Word of the day


Sap – make a building or other structure insecure by removing its foundations; the fluid which circulates in the vascular system of a plant, consisting chiefly of water with dissolved sugars and mineral salts; the juice or vital circulating fluid of a plant, especially of a woody plant; any vital body fluid; energy; vitality; to drain the sap from; gradually weaken or destroy (a person’s strength or power); to make someone weaker or take away strength or an important quality from someone, especially over a long period of time; a deep, narrow trench constructed so as to form an approach to a besieged place or an enemy’s position; a fool; dupe.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Farmer who contracted Covid-19 urges public to get vaccinated – Maja Burry:

Some farmers impacted by one of last year’s high-profile Covid-19 clusters are encouraging people to get vaccinated, no matter where they live in the country.

As the global pandemic was being declared in March last year, around 400 delegates from around the world were attending the World Hereford conference in Queenstown.

There were 39 people identified in the cluster, including Roxburgh farmer Robyn Pannett. She became very sick and is still feeling the impact of the virus – even today.

“I still have a really distorted sense of taste and smell. At the same time, my immunity is not where it was. And I am a bit more fatigued. So it has had an ongoing effect.” . . 

Hopes of relocation to NZ dashed– Neal Wallace:

Raynardt van der Merwe and his family will board a plane in November and head back to South Africa, their dream of relocating to NZ eroded by the Government’s uncertain immigration policy.

A taxidermist and hunting guide based in Hawea, Central Otago, van der Merwe has been working in partnership with Glen Dene Hunting and Fishing since December 2019.

“I was reasonably confident I had a good opportunity by relocating to NZ and in fact getting a work visa and working towards residency.”

Even though he has an essential skills visa, the lack of certainty about the path to residency, meant they could not plan for a future. . . 

Discovery brings replaceable closer to irreplaceable – Richard Rennie:

Making formula milk more like Mum’s could provide a means to not only improve its nutritional profile, but also prove to be a valuable formula additive in an industry with a global value of US$60 billion a year. Richard Rennie spoke to AgResearch scientists developing a component that makes infant powder almost as good as the real thing.

Working in the area of infant nutrition and formulation, AgResearch scientist Dr Caroline Thum points out much of infant formula production requires processors to take out some of milk’s best components, and then try to add them back in for the final product.

Typically, infant milk processing has bovine fatty acids replaced with non-bovine fatty acids to try and replicate the fat’s ratio, and resemblance to human fatty acids as close as possible. 

That usually involves adding vegetable oils as the fat source. . . 

New tech helping meat industry mitigate skills shortage :

New retail automation technology introduced by one of the country’s largest beef and lamb suppliers is helping to increase efficiency within its growing domestic business.

PrimeXConnect, an automated transaction platform designed for the meat supply chain, was first piloted by ANZCO Foods in the New Zealand market in 2019 as they sought new ways to help manage the unique nature of the domestic business model.

The system is designed to replace the traditional email and phone call based offer-and-order model that has been favoured by generations of Kiwi butchers.

The platform allows ANZCO Foods customers to place orders from the shop floor at any time from their computer, laptop or phone. The automated process then ensures that the confirmed orders are routed to the company’s distribution centres for delivery. . .

Tatua annual results for the year ended 31 July 2021:

The Tatua Board of Directors and Executive met on 30 September 2021 to consider the financial results for the 2020/21 financial year and decide on the final pay-out to our supplying shareholders.

The lingering uncertainty related to Covid-19 and the ongoing global shipping disruption continued to create challenges through the year. However, we acknowledge that many businesses and individuals have faced greater hardships, and that we are fortunate to have been able to continue to operate as we have.

We are pleased to report that the business has had a good year, achieving Group income of $395 million and earnings available for pay-out of $162 million.

Our earnings equate to $10.43 per kilogram of qualifying milksolids, before retentions for reinvestment and taxation. This is an improvement on the previous year earnings of $9.96 per kilogram of milksolids, and is a record for Tatua. . . 

Farm boost with new agricultural visa signed off – Andrew Brown:

Farmers could soon have access to more workers from overseas, following the creation of a new agriculture visa.

The new visa type, which came into effect from Thursday, will allow for the entry and temporary stay in Australia of workers across primary industries.

While the final numbers of how many workers would be able to enter the country on the visa are yet to be confirmed, the first workers are expected to arrive from late 2021.

Entry to the country will be subject to quarantine arrangements and agreements with partner nations. . . 

Yes Sir Humphrey


From elimination to confusion


The government has managed to upset people across the political spectrum with yesterday’s pronouncement from the podium of truth which took us from the elimination strategy to the confusion strategy.

From the left:

From someone whose politics I don’t know:

And from the right:




Time has run out on the government’s strategy:

The Government’s incoherent and timid approach to the Covid pandemic shows it lacks the courage required to make tough decisions for the benefit of New Zealand, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins.

“Today’s announcement confirms what most New Zealanders – especially Aucklanders – have come to learn only too well over the past seven weeks of lockdown: The Government is completely out of ideas.

“Elimination has failed but, while the Prime Minister says we’ve now moved to a ‘transition’ stage, the strategy is fundamentally unchanged.

“The Prime Minister’s supposed roadmap to recovery is nothing more than a vague wishlist she tinkers with as dictated by the situation she reacts to. Where is the vision?

“The fact is that Jacinda Ardern has no answers to problems that she and her Government promised us were under control. The situation is now, very clearly, out of control and worsening every day.

“As a result of their incompetence and their incoherent supposed ‘strategy’, New Zealand is stuck in a lockdown limbo with no answers and no way out.

“Enough is enough. Time has run out. The PM must admit she and her Government have failed. Own up to your mistakes. Change direction. Be bold. There are choices.

“We will help in any way we can. Indeed, our ‘Opening Up’ plan, if immediately adopted, could see an end to lockdowns and Kiwis able to travel again by Christmas.

“The country deserves answers and a clear way past Covid. We have provided this to you. Take it onboard. New Zealand needs it more than ever.

“We can open up with a vigorous suppression strategy. This shifts our focus from the border alone to one where technology like rapid antigen testing is used to quickly identify and isolate cases.

“Had this approach been used at the Auckland boundary it’s highly unlikely the virus would have spread into the Waikato and beyond.

“The Government’s approach is the worst of both worlds. We have the all the costs and harm of a lockdown without the benefit of eliminating Covid.

“Kiwis need to see the Government’s detailed plan now. It is not fair to ask more than two million people to live in a lockdown conditions without an end goal in mind.

“If the goal is get 90 per cent of eligible Kiwis double-vaccinated, then we are looking at least another six weeks of lockdown. This can’t be the Government’s only plan.

“Adopt National’s Opening Up plan. Use new technology and treatments to avoid lockdowns and supress Covid, while turbocharging our vaccine rollout.

“The Government’s one-dimensional approach is costing the country more than $1 billion a week. Businesses are being shuttered at breakneck pace. The numbers of people on benefits have exploded. Mental health services are swamped. This is a crisis.

“Do the right thing, Prime Minister, and be kind to Kiwis who are desperate for answers.”

It wouldn’t be hard to do better than the vague pronouncement:

In the absence of a coherent strategy or plan from the Government to deal with the ongoing outbreak in Auckland other than abject surrender, National’s Chris Bishop says there are a number of actions the Government can take immediately to enhance the Covid response.

“The Prime Minister has belatedly realised the significance of vaccination. It would have been good if she had come to this realisation in the first six months of the year when New Zealand made an explicit policy decision to have the developed world’s slowest vaccine rollout.

“First, Aucklanders deserve to know at what level of vaccination restrictions can be loosened. Today’s roadmap was vague, confusing and will cause even more stress for Aucklanders.

“The loosening of restrictions should be explicitly tied to particular vaccination rates. This will help motivate people to go out and get vaccinated.

“Ideally the Government would open up more activities to vaccinated people more quickly. This would act as a spur for people to go and get vaccinated and reward people who have done the right thing. But the Government’s incompetence in rolling out the vaccine authentication means this isn’t an option for now. The Government must move immediately to give New Zealanders a digital vaccine authentication tool so people who have been vaccinated can prove it, and enjoy the benefits of having done so.

“Second, we must vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. National has put forward 11 useful ideas to supercharge vaccination in our Opening Up plan and we urge the Government to act on them.

“Some sensible ideas that could be actioned straight away include allowing patient data held by DHBs and Primary Health Organisations to be automatically accessed by Whānau Ora providers like the Waipareira Trust so they can be contacted by those providers about getting the vaccine, mandating that all currently vaccinating GPs and pharmacists can vaccinate for COVID-19, and ramping up pop-up clinics, walk-in centres, 24-hour drop-in clinics for essential workers and vaccination buses.

“Third, it is clear that there is Covid in the community but surveillance testing via nasal PCR testing is just not picking up cases quickly enough. The Government should immediately contract private sector saliva testing companies like Rako Science to conduct surveillance testing. This would significantly increase testing capacity and make a real difference.

“Fourth, the Government should drop its ill-considered ban on rapid antigen testing and roll it out more widely to essential workers, particularly those crossing the Auckland boundary. The case of the Covid-positive truck driver is a perfect example of why rapid antigen testing is needed. He was infectious from September 28 but had his last test on September 24. Daily rapid testing would likely have picked it up sooner.

“Finally, given the cases now appearing at hospitals, there needs to be regular surveillance testing at our public hospitals. Private hospitals have been regularly testing staff for some time now but there is no coordinated, comprehensive plan in our public hospitals. This should be an urgent priority.

“The Government’s rushed and incoherent plan needs bolstering and we urge the Government to pick up National’s ideas to make suppression work.

And let’s not forget why we’re in this position:

Don’t hold your breath for an apology from the government that didn’t rush the roll-out and thereby didn’t allow us to protect ourselves soon enough.

And don’t hold your breath for something a lot more coherent and helpful than yesterday’s pronouncement.

The government was very good at telling us what to do but once again is showing it’s not nearly as good at doing what’s needed itself.

Given that anyone who hasn’t got vaccinated should follow this advice:

%d bloggers like this: