Word of the day


Escheat – the reversion of property to the state, or (in feudal law) to a lord, on the owner’s dying without legal heirs; the right of a government to take ownership of estate assets or unclaimed property; to revert to a lord or the state by escheat.

Mary’s Boy Child,


Rural round-up


Rural residents near Fielding continue cleaning up after deluge – Jimmy Ellingham:

Forestry slash and mud litter properties after destructive torrent of water destroys road and leaves 48 homes flooded.

The runoff stream snaking through Julie Rush’s 12-hectare property is back to its normal harmless trickle.

During last Wednesday’s downpour, however, it was a torrent of water, depositing forestry slash and mud over her garden and in her house.

“It was like a tsunami and I could see it coming. Then it folded over and it just came at you. I stood there with my mouth open. I couldn’t believe what I was watching.” . . 

Levy bodies advocacy questioned – David Anderson:

North Otago farmer Jane Smith says she remains concerned that levy organisations appear to have little appetite for gaining full and transparent farmer mandates before taking their advocacy positions.

Smith believes a clear example is the looming emissions regulation and targets for the agricultural sector – where she claims DairyNZ took a position of a methane reduction of 10% by 2030, whereas Beef+Lamb NZ and Federated Farmers took the globally-accepted reduction of 3% by 2030 and 10% by 2050.

“This is a totally unacceptable captain’s call by the dairy sector with no science or practicality underpinning it,” Smith told Rural News.

“The only rationale that has been given to me for this was that they would gain ‘credibility’ with the Government. I am appalled that DairyNZ would attempt to grab unquantifiable brownie points, whilst throwing the most methane efficient ag sector in the world under the climate bus.” . .

Northland peanut dream one step closer :

A recent Government-backed project proved that peanuts can be grown successfully in Northland. Now, additional government funding is making the next step towards commercialisation possible.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is contributing nearly $700,000 to a new peanut growing trial through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures), with an additional $300,000 in cash and in-kind support from Northland Inc, Picot Productions, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research, Plant & Food Research, and local Northland landowners.

“The findings of a six-month feasibility study we supported through SFF Futures late last year were encouraging,” says Steve Penno, MPI’s Director of Investment Programmes. “This new project will build upon the initial findings to determine whether it’s financially viable to plant, harvest, and process peanuts at scale.”

Northland Inc is taking the lead in the new project, which will run for two years. . . 

New Zealand apple industry appoints two new associate directors :

New Zealand Apples and Pears (NZAPI) has announced the two appointments to its 2022 Associate Director programme.

Freshmax Exports Asia Sales Manager Greg Sutherland and Mr. Apple Export Sales Executive Naomi Mannering will join the NZAPI board in 2022 as Associate Directors.

The Associate Director programme was introduced in 2019 as a way for NZAPI to grow its future governance and representation pool to provide the board’s selection committee with a pipeline of aspiring directors who have both the knowledge and training for what is involved in governing such an organisation, and in general, acquaint up and coming pipfruit industry managers with the governance of the industry body.

“The programme offers successful candidates a chance to work alongside the NZAPI board and to be mentored by directors, along with receiving the relevant New Zealand Institute of Directors’ training,” says NZAPI board chair Richard Punter . . 

New Tokoroa dairy plant on track as ofi confirms lead contractor:

Tokoroa is a step closer to becoming home to a new state-of-the-art dairy processing plant with the lead contractor being appointed to construct the facility.

ofi has appointed GEA New Zealand Ltd (GEA), with First Principles Contractors as a building partner, to construct its dairy plant in South Waikato.

The new plant will include innovative technology designed to reduce pollution, minimise water and energy use and ensure waste is handled in the most sustainable way possible.

Paul Rennie, Operations Director for ofi in New Zealand, said the company is delighted to work with a partner of GEA’s calibre. . . 

UK opens its doors to Aussie red meat:

Australian beef and sheep meat access to the United Kingdom is now set to be liberalised, with the signing of a free trade agreement between the two nations.

Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan and the UK Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan have finalised the Australia-UK FTA agreed to in principle by Prime Ministers Morrison and Johnson in June.

Australia will now be better placed to help supply some of the UK’s import requirement for high-quality beef, sheep meat and goat meat, red meat industry leaders said.

“The inking of the FTA solidifies an already close partnership between the two countries,” said Andrew McDonald, chair of the Australia-UK Red Meat Market Access Taskforce. . . 

Sowell says


Control freakery costs


Would it be safer to be with someone who may or may not be vaccinated but had had a negative rapid antigen test a few minutes ago, or someone untested but vaccinated?

Whatever the answer to that is, wouldn’t we all, vaccinated or not, be able to be freer if rapid antigen tests were freely available?

Sir Ian Taylor says a reliable rapid test was offered to our government last year (4:34 on the audio):

. . . June last year over 12 months ago, an American company, a guy who comes to New Zealand every year for 20 years, and owns a big medical company and he offered to trial a test in New Zealand. 

One of the biggest problems we’ve got is the nasopharyngeal test which means that anyone coming to New Zealand has to  test 72 hours, that’s three days. During Omicron, the most infectious disease version we’ve got, you’re going to catch it in three days. 

This test that he offered to trial in New Zealand more than a year ago, picks up a negative test in less than 11 minutes. It’s been approved by the FDA, the EDA, it’s being used in Israel, the US, Canada, Singapore, all of those places, and he didn’t even get a reply. . . 

Why don’t we have this test or one of the similar ones that are freely available in other countries?

“Everywhere you turn it’s the Ministry of Health that seems to block any discussion, and it is interesting that there are a number of business people I have talked to that have stepped up in support, there are a number of people working with government who have stepped up in support, but all of them feel threatened to speak out. Now that’s not a democracy.” 

The government, and Ministry, have been pigheadedly reluctant to listen to, let alone accept, advice from outside and are displaying a completely unacceptable level of control freakery over rapid antigen testing.

I am double vaccinated and will get a booster as soon as I can.

That makes me less likely to get Covid-19, less likely to spread it and less likely to become seriously ill if I do.

But it doesn’t mean I can’t get it and spread it.

At the moment to be sure I didn’t have the disease, I’d have to have a nasopharyngeal test the results of which could take 72 hours or longer to get back to me because only the unvaccinated who need to travel can get rapid antigen tests, and they have to go to a pharmacy to get them.

Even if the test was negative, I could have become infected after the test was taken, especially with the speed at which Omicron spreads.

What’s happening overseas where Omicron is in the community points to a very rapid spread – far too rapid to rely on the nasopharyngeal tests which take far too long to process and tie up far too much time in laboratories.

So far the new variant has been stopped at the border. It would be a miracle if it stays there.

If, and it’s mostly likely when, it gets through to the community, freely available tests which give results in minutes rather than days could identify those infected sooner and significantly slow down the spread.

But the control freakery from the government and ministry have prevented us from having that option. The cost of that will include a faster and wider spread of the disease, threats to the health system, and a continuation of restrictions on our freedom.

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