Word of the day


Contingent – liable but not certain to occur; possible; dependent on other conditions or circumstances; conditional; Happening by or subject to chance or accident; unpredictable; a group of people who go to a place together, do something together, or share some quality, interest; a group of people representing an organisation or country, or a part of a military force; a gathering of persons representative of some larger group.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Owners upset over landscape changes – Rebecca Ryan:

Waitaki rural residents have reacted with concern to letters sent by the district council to nearly 2000 landowners about proposed changes to mapping in the district plan review.

Earlier this month, Waitaki District Council chief executive Fergus Power sent letters to affected landowners, advising them the new district plan would increase the level of protection for “significant natural areas”, “outstanding and significant natural features”, “outstanding natural landscapes” and “sites and areas of significance to Maori” on their land.

The letters also included maps of the new protective overlays on their properties, and a link to a survey for feedback.

Federated Farmers North Otago president Jared Ross said the letters did not contain enough information and, for most landowners, the proposed changes came as a surprise. . . 

Concern over forestry spread – Neal Wallace:

The Government has been accused of failing to fulfil election promises to protect quality soils from forest planting and to review the favourable treatment of foreign forestry investors.

Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard says the Government promised to revise the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) to require resource consent for proposed forestry blocks larger than 50ha on class 1-5 soil but has not yet done so.

“We were told they would,” Hoggard said.

The Government has announced terms of reference for a review of the Overseas Investment Act (OIA), which provides favourable treatment of foreign forestry investors, but a report is not due until the end of next year. . . 

A promise is a promise :

NATIONAL’S spokesperson for Rural Communities Barbara Kuriger is backing yesterday’s call by Federated Farmers for the Government to deliver on its election promise to protect productive farmland.

“The Feds want a full review of government policies which are leading to the loss of productive farms, export income, employment and the undermining of rural communities,” she says.

“Labour pledged that if re-elected it would take less than six months to stop the rampant spread of large-scale exotic tree planting across the country.

“Feds president Andrew Hoggard is right when he says there are no signs at all the Government is seriously moving on this. A long-awaited review of the special forestry test for overseas investment also hasn’t got off the ground. . . 

New boss for Rural Women NZ

Rural Women New Zealand recently appointed Gabrielle O’Brient as its new chief executive.

“Gabrielle brings a wealth of experience from her previous general management roles in membership based organisations both in the charitable sector and most recently at the New Zealand Law Society,” RWNZ president Gill Naylor says.

“This experience combined with her earlier background human resources management, facilitation and organisation development provide her with a strong background to lead our team through the next phase of our development.” . . 

Hawke’s Bay farmers managing to cope despite dry conditions – Maja Burry:

A recent survey of Hawke’s Bay farmers shows most finding ways to manage the dry conditions gripping the region.

Several areas on the country’s east coast are suffering with a second extremely dry year, prompting the government to unlock some funding support last month.

The Hawke’s Bay Rural Support Trust recently called about 30 farmers across the region and reported its findings to the local rural advisory group.

Group co-chair Lochie MacGillivray said meaningful rain and a mild winter was still very much needed, but at the moment farmers felt like they were in an adequate position. . . 

Are you leaving a farming legacy or a liability?

It’s sadly a familiar story in the rural community, someone dies and a family falls out over what happens next. Emotions run high and a sense of what is fair or appropriate can’t be agreed upon.

In fact, a death, retirement or a change in circumstances can bring about an unexpectedly time-consuming or complicated succession process even when everyone is amicable and in agreement.

The decision so many farming families put off making – what will happen when it’s time for someone else to take over – can be the difference between a farm business thriving, or struggling, for generations to come.

Leaving your farm to succeed is a matter of good planning, and getting those plans in place should be given the weight of importance it deserves. . .

Yes Sir Humphrey


Picking fruit, poisoning roots


Yesterday’s Budget was a big spending one which omitted to give so much as a mention to where the money to pay for it is coming from:

Federated Farmers wants New Zealand’s farmers to pat themselves on the back for making it possible for the country to afford the Budget announced by the Government today.

In his speech to present the Budget Minister of Finance Grant Robertson acknowledged the financial carnage predicted by the Government last year did not eventuate.

“And that’s because New Zealand’s internationally competitive, resilient and fleet-footed farmers and growers could roll with the COVID punches and keep this country financially afloat,” Federated Farmers national president Andrew Hoggard says.

The Minister’s talk of winding back the clock to undo the reforms of the 80s and 90s will send shivers down the spines of farmers, especially the ones old enough to remember farming in those days.

Those reforms were tough on farmers and anyone whose income was related to farming.

The tough times were made tougher because while farmers were made to face the real world without subsidies immediately it took much longer for the rest of the economy to lose the protection of tariffs on inputs and and a heavily unionised workforce.

Even this government isn’t stupid enough to suggest reinstating tariffs to protect local producers but it is threatening us with industry-wide unfair pay agreements.

“Our sector is now internationally competitive, open and embracing of free trade. The 120 countries we trade with welcome our highly valued products, produced to environmental and animal welfare standards beyond what the world expects.

“The only reason farmers and growers were able to keep New Zealand out of the financial crap of last year was because we underwent the reforms of the 80s and 90s.

“We do this because it is the only way to operate a truly globally successful economy,” Andrew says.

Feds identified a few positives in today’s Budget, around additional support for streamlining farm planning, agricultural emissions research and boosting the effectiveness of NAIT.

“What we really need to see from this Government is an acknowledgement that the world pays us good money for the food we produce, and we need a regulatory framework that encourages and supports us to keep doing what we do.”

That’s what we need, but it’s not what the government is giving us.

Instead we’re facing more and tougher regulations that will impose higher costs on production.

Farming has proved it can stand on its own feet, but that’s getting harder and harder with government policies that, by accident or design, will hold it back.

This government is happy to distribute the fruit of the money tree but it’s doing nothing to help it grow and it’s in grave danger of poisoning the roots.

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