Nubilous – cloudy, overcast; murky; gloomy.
Nats’ proposal on migrants welcomed – Richard Rennie:
National’s proposal for a clean out of New Zealand’s daunting migrant visa application backlog has been given a thumbs up from dairy farmers still grappling with labour shortages.
National party leader Judith Collins has proposed Immigration NZ be required to clear the backlog of skilled migrant workers already here and seeking residency status.
These are estimated to be over 30,000 and include vets and dairy farm herd managers.
National has also proposed a “de-coupling” of skilled migrant staff from specific employers, instead making them tied to a sector or a region. . .
Concern over ‘rushed reforms’, lack of detail – Neal Wallace:
The hectic pace of Government-initiated reform will result in poorly drafted legislation that will create a windfall for lawyers, warns National Party Environment spokesperson Scott Simpson.
Replacement draft legislation, such as for the Resource Management Act (RMA), lacks detail or an understanding of unintended consequences, he says, which will be determined by litigation.
“Either way the legislative changes coming at us like a steam train do not have that detail,” Simpson said.
The Ministry for the Environment (MfE) acknowledges it has a heavy workload developing policy to reform the RMA, climate change, indigenous biodiversity and water. . .
Water sampling technology on trial – Shawn McAvinue:
It is a data stream with a difference.
AgResearch Invermay senior scientist Richard Muirhead is developing new technology to help farmers wanting to improve water quality to make better decisions.
For the past two years, Dr Muirhead has been working on a project to get sensors to measure the levels of nitrogen, sediment, E.coli and phosphorus in waterways.
Sensor technology had been imported to measure the first three contaminants but the search continues for technology to measure phosphorus. . .
Tekapo -the Dark Sky Project is the place to stargaze – Jane Jeffries:
In the heart of the Mackenzie country is the small, quaint town of Tekapo, famous for the Good Shepherd church and the stunning vista through its window behind the altar. However, when the lake and mountain views disappear after dusk and the skies darken our twinkly solar system is exposed. It’s paradise for star gazers and a wonderful sight for young and old.
Whether you are a star gazer or just want to find out more about our solar system the Dark Sky Project in Takapo (Tekapo), is the place to start.
But before I talk about Tekapo’s terrific night sky, the town’s name needs an explanation. Tekapo was originally called Takapo. Takapō is the name the Ngāi Tahu tribe ancestors recorded. At Dark Sky Project they are extremely proud of their region and use the name Takapō, so that’s what we will call it.
Firstly, Takapo is one of the best places in the world to observe the night sky and it’s easily accessible. Minimal light pollution means the night sky views stretch as far as the eye can see. . .
Nominations are being sought for this year’s Farmlands Director Elections.
Two seats – one North Island and one South Island – are being contested. Farmlands Directors Dawn Sangster and Gray Baldwin are retiring by rotation in 2021 and both have indicated they are standing for re-election.
Farmlands Chairman Rob Hewett says having a say in governance is crucial to the ongoing success of the co-operative.
“Having high calibre shareholder representatives is critical not only to Farmlands but all rural co-operatives,” Mr Hewett says. “We have made tremendous strides in growing the talent pool of rural governance, alongside Silver Fern Farms, through the To the Core programme. . .
Grazing cattle can improve agriculture’s carbon footprint – Adam Russell:
Ruminant animals like cattle contribute to the maintenance of healthy soils and grasslands, and proper grazing management can reduce the industry’s carbon emissions and overall footprint, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist.
Richard Teague, Ph.D., professor emeritus in the Department Rangeland, Wildlife and Fisheries Management and senior scientist of the Norman Borlaug Institute for International Agriculture and the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center at Vernon, said his research, “The role of ruminants in reducing agriculture’s carbon footprint in North America,” published in the Soil and Water Conservation Society’s Journal of Soil and Water Conservation presents sustainable solutions for grazing agriculture.
The published article, authored by Teague with co-authors who include Urs Kreuter, Ph.D., AgriLife Research socio-economist in the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life SciencesDepartment of Ecology and Conservation Biology, Bryan-College Station, was recognized at the society’s recent conference as a Soil and Water Conservation Society Research Paper for Impact and Quality.
Teague’s research showed appropriate grazing management practices in cattle production are among the solutions for concerns related to agriculture’s impact on the environment. His article serves as a call to action for the implementation of agricultural practices that can improve the resource base, environment, productivity and economic returns. . .
Jamie Mackay got a very straight answer when he asked National Party leader Judith Collins about her future as leader:
You can listen to the recording of the interview by clicking the link above and hear the vehemence with which Judith responds at 2:49.
Judith Collins, leader of the National Party, says she has “had a gutsful” of people speculating that she won’t be leader for much longer.
“I’m actually sick and tired of people talking about me and who is going to be the leader of the National Party – I’m the leader of the National Party – why don’t they just get their heads around that and get on with the job?” she told The Country’s Jamie Mackay.
Casting doubt over her leadership benefited nobody except her opposition, Collins said.
“Every time people talk about that sort of crap, all they do is that they give comfort to the Labour Party left.
“So don’t moan to me because I’m doing my job – everyone needs to get on and do theirs – and I’m actually not putting up with it anymore.” . .
In the not so distant past, few in the media thought it was their job to undermine party leaders. Now it has become routine for some.
Doing that isn’t necessarily partisan – the media needled Phil Goff, David Shearer, David Cunliffe and Andrew Little with speculation on their prospective demise.
As successive polls showed Simon Bridges was unpopular, they started on him, even though National was polling a little higher or just a little lower than Labour until Covid-19 struck and changed the political landscape.
Todd Muller was leader for just a couple of days before he was attacked for having a MAGA hat but the fact he also had Hillary Clinton memorabilia was ignored.
The media generally agreed that Judith was his only likely successor but within a very short time of her becoming leader speculation on how long she would last and who would succeed her began and hasn’t let up.
Time and time again, reporters and commentators accentuate the negative, ignore or understate the positive and continue to speculate on the security of Judith’s leadership with nothing on which to base it except their own bias.
No leader serves forever so sooner or later speculation about the end to her leadership will be proved right. But that should come at the will of the party, and more particularly the caucus which elects its leader, not media manufacturing discontent, undermining her support and mistaking their own speculation for evidence.