Veridical – based on or coinciding with reality; real; actual; genuine; showing what is true or real.
Word of the day30/06/2022
Forestry Amendment Bill fails to achieve fairness :
New rules fall short of delivering a level playing field when overseas investors buy our farmland for forestry, Federated Farmers says.
It’s a “step in the right direction” to scrap the much-criticised special forestry test, Feds Gisborne-Wairoa President Toby Williams said. Instead, overseas investors purchasing farmed land for conversion to forestry would be required to meet the Overseas Investment Office ‘general benefit to New Zealand test’.
“But it will continue to be an uneven land-use playing field because investors buying farmland to continue to raise crops and livestock run up against the much more stringent Farm Land Benefit test.”
Speaking to the Finance & Expenditure Select Committee on the Overseas Investment (Forestry) Amendment Bill this morning, Toby said the general benefit test that would apply to farmland to forestry conversions “provides a slightly higher hurdle but it is nothing like as onerous as the farmland test. . .
Farmers can reduce emissions and reach the 2030 targets – Kelly Forster:
Those who criticise He Waka Eke Noa for relying on ‘unproven technofixes’ ignore New Zealand’s very strong history of agricultural innovation, argues Kelly Forster
Opinion: On a stud sheep farm in Southland, Leon and Wendy Black are breeding low-methane-emitting rams, which Leon says gives farmers a viable option for reducing their methane emissions.
As Leon says, we now have the tools to measure methane production, and through tweaking the genetics the right way, we can reduce emissions in small incremental steps, improving every generation.
Over three breeding generations this could reduce a farm’s methane emissions between 5 percent and 10 percent. . .
Otago property native carbon groundbreaker – Sally Rae:
An Otago station is one of the first properties to receive Native CarbonCrop Units through Nelson-founded climate tech startup CarbonCrop.
CarbonCrop, which was established in 2020, yesterday launched Native CarbonCrop Units (CCUs) to enable landowners with native reforestation to access revenue, outside the Emissions Trading Scheme.
The company worked with 15 landowners throughout the country in a pre-launch pilot and more than 5000 CCUs were certified for 631ha of native regeneration, worth about $260,000 at current prices, a statement from the company said.
More than $140,000 of those credits have been sold via the Carbonz platform to companies including Christchurch Airport, Heilala Vanilla and Les Mills. . .
Counting our farming emissions – Sharon Brettkelly:
There are plenty of farmers out there doing everything they can to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. The Detail takes a trip to a dairy farm in south Waikato to find out how one farming couple is doing it.
“It’s a beast,” says Tokoroa dairy farmer George Moss.
He’s not talking about one of his cows – he’s talking about the job of understanding, counting and cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the farm he runs with his wife, Sharon.
New Zealand will be the first country in the world to price emissions at the farmgate, if the agriculture sector’s plan – He Waka Eke Noa – is agreed to by the government. . .
2022 kiwifruit harvest complete :
The 2022 harvest of New Zealand’s largest horticultural produce, kiwifruit, is now largely complete with almost all 2,800 growers’ orchards from Kerikeri in the north to Motueka in the south picked for consumers. The 2022 season was expected to have a record-breaking crop of at least 190 million trays of kiwifruit, overtaking last year’s record of over 177 million trays. On average, each tray has around 30 pieces of kiwifruit. However, revisions in the forecast indicate that this year’s volume will be below 2021. Current thought to the reduction is due to labour supply, crop loading and weather. Investigation is this space is ongoing.
2022 also marks the first year that Zespri’s new RubyRed kiwifruit was picked as a commercial variety, which was then followed by the gold and green varieties. The sweet, berry-tinged tasting red kiwifruit was picked for supermarket shelves in New Zealand and overseas markets.
Despite the uncertainty of seasonal labour supply at the beginning of the year, all growers had the opportunity to have their kiwifruit picked and packed. The success of the 2022 kiwifruit harvest hinged on the ability for industry’s supply chain to operate effectively with a restricted labour supply under the changing COVID-19 settings. The 24,000 seasonal workers required to pick and pack the crop were restricted due to COVID-19 infection rates as well as closed borders which limited the 6,500 backpackers traditionally utilised for harvest operations.
CEO of New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Inc. (NZKGI), Colin Bond says that experience of COVID-19 from the two previous seasons gave the kiwifruit industry the foresight to streamline processes across the supply chain to mitigate foreseeable risks. . .
New AgWorkNZ initiative aims to fill NZ’s extreme agri-worker shortages :
New worker placement initiative Ag Work NZ aims to fill New Zealand’s huge farm worker and tractor driver shortages for our thriving primary industry. Ag Work NZ is affiliated with rural driver training provider Ag Drive, and will bring experienced staff over from the UK, Ireland and Europe on holiday working visas, following the reopening of NZ’s borders.
Director Andre Syben says the launch of Ag Work NZ is perfectly timed to fill the extreme farm worker shortages in New Zealand, while capitalising on the re-opening of NZ borders after the Covid-19 pandemic closures.
“What we’re hearing from New Zealand farmers and agricultural contractors is that they’re desperate for staff,” says Syben.
Northern hemisphere workers will be recruited by Ag Works’ own UK-based team, who will interview and screen workers. Then, in conjunction with Ag Works NZ-based recruitment team, potential workers will be matched with NZ farm and agricultural employers for an online interview. . .
Black Heels & Tractor Wheels – Clare Bradley30/06/2022
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 Clare Bradley, CEO of AgriSea, who is based in Paeroa with her husband Tane and their three children. Clare started her career after studying Biology at Auckland University. She previously lived and worked for 2 years in the Amazon Rainforest, with a remote community helping them to develop enterprises that would conserve their rainforest. AgriSea was founded more than 20 years ago by Clare’s mother and father-in-law. The company produces seaweed-based concentrates used in the agriculture, horticulture, viticulture, and apiculture sectors.
Inaction & distraction30/06/2022
A year ago the government was warned that urgent action was needed to avert a health crisis:.
Newly released information shows that Health Minister Andrew Little ignored warnings a year ago about the risk of crippling health shortages, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
“An urgent letter on behalf of all 20 DHBs was sent to health officials in July 2021 warning of impending health workforce shortages and requesting immediate changes to immigration settings.
“After receiving the letter warning of a looming storm about to hit the health sector, Andrew Little decided to ignore it and pushed on with his health restructure.
“The letter clearly outlines the danger of critical workforce shortages, the need for overseas trained staff, and an expected increase in demand in emergency departments. Unfortunately, this gloomy prognosis from the sector has come true.
“The Health Minister is failing at his core responsibility of ensuring New Zealanders have access to health care, all because he is distracted by his ideologically driven desire to restructure the health bureaucracy.
“New Zealanders are now missing out on health care because Minister Little has failed to act on warnings from the sector. Meanwhile, New Zealand is missing out on nurses to Australia because the Government has refused to put them on the fast-tracked residency pathway. Now we are dangerously 4,000 nurses short and have a health sector slowly falling apart at the seams.
“Andrew Little needs to explain why he didn’t listen to pleas from the sector last year about the coming workforce shortage, and why he didn’t take urgent action to bring more workers in from overseas.”
The government keeps boasting of the money it’s poured into health but it hasn’t gone where it’s needed:
We now know why Andrew Little isn’t resourcing Emergency Departments – because he has spent it all on consultants and contractors, National’s Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti says.
Last year the Ministry of Health reportedly hired 407 consultants and contractors but with a month still to go in the current reporting year that number has exploded to 1,359 – nearly 1,000 more.
“Our hospitals are at breaking point. We are desperately short of 4,000 nurses and the Government has hired 1,000 consultants to prop up their flailing health restructure.
“This is a slap in the face for aged residential care who are desperate for 1,000 nurses, DHBs who are desperate for 3,000 nurses, clinics who are desperate for 1,500 GPs and specialists who are 1,500 short.
“New Zealanders deserve better. Andrew Little needs to explain to patients waiting more than eight hours at Middlemore ED why an extra 1,000 consultants is more important than ED doctors and nurses.”
Dr Reti spoke outlined the failings in yesterday’s General Debate:
Thank you, Mr Speaker. We now know why more than more than 36,000 people are waiting more than four months to see a specialist. We now know why emergency department (ED) wait times have increased, with some people waiting more than 32 hours. We now know why we have a health workforce shortage—4,000 nurses, 1,500 GPs, and 1,500 specialists.
Because Andrew Little ignored the cry for help a year ago when a district health board (DHB) chief executive wrote, on behalf of every DHB, pleading for help, a letter with dire warnings and actions that were needed immediately to “avert a health crisis”. A year later, the chickens have come home to roost.
Let’s see if Andrew Little takes a general debate call this afternoon, 48 hours out from significant health reforms, which would be the convention with such a big structural change. Let’s see if that happens, and if he wants to defend what I’ll lay down on the table today. The Minister is trying to say he only found out about this letter a month ago. I do not believe that, and I want to challenge that on at least two points.
First of all, if the Minister didn’t know about the letter, he should have known about the letter. This letter was on behalf of every single chief executive in the DHB sector—that is, the most senior executive group in our hospitals—and they deserved his attention.
Secondly, very senior people in the Minister’s own ministry also received the letter—the ministry he is supposed to have oversight for. It was also sent to the acting Deputy Director-General of Health Workforce New Zealand on 28 July last year. It’s a very senior person, the Deputy Director-General, inside the Ministry of Health.
I contend that Andrew Little should have been aware, or was aware, of this letter from DHBs a year ago and he did nothing. The Minister was warned a year ago and did nothing. His track record in this sort of MO is well known. I’m inclined to remember ICU beds—warned about it, did nothing, and the dire consequence that came from doing nothing around ICU beds, and particularly building new ICU beds, particularly in Auckland.
The letter sent by 20 DHBs a year ago had multiple warnings. First, the health system is buckling, with some sites in code red. Directly from the letter: “You will be aware that our hospitals are also experiencing very high levels of occupancy at present, and some sites are even in code red, where they are deemed to be at extreme levels. This is obviously an unsustainable situation and places even more pressure on our existing workforce. We are very concerned about this situation and for the potential for further deterioration if there are no changes to assist with at least securing the existing workforce from 20 DHBs.”
Secondly, the letter also says, “We are also experiencing increased presentations in emergency departments.” They even sent graphs of what the occupancy rate looks like inside the EDs, showing the increasing trend towards what they call “extreme occupancy” across emergency departments a year ago, and here we are today with emergency department times increasing.
Point three, what the letter also says: “In order to respond to surge, the system will have to redirect workforce from areas like planned care.” That’s code for 36,000 people waiting more than four months to see a specialist. What’s really poignant is their last summary of that: “This will have long-term impacts on the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders.”
Point four, and here’s the immigration bit—here is what 20 DHBs were urgently asking for, which resonates what my colleague Erica Stanford has been talking about for a long time, in which we have a petition up at the moment. This is the summary to the letter: “Therefore, DHBs seek your immediate attention to (1) ensure our current overseas-trained staff can have a direct and prompt path to residency.” That’s not two years for registered nurses; that’s a direct and prompt path to residency. “And (2) that overseas health professionals are facilitated to enter New Zealand as required to avert a crisis in the health sector.”
Clearly that has failed. This was a warning a year ago that the Minister had and he did nothing. There’s now no money for ED nurses; no money for ED docs. Because what we also know is that instead of building the health workforce, the ministry has employed up to 1,000 new consultants—not even in the past year, just in the past 10 months is what the written parliamentary question shows. No money for ED nurses, no money for ED doctors, but plenty for up to 1,000 consultants.
It’s interesting looking at the list of consultants: corporate services, 78; data and digital, 728; the DG’s Office, 40; Health Workforce New Zealand, 10. I think that kind of sums it up right there. Just 10 in this bloated, excessive list of consultants. I rest my case.
The government kept telling us the Covid-19 lockdowns and other restrictions imposed on us were to stop the health system from being overwhelmed.
But in spite of those unprecedented losses of freedom, the health system is in crisis.
. . . The health system is in meltdown. Call it a crisis, or don’t. It is collapsing around us.
Healthcare staff are at the end of their rope – undervalued and underpaid for years, the wave of strikes is a cry for help. Most are distressed because they know people will die because they can’t access treatment.
As the system buckles, there is incredulity that Health Minister Andrew Little is pushing ahead with a bureaucratic overhaul. Doctors are being asked to work – unpaid – on groups advising the ministry on how to bed in the new regime. No-one seems to know how it will work – the changes are yet another burden that the workforce cannot absorb. . .
People who move can’t register with a general practitioner and those who have one wait days, sometimes weeks, for an appointment.
Emergency Departments are overwhelmed, there’s a dire shortage of beds in wards and elective surgery has to be postponed time and time again.
Some of the blame can be placed on Covid-19 but the pandemic isn’t responsible for all the problems.
It’s the government that didn’t respond to the warning from the DHB’s.
It’s the government that wouldn’t loosen immigration settings to enable foreign health professionals here to gain residency and those overseas to come in.
It’s the government that’s wasted time, energy and millions of dollars on restructuring the system instead of addressing the problems facing services and the people who deliver them.
It’s the health workforce and people needing services who are paying a very high price for their inaction over the problems and distraction with restructuring.
Word of the day29/06/2022
Anacephalaeosis – a recapitulation or summary of the major points, or the significant part of the discourse; a figure of speech in which all the main facts or points of a speech are restated or summarised.
Hobson’s Choice – Rural News:
One of the most recognised lines from the classic TV show Hill Street Blues was the send out by Sgt Stan Jablonski – “Let’s do it to them, before they do it to us”.
Sgt Jablonski’s famous catch cry comes to mind with the release of the He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) proposal to Government. This advocates the system the primary sector wants adopted in respect to reducing on-farm agricultural emissions and sequestering carbon.
HWEN is made up of 14 primary sector groups – including Māori agribusiness. It was set up in 2019 in a bid to stop the Governmnet lumping agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). HWEN’s recently released alternative approach is the farming sector’s answer to the Government’s ridiculous proposition of dumping agriculture into the ETS. In other words: ‘Let’s do it to them; before they do it to us’!
In reality, the Government gave the primary sector a Hobson’s Choice: either it gets plonked into the ETS or it comes up with a tax on production itself. Industry leaders were right to take the option of trying to produce a solution itself. . .
Weaker Japanese yen a spoiler as orchid sales rebound – Kim Moodie:
Things are looking up for orchid growers, with the flower export market rebounding strongly after being brought to its knees during the Covid-19 lockdowns.
New Zealand’s flower export industry is worth about $20 million a year. Most of that is made up of cymbidium orchids, hydrangeas and peonies.
Covid-19 lockdowns forced the industry to shift into survival mode, but the head of NZ Bloom, the country’s largest flower exporter, said the industry rebounded with sizeable payoffs for growers last year.
Managing director David Ballard told RNZ growers were getting strong prices, but international demand for orchids was mixed. . .
Rural and provincial councils call on government to better align reforms :
New Zealand’s Rural and Provincial Councils are calling on the Government to slow reforms.
The message comes after all 50 Rural and Provincial Councils’ Mayors, Chairs, chief executives and some of their councillors met for the first time this year during a two-day forum run by Local Government NZ (LGNZ) in Wellington late last week.
The forum heard from politicians from both sides of the House who acknowledged the current pressures on the sector.
Mayor Alex Walker, Central Hawke’s Bay District Council, and Mayor Gary Kircher, Waitaki District Council, are the Chairs of LGNZ’s Rural and Provincial Councils. . .
Farm sale volumes ease but results remain robust :
Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 50 fewer farm sales (-11.0%) for the three months ended May 2022 than for the three months ended May 2021. Overall, there were 403 farm sales in the three months ended May 2022, compared to 450 farm sales for the three months ended April 2022 (-10.4%), and 453 farm sales for the three months ended May 2021.
1,697 farms were sold in the year to May 2022, 130 fewer than were sold in the year to May 2021, with 11.9% more Dairy farms, 33.6% fewer Dairy Support, 12.9% fewer Grazing farms, 4.1% fewer Finishing farms and 15.2% fewer Arable farms sold over the same period.
The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to May 2022 was $29,760 compared to $28,190 recorded for three months ended May 2021 (+5.6%). The median price per hectare increased 3.9% compared to April 2022.
The REINZ All Farm Price Index increased 1% in the three months to May 2022 compared to the three months to April 2022. Compared to the three months ending May 2021 the REINZ All Farm Price Index increased 31.4%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors. . .
Ben McNab wins delayed 2021 Young Winemaker of the Year competition :
Congratulations to Ben McNab from Palliser Estate in Wairarapa who became the 2021 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Young Winemaker. The 2021 National Final was postponed several times due to the pandemic but finally went ahead on 22nd June 2022 at Amisfield winery in the Pisa Ranges near Cromwell, Central Otago.
The other two finalists Jordan Moores Valli in Central Otago and Peter Russell from Matua in Marlborough also excelled themselves with Peter Russell winning the Fruitfed Supplies Speeches and Jordan winning the Villa Maria-Indevin Wine Judging section. All three were delighted and relieved the competition could finally go ahead.
This was the very first time the Young Winemaker National Final has been held in Central Otago and also the very first time someone from Wairarapa has won the prestigious competition. Originally planned as a spring then summer competition, it eventually took place in winter with the snowcapped mountains adding a dramatic backdrop for the day. The finalists undertook a wide range of challenges covering everything needed to be a top winemaker. This included laboratory skills, wine industry knowledge, CAPEX, wine judging and an interview. They also had to prepare and deliver a presentation entitled “What can the wine industry do to reach carbon zero by 2050?” They offered the judges some very well thought out suggestions and plans. . .
Rural farm with residential subdivision potential at scale is placed on the market for sale :
A substantial farm block overlooking an 18-hole golf course on the outskirts of a prosperous and ever-expanding coastal town – and identified for potential large scale residential property development – has been placed on the market for sale.
The approximately 188-hectare farm is situated on the south-eastern boundary of Thames – the gateway to the Coromandel Peninsula. The northern portion of the existing dairying unit sits alongside Thames Golf Club, while the property’s western boundary has an extensive road frontage onto one of Thames’ main arterial routes linking it with the Hauraki Plains.
The land sits between various residential, lifestyle and commercial zonings, and is currently zoned for rural use under the Thames-Coromandel District Council plan. However, there is an existing council consent in place permitting the two-staged development of the golf course boundary land into nine large lifestyle-sized residential sections.
In addition, the Thames-Coromandel District Council has also identified the address should be rezoned for future medium density housing under its long-term Thames and Surrounds Spatial Plan – to sustain not only the area’s growing population, but also to address the current shortage of new build houses in the locale. . .
Black Heels & Tractor Wheels – Jenny McDonald29/06/2022
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 with Jenny McDonald, currently our star National Finance Chair here at Rural Women. Jenny lives in Canterbury with her husband Mark and has three grown children, Jack, George, and Annie.
Jenny has always been determined to forge her own career as an accountant as well as supporting her husband on the farm.
She talks about the challenges of balancing this with farm life and raising a family in a new island where initially, she didn’t know a lot of people. While shes always been a get things done kind of person, she also acknowledges a couple of times in her life where she has experienced some difficult challenges, which she talks about very openly with us today, along with ways that we can all help those in our communities who need our support.
From rock star to rocky29/06/2022
It hasn’t taken long for the New Zealand economy to sink from rock star to rocky:
Paul Bloxham, HSBC’s chief economist, once described New Zealand as a “rockstar economy”.
That was back in January 2014.
Today, there is nothing “rockstar” left about the New Zealand economy, unless you have Ozzy Osbourne in mind.
For more than three decades, the Swiss Institute for Management and Development (IMD) has compiled annual rankings of competitiveness for 63 of the world’s most important countries. It makes for sobering reading for New Zealanders.
Back in 2017, New Zealand ranked #16 – ahead of Australia at #21.
Five years on, New Zealand has fallen to #31, while Australia is now ranked #19. . .
And the reason? It’s the economy.
Over the past few years, we have plunged in economic performance, falling from 22nd to 47th place. Government efficiency has also deteriorated markedly from 7th to 17th place.
That’s not a record for this government to feel proud of. And it gets worse.
Altogether, the IMD’s ranking comprises 25 subcategories. In eight of them, New Zealand finds itself in the bottom half of all countries. And these are the categories that really matter: domestic economy, international trade and investment, inflation, productivity and efficiency, attitudes and values, and technological infrastructure.
The IMD noted New Zealand going in the wrong direction on subsidies, inflation, tourism, brain drain, public finances, skilled labour, competent senior managers, and central bank policy.
As shocking as it is to see the IMD’s assessment, if we are honest, none of this should surprise us.
We know that our public finances are not in good shape.
We have observed the erratic behaviour of the Reserve Bank.
We are watching the onset of a new brain drain to Australia and the rest of the world.
We have seen how Covid has decimated our once thriving tourism industry.
And we feel the effect of inflation every time we fill our cars or do the weekly shopping.
Where the IMD’s competitiveness ranking holds up an external mirror to us, Westpac’s Consumer Confidence Survey, released this week, shows that Kiwis also understand how dire our economic situation has become.
Consumer confidence in New Zealand now stands at the lowest level since that survey began in 1988. And, perhaps most damningly, for the first time, a majority has a negative 5-year outlook on the economy.
These are not just signs of a small downturn. These are signs of a former rockstar in a policy-induced coma.
Economic performance isn’t just about the economy for the economy’s sake. It’s about the ability to fund the infrastructure, services and technology we need, it’s about the ability for people to afford what they need to live a good life; it’s about confidence that the future will be better that attracts inward migration and investment and stops the outward flow.
It’s not just the economy that’s going in the wrong direction, there’s been a slump in livable city status for Auckland and Wellington:
New Zealand’s reign of trump is over as Wellington and Auckland have nosedived in the latest world’s most livable cities ranking survey.
The 2022 Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Index, released on Thursday, saw two of New Zealand’s biggest cities receive massive drops in the rankings.
Wellington had the biggest drop in the rankings, going from four down to 50 while Auckland also plummeted down the rankings from one to 34.
The index ranks 172 global cities for their urban quality of life out of 100, based on an assessment of their education, healthcare, culture and environment, stability and infrastructure. . .
Vienna, was number one with 99.1
Auckland rated 89.2 and Wellington 85.7 which aren’t really bad, but will make it harder to attract the workers we need.
Covid can take some of the blame, but it’s not a uniquely New Zealand problem and it’s an indictment on the government.
Remember its Wellbeing Budget?
These rankings show that can be filed in the failure bin along with KiwiBuild, climate change improvements and all the other announcements that haven’t led to delivery.
Word of the day28/06/2022
Smirr – a fine, misty rain or drizzle; mist like precipitation.
Farmers start new dairy season on an encouraging note as Fonterra signals another record milk price – Point of Order:
New Zealand’s dairy industry, which is proving again it is the backbone of the country’s export industries, has been given fresh encouragement with the big co-op Fonterra signalling a record milk price for the season that has just opened.
It comes as the payout for the just-finished season stands as the highest since the co-op was formed in 2001.
So although farmers have made decisions for this season on the number of cows they are milking, they have the incentive to go hard on production levels, despite the pressure from higher costs and worries over climate changes measures, including projected charges on emissions.
Fonterra’s buoyant forecast contrasts with a recent report by agribusiness banking specialist Rabobank which said that despite global milk production looking set to decrease for the fourth consecutive quarter in Q2 2022, weakening global demand is expected to create a scenario that will see moderate price declines in dairy commodities during the second half of the year. . .
How we are suckling the sheep milk industry government invests $7.97m in partnership which involves state-owned Landcorp – Point of Order:
Damien O’Connor scored twice – he issued one statement as Minister of Trade and another as Minister of Agriculture – while rookie Emergency Relief Minister Kieran McNulty broke his duck, announcing flood relief for the West Coast.
Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall put more runs on the board, too, with a statement about Government work to combat new and more dangerous variants of COVID-19.
In his trade job, O’Connor declared he was pleased with the quick progress of the United Kingdom Free Trade Agreement Legislation Bill that was introduced to the House yesterday.
It would enable New Zealand to implement its obligations under the FTA and was necessary to bring the FTA into force, he explained. . .
Kiwifruit sector forecasts drop in profits :
The kiwifruit sector is predicting lower profits this year, as yields drop and shipping costs continue to climb.
Kiwifruit marketer Zespri has sent out an update to growers which shows a decent drop in profit is expected this year.
Last year Zespri made a record $361.5 million, but this year that is expected to drop to between $227m and $247m.
Company spokesperson Carol Ward said it had been a difficult season. . .
Have your say on the Forests Legal harvest Assurance Amendment Bill :
The Chairperson of the Primary Production Committee is now calling for public submissions on the Forests (Legal Harvest Assurance) Amendment Bill.
The bill would amend the Forests Act 1949 to establish a legal harvest system. This system aims to provide assurance that timber supplied and traded has been harvested legally. The legal harvest system would:
· require that log traders, primary processors, importers, and exporters who operate above specified thresholds to be registered
· require harvest information to be supplied to others when trading, and for records of that information to be kept . .
Groundspread NZ is the new public face for the New Zealand groundspread fetilisers association :
Groundspread NZ (NZGFA) was established in 1956 to promote and protect the interests of both individuals and companies involved in the groundspread fertiliser industry. The Association is made up of 110 voluntary members from throughout New Zealand, with each member committed to promoting best practice fertiliser placement. Precision placement of fertiliser requires skilled operators, sound spreading equipment and appropriate fertilisers.
Groundspreaders are typically the first step in ensuring on-farm productivity, by spreading nutrients accurately and evenly, using the latest technology, finely calibrated vehicles, and highly trained operators, groundspreaders help farmers and growers get the best out of their nutrient spend. The skill involved in groundspreading means that food production in New Zealand gets the best start possible.
The new name and website better share the story of how the Association’s members contribute to on-farm performance. The new name and website are initiatives driven by the Association’s new and ambitious strategic plan, committed to ensuring best practice in the groundspread industry. Farmers and growers can now visit www.groundspreadnz.com to find a spreader in their area, learn more about how the Association supports members to operate at the high level that they do, and learn more about the Spreadmark scheme.
Spreadmark, established by Groundspread NZ (NZGFA) in 1994, was born from a commitment by the Association’s members to improve spreader performance and outcomes for their clients and the environment. Proper placement of fertiliser is of considerable agronomic benefit to farmers and growers and helps protect the environment from the undesirable side effects of poor fertiliser spreading practices. . .
Greenfern industries attains important industry certification :
Greenfern Industries Limited (GFI:NZX) is pleased to announce it has attained its globally-recognised GACP (Good Agriculture and Collection Practice) certification for its cultivation facility based in Normanby, Taranaki.
“This is a milestone that the team has been working towards for some time since commencing cultivation and research and development in our pilot stage one facility,” said Greenfern’s managing director Dan Casey.
GACP guidelines were developed to create a single supranational framework to ensure appropriate and consistent quality in the cultivation and production of medicinal plant and herbal substances. They were developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2003 with the aim of improving the quality of medicinal plants being used in herbal medicines in the commercial market.
Greenfern’s certification was undertaken by Control Union Medicinal Cannabis Standards (CUMCS). Control Union Israel was one of the partners which formulated the Israeli Cannabis Standard, which is a global standard. Since then, they have been involved with the development of the Medical Cannabis Standard GAP. . .
Black Heels & Tractor Wheels – Raewyn van Vugt28/06/2022
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 speak to Raewyn van Vugt who operates a dairy farming business with her husband Rob in Otago
Raewyn grew up on the West Coast of the South Island, as a coal miners’ daughter in a small town called Reefton. In 1991 she moved to Inch Clutha with her husband Rob, where their farming enterprise started.
Raewyn has been heavily involved in her community, being a member and Treasurer of Plunket, Playcentre, PTA, and involved with the local discussion group, Large Herds Otago Committee and a Networker for Fonterra. She is also a member of the Inch Clutha RW and is currently the Regional Leader for Region 1.
Raewyn gives some tips for any aspiring farm owners, details her experiences going from a single mum to operating a successful farming enterprise with her husband, and helpful ways to get involved in your rural community.
No shades of grey28/06/2022
Ooohh look over there.
That’s what Labour and others on the left are doing in trying to make Roe vs Wade an issue in New Zealand.
They’re worried about the polls and desperate for something they can use to attack National. Struggling to find traction on anything here they’re doing their best to use something that has no relevance in New Zealand.
In doing so they’ve been helped by the media who have, as they do too often, painted abortion as a black and white issue with no attempt to cover the many shades of grey.
Coverage of abortion is almost always divided into the two extremes, depicting it as either a woman’s choice or anti-women.
Those extremes might reflect the views of some people.
Some believe abortion is never, ever right. Some believe it is never, ever wrong.
But in between are a range of views.
It is possible to believe that life begins at conception but that abortion is right in a case like this to save the mother when the baby can’t survive.
It is possible to believe that life begins at conception and accept that while abortion isn’t right for those who believe that, there are cases where it could be right for others.
It is possible to believe that life begins at conception and accept it as an option in some circumstances including when the pregnancy is the result of incest or rape; it is being carried by a child; carrying the baby endangers the life or health of the mother, be it mental or physical; or when the mother for myriad reasons couldn’t cope with a child.
It is possible to believe that life begins at conception and accept that the consequences of illegal abortions, when that’s all there are, require and legitimise safe and legal ones.
Then there’s the shades of grey on the other side.
It is possible to believe that abortion is a woman’s right and accept there’s intellectual inconsistency when what’s aborted is regarded as merely a bunch of cells but what’s lost in a miscarriage is a baby with all the grief that goes with such a loss.
It is possible to believe that abortion is a woman’s right in early pregnancy but not in later stages, especially once the baby could survive outside the womb.
It is possible to believe that abortion is a woman’s right but that the child, and the father have rights too.
These nuances are rarely, if ever, covered in media stories on the issue and I have seen none in the extensive coverage that’s come in the wake of the US court’s decision.
Instead a lot of the focus has been on National and attempts to make abortion an issue which might have a profound impact on support, or otherwise for the party, and on next year’s election even though the USA decision has no relevance here.
Belatedly some focus turned on Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta who tweeted a comment condemning the Roe vs Wade decision even though she voted against the 2020 legislation liberalising abortion law.
. . . Politicians in New Zealand were also quick to condemn the move including Nanaia Mahuta who called it “draconian”.
“The US Supreme Courts overturning of Roe v. Wade Is draconian and does not support the right of women to choice. How can this happen? (sic)” Mahuta tweeted on Saturday. . .
Mahuta voted in favour of the first abortion reform reading in 2019 but against the second and third. She also voted in favour of legislation to introduce safe zones for women accessing abortion facilities in 2022.
A spokesperson for Mahuta said she was travelling and wouldn’t be able to answer why she voted against the second and third readings. . .
But regardless of which of our MPs voted which way, the USA legislation is an issue for that country and its people, not us and ours.
There might be a few single-issue voters who are agitated about abortion but when both major parties have said they have no intention of revisiting the legislation it won’t be of concern for most.
What will be top of mind, and are of far more imortance, are the issues from which Labour is trying to distract us – the cost of living, housing shortage, increase in crime, a health system in crisis . . .
There’s more than enough to foment domestic indignation without importing it over what’s happening in the USA. It will change nothing here no matter how hard some are trying to make it an issue for us and in doing so are painting it as black and white with no shades of grey.
Word of the day27/06/2022
Letty – a bed; a lodging; something that lets or hinders, especially weather; just enough rain to make outdoor work difficult.
Seed cleaning ingenuity earns global spotlight – Rebecca Ryan:
From a shed in Awamoko, Johnny Neill is getting global attention as he grows his mobile seed cleaning empire. He talks to Rebecca Ryan about how he got into the industry and started building world-leading mobile seed cleaning machines in rural North Otago.
When Johnny Neill was first approached to build a mobile seed cleaning machine, he had no idea what it was.
Fast forward 20 years, and the world is watching the Oamaru man making advances in mobile seed cleaning that no-one ever imagined were possible.
Mr Neill grew up on a dairy farm on the Taieri Plain and finished his secondary school years at Waitaki Boys’ High School. After a stint in dairy farming, he moving to the North Island, where he trained as an engineer and met his partner Kim Lyttle. . .
Strategy will help farming face change – Annette Scott:
Te Puna Whakaaronui Thought Leaders group chair Lain Jager says New Zealand needs a strategy that will take the country forward as a nation.
He says there is a short window of opportunity to invest and make progress.
Strategies that are incomplete will not attract investment and if you can’t invest in them then you can’t move forward.
“Without clear strategy and capacity to implement change this country will go backwards,” Jager told the E Tipu Boma Agri Summit in Christchurch. . .
Half year report is a mixed bag – Mel Croad:
At the halfway mark for the year, sheep and beef farmers are searching for some clarity in terms of what the rest of the season is going to look like. But after a roller coaster couple of years, there is no blueprint to follow.
Breaking it down, market conditions are mixed at best.
For lamb, global markets appear more comfortable with dialling down pricing expectations.
These lower asking prices and softer demand stretch across most key markets. . .
Award respect rural health contribution – RIchard Davison:
A rural South Otago GP says his recent national award is recognition for the wider community.
Dr Branko Sijnja has been named recipient of the Peter Snow Memorial Award for 2022.
The New Zealand Rural General Practice Network gives the award each year to medical professionals making outstanding contributions to rural health.
Dr Sijnja (75) has been a GP in Balclutha since 1980, and retires from his role as Director of the Rural Medical Immersion Programme (RMIP) at Otago School of Medicine — his alma mater — next week . . .
Owners of unproductive land encouraged to grow black diamonds :
A Bay of Plenty truffle company is sharing the secrets of the industry in a bid to get landowners growing ‘black diamonds’ across the country.
Ohiwa Black Diamond Truffles is receiving more than $155,000 of Government funding over three years to share its knowledge with interested growers so New Zealand can grow enough truffles for a robust export industry. The business is also researching and developing new truffle products that incorporate the health benefits of truffles with traditional Māori rongoā (healing).
The business is run by Ohiwa-based couple Matui Hudson and Annette Munday. Since partnering with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund last year, they have held three workshops on truffle growing, with more lined up over the coming weeks.
“We’ve already received orders for around 10,000 inoculated truffle seedlings from several hapū, and we’ve helped a Kawhia whānau set up their truffière,” says Ms Munday. . .
Chatham Island Food Co wins the top gong at the Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards :
Producers spanning the breadth of Aotearoa from the Chatham Islands to Akaroa and its length from Southland to Northland were among the Champions in this year’s Outstanding NZ Food Producer Awards, with Chatham Island Food Co named Supreme Champion 2022.
It’s the first time in the awards six-year history that seafood has taken out the top award.
Established by seventh-generation Chatham Islander, Delwyn Tuanui and his wife Gigi, Chatham Island Food Co has turned the Chatham Islands distance into a positive. It’s isolation – 800 kms east of the South Island – means a pristine environment which is reflected in the flavour and quality of its harvest. The business processes its marine harvest on the island, freezing in the flavour to share with seafood lovers across New Zealand.
Studying agriculture in Melbourne in the early 2000s was life-changing for Del. He met Gigi on his first day and came to appreciate the love for quality of seafood from the Chathams when cooking it for friends and later supplying it to top Sydney and Melbourne restaurants. In 2015 the pair purchased a rundown fish-processing plant on Wharekauri and Chatham Island Food Co began in earnest. Now they employ 25 staff and work with 30 fishing boats. . .
Winston Churchill’s wisdom27/06/2022
Regrets, he’s got a few27/06/2022
Former Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins has regrets:
. . . Asked if he had regrets, Hipkins said it is easy to look back with the knowledge we have now, but “you still have to make decisions based on the information that you had at the time.”
Hipkins told Q+A that some restrictions may have gone on too long.
“I think there were probably some areas where we could have moved more quickly to step down some restrictions,” he said.
“I think that lockdown in Auckland at the end of 2021 … I think nerves were pretty frayed by that and we should acknowledge that. Aucklanders paid a big price for our ongoing suppression of Delta while we got our vaccination rates up.” . .
That begs the questions:
Does he also regret the slow vaccine rollout which is why vaccination rates weren’t nearly as high as they could, and ought to, have been when Delta got into the community?
Does he regret the mental, physical and financial toll the extended lockdown took?
Does he regret the lottery of misery that left people stranded without jobs and homes and kept so many people from coming home to be with seriously ill and dying family and friends, to attend funerals?
Does he regret the unfair and unkind exemption system that let hundreds of foreign DJs in but kept hundreds of pregnant New Zealand women out?
Does he regret the enormous economic and human cost of the extended lockdown and closed borders?
Does he regret the massive debts incurred by the Covid fund and the spending of a lot of it on initiatives that had nothing to do with Covid recovery?
Does he regret the slow approval and import of rapid antigen tests (RATs)?
Doe he regret the time and money his government has, and continues to waste, on restructuring the health system instead of strengthening it to cope with Covid-19 and the usual winter ills?
Does he regret not learning from repeated reports, and implementing the recommendations of them which would have reduced the impact of Delta and Omicron?
Having no playbook explains, and possibly excuses, early mistakes.
It neither explains nor excuses failing to learn from them and do much better, much sooner.