Word of the day


Sapid – having a strong, pleasant taste; having taste or flavour; agreeable to the taste; palatable; flavoursome or savoury; (of talk or writing) pleasant or interesting; agreeable or pleasing to the mind; to one’s liking.

Rural round-up


We need to step up water resilience resourcing and leadership  :

News that development work on the Wakamoekau Community Water Storage Scheme has been halted should be deeply troubling to every resident of the Wairarapa, the region’s Federated Farmers President David Hayes says.

“Water storage is critical to the future of our towns and rural hinterland, to employment, production and the health of our rivers and wider environment.”
The Wakamoekau scheme was seen as a foundation block of the Wairarapa Water Resilience Strategy.

“It’s highly concerning we have stumbled at the first step,” David said.
“I grew up in South Australia – the driest state on the driest continent. I’ve seen how severe water shortages undercut so many aspects of life.

“The Wairarapa must not underestimate the shock that climate change-accelerated lack of water will mean to our Wairarapa communities and to the environment. It is time to act! . . 

Grape shortage to hit winegrowers in pocket – Maja Burry:

The wine industry is bracing for two consecutive years of falling export revenue due to tight grape supplies.

Latest industry figures show in the year to June export value was down 3 percent to $1.87 billion, the first fall in export value in 26 years.

New Zealand winegrowers chief executive Phillip Gregan said the sector had experienced strong growth over a number of years, but it was now being constrained by a lack of supply.

“Despite the fact that we had a record harvest in 2020, our winery simply did not have the volume of wine available to them to support market growth for the whole for the whole year. And so we saw the first decline in wine exports.” . . 

Long hours at a busy time of year – Toni Williams:

Husband and wife Vincent and Rebecca Koopmans, like their farming peers, have been putting in some long hours during Covid-19 Alert Level 4 lockdown.

Mr Koopmans is a dairy farmer, near Methven, and Mrs Koopmans a primary school teacher reaching out to pupils about ongoing learning under Covid restrictions.

‘‘Although it is business as usual during lockdown and we are very proud to be an essential service, it’s not life as normal and lockdown does still add pressure on farmers,’’ Mr Koopmans said.

‘‘We are lucky to be in a position to continue working, and providing work for our team as well, but like everyone else we are hoping this [Covid] outbreak is contained soon.’’ . . 

Comvita partners with celebrity brand promoter Caravan:

Mānuka honey exporter Comvita is teaming up with one of America’s most powerful sports and entertainment agencies to market a new line of products.

Comvita has announced a new partnership with the US brand development company Caravan, which is a joint venture with talent agency Creative Artists Agency (CAA), which represents celebrities and sports stars such as Nicole Kidman, Lady Gaga and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Caravan helps high profile individuals build companies around their personal brands. . . 

Lockdown auction achieves record sale price :

The sale of a Tatua dairy supply farm has just set a new price-per-hectare record in the Waikato.

The rural property has also set an agency record as the most expensive property sold by Bayleys via live virtual auction since lockdown restrictions were put into place more than two weeks ago.

Alert level four lockdown restrictions didn’t allow Bayleys country real estate agent Mike Fraser-Jones much time to come to grips with the technological nuances of live virtual auctions. . . 


Property investors buzzing as honey warehouse up for sale:

The land and building housing the regional operations for one of New Zealand’s premier honey harvesting and retail companies has been placed on the market for sale.

The substantial site in the Waikato township of Te Awamutu features a 1,885-square metre building sitting on 5,226 square metres of freehold land zoned commercial 8A. The modern warehousing and administrative premises at 249 Bruce Berquist Drive is located in the heart of Te Awamutu’s industrial precinct – a wedge of properties between Bond Road and Te Rahu Road.

Leading New Zealand native honey harvesting and retail brand Manuka Honey occupies the rear 1,125-square metre portion of the building premises. The remaining 600 square metres of high-stud warehousing and 160 square metres of office space at the front of the property are currently vacant. . . 

Yes Sir Humphrey


The vaxed and the vaxed not


We’re going to have the option of a vaccination passport by the end of the year:

A vaccine passport is coming. New Zealanders will soon have access to digital proof that they’ve received a Covid-19 vaccination. Colloquially known as a “vaccine passport”, a government-run app will soon be as indispensable as a real passport for international travel. Many countries already require them to sit at a bar or attend a sports game. You can’t climb the Eiffel Tower without one.

Air New Zealand and Qantas have both announced that they’ll eventually require vaccine passports. Proof of vaccination is already a condition of entry for a number of countries around the world. Just as you can’t board many international flights now without the right visa, the vaccine passport will be added to your pre-flight checklist. . . 

It will start as a requirement for overseas travel but it won’t stop there.

The health ministry has been clear that New Zealand’s passport is designed for international travel and said nothing about domestic use. Based on how the passports have evolved around the world, that won’t last.

What’s happened overseas. The UK rolled out the passports for international travel, only to then announce that they’ll be required to get into English nightclubs and other venues in England at the end of the month, the BBC has reported. Despite criticisms, the government has said it’s the only way to reopen the economy safely. In many cases, private industry was ahead of the British parliament, with Premier League clubs requiring fans to show proof of vaccination when they reopened stadiums to capacity crowds last month. . . 

Sooner or later there’s going to be more freedom here for people who have been vaccinated and people who haven’t.

If people aren’t vaccinated because they choose not to be, they will have to change their minds or have less freedom.

But what about people who can’t be vaccinated, or who want to be vaccinated but can’t have the  Pfizer vaccine?:

As the team of five million flood into vaccine centres each day to get their shots, a small group are unable to get the Pfizer mRNA vaccine.

They are not conspiracy theorists, or anti-vaxxers. They just need an alternative to Pfizer due to an ingredient in the mRNA vaccine that allows it to be stored at very low temperatures without freezing. . . 

Then there are people who find it difficult to get to a vaccination centre, at least some of whom are Maori.

David Seymour raised the ire of many by tweeting the code sent to Maori allowing them to bypass the booking system.

The irate didn’t mention, or maybe didn’t know, that he is Maori. Heather du Plessis Allan pointed out that irony and added:

David Seymour is about the same age as I am, he’s Nga Puhi, I’m boring old Pakeha. Do you think he should get a Maori access code to get the jab earlier than me simply because he’s Maori?  

There’s very little difference in our risk indicators for Covid. 

Same age band, neither have health problems that bump us up the priority list, neither working on the front lines, neither living in over-crowded houses etc. 

Should he get an access code simply because he’s Maori?  

I think most of us would say no. 

Because everything about David Seymour’s life tells us he’s not an especially vulnerable individual. 

And yet he is lumped in as a member of a vulnerable community because of his tipuna, or ancestors. 

Doesn’t that show the foolishness of making rules based on race?

It does, and that code isn’t the best way of reaching those who are missing out.

If you want to lift Maori vaccine rates – and I think we all do – there are better ways to do that without creating the division that the government is. 

If the broader Maori community is statistically more vulnerable because it has a greater incidence of health problems or home overcrowding, give people with health problems or overcrowded houses priority access to jabs.  We already do this for age and health and pregnancy and essential workers so it’s not impossible to extend the criteria a bit. 

If the Maori community generally has greater difficulty getting to the jab, take the jab to them and every other community that has the same problem. 

If the Maori community has a greater distrust of authority, get marae to administer the jab and then while you’re at it, do the same at churches because we know evangelical church members of every colour also tend to distrust authority.  . . 

It’s not only Maori who aren’t able to go to vaccination centers. A friend who works in a medical practice had a phone call from a patient who is housebound.

If we’re to have as many people as possible vaccinated, there must be alternative vaccines for those who want to be protected but can’t have the Pfizer one; and vaccinators are going to have to go to communities and individuals who for a variety of reasons can’t, or simply aren’t, going to vaccination centres.

The government is also going to have to come up with something for people who can’t be vaccinated and something other than an app for people who don’t have smart phones.

Once everyone who wants to be vaccinated is vaccinated, those who choose not to be will find their right to that choice will almost certainly restrict what they can do and where they can do it.

It would be unfair if people who can’t be vaccinated or don’t have smart phones were similarly disadvantaged.

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