Word of the day


Lictor – an officer attending the consul or other magistrate, bearing the fasces, and executing sentence on offenders; an ancient Roman officer who bore the fasces as the insignia of his office and whose duties included accompanying the chief magistrates in public appearances; a bodyguard in ancient Rome, whose task it was to protect magistrates.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Uncertain times ahead – Peter Burke:

NZ sheep and beef farmers will likely face different risks to their businesses in the coming years due to the Covid pandemic.

Beef+Lamb NZ’s chief economist Andrew Burt says there may be more volatility and risks that farmers will have to manage. He says these will be ones that they haven’t had to think about before or haven’t surfaced for over 20 years.

“It may be the case of unravelling the past and creating a new order.”

Burt confirms that while prices for meat are high at present, this is somewhat shielding significant rises in on-farm costs. He also warns that inflation could have a negative effect on farm profits. . . 

MIQ spots ‘bloody hard’ – Sudesh Kissun:

A lack of spots in MIQ have become a barrier for getting international dairy workers into New Zealand. A lack of spots in MIQ have become a barrier for getting international dairy workers into New Zealand. Securing MIQ spots remain the biggest hurdle to getting overseas workers for the dairy sector.

Five months after the Government granted border exceptions for 200 dairy farm workers and their families, just a handful of workers have arrived in the country.

Now in the dairy sector is pleading for 1500 overseas workers to be allowed into the country and self-quarantine on farms before the start of 2022 season to ease a severe staff shortage.

Federated Farmers dairy chair Chris Lewis says a lot of behind-the-scenes work is going with the Government. . . 

How Tomato Pete got lost and found again – Rachel Stewart:

This a story about Tomato Pete – a name given to him by a farmer amused by his vegetarianism.

Tomato Pete is the son of a friend I’ve known since primary school. She had two children to one man, who soon became largely absent from their lives. As a solo mother she worked hard to raise the kids on her own and, as is often the way, it wasn’t all beer and skittles. But it was okay.

I would show up in my truck every now and then, always with one canine or another in tow. Tomato Pete, a quiet town kid, was about seven when I noticed that he really came alive when he was around dogs.

At 13 he got his first puppy. Pip, a gentle-natured black mongrel, became his constant companion. (He’s still alive today, and enjoying his well-earned dotage). . . 

NZ wins big at World Steak Challenge :

Three New Zealand red meat producers won big at the World Steak Challenge in Dublin.

Anzco and First Light Foods won a gold medal each in the ribeye section, while Alliance Group’s Pure South Handpicked 55-Day Aged Beef won three gold medals.

Hundreds of beef suppliers from around the world had their finest products judged by an independent panel of chefs and experts at the prestigious event.

Alliance general manager of sales Shane Kingston says the win reaffirmed the status of Handpicked 55-Day Aged Beef as among the world’s best. . .

Gen Z it’s time to make your mark on New Zealand’s food and fibre sector :

Food and fibre sector leaders are counting on Generation Z (loosely defined as those born between 1995 and 2010) to take on the future of New Zealand’s food and fibre sector and meet the challenges it faces.

The key to attracting Generation Z (Gen Z) to the sector will be making them aware of the scope of opportunities across the sector, says Madison Pannett, the Kellogg Rural Leadership scholar behind the report, Generation Z and the environment – how can we use their passion to attract them into food and fibre sector careers?

“I have found my journey into the sector so personally rewarding, so I was keen to explore how to inspire young people to join,” says Madison, who now works for the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) as a Senior Adviser in the Animal Welfare Liaison team.

“From my research, I found that Gen Z mainly associates food and fibre sector careers with roles on-farm and not with the wider opportunities that are available,” Madison notes. She says that sector leaders need to tell the story of the scope of rewarding and diverse roles available for Gen Z to contribute and work in line with their values. . .

Western Station buy-up goes way beyond government promises

The acquisition of five western stations by NSW National Parks now totals almost 400,000 hectares in the last year. If you add on travelling stock routes, a large land ‘grab’ would appear to be underway.

Graziers and the community that need them for their economies in the western division are rightly asking questions.

Although some of the purchases were flagged by the government, they are wondering what now is the wash-out from these buy-outs, given the original buy-up was estimated at 200,000 hectares.

It’s estimated that each station in private hands, adds about $500,000 a year into local economies. It’s certain that the national park version will do nothing like that. . .

Thatcher thinks


Protect bad, punish good


Are there no longer consequences for anti-social behaviour?

Two pensioners claim they’ve fielded death threats from their state housing neighbours, including a Black Power gang member who allegedly threatened to slit an 82-year-old’s throat and watch him “bleed out”.

And though they feel terrorised in their long-time home, the couple say Kāinga Ora is powerless to evict the offending tenants despite a prolonged campaign of intimidation and fear.

Police have been called to the Whangārei property about 20 times since the family moved into it earlier this year. The pensioners – aged 69 and 82, who live in the neighbouring Kāinga Ora house – say they are at breaking point and suffering constant anxiety.

A responsible landlord would evict the bad tenants, but that’s not happening.

In response to multiple complaints about the tenants’ antisocial behaviour, Kāinga Ora has halved the couple’s rent, paid for them to attend weekly counselling sessions and arranged for a security firm to visit the property five times a day due to safety concerns – costing taxpayers more than $5000. . .

Rent reduction, counseling and security firm visits won’t be making them feel any safer.

Kāinga Ora had offered to find the couple alternative accommodation but they did not feel they should be forced to move as a result of their neighbours’ behaviour.

The woman said a Kāinga Ora tenancy manager admitted the agency was powerless to evict antisocial tenants due to a “directive” that protected state housing clients.

She was disgusted that people enjoying a taxpayer-funded property could terrorise residents without consequence or fear of eviction.

“We are now having to leave because my husband’s life has been threatened and she has threatened to kill me. It’s appalling.

“It’s a privilege to have one of these homes and they’ve just abused the system. . .

It’s a privilege some tenants regard as a right with absolutely no responsiblities.

National leader Judith Collins said the appalling situation was happening right across the country. She blamed a Government edict that prevented Kāinga Ora from evicting antisocial tenants.

It meant good people were being forced to live next to gang members and having their lives turned upside down, she said.

“Kāinga Ora needs to evict these tenants who are being antisocial and creating mayhem for their neighbours and everyone else in the community.

“There are consequences but the consequences should be felt by the people who create the problems.”

Kāinga Ora denies there is any such directive but admits evictions are a last resort reserved for “extreme” cases. . .

If this isn’t “extreme”, what is?

People who abuse the privilege of a state house like this should face consequences:

The Government must harden up its policy for managing abusive, anti-social state house tenants after revelations that an innocent pensioner couple are being forced to move home because Kāinga Ora refuses to evict their abusive neighbour, says National’s Housing spokesperson Nicola Willis.

“I was horrified to learn the story of a pensioner couple living state housing in Whangārei, feeling terrorised after their state house neighbour has subjected them to a ‘prolonged campaign of intimidation and fear’, including death threats.

“This is unacceptable. Why should law-abiding neighbours be the ones to pay the price? The abusive tenant should be evicted.

“There must be consequences for people who abuse their state tenancy and use it as a platform for victimising others in such a revolting way.

“It appears that under Labour, state tenants can get away with virtually anything, with little consequence. 

“Data I have obtained confirms the view that Labour has virtually banned evictions for state-house tenants. Even for the worst of the worst. 

“Answers to my Parliamentary Questions show that Kāinga Ora has not evicted any tenants since March 2018.

“The state landlord should be firm and fair. No tenant should think they can act without consequence or punishment. They must understand that the state is prepared to remove them from their house if they don’t meet basic standards of behaviour. Evictions should not be the first response but they must be a tool in the toolkit.

“The Minister for Public Housing, Poto Williams, must urgently revisit this naive and cruel policy which is resulting in the victimisation of innocent, law-abiding New Zealanders.”

A government and its agencies ought to protect the good and punish the bad.

Labour has reversed that in going far to far to protect the bad and in doing so are punishing the good.

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