Word of the day


Nitid – bright; lustrous; shining; glistening.

Thatcher thinks


Rural round-up


Sometimes we forget where our watches come from – Peter Cresswell:

The weekend’s #Groundswell protests, and the #Groundswell movement itself, were intended to highlight the plight of the New Zealand farmer under an unsympathetic regime. Instead, however, the organisers have allowed it to become easily gaslighted as something it’s not. As racist, or anti-vax. 

And the important message has been lost: that it’s NZ farmers who allow us to live in first-world comfort — that it’s their exported produce that allows us to buy, at not unreasonable prices, all the technology of the world. As Ludwig Von Mises explained back before electronics took over:

The inhabitants of [Switzerland] prefer to manufacture watches instead of growing wheat. Watchmaking is for them the cheapest way to acquire wheat. On the other hand the growing of wheat is the cheapest way for the Canadian farmer to acquire watches.

The lesson remains the same. To paraphrase now, for us: . . .

‘It’s getting harder and harder to farm’ – Farmers rally for second protest :

Farmers and their townie mates are determined to keep pressuring the government to back off what they see as unnecessary expensive changes after Sunday’s nationwide Groundswell protests.

Driving tractors and utes, they clogged streets in all of the main centres on Sunday to have their say on the government’s Three Waters reforms.

It was the second time the Groundswell group had organised such action, calling the rally the “Mother Of All Protests”.

It was hard to get a handle on the exact numbers taking part, with everybody mostly remaining in their cars and socially distanced, but one thing was for sure: the protesters were rowdy. . . 

New coalition demands a halt to further large-scale exotic carbon farming :

The Native Forest Coalition representing the Environmental Defence Society, Pure Advantage, Rod Donald Trust, the Tindall foundation, Project Crimson, Dame Anne Salmond and Dr Adam Forbes, has released a policy statement and recommendations on native forests, highlighting the urgent need to halt the rapid proliferation of pine plantations driven by high carbon prices and short-term policy settings.

The Coalition strongly favours prioritising native forestry over exotics and argues that before seeking offshore carbon forest credits, government should invest in native forests, for their myriad of benefits, at home. The Coalition’s concerns are summarised in the policy statement below: 

“In tackling the climate change crisis, there’s an urgent need to move away from short-term thinking and siloed government policy. We need a shift towards joined-up strategies that also address the biodiversity crisis, the degradation of waterways and risks to rural communities.  . .

Online job expo hopes to entice seasonal workers for picking season :

A job expo which helps link job seekers with jobs in the horticulture sector is moving online this year.

Last year, Employment and Careers South held a series of expos around Southland and Otago to help those who found themselves unemployed due to the pandemic get jobs in the horticulture sector which was short staffed due to the border closure.

With summer just around the corner and the border still shut – some growers are still facing a worker shortage going into the vital picking season.

With Covid event restrictions the job expo called Super Summer Jobs has gone online this year. . . 

Hill Country Futures programme:

Innovative tools to support farmers and farm consultants in pasture planning are expected to become available next year as part of the Hill Country Futures Programme.

Lincoln University’s Professor Derrick Moot, who is leading several of the research areas that make up the programme, said findings from a number of projects are now being written up.

These include a simple model to help farmers forecast potential yields of lucerne for their properties, a national database of pasture growth data, and legume production data to help farmers assess the difference in productivity they could achieve by replacing resident pasture with improved pasture.

Hill Country Futures is a long-term $8.1m partnership programme, co-funded by Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), Seed Force New Zealand and PGG Wrightson Seeds. . .

Manawa Honey wins four awards at the London Honey Awards 2021:

A small honey producer from Ruatāhuna, in the remote Te Urewera wilderness, crowned Best Tasting Honey in the World earlier this year, has now won four awards at the London International Honey Awards 2021.

Manawa Honey’s Manuka Honey and Tawari Honey won Gold, and their Rewarewa Honey and Pua-a-Tane Wild Forest Honey won Silver. The London Honey Awards attract hundreds of entries from over 30 countries across the world each year. Entries are judged on a range of criteria including the general sense of enjoyment, taste and appearance.

These achievements and awards are now snowballing for this honey producer that has its community rather than commerce alone at heart. Ruatāhuna is situated deep in Te Urewera forest, home to the Tūhoe tribe. It has a population of only about 350 people residents and is a one-hour drive from the nearest town, Murupara and two-hour’s drive from Rotorua. . . 

Sowell says


Don’t know or won’t tell?


This is not the time for the government to be sowing uncertainty:

That the Prime Minister can’t answer even basic questions about her Government’s traffic light system is cause for major concern, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins.

“When asked what the criteria were for moving from one traffic light colour to another, the Prime Minister was unable to say.

“When asked why the South Island was being put into orange – despite having zero Covid cases – she refused to answer.

A government that is restricting what people can do ought to be able to answer any and all questions about the restrictions.

“When asked why Kiwis would be able to fly from Auckland to Wellington with just proof of vaccination but a Kiwi in Queensland would still need to get lucky in the managed isolation lottery and spend a full week in MIQ, she claimed it wouldn’t be fair on New Zealanders stuck in other parts of the world.

“This, despite Auckland having more than 4600 cases in the community while the entire state of Queensland has a total of just four.

It would be hard enough to be stuck in the MIQueue if there was a good reason for it.

When people are more likely to get, and spread, Covid-19 in Auckland and people with the disease are permitted to self-isolate in the community, there is not good reason for not allowing people from low-risk countries who are double vaccinated and test negative to self-isolate in the city.

“The Prime Minister claimed this morning that venues won’t have to use the vaccine verifier app and can instead simply sight someone’s Covid Pass. This comes despite the Ministry of Health’s website stating that use of the app is required for entry.

It must be one or the other, it can’t be both.

“No wonder businesses are confused. These are all details that should have been decided and clearly spelled out months ago.

“We went 18 months without a significant Covid outbreak. The vaccine rollout began more than nine months ago. Delta first arrived in MIQ some seven months ago. This current lockdown began more than three months ago.

“What the hell has the Government been doing all this time? It’s a straight question New Zealanders are asking, but the Government can’t provide a straight answer.

Can’t answer or won’t, because that would be admitting they wasted the time they had, basking in their high opinion of themselves instead of preparing for the outbreaks happening elsewhere?

“Businesses in Auckland have been forced to stay closed for almost 100 days.

“If they are to survive, they need certainty about support they will get, clarity about when Auckland and the rest of the country will move to green, and time to plan for the critical holiday period.

“The Prime Minister needs to tell New Zealand exactly what circumstances and vaccination rate is required for the country to go to the green light.

“Then she needs to put an end to the MIQ lottery of human misery and allow fully vaccinated Kiwis with a negative Covid test to come home for Christmas, starting with the trans-Tasman bubble.”

Is it that the PM doesn’t know the answers to the questions, or that she knows and won’t tell?

The former would be incompetence, the latter control freakery – whichever it is, it’s feeding the growing frustration over continued uncertainty.

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