Word of the day


Peavy – a lumberer’s cant hook with a spike at the end; a stout lever with a sharp spike used for handling logs.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Farmers have good reason to be nervous about the ETS – Campbell Stewart:

As consultation by He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN, the primary sector climate action partnership) has rounded up, there are still a vast number of farmers who are nervous, confused and angry about what the future for managing agricultural emissions in New Zealand might look like, and for good reason.

The fast pace of law-making in New Zealand in recent years is unsettling. Not only for the rural community trying to get their heads around what it all means for them, but for a range of sectors, including participants in New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme.

Farmers are grappling with HWEN’s two options for managing agricultural emissions – an on-farm levy or a processor levy. But the alternative of a blanket inclusion of agriculture in the ETS, which is the option if HWEN cannot convince the Government to adopt its suggested approach, is a particularly frightening prospect.

In its current form, the ETS isn’t working well for participants, particularly foresters. Adding complexity and workload for officials by including agriculture would be a disaster. . . 

Clock ticking on plan to keep agriculture out of the Emissions Trading Scheme – Stephen Ward:

The clock is ticking towards the end of May deadline for finalising a scheme to keep agriculture out the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), an issue of key interest to Waikato’s extensive dairy sector and other agricultural players.

Ngahinapouri dairy farmer Jim van der Poel, the chair of agriculture heavyweight DairyNZ, believes the final proposal from sector group He Waka Eke Noa will ultimately help farmers and others manage emissions-related financial risk better. Overall, he said it would also do more to assist Aotearoa to meet its international emissions reduction obligations as the world tackles climate change.

Besides his organisation, He Waka Eke Noa involves Beef and Lamb NZ, Dairy Companies Association, Federated Farmers, Foundation for Arable Research, Horticulture NZ, Irrigation NZ, the Federation of Māori Authorities, Deer Industry Association, Meat Industry Association and Apiculture NZ.

Emissions related to nitrous oxide (from the likes of fertiliser and stock urine) and methane (from cows belching) are covered by what will be proposed by He Waka Eke Noa. It doesn’t cover farmers’ fossil fuel-related emissions. . . 

NZ dairy farmer looks to head up world body

West Coast dairy farmer and former Federated Farmers president Katie Milne is making a bid to head up the World Farmers’ Organisation, a Rome-based advocacy group that brings together farmer organisations and agricultural co-operatives from across the world. 

Milne has served on the organisation’s board for nearly five years and is standing for election as president at the upcoming general assembly in Budapest from June 7-10.

She is one of three candidates, something she says is positive.

“It’s healthy to have options and a lot of diversity of thought and debate on the way forward,” she says.  . . 

BNZ launches incentives for ‘green’ farmers

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) has launched an Agribusiness Sustainability Linked Loan (SLL) product available to all New Zealand farmers.

The term loan, a SLL available to all farmers no matter the size of their farm or industry, offers interest cost savings for achieving environmental and social targets including: Greenhouse gas reductions; eco-system protection; improved care for staff; protecting waterways; improving biodiversity; and animal welfare.

It is the first time a SLL has been available as a loan product to all New Zealand farmers. Environmental and Social targets are set and agreed with BNZ and progress independently verified annually.

“New Zealand’s farmers are working hard to achieve environmental and social goals and we want to support and incentivise their efforts,” says Dana Muir, BNZ head of natural capital. . . 

Turning theory into practicality – Leo Argent:

Kirsten Duess believes the findings of her research work into soil drainage in Southland will have benefits for other parts of New Zealand as well.

The final-year Lincoln University PhD candidate was the 2021 winner of the NZ Society of Soil Science/Fertiliser Association of NZ Postgraduate Bursary Award. The $5,000 award recognises the efforts and likely contribution to New Zealand soil science arising from a doctorate study.

Duess’ postgraduate research saw her lead a long-term field study on soil and catchment hydrology in Southland. The findings will help understand the role mole and tile drains play in that region’s unique landscape.

“We were interested in understanding the hydrology of a small catchment that is drained by a mole and tile drainage system on a sheep farm near Otahuti in Southland,” she told Rural News. . .


Pork industry wants welfare code extended to imports :

More than 3000 people have signed a petition calling for imported pork to meet the same animal welfare standards as pork produced here.

Started by Frances Clement, a policy advisor to statutory industry board, NZ Pork, the petition was presented to parliament on Tuesday.

NZ Pork chief executive, Brent Kleiss said New Zealand’s pork sector had high welfare standards compared to many other countries with less rigorous health, welfare and environmental regimes.

But over 60 percent of pork consumed in New Zealand was imported with most of it being produced in countries that farm pigs using practices that are illegal in this country he said. . . 

Black Heels & Tractor Wheels – Shaz Dagg


Black Heels and Tractor Wheels Podcasts are a Rural Women NZ initiative in which they share stories from a range of women around New Zealand.

Today we are speaking to the incredible, ‘limb-it-less’ Shaz Dagg. She is New Zealand’s first elite para-triathlete and Parafed Manawatū’s sport development adviser. 

In 2016, Shaz’s left arm was crushed by a gate while she was working on a goat farm.

After multiple complications, and nine surgeries, the arm was amputated above her elbow. Prior to her farm accident, Shaz represented New Zealand at the 2014 ITU world duathlon championships in Spain and raced in a number of Ironman events.

She also competed as an age-grade triathlete and decided to come back to the sport after her accident.

By 2018 she had qualified to represent New Zealand at the triathlon world champs on the Gold Coast, becoming the country’s first Para triathlete.

In 2021 Shaz was the first ever female amputee to complete the Coast – to Coast.  

If you enjoyed this episode, feel free to visit our Instagram, Facebook, and website, or even become a member! www.ruralwomennz.nz 


A better way than uFPAs


BusinessNZ had full page advertisement in the ODT yesterday seeking support for its alternative to the governments (Un)Fair Pay Agreements (UFPA).

Theirs is a much better way to address employment problems, where they exist,  than the (Un)Fair Pay Agreements proposed by the government:

As the Government continues to push forward with FPAs, BusinessNZ is recommending three policy changes the Government should make instead.

Having passed its first reading, the Government’s FPA Bill will now go to select committee, with public submissions accepted until 19 May 2022.

Last week, BusinessNZ launched a nationwide campaign ‘ Your Work, Your Way’, calling on Kiwis to reject FPAs, a policy they describe as a sledgehammer which punishes all sectors in an attempt to improve a few. CEO Kirk Hope says there is a smarter way, “FPAs are not fair and do not achieve what the Government says they will. That’s why we are advocating for a smarter way of working.

“Unlike the Government’s bill which strips away Kiwis’ rights to negotiate their working conditions with their employers, we are proposing to actively target the sectors needing reform,” says Hope.

The government is following its usual pattern of radical change for everyone instead of addressing problems in the relatively few areas needing attention.

“Our roadmap represents international best practice and is in fact what the Government’s own officials told them to do rather than proceeding with FPAs.”

The three recommended areas of policy reform focus on protecting flexibility, targeting sectors needing reform and cracking down on poor employers:

    • Protect flexible working – make FPAs voluntary.

BusinessNZ is calling for FPAs to be voluntary, not compulsory. Individual employers and employees should have the opportunity to opt-out of them. Voluntary FPAs would at least be more consistent with New Zealand’s obligations under international law.

    • Target problem industries – limited sector based minimum standards to protect vulnerable workers .

As recommended by officials, BusinessNZ supports the development of a limited set of legally binding sector-based minimum standards for industries where a clear and significant labour market problem has been established.

As a major employer in some of the sectors where issues have been identified, the Government can take a leadership role immediately by committing to best practice employment standards in these sectors.

Could it be the government is judging all businesses by its own failings instead of addressing areas where it falls short itself?

    • Crack down on poor employers – beef up enforcement to prosecute those who break the law.
    • BusinessNZ recommends the number of workplace inspectors be increased to protect vulnerable workers. Their powers to access workplaces and work records should also be brought to a level that allows inspectors to better detect inappropriate activity and enforce minimum labour standards.

“FPAs are fast becoming an embarrassment for the Government. It’s time they listen to their own officials, employers, and employees and scrap this flawed policy and instead take action that will make a real difference where it is needed most.

“Our roadmap sets out a common sense way forward to improve workplace relations and crack down on bad employers without taking away people’s rights and breaking international labour laws. We urge the Government to adopt it and we will continue to advocate strongly for all the rights of Kiwi workers and employers throughout the Select Committee process,” says Mr Hope.

Find out more about BusinessNZ’s Smarter Way and sign the open letter rejecting FPAs at www.yourworkyourway.co.nz.

This government has a dreadful habit of imposing whole of sector reform instead of targetting change where it’s needed.

They did it with polytechs, they’re doing it with health and three waters, and they’re trying to do it with (U)FPAs.

Contrary to the name, these are unfair, not least because whole sectors would have to accept FPAs at the behest of just 10 percent of the workforce even if the other 90 percent didn’t want to agree to them.

BusinessNZ’s suggestions are better and fairer to employers and employees.


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