Word of the day


Architricline – the host, leader or master of a grand feast.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Dairy farmers hit hardest as fuel, fertiliser costs surge :

Cost inflation in the rural sector hit boiling point over the past year, but is expected to reduce to a simmer, an agricultural economist says.

Westpac senior agri-economist Nathan Penny said input prices across all farm and orchard types, skyrocketed 13.7 percent in the 12 months to June.

That rise came on top of a record high annual charge of 9.9 percent in June.

Penny said those increases were driven by several factors, but they were all essentials that farmers could not really do without. . . 

Farmers bearing the brunt of rising costs :

“If the Government wanted to try and lower prices at the checkout, it should reduce the regulatory burden that is rising production costs on farm,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson and Ruawai Dairy Farmer Mark Cameron.

“Rabobank has warned that rising costs on-farm will flow into higher costs for consumers, while slimmer margins for farmers will also mean less spending within rural communities. They have also described farmer confidence as being the lowest on record since the pandemic began.

“Granted, some cost increases are driven by global issues, but the Government’s regulatory onslaught has a compounding effect that is totally unnecessary and makes life tougher for farmers. Not to mention the rampant inflation brought about by Labour’s economic mismanagement.

“Freshwater reforms, winter grazing rules, Zero Carbon Act, limiting migrant workers, other ideological climate policies, Significant Natural Areas, taxes on utes… The list goes on. Farmers have taken a hammering from this government. . . 


Calls for hold on winter grazing rules :

Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) has called for winter grazing rules to be put on hold until November 2023.

Under the new regulations, which were released late last year, farmers who graze livestock on an annual forage crop over winter, and do not meet a range of permitted activity criteria, are required to either gain a certified Freshwater Farm Plan or to apply for resource consent from 1 November 2022.

The industry good organisation, along with DairyNZ and Federated Farmers, wrote to Environment Minister David Parker, calling for a delay and asking him to work with the sector on a practical solution in the interim.

It’s not the first time B+LNZ have raised the issue. . . 

Safer Farms welcomes new CEO :

Agricultural industry safety group Safer Farms is excited to introduce its new Chief Executive Officer, Dr Lyndsey Dance.

Dr Lyndsey Dance takes up her new role in September following seven years at Stats NZ, most recently on the Executive Leadership Team as the General Manager of Strategy and Investment.

She is the first Chief Executive Officer of Safer Farms and comes onboard as the group finalises its Farm Without Harm strategy to protect farming people from preventable harm, every day.

The agriculture sector is one of the most dangerous places for New Zealanders to work, with high harm statistics and 17 workplace deaths a year. . . 

Support a disease outbreak response by signing up to MYOSPRI:

Sheep farmers are being encouraged to play their part in protecting the industry from exotic diseases by signing up to the new online portal MyOSPRI.

Over 1000 sheep farmers have already ditched paper-based Animal Status Declarations (ASDs) and are now using MyOSPRI to send both farm-to-farm and farm-to-meat processor electronic Animal Status Declarations (eASDs).

The eASDs provide accurate, reliable and readily accessible data about movements of sheep mobs and where farms and other places animals have been or are located.

In any future response, rapid access to accurate information about animal movements will be vital for minimising the size of any potential future outbreak. . . 



Farmers get opportunity to tune into top minds :

This month farmers have the opportunity to access the knowledge of some of their industry’s leading thinkers, in a new podcast series covering everything from grazing to governance.

“The Tune Up” is produced by farm reporting software company, Trev. Formed in 2018, Trev is designed to help better collate, organise, and report on critical farm KPIs to provide owners, staff, rural professionals, and shareholders with actionable farm business information and insights for decision making.

CEO Scott Townshend says the podcast series has provided an opportunity for Trev to tap into its deep network of respected industry leaders, happy to share their knowledge.

“I’m sure everybody will recognise some or even all of the podcast guests. But for many of us, having access or the time off-farm to chat with these people is difficult so it’s great to be able to share their wisdom and insights with a wider audience.” . . 


Black Heels and Tractor Wheels – Meredith Carpenter


Black Heels and Tractor Wheels is back for another season, episode one features Meredith Carpenter:

Meredith is behind Ruanui Station products, which are 100% New Zealand made from start to finish. The sheep are farmed and shorn at Ruanui Station near Taihape, just as they have been for three generations, which are then woven into luxuriously soft blankets.

Meredith has a great chat with us about her isolated upbringing in Taihape, her experience starting her own business and her top tips for anyone else who may be thinking of doing the same thing!

Black Heels and Tractor Wheels is a Rural Women NZ initiative. You can learn more here.

Deciles don’t determine outcomes


Pupils at higher decile schools will do better than those at lower schools – or will they?

Alwyn Poole has the data that shows deciles don’t necessarily determine outcomes:

Last week on Kiwiblog I highlighted the top school in each decile in NZ. Many of these are breaking the link we are told exists that means that schools just can’t succeed with some kids. This week I am contrasting them to the bottom school in each Decile.

I have chosen not to name the bottom schools – not for the adults involved but through consideration for the attending children.

The comparison for schools in each decile is by University Entrance achievement (schools with 75 or more students) and retention. . . 

Using data for leavers across year levels he gives the numbers that show there is a big differences in outcomes between schools in each decile and concludes:

These gaps are astonishing and inexcusable. They cause incalculable harm.
The key systemic takeaways:

  • Socio- is not determinant of school outcomes – we need to bury that excuse.
  • Ethnicity is not determinant of school outcomes – we need to bury that excuse also.

It is about clear vision and aspiration, quality leadership (including engaging parents), quality teachers, a world class programming.

NZ cannot afford this pattern to continue and to be frank, Hipkins and  have shown no interest in changing things – let alone the Teachers Council and Unions. They do not care for the children – they are about mediocrity, power and control. . . 

Failure to change is not just failing the pupils, it’s failing the country’s future.


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