Give Us Hope

13/10/2021

This video was taken down, it’s back again, but for how long?


Word of the day

13/10/2021

Pessundate – to cast down; to destroy, ruin.


Sowell says

13/10/2021


Rural round-up

13/10/2021

Pomahaka work celebrated – Shawn McAvinue:

The Pomahaka River was once the dirtiest waterway in Otago but a ‘‘trailblazing’’ rural community is uniting to improve it.

About 70 people attended a celebration of the Pomahaka Corridor Planting Project reaching the milestone of putting about 100,000 riparian plants in the ground.

The celebration was at Leithen Picnic Area, on the banks of the Pomahaka River about 10km northwest of Tapanui in West Otago.

Pomahaka Water Care Group project manager Lloyd McCall, of Tapanui, said the river was once deemed the dirtiest in Otago. . .

Efforts ramp up to attract workers to vineyards – Maja Burry:

Efforts to try and recruit New Zealanders to work on vineyards for the 2022 harvest are already ramping up as winemakers look to front a labour shortage.

The challenge of finding skilled staff has been intensified by the Covid-19 border restrictions, with fewer overseas workers in the country.

In Marlborough, one of New Zealand’s winegrowing regions, it was estimated about 1200 people are needed to harvest the 2022 vintage, which usually kicked into gear in early March.

Marisco Vineyards general manager Matt Mitchell said the business had started looking for cellar hands, wine press operators, flotation technicians and forklift drivers more than four months in advance . .

Rural NZ urged to take the lead:

National Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger is urging rural Kiwis to get out and get vaccinated, if they haven’t already, on Saturday.

“Many of our rural industry sectors have been devastated by the challenges of COVID-19, especially tourism and hospitality, and there is no end in sight,” she says.

“Farmers and their teams have been busy doing their own thing, but we’re at the end of calving and lambing. Now is the time for them to ensure that they and their families, as well as their staff, are protected.” . .

Stock agent retiring after 50 years – Shawn McAvinue:

A Southern livestock agent is calling time on career of more than 50 years and will celebrate with a ginger beer on his final day this Friday.

PGG Wrightson agent Mike Broomhall, of Otautau, said the retirement date was chosen because it allowed him to work at Rodney and Jocelyn Dobson’s annual Jersey bull sale in Western Southland last week.

‘‘I was with Rodney for his first sale.’’

Mr Broomhall was born in Kaikoura and raised in Christchurch. . .

Sunflowers a rotational crop option for New Zealand growers :

Growing sunflowers to produce hi-oleic oil could provide additional income for New Zealand growers as a rotational crop during the summer period, new research has found.

The Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) has concluded a three-year project looking at crop options to raise profitability and provide alternative land uses. The project received $90,000 through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI’s) Sustainable Farming Fund (now superseded by the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund). High-oleic varieties of sunflowers were identified as a promising crop.

“Our research shows we have the conditions in New Zealand for successful sunflower crops, with yield potential in excess of 4.5 tonnes per hectare,” says Ivan Lawrie, FAR’s General Manager Business Operations. . .

Best-practice Southland organic dairying portfolio for sale:

One of the largest scaled organic dairying portfolios in the Southern Hemisphere has been placed on the market for sale, providing sustainability options for astute buyers.

Spread across the Southland region, the Aquila Sustainable Farming portfolio has an amalgamated farm footprint of 2,971 hectares across six productive organic dairy units and 871 hectares from two leased organic support blocks.

The properties have a high-standard of farm infrastructure and improvements, including 27 homes. . .

 


Yes Sir Humphrey

13/10/2021


Time to follow Tasmania?

13/10/2021

A couple of months ago the Prime Minister was using Australia as an example of what not to do.

There is one state that is an example of what to do and that’s Tasmania which hasn’t had a case of community transmission of Covid-19 for more than a year.

The obvious advantage it has over the rest of the country is it’s separated from them by water.

The South Island is separated from the North by water too, is it time to get a much harder border at Cook Strait?

Mike Yardley says it is:

The Government has failed to tighten up the ropey Auckland boundary and the risk it poses. And there’s been no desire from Wellington to seal off the zero-Covid South so that restrictions can be loosened.

Nero would be astounded at the scale of fiddling that has torched Christchurch’s most prestigious week.

So now the South is losing its biggest party, how about a comfort blanket?

The island of 1.2 million people hasn’t clocked a Covid case in the community for 336 days. As far as we know. The wastewater testing keeps coming up negative, all over the island.

Yes, Delta will finally reach the South, but why give it an early invitation, or a helping hand?

I believe the South Island should be sealed off from the North, by way of far tougher travel restrictions for the next six weeks. Only critical workers or the critically in need should be allowed to cross the Cook Strait, pre-conditioned on being vaccinated and testing negative. . .

A Stuff editorial also asks for a harder border:

Border protections within the country need to be shored up, considerably.

The South Island needs hard-border protections against the Delta variant’s creep out of the Auckland region.

The lower North Island, too, deserves something more than the velvet rope the Government has strung up in some of the harder-to-police parts of the Auckland border,.

The shortcomings of a border strategy have been evident in the upper North Island but more can and needs to be done to staunch the virus’ progress south – at least long enough to buy valuable time for vaccination protections to be built up in the community.

Public health experts, community and business leaders have all but linked arms to call for tougher criteria for who can cross the border out of Auckland and Waikato. Otago University’s Nick Wilson describes a limiting of what qualifies as essential travel, and requiring southbound travellers to be fully vaccinated, and have a nasopharyngeal Covid test, and then a rapid test at the border.

How hard would it be to require the full vaccination and the two tests for anyone leaving?

The lower North Island is surely able to be better defended by a hard-border approach too.

This shouldn’t be seen as coming at the expense of an encircled Auckland but it far better protects the health of more southern New Zealanders, let alone regional and national economies.

Moreover, it mitigates how thinly stretched resources might be. This is not a situation where misery loves company – less stressed areas are better placed to send, for instance, medical assistance where it’s most needed.

The obvious comparison, certainly for the South Island, is Tasmania, where an enviable record during the pandemic has not simply been attributable to the fact that the community there has a giant moat.

Many of the measures will ring familiar – border closures, testing, contact tracing – and there has been real rigour to requirements on returned travellers from other more problematic parts of the Lucky Country, quite apart from international returnees.  . . 

Keith Woodford says we need a Covid reset:

. . .Leadership sometimes means admitting errors and doing a reset. I have always liked the Eisenhower quote, of which there are several versions, that ‘planning is everything but plans are nothing’.  There is no point in trying to defend the indefensible. . . 

The late and lax rollout of vaccination is indefensible.

Had more people been fully vaccinated sooner, Delta would not be such a threat.

The vaccination programme has gone up several gears, but what else could be done?

In addition to any soft borders, there need to be two hard borders, one separating off the North Island into two, with Waiouru being a key border point. There would need to be additional hard-border points on Highways 2, 3, 4 and 5, with Highway 43 also blockaded.

Cook Strait provides a superb natural border between the North and South islands. Freight would continue by air and sea. The Cook Strait ferries could use different drivers, with North Island drivers leaving their loads on the ferry at Wellington and fresh drivers picking up the load in Picton. All passenger air-transport between the islands would cease except for medical emergencies.

These two hard borders do not necessarily replace existing soft borders. Rather, they are defensible borders with prospect of being maintained.

These hard regional borders may need to remain in place even after all within-region movements are opened up. At some point regional hard-borders would be removed for those who are vaccinated, but perhaps not until considerably later for the non-vaccinated.

In contrast, softer borders protecting regions such as Rotorua and Taupo will almost certainly be bypassed. All they can do is slow down the infection rate outside of Auckland before eventually being made irrelevant. . . 

There comes a time when individuals have to take responsibility for their own welfare. Society cannot be responsible for those who will not get the vaccine. . .

The alternative of staying in Level 3 over coming weeks appears to combine the worst of all outcomes. It is now evident that exponential growth is highly likely to continue. We will indeed end up with two groups of people, these being the vaccinated and the infected, but with everyone’s lifestyle affected.

To those who say that restrictions should be removed earlier than what I have set out here, my response is to say that we have to accept that it is only now that many people are becoming eligible for their second dose.

And to those who continue to say that we cannot leave anyone behind, I say that this current commitment is counter-productive. The non-vaccinated need to understand that broader society will not tolerate being treated in this way. And that is something that the Government also needs to understand.  Either people get the vaccine or they accept the consequences. . . .

That sounds harsh, but the alternative is that once every effort has been made to reach everyone who is willing to be vaccinated, the won’t-be vaccinated are preventing more freedom for the rest of us.

The consequences for the unvaccinated might result in hospitals being overrun with Covid cases. But lockdowns also have high health costs for people whose serious illnesses go undiagnosed, or untreated.

New Zealand’s initial response to Covid-19 gained wide international praise.

Much of that praise has turned to criticism and while the rest of the world is slowly opening up, more than a third of our population are locked down and the rest of us are waiting for what will be the inevitable spread of Delta unless the government does a reset and does it fast.


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