Word of the day

06/08/2021

Cottier – a person who hires a small cottage, with or without a plot of land;  a tenant in Ireland formerly renting a small farm under the rack-rent system, the land being let to the highest bidder; a peasant farmer; a cottager; a rural labourer living in a cottage.


Sowell says

06/08/2021


Rural round-up

06/08/2021

Brainless idiots’: Mountain bikers criticised over cattle deaths – Marjorie Cook

Mountain bikers have been blasted as “brainless idiots” for causing the deaths of three pregnant cows after ignoring multiple signs and spooking them on a remote Lake Hawea station.

The accident happened last week on a notorious stretch of Dingleburn Station road while station farmers Nick Mead and Tim Lambeth were mustering a herd of 60 pregnant cows.

Nine cows plummeted off the remote Dingleburn Bluff.

Six were able to swim to safety, helped by people in boats. . . 

Compensation management concerns – Toni Williams:

Dairy farmer Laurence Rooney will likely be left with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of flood-damage on his Winchmore farm and it’s left a bad taste in his mouth.

He predicts the half-a-million-dollar flood clean-up from the May 31 flood will result in a $1m loss of income and no chance of compensation.

The government’s $4million fund pays up to 50% of non-insured damage but only on productive land.

It is not the weather Mr Rooney is frustrated with, it is paying a river rate to Environment Canterbury for river management that he, and a growing number of others, say is not happening. . . 

Innovative woollen plasters company Wool+Aid attracts big guns of Kiwi investors – Marta Steeman:

Lucas Smith’s brainchild, Wool+Aid, making biodegradable woollen plasters and bandages, has attracted the big guns of the local investment world like Sir Stephen Tindall and marketing guru Geoff Ross.

The startup launched five years ago by the then 21-year-old mountain guide has drawn $1.5 million in its first capital raising, valuing the company at about $7m.

Hailing from Tekapo, Smith wants to play his part in reducing the amount of plastic used and protect the environment, taking on the ubiquitous plastic-derived sticking plasters and bandages.

As a mountain guide he was frustrated there was nothing else on offer other than plastic bandages littering the great outdoors. . . 

Helius gains NZ’s first licence to manufacture cannabis medicines :

New Zealand’s largest licenced medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, has been issued with the industry’s first GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) Licence to Manufacture Medicines by MedSafe. It allows the company to begin manufacturing locally made medicines for New Zealand patients.

“This is our most significant milestone yet at Helius. The GMP Licence means Helius can now move forward to manufacturing high-quality, affordable Kiwi-made medicinal cannabis products. New Zealand doctors will be able to confidently prescribe in the knowledge that Helius meets stringent quality standards,” says Carmen Doran, Chief Executive of Helius Therapeutics.

Based in Auckland’s East Tamaki, Helius began the rigorous and complex journey for the GMP Licence as a start-up in 2018. Through an international recognition scheme, MedSafe’s latest approval also meets European standards, known as EU-GMP, opening future export possibilities for the 100% privately-owned Kiwi company. . . 

Feds heartened by QEII funding boost:

Federated Farmers is relieved to see the government put more money towards the Queen Elizabeth II Trust, to help landowner endeavours to protect and enhance areas of special native biodiversity on privately owned land.

Conservation Minister Kiri Allan has pledged $8 million to go to the Jobs for Nature programme. This should allow the QEII Trust to increase the number of sites protected by covenants by 264 during the next four years.

Federated Farmers board member and environment spokesperson Chris Allen says Feds has been asking for more help for the Trust for years, and the extra funding is very welcome.

More than 4600 unbreakable covenants have been established since 1977, covering 180,000 hectares of private land. . . 

Fighting fire with fire – Amanda Monthei, Zoeann Murphy , Lo Bénichou , Shikha Subramaniam and Dylan Moriarty :

It’s a clear, sunny spring morning in Seeley Lake, Mont., and 34 firefighters are gathering on a road east of town, drip torches in hand. They are here to set a fire, not stop one.

One of the primary defenses Western land managers have against large uncontrollable wildfires are small controlled fires like the one firefighters are setting this day, May 17.

The greater northwest Montana region has a long familiarity with wildfire, cultural fire and fire suppression. The landscape is peppered with fire lookouts, some staffed, some used for recreation, and all an evocation of a time before aircraft were widely available to spot new fire starts.

The terrain here is like much of Northwest Montana, defined by mountainsides rising steeply from a chain of glacial lakes before giving way to rugged ridgelines, all blanketed with brush and towering swaths of ponderosa pines, Douglas firs and western larches. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

06/08/2021


The health system is sick

06/08/2021

Covid-19 has become a convenient excuse for government failures:

Health Minister Andrew Little can’t blame Covid for the shocking number of Kiwis overdue for specialist medical assessment and treatment because these wait lists had already blown out well before 2020, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti.

We have targets to make sure Kiwis are receiving their first specialist assessment in a timely manner, and that they receive treatment in a timely manner too. But at the moment, there are nearly 30,000 New Zealanders who are overdue for hospital treatment.

“When questioned about the huge number of Kiwis not receiving the care they need within four months, Mr Little callously blamed Covid-19.

Four months is too long time to wait in pain, with a disability or a life-threatening illness. An even longer wait makes a mockery of this government’s claims to competence and kindness.

“Andrew Little needs to stop hiding behind the pandemic as an excuse for his failure to deliver.

There is a Covid connection to the waiting lists and it’s the government’s fault.

It could be excused for shutting hospitals to all but emergency admissions at the start of the first lockdown last year.

But once it was clear that the number of Covid cases had peaked, and hospitals weren’t going to be overrun with cases, the government could have designated a few hospitals as those to treat Covid patients and allowed some public and all private hospitals to resume treatment to deal with the most serious cases on waiting lists.

However, waiting lists were too long before Covid arrived.

“In 2017 there were just over 2000 Kiwis missing the four month target for treatment. Even then that was 2000 too many.

“But by 2019 that figure had surged to more than 18,000 people missing the four-month target.

“These are more than just numbers, each of those figures represents a New Zealander who isn’t receiving the care they should within a reasonable timeframe.

“These extraordinary delays mean loved ones are being left to languish on wait lists, and lives are being lost unnecessarily, all because the Government has failed to make sure DHBs are hitting their targets. Waiting list shouldn’t be getting longer, but they are under Labour.

“Every single day since Labour have taken office, an average of 10 more Kiwis have been added to the overdue wait list to see a specialist or receive treatment.

“Labour could fix this if it wanted. Instead, it is spending $486 million on bureaucrats restructuring our health system and handing $2.75 million to the Mongrel Mob.

“Andrew Little needs to step up and make sure his DHBs are hitting their targets, otherwise we will see more Kiwis needlessly losing their loved ones.”

You can find a table outlining the number of Kiwis overdue fir their First Specialist Assessment and overdue for their Treatment in 2017, 2019, and 2021 here.

Waiting lists aren’t the only ailment from which the health sector is suffering.

The whole system is sick and the government’s prescription of two bloated and  centralised bureaucracies won’t cure it.


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