Word of the day


Suborn – bribe or otherwise induce (someone) to commit an unlawful act such as perjury;to induce secretly to do an unlawful thing.

Yes Sir Humphrey


National Lamb Day


It’s National Lamb Day:

When the Dunedin docked into London on 24 May 1882 the New Zealand food industry was born. Fast forward to today and our lamb is in hot demand all around the world. We are known, and loved, for our meat, dairy, fruit, honey, fish, veges – you name it, we probably produce the world’s best. We should be proud of that food and celebrate not only how good we are at producing it, and ultimately, how tasty it is! 

The History

National Lamb Day is celebrated on the 24th of May to commemorate the day in 1882 when the first shipment of frozen sheep meat arrived in the UK aboard the Dunedin. The shipment was organised by two entrepreneurs, William Davidson and Thomas Brydone and left New Zealand on February 15th from Port Chalmers, Otago. William Davidson, was a British-based general manager of the New Zealand and Australian Land Company, whose landholdings in the two countries exceeded 1 million hectares. Davidson had taken an interest in refrigerated experiments, which had proved the concept, if not yet the economic viability, of shipping frozen meat around the globe. That historic journey of around 5,000 carcasses was the beginning of what is now a multi billion dollar industry. New Zealand farmers produce some of the best lamb and the rest of the world just can’t get enough.

Rural round-up


Budget ‘missed opportunity’ for farmers :

Farming groups say while there are a few positives in Budget 2021 for the primary sector, overall it is disappointing.

The Government has allocated more than $50 million towards lowering agricultural emissions and developing a national farm planning system.

Funding included $37m towards national integrated farm planning system for farmers and growers, $24m towards agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research and development; and $900,000 to collect vital statistics on agricultural production, such as greenhouse gas emissions. . . 

Support for drought affected farmers – Ashley Smyth;

Steps are being put in place to help North Otago farmers struggling with the challenges of drought, heading into winter.

Otago Rural Support Trust co-ordinator Lindsay Purvis said winter crops had failed in places, but some parts of the district were worse than others.

A Zoom meeting was being held this week involving farmers “dotted strategically throughout Otago” to gather information for a drought monitor group, he said.

“The idea of having all these farmers together is to get a little report from them, as to what’s happening in their area.” . . .

$25,000 paid for Teviot Valley bull – Shawn McAvinue:

A Teviot Valley bull fetched the top price at a national seed stock sale last week.

Limehills Stardom brought $25,000 for vendors Limehills Herefords owners Gray and Robyn Pannett, of Millers Flat.

Mr Pannett said the sale price of the 20-month Hereford bull was because of his strong pedigree and high intramuscular fat.

Limehills Stardom was bought by North Island businesses Charwell Herefords and BeefGen. . . 

Deerstalkers’ hut given green light – Ruby Heyward;

The New Zealand Deerstalkers Association North Otago branch is building for the future.

At the beginning of the year, the North Otago branch submitted an application to the Department of Conservation (Doc) to build a public hut on the Waianakarua Scenic Reserve, south of Oamaru.

After a few months of finger crossing, the members have got the go ahead.

For hut project co-ordinator Barry Wilson, it was a huge relief. . . 

Forestry worker becomes small business owner in Southland – Uma Ahmend:

Former forestry worker Cameron Moir has taken on the Fordes Petfood business near South Hillend.

Moir, broke two vertebras and his pelvis in a car crash in February 2020, and during recuperation he decided it was time for a change.​

Even though Moir does not officially start working at the processing plant until July 5, he has been regularly going to the plant to observe and has started on transitional plans.

“At the moment we have a lot of dairy cows, and we’re still going to do that, but we’re hoping to get access to more sheep meat, bovine meat.” . . 

Clarkson’s new farming series hits TV screens on 11 June:

Clarkson’s Farm, an eight part series following Jeremy Clarkson as he attempts to run his very own 1000-acre farm, will hit screens on 11 June, Amazon has confirmed.

The series will observe the highs and lows of what the former Top Gear presenter hopes will be a rural idyll, but could just as easily become a rustic nightmare.

Clarkson, a self-confessed “inept townie” with zero agricultural knowledge will, along with some help, try to set up a viable working farm in modern day rural Britain.

Beginning in autumn 2019 and filmed over the course of one farming year, Amazon has officially confirmed that the series will be aired on Friday 11 June. . . 

Mint sauce and lamb, Kiwi as


Celebrating National Lamb Day:

Beef and Lamb New Zealand Ambassador Norka Mella Munoz, shares the story of when she first learned about New Zealand – and using mint sauce on lamb. When ‘The Dunedin’ docked into London on 24 May 1882 the New Zealand food industry was born. Fast forward to today and our food is in hot demand all around the world. We are known, and loved, for our meat, dairy, fruit, honey, fish, veges – you name it, we probably produce the world’s best. National Lamb Day, held in New Zealand on the 24th of May, is a celebration of the beginning of what is now a multi-billion dollar industry. New Zealand farmers produce some of the best lamb and the rest of the world just can’t get enough.

Yes Sir Humphrey


National Lamb Day


On  National Lamb Day,  or any other, this way of cooking is hard to beat.

It’s the way they do it in Argentina and was cooked for us by Pablo Tacchini, owner and chef of Cucina in Oamaru.



How many more broken promises


John Roughan writes:

It was hard to give the Budget much credence after reading the Auditor-General’s report on the Covid-19 vaccination programme this week. The gulf between word and deed in Government has probably never been greater.

From the moment the Cabinet gave the vaccination programme entirely to the Ministry of Health you just knew it wouldn’t turn out well. Ministries these days do what the Auditor-General calls “high-level” planning. He doesn’t mean high quality, he means the plans made on high that do not get down to the harder work of deciding exactly who will do what, when, where and how. . . 

“High-level” planning isn’t just disconnected from practice on the ground, it thinks up needless things that get in the way of practical work. But mostly it just wastes time and high salaries thinking of the bleeding obvious.

The Auditor-General reports that a Cabinet paper in December set out four principles: that vaccines would be free and safe, the roll-out would be sequenced as vaccines became available, the sequencing would be based on need, and would continue until there was confidence the population is sufficiently protected.” Well, yeah.

He concludes those principles were not sufficient to guide even “high level” design decisions, with the result “some decisions were relitigated late. Other decisions are being made later than is desirable …” This not going to end well.

If, as is likely, the vaccination programme doesn’t go as promised, it’s not just our physical health at risk, it’s the country’s economic wellbeing and everything that relies on that is too.

Closed borders and the risk of further lockdowns carry significant financial and personal costs.

Whether or not you think it’s fair to link problems with the vaccination rollout with scepticism about other government promises, there are several heroic assumptions in the Budget, about which Steven Joyce writes:

. . .It’s no secret we are living on borrowed money — much of the world currently is.

Australia’s core debt as a result of all their extra pandemic spending is going to peak at 40 per cent of GDP.

Ours is predicted to top out at 48 per cent, an uncomfortably high number for a small internationally exposed seismically-active country with high levels of private debt.

And stopping at 48 per cent only happens provided we grow faster than Australia, inflation doesn’t appear, interest rates don’t go up, commodity prices remain high, the border is open at the end of this year, house prices are tamed perfectly, the Finance Minister rediscovers his fiscal restraint, and the Government’s move to remake the New Zealand economy in its own image doesn’t have any negative effects on business investment here.

If you believe all of that will happen, then I have a bridge to sell you. . . 

Anyone want to bet on a lot of things going right and few or none going wrong?

It would be a very risky bet given the gulf between announcements and achievement from this government and the last one:

Labour is big on promises but short on delivery. Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s Budget Day speeches make for sobering reading when it comes to the scale of failure to deliver under Labour.

Here are just a few examples from Labour’s previous Budgets:


Labour promised KiwiBuild in 2017’s ‘mini-Budget’ with a $2.1 billion allocation to get it started. The scheme was supposed to build 16,000 houses in its first three years and 100,000 over ten. In reality Labour has delivered just 871 KiwiBuild houses and scrapped the targets promised to New Zealanders.

Stuff projected last year that, at its rate of construction at the time, KiwiBuild would take more than 400 years to reach its target.

KiwiBuild – Labour’s flagship policy – has become the biggest public policy failure in New Zealand history.


Robertson also used the 2017 mini-Budget to describe Labour’s ‘fees free’ policy as:

“one of the most transformative policies for the productivity of the New Zealand economy that we will see in many, many years.”

Despite being what Labour described as one of the most transformative policies ever, fees-free attracted less than two thirds of its projected student numbers and Labour dumped the promised extension of the scheme last year.


While these days Labour might like to blame the murky Provincial Growth Fund on former coalition partners, Grant Robertson was pretty glowing when he was allocating funding to it as Minister of Finance.

In 2017’s mini-Budget debate, he went as far as to say:

“When we look at the criteria in that Provincial Growth Fund, it says everything about what I want this Government to be marked out for.”

This is the same Provincial Growth Fund criticised by the Auditor-General for having vague criteria that often wasn’t met by projects it funded.

Labour went on to axe the Fund but not before spending $100 million on a marae upgrade programme promised to create more than 3000 jobs. With half the money spent, it has created just 158.


Grant Robertson made sure to use his Budget 2018 speech to trumpet Labour fulfilling its promise to “stop the state house sell-off.”

The only problem? It didn’t.

Newshub reported just last month that Labour has sold or demolished almost 2000 state houses since Robertson’s speech and the number of state houses managed by Kāinga Ora has actually fallen.


Robertson also used his Budget 2018 speech to announce funding for Labour’s Chief Technology Officer. Labour said the Chief Technology Officer would play a ‘key role in our technology future’ and develop a ‘digital strategy for New Zealand.’

The recruitment process turned into a massive trainwreck and the Government ended up dumping the whole thing, failing to deliver on yet another promise.


Budget 2018 also saw Robertson claim the Government wants to be “a leader in urgently reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases.”

In the year following Robertson’s speech, emissions increased by 2 per cent and last year, New Zealand imported more coal than in any year since 2006.


Robertson set aside $100 million in 2018 for the Green Investment Fund which he said would “kickstart investment in assets and technology to reduce carbon emissions.”

17 months later, the Fund had not invested a single cent.


Jacinda Ardern has described child poverty as the reason why she got into politics. Grant Robertson has also mentioned the issue in his Budget Day speeches, including the various measures and targets Labour will use to hold itself accountable.

In his Budget 2019 speech, Robertson reaffirmed the Government’s promise to halve child poverty over 10 years, a back-down in itself given Labour promised Kiwis it would lift 100,000 children out of poverty by 2020. This original promise would have been a 63 per cent reduction over three years.

Using the same measure Ardern based her promise on, her Government has actually overseen an increase of 1,500 children living in poverty between 2017 and 2020 according to official Stats NZ child poverty data.

Promised a 100,000 reduction. Delivered a 1,500 increase.


Grant Robertson stated in his Budget 2019 speech that “it is time to finally take mental health seriously” and said “the investment in our mental health priority is worth $1.9 billion.”

Despite this, a report from The Guardian notes mental health outcomes have worsened under Labour. And Stuff revealed in April that the Government had underspent on several mental health initiatives announced in 2019 and “had not yet spent a single dollar of a $25m fund for student mental health announced in 2020.”

A lot of promises, not much delivery.


Labour has failed to deliver on pretty much every infrastructure promise it has made. Don’t forget Jacinda Ardern’s first major announcement as Labour Leader: that she would build light rail from Auckland’s CBD to Mount Roskill by 2021 and that she would start it “straight away.”

It is now 2021 and not one centimetre of light rail has been built.

The Finance Minister used his Budget 2020 speech to refer back to the “significant start” Labour had made on infrastructure with the $12 billion New Zealand Upgrade Programme announced a few months before.

The Programme included several of the roading projects that were underway under National and cancelled or delayed by Labour.

But now that the election is out of the way, Labour is refusing to say if these projects will even go ahead.

Like Labour’s other budgets, this year’s is full of more promises to deliver ‘transformative’ policies that won’t be delivered.

Time and again the government has been long on announcements and very, very short on delivery.

I too have a bridge to sell anyone who believes that what’s been promised in the Budget and what will be delivered is any different.

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