Word of the day

17/06/2022

Corrump – to destroy something morally, or bring it down to nothing; to corrupt.


Sowell says

17/06/2022


Rural round-up

17/06/2022

The methane issue is far from settled – Keith Woodford:

Big methane decisions lie ahead that will affect all New Zealanders

In late May, the eleven rural-industry partners in He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) reached internal compromises that were sufficient for all to sign-up to a joint greenhouse gas (GHG) document, which laid out the bones of how they think agriculture’s greenhouse gases should be priced.

It went right down to the wire before Federated Farmers agreed to add their logo.  Some of the other partners to the document were also less than happy, but the alternative of failing to come up with an agreement at all was even less palatable.

Now it will be up to the Government, taking account of forthcoming advice from the Climate Change Commission (CCC), to make some calls as to the path forward. . . 

Looming global good shortage highlights New Zealand’s role in climate action :

As a significant global food supplier, changes in New Zealand food systems may soon have substantial impacts.

New Zealand can feed 40 million people, or five percent of the diet of 800 million people with high quality food, AgriTechNZ chief executive Brendan O’Connell says.

However, the food supply impact from the Ukrainian war shows how production changes in one region or country impacts on others, he says.

Global food prices continue to strengthen as shortages loom for basic foods such as grains. This means there will also be a shortage of carbohydrates to feed livestock, ANZ research says. . . 

Crunch time for calculating farming emissions –  Jean Bell:

Farmers need not worry about their initial emissions result being held against them, says Beef and Lamb NZ.

Agribusiness leaders are urging farmers to crunch the numbers on their greenhouse gas emissions, as the primary sector continues its battle to avoid being lumped into the Government’s emissions trading scheme.

According to Federated Farmers, some businesses are concerned their initial results might be held against them in the future. But Beef and Lamb NZ, which funded a free online emissions calculator, says these numbers are confidential and won’t be shared.

Created by software developer Catalyst, Beef and Lamb NZ’s free-to-use online tool takes into account the area of open land on a farm (breaking this down into land that is under pasture, exotic vegetation, and indigenous vegetation), the amount of fertiliser, lime, and dolomite used, and livestock numbers on site. . . 

Team likely to travel to Australian national shearing and woolhandling championships

Shearing Sports New Zealand is hopeful it will be able to resume the annual home and away trans-Tasman test matches this year.

The last matches between New Zealand and Australia were held at the Golden Shears in 2020, a fortnight before the first Covid-19 lockdown.

But with the borders now open, New Zealand has been invited to send a team to Bendigo in October to compete in the Australian National Shearing and Woolhandling Championships.

Shearing Sports New Zealand chairman Sir David Fagan said it was likely a team would travel to Australia but a final decision would be made at the groups national committee meeting in August. . . 

Horticulture industry more than just being out on an orchard

An award-winning orchardist is hoping more people will get into the horticulture industry, saying there’s plenty of job opportunities for outdoorsy types.

Jacob Coombridge was recently crowned the winner of the 2022 Central Otago Young Grower competition.

The 22-year-old beat out seven other contestants in tests on irrigation, pest and disease identification, soil and fertilisers and risk management.

Coombridge, who works as an orchard supervisor at Webb’s Fruit in Cromwell, said it was great to see local growers come together and get involved in the competition. . . 

Tai Nelson wins Auckland Corteva Young Viticulturist of the year 2022 :

Congratulations to Tai Nelson, Vineyard Manager at Soljan’s Estate, who took out the title of Auckland/Northern Corteva Young Viticulturist of the Year 2022.

The first of the 2022 Young Vit regional finals was held at Goldie Estate on Waiheke on Thursday 9th June where contestants from West Auckland, Waiheke and Matakana competed for the title.

Congratulations also goes to Dominic Bolton from Kumeu River Estate who came second and also Nicole Reynolds from Te Motu Estate on Waiheke, who came third. The other contestants, Leon Henson an independent viticultural consultant and Josh Kingston also did themselves proud.

“They all gave it their absolute all, tackling everything with a positive attitude and seeing it as a great opportunity to learn. There was a really upbeat atmosphere from start to finish with strong support from sponsors and industry members.” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at NZ Winegrowers. “This is what Young Vit is all about – it’s fantastic”. . . 


Winston Churchill’s wisdom

17/06/2022


‘Untenable and unethical’

17/06/2022

The government should be very careful with every taxpayer dollar, but not in a way that is untenable and unethical:

Victims of serious crime are going without the financial support they’re entitled to so the government can keep within budget.

“Untenable and unethical” are the words used to describe a deliberate strategy to exclude crime victims from accessing the Victim Assistance Scheme (VAS).

The words can be found in Ministry of Justice Budget bid, released under the Official Information Act, that sets out the case for more investment in the VAS.

The scheme divvies out financial grants to victims, the annual average $570, to cover costs like replacing clothes or property, trauma counselling and travel to court.

It’s bankrolled by the taxpayer but run by independent charity Victim Support, which contracts to the Ministry of Justice.

The Budget bid implicates both entities in keeping take up rates deliberately low to avoid overspending; an approach officials say hurts marginalised communities like Māori and Pasifika, the most.

“The Ministry and Victim Support have managed the cost pressure by deliberately under-promoting the scheme to minimise access and uptake,” it reads.

“This approach is untenable because victims are being deliberately excluded from accessing support they are entitled to receive. If this was widely known, it would erode public confidence and undermine the stated ethos of access to justice.”

This document confirms that as well as some funds invested into the Victim Assistance Scheme sitting untouched, only a small proportion of those eligible for help are getting it.

“Currently the scheme has extremely low uptake: grants are paid out on average for only 4 per cent of the 104,190 eligible victimisations reported to police each year. . . 

A written statement from community services manager Hayley MacKenzie said the ministry was legally obligated to keep its spending in check.

“The Ministry has a responsibility to ensure that public funding is spent in line with allocated appropriations, so as not to breach the Public Finance Act,” the statement said.

Private victim advocate Ruth Money said this might be true but the government also had legal obligations to victims that were set out in the Victims’ Rights Act.

“We know that for every $100 in the justice system only 50 cents goes to victims and we can see through this OIA why; it’s held back deliberately. It’s disgusting.

“It’s inhumane, the word is inhumane. These are the most vulnerable people. Why are we not supporting them through their time of need?

“You know, people talk about being kind and showing respect? This is manaakitanga. Put your money where your mouth is and make this right.”

Money said victims were entitled to the funds administered through the VAS and anyone who had missed out on support they were entitled too should now be paid out.. . 

All government entities should be very careful with their spending, but not in this way:

Victims of crime are missing out on support because a Government-funded assistance scheme was deliberately under promoted to stay within budget, National’s Justice Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“A Ministry of Justice Budget bid released to National under the Official Information Act reveals the Government was aware Victim Assistance Scheme was least likely to be accessed by those who needed it most.

“Any victim of crime that has wondered why it is so difficult to access support now has the answer: the Government is deliberately making it hard to access services.

“The sheer cynicism of it is outrageous with officials warning it would “erode public confidence and undermine the stated ethos of access to justice” if it was widely known.  

“Officials also warned the practice worsened “…access to services for victims who already face other barriers such as digital exclusion, poor understanding of government systems and societal disadvantage”.

“In other words, the welfare of the most vulnerable victims is being actively harmed despite Labour’s claims to address inequities in the justice system.

“Given violent crime has increased by 21 per cent since 2017, victims should be at the forefront of Minister’s minds. However, yet again, victims have missed on support they are entitled to.  

“It makes a mockery of Labour’s 2019 commitment to a ‘comprehensive system change over time that treats victims with respect and dignity’. Instead, not only have the Government failed to deliver them promised supported, they’ve been treated with contempt and disregard. 

“It’s clear under Labour victims’ needs are an afterthought.”

The government stopped a Bill to prevent public money funding gangs when it’s shortchanging victims, especially those most in need of help.

Untenable and unethical are the right words for it.

 

 


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