Word of the day

24/06/2021

Hirple – walk with a limp; to drag a limb, to walk lamely; to move with a gait somewhere between walking and crawling; hobble; to cripple or hamper some venture or project.


Sowell says

24/06/2021


Rural round-up

24/06/2021

Carbon farmers bought swathes of NZ promising to create native forests — but researchers doubt it will work – Eloise Gibson:

A carbon farming business has bought swathes of the country and planted it in pine trees, promising it would one day regenerate into native forest – but researchers who’ve studied the concept doubt it will work.

New Zealand Carbon Farming (NZCF) has quickly grown to be one of the country’s biggest landowners, with more than 89,000 hectares either owned or leased. NZCF says it is the biggest provider of carbon credits in Australasia, and the biggest participant in New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

The business model is to find farmland with remnants of native forest nearby to act as a seed stock, then plant pine, which grows quickly and supplies a stream of income from carbon credits. The company says it selects sites with enough rain and decent soil, and that it will thin the pine and control pests, such as deer and possums, to enable indigenous forest to grow underneath (and eventually take over).

But two forestry scientists who helped pioneer the pine-to-native forest concept in New Zealand question whether native regeneration will happen on the scale the business is attempting. . .

DoC’s Mackenzie project dubbed a disaster – David Williams:

A $2.6 million Mackenzie Basin project abandoned its business case, lacked oversight, and achieved little. David Williams reports

A drive for greater protection in the fragile South Island high country turned into a “complete disaster”, according to a review ordered by Department of Conservation senior managers.

The external review report, released to Newsroom under the Official Information Act, says the $2.6 million Mackenzie Basin project announced in the 2018 Budget had “no formal governance”, the partnerships section of DoC running it did not have “formal project management skills”, and external partners and stakeholders were “disillusioned and have heavily criticised the project”.

Some external parties, such as private landowners, hadn’t been contacted for nearly two years. Relationships with mana whenua were described as strained “at best” . .

Minister not plugged into community signal struggles:

It is unacceptable that a town just 10 minutes from Greymouth has such poor digital connectivity that they are not able to even receive Civil Defence warnings, National’s Digital Economy and Communications spokesperson Melissa Lee says.

Ms Lee has been advocating for rural communities which are being left behind by a lack of digital and communications infrastructure.

Dunollie is a small town on the West Coast and in March, Melissa Lee, along with National List MP based in West Coast-Tasman Maureen Pugh, visited its frustrated residents. Despite having a cell tower on the beach to enable tourists to stay connected, a hill between the beach and the township prevents the locals from accessing the signal. . . 

New Zealand pig farmers demand imported pork measure up to NZ’s animal welfare standard – Lauren Hale:

New Zealand pig farmers are supporting a petition calling for imported pork to be required to meet the same animal welfare standards as New Zealand pork.

Approximately 60 per cent of pork consumed in New Zealand is imported with most of it being produced in countries that farm pigs using practices that are illegal in this country.

“New Zealand’s pork sector operates to high welfare standards compared to many other countries who have less rigorous health, welfare and environmental regimes,” says David Baines, chief executive of NZPork, which represents New Zealand pig farmers.

“Our commercial pig herd also has a high health status and is not affected by the diseases that are having a very serious impact on pork industries in many other countries.

Homegrown Butcher named Supreme Champion at 2021 Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards

Dion Kilminster produces top-quality beef and lamb — but the road to success constantly challenges him.

It was by chance that farmer-butcher Dion Kilmister met marketer Ali Scott in a Wellington pub on St Patrick’s Day nine years ago. But together, they’ve overcome the odds in more ways than one.

This year, their mixed box of gourmet beef and lamb took the Supreme Champion gong at the 2021 Outstanding NZ Food Producers Awards. “Pure beefiness,” commented one of the judges of the pack, which includes many different cuts of meat as well as gourmet sausages.

In 2018’s honours (see NZ Life & Leisure, May/June 2018), Dion and Ali’s Homegrown Farm Fresh Meats won the Ara Wines Paddock Champion award for its lamb. . . 

Invest Like a Farmer: the surprising similarities between how farmers and venture capitalists think – Sarah Nolet:

As a venture capitalist working in agriculture, I’m constantly surprised by the similarities between how farmers and investors think.

I came to agriculture in a roundabout way. I grew up in Silicon Valley and moved to Boston to study computer science and later work in the defense industry. It was during an accidental gap year in South America, where I was pulling weeds on an organic tomato farm in Argentina, that I first saw the potential to apply my systems background to agriculture.

I realized that much of the technology that was being developed was missing the mark because the people making it — while they were accomplished technologists — didn’t understand the culture, science, or business of farming. That’s when I began to develop my own investment thesis for agtech.

Agriculture has historically been a very different world to the heavily urban-focused startup and technology ecosystem. But though the lines between these two worlds are blurring, there’s still a huge gap between the two; not just in technology application, but also in language, culture and trust. . . .


Yes Sir Humphrey

24/06/2021


NZ wins by 8 wickets

24/06/2021

I slept with the radio on, waking now and then to hear that Black Caps were edging towards winning the World Test Championship and woke up this morning to the good news:

Howzat?

A journey that started with Brendon McCullum and continued with Kane Williamson has ended with New Zealand on top of the world.

The Black Caps have won the inaugural World Test Championship, producing a stunning sixth and final day to beat India by eight wickets in Southampton.

With India starting the day at 64-2, leading by 32 runs, victory required a stunning bowling performance, and they produced just that – skittling India for 170, and chasing down their target of 139 with 7.1 overs to spare. . . 

We were in Spain when New Zealand played England for the title in that match when they batted first and were all out for 241.

We’d been wandering round the village listening to the commentary on the radio when we heard some English accents from a table in the plaza.

I asked if they were cricket fans, they said yes but couldn’t get a commentary. We offered to share ours and sat down almost as far away as we could get from Radio Sport and listened to the last few overs.

We were happier than our new friends when we finished 241/8 which we all thought meant we’d won, or at very least drawn.

But alas the rules stated the team with the most boundaries was the winner and that was England.

That makes last night’s win even sweeter.


Better luck than management

24/06/2021

New Zealand’s success in keeping Covid-19 at bay has been due at least as much to good luck as good management.

If that luck continues, the Sydney man who tested positive for the disease after a weekend enjoying some of Wellignton’s delights will have kept it to himself.

If it doesn’t we’re in for some, possibly many, cases here.

Until most of us are vaccinated we’ll need a lot more luck, because good management seems to be lacking in the vaccine roll out.

A friend who lives near a small town told me that the health centre had booked the elderly and vulnerable for vaccinations then had to postpone them after the Ministry told them that they’d get no more vaccines until August.

Meanwhile, other friends who live in a small town not far away from the first one, got a phone call from their GP.

She told them that a vaccination centre had been set up for Maori. It wasn’t  getting many takers and if they popped in, even though neither is 65 and both are in good health, they’d get their first dose.

They took her advice, popped in, were greeted with enthusiasm and vaccinated.

These aren’t the only such cases.

Vulnerable people in Bluff are being told they’ll have to wait until the end of July to get vaccinated  but in Dunedin Te Kaika  pop-up clinic is for Maori, Pasifika, over 65s and the vulnerable, but anyone is welcome to come.

There might be good reasons that Te Kaika is welcoming anyone when people who ought to take priority aren’t getting their shots, but it sends the message that getting vaccinated owes more to better luck than management.


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