Word of the day


Susurration –  rustling or whispering; a soft whisper; a murmur.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Regulations repeatedly failing ‘practicality test’ – Andrew Hoggard:

Federated Farmers has given repeated warnings to government that aspects of the 2020 ‘Essential Freshwater’ regulations are unworkable. Frustratingly, officials have treated us as lobbyists and viewed our concerns as simply coming from a point of self-interest rather than recognising we seek workable and lasting solutions.

But it is becoming increasingly apparent that all the problems we identified are coming to fruition.

First cab off the rank was the N fertiliser reporting deadline of 31 July 2022. This is where all the dairy farmers are supposed to report back to their regional council that they haven’t exceeded the 190kg per hectare nitrogen cap. The vast majority of dairy farmers never use more than this anyway, and we are already reporting all this stuff back through their dairy companies but hey let’s do the job a second time because what else do we have going on at this time of year….Actually, make that the third time because Stats NZ would also like to know how much fertiliser I applied.

Federated Farmers opposed this regulation because it wasn’t scientific and it targeted dairy farmers over other users of fertiliser. But at the end of the day, it is a pretty simple regulation. We would have thought it would be pretty easy to implement. . . .

Sector praised after challenging times – Tim Cronshaw:

A farming leader says the way the red meat sector has got through unprecedented times in sheep and beef farming is an “unsung hero” story.

Agricultural exports made $52 billion and contributed 82% of export revenues despite a line-up of challenges since Covid-19 arrived.

About 300 delegates attending the Red Meat Sector Conference in Christchurch heard that they’d faced an increase in government policies, regulations and consumer attitudes around Climate Change.

“I’m really proud of how we’ve navigated these Covid challenges and I’m really proud we’ve collectively navigated these policy challenges,” Beef+Lamb NZ chairman Andrew Morrison said.

“We’ve come together as a red meat sector and an agricultural sector.” . . 

Glimmer of hope in draft Tasman stock control bylaw  – Hamish Barwick:

Federated Farmers has a glimmer of hope that the Tasman District Council is listening to its concerns about the council’s Draft Stock Control and Droving Bylaw.

Farmers in the Nelson and Golden Bay area’s feel the Bylaw is unworkable as it would require mobs of livestock to be held 50m back from the roads, before going onto the road, in an attempt to stop stock defecating on roads. . . 

The Bylaw would also require permits which would capture virtually all road droving within consent application processes, so the Council can gather information on stock droving.

In addition, there are wrongly placed rules citing the need for compliance with Resource Management Act (RMA) freshwater management policy and regulations when the Tasman Regional Resource Management Plan doesn’t allow the Council to use bylaws in its implementation methods on Freshwater Management. . . 

Young winegrowers heading to Burgundy :

The best young talent from Central Otago is going to one of best wine-producing areas in the world.

After a two-year pause on travel, the Central Otago Winegrowers’ Association (Cowa) is once again sending young winegrowers to France’s Burgundy area.

The six young winegrowers are part of the Central Otago Burgundy exchange stagiaires (interns), which is back on its feet.

This will be the largest group that has headed to Burgundy since the exchange was first established in 2006. . . 

Seeka announces result for the six months to 30 June 2022 :

Listed New Zealand produce company Seeka, reports its unaudited interim results for the six months ended 30 June 2022.

– $49.4m EBITDA – up 5.3% on six months to June 2021, (previous corresponding period (pcp))
– $21.5m NPAT – up 4.3% on pcp

Seeka has announced its results with a backdrop of Covid-19, adverse weather events, extreme labour shortages, machine commissioning delays, shipping disruption, lower fruit yields and poor quality. It has been a tough six months and the company has hunkered down, toughed it out and focussed on the immediate job of optimising its operations and results in a volatile environment with significant inflationary pressure and geopolitical events affecting key markets.

The company has focussed on core business having completed the acquisition and integration of OPAC, Orangewood and NZ Fruits in the last twelve months. . . 

The most damaging farm products are not regenerative beef & lamb, George Monbiot  – Meg Chatham:

It’s half-baked, over-simplifications of nature’s complexity and our increasing disconnection from the rest of the living world.

I was recently made aware of this article by author, George Monbiot, damning organic, pasture-fed beef and lamb as the world’s most damaging farm products.

This statement alone reveals a misunderstanding of global ecology and an ignorance of how essential livestock is to 1.3 billion people.

First, let’s address the sweeping assumption that all animal impact causes a negative impact around the world. . . 

North Otago Legends – John MacDonald


John MacDonald is another North Otago Legend:

How many people in their eighties can still play tennis three times per week? Well John MacDonald can and he still hits a few winners. John also talks about changes in the district after WW2 and what a young lad had to do to earn one shilling and what that would buy in town.

Rent controls hurt renters


The Human Rights Commission is calling for rent controls:

The departure of the Human Right’s Commission from its core role to defend classical human rights into left wing ideological advocacy would be comical if the policies it is pushing weren’t so dangerous, says the Taxpayers’ Union.

“This was always the risk when the Government appointed Paul Hunt – a far left activist who couldn’t even find a home in Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. The taxpayer-funded HRC has been highjacked to fight for leftwing dogma,” Executive Director Jordan Williams says.

“Rent controls represent one of the most dangerous public policy interventions known to housing. Swedish economist Assar Lindbeck once called them ‘the most efficient technique presently known to destroy a city—except for bombing’.”

“Rent control is a discredited policy that will see a litany of costly unintended consequences. Renters will desperately cling to rent-controlled tenancies, reducing liquidity in the market and locking others out. Meanwhile landlords will make up revenue shortfalls by neglecting basic maintenance.”

“It is worth noting the polarised way a taxpayer funded media outlet is reporting on this matter. Just days after publishing a documentary about Kiwis falling into conspiratorial rabbit holes and not trusting mainstream media, Stuff lead the way. With no sense or irony, they choose to report on the HRC’s report by interviewing the sole political party in support of rent controls (the Greens) and leftwing pressure groups on the same. No room for the 99% of economists against such measures, a mainstream housing expert, or indeed anyone who hasn’t swallowed the kool-aid.”

“We’ll do what Stuff will not: host a debate with Paul Hunt for him to defend this public advocacy on stage or on a podcast with an economist. We will be issuing the formal invitation shortly.”

Here’s what happened when Ireland tried rent controls, high tax, no deductions and no evictions.

Any measures that make owning rental properties more expensive and make it more difficult to remove tenants lead to a reduction in the supply of rental properties.

It’s an issue on which most economists agree:

The government has begun to admit their contribution to the shortage here with their mistake in removing interest deductibility for landlords but they haven’t gone far enough:

Labour’s U-turn on interest deductibility rules for corporate investors should be extended to all rental property owners, National’s Housing Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Labour campaigned on not introducing any taxes but broke their promise straight after the 2020 Election by imposing a new tax on tenants, through the removal of interest deductibility as a legitimate expense for rental property owners.

“The Labour Government was warned by everyone – from officials to landlords – that this tax would lead to higher rents, and put pressure on the state house waiting list and emergency housing.

“Labour refused to listen. Now rents have gone up $140 a week, the state house waiting list is up by more than 20,000, and the Government spends $1 million per week housing people in motels.

“Worst of all, data released by National this week shows more than 200 kids are living in cars – four-and-a-half times more since Labour came to office.

“Labour’s Tenant Tax is hurting the very people it was intended to help.

“The Government has now done a massive U-turn and excluded big Build to Rent developments by corporate investors from this new tax.

“While we welcome this move, we’re campaigning for it to be extended to everyone – not just big corporate investors.

“Labour’s removal of interest deductibility was always unprincipled, as well as being a broken promise. A fundamental principle of tax law is to tax profit, not revenue.

“Mum and Dad landlords aren’t the enemy. They’re critical in addressing our housing supply problems.

“The next National Government will reverse Labour’s Tenant Tax, as well as the extension of the brightline test to 10 years.

“But while Kiwis wait for an economically-sensible government, we will work to get Labour to extend their big U-turn on interest deductibility to all investors.

“Kiwis can sign up to our campaign at: https://www.national.org.nz/tenanttax” 

The HR commissioner doesn’t appear to have noticed the impact of Labour’s policies on the availability of rental properties and rising rents.

It is to be hoped the HR commissioner knows more about his core business than economics if he doesn’t understand this.

If he accepts the TU’s invitation to debate the issue we might find out how much, or how little, he knows.

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