Word of the day

04/08/2021

Holophrase –  a single word expressing the ideas of a phrase or sentence; a single word expressing a complex of ideas.


Sowell says

04/08/2021


Rural round-up

04/08/2021

Family ‘farming for the next generation’ – Sally Rae:

In rural North Otago, a hard-working high-country family is working to preserve their slice of paradise for future generations. Rural editor Sally Rae reports.

Back in 2004, Dan Devine’s image went global.

After he hoisted the newly-found Shrek, the hermit merino wether discovered on Bendigo Station in Central Otago, on to his shoulders, the subsequently-snapped Otago Daily Times photograph sparked a world media frenzy.

These days, Mr Devine is managing Awakino Station near Kurow, with his partner Jaz Mathisen and their two young daughters, Ava (4) and baby Ida, who arrived in February. . . 

Plea for more government funds to push health careers to rural teenagers – Susan Murray:

The Rural General Practice Network is calling on the government to continue funding a programme promoting health careers to rural high school pupils.

A pilot project which ran for 10 months has recently ended and so far there is no ongoing commitment for Ministry of Health money.

Rural GP Network chief executive Grant Davidson said without the programme long-term health services in rural communities will continue to be in crisis.

He said short term overseas medical graduates can fill gaps, but research shows medical students from rural areas often return to their communities and stay their long term. . . 

Pacific RSE plan should have come sooner:

The Government’s plan to allow one-way quarantine-free travel for Recognised Seasonal Employer workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu is the right one but should have come much sooner, says Leader of the Opposition and National’s Pacific Peoples spokesperson Judith Collins.

“We called for a move like this back in March to allow workers from Samoa, Tonga and Fiji to New Zealand for work in our staff-stretched agricultural sector. At the time, Fiji, like Tonga and Samoa, had never had a community case of Covid-19. But, given the current outbreak in Fiji, bringing Vanuatu onboard makes sense.

“It’s a good move but it should’ve happened much, much sooner. Our agricultural sector has been crying out for workers for a long time now, and they’ve paid a heavy price for the Government’s inaction. . .

Horticulture New Zealand welcomes labour crisis relief:

Horticulture New Zealand welcomes the Government’s announcement permitting Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers from Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu, to enter New Zealand without the need for managed isolation.

The decision will provide both economic relief to the Pacific Islands and alleviate the pressure felt by New Zealand’s horticulture and wine industries who face extreme seasonal labour crises for harvest and pruning.

HortNZ chief executive, Nadine Tunley, says without the support of this seasonal Pacific workforce, permanent jobs held by Kiwis, and the growth of New Zealand’s horticulture and wine industries, are at risk. . . 

Future-focused training key to filling labour shortages in horticulture:

New Zealand growers are exploring new online training options in an effort to help seasonal workers understand ongoing career pathways in the horticulture industry, which continues to experience a shortage of workers.

Hayden Taylor, manager of Roseburn Orchard in Central Otago, said engaging and effective training is crucial to building a sustainable labour force.

“If we focus on attracting new workers and training them well, we’ll get younger people coming in, buying in, and staying for 30 or 40 years in the industry,” he said.

Taylor began managing the 32-hectare apple orchard, which is part of CAJ Apples NZ, in May, but he has been responsible for inducting and training new staff for several months. He is keen to use all of the tools and technologies he has available to him to help new workers understand the career opportunities that exist in the industry. . . 

Northland avocado opportunity beckons:

The opportunity to invest in one of the country’s most productive avocado orchard operations has arisen, offering investors good immediate returns and positive prospects of longer-term growth in future fruit volumes.

The Broadhurst portfolio in the Far North is located in the heart of the region’s rapidly developing avocado industry and has laid the template for the region’s latest, and future, avocado development.

Bayleys salesperson Alan Kerr says Broadhurst has tipped the conventional avocado growing model on its head, and the result is an orchard capable of producing two and a half times the industry’s per hectare average yield.

“There is a combination of ideal soils, good water supply and of course the Northland climate which makes the region capable of producing some of the highest avocado yields in the world. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

04/08/2021


But the $billion bridge

04/08/2021

Every government gets priorities wrong and makes expensive mistakes.

The proposal to build a walking and cycling bridge across Auckland Harbour is one of the stupidest examples of wasting money on a luxury when there are so many necessities going unfunded.

That is was announced when the government is living on borrowed money; had announced it wasn’t funding other previously promised road projects, and flooding had cut the South Island in two at the Ashburton bridge made it even more difficult to accept.

The cost was given as about $700,000 but delays, difficulties and price increases would easily turn that into $1 billion – and that is a billion that is sorely needed elsewhere.

The political problem for the promotors of such a stupidity is that it will be thrown up every time any other plea for funding is turned down.

National’s Finance spokesman Michael Woodhouse points out higher priorities:

The projects Labour is choosing to spend hard earned taxpayer money on speaks volumes around its priorities, National’s Finance spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says.

“Kiwis across the country dealing with potholes and unsafe roads, and Aucklanders sitting in deadlocked traffic, would’ve questioned the reasoning behind investing $785 million on a cycle bridge that will only benefit a small number of people.

“Those same Aucklanders stuck on the harbour bridge will be wondering why the Government is so obsessed with light rail that it would rather spend upwards of $15 billion on it than a much needed second harbour crossing.

“New Zealanders would’ve struggled to understand how the Mongrel Mob, an organised criminal group known for peddling drugs and violence throughout communities, was more deserving of $2.75 million than the ‘I Am Hope’ support group which provides free counselling for youth struggling with mental health issues.

“Our underappreciated nurses are sick of being side-lined while the Government funnels half a billion dollars into a health restructure and bureaucracy. They’ve had enough and they’re striking to show it.

“We’ve got 4000 children being raised in motels exposed to intimidation, violence, drug deals and gang involvement. The Government should be making it easier to build houses and making sure these families have access to safe and secure homes. Instead it’s bought one motel for $8 million.

“The consequences of this poor quality spending by Labour is higher taxes and more debt.

“New Zealanders deserve a Government that prioritises their health, safety and wellbeing.

“Labour has made its priorities very clear, and they involve funding the Mob over mental health support for young Kiwis.”

What does it say about Labour’s priorities when:

Nurses are striking because their case for better pay and conditions has been turned down but the government is going to spend $1 billion on a bridge.

Hospitals are in crisis mode with 30,000 people overdue for treatment but the government is going to spend $1 billion on a bridge.

More than 4,000 children are living in motels but the government is going to spend $1 billion on a bridge.

Except now, maybe because Sunday’s poll showing the government has dropped in popularity, maybe because more than 80% of people polled opppose it,  or maybe just because common sense has asserted itself, it’s probable the government has accept that it’s a bridge too far:

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson wants the Government to bring forward work on a second Waitematā crossing, likely to be a tunnel.

It is understood that the Government is also considering scrapping its $785 million walking and cycling bridge over the harbour.

On Tuesday, Robertson would not confirm that the walking and cycling bridge would definitely be going ahead, only that the bridge was the current proposal.

When asked whether he would renege on building the bridge, Robertson said “we continually look at the network and the programme to make sure that it works well”. . . 

Given there is no doubt that the proposed bridge is deeply unpopular, and so much else in Auckland’s transport system is not working well, this can be taken to mean that the current proposal will be shelved.

The Taxpayers’ Union applauds the probable u-turn:

. . .“This proposal has perhaps been the Government’s worst political misfire. Even Labour supporters don’t want a gold-plated bridge for the sake of the Takapuna lycra mob – especially when other parts of our transport system, used by a wider range of New Zealanders, have gone neglected.”

Given there is no doubt that the proposed bridge is deeply unpopular, and so much else in Auckland’s transport system is not working well, this can be taken to mean that the current proposal will be shelved. . . 

Dare we hope this is the start of the government focusing on high priorities and not other boondoggles like the billion dollar bridge?


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