Scansion – analysis of verse into metrical patterns; the act of scanning; the measuring of a verse by feet in order to see whether the quantities are duly observed; distinguishing the metrical feet of a verse by emphasis, pauses, or otherwise; the analysis of verse to show its meter; the method or practice of determining and (usually) graphically representing the metrical pattern of a line of verse.
I wouldn’t want to go through this again.”
This was the enduring feeling for dairy farmer Laurence Rooney who believes he would have been better off if his farm caught M. bovis after “taking a hit” for the Ashburton town during the May floods.
Laurence and Philippa Rooney received a fleeting visit from the Agricultural Minister Damien O’Connor yesterday to his flood-ravaged Ashburton Forks property and are facing a long farming and financial road after losing half of its herd during the May 30-31 Canterbury floods.
Rooney said it was good to illustrate the scale of the impact to the Minister. . .
When a magazine as authoritative as The Economist heads up its lead “No Safe Place” , even climate change deniers should sit up and take notice.
The Economist” says the most terrible thing about the spectacular scenes of destruction that have played out around the world over recent weeks is that there is no safe place from which to observe them.
“The ground under the German town of Erftstadt is torn apart like tissue paper by flood waters; Lytton in British Columbia is burned from the map just a day after setting a freakishly high temperature record; cars float like dead fish through the streets-turned-canals in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou. All the world feels at risk, and most of it is”.
NZ had its own headline: “The Buller River recorded largest NZ flood flows in almost 100 years”. . .
Commitment to biomass big in the south – Mary-Jo Tohill:
With this week’s announcement that the Fonterra Stirling plant would be converting to biomass energy, South Otago looks to be leading the way in showing a multimillion-dollar commitment to sustainability with many of the major manufacturing plants moving to wood-burning boilers or alternative energy sources. Mary-Jo Tohill reports.
Clydevale-based infant milk formula makers Danone Nutricia NZ expected to commission its $30 million biomass boiler in the last quarter of 2021, sustainability communication and stakeholder relations manager Helen de Laguiche said.
This was originally planned for August, but the project had faced delays because of Covid-19 restrictions in Oceania.
The South Otago wing of the French food company recently completed installation of the main equipment and a 75m long conveyor belt system. So far, more than 300 tonnes of building steel had been erected. . .
Rural bank finance will increasingly be guided by sustainability considerations including climate change mitigation and adaptation, water use, waste minimisation, labour rights and animal welfare following today’s launch of the Sustainable Agriculture Finance Initiative (SAFI) guidance.
ASB, ANZ, BNZ, Rabobank and Westpac, and the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) joined forces in early 2020 to develop the SAFI guidance, to improve the flow of sustainable finance to New Zealand’s agricultural sector.
The SAFI guidance is intended to support a framework, from the finance sector, for integrating sustainability considerations into funding for New Zealand’s agricultural sector. . .
Carbon farming steps forward on the North Island hard hill country – Keith Woodford:
In recent months I have been analysing New Zealand sheep and beef farming to try and understand the changing scene. Here, I shift the focus to carbon farming on the North Island hard-hill country where sheep and beef currently predominate.
In this article I am not looking at lumber because much of the hard-hill country has lumber problems arising from logging costs and associated infrastructure. Rather, I am focusing on permanent pine forests and asking whether the economics now stack up.
In telling this story I am going to be challenged by some people who hate pine trees and also by others who love them but have a focus on lumber. Here, I am not taking sides on either of those issues. My approach is simply to report what the carbon numbers are saying. . .
Acting the goat comes naturally to Ralph – Sally Rae:
This is the story of Ralph the goat.
Ralph is no ordinary goat. He resides on a farm near Weston, in North Otago, where he lives the proverbial life of Riley.
His life could have been so very different — in fact, his name could well be Lucky — given he was spotted during a goat culling trip.
His story begins in June last year, in Central Otago, where feral goats were common pests. . .
Te Puna-based avocado oil producer, Grove, has been granted the Superior Taste Award with two stars for its Extra Virgin Avocado Oil by the prestigious International Taste Institute in Brussels, Belgium.
The jury of the International Taste Institute, composed of over 200 of the world’s best chefs and sommeliers, gather every year to flavour test, evaluate and certify the taste of food and drinks from around the world. The jury follows a rigorous blind-tasting methodology in which product samples are anonymised to avoid any scoring biases.
Greg Ryan, Grove’s Business Development Manager, says that the award announcement has highlighted the quality of their avocado oil and created a buzz within the business. . .
After all, if we really were one of the first countries to eliminate Covid19 as the Prime Minister claimed, we should not be one of the last, as now seems increasingly likely, to escape its clutches. – Peter Dunne
A government entity is threatening a specialist contractor’s livelihood on the basis of her race. It’s almost unbelievable that this could happen in 2021 in a developed country. – Jordan Williams
If the Labour Government were a beloved childhood character it would be Pinocchio, the puppet whose nose grows when he lies.
There’s been several examples of blatant porky-telling in the past week; its weak framing-up of what constitutes hate speech is one – but the most obvious (and the most important politically) concerns this country’s vaccine roll-out. Pinocchio’s snoot is experiencing quite the growth spurt. – Janet Wilson
Don’t forget that over-promising and under-delivering is a hallmark of this Government.
Then there’s the “what’s-good-for-you-is-even-better-for-me” strategy. – Janet Wilson
What’s needed now, more than ever, are honest conversations, based on fact, not what’s increasingly looking like opaque butt-covering. – Janet Wilson
New Zealanders returning after a few years abroad might wonder whether they’ve blundered into a parallel universe. A government that is pitifully thin on ministerial ability and experience is busy re-inventing the wheel, and doing it at such speed that the public has barely had time to catch its breath. – Karl du Fresne
The most visible change might crudely be described as Maorification, much of it aggressively driven by activists of mixed Maori and European descent who appear to have disowned their problematical white colonial lineage. Self-identifying as Maori not only taps into a fashionable culture of grievance and victimism, but enables them to exercise power and influence that would otherwise not be available to them. – Karl du Fresne
The government has done its best to ensure continued media support for this ideological project by creating a $55 million slush fund supposedly created to support “public interest journalism” but available only to news organisations that commit themselves to the promotion of the so-called principles (never satisfactorily defined) of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
What has been framed as an idealistic commitment to the survival of journalism is, in other words, a cynical and opportunistic bid for control over the news media at a time when the industry is floundering. This is a government so shameless, or perhaps so convinced of its own untouchability, that it’s brazenly buying the media’s compliance. – Karl du Fresne
Potentially even more damaging to Ardern’s government, because it hits ordinary people at a very basic level, is the shambolic incompetence of the Covid-19 vaccination programme, and the growing perception that the public has been continually fed falsehoods about the pandemic and the government’s response to it. – Karl du Fresne
The right groups, with the right processes, can make excellent decisions. But most of us don’t join groups to make better decisions. We join them because we want to belong. Groupthink persists because groupthink feels good. – Tim Harford
Ethno-nationalism has political categories based on racial classification – the belief that our fundamental identity (personal, social and political) is fixed in our ancestry. Here the past determines the future. Identity, too, is fixed in that past. In contrast, democratic-nationalism has one political category – that of citizenship – justified by the shared belief in a universal human identity. – Elizabeth Rata
He Puapua envisages a system of constitutional categorisation based on ancestral membership criteria rather than the universal human who is democracy’s foundational unit. Ancestral group membership is the key idea of ‘ethnicity’. This slippery term refers to a combination of culture – what we do and how we understand ourselves – and genetic inheritance. The word entered common usage from the 1970s followed by ‘indigenous’ in the 1980s. ‘Ethnicity’ was an attempt to edit out the increasingly discredited ‘race’. However changing a word does not change the idea. Ethnicity does not mean culture only. It has a genetic, biological – a race, component. Although race is an unscientific concept it retains social currency with whakapapa often used to soften the racial connotation of ancestral belonging.
Whatever term is used – ethnicity, race, culture, whakapapa – the issue is the use of ancestral membership for political status. Liberal democracy can accommodate identification with the ancestral group in the civil sphere. Inclusive biculturalism allows for the evolving social practice of a hybrid Maori and settler-descendant culture, one enriched by diverse migration. Exclusive biculturalism, on the other hand, takes those ethnically or racially categorised groups into the constitutional sphere of legislation and state institutions. It is here that we see the effects of five underpinning beliefs of ethno-nationalism. – Elizabeth Rata
The first belief holds that our ethnic or racial identity is our primary and determining personal identity. This denies the fact that identity in the modern democratic world is individual identity. – Elizabeth Rata
For many people, the meaning of who they are is intimately tied to the idea of ethnic belonging. There are those who choose their primary social identity to be pakeha. Others, with Maori ancestry, choose Maori identity as their defining subjectivity. From a democratic point of view the right to choose a determining identity, including an ethnicised or racialised one, must be supported. It is the same for those who wish to define themselves in religious or sexuality terms. As long as such identities remain private choices, practised in association with others of like minds in the civic sphere, there is no problem. It is the right of an individual in a democratic country to make that choice. – Elizabeth Rata
The second belief underpinning the He Puapua Report is that the ethnic or racial group is primordial – existing from the beginning of time and known through the mythologies that are now called ‘histories’. This belief feeds into the assumption that the group is fundamentally distinctive and separate – hence ethnic fundamentalism. It denies the universal human reality of migration, genetic mixing and social mixing. It certainly denies the New Zealand reality. – Elizabeth Rata
A third belief permeating He Puapua is that how people live and understand their lives (culture) is caused by who they are (ancestry or ethnicity/race). Such biological determinism asserts that our genetic heritage causes what we do and the meaning we give to our actions – culture. It is a belief that has taken on its own life in education to justify the ‘ways of knowing and being’ found in matauranga Māori research, Māori mathematics, and in ‘Māori as Māori’ education. – Elizabeth Rata
The fourth belief is a blood and soil ideology. It is the idea that an ethnic group indigenous to an area is autochthonous. The group is ‘of the land’ in a way that is qualitatively different from those who arrive later. As a consequence of this fact the first group claims a particular political status with entitlements not available to others. The ideology is located in mythological origins and seductive in its mystical appeal. By separating those who are ‘indigenous’ from those who are not, a fundamental categorisation occurs which then becomes built into political institutions. Such a categorisation principle can be extended – why not have a number of ‘classes’ with political status based on time of arrival – those who arrived first, those who came a little later, to those who have only just arrived. In an ethno-nation it is quite possible that these ‘classes’ could become caste divisions. – Elizabeth Rata
The fifth belief builds on the others. The classification of individuals as members of ethnic categories is extended to political categories. Membership of an ethnic category takes precedence over citizenship as a person’s primary political status. One’s political rights follow from this status. The acceptance of ancestral membership as a political category, rather than a social identity, has huge implications for national cohesion and democratic government. It is where ethnic fundamentalism becomes a major problem for us all. – Elizabeth Rata
The democratic political arena is where we meet as New Zealanders, as equal citizens of a united nation. That public arena is textured by contributing communities certainly, but it is the place where we unite – as a modern pluralist social group that is also a political entity. If we choose not to unite in this way, and the He Puapua Report is recommending that we don’t, why have a nation – New Zealand?
When we politicise ethnicity – by classifying, categorising and institutionalising people on the basis of ethnicity – we establish the platform for ethno-nationalism. Contemporary and historical examples should make us very wary of a path that replaces the individual citizen with the ethnic person as the political subject. – Elizabeth Rata
Ethnic fundamentalism is no better, no worse than the myriad of other fundamentalisms that some individuals impose upon themselves (or have imposed upon them) to give their lives meaning. It becomes a danger to liberal societies regulated by democratic politics when ethnicity is politicised. By basing a governance system of classification and categorisation on historical rather than contemporary group membership, we set ourselves on the path to ethno-nationalism. ‘He Puapua’ means a break. It is used in the Report to mean “the breaking of the usual political and social norms and approaches.” The transformation of New Zealand proposed by He Puapua is indeed a complete break with the past. For this reason it is imperative that we all read the Report then freely and openly discuss what type of nation do we want – ethno-nationalism or democratic nationalism? – Elizabeth Rata
For New Zealand’s Prime Minster to be talking such nonsense – in fact, such a complete untruth as ‘bold action on climate change is a matter of life and death’ – is more than ominous. Her obvious preference for calling urgency on endorsing the recent recommendations of the Climate Change Commission is completely unacceptable. Its unbalanced findings verge on the fanatical and it is high time Ardern is called to account for the fear-mongering she is spreading and for promoting policies which would in fact basically destroy our economy. – Amy Brooke
She must be very well aware that policies have consequences – so why is she so dramatically advocating what would be a self-inflicted wound on New Zealand? There is no evidence whatsoever that we are faced with any life or death decision with regard to climate change –except the one she is not highlighting: that adopting its extreme and unnecessary recommendations would economically cripple us as a country.
So what is she up to? She must know very well that given our size, in comparison with major producers of carbon dioxide, what we might achieve would not make one shred of difference to the total global CO2 emissions. She is treating New Zealanders as fools by maintaining this fiction – Amy Brooke
Ardern, apparently, is making obeisance to the extremist propaganda advanced by the far Left. However, New Zealanders are gradually realising that the guerrilla tactics of communism have long been undermining our country. Given her hard-core, leftist agenda – and a strong body of dedicated, socialist comrades in her Labour coalition – extraordinary moves are now being made to destroy our democracy, largely unchallenged by a lacklustre National party opposition. – Amy Brooke
By fanning the flames of concern over the supposedly catastrophic consequences of climate change – giving it cargo cult status – an extraordinarily useful tool is at hand, particularly given the prophesying of impending calamities by our helpful, now government-paid media. – Amy Brooke
Facts? The majority of policymakers and politicians are damagingly uninformed about the findings of the hundreds of scientists in related fields, many with world-renowned reputations. Some, themselves serving as expert reviewers for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have pointed out that the IPCC has been hijacking science for ideological ends and have shown that hard evidence for a ‘climate emergency’ doesn’t hold up. In other words, the Left’s policy-makers’ agenda is to destroy the West’s economic and social ecology, but so successful has been the propaganda that an obsession with an impending global warming climate change catastrophe is now prevalent – Amy Brooke
The truly shocking aspect of the Climate Change Commission’s recommendations to government on how to limit New Zealand’s greenhouse gases is the damage they would inflict upon this country. Its role was apparently originally envisaged to take politics out of the climate change debate. It has done nothing of the sort and, instead, launched an attack on our freedoms. It would give the government unprecedented, basically fascist, control over the cars we drive and import, our energy sources and our housing and agriculture. It also recommends reducing the number of farm animals and replacing productive farmland with still more pine tree plantings.
Not only is our set 2050 target of net zero emissions entirely unnecessary, its totally unrealistic recommendations such as prioritising re-cycling are impracticable – and almost risible. – Amy Brooke
We should make no mistake: the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan, due by 31 December, is meat and drink to our now totally compromised, hard-left Labour coalition.
The way ahead is now fraught indeed – unless that sleeping giant, the public, properly wakes up. – Amy Brooke
Understanding the other side’s point of view, even if one disagrees with it, is central to any hope for civility in civic life. – Monique Poirier
It should be acceptable to hold the position that New Zealand’s response to Covid-19 was a good one while simultaneously being critical of it when things go wrong – particularly when they are avoidable – without fear of the response you might receive. – Monique Poirier
I don’t like the idea of New Zealand as a country where political opponents are also political enemies. – Monique Poirier
“My worry when I think about Willie … [Foreign Affairs Minister] Nanaia [Mahuta], other ministers, is there is something a bit religious about this. A sense that ‘if we haven’t said Aotearoa 18 times by lunchtime, if we haven’t referenced the Treaty and tried to do some things in that area, we’ll have to go home in the evening and say a few Hail Marys’ – Simon Bridges
If the critical race theorists are correct, if you’re a white person who denies that you’re a racist, that just proves that you’re a racist…they used a very similar test back in the medieval period to identify witches. – Andrew Doyle
“I think that’s what’s going to happen if this Government doesn’t pull its finger and get the immigration department to actually do its job and support our migrant workers. We will lose a lot of people who are productive to our economy, and good human beings. – Judith Collins
I grew up thinking being a farmer’s daughter was the best thing … and now I find people apologising for being farmers. – Judith Collins
Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely, said Lord Acton. One might add, absolute money creation power corrupts absolutely, too. So central banks, armoured with the power to keep governments afloat and markets working, now aim to use it for whatever political goals they please. –Oliver Hartwich
It is a strange world in which we now find ourselves. While politicians are constrained by majorities and public finances, central bankers are unconstrained. They do not have to convince the electorate. They cannot run out of cash. They cannot be voted out of office. – Oliver Hartwich
Once upon a time, central bankers did not tweet. And perhaps that was just as it should be. – Oliver Hartwich
The open discussion of any issue must be possible without fear of repercussions on both sides of the debate if the best outcome is ever to be reached. That is the fundamental value of free speech that permits the free enquiry, self-reflection, self-criticism and peer review that underpin our scientific and academic edifices and, in fact, our entire civilisation. – N. Dell
I argue that a deliberate effort to engineer diversity will do more harm than good. In fact, to focus on identity goes against the well-known Army maxim of colour-blindness: ‘we are all green’. – N. Dell
The trend over the past five to six years to increasingly focus on race, gender and sexual orientation feels like a return to a pre-social revolution era where these arbitrary features of a person were given so much more weight than they deserve. Their return to the spotlight has been undeniably corrosive to society and the political sphere, which appears to have grown to encompass everything. Instead, the kinds of diversity that should matter to an organisation like the Army are diversity of opinion, experience, attitude, class and background. Again, in my experience, the Army already excels in this area. – N. Dell
The ‘Woke’ culture that has led to the popular preoccupation with Diversity and inclusion is antithetical to the Army’s ethos and values. It is built on the notion that feelings are more important than facts. It asserts that everyone is the same while promoting the merits of Diversity. It shuns notions of excellence and meritocracy. It diminishes personal responsibility and erodes resilience, even rejecting the notion that resilience is a virtue. Social media has been the vector for this intellectual contagion and evidence has even surfaced that this has been cynically aided and abetted by belligerent foreign governments with the explicit goal of weakening western democracy. We must not capitulate to our enemies’ efforts. – N. Dell
The primary threat of any effort to be more ‘Diverse’ and ‘inclusive’ is opportunity cost. Put simply, every resource that we divert toward programmes aimed at improving Diversity and Inclusion is a resource that is not available to be used for the Army’s onlyresponsibility: to protect New Zealand. Whether that is in preparing for wars or fighting them (or civil defence). Every man-hour that is spent on ‘cultural awareness training’ or similar programmes is a man-hour that is not spent training for combat or monitoring our enemies. How are they spending their man-hours?
The second key area where Diversity and Inclusion could harm our effectiveness is in recruitment. Recruiting based on a concerted effort to increase Diversity necessarily comes at the expense of recruiting the best candidates. If the current policy of (presumably) recruiting the best candidates for their roles does not produce the desired Diversity outcomes, then the conflict is self-evident. – N. Dell
Diversity must also mean diversity of thought. The essay should not be buried, it should be debated. To gag one of our soldiers in this way, removing what had already been acknowledged as a well-articulated point, simply because the optics of the well-articulated point confronted some who do not share the views espoused, must have nations overseas bending in laughter. – Dane Giraud
You get the feeling that if Judith Collins baked a cake and donated it to orphaned puppies the headlines would read “Collins feeds animal obesity epidemic”. – Neil Miller
It is a stark contrast that this government – which seems so willing to move at increasing breakneck speed with an almost “damn the torpedoes” bravado to implement the policy items that appear dearest to it – appears stubbornly determined to move at near glacial pace on matters immediately affecting the day-to-day lives of New Zealanders. – Peter Dunne
At best, “world-class” is a phrase used by people with brains of tinsel; more often it is an attempt to mislead people into accepting a rotten present on the promise of a supposedly glorious future. – Theodore Dalrymple
For those who worry about stealing vaccines from places that might need it more, fear not. The Government could contract for twice as much as New Zealand might need, with extra doses to be sent to poorer countries via COVAX. Richer countries paying now helps build more production lines for delivering a lot more vaccine to the whole world in a far bigger hurry. It would leave the world much better prepared for new variants as they emerge. Far from being stingy about such things, economists have urged governments to spend a lot more to get vaccines rolled out and broadly distributed far more quickly. – Eric Crampton
We’re becoming intolerant of tolerance – Frank Luntz
It is farmers, other businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators, inventors, scientists, workers, and, not least, households – the whole team of five million – who will get the job done, and at the lowest cost, so long as the overall cap set by the Emissions Trading Scheme (or through a carbon tax) is secure.
The commission’s efforts to predict what will happen in each sector are pointless – not worth the code their models are written in. They result in dozens of goofy pronouncements like: “There will be fewer motor mechanics”. Oh, please.
Also mostly pointless, are the multitude of policy recommendations that pour forth from the report. If the real decision-makers in the economy (i.e. all those listed above) are getting the correct price signal from the ETS, then there is generally no justification for further government intervention. What should be done will be done – Tim Hazledine
And – not so incidentally – the expensive scheme to subsidise purchases of electric vehicles that the commission has foisted on the current government will almost certainly fail the cost-benefit test. Around 90 per cent of the well-heeled beneficiaries of the scheme’s largesse would have purchased an electric car anyway – we have just given them an $8000 present. – Tim Hazledine
When you see the results done at a catchment group level, you can’t help but feel optimistic. If you want change, you need to be very specific. Ultimately, any reform needs to be community-led and science-based. – Mark Adams
Humans respond well to tension, you can’t achieve anything without it. But for real change to occur, we need to develop a culture of innovation rather than a culture of box-ticking. – Mark Adams
It has never been explained how absentee (de facto) landlords such as the government or councils can ensure better outcomes on the newly identified SNAs by devaluing them to the point of becoming real liabilities to the landowner. The eco-puritans are of course fully entitled to deceive themselves as to the benefits of state command and control. They are not entitled to deceive the country. – Gerry Eckhoff
Rather strangely, no environmental organisations or advocates appear to have ever purchased or offered up into state control any land that they personally or collectively owned for conservation. Nor, curiously enough, was it mentioned in the article that private landowners line up to protect environmental values in a QEII Trust covenant to the extent that that trust can barely cope with their requests. – Gerry Eckhoff
So guys, make your choice – avoid some potentially unnecessary stress, or avoid an exceptionally inconvenient truth. Take responsibility for your health and get your PSA tested.
If your doctor says you shouldn’t get a PSA test, get another doctor. – Conor English
There are two types of New Zealanders – those who are quite happy hiding behind Jacinda’s skirts, who don’t see any reason whatsoever to allow “foreigners” in; indeed, they’re reluctant to let New Zealand passport-holders back in. . .But in the meantime, on the other side of the divide, there are those who generate their own living. These are people who are eager to engage with the rest of the world. These Eager Engagers are people who get up every morning and make their own money and provide jobs for other New Zealanders. – Kerre McIvor
Ninety-seven per cent of New Zealand businesses are classified as small-to-medium businesses. They employ three-quarters of New Zealanders and generate more than a quarter of our economic output and they’re doing it tough. Not because they don’t have enough work. But because they simply cannot find reliable, drug-free staff who will help them become more productive.
Pay them more, say the bureaucrats and politicians sitting in their taxpayer-funded offices, drawing their taxpayer-funded salaries. But it’s not that simple. Workers are being paid about as much as businesses can sustain before price rises kick in and products and services become unsustainable. As one commentator said to me, people want to buy their bread for a dollar a loaf and have supermarket workers paid $40 an hour. – Kerre McIvor
If you cut off one of the vital arteries that pump life into New Zealand business, and that’s skilled staff, businesses will wither. As will the tax take. The money to fund New Zealand Inc comes from New Zealand businesspeople and all they have ever asked is for the opportunity to do what they do best. And yet this Government continues to treat them with contempt. A constant complaint is that this Government doesn’t understand business. The reluctance to let skilled workers into the country is another example that reinforces that complaint is justified. – Kerre McIvor
In speaking to Part 2 of this bill tonight, just really wanting to make a point that this report is an example of the fine work of the Office of the Controller and Auditor-General, and this beef that we’re having tonight is with the Government, not the Auditor-General. This is the productivity of the Auditor-General, this is the productivity of an apple orchard [Holds up two apples]. So I would like to propose a tabled amendment—I’ve got a tabled amendment here, and my amendment suggests that we have a new clause 8. So “After clause 7, insert 8 New section 98A, after section 98, insert: 98A Extend the apple picking season—(1) All local Government bodies, where able, for the financial year ending 30 June 2021 should ask that apples stay ripe for the picking of an extra three months. – Barbara Kuriger
I did actually brainstorm with some of my policy staff about what they thought would be appropriate alternative titles for the Annual Reporting and Audit Time Frames Extensions Legislation Bill. And they were pretty good at coming up with, I think, more appropriate names. One said the bill should be the “Skill-shortage Solution Grant Robertson’s Magic Wand Act 2021”. And, oh, that DHBs could have the same magic wand, that they could magic up either staff or extensions of time. I wonder how it would go if—in fact, we know that it’s happening every single day, that the DHB entities that are the subject of the extended reporting requirements in this bill are actually telling their patients they’ve got an extension of time. It’s not an extension of time that they look for if they wanted to have their cancer treatment in a more timely manner or cardiac surgery. So it is a magic wand that Mr Robertson is providing for himself but for no one else.
I think that actually is a nice segue into the second alternative title that we have seen: the “Helpful Government But Not for Business Act 2021”, because we have implored the Government to give relief to business who have severe staffing shortages of their own, and the answer has been no, no, no. And, yet, when it comes to giving financial reporting and audit relief, it’s a yes, yes, yes from this Government.
So that, again, would suggest a title that is “We Don’t Have Solutions for Actual Kiwis Act 2021”. I don’t know about that. I think they do have solutions. They’re staring the Government in the face but they are so blind to the need and the opportunity to maintain and increase economic growth in this country that they simply will not see where the need and the opportunity is. – Michael Woodhouse
This is a tricky message to get across, because after 20 years of nuking our taste buds with bread that’s mostly sugar, Ronald McDonald’s special sauce, chicken vindaloo, deep-fried chicken and crisps made from artificially flavoured carpet underlay, most of us could not tell a beautiful piece of prime beef from a Walnut Whip. – Jeremy Clarkson
Ironically, MIQ, which is often held responsible for restricting the flow of labour into the country, was itself a victim of the labour shortage. – Thomas Couglan
First, and most obviously, the government is acting as a monopsonist. The government is the largest employer of nurses. It is worried that MIQ facilities offering higher pay to attract nurses would bid nurses away from the rest of the health sector, and then force the government to pay nurses more to avoid that happening. For all the government’s push for Fair Pay Agreements and utterly implausible arguments about ‘monopsonistic’ employment conditions requiring a benevolent state to come in and force new pay relations under an Awards system, the only parts of the labour market that work like that are the ones where the government is the monopsonist: teaching and nursing. And in those sectors, the government behaves exactly as you would expect a monopsonist to behave. Maybe that’s why the government sees monopsonists everywhere – it extrapolates from its own conduct. – Eric Crampton
It looks to me like the government ran a near-corrupt tendering process resulting in contracting with a provider who doesn’t even have a validated test, because the Ministry of Health was embarrassed that Rako showed them up. It hasn’t been deployed at anything like scale, and nobody knows whether the test would actually work. – Eric Crampton
We can’t expand MIQ capacity because the government doesn’t want MIQ to be pushing up the cost of nurses for the rest of the health system – and again the Commerce Commission can’t go after this kind of anticompetitive practice, because State protects State.
And we can’t have better testing methods that won’t put pressure on nursing and current testing capacity because the Ministry of Health is embarrassed that Rako could do something that ESR couldn’t manage, and because demonstrating competence in delivery just isn’t the way things are done in New Zealand.
Remember that old “there’s a hole in the bucket” song? It’s that, except there’s a bung for the hole sitting right there, and MoH refuses to use it and prefers to bleat endlessly about the axe not being sharp enough, the whetstone being too dry, and there being a hole in the bucket preventing getting the water to wet the stone. – Eric Crampton
Incidentally, “Public Interest Journalism Fund” strikes me as a bit of a mouthful, and time-consuming to type, besides. So I’m giving it a shorter, punchier name: the Pravda Project, after the old Soviet Union’s esteemed official press organ, on the assumption that the PIJF will exhibit the same fearless independence and unstinting commitment to the truth. – Karl du Fresne
We’ve always suffered the loss of our best and brightest who seek out life in countries run by grown-ups. I’m picking a massive exodus in the immediate years ahead by freedom lovers, tired of nanny-statism and blatant “front of the vaccination queue” lying. – Bob Jones
You don’t save money by spending billions of dollars and employing thousands of people. It just doesn’t stack up. – Dan Gordon
What we want and need is to see the information, not hear the PR spin. – Dan Gordon
The first good decision the British government took was to bypass its own civil service in appointing a very successful venture capitalist with a background in biochemistry and pharmaceuticals, Kate Bingham, as the head of its vaccine procurement and vaccination strategy agency. She took on this role without pay, and her success has reinforced my belief that management at the highest level of public administration ought to be amateur rather than professional: amateur in the sense of being unpaid and undertaken from a sense of public duty, not in the sense that it should be amateurish, as so much professional management is. Those who act temporarily at this level without pay have no vested interest in complicating matters or in institutional empire-building, and insofar as they have a personal interest, it is in the glory of successful accomplishment. – Theodore Dalrymple
Farming could be a joy but really it’s a bloody nightmare. – Jim Macdonald
Voters hate inflation. Wages never catch up to prices. Interest rate rises devastate households with mortgages. Voters punish governments that cannot guarantee the buying power of our money. – Richard Prebble
Nothing causes an election loss more certainly than our money losing value. – Richard Prebble
The Government’s vaccine programme is running behind schedule, the trans-Tasman bubble is looking decidedly deflated, it has welched on several key transport election commitments and is building a bicycle and pedestrian bridge across the Auckland Harbour Bridge that doesn’t look like it could possibly pass any sensible cost-benefit analysis. – Luke Malpass
I’ll tell you what we did this week: we stuck up for business. We stuck up for the inconsistency that exists between the ‘suck it up’ approach by this Government to the severe staffing shortages that are a handbrake on this economy and a Government that gives itself a pass for teachers and for auditors. – Michael Woodhouse
We need to ensure that any price mechanism is correctly set so that we don’t have emissions leakage offshore. Reducing production in the most efficient country in the world to have it replaced offshore makes no sense. If we get this price mechanism wrong then we get a situation that could inadvertently cause us to make changes on our farm that may reduce overall emissions but perhaps lose some of the efficiency and world leading footprint. Let’s not forget it’s that footprint which is what these supposedly discerning customers are after.
We get this wrong and it could have major implications for our economy and not do diddly squat with regards to climate change. So, industry and government officials need the time to focus on this in the coming months, not be bogged down with even more legislation and work. – Andrew Hoggard
The government can’t do much about a global pandemic, but there are some steps it could take that would give people some hope. Firstly, we already have people in the country who are in a limbo land with regards to visas, and are being lured offshore, so let’s stop buggering around, if they are here, have a clean record, have a job – give them residency. – Andrew Hoggard
The Government needs to understand the burden that is being placed on people in the ag sector right now. Our sector is doing the heavy lifting to bring in export revenue, and yet while our farmers and growers are doing this often short staffed all these other pressures I have just mentioned are weighing down on them and potentially going to add to their workload. For a government that talks about wellbeing a lot, they seem to have forgotten about it with regards to rural NZ.
Overall, my message to the government is we need to organise the workplan better. We have a siloed haphazard approach right now, that is causing stress and anxiety for many. Not just for farmers and growers, but other sectors and quite frankly probably the government’s own officials. – Andrew Hoggard
The Government will only have itself to blame if next local body elections sees a tide of councillors elected on a platform opposing Three Waters and development. Over the past four years, it’s contributed to rates rises across the country as part of effectively forcing councils to spend more on water infrastructure ahead of the Three Waters reforms, which will likely culminate in water assets effectively being seized. – Thomas Couglan
They only seem to have four sports in New Zealand at the moment, that’s rugby, cricket, netball and bashing farmers, and farmers and rural people have really just had enough of this.
We’re the ones doing the heavy lifting in the economy, in fact we’re just about all the economy at the moment, and we just really want common sense solutions to things. – Laurie Paterson
It remains to be seen whether funding from the proceeds of crime ends up funding the precedes of more crime. – James Elliott
Metropolitan centres may be where the majority of votes exist, but we need a fair New Zealand which allows all Kiwis to thrive economically, environmentally, socially, and culturally. – Gary Kircher
Farming isn’t all sunshine and daffodils. It’s about life and the death that inevitably accompanies it. It’s working in the mud, making stuff-ups that potentially impact your staff, or your animals. Farming is looking at bare, parched paddocks in March and wondering where the heck you’re going to shift those steers to next. Sometimes, farming can make you cry. – Nicky Berger
And farming is very real. It is connected to the very real earth beneath our feet, to the precious waters that fall from the sky to help our plants and animals thrive. Sometimes it’s about reaping rewards, and sometimes it’s about making hard decisions. – Nicky Berger
Jacinda Ardern must understand that organised crime is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop – until her Government decides to stop it. – Chris Trotter
An overly zealous implementation of any new hate speech law poses the biggest threat. Without extremely clear limits and guidelines on its application leaving bureaucrats and the courts to fill in the gaps, the risk of unintended consequences arising is high. And that, in turn, poses the greatest risk to our future freedom of speech, thought and opinion. – Peter Dunne
I wonder how many urban New Zealanders would be willing to give up the cheap overseas imports that make their lives more enjoyable and comfortable and buy eye-wateringly more expensive furniture and clothes and cars made by New Zealanders getting a decent wage. – Kerre McIvor
Farmers aren’t Luddites. You don’t get to be the most carbon-efficient dairy producers in the world by ignoring science and innovation. – Kerre McIvor
Still, the Prime Minister would do well to remember the shower regulations that, in part, scuttled Helen Clark’s chances of an historic fourth term. It was just another nanny state policy from a Government increasingly interfering in the lives of its citizens and it was the final straw for voters. Sound familiar? – Kerre McIvor
Critics are swatted away with a moral argument – there are other countries more deserving.
That plays well to Ardern’s compassionate image, but it’s cynical. In reality, we are not safe until we are all safe, and it makes more sense for the countries with infrastructure capability to get on and vaccinate populations while others get up to speed. – Andrea Vance
Ultimately, the Government is responsible for delivering the programme. If on-the-ground processes need to be fixed, ministers should get on and do it rather than pretending all is running smoothly.
For now, they’re reassuring us Pfizer will send more stock – enough for 750,000 people in August.
We can only trust that this is enough to keep the intended nationwide roll-out on course.
But if Hipkins and Ardern persist in their White King and Queen double-act, while the rest of us experience more delays on the other side of the Looking Glass they will squander that trust, and patience will run out. – Andrea Vance
Each pastoral lease has its own inherent values and no government official could have a better grasp of that than the family who lives there. – Jacqui Dean
It’s naïve to think that when land is left to nature that only the good things grow. I’ve seen how wilding pines and other vegetation have been allowed to take over thousands of hectares of precious land right through the South Island and it’s a sorry sight. – Jacqui Dean
As every proponent of freedom of expression must allow, the right to it is not an unqualified one. The standard way of explaining why is to cite the case of someone shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theatre when there is no fire. Because it can do harm, and because it can be used irresponsibly, there has to be an understanding of when free speech has to be constrained. But given its fundamental importance, the default has to be that free speech is inviolate except … where the dots are filled in with a specific, strictly limited, case-by-case, powerfully justified, one-off set of utterly compelling reasons why in this particular situation alone there must be a restraint on speech. Note the words specific,strictly limited, case-by-case, powerfully justified, one-off, utterly compelling, in this particular situation alone. Give any government, any security service, any policing authority, any special interest group such as a religious organization or a political party, any prude or moralizer, any zealot of any kind, the power to shut someone else up, and they will leap at it. Hence the absolute need for stating that any restraint of free speech can only be specific,strictly limited, case-by-case, powerfully justified, one-off, utterly compelling, in this particular situation alone. – A.C. Grayling
“Hate speech” is an important matter, but here one has to be careful to note that hate speech can only justifiably be linked to aspects of people they cannot choose—sex, sexuality, ethnicity, age, and disability if any—whereas their political or religious affiliations, dress sense, voluntary sexual conduct, and the like, are and should be open season for criticism, challenge, and even mockery. Most votaries of religions attempt to smuggle “religion” into the “age, sex, disability” camp, and though it might be thought an instance of the last of these, it is not sufficiently so to merit immunity from challenge and satire. – A.C. Grayling
A particular aspect of freedom of expression that has much importance is “academic freedom.” This is the freedom of those who teach, research and study in academic institutions such as universities and colleges, to pursue enquiry without interference. The pursuit of knowledge and understanding is hampered, if not derailed altogether, by external control of what can be studied; and the silencing of teachers and researchers, especially if they make discoveries unpalatable to one or another source of authority, stands in direct opposition to the quest for truth.
It is a widely and tenaciously held view among all involved with academies of higher education in the world’s liberal democracies that freedom to teach, research and study is essential for the communication of ideas, for formulation of the criticism, dissent and innovation required for the health of a society, and for the intellectual quality of its culture. Censorship and political control over enquiry lead to the kind of consequences exemplified by the debacle of biological science in the Soviet Union which followed the attempt to conduct it on dialectical-materialist principles, concomitantly with the expulsion of “bourgeois” biologists from laboratories and universities. – A.C. Grayling
The intellectual life of Western countries happens almost exclusively outside universities; within their humanities departments jargon-laden nit-picking, the project of speculating polysyllabically more and more about matters of less and less importance, consumes time, energy and resources in a way that sometimes makes even some of its own beneficiaries, in their honest moments, gasp. – A.C. Grayling
And having said all that, I shall now retract some of the cynicism (which, experto crede, has enough justification to warrant it), and repeat the most significant of the points made above, which is this: it matters that there should be places where ideas are generated and debated, criticized, analysed and generally tossed about, some of them absurd, some of them interesting, a few of them genuinely significant. For this to happen there has to be freedom to moot radical, controversial, silly, new, unexpected thoughts, and to discuss them without restraint. Universities are one of those places; humanities departments within them make a contribution to this, and as such justify at least some of the cost they represent to society. For this academic freedom, as an instance of freedom of speech more generally, is vital. – A.C. Grayling
Ironically, the whole point of freedom of speech, from its beginning, has been to enable people to sort things out without resorting to violence. – Greg Lukianoff
Yes, a strong distinction between the expression of opinion and violence is a social construct, but it’s one of the best social constructs for peaceful coexistence, innovation and progress that’s ever been invented. Redefining the expression of opinion as violence is a formula for a chain reaction of endless violence, repression and regression. – Greg Lukianoff
Historically, freedom of speech has been justified as part of a system for resolving disputes without resort to actual violence. Acceptance of freedom of speech is a way to live with genuine conflict among points of view (which has always existed) without resorting to coercive force. – Greg Lukianoff
Being a citizen in a democratic republic is supposed to be challenging; it’s supposed to ask something of its citizens. It requires a certain minimal toughness—and commitment to self-governing—to become informed about difficult issues and to argue, organize and vote accordingly. As the Supreme Court observed in 1949, in Terminiello v. Chicago, speech “may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger.”
The only model that asks nothing of its citizens in terms of learning, autonomy and decision-making is the authoritarian one. By arguing that freedom from speech is often more important than freedom of speech, advocates unwittingly embrace the nineteenth-century (anti-)speech justification for czarist power: the idea that the Russian peasant has the best kind of freedom, the freedom from the burden of freedom itself (because it surely is a burden). – Greg Lukianoff
Freedom of speech includes small l liberal values that were once expressed in common American idioms like to each his own, everyone’s entitled to their opinion and it’s a free country. These cultural values appear in legal opinions too; as Justice Robert H. Jackson noted in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, “Compulsory unification of opinion achieves only the unanimity of the graveyard.” – Greg Lukianoff
A belief in free speech means you should be slow to label someone as utterly dismissible for their opinions. Of course you can kick an asshole out of your own house, but that’s very different from kicking a person out of an open society or a public forum. – Greg Lukianoff
And I don’t just believe that cracking down on hate speech failed to decrease intolerance, I think there is solid grounds to believe that it helped increase it. After all, censorship doesn’t generally change people’s opinions, but it does make them more likely to talk only to those with whom they already agree. And what happens when people only talk to politically similar people? The well documented effect of group/political polarization takes over, and the speaker, who may have moderated her belief when exposed to dissenting opinions, becomes more radicalized in the direction of her hatred, through the power of group polarization. – Greg Lukianoff
I want to highlight one last argument very briefly: free speech is valuable, first and foremost, because, without it, there is no way to know the world as it actually is. Understanding human perceptions, even incorrect ones, is always of scientific or scholarly value, and, in a democracy, it is essential to know what people really believe. This is my “pure informational theory of freedom of speech.” To think that, without openness, we can know what people really believe is not only hubris, but magical thinking. The process of coming to knowing the world as it is is much more arduous than we usually appreciate. It starts with this: recognize that you are probably wrong about any number of things, exercise genuine curiosity about everything (including each other), and always remember that it is better to know the world as it really is—and that the process of finding that out never ends. – Greg Lukianoff
The fact the protesters were well behaved and the protests had such a huge turnout made it impossible to dismiss them as the actions of a small number of radicals or perennially disaffected farmers. It was a big swathe of grassroots New Zealand on the move. – Graham Adams
The people must be trusted with fear, and the governing class must be comfortable with leadership during times of crisis. Fear is an unpleasant emotion— but at times, a useful one. Fear lends urgency to action. Fear forces the afraid to focus on that which matters. This is the great lesson of the 2020 coronavirus: We should have been allowed to fear. Alas, our leaders feared our fear more than they feared our deaths. The world bears the consequences of this stark faith in the myth of panic. – Tanner Greer
This is the sad reality of entrepreneurship internationally, particularly around women’s health, where men go and attempt to solve a problem that doesn’t actually exist. They don’t only then get the investment dollars to make it happen, they also then have the opportunity to create and market a product in such a way that is pushes people to believe they need it. – Angela Priestley
Indeed, what these founders are essentially creating is another “pink tax” — where women pay the additional cost of “feminine” marketing and colours for a product that is often already available or, worse, that they don’t need at all. – Angela Priestley
First, and most obviously, no one in NZ should be working anywhere near the international border unless they are vaccinated and wearing a mask.
Secondly, the NZ government needs to be well prepared in advance of any outbreak. That means having significant capacity in contact tracing and Covid testing before trouble strikes. It is no good trying to build that capacity during an emergency.
Thirdly, there is no future in lockdowns, closed borders, and quarantine. Citizens will grow increasingly frustrated with them and, inevitably, less compliant. Rapid and comprehensive vaccination is vital in New Zealand like everywhere else. It offers the only possible path out of the Covid-19 dilemma (including any future variants). – Ross Stitt
Being well meaning is no excuse for the racial division the government is promoting with its endless excuses for maori failure and maori privilege. – Bob Jones
Meaning well is no excuse for causing harm. The government is causing enormous divisive damage to our social fabric by catering to the dying Stuff’s type maori wonderful nonsense. It will be a key reason they’re run out of office in two years time. – Bob Jones
The country is now overwhelmed by a wave of economic capacity issues most of which are linked in some way to severely reduced migration and border flows. – Dileepa Fonseka
If you were a migrant and feeling angry about how things have gone since lockdown you might take a strange sort of comfort in the way inflation has spiked, job vacancy advertisements have soared, job re-training budgets have proven woefully inadequate to the task of retraining people, and employers have been unable to fill vacancies. – Dileepa Fonseka
As a rule, farmers stay beneath the radar, unseen and unheard, going about their business producing milk for our lattes and kiwifruit for our smoothies. The parade was peaceful and wonderfully managed. The awful placards that were shared on social media were not representative of the wider sentiment. – Anna Campbell
As I reflected on the protest and pondered why the protest was important, I decided it comes down to this — respect. Farmers are in the middle of change, they know that and they are adapting. Farmers listen and take on sensible policies — we have seen this over many years — but when they are spoken to like naughty schoolchildren and treated like idiots, they react in a different manner. – Anna Campbell
Farming is complex, there are different types of farming activities, from cropping to livestock, from horticulture to forestry. There are different landscapes — New Zealand would have some of the most varied farming landscapes in the world. With differing landscapes there are differing soils, terrains, micro-climates and waterways. Blanket policies forced down people’s throats by inflexible bureaucrats who have barely stepped on a farm, won’t lead to successful change. – Anna Campbell
Farmers don’t want a top-down, telling-off, they want to make their communities the best places they can be and they want to make their children proud to be part of a rural community — so proud, that they want to come back and live in those communities as adults. – Anna Campbell
Farmers, keep up the amazing work that underpins our country’s economy, keep up the changes you are making, there is more support out there for you than you realise. Climate change is society’s problem and we all need to be involved in the solutions. – Anna Campbell
“It is aimed at saying to people of goodwill that this is a project where this country has done very well – it is bipartisan project – and yes there will be tensions and everyone will get up one another’s nose on a regular basis but it is worth the effort.
Other countries have problems; we have a project. – Chris Finlayson
As a liberal conservative, I have always had a healthy scepticism of the ability of governments to do good. –
We should not forget that our small size and unitary system can lend itself to radical and innovative solutions when required. Things can change fast. – Chris Finlayson
Young people who play sport, waka ama or kapa haka do not join gangs. – Richard Prebble
I think the further we go, the more we find that there is a real rowdy faction that are actively trying to cause division; that have agendas that perhaps aren’t in the best interest of New Zealand as a whole, and definitely not in the best interest of rural people. . . I think we are really finding out how small of a minority they are. They’re just very rowdy, that’s all. Maybe it’s time we become a little bit more rowdy ourselves. – Bryce McKenzie
Everyone agrees with the big picture direction, but these policies, regulations and legislation are coming out in random orders. It’s like there’s not a workplan behind it. – Andrew Hoggard
Maybe we’ve just been a little too polite. Maybe we need to be blunter. For the average farmer, the key point is they all want their kids to be swimming in the local rivers that run through their farms. At the end of the day we all want our farms to be better for the next generation, but we don’t want to spend all day filling in forms. – Andrew Hoggard
Wine is liquid geography. And the Waitaki terroir, particularly that of Clos Ostler, is unique in the world of wine. – Jim Jeram
Herein we find the first issue that teachers will find problematic to navigate–it is not obvious that Pākehā have been intentionally manipulating society to suit themselves. There are ethnic groups in New Zealand, many who start from humble beginnings, that not only do better than Māori and Pasifika but also do better than Pākehā too. – Dr Paul Crowhurst
Yet this latest form of racism that teachers must address can’t even be seen because apparently it is so deep in our psyche that we don’t know it is there. Unconscious bias is hard to define and identify, meaning it will be very difficult to teach. And, we thought getting algebra across to kids was tricky. – Dr Paul Crowhurst
I expect that Unteaching Racism is founded on the good motive of addressing disparities in New Zealand society. However, the disparate outcomes we can see do not necessarily mean that New Zealand society is fundamentally racist or proves that there are less opportunities for some groups.
Growing up in Auckland I had much the same opportunity as a number of athletes who have grown up near me and have developed their talent to a point where they have gone to the Olympics. Alas, my athletic career has not moved past the status of keen amateur. Same opportunities, different outcome. – Dr Paul Crowhurst
Life outcomes are far more complex than the sum of opportunities that we have or haven’t received. This points towards the great elephant in our classrooms. What about the opportunities that all New Zealanders do have? What about New Zealand privilege?
The pristine environment, a comparatively accessible social welfare system, free public education, and cultural icons to be proud of like our beaches, The All Blacks and Taika Waititi movies. If there is a list of great privileges in the world, living in New Zealand should be one of them. – Dr Paul Crowhurst
As part of the current wellbeing movement we are told that gratitude is key to a happy and meaningful life. It is here that perhaps the greatest concern lies with regard to unteaching racism.
We are going to miss all that we have achieved as a nation, while descending into a state of introspection that encourages people to resent one another. – Dr Paul Crowhurst
Young people in Aotearoa are living in a less segregated, more affluent, more culturally aware society than ever before.
Our teachers should be motivating our rangatahi of all cultural backgrounds by focusing on our progress and the many reasons young people of all racial groups can realise their potential in our wonderful country. – Dr Paul Crowhurst
But perhaps the biggest deal-breaker for a freedom timetable is one the Government would not admit publicly: 18 months into the crisis, this country is not yet on top of testing and enforcement to protect those living here, let alone to cope with more folk coming and going.
One of the most disillusioning let-downs of the entire pandemic is the Government – having belatedly decided all border workers must be vaccinated, as the experts have been imploring – saying it cannot muster the logistical capacity to complete that until October. The definition of “urgent” and “compulsory” must have changed while we weren’t paying attention. – Jane Clifton
A road map that starts with a ruddy great U-turn is no use to anyone. Although, to be fair, the sanctimonious would get a bloody-minded kick out of it. – Jane Clifton
Pitting sex against gender identity in sports policies has caused a collision of incompatible, competing rights. In the name of inclusion, however, international and national sports authorities and organisations are allowing transgender athletes to compete in the category that is the opposite of the sex they were born. Nobody wants to be seen as failing to play along with this notion of progressivism, nobody wants to be accused of failing to demonstrate sufficient allegiance, but nobody is stopping to think about what “inclusion” actually means.
When males are included in the female category, what happens to the women and girls? They miss a spot on the team, they self-exclude, they are withdrawn by their parents, they are silenced if they resist, they lose out on the opportunity for prizes and scholarships and are threatened with loss of sponsorship. Inclusion really means exclusion for women and girls. – Katherine Deves
Due to their androgenised bodies, biological males have substantial and observable performance advantages that are simply insurmountable for a female of comparative age, size and training. – Katherine Deves
When boys hit mid-teens, the differences between the sexes become acute and their performances begin to surpass those of the most elite females. Allyson Felix, the fastest woman in the world, is annually beaten by 15,000 men and boys. The world champion US women’s soccer team were beaten by under-15 schoolboys 5-2, as were the Australian Matildas by under-16 schoolboys, 7-0.
No matter how hard a female athlete trains, how many sacrifices she makes, or how naturally talented she is, a male’s physiology gives him greater speed, strength, size and stamina. – Katherine Deves
We divide sports by age, by weight in combat sports, by size in children’s collision and contact sports, and yes, by sex, as a necessary, reasonable and proportionate means of ensuring the benefits of athletic success are available within those protected categories. – Katherine Deves
Backed by mounting evidence and the rising chorus of voices that object to the mockery inclusion policies make of female sports, there is an easy answer to this problem. The female sports category must be protected for biological females, and men must start being more accepting and inclusive of gender non-conforming males instead of expecting women and girls to sacrifice the opportunity to play safely and fairly in their own sports.– Katherine Deves
How is it possible that Britain’s best-selling author, a woman credited with having encouraged an entire generation of children to read more books, can be subjected to such gutter abuse and threats of murder and yet the prime minister says nothing? And the Guardian shuffles its feet? And the literary set carries on chatting about what fun last month’s Hay Festival was, pretending not to notice the thousands of people calling one of their number a disgusting old hag who should be forced to fellate strangers or, better still, murdered with a pipe bomb? It’s because ours is an era of moral cowardice. Of fainthearts and wimps. An era in which far too many who should know better have made that most craven of calculations – ‘If I keep quiet, maybe they won’t come for me’. – Brendan O’Neill
No one who believes in freedom, reason and equality can stand by and watch this happen. Watch as the reality of sex is erased by trans activists promoting the hocus-pocus view that some men have ‘female brains’. And as words like woman, mother and breastfeeding are scrubbed from official documents to avoid offending the infinitesimally small number of campaigners who think their feelings matter more than our common language. And as female writers, columnists, professors and campaigners are censored and threatened merely for discussing sex and gender. And as JK Rowling is transformed into an enemy of decency deserving full, Stalinist destruction of her reputation and her life. – Brendan O’Neill
Radical leftists’ incessant branding of any woman who questions the ideology of transgenderism as a bigot or a TERF – a 21st-century word for witch – is the foundation upon which much of the more unspeakable hatred for sceptical women like Ms Rowling is built. – Brendan O’Neill
In many ways, the liberal elite’s silence over the abuse of JK Rowling is worse than the abuse itself. The hateful, threatening messages come from people who have clearly lost touch with morality, who have been so corrupted by the narcisssim of identity politics and the delusions of the transgender lobby that they have come to view those who question their worldview as trash, essentially as subhuman, and thus requiring ritualistic humiliation and excommunication from normal society. But the quiet ones in the political and literary worlds are making a greater moral error. Because they know that what is happening to Ms Rowling is wrong, and horrific, but they opt not to speak about it because they want to avoid the attention of the mob. Like the identitarian persecutors of Ms Rowling, they put their own feelings – in this case, their narrow desire for an untroubled life – above doing what is right and true.
They think this will save their skin. How wrong they are. It should be clear to everyone by now that looking the other way as woke mobs set upon wrongthinkers and speechcriminals does not dampen down these people’s feverish urge to persecute those who offend them. On the contrary, it emboldens them. – Brendan O’Neill
The forces of unreason, illiberalism and denunciation that are now central to woke activism, and especially trans activism, cannot be countered by keeping quiet. They won’t just fade away. They have to be confronted, forcefully, with clear arguments in favour of freedom of speech, rational discussion and women’s rights. It’s the Rowling Test – will you or will you not speak out against the misogynistic persecution of JK Rowling and others who have been found guilty of thoughtcrime by the kangaroo courts of the regressive regime of wokeness? Right now, many are failing this test, miserably. – Brendan O’Neill
It is, I’d argue, the sudden, rapid, stunning shift in the belief system of the American elites. It has sent the whole society into a profound cultural dislocation. It is, in essence, an ongoing moral panic against the specter of “white supremacy,” which is now bizarrely regarded as an accurate description of the largest, freest, most successful multiracial democracy in human history.
We all know it’s happened. The elites, increasingly sequestered within one political party and one media monoculture, educated by colleges and private schools that have become hermetically sealed against any non-left dissent, have had a “social justice reckoning” these past few years. And they have been ideologically transformed, with countless cascading consequences. – Andrew Sullivan
This is the media hub of the “social justice movement.” And the core point of that movement, its essential point, is that liberalism is no longer enough. Not just not enough, but itself a means to perpetuate “white supremacy,” designed to oppress, harm and terrorize minorities and women, and in dire need of dismantling. That’s a huge deal. And it explains a lot.
The reason “critical race theory” is a decent approximation for this new orthodoxy is that it was precisely this exasperation with liberalism’s seeming inability to end racial inequality in a generation that prompted Derrick Bell et al. to come up with the term in the first place, and Kimberlé Crenshaw to subsequently universalize it beyond race to every other possible dimension of human identity (“intersectionality”). – Andrew Sullivan
The movement is much broader than race — as anyone who is dealing with matters of sex and gender will tell you. The best moniker I’ve read to describe this mishmash of postmodern thought and therapy culture ascendant among liberal white elites is Wesley Yang’s coinage: “the successor ideology.” The “structural oppression” is white supremacy, but that can also be expressed more broadly, along Crenshaw lines: to describe a hegemony that is saturated with “anti-Blackness,” misogyny, and transphobia, in a miasma of social “cis-heteronormative patriarchal white supremacy.” And the term “successor ideology” works because it centers the fact that this ideology wishes, first and foremost, to repeal and succeed a liberal society and democracy. – Andrew Sullivan
In the successor ideology, there is no escape, no refuge, from the ongoing nightmare of oppression and violence — and you are either fighting this and “on the right side of history,” or you are against it and abetting evil. There is no neutrality. No space for skepticism. No room for debate. No space even for staying silent. (Silence, remember, is violence — perhaps the most profoundly anti-liberal slogan ever invented.)
And that tells you about the will to power behind it. Liberalism leaves you alone. The successor ideology will never let go of you. Liberalism is only concerned with your actions. The successor ideology is concerned with your mind, your psyche, and the deepest recesses of your soul. Liberalism will let you do your job, and let you keep your politics private. S.I. will force you into a struggle session as a condition for employment. – Andrew Sullivan
A plank of successor ideology, for example, is that the only and exclusive reason for racial inequality is “white supremacy.” Culture, economics, poverty, criminality, family structure: all are irrelevant, unless seen as mere emanations of white control. Even discussing these complicated factors is racist, according to Ibram X Kendi. – Andrew Sullivan
We are going through the greatest radicalization of the elites since the 1960s. This isn’t coming from the ground up. It’s being imposed ruthlessly from above, marshaled with a fusillade of constant MSM propaganda, and its victims are often the poor and the black and the brown. – Andrew Sullivan
But one reason to fight for liberalism against the successor ideology is that its extremes are quite obviously fomenting and facilitating and inspiring ever-rising fanaticism in response.- Andrew Sullivan
We can and must still fight and argue for what we believe in: a liberal democracy in a liberal society. This fight will not end if we just ignore it or allow ourselves to be intimidated by it, or join the tribal pile-ons. – Andrew Sullivan
Change requires buy-in and it’s obvious that the opportunities that await along the road to greater sustainability haven’t been sold to those who are being asked to make the journey.
At the moment those opportunities are being obscured by rules, costs and uncertainty. – Bryan Gibson
Timing might be everything in sport, and it will be 11 years before we can say whether the Queensland capital’s rescue package for the Games will have been years ahead of the curve or embarrassingly behind it. Brisbane will either be the wide-eyed yokel who marvelled at the good fortune of being the only bidder in an empty auction house, or it will be the genius who snapped up the greatest bargain on Earth. – Malcolm Knox
What is clear is that every New Zealander will pay heavily for a gold-plated water standard, decided by government. And affordability has not even been discussed.
The governance structure has been proposed as 50% councils who have put in 100% of the assets and 50% Iwi, an unusual situation to say the least. – Bruce Smith
Where exhibitionism is a means of achievement (and for many people the only means of achievement), it is hardly surprising—indeed, it is perfectly logical—that public conduct should become ever more outlandish, for what was once outlandish becomes so commonplace that it ceases to attract notice.
And in an age of celebrity, not to be noticed is not to exist; not to be famed even within a small circle is to experience humiliation.
To have melted unseen and unnoticed into a crowd is to be a complete failure and is the worst of fates, even if by doing so one performs useful work. If Descartes were alive today, he would say not ‘I think, therefore I am’, but ‘I am famous, therefore I am’.
Celebrity has become a desideratum in itself, disconnected from any achievement that might justifiably result in it. – Theodore Dalrymple
The vaccine programme – in a broader political sense – is just about the only thing that matters. It’s the ticket back to something like normality, and it is going to be the only thing that’s going to shift the dial on who can travel where, and with what level of convenience. Luke Malpass
We may be sure that this is mere Orwell-speak for: “criticism shall henceforth be conflated with incitement, and thus, criminalised.” Any dissent from the dictatorship’s Woke-Fascist agenda will be imprisonable.
Criticism of what, exactly? Well, more than anything the Woke-Fascist regime wants to criminalise criticism of Islam, whether that criticism be long and erudite or crude and succinct. Say “Islam sucks,” and you’ll go to jail. (Say “Christianity sucks” and nothing will happen at all. Ditto “Atheism sucks.” Neither should anything happen. I’m an atheist, but I defend to the death the right of any religious person to his or her beliefs, and of me to mine.) Islamic leaders were demanding this within hours of the Christchurch mosque slaughter. Liberty-lovers must continue to reserve the right to proclaim that Islam does suck, and the horror of that slaughter does not mitigate the horror of Islam. – Lindsay Perigo
This is the “social cohesion” so avidly promoted by the Royal Commission. What it really is is coerced conformity. Society will “cohere” because there’s a government gun at everybody’s head.
The zombified young (moronnials), far from being fired up in defence of freedom, have been lobotomised and brainwashed into believing that freedom is a patriarchal, capitalistic, White Supremacist ruse. The media have become the regime’s lickspittles. A sisterhood of snowflakes has overtaken Academia. Infantile “feelings” and Thunberg tantrums have supplanted logic, reason and their indispensable crucible, open and forthright debate. Fry-quacking, upward-inflecting wannabe umbragees get out of bed each day, if they get out of bed at all, just to find someone to be umbraged by; now they’ll have the satisfaction of seeing their umbrager jailed, as well as cancelled, sacked, censored, doxxed or otherwise lynched by the repulsive mindless Woke-Fascist mob on “social” media. –Lindsay Perigo
Rather than entrenching totalitarianism, let us boldly proclaim that there is indeed no such thing as a right not to be offended, and that the precept, “I disagree with what you say but defend to the death your right to say it” should permeate all social discourse and be emblazoned across the sky. – Lindsay Perigo
For monetary policy to work, the public needs to believe that the central bank is serious about controlling inflation. Cutting inflation means taking politically unpopular decisions, like raising interest rates and creating unemployment. – Damien Grant
Low interest rates and printed cash goosed an economy populated by two generations that had never seen inflation. They assumed rising prices and asset values meant they were rich. It was an illusion. Output didn’t change. Only the amount of cash chasing the same amount of goods and services did. The cost of this is now clear: inflation.
The Reserve Bank looks like an organisation in disarray. It terminated the money-printing spigot without warning. Because Orr has been so libertine when it comes to inflation, he may decide a hard money policy is needed to convince the market he’s now serious about price stability and creating unnecessary economic disruption as a consequence. – Damien Grant
A new governor with a tight inflation mandate will not have to drop the monetary hammer to convince the market they are serious about keeping inflation under control. Orr should do the honourable thing and resign. If he doesn’t, Robertson should fire him. – Damien Grant
In a nutshell, it’s essentially that we’re demonising synthetic plastic carpet fibres and obviously promoting the virtues of our beautifully homegrown wool. – Rochelle Flint
It’s quite clear that you know, Sydney isn’t immune from morons as well – David Elliott
If tens of thousands of people all over the country challenging private land rights, freshwater and taxes can only make the front page 50 per cent of the time, then we need to have a debate around how our conversations are being shaped and what priority we put on those conversations. – Shane Reti
It is hard not to feel that the Government and much of the country are somehow, incredibly, asleep at the wheel. Eighteen months into a deadly pandemic, we are balanced on the edge of a precipice and yet New Zealand seems to be blissfully unaware. – Bill Ralston
Has anyone noticed that Fortress New Zealand, our bastion against infection, has some huge holes in its crumbling walls? A stubborn number of border workers have still not been inoculated. Months have passed and the Government has been reluctant to force them to do so because of its concerns about personal freedoms. – Bill Ralston
The Government refuses to give us a road map of how we can exit Covid-19. Why? Because it doesn’t have one and it doesn’t want to alarm us. Our politicians are sleepwalking through this crisis and we haven’t noticed. – Bill Ralston
It must be a terrifying time for the families of police officers. It’s always been a dangerous job but the violence and unpredictability of offenders has really ramped up over the past few years. And I’m not being emotive or depending on unreliable memory when I say that – figures show the rate of gun crime increased during 2018 and 2019. We can only imagine what the stats are going to look like for this year. – Kerre McIvor
On a number of occasions, during her interview on Newstalk ZB and in subsequent interviews, Williams stressed that she was representing the Māori and Pacific communities of South Auckland – they were her people.
Which would be fine if she was Minister for Pacific Peoples. Or the MP for Manurewa or Māngere. But she’s not. She’s MP for Christchurch East. Of course, her role will be informed by her experiences as a New Zealander of Cook Island descent, and as a woman and in her previous work outside government. But she can’t just pick and choose who she represents as it suits her.
First and foremost, I would have thought a police minister would have the interests of police at heart. Then New Zealanders as a whole. Not just the sectors most dear to her heart.
There must be nothing more disillusioning than hearing your minister rabbiting on about unconscious bias and systemic racism as you put on your uniform and head out to work, not knowing with 100 per cent certainty that you’ll make it home that night. – Kerre McIvor
The men and women I’ve spoken to, from chief supers to constables, somehow, magically, have kept their faith in humanity and believe they are there to serve their community. They have got our backs.
If only we, and especially their minister, offered them the same respect and protection. – Kerre McIvor
Anything is tolerable if it is temporary, especially if you are living to the promise of “building back better”, but what if the pain isn’t fleeting but permanent, or what you are building isn’t better, but worse? – Dileepa Fonseka
Hastily set up systems, like the one created for managed isolation bookings, are fine if they are some sort of pit stop on the way to a new normal, but not if they are where we are supposed to end up.
Yet there is a real fear disruptive elements of the pandemic, like the chaos in international shipping, are set to become permanent fixtures. – Dileepa Fonseka
Yet it is clearly going to be unconscionable to use the MIQ system for business travel while citizens in need are effectively locked out of it and families of critical workers like teachers and healthcare professions are not able to use them either.
Surely this will all be fixed soon, you say? You would hope so, but if the pandemic has taught us anything it is that we shouldn’t assume it will be fixed either. – Dileepa Fonseka
The inescapable fact of the matter is that neither Faafoi nor the Prime Minister appears well equipped intellectually to lead a debate on such a complicated and demanding topic. – Graham Adams
And if Ardern and Faafoi can’t even offer convincing examples of what kinds of speech might or might not be deemed criminally hateful, they should count themselves extremely lucky that no interviewer has been cruel enough to ask them more challenging philosophical questions about the proposed changes.
One obvious question is why political opinion should be excluded if religious beliefs are included — which they almost certainly will be after the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the mosque murders recommended they should be and the Labour Party manifesto promised they would be.
Religions, of course, are ideologies just as political doctrines are — even if the former are rooted in the supernatural realm and the latter in the secular. Both often involve deeply held convictions about how society should be organised; followers of both systems of belief are sometimes willing to die for the cause; they often inspire loyalties that are passed within families from generation to generation; and both political and religious adherents are constantly imploring others to accept the righteousness and necessity of their views.
Furthermore, the two are often intertwined with religious beliefs that form the basis of political programmes. – Graham Adams
“Safer”? “Uncomfortable”? Neither exactly qualifies as a compelling or rigorous assessment of why political speech should or shouldn’t be included in a major overhaul of long-standing rights to freedom of expression, particularly if religious belief is.
It is hard to imagine what unholy mix of obtuseness and hubris would allow any politician to enter such a challenging intellectual arena without being armed to the teeth with sound arguments and convincing evidence to persuade voters that expanding the existing hate speech laws is an excellent idea. – Graham Adams
Neither shows normal understanding of the role of legislation or the legislator: the elementary requirement for the rule of law that the citizen be able to know in advance from written rules how the law will apply to them and their actions, and are predictable in application to unexpected or novel circumstances. It shows disdain for the protection our law is supposed to provide against the temptation of all in power to make up the rules as they go.
“The deliberate use in the proposals of vague terms confers unfettered law-writing power on the courts. That shows contempt for the fundamental wisdom of our inherited tradition – to write law not for the well intentioned, but for those who will abuse it for personal and group power. – Stephen Franks
Transformation is like Rachel Hunter’s hair. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen. – Jamie Mackay
Learn from Rogernomics. Be on the right side of history on this one. Take farmers with you. Be kind. Our collective provincial plea to our PM is; we want Ohakune carrot, not Wellington stick! – Jamie Mackay
Given the difficulty and errors ministers and the Prime Minister have made in trying to sell their policy, how on earth is the average citizen supposed to understand what is lawful and unlawful? – Jordan Williams
The proposal to pay people according to their behavior (made possible by information technology) is a sinister extension of state power, but there is no denying that it has a certain logic.
Where people surrender their right to choose how to meet their medical needs, and hand over responsibility to the state (or for that matter, any third-party payer), it’s hardly surprising that they will before long surrender their right to choose how they behave.
If someone else pays for the consequences of your actions, it is only natural that, one day, he will demand to control your actions. After all, freedom without responsibility creates an unjust burden on others. – Theodore Dalrymple
He’s a highly skilled professional that we desperately need and frankly we’ve treated him like rubbish. I’m sure that his view of New Zealand has been tainted and he will go somewhere else that will treat him much better – Erica Stanford
If you think the Ministry of Health doesn’t have the Covid vaccination programme under control, wait until you hear about mumps. More than a month after I first asked, the ministry has confirmed it doesn’t know how many New Zealanders are vaccinated against any of the diseases on its National Immunisation Schedule.
This includes mumps, but also chickenpox, diphtheria, haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B, human papillomavirus, influenza, measles, pneumococcal disease, polio, rotavirus, rubella, shingles, tetanus and whooping cough. – Matthew Hooton
If we drive the vehicles out, we’ll drive the people out and the businesses will follow. – Alistair Broad
Saturday’s soapbox s yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse but not to abuse.
It is impossible to live without failing at something unless your live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case you fail by default. – J.K. Rowling
New Zealand dairy farmers are some of the most efficient producers of dairy milk in the world, and while the past year has been tough for many industries, the overall picture for dairy has been overwhelmingly positive. Returns to farmers have been at record levels,. along with the economic contribution to NZ.
Dairy export receipts are nudging $20bn a year, up from $4.58m in 2000.
But now the industry is facing its biggest challenge.
Dairy cattle are responsible for 22% of NZ’s emissions. Can NZ meets its methane emission targets without slashing the size of the national dairy herd? . .
Mitigating New Zealand’s agricultural emissions is an ongoing process, but the development of a methane vaccine for cows and other livestock could be a game changer.
A homegrown group is on the cusp of a revolutionary result with it.
The vaccine works by triggering the cow’s immune system to create antibodies that stop methane-producing microbes from working, reducing a cow’s gas production and its contributions of greenhouse gases.
Jeremy Hill, chairman of The Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, told Seven Sharp the vaccine works the same as most vaccines. . .
A global synthetic flooring manufacturer is threatening legal action against iconic New Zealand wool company, Bremworth, as consumers increasingly opt for wool carpets amidst growing awareness of the link between synthetic carpets and plastic.
As sales of its wool carpets escalate, Bremworth has been targeted with a letter from lawyers acting for Godfrey Hirst, owned by US-based Mohawk Industries which also owns Feltex. Amongst other things, Godfrey Hirst is demanding Bremworth withdraw a number of key claims in its marketing campaign that promotes New Zealand wool, including as a natural, more sustainable alternative to synthetic carpet fibres made from plastic.
The new CEO of Bremworth, Greg Smith, said: “We see this legal threat as a distraction and an attempt to stifle legitimate competition and consumer choice. We won’t shy away from promoting the virtues of wool and countering misconceptions in the market to enable customers to make well informed flooring choices – and we firmly stand by our decision to focus on wool and natural fibres.” . .
A New Zealand research project has unveiled a suite of innovative wool products with global export potential.
The Wool Research Organisation of NZ (WRONZ) showcased the products at an event to celebrate the achievements from its New Uses for Strong Wool programme, supported by research, industry and funding partners.
The unique wool particles, powders and pigments developed have global export potential for applications as diverse as cosmetics, printing, luxury goods and personal care.
A commercial development company, Wool Source, has been formed to develop the new products and assess market demand for the strong wool innovation. . .
New Zealand exports reached a new high in June 2021, off the back of record export values for logs and beef, Stats NZ said today.
In June 2021, the value of all goods exports rose $871 million (17 percent) from June 2020 to $6.0 billion. The previous high for exports was in May 2021 ($5.9 billion).
Exports of logs and wood reached a new high, up $105 million (23 percent) from June 2020 to $561 million in June 2021. This increase was driven by logs. Logs’ export value rose $87 million to reach record levels, driven by an increase in unit values (up 26 percent). . .
Wine drinkers have lots to look forward to as wine show season gets underway and wines from some of New Zealand’s latest and greatest vintages are put to the taste test.
The New World Wine Awards judging starts today in Marlborough, with an independent panel of experts spending three full days pouring over more than 1,100 wine entries. After swirling, sniffing, sipping and spitting, their scores will whittle the field down to the best of the best: the Top 50 wines that will be available for $25 or less in New World supermarkets nationwide.
The majority of the entries will be wines that were harvested and made in 2019, 2020 and 2021 – each a year hailed for its unique combination of ideal growing conditions and grape quality. . .
This is funny:
. . . after 20 years of nuking our taste buds with bread that’s mostly sugar, Ronald McDonald’s special sauce, chicken vindaloo, deep-fried chicken and crisps made from artificially flavoured carpet underlay, most of us could not tell a beautiful piece of prime beef from a Walnut Whip.
This is not:
. . . Right. So one day you’re in the supermarket and in front of you are two legs of lamb. One is from the UK and costs £20 and one is from New Zealand and costs £15. So that’s an easy choice. You buy the one from down under. Lovely.
But it isn’t lovely, because animals farmed in New Zealand and America and China and Brazil and Canada and Australia — with which Boris has just done a much-trumpeted trade deal — do not have anything like the happy lives enjoyed by the animals farmed here. . .
Both come from the pen of Jeremy Clarkson writing in The Times on why the UK should be proud of its animal welfare.
He might be right about that but he’s wrong that New Zealand standards for animal welfare aren’t at least as high as those in the UK.
Ironically that is partly due to the need to meet standards imposed to give access to the UK market when it entered the EU.
But more than anything it is because we’re very good farmers and very good farmers know that animal welfare is paramount.
The Listener has caught up with Clarkson’s criticism and in its editorial (not online) asks: who would we rather have tell the world about New Zealand produce – Jeremy Clarkson of our own government?
Britain’s RSPCA welcomed the trade negotiations, stressing New Zealand alone among the UK’s potential free trade partners has animal welfare standards as good as, and in some cases, better than Britain’s.
But did our Government speak up in our farmers’ defence on animal welfare? Did it point out that this country is also head-and-shoulders the most sustainable producer of dairy and meat – even counting air miles after export to the northern hemisphere? Not a word.
Nor has it ever thanked agriculture for agreeing to arguably disproportionate methane-reduction goals because of the lack of progress on – mostly urban-generated – carbon emissions.
It’s this sense of abandonment and blame that sent farmers with placards to more than 50 towns and cities last week as much as the undeniable burden of new restrictions and compliance obligations they face.
Yes. This government, at least as much as its predecessor in the mid to late 1980s, doesn’t understand farming nor does it champion it. The policies of the 80s were necessary, based on sound economics, and have led to better outcomes. Much current policy is unnecessary, based on political ideology not economics or science and will lead to perverse outcomes.
The government has been damagingly remiss in declining to champion the global competitiveness of this country’s meant and dairy sector. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has had unprecedented global attention, not least for climate advocacy, yet rarely, if ever, has she talked overseas of this economy’s most outstanding sustainability story. As we approach new trade negotiations with the European Union, the United States and Britain, that environmental prowess has never been more relevant. Yet how can we sell our products to other countries’ populations if even our own citizens are under the misapprehension we willfully produce every emissions? . .
Farmers here have been doing a lot to improve environmental practices and doing it for some time. But government policies and dictates give no indication they understand or appreciate that.
Urban New Zealander should be encouraged to take pride in the progress the majority of the farm sector is making. Townies are not subject to a fraction of the individual accountability required from farmers for landfill, emissions and water use. . .
The generally positive response to the Groundswell protests indicates that many urban people do understand and respect what farmers are doing.
It’s a pity the government doesn’t show it has nearly such a positive view and that it is failing to champion farming on the world stage.
Screef -a layer of surface vegetation on an area of ground; a small area of ground from which the surface vegetation has been cleared, or that has otherwise been prepared for planting; valueless rubbish, waste material.
‘Groundswell’ expose rural/urban divide in media – Colin Peacock:
At the biggest national protest for years last week, farmers made it clear they are unhappy with the government and they feel unloved by the country – and the media.
In one sense, the Groundswell protests in 55 towns and cities on 16 July last were poorly timed for farmers.
It was not a great time to be away with heavy rain on the way that caused flooding in many places the next day.
But in media terms, the timing was great. . .
Why was one of the biggest protests of recent times relegated to the back pages of print media?
My expectation for print media on the first publishing day after the march (on Saturday, July 17) was that a protest of that breadth and size would have front-page coverage in the major metropolitan and regional newspapers.
I was surprised, then, when one of the biggest weekend papers relegated substantive reporting (assessed as page coverage) to page 5 behind a $20,000 fraud story on page 1, whiteware sales on pages 2 and 3 and free meals for schoolchildren on page 4.
Was a protest about land and fresh water and taxes really less important than whiteware sales? . .
On the other side of Banks Peninsula from bustling Christchurch, a sprawling, 1250-hectare forest runs almost from hill to sea.
Botanist Hugh Wilson has been restoring Hinewai Reserve from farmland to native bush since 1987 and it stands as a testament to what “letting nature get on with it” can achieve.
Hinewai sucks about 8 tonnes of carbon a hectare from the atmosphere each year and earns about $100,000 a year under the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).
But the reserve registered for carbon credits before the ETS existed and now similar gorse-covered blocks slated for natural regeneration are having trouble qualifying for much-needed cash. . .
Standing up for wintering practices – Blair Drysdale:
Recent photos of wintering practices in Southland has Blair Drysdale responding to the trial by media.
In general it’s the same group of people wanting dairy cows inside, who also campaign for pigs and hens to be outside.
Winter certainly has its challenges but it’s a very reliable season as it’s just damned cold every day and that suits me just fine. As farmers though, and especially those with breeding livestock, we like all the inclement weather with its southerly snowstorms to arrive now and not in spring.
The challenges are very real given we’re having a wetter than average winter which on the back of a dry autumn meant winter crops are below average, putting pressure on livestock and farmer.
Throw in some sneaky covert photography of stock on winter crops that get plastered over social and mainstream media by a few environmental activists and it is a pressure cooker situation for some farmers. The reality is that if they were genuinely concerned about animal welfare MPI would be their first port of call. . .
Shedding sheep – wool you or won’t you? – Lee Matheson:
Are shedding sheep the answer to the wool industry’s woes? Lee Matheson, managing director at agricultural consulting firm Perrin Ag, investigates.
A perfect storm has been brewing.
Low wool prices, increasing shearing costs, dilapidated wool harvesting infrastructure (historically known as woolsheds), a tightening labour pool and an apparent lack of consumer recognition of wool’s inherent values and performance as a fibre, are all contributing to increasing moves towards shedding sheep.
It is a potentially divisive and emotive topic when raised with sheep farmers. . .
Technical barriers remain a key challenge for Australian exporters seeking to expand market access across the region.
Dairy Australia have been awarded a $310,000 grant from the Australian Government to reduce technical barriers to trade across six markets in South East Asia.
Minister for Agriculture and Northern Australia David Littleproud said the grant would enable dairy exporters to build on our trade agreements.
“What this grant will do is identify and reduce the impact of technical barriers to trade,” Minister Littleproud said. . .
Robert MacCulloch asks: has Aoteanmoics become Labour’s plan for New Zealand?:
It started as a few comments that weren’t seen as mainstream. Now it’s become a veritable tsunami.
The Head of the Productivity Commission has just announced his disdain for GDP. He says it “is not a great measure of anything useful” and blames the profit-oriented shareholder model for our society’s ills. Even though it forms the basis of wealth creation in this nation.
GDP isn’t a measure of anything useful and a focus on profit is wrong? What would they replace them with?
The Reserve Bank is backing him. As for the Climate Change Commission, had it cared about both the environment and economic growth, it would’ve advocated for carbon taxes with the revenues being used to cut other tax rates. But it didn’t. Furthermore, the keynote address at the NZ Association of Economists 2021 Conference by the Ministry of Primary Industries’ Chief Economist called for a “systemic transition” to a new “holistic”, “post-growth”, “doughnut” approach to management of the country’s affairs.
The keynote gave this new approach a name. Aoteanomics. What is it? A full blown rejection of the idea that GDP growth is desirable. And it is way more radical and experimental than Rogernomics ever was. So why won’t the PM and Finance Minister come clean to the nation about the new post-growth agenda that’s the talk of the Wellington elite?
Are they terrified of their party being wiped by Kiwi business if they make the big reveal? Is this the reason why the government is pretending to be inventing gravity-defying forms of economic management? Ones that can close borders and still yield long-term prosperity? Ones that can impose a swathe of command-and-control rules relating to climate change with little effect on output? Ones where more equity can be achieved by dumping the shareholder model, or by introducing fair-pay agreements, without giving up efficiency?
These policies are sadly typical of people who see a desirable goal without understanding any of the downside in the way they plan to get there.
The twin aims of good economic and good health outcomes that the PM describes were achieved the past year due to robust consumer demand made possible by our domestic elimination of the virus. People were able to go on holidays and enjoy a freedom of movement denied in most other places. But the policy actions that achieved this outcome were short-term patch-up jobs. The factors that determine long-run growth rates are very different to the consumption spending that has recently been underpinning output. Those factors include skills, innovations and investments, which are being severely constrained by our border controls. . .
Closing the borders last year was justified by the risk of letting Covid-19 in. They are still closed because our vaccine roll-out is so slow and until most of us are vaccinated the risk of the disease spreading as it has, and still is, in most other countries dictates that they will stay closed.
But that has come at a huge personal and economic cost. Families and friends are being kept apart, business people can’t meet customers and the public and private sector are both facing desperate staff shortages.
Countries are now moving beyond addressing the fall-out from what first appeared would be a temporary shock to designing ways of accommodating what’s fast looking like becoming a more permanent state of affairs. In this new equilibrium, biting trade-offs will occur. Better virus-related health outcomes supported by closed borders are likely to lower long term growth paths, especially for small, isolated countries. The best-of-both-worlds scenario that we previously savored is about to evaporate.
As NZ enters this new phase, some truths about government priorities are beginning to be revealed. Long-run economic growth isn’t one of them. . .
Is there any alternative to long-run economic growth other than decline?
If our economy doesn’t grow, how will we afford the health care, infrastructure and other goods and services that allow us to call ourselves a first world nation?
If the government is going to take us down this uncharted territory, shouldn’t they tell us what they’re doing and why?
Addubitation – the suggestion of a doubt; a doubting; insinuated doubt.
Dairy exports could hit 22b – Gerald Piddock:
NZX is forecasting New Zealand dairy exports to reach $22 billion by 2030 as companies shift NZ’s milk to higher-value products.
Last year, NZ’s dairy exports were worth $19b.
NZX head of insight Julia Jones emphasised the forecast in NZX’s 2021 Dairy Outlook is contingent on a number of factors lining up.
“It’s a point in time with what we know today, this is what we believe it will look like in the future,” Jones said. . .
A methane vaccine for cows being developed in New Zealand could be a big game changer for animal emissions globally, according to the chairman of the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium, Professor Jeremy Hill.
Hill, who is Fonterra’s chief science and technology officer, says the methane vaccine it is working on aims to introduce antibodies into a cow’s saliva which then pass to the animal’s rumen, or stomach, and bind with the methanogens which convert hydrogen into methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
“That would be the big breakthrough because in theory a vaccine could be implemented in any animal production system,” Hill told reporters at Fonterra’s research and development facility in Palmerston North earlier this month.
“This would make a real game changing difference to the world.” . .
The organics myth – Jacqueline Rowarth:
The ongoing push that “organic is better” is frustrating when the facts, evidence and data don’t support the case, Dr Jacqueline Rowarth writes.
With all the research and information available it is extraordinary that the myth of organics – that the food is safer, healthier for them and kinder to the environment which means that people will pay more for it – persists.
It isn’t and they don’t. Not enough to cover the costs.
Of course this is “usually”, and people will always be able to show that they make it work in terms of the economics, at least in some operations in some years. . .
A Taranaki honey packing factory has won a national gold medal for its creamed manuka honey.
Tarata Honey owners Raul and his wife Eniko Mateas-Orban attended the Apiculture New Zealand in Rotorua last month.
Raul says they entered the company’s Manuka Honey MG0 300+ in the creamed honey medium colour category.
“We’re very pleased to have won the gold medal in this category. We think it is a great recognition of our hard work and high quality standards in terms of manuka honey. Nevertheless it just goes to show that people really like our honey.” . .
Calf rearers dropping their numbers – Hugh Stirngleman:
High beef schedules and store cattle prices are not feeding through into four-day calf values and calf rearing margins, which march to the beat of different drums.
Major calf rearers say their businesses are dependent on calf supply numbers in sale yards, input and labour costs, seasonal weather and demand down the track from beef farmers for 100kg weaners.
The numbers of calves being reared are going down, which is counter-productive for the industry, despite good markets for beef and the availability of better beef genetics over dairy cows.
The biggest operators are hanging in, but not expanding, while low margins and uncertain outcomes have decimated the ranks of smaller businesses. . .
Lamb exports from the UK continue to be under pressure as new figures show exports declined by nearly a quarter last month.
UK sheep meat exports declined 23 percent year-on-year in May to stand at 4,850 tonnes, data by HMRC shows. The vast majority – 95 percent – were to the EU.
Volumes of fresh carcase exports only recorded a modest 2% on the year with most of the reduction being in cuts of sheep meat.
Looking at the figures, AHDB said there had been continuing trade friction between the UK and the EU which had ‘no doubt put volumes under pressure’. . .
Shane Reti says Labour has made a complete meth of dealing with the drug that is doing so much damage to addicts and the country:
Labour’s short-sighted decision in 2018 to scrap National’s highly successful Meth Action Plan – and its outright refusal to accept that New Zealand has a gang problem – is contributing to a surge in gang membership, meth use and misery in New Zealand’s most deprived communities, National’s health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
Ditching something that works because it comes from a political opponent is rank stupidity.
Wastewater testing shows meth use is highest in locations with higher levels of gang membership per capita, notably Northland, Bay of Plenty and Hawke’s Bay.
“The rise in gang membership and drug abuse go hand-in-hand,” says Dr Reti. “It’s an indictment of Labour’s ‘nothing-to-see-here’ approach to crime, which is now causing lasting damage to communities across New Zealand.”
Meth use is widely recognised as a major factor in domestic violence, social deprivation, crime and social harm. It also helps to enrich criminal gangs, whose membership has ballooned under Labour.
Labour purports to want to address child poverty but its inaction on meth is adding to the problem.
The cross-agency Meth Action Plan introduced under the last National Government implemented policies to crack down on the supply of meth, while providing a health-based response for the victims of the drug.
This is the sensible approach to drug policy – being tough on suppliers and compassionate with addicts.
Using $10 million set aside each year from the proceeds of crime fund – money seized from criminals – the plan gave Police and Customs the resources they need to disrupt supply chains and crack down on gangs.
“This plan was working, with a 50 per cent reduction in usage among adults between 2009 and 2015.
“Labour’s decision to cancel this programme three years ago was baffling at the time, but with meth use and gang membership both climbing, it’s absolutely clear now it was the wrong one.
“Rather than hiring gang members to run rehab programmes for their own victims, Labour should swallow its pride, admit it made a mistake in cancelling the Meth Action Plan, and go back to what was proven to be working.
“At the election, National released set of proposals that would build on our past success in reducing meth use, and would tackle the meth problem from all angles, addressing both demand and supply.
“We’re calling on the Government to urgently reinstate the Meth Action Plan, and to commit to tackling both supply and demand for methamphetamine in New Zealand.”
National has a plan to tackle meth supply:
- Increase funding for drug intelligence to enable Customs and Police to identify drugs coming into the country.
- Deploy the latest detection technologies at New Zealand’s airports, ports and distribution centres, where the majority of illicit drug shipments are arriving without detection.
- Improve the use of data and artificial intelligence to analyse drug use, criminal networks and patterns of supply so enforcement agencies can better disrupt supply.
- Target criminal gangs, their precursor supply chains and drug distribution networks with additional focus and resourcing for Police.
- Crack down on illegal smuggling of cash and money laundering to prevent domestic gangs and the international syndicates they work with from extracting super profits from meth distribution.
National also has a plan to tackle demand:
- Deploy the Matrix Methamphetamine Treatment Pilot Programme across several District Health Boards to provide direct support to those recovering from methamphetamine use.
- Add 13 detox beds for methamphetamine across New Zealand, ensuring every District Health Board has at least one.
- Ensure at least one methamphetamine specialist per District Health Board is available to assist with in-patient detoxing from methamphetamine.
- Establish a contestable fund of $50 million to pilot new or scaled-up whole-community harm reduction programmes.
- Establish best practices for frontline police to refer meth users to DHBs, Ministry of Social Development, education resources and community-based support.
Reducing the harm meth does requires a two-prong approach to reduce supply and help the uses.
Labour’s policy has led to an increase in supply and created more addicts.