Word of the day

31/08/2021

Imprescience – a total lack of foresight and knowledge; the condition of being without foreknowledge or prescience.


Thatcher thinks

31/08/2021


Rural round-up

31/08/2021

Groundswell NZ have had a win, but they won’t stop their campaign– Rachael Kelly:

They’ve had a win, but the battle is far from over.

Groundswell NZ is pleased the Government has ‘’seen some sense’’ and decided to consult on some of the winter grazing rules the group campaigned against because they were unworkable for the nation’s farmers, co-founder Bryce McKenzie says.

But there were still rules that had been introduced that needed to be changed, such as those around significant natural areas and the ‘ute tax’ and Groundswell would continue to fight for change, he said.

“It’s taken 12 months of bickering and arguing and protests to get to this point, when they could have just read the 17,000 submissions that people made that told them they were wrong in the first place,’’ McKenzie said. . . 

Setting up for a strong future :

Every summer, carloads of people arrive at Lyndon and Jane Strang’s Five Forks farm in North Otago, trying to access a swimming hole near the bottom of their property.

Brush, gorse and blackberry had taken over the 50m-wide fenced berm between the 290ha farm and the Kakanui River and public access had all but been blocked.

‘‘We wanted to open it up and create a walkway along the entire length,’’ Mrs Strang said.

With the help of funding from the Otago Regional Council’s Eco Fund and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Jobs for Nature Fund, they have done just that. . . 

The future of farming could be up not out – Daniel Smith:

Unlike most people in the agricultural industry, Matt Keltie​ plants his crop upwards, not outwards.

Keltie’s​ business 26 Seasons​ first farmed microgreens in vertical farms in a former Wellington nightclub, but has recently expanded his operation to Auckland.

Vertical farming grows food on vertical surfaces, unlike traditional farming which produces on a single level such as in a field or a greenhouse.

But Keltie​ said it was not just about stacking plants on top of each other, but using technology to farm smarter. . .

Farming the seabed for weed – Jessie Chiang

The global seaweed industry is estimated to be worth more than $20 billion. New Zealand would like a slice of it.

“There are times I have to ban the s-word in the house.”

Lucas Evans lives and breathes seaweed. It took one introduction to it while he was on holiday in New Zealand, for the fascination to grow and blossom into a decade-long journey.

Originally from Australia, Evans went on to learn everything he could about growing and selling algae and crossed the ditch to settle in Coromandel. He’s now the co-founder and chief executive of his own seaweed company, Premium Seas. . . 

GO NZ: Cycling the Alps 2 Ocean trail with Adventure South – Elisabeth Easther:

The 356km of the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail, from Tekapo to Ōamaru, can be tackled no matter the season… just make sure you wear your waterproofs.

People asked if I was crazy when I told them I was headed to the South Island to ride the Alps 2 Ocean Cycle Trail. It was June and the weather was packing up all over the place. A fortnight prior to departure, Twizel, one of our waypoints, recorded a nippy -8C and just one week out, Ashburton was hit by some of the worst flooding on record. But cyclists are optimists by nature – you have to be to pedal in Auckland – so, when I finally set off, I resolved to accept the weather, whatever it was. Besides, on a fully supported tour with Adventure South NZ, if worst truly came to worst, I’d still be cosy and cared for.

Here’s why you don’t need to wait for good weather to tackle the ride yourself. . . 

Basil farm yet to reach its full potential – Marian Macdonald:

It’s already a very profitable business that produces more than 30,000 bunches of fresh basil a week but Honeysuckle Farm also has a commercial kitchen and a site ready for planting macadamias or berry crops.

The 91.55-hectare property is close to the coast at Avondale, midway between the Sunshine Coast and Rockhampton.

Woolworths is an important customer for Honeysuckle, which also sells basil puree as an ingredient.

Owner Jenny Grant says the business, which has its own commercial kitchen, has the potential to generate significant margins by value-adding the puree with products like pesto. . . 


Yes Sir Humphrey

31/08/2021


Would you trust them to run a bath?

31/08/2021

Good grief again:

The Government is possibly running out of vaccines in September and it could be their own fault. 

In May Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told Newstalk ZB that Pfizer had confirmed that New Zealand would receive 8 million doses in the third quarter, saying “we will get them all by the end of September.” 

But the shipment has now been revealed to be being delivered in October, leaving the possibility of New Zealand running out of vaccines in September. 

But looking back at a June interview Heather du Plessis-Allan did with Hipkins, it revealed the delay may be the Government’s own doing. In the interview he said that while Pfizer was still committed to the September deadline, the Government was talking to them about delivering some of those doses in October and November. 

Would that be because they weren’t confident of having enough vaccinators because they hadn’t involved GPs and pharmacies in the roll out that until the Delta variant got into the community was much more a stroll out?

Auckland University Emeritus Professor Des Gorman says he’s “gobsmacked” to find that [the Government] have “been deliberately delaying or asking for deliveries to be delayed.”   . .

Sigh.

The Labour Government has recklessly delayed vaccine shipments to New Zealand, putting the health and freedom of all New Zealanders at risk, National’s Covid-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

In June Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins revealed he was speaking with Pfizer to deliver some of the doses that were originally supposed to arrive in September, to instead arrive in October and November.

“Because the Government unbelievably pushed back our vaccine delivery, we now risk running out of vaccines,” Mr Bishop says.

“A Delta outbreak in our largely unvaccinated population has caused the country to lock down once again, with vaccination our only pathway out of lockdown, yet the Government has been deliberately slowing down our vaccine supply.

“It’s great that Kiwis have been showing enthusiasm to go and get vaccinated, the Government should be matching that enthusiasm by encouraging Kiwis to get the jab, not calling for a little less demand, as well as making sure we have enough supply.

“Instead it’s doing the opposite.

“New Zealand’s vaccine rollout has been negligently slow, now that it’s finally ramping up the Prime Minister says demand needs to lessen because her Government slowed down our vaccine shipments.

“This is incompetence on a grand scale. Right at the moment demand is surging, the Government can’t meet it.

“Labour’s complacency has cost New Zealanders.

“New Zealand signed contracts with vaccine manufacturers late, we got around to ordering our vaccine later than other countries, we refused to offer an incentive payment to Pfizer for earlier delivery, and we still haven’t got around to ordering any booster shots.

“This lockdown happened because our vaccination rate was too slow. It could go on for a lot longer now because the Government delayed the vaccine supplies we need to get ourselves out of lockdowns.” . . 

The government has been telling us for months how important it is to be vaccinated. Radio advertisements recount sad stories of life under lockdown and how much better life, will be and the freedom we’ll enjoy when that happens.

Slowing down delivery of vaccines contradicts those messages.

Sigh again.

That isn’t a surprise from the government that’s been telling us how important it is to keep ourselves safe from Covid-19 while not implementing the recommendations of no less than four reports that would address shortcomings in areas for which it’s responsible that would make the whole country safer.

And another sigh.

Several weeks ago I was speaking to someone who has cancer, ought to have been contacted to have a vaccine but hadn’t been. I was urging her to be proactive and she responded by saying she trusted the system the government was running.

I replied I wouldn’t trust the government’s system to run a bath.

This latest revelation reinforces my fear that they’d turn on only the cold tap and forget to put the plug in.


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