Our whole educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities, is increasingly turning out people who have never heard enough conflicting arguments to develop the skills and discipline required to produce a coherent analysis, based on logic and evidence.
— Thomas Sowell (@ThomasSowell) June 25, 2021
Govt’s response on farm workforce crisis underwhelming – Jason Herrick:
The Government needs to do more to help farmers cope with staff shortages, Southland Federated Farmers sharemilker chairman Jason Herrick writes.
Farm staff shortages in Southland and around the country are getting worse.
While the government finally bowed to dairy industry pleas and announced border exemptions for 150 management and 50 farm assistant positions, the sector was already under severe workforce gap pressure.
The super-busy calving season begins mid-July, and it’s unlikely many of the 200 extra migrant staff will be out of managed isolation by then. . .
Farmers are being encouraged to take their tractors and dogs to town next month in a show of protest against Government regulations – and tradies are also being encouraged to show their support.
Farmer action group Groundswell NZ is organising ‘A Howl of a Protest’ in town centres from Gore to Kerikeri on July 16, for “farmers, growers and ute owners who are fed up with increasing Government interference in your life and business, unworkable regulations and unjustified costs”.
Groundswell NZ spokesperson Bryce McKenzie said farmers were growing increasingly frustrated with new Government regulations, but he hoped tradies would also join the protests as they were being penalised if they wanted to upgrade their utes.
Last week the Government announced its new rebate scheme, which will make lower-carbon-emitting cars more affordable for New Zealanders and will see a fee placed on higher-emission vehicles, including utes. . .
When Luke Knowles got the call that a good mate had taken his life, it was mind-numbing, heart-breaking and “just totally confusing”.
Mr Knowles said his mate, an intelligent, outgoing and fun-loving young man, was not someone he would ever have guessed was not happy on the inside.
“He was just one of the boys; we always had a good time together. But when he passed away, it did come to light that he had been battling with a few things, but he kept it all pretty close to his chest.”
As a salute to his late friend, Mr Knowles will be participating in Dry July, a campaign in which participants go without alcohol for the month of July. Typically, the campaign is to raise money for cancer research, but he will instead give his fundraising efforts to the Will To Live Charitable Trust which focuses on initiatives specifically designed to help young rural people suffering from mental health issues. . .
The world-wide commodities boom has driven world fertiliser prices to 10-year highs.
Global food prices have recorded their biggest annual rise in a decade, driven in part by China’s soaring appetite for grain and soyabeans and a severe drought in Brazil, which has put fertiliser in hot demand.
The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) said global food prices rose last month at their fastest monthly rate in more than a decade, even as world cereal production was on course to reach a new record high. . .
It’s one of the most culturally diverse schools in the country, but it’s not in the inner city – it’s in rural Canterbury.
Hororata Primary School has 85 students from more than a dozen nationalities – including Serbia, Syria and Sri Lanka – and about a quarter of youngsters speak a language other than English at home.
The village of Hororata lies an hour west of Christchurch, just before the snow-capped Southern Alps rise up on the horizon.
The local economy is heavily reliant on the dairy industry, with workers from around the world employed on the farms and in the cattle sheds. . .
Dairy farmers in north-east Victoria are leading an industry response to climate change.
A group of farmers has identified changing rainfall patterns, increased temperatures, availability of water, weather extremes and access to health services as challenges and/or opportunities for the next decade.
The North East Dairy Climate Futures Project invited dairy farmers to have a say about their own businesses in response to data released by the CSIRO in 2020 that supported predicted climate change impacts across the valleys of north-east Victoria.
At a series of workshops across the region earlier this year, dairy farmers embraced the opportunity to identify what should be the focus for their industry. . .
. . .Rachel Poulain from Free Speech Union says “we’re delighted by this result – it’s a win for free speech in New Zealand, at least when it comes to Councils trying to deplatform views or groups they don’t like.” . .
The win is even more important given the proposed law change which would limit free speech and is about controlling our lives:
I want to be very clear with New Zealanders, the National Party will reverse any attempts Jacinda Ardern’s Government makes to criminalise speech beyond the threshold of ‘inciting violence,’ Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.
“This is an opportunistic grab at one of our most fundamental rights and New Zealanders can be assured that we will fight this on their behalf.
“To frame these proposed laws as a response to the atrocity in Christchurch is disingenuous at best. There is no evidence to support the idea that ‘hate speech’ laws would have prevented the massacre.
“The National Party condemns vile speech that is intended to insult, but there is a big leap from condemning it to criminalising it.
“This is about control. It is about ensuring that only approved opinions are allowed and making questioning those opinions criminal. The matter of who decides what opinions are acceptable is unclear.
Who would dictate which opinions are approved and which are not?
“The Prime Minister has delegated the task of imposing these laws on New Zealanders to a minister who doesn’t understand how the laws will work himself. He cannot tell us what ‘hatred’ looks like nor what the threshold for punishment is.
“I am calling on Jacinda Ardern to front these proposed ‘hate speech’ laws herself. If she is going to erode our democracy and control our speech she needs to own it.
“New Zealanders are entitled to hear from their Prime Minister as to why it is she thinks she is entitled to control even our most core rights.
“I will not be allowing her to palm the issue off to others. It is too important; preserving our democracy is too important. I will be going directly to the Prime Minister to get answers for New Zealanders. I certainly hope she has better answers than Minister Faafoi.”
National’s Justice Spokesman Simon Bridges says freedom of speech is a fundamental right:
. . . “The Prime Minister has already begun mischaracterising the proposed law changes by framing them as simply adding ‘religion’ as a protected group in light of the Royal Commission. I encourage all New Zealanders to read the 6 proposals for themselves because these laws reach much further than that.
“The National Party encourages open debate and discussion as this leads to people being better informed and able to form their own opinions. Democracy relies on the ability of people to speak freely and in turn others are, of course, free to disagree.
“Protecting free speech does not mean that there isn’t speech that I find abhorrent. We are all offended by a variety of things. However, it would be complete overreach to criminalise people, throw them in jail for up to three years, because they caused offence.
“This Government, unable to deliver on much else, appears to want to regulate New Zealanders in every facet of our lives. Not content with just telling us what car we are allowed to drive, they want to restrict and regulate the words that come out of our mouths.
“This is Orwellian and the National Party will oppose such a complete encroachment on our rights.”
Words can hurt. Words can harm – but why would hurting someone with words carry a harsher penalty than inflicting physical harm?