Word of the day


Fanfreluching  – jumping aimlessly from one thing to another.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Rethink on GM policy needed – Richard Rennie:

John Caradus, scientist and chief executive of AgResearch’s commercial entity Grasslanz Technology, is pushing industry leaders, politicians and farmers to reconsider genetic modification (GM) as the primary sector grapples with the challenges of climate change, nutrient losses and disease. He spoke to Richard Rennie about his recent work reviewing GM globally.

There is a level of hypocrisy within New Zealand’s stance on genetically modified (GM) foods that does not sit well with John Caradus. 

He points out NZ consumers can shop for over 90 different GM foods produced from 10 plant species here, but NZ farmers are unable to grow any of them.

“We have a regulatory system that makes it extremely difficult for any entity considering doing so,” he says. . . 

Up to 6 week delay in cattle processing as meat works face backlog – Sally Murphy:

Processing capacity at meat works around the country is returning to normal but a backlog remains.

There had been a backlog for months due to staffing shortages as workers isolated with Covid-19.

That made it harder for farmers to offload stock, which caused huge stress, especially in areas where feed levels were tight.

An update provided to farmers by Beef and Lamb and the Meat Industry Association showed staff levels were now returning to normal and capacity from plant to plant was ranging from 80-100 percent. . . 

Keep driving innovation, meat sector leader says – Sally Rae:

Last week, Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva visited North Otago, the birthplace of New Zealand’s frozen meat industry. She talks to business and rural editor Sally Rae  about the state of the red meat sector.

It is time to celebrate.

That is the message from Meat Industry Association chief executive Sirma Karapeeva to all levels of the red meat sector, from the farming community through to processors and other industry organisations.

Ms Karapeeva was in Oamaru last week for a function to mark National Lamb Day, the 140th anniversary of the first shipment of frozen New Zealand lamb arriving in the United Kingdom in 1882, and the centenary of the New Zealand Meat Board. . . 

Red meat exports achieve record April but markets prove volatile :

New Zealand red meat exports hit a record in April however ongoing volatility in China indicates head winds in the coming months, says the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

New Zealand exported products worth $999.6 million during the month of April, up 16 per cent on April 2021 with the value of overall exports increasing to most major markets.

Sirma Karapeeva, chief executive of MIA, said that while red meat exports continued to achieve good returns, there was some fluctuation in demand, particularly in China and the US.

“The value of overall exports to China was down six per cent year on year. There was also a small drop in the volume of both sheepmeat and beef exported. The reduction in sheepmeat was largely due to China, with beef exports to the US also dipping. . . 

Reaping rewards of maize crop – Shawn McAvinue:

In a bid to protect against the impact of dry conditions, a trial maize crop on a West Otago dairy farm will return next season and be more than twice the size.

Matt Haugh and his partner Kirsten McIntyre own Cottesbrook Dairy, milking 1450 cows across two platforms on about 470ha near Heriot.

Mr Haugh said pasture growth had been good for most of the summer but dry conditions started to bite in late summer and early autumn.

The dry conditions were an “absolute killer”, because the farm traditionally relied on rain at that time of year. . . 

NZ farmer wins world wood-chopping title – Carmelita Mentor-Fredericks:

How much wood could a Kiwi cut if a Kiwi could cut wood?

A lot – if Taumarunui sheep and beef farmer Jack Jordan and Tokoroa’s Cleveland Cherry’s performances at the Timbersports World Trophy event on Saturday in Vienna, Austria, is anything to go by.

However, it was Jordan who came out tops after taking on national champs, many of whom are lumberjacks from around the world, for the coveted title.

The competition, which is organised by Stihl France, sees 16 competitors take metal to wood as they face off using a variety of chopping tools to out chop each other – whoever chops the most wood in the least amount of time wins. . .

Chesterton quotes


Labour on ILO’s naughty list


Is this a first – a Labour government on the International Labour Organisation’s naughty list?

New Zealand is now on a short list of 22 countries accused of breaches of international law.

The International Labour Organisation has determined that New Zealand has a case to answer, and has invited the New Zealand Government to supply information to the ILO Committee on the Application of Standards at the ILO’s 110th formal session in Geneva next week on New Zealand’s proposed Fair Pay Agreements policy.

Along with 21 other countries accused of labour breaches including discrimination, forced labour and child labour, New Zealand is deemed to have a case to answer regarding its intention to breach a fundamental labour convention which protects freedom of association.

This follows 449 alleged breaches globally that were referred to the ILO by member nations in 2022 for consideration by a tripartite panel of business, union and Government representatives.

BusinessNZ says New Zealand’s Fair Pay Agreements policy contravenes ILO Convention 98 by constituting an ‘act of interference’ in the affairs of workers and employers.

Businesses believe the compulsory nature of the Fair Pay Agreements policy constitutes interference and are also concerned at other sections of the policy which would limit the freedoms of workers and employers, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.

“This case has been raised with the ILO because of concerns that the Fair Pay Agreements policy would remove rights and freedoms from workplaces in New Zealand,” Mr Hope said.

Join BusinessNZ’s campaign against FPAs – Your Work, Your Way, and sign the open letter at www.yourworkyourway.co.nz

The open letter says:

Dear Minister Wood,

Your Government is trying to pass a law that we think will damage industrial relations and take New Zealand employees and employers back generations. You call these “Fair Pay Agreements” –  they’re not fair and they won’t achieve what you say.

In our view, at the stroke of a pen, FPAs take away control from employees and employers to negotiate pay and working conditions, and hand it over to Wellington negotiators who have no idea who we are or our individual needs and they’ll negotiate without our consent.

As employers and employees, we know, and have suggested to Government, that there’s a smarter way to make sure employers are looking after vulnerable workers. A compulsory FPA system that is forced on us all isn’t it.

As we see it, at their heart FPAs are about compulsion, meaning working New Zealanders and their employers lose control over the way they work and the right to negotiate their own employment conditions. That’s definitely not fair.

It’s not okay for Kiwis to have their right to negotiate their working conditions with their employer stripped away from them because a tiny percentage of workers in their industry think it’s the right thing to do.

This is another example of Labour’s sledge hammer approach to nut cracking.

They see a problem in one area and instead of learning form the good performers and targeting action for improvement on the poor ones, they impose central control on them all. They did it with polytechnics, they’re doing it with health and they are trying to do it with industrial relations through FPAs.

We agree that the current system needs to improve.  

But, higher wages come from improved productivity and a more skilled workforce. We do not believe that FPAs will achieve either of those things. They are a step backward, a solution looking for a problem.

A far better option is to identify sectors that are facing wage challenges and develop a targeted solution to fix the problems in those few sectors. We don’t need a one-size-fits-all, bureaucratic, sledgehammer solution across all sectors.

Our request to the Government is simple: listen to employers and employees, scrap compulsory FPA legislation and do what your own officials have recommended – improve and strengthen the current system.  

We urge all Kiwis to join our campaign rejecting FPAs and calling for a smarter way of working – your work, your way.

It’s signed by Kirk Hope, CEO of Business New Zealand and CEOS of the BusinessNZ Network.

FPAs would allow 10% of workers, or 1,000, whichever is fewer, in an identified group to compel the other 90% to join a union. That’s imposing control by a few on many. What’s fair about that?

They’d impose blanket coverage, locking all employers and employees in a whole industry or occupation into the same conditions, whether or not that was beneficial to either or both parties.

They’d remove flexibility, imposing a one-size fits all approach that would not take into account individual or local needs or wishes.

FPAs would take us back to the bad old days when a dispute in one workplace would cause problems for all workplaces in the same industry.

FPAs aren’t fair to the majority of employers and employees.

The only ones FPAs would benefit are the Labour Party and its union mates.

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