Horsnwoggle – to scam or con; trick or deceive; swindle, cheat, or hoax; bamboozle.
Floods highlight farmers’ vulnerability – Nigel Malthus:
The vulnerability of the roads has become a major concern for Federated Farmers Mid-Canterbury president David Clark over a week into the clean-up following the region’s damaging floods.
Many road closures were still in force several days after the event.
“Delivering grain to the feed mill for us has gone from being a 30km trip to an 80km trip each way,” Clark told Rural News.
“We’ve got the [State Highway 1] Ashburton River bridge severely damaged and the slumping arguably is continuing to get worse,” he adds. . .
Concern over SNA costs – Neal Wallace:
It will cost an estimated $9 million or $3000 per site for the Southland District Council (SDC) to map significant natural areas in its territory as required by the Government’s proposed biodiversity strategy.
The cost to ratepayers of councils having to identify significant natural areas (SNAs) is starting to materialise, but resistance is growing from private landowners concerned at the imposition on their property rights.
Although the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity is not yet Government policy, the Far North District Council is suspending its SNA identification process after protests from Māori landowners, including a hikoi.
The Far North District Council estimates 42% of the district on land owned by 8000 landowners could have areas of high ecological value. . .
Council pausing SNA identification work – Rebecca Ryan:
The Waitaki District Council is pushing pause on its work to identify significant national areas (SNAs).
Last month, the council sent letters to nearly 2000 landowners about proposed changes to mapping in the district plan review, advising them the new district plan would increase the level of protection for SNAs, “outstanding and significant natural features”, “outstanding natural landscapes” and wahi tupuna (sites and areas of significance to Maori) on their private land. The letters also included maps of the proposed new protective overlays on the properties.
Waitaki landowners hit back at the council, criticising the mapping process and saying the letters did not contain enough information about what the proposed changes meant for them. Many expressed fears about losing productive land and the impacts changes could have on the value of their land.
Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher announced the pause in the council’s SNA work yesterday. He said there was “too much uncertainty” as the national policy statement for indigenous biodiversity (NPSIB) was still being developed. . .
Zero-injuries goal major investment for Alliance -Shawn McAvinue:
Alliance Group Pukeuri plant manager Phil Shuker takes it personally when anyone gets injured at the meat processing plant, about 8km north of Oamaru.
The days of telling staff “to take a concrete pill and harden up” were over, he said.
Nearly 19 injuries were sustained for every 1million hours worked at Alliance sites across New Zealand.
The injury rate had fallen 80% in the past five years, he said. . .
Back up the bus! – Sudesh Kissun:
Work together and stop throwing each other under the bus. That’s the message farmers delivered last week to Beef + Lamb New Zealand (BLNZ) at its first roadshow meeting in Glen Murray, Waikato.
About 35 farmers heard BLNZ chief executive Sam McIvor and director Martin Coup outline work being done by BLNZ on their behalf.
However, former Federated Farmers Auckland president Wendy Clark told the meeting that “there was a lot of throwing under the bus” during the Plan Change 1 consultation process.
Plan Change 1, introduced by Waikato Regional Council, is about reducing the amount of contaminants entering the Waikato and Waipā catchments. . .
Project pitches benefits of working with wool – Stewart Raine:
A new initiative focused on the recruitment, training and retaining of shearers and shed hands is expected to help ease the shortage of shearers across Tasmania.
The Wool Industry Workforce Development Project, funded by Skills Tasmania and coordinated by Primary Employers Tasmania, aims to attract young people into the industry.
It will provide coaching and mentoring throughout their developmental journey, and support farmers and contractors to improve workplaces to remove retention barriers. . .
An astonishing 26 Labour MPs are descending on the Fieldays.
If they are there to talk at farmers and the business people who service and support them, they would be better staying away.
If they are there to listen they must be prepared to hear a lot they won’t like because there’s so much government policy that farmers and farming businesses don’t like.
I haven’t experienced this level of rural angst since the ag-sag of the 80s when farmers were kicked into the real world without subsidies.
In North Otago that coincided with recreated droughts, stock prices plummeted, land prices followed and a lot of us went from reasonable equity to owing more than the value of what we owned.
There was security in numbers. A relatively few were pushed out but banks and stock firms knew that forcing too many sales would only compound problems and left most of us to farm our way out of the mire.
I don’t know any farmer who wants subsidies back and now prices for most primary produce are at levels all but the most pessimistic are happy with, the rural mood ought to be rosey.
But it’s not.
The appreciation of farmers for keeping the export income flowing when so much of the rest of the country was locked down has evaporated.
KPMG’s head of global agribusiness Ian Proudfoot explains:
. . .There was an underlining theme of low morale and fatigue among those surveyed, caused by labour shortages and shipping delays, he said.
“We expected with prices being high, dairy prices being high, kiwifruit returns higher than they’ve been, excellent red meat returns, that we were going to be walking into an industry that would still have quite a lot of that glow of last year, of the essential food producer.
“But the reality is, I think this has been an incredible hard year on people, on our executive teams, on our leaders, and it’s taken a toll.”
The industry was focused on its day-to-day challenges, instead of making the most of a “global food renaissance” emerging rapidly around the world, Proudfoot said.
Too many of those challenges are being caused and made more difficult by government policy.
As DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle said:
. . .I don’t know who’s making these calls but I have to say, if you’ve got middle level bureaucrats sitting at their desk in Wellington, they do need to remember that their decisions will affect real people.
“From the limited information I’ve seen, it is difficult to draw conclusions as to the logic behind the decisions that were made last year on who gets [exemptions] and who doesn’t. . .
He was referring to immigration decisions. It also applies to a lot of other decisions being made by people in Wellington that results in policy that is impractical and will impact badly on real people, making business, and life, harder for farmers.
They also don’t appear to understand that all these decisions which are already impacting on both morale and production will sooner or later impact on prices for consumers and on export income.
If all these MPs descending on Fieldays want to show they understand they need to listen to the people they meet and be prepared to act on what they hear.