Word of the day

02/08/2022

Soss – a sloppy person or thing ; the sound of a heavy fall;  make or become dirty or muddy; to soak or lick up; to fall at once into a chair or seat; to sit lazily.


Sowell says

02/08/2022


Rural round-up

02/08/2022

Warnings fees on utes could rise, after clean-car policy creates million-dollar funding gap -Thomas Coughlan:

Transport Minister Michael Wood will shortly review the cost of the fees and rebates in the Government’s “feebate” scheme after the runaway success of the policy has meant it is paying out millions more in rebates each month than it collects in fees.

Wood said he was reviewing the rates of fees and discounts “in the coming months” to make sure the scheme still worked, but added that no change would take effect until April 1 next year.

The clean-car discount is meant to encourage people to buy cleaner cars by offering a discount of up to $8625 from the price of an electric or low-emissions car. These discounts are paid for by fees of up to $5175 on dirtier cars. The Government said it would regularly review fee and discount levels when it announced the scheme.

The scheme is meant to be self-funding, but it could become a victim of its own success, paying out millions more in fees each month than it collects in revenue. This could mean fees going up or discounts going down when the scheme is reviewed in just a year’s time. . . 

Mt Somers farmer named B+LNZ deputy chairwoman – Tim Cronshaw:

Mt Somers farmer and businesswoman Kate Acland has been appointed deputy chairwoman of Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ).

The deputy role was re-established because of an increasing workload from so much change for farmers and it was expected to take some of the pressure off chairman Andrew Morrison.

Mr Morrison, who plans to seek re-election next year, said he was looking forward to Mrs Acland’s assistance.

“Kate has an excellent mix of rural expertise and business acumen to support us in achieving our strategic goals and objectives of helping farmers run thriving and profitable farm businesses.” . . . 

Sustainability ‘prominent’ at event – Shawn McAvinue:

Dunedin livestock scientist Jason Archer is making the most of the border reopening and has been discovering a new world shifting its focus to sustainability.

Dr Archer returned last month from a 12-day fact-finding trip to Canada and the United States.

The trip included a stop at the 54th Annual Beef Improvement Federation research symposium and convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

“Cowboy country.”

The conference focused on beef genetics of the leading breeding societies in the United States. . .

Applications open for prestigious 2023 Zanda McDonald Award programme:

Young agricultural professionals with passion and drive are being encouraged to apply for the most coveted prize of its kind in Australasian agribusiness.

The Zanda McDonald Award, open to Australian and New Zealand residents aged 21-35 working in agribusiness, provides unrivalled development opportunities for personal and professional growth.

One winner will be chosen from each country, with the successful recipients receiving a fully personalised education, training and mentoring package across both Australia and New Zealand, spending time with leaders across all areas of the primary sector.

“This award recognises and celebrates determined and passionate young Kiwis and Aussies with strong leadership skills, and the programme provides winners with opportunities that money simply cannot buy,” says Zanda McDonald Award chair Richard Rains. . .

Alliance announces new associate director :

Alliance Group has announced the appointment of Ross Bowmar as the 2022/23 associate director.

Raised in Southland where his parents still farm, Bowmar and his young family now own and operate Redcliffs Station, a high-country sheep and beef station in the Rakaia Gorge in Canterbury.

Running close to 8,500 stock units, Bowmar is balancing economic growth with environmental and social enhancement. Bowmar completed a Masters in Agriculture Economics at Michigan State University in the United States before spending 10 years with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM). . . .

Funds for GHG-fighting fungi – Business Desk:

The Government is spending $7.3 million over seven years in a programme intended to reduce agricultural greenhouse gases and nitrate leaching, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

The N-Vision NZ programme comprises: 

N-Retain – a new nitrification inhibitor technology that will look at new ways to block the biological processes in the soil that lead to nitrous oxide emissions and nitrate leaching.

N-Test – a new soil test to inform nitrogen fertiliser decisions on pastoral farms, which will help capitalise on the nitrogen already in soil organic matter.  . . 

 


Why I started

02/08/2022

A generation or two ago farmers and farming were regarded a lot more positively than they are today.

There’s a fair amount of irony in that when farming practices today are far more sustainable, in economic, environmental and social terms than they were back in the bad old days.

But back then more people had a connection with farmers. Now the closest most people get to a farm is speeding along the open road on a trip between one city or town and another.

Country Calendar does a good job at showcasing farming, and there’s good rural media, and rural journalists in general media.

In spite of that, farmers’ voices aren’t widely heard and farmers aren’t always good at telling their stories.

One who’s doing his best to change that is Alastair Bird who explains here why he started Kiwi Farmer on YouTube:

You can see and hear more from Kiwi Farmer on Youtube here and read how Alistair and his wife Genna welcome guests to their farm here.


Vote for democracy

02/08/2022

MIchael Bassett calls the current government the worst he’s seen in his lifetime:

Have you noticed the ways in which New Zealand’s mainspring seems gradually to be unwinding with Jacinda Ardern’s government? A collection of small things add up to an unfolding collapse of civil society as we have known it. . .

We are experiencing the worst government of my lifetime, one that has caused more damage and divisiveness in our society, than there has been at any time since the Great Depression. 

Last week there were another step away from democracy and towards division.

. . . Mahuta has slipped a change into a piece of legislation that will make it mandatory for councils every six years to consider whether they should introduce Maori wards.

When they meet for their six-yearly Representation Review, the first step councils must take must be a decision about whether to establish Māori wards or constituencies.

That makes it very likely, doesn’t it, that a lot of councils will opt to introduce Māori wards. Because if they consider the wards and then actively choose not to introduce them, what are they? 

They’re racists.

That’s the response to any criticism of the government’s divisive race-based agenda.

Instead of responding with reasoned argument explaining or justifying proposals, proponents simply call the critics racist.

And no one wants to be called a racist so they’ll probably just end up taking the easy option and introducing the Māori wards.

Clever politics, Nanaia. 

And what’s more, because she popped these changes into an omnibus piece of law with a whole bunch of other boring, technical changes for local elections most people seem to have totally missed it.

In fact, from what I can see, no one’s reported on it in the 26+ hours since she put out her press release.

What’s especially clever here is that Nanaia is forcing something on ratepayers that ratepayers don’t want, but really can’t stop. . .

Another step towards further division and less democracy will come this week with the third reading of the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill.

A National Government will restore the basic principle that all New Zealanders have equal voting rights, National’s Justice spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“It’s astounding that any party should have to make such a promise – given most Kiwis take equal voting rights for granted – but that basic principle is being undermined by the Labour Government.

“On Wednesday, Labour and the Greens are set to vote for the third reading of the Canterbury Regional Council (Ngāi Tahu Representation) Bill. The legislation removes both equal voting rights in that region, as well as the basic principle of democratic accountability.

“The Bill will give Ngāi Tahu the right to appoint two councillors. Since Māori will have had an equal vote in the appointment of the other 14 councillors, this arrangement gives Ngāi Tahu voters extra voting power.

“Since the Ngāi Tahu appointments are permanent, the normal rules of accountability do not apply. The universal principle that politicians are better behaved when they know they can be thrown out at the next election, will not apply for these councillors in Canterbury.

“Once this Bill is passed this week, against strong opposition from National, we can be sure that other regions will try to follow.

“Labour members on the Māori Affairs Committee are still trying to resurrect the Rotorua District Council (Representation Arrangements) Bill, which would move away from equal rights for the Rotorua District Council.

“This is anti-democratic and divisive.

“This morning on Q&A, when quizzed on whether co-governance in Three Waters gave Māori disproportionate power, the Prime Minister’s only response was that “democracy is democracy”.

“New Zealanders don’t need meaningless blather from the Prime Minister. They need a resolute defence of basic democratic principles.

“Equal voting rights and accountability at the ballot box are basic principles and National will restore them if returned to office in 2023.”

Voters will have a stark choice at next year’s election.

They can vote for more divisiveness under a Labour and Green government or they can vote for a return to democracy with equal representation with a National-led government.


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