to help farmers achieve immediate improvements in intensive winter grazing practices.

Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall  released a report outlining recommendations to strengthen the governance and good management practices within NZ Fish & Game, the outfit charged with managing sport fishing and game bird hunting across NZ that persistently harries farmers on environmental issues. . . 

New Zealand’s first farm to have carbon footprint certified is carbon positive:

Lake Hawea Station has been named as the first farm in New Zealand to have a carbon footprint certified by leading environmental certifications provider Toitū Envirocare, proving that farming can be a pathway to healing the planet.

Lake Hawea Station is owned by Geoff and Justine Ross and is pursuing a farming strategy that is both beneficial to the planet and the bottom line. Geoff Ross says “the process with Toitū highlights that farming need not be a problem in climate change. Rather farming can be a solution”.

The certification process Toitū has undertaken on Lake Hawea Station is planned to be the first of many New Zealand farms as New Zealand moves to lower its overall carbon footprint and consumers world-wide demand carbon positive food and fibre.

Becky Lloyd, Toitū Envirocare Chief Executive says Toitū carbonzero farm certification is important as it demonstrates to farmers, their customers, and regulators that pastoral farms can be carbon neutral and at the same time be commercially viable. . .

New National health service should be fit for rural:

We are not averse to having a national health service, however, we are looking forward to seeing the detail says Rural Women New Zealand.

“The Minister of Health, Andrew Little in his announcement of sweeping changes to abolish District Health Boards to have one health entity, said that “the kind of treatment people get will no longer be determined by where they live” – we want to see that in practice,” says National President Gill Naylor.

“RWNZ expects to see a rural health and wellbeing strategy which is fully resourced and funded to ensure rural postcodes aren’t in the losing lottery.

“It is our expectation that the detail will also include a solid mechanism for including the voice of rural women, children, and communities in decision-making by the new national health service. . . 

New Zealand cheesemakers concerned by Eu’s move to monopolise halloumi cheese:

New moves by the European Commission to grant exclusive use of the term ‘halloumi’ to cheesemakers from Cyprus are raising concerns among the New Zealand cheesemaking community.

“Halloumi is a popular cheese for New Zealand consumers, with a thriving and innovative community of New Zealand cheesemakers delivering this delicious product to New Zealand tables” says Neil Willman, President of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association.

“We are concerned at Europe’s continuing campaign to restrict the use of common names in international cheesemaking, at the expense of producers outside of Europe.”

New Zealand’s cheesemaking community is concerned that the European Union is continuing to protect cheese terms that are generic and in common use around the world. . . 

400 delegates to meat in Taupō for national Rural Health Conference 2021 :

This week approximately 400 rural health professionals and administrators will come together at Wairakei Resort in Taupō for this year’s National Rural Health Conference.

This conference is the first ‘in person’ health professionals conference in 2021 and the biggest event for rural health professionals for close to two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minister of Health Hon. Andrew Little will open Conference on Friday 30 April.

Among the many other excellent speakers to present over the two days are Associate Minister of Health Hon. Peeni Henare and Martin Hefford from the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Transition Unit. . . 

Five Riverina artists launch Regenerative Visions exhibition at Fitzroy gallery  – Jodie O’Sullivan:

In many ways the work of a farmer and an artist are not so dissimilar, insists Courtney Young.

“You try to look at the landscape with fresh eyes and see beyond what you can actually see,” explained the emerging artist from Savernake.

“There are correlations with farming where you have to think outside the box and look for nuance in the world around you.”

Young is one of five women from the Riverina who have created a collection of paintings for an exhibition exploring the similarities between art and farming. . . 

 


Pasture raised advantage research trial

30/04/2021

Free range and pasture-fed are good for marketing, researchers are looking at the science behind the claims:

New Zealand scientists are conducting a ground-breaking research programme to explore the differences between pasture-raised beef with grain-fed beef and alternative proteins.

Most of the global research around the nutritional, environmental and health impacts of producing and consuming red meat have been based on grain-finished cattle.

However, New Zealand specialises in free-range, grass-fed farming without antibiotics and hormones aka pasture-raised meat. Not only are the farming styles different, but so too is the meat.

Researchers, scientists, dietitians and nutritionists from AgResearch, the Riddet Institute and the University of Auckland recognised that difference and are kicking off a ground-breaking new research programme that will compare pasture-raised beef and lamb against grain-finished and protein alternatives – products like plant-based alternatives.

Learn more at Beef + Lamb NZ


Yes Sir Humphrey

30/04/2021


When it’s other people’s money

30/04/2021

Housing the homeless in motels is costing $millions:

New figures show the multi-million dollars being netted by top-earning emergency motels with the Government expecting this to continue for at least the next few years, National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“Emergency Housing should be about getting people back on their feet and into stable housing as soon as possible. Instead, these figures show that it’s become a get-rich-quick scheme for motel owners.” . . 

“In total more than half a billion dollars has been spent on housing people in emergency accommodation since Labour came to office,’ Ms Willis says.

“The Government needs to create a plan to end long-stay emergency housing. A National Government would work with community organisations to create more stable, secure homes, instead of continually padding the bank balances of motel owners.

“But there’s no end in sight as the Government acknowledges it expects the number of emergency housing grants to peak at 170,000 for each of the next two years. That’s a dramatic increase compared to 2017, when that number was 35,994.

“What’s worse is that the Government can’t confirm the safety of people living in emergency housing as it’s not monitoring the conditions in these motels.

“It isn’t getting value for the huge cheques it’s writing, with motel owners charging more than $440 a night for rooms that don’t even have to meet quality standards. People are living like this for longer and longer, with the average stay now more than three months.

“Labour came to office saying $90,000 a day was too much to be spending on motels, but it’s now more than ten times that with no end in sight.

“This is a shocking policy failure with frightening consequences for the thousands of children who are now being raised in motels.

“Moteliers aren’t social workers and the stories we are hearing about the dangerous conditions in emergency motels are just heart breaking. The Government must achieve more with the extraordinary amounts of money it is spending. 

“The millions being spent on emergency housing would be better placed in the hands of community housing organisations who can provide wrap around support to help people get back on their feet and into stable accommodation.

“The Government needs to stop putting emergency housing in the ‘too hard basket’ and end the current arrangement as soon as possible.”

This is a ridiculous amount of money to spend on what amounts to band-aids – covering the homeless sore while the bleeding housing shortage continues.

On top of the money spent on accommodation, is the unknown cost of damage:

Unknown sums of money are being handed over to moteliers to cover damages caused by emergency housing clients – officials aren’t keeping track of what’s being spent and can’t put a total figure on it.

That’s “not ideal”, admits Minister of Social Development Carmel Sepuloni, who wants a system that can better monitor those costs and the damage being caused.

Not ideal?

This is the 21st century, we’re not still using parchment to record information and carrier pigeons to deliver it. It wouldn’t be hard to develop and use a system that keeps account of these costs.

That no-one has been and all the Minister in charge can say is that it’s less than ideal is an appalling reflection on the government’s approach to other people’s money.

It’s a lack of accountability and respect shared by too many recipients of it, a point Lindsay Mitchel makes:

. .  But some (often blameless beneficiaries) who live in or near emergency housing feel very unsafe. The protestors doubtless sleep all day and come out at night to wreak havoc; do drugs, do violence and do damage. These aren’t working people who have to get a decent night’s sleep.

They are anti-social miscreants who arc between apathy and aggression and wear their alienation as a badge of honour.

Instead of a system that refuses to tolerate their destructiveness, we get a system which rewards them with no-strings-attached cash and plenty of excuses for their defection from the rest of society.

Nobody has explained to them that the social security system was born out of shared values, shared compassion for genuine need, and shared commitment to fund it.

Certainly Sepuloni hasn’t bothered. And it is highly unlikely that the new compulsory history curriculum will cover what Mickey Savage envisaged when he created it over eighty years ago.

Green associate housing Minister Marama Davidson is appalled. The situation is unacceptable she says. Yet this is a leading proponent of an anything-goes benefit regime. Is she really surprised at what such a mushy modus operandi results in?

A much harder line must be taken with offenders. They will be breaking multiple laws and for the sake of those in closest proximity – those in genuine, unavoidable need – the very least that should happen is a threat to immediately end their benefit entitlement. Whatever ensues, we have a police force to deal with.

Someone needs to get – and someone needs to give – the correct message: you can’t keep biting the hand that feeds you.

Don’t hold your breath for that someone to be the person in charge though.

Some people require permanent assistance through circumstances beyond their control such as ill health or disability.

Others need temporary help and then are able to find work and support themselves.

Then there’s the people who use and abuse the system and keep doing it with no sanctions.

It would be bad enough if their anti-social lives were self-funded. When it’s other people’s money, and borrowed money at that, their disregard for other people, their properties and the law makes it far worse.

It’s not just the money, making other people’s lives a misery compounds the wrong-doing.

If they aren’t willing to fulfill their part of the social contract that comes with receiving a benefit, they must face appropriate consequences.


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