Circumlocutionist – one who consistently speaks in a roundabout way in order to avoid addressing a question directly; a roundabout, indirect, or evasive talker; one who uses circumlocution.
Word of the day30/09/2022
Voluntary sequestration schemes create opportunities as well as confusion – Keith Woodford:
Native forests that began regenerating prior to 1990 are excluded from the ETS. This opens opportunities for voluntary schemes independent of Government.
In a recent article, I wrote how carbon credits are not created equal. This inequality is now leading to game-playing and confusion across society. Terms like ‘greenwash’ as the carbon equivalent of a ‘whitewash’ are increasingly heard and there is increasing talk of ‘hot air’ carbon claims.
Since writing that article, I have been wrestling with the challenge of further deepening my own understanding of how the carbon game is being played. It is a game where different players are playing by different sets of rules, as are the certifying referees. Many of the certifying rules are far from transparent.
Here in this article my focus is specifically on the rules surrounding sequestration that removes carbon from the atmosphere. That leaves other aspects of the carbon rules for another time. . .
Better free trade outcomes an illusion – EU politician – Sam Sachdeva:
EU trade committee chair Bernd Lange argues the grouping’s trade deal with New Zealand is a “gold standard” agreement – even if Kiwi farmers disagree. Lange spoke to Sam Sachdeva about China’s coercive trade practices, cracking down on forced labour, and how the Ukraine invasion has changed attitudes on trade
Even a typically miserable Wellington spring day can’t shake the good mood of European parliamentarian Bernd Lange.
Speaking to Newsroom at the end of a week-long visit to New Zealand, Lange says the grey skies and rain remind him of his roots in northern Germany – although his cheer may be more down to the free trade agreement between the European Union and New Zealand he is here to discuss.
Lange visited New Zealand in late 2017 for a “fact-finding mission” with other members of the European Parliament’s international trade committee which he chairs. . .
Synlait posts $38.5m annual profit –
The South Island dairy company Synlait Milk is back in the black as its ingredients division saw higher than normal sales, while its major customer rebalanced inventory levels.
Key numbers for the 12 months ended July compared to a year ago:
- Net profit $38.5m vs $28.5m loss
- Revenue $1.66b vs $1.37b
- Total average payment $9.59 vs $7.82
- Forecast 2023 payout $9.50 per kilo of milk solids
Synlait chair John Penno said the past year was “an important period of refocusing”. . .
Fonterra trials world first in sustainable electricity storage :
A new organic, low-cost, safe, sustainable and long-life battery being trialled by Fonterra, could support greater energy security and distributed electricity generation for New Zealand.
PolyJoule, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) spin-off, is partnering with Fonterra on the application of the battery made from electrically conductive polymers, an organic based compound with the ability to act like metal.
Late last year the world’s first industrial scale organic battery was installed on a Fonterra farm at Te Rapa. The battery was cycled daily, supporting dairy shed operations for 10 months. The Co-op is now moving this battery to its Waitoa UHT site, which can be impacted by power disturbances leading to downtime and waste.
Fonterra Chief Operating Officer Fraser Whineray says as a significant electricity user at about 2.5% of the national grid, a sustainable and secure electricity supply is vital to the Co-operative’s local sales and exports. . .
Primary sector exporters buoyed by opportunities for a closer India-NZ relationship but different approach necessary :
Primary sector exporters recently returned from a visit to India are excited about the opportunities for a closer partnership between the two countries, however they are urging the New Zealand Government to adopt a more flexible and focused approach to trade.
New Zealand’s agriculture exporters and industry bodies, including representatives from the red meat, kiwifruit, apples & pears and dairy sectors, were part of an India New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) delegation which coincided with a visit from Trade Minister Damien O’Connor.
“India has come out of COVID-19 with growing confidence and strength, and its leaders have a clear focus on accelerating economic growth including through trade,” says INZBC chair Earl Rattray, who has dairy interests in India.
“India is on track to become the world’s third largest economy within the next decade. There is a modern economic miracle unfolding there, with an openness to explore mutually beneficial ways to strengthen trade relationships. This is a good time for New Zealand business to embrace India.” . .
NZ Young Farmers and Ministry for Primary Industries partner to boost wellbeing :
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is supporting NZ Young Farmers (NZYF) to fund a series of events for NZYF members as part of an initiative to improve the wellbeing of young people in rural communities.
MPI is contributing funding for the events, which will offer a channel for young people across the country to connect and learn ways to manage mental health and build resilience.
NZ Young Farmers Chief Executive Lynda Coppersmith says mental health is a key concern in rural communities, where factors such as isolation and high workloads can impact overall wellbeing and mental health.
“The mental and physical wellbeing of young people is a big focus of our organisation and is essential for the ongoing viability of many rural communities,” says Lynda Coppersmith. . .
Beautifying the blogosphere30/09/2022
Identity politics left not right30/09/2022
Kelvin Davis has shown he thinks Maori is based on politics not genes:
Minister Kelvin Davis is standing by his challenge to ACT’s Karen Chhour to “enter the Māori world” and stop looking at the world through a “vanilla lens”; she says he has taken away her mana, leaving her distressed.
The tense exchange in the debating chamber began with questions from Chhour over OT’s relationships – including whether Davis would reassess the relationship between the ministry and Te Whānau o Waipareira Trust. . .
Chhour asked whether he agreed with Tamihere that the two were in a partnership, not a contract, and whether he would end this partnership if Te Whānau o Waipareira was struck off the charities register.
“What the member needs to do,” Davis responded, “is cross the bridge that is Te Tiriti o Waitangi from her Pākehā world into the Māori world and understand exactly how the Māori world operates. It’s no good looking at the world from a vanilla lens.” . .
Passing quickly over the issue of whether this means that Maori aren’t to be held to the same standards as others.
Speaking to reporters outside the debating chamber, Chhour said she was offended.
“When you have to resort to attacking someone on a race-based issue like that I find it quite offensive. I am a Māori woman and I’ve been through the care system and I can tell you Māori children aren’t that different to any other child, they just want to feel loved and feel safe,” she said.
“I’m here trying to make a difference for those children and I think looking at the world from just one point of view is actually quite destructive, and attacking me like that and basically taking away my mana – from a party that stands up and says they want to give Māori back their mana – is actually quite distressing for me.”
ACT’s leader David Seymour described the minister’s comments as “nasty” and “totally racist”.
Davis, however, stood by his comments.
“She whakapapas to Māori but she was raised in a Pākehā world, she needs to cross the bridge that is Te Tiriti o Waitangi so she gets to understand her Māori world better,” he told reporters.
“I’m saying their attitude towards anything that’s Māori is actually nasty,” he said. . .
He’s ignoring the inconvenient fact that the woman he’s criticising is Maori and had personal experience of the care system as a child.
Davis has now apologised:
Deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis has rung Māori ACT MP Karen Chhour to apologise for telling her to leave “her Pākehā world”.
Davis said he didn’t intend for it to be offensive but that he can see why she thought it was and he was sorry, Newshub has been told.
Chhour has accepted the apology.
“Kelvin called and offered an apology which I have accepted. No person should be judged by their identity but rather by their words and actions,” she said.
“I will continue to ask Kelvin questions about our most vulnerable children and I hope next time he comes prepared with information instead of personal attacks.” . .
Coincidentally, UK Labour Party MP said something similar this week:
Van Velden said Ardern should look at what British Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer did in response to comments one of his MPs made about UK Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng.
Labour MP Rupa Huq this week said of Kwarteng, “superficially he is a black man”. The MP was forced to apologise and suspended. . .
Spot the difference: Davis got away with a vanilla apology, Huq was not only forced to apologise she was suspended from her caucus.
But both incidents show that identity politics is more about politics than identity.
Adherents to the gospel of identity who profess to be against discrimination continually discriminate against people whose politics differ from theirs.
That’s why so many feminists didn’t, and still don’t, celebrate Margaret Thatcher as the UK’s first female Prime Minister; Jenny Shipley as our first female Prime Minister and Ruth Richardson as our first – and so far only – female Finance Minister.
That’s why Simon Bridges got no recognition for being the first Maori to lead a major political party and there was no celebration that his deputy, Paula Bennett was also Maori.
To those who identity with identity politics, identity isn’t just about identity but politics, and politics of the left at that which isn’t right.
They lump everyone into a group, denying individuality and agency, using their own narrow definition constrained by their own narrow political views and criticising those who don’t fit in their political corner as not real members of the race, gender or whichever other identity box they want people to fit.
It catoragises people by their identity rather than their actions and character.
It’s a discriminatory and divisive philosophy that slices and dices populations on inherent differences but doesn’t recognise personal differences or our common humanity.
Word of the Day29/09/2022
Curfuggle – a commotion or fuss, especially one caused by conflicting views; a total mess; state of utter disarray; confusion or disorder.
We don’t want farmers to break the law :
The Government’s winter grazing regime is becoming increasingly confusing for farmers as D-Day looms to have consents in place, warns Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and DairyNZ
The Government has been slow to implement freshwater farm plans, forcing farmers into an expensive consent process, while councils nationwide are struggling with the consenting burden.
This has left farmers at risk of breaking the law as planting for winter crops needs to take place in late spring, says Federated Farmers National Board spokesperson, Water and Environment, Colin Hurst.
“We’ve been told by the Ministry for the Environment, Ministry for Primary Industries and various regional councils that ‘it’s ok’ and nothing will happen if farmers get planting, even though they’d be at risk of breaking the law.” . .
Have your say on the Dairy Industry Restructuring (Fonterra Capital Restructure) Amendment Bill:
The Primary Production Committee is seeking public submissions on the Dairy Industry Restructuring (Fonterra Capital Restructuring) Amendment Bill. This bill would enable Fonterra to implement a new capital structure.
The bill would amend the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 to allow Fonterra’s unit fund to be partially and permanently delinked. Fonterra’s ability to limit the size of the unit fund would be specifically excluded from conduct that could be considered illegal.
The bill also seeks to improve the transparency, and strengthens the Commerce Commission’s oversight of Fonterra’s base milk price-setting arrangements. It would also support liquidity in trade of Fonterra shares. . .
Non-food corps are eating our food – Deepak K Ray:
The world’s farmers grow crops for food as well as other uses. Those other uses are threatening to crowd out our chance to feed the world’s hungry, writes Deepak K Ray.
It’s sometimes bandied about that enough food is grown globally to feed everyone now and into the future. Undernourishment is ‘just a distribution challenge’. And it’s mostly true: enough kilojoules do and will be harvested in just the top 10 global crops, which account for more than 80 percent of all calories. We will grow an extra 14,000 trillion kilocalories (around 59,000 trillion kilojoules) by 2030.
But while distribution is certainly one challenge, under the hood things are not so simple; all harvested crops are not for direct food consumption.
Crops are often consumed with little to no processing, such as apples from the tree and tortillas made from the flour of a wheat or maize crop. But there are another six reasons crops are grown: animal feed (for dairy, eggs and meat production); the food processing industry (think high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oil and modified starch); exports (to countries that can pay); industrial use (think ethanol, bio-diesel, bagasse, bio-plastics, and pharmaceuticals); seeds; and then there are crop losses. These last two categories are relatively small, though in the 2010s crop losses were still relatively high in Africa. . .
The fragile magic of highly productive land – Emile Donovan:
Not all land is created equal.
Some – which we call ‘highly productive land’ – is, as it says on the tin, highly productive.
That means it’s much more flexible than other types of land: you can grow many different types of fruit or vegetables on it; you can adapt it for other types of farming, all with minimal input from farmers.
Aotearoa puts its highly productive land to good use: in breadbaskets, like Pukekohe, we grow food that feeds New Zealanders, and is exported around the world. . .
More seasonal workers welcome :
BusinessNZ welcomes the Government’s announcement of another 3000 places for seasonal workers to help ease workforce pressure, and would like to see the same done for more sectors.
BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says this afternoon’s announcement is a good start.
“Hopefully by recognising the urgent need for more workers in the horticultural sector, the Government is also open to considering the shortages New Zealand is currently facing across all sectors and at all levels of employment.
“The global war for talent has resulted in a very competitive international environment and New Zealand businesses are looking to source skills from the New Zealand labour market where that is possible. . .
Increased RSE cap will help wine industry meet seasonal work peaks :
New Zealand Winegrowers welcomes the announcement today that the Government has increased the RSE cap to 19,000, providing 3000 additional places.
“The availability of skilled seasonal workers continues to be a critical concern for many growers and wineries. The announcement today will help the New Zealand wine industry to plan with more certainty to meet seasonal work peaks, and ensure we can continue to make premium quality wine. This decision will benefit Pacific workers, their families, and our wine regions,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers.
“There are very clear requirements for all accredited employers regarding accommodation, and pastoral care. As an industry we expect these are upheld, as a minimum. It is a privilege to have this scheme, to enable our industry to meet our seasonal work peaks, and RSE employees must be provided with fair and ethical working conditions – anything less is unacceptable.”
“This increase recognises the Government’s confidence in the scheme, and the confidence they have in the primary industries to get this right, and give RSE workers the experience they deserve. This is a responsibility that will not be taken lightly.” . .
Beautifying the blogosphere29/09/2022
Three Waters gets worse29/09/2022
Loss of local control, increased bureaucracy and higher costs are all good reasons to oppose the government’s Three Waters plans.
Thomas Cranmer has found another:
Deep within the Water Services Entities Bill is a mechanism that will have significant influence at the operating level of the structure – it is a mechanism that is only available to mana whenua. . .
That mechanism is Te Mana o te Wai aspirations which the government has failed to explain clearly.
In truth, the Government cannot fully provide this explanation because to do so would call into question their assurances around co-governance and would highlight an inherent contradiction in the legislation. . .
Appropriately, given their controversial nature, the Te Mana o te Wai mechanism lies deep in the Water Services Entities Bill —in Subpart 3 of Part 4 of the Bill to be precise. Section 140 of the Bill simply states that “mana whenua whose rohe or takiwā includes a freshwater body in the service area of a water services entity may provide the entity with a Te Mana o te Wai statement for water services”. They can be provided by one or more iwi and can be reviewed and replaced by those iwi at any time. Once received, the board of the relevant water services entity has an obligation to engage with mana whenua and prepare a plan that sets out how it intends to give effect to that Te Mana o te Wai statement. And that is where it ends. The Bill is silent on what can (and cannot) be included in the statements and provides no guidance as to the outcomes that the statements are intended to achieve. In short, there are no limits to the scope of Te Mana o te Wai statements.
That sounds awfully like Treaty principals which are often used in spite of being difficult, if not impossible , to define.
The relevant water entity board must simply give effect to those statements “to the extent that it applies to the entity’s duties, functions, and powers”.
Their importance in the governance structure of Three Waters cannot be overstated. . .
Moreover, the Bill sets out 6 objectives for the water services entities in section 11 and a further 7 ‘operating principles’ in section 13 – one of which is “to give effect to Te Mana o te Wai”. The principles are not set out in any order of priority and there is no mechanism for determining how to resolve any conflict that will inevitably arise between those principles. Requiring the boards of the water service entities to undertake a massive nationwide infrastructure upgrade whilst also satisfying the requirements of Te Mana o te Wai statements alongside their other statutory obligations seems to be an impossible task. However these reforms are so ideological in nature that issues of practicality cannot be allowed to dilute their potency.
Indeed Mahuta acknowledged the same in her June 2021 Cabinet paper:
“The tensions have been difficult to navigate … Notwithstanding the complexity, I consider that my reforms of the three waters system provide the opportunity for a step change in the way iwi/Maori rights and interests are recognised throughout the system.”
Few others outside Government or leadership of Maoridom have recognised the significance of the Te Mana o te Wai mechanism. One of the first to do so was the Mayor of Kaipara, Dr Jason Smith who has issued a number of warnings – all of which have been roundly ignored by the media. It’s no coincidence that Dr Smith was a member of the Government’s Independent Working Group on Representation, Governance and Accountability of the Three Waters entities because you really need to be that close to the reforms to understand the details and nuance.
@kehetauhauaga In the Water Entities Bill, Part 4 Subpart 3 (about Te Mana o te Wai statements) is where the rubber hits the road. So many parts of society actively excluded from participating is unacceptable and unjustifiable. Incl iwi-less Maori/those who have whakapapa but are disconnected.
Certainly, no-one can appreciate the import of Te Mana o te Wai statements by reading the Bill alone which explains why they have failed to register on the public’s radar but they may do well to heed the warning given by Quintus Rufus Curtius in his history of Alexander the Great – altissima quaeque flumina minimo sono labi (the deepest rivers flow with least sound).
It’s not just people who aren’t Maori who will be excluded, Maori who don’t have an iwi or are disconnected from theirs will be too.
If you don’t think this is worrying, consider this:
A 91.75% majority vote to change Playcentre Aotearoa’s constitution has been overruled by some of the organisation’s roopu (governance bodies), Playcentre insiders have revealed.
One parent, who asked not to be named, said the nationwide vote on Saturday morning was designed to change the parent-led child care education organisation’s constitution to a “trust deed” so — among other issues — more of the funding it received would go to local playcentres, rather than “98%” going to the administrative body, which operates a bulk-funding model.
In the vote, parents and employees at 366 of 400 playcentres voted yes in favour of change.
However, before any change could come into effect, a separate vote from the organisation’s roopu needed to be considered.
The organisation’s six roopu are “governance bodies within Playcentre Aotearoa, consisting of whanau Maori, to give whanau Maori an equitable voice in Playcentre governance”, which require at least five of the six roopu to agree in order to achieve a consensus.
Four roopu voted in favour and two against, but the two-thirds majority was not enough to carry the change. . .
If two people can contravene the will of 370 others at Playcentre, what hope is there of local control over water when co-governance and Te Mana o te Wai will be imposed on us if Three Waters becomes law?
Word of the day28/09/2022
Parwhobbler – one who so monopolises a conversation that others can’t get a word in edgeways; one who talks continuously without listening.
Research set to improve safety over calving – Bronwyn Wilson:
Research into sprain and strain injuries over calving has identified some simple ways farmers can reduce injuries on dairy farms.
The three-year DairyNZ project, funded in partnership with ACC’s Workplace Injury Prevention programme, is researching the causes of sprains and strains on dairy farms – and developing practical solutions to reduce injuries.
“Around 40 percent of injuries on dairy farms are sprains and strains, with the highest risk from August to October. As calving progresses, fatigue can set in and increase injuries,” says DairyNZ senior scientist and research lead, Dr Callum Eastwood.
As part of the Reducing Sprains and Strains project, 370 farmers were surveyed on how they managed health and safety, and whether injuries had occurred. . .
Mycoplasma bovis Mid Canterbury update – enhanced biosecurity measures in the Wakanui area :
Beef + Lamb New Zealand, alongside DairyNZ and the Ministry for Primary Industries, is a partner in the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) eradication programme.
The M. bovis programme is now targeting the remaining known pocket of confirmed infection with depopulation starting on a mid-Canterbury feedlot in Wakanui and strict new biosecurity measures for the surrounding area.
Although further detections across the country are possible in future, the only properties known to have infected cattle are located in this small area, where there are three Confirmed Properties, including the feedlot.
M. bovis is known to be most commonly spread via direct contact between infected and uninfected cattle. However, despite recent thorough investigations, the programme has been unable to confirm the pathway(s) by which disease has been spreading in this area. . .
Gisborne drone spraying trial deemed a success – Hamish Barwick:
Gisborne based vegetable grower LeaderBrand recently trialled the use of drones for spraying at its Makauri Farm with positive results.
LeaderBrand research agronomist Chris Lambert said the trial took place over three months during winter, an ideal time as the ground was too wet to operate a tractor on.
“We wanted to manage our weeds in winter. Rather than spray over a wide area, which is a big waste of chemicals, the drone was able to target weed clumps.”
He said the advantage of drones is that they don’t compact soil like tractors do and they’re also more agile than helicopters. . .
High-tech strawberry farm aims high in Foxton – Country Life:
Slip behind a bee-proof mesh curtain in an old Foxton factory building and a sweet surprise awaits.
“Welcome to our secret laboratory,” Matthew Keltie says.
Under the bluish glow of the high-tech lights, pops of red catch the eye.
A bee buzzes past and quiet music overlays the faint gurgle of nutrients swishing through tubes. . .
Meryn Whitehead wins 2022 Young Grower of the Year national final :
Meryn Whitehead, a 28-year-old supervisor at Vailima Orchards, has won the national title of 2022 Young Grower of the Year, held in Nelson.
“It is a real privilege to be named the winner of this year’s competition, especially given the impressive talent on display,” says Meryn.
Meryn was one of six contestants that vied for the grand title in a series of practical and theoretical horticulture modules across two-days. The competition encourages young people to take up a career in horticulture as well as celebrating their success in the industry.
Despite being Meryn’s second year entering the competition, she says the experience has been nonetheless valuable. . .
Proposed Bill would support wine tourism in New Zealand :
New Zealand Winegrowers is thrilled the Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Cellar Door Tasting) Amendment Bill, proposed by Stuart Smith MP, has been drawn from the Member’s Bill Ballot today.
New Zealand Winegrowers has had longstanding concerns about aspects of the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act as they apply to winery cellar doors. This Bill would help to address some of our key concerns for wineries.
We congratulate Stuart Smith MP on having this Bill drawn from the ballot. As the Member of Parliament for New Zealand’s largest wine region, he understands first-hand the importance of this proposal.
Winery cellar doors are an important part of wine tourism, yet the current legislation does not permit wineries holding an off-licence to charge for tastings. “The current legislation is out of date,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. “It either forces wineries to give wine away for free, or forces them to go through significant cost and time to acquire and maintain a separate on-licence.” . .
Stop the jobs tax28/09/2022
National has launched a petition to stop the jobs tax:
Labour wants to take more of your hard-earned cash, with a plan to impose a new 1.39% Jobs Tax on every worker and every employer.
The Jobs Tax would make a typical worker (earning $60,000) $834 worse off every year. That’s $834 less for your groceries, your power and other bills, and your own savings. Employers would also be forced to pay the tax for every employee on their pay roll. Yet another cost on business that will put pressure on prices and make it harder to get a pay rise.
The Jobs Tax has been dreamt up by the Government to pay for Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s latest pet project: an “income insurance scheme”. This gold-plated welfare scheme would allow those made redundant to stay off work for up to 6 months on 80% pay. This despite businesses crying out for skilled workers!
The Jobs Tax joins the long line of other taxes Labour has introduced to fleece New Zealanders of their hard-earned cash, all while delivering worse outcomes for you and your family.
Help us stop Labour’s obsession with spending your money. Sign our petition to stop Labour’s Jobs Tax today.
Want to know how much Labour’s Jobs Tax will cost you? See how much worse off you’ll be HERE.
That link takes you to a table that shows someone earning $35,000 would pay $487 a year, the employer would also pay that making a total of $974 taken from the worker and the business in extra tax.
Someone earning $60,000 would have $834 taken from them, so would the employer making a total of $1,668 taken from the worker and the business by the government.
Workers earning $135,000 and their employers would pay $1,820 each, a total of $3,640 taken from those who earned it by the government that promised no new taxes.
That’s a lot of tax that would be taken from workers and employers and who do you think would make better use of the money – the employees and the businesses or the government?
Taking that much tax to redistribute to people who may or may not need it is bad enough. It gets worse when you read Eric Crampton explaining how the scheme would be open to rorts:
A dark part of me hopes the government’s employment insurance scheme is enacted exactly as proposed.
It will be terrible.
But the rorts it will spawn will be the stuff of which economics columnists’ dreams are made.
The scheme really is not insurance. Insurance charges premiums that vary with risk. The government’s employment insurance scheme simply charges a proportion of a worker’s salary.
It’s not an insurance scheme it’s a tax and it’s not needed by many, perhaps most workers.
Has anyone bothered to investigate how many people are really at risk of losing their jobs and how many of those who, in the current environment, would walk straight into another job?
Consider seasonal employment which is only covered if a worker is made redundant before the end of the contracted picking season.
But employers making workers redundant every year will not pay a higher insurance premium.
Clever employers will put seasonal workers on to permanent contracts before making them redundant towards the end of the picking season. Workers in on the bargain will work through the initial four weeks of redundancy covered by the employer if they want to play the game again next season.
And a lengthy period on 80 per cent of their prior salary awaits.
You might even consider it a subsidy scheme for seasonal work. Attracting workers out to the regions is easier if those workers can enjoy six months of government-provided redundancy pay as part of the bargain. . .
Or consider maternity benefits.
Parental leave provides payments of up to $621.76 per week. But if a parent-to-be were to be made redundant, just consider the benefits for those on higher incomes!
Rather than see their pay drop to a meagre $621.76 per week, they could receive up to about $2000 per week – if they earned $130,000 or more before taking parental redundancy.
It really is brilliant. Labour has come up with a mechanism ensuring higher-earning women face fewer costs when having children, while doing fairly little for women on lower wages.
If a right-wing government had come up with the scheme, it would be accused of doing it deliberately, and possibly with eugenic intentions.
What employer would be so mean as to decline their employee’s request to be made redundant before the birth of their child?
And while parental leave is only available to one parent at a time, both parents in a two-income family could take redundancy. They could enjoy a full year with one parent at home with the new baby, or six months of family togetherness. On an “insurance” payment. . .
Labour has done a lot to make better-off people better-off while the poor have got poorer.
The jobs tax would do more of that and it would foster make-work schemes for employment lawyers:
Under current employment law, it is impossibly difficult to fire underperforming workers in some circumstances. It is too easy for employers to find themselves tied up in personal grievance claims for months – to the benefit of the lawyers.
But if both sides in a fractured employment relationship can agree that the worker will be made redundant, with an “insurance” scheme picking up months and months of redundancy payments at 80 per cent of the worker’s salary, everything becomes easier.
The employer neither needs to come up with a very expensive golden handshake, nor deal with months of workplace toxicity as a personal grievance case works its way through.
The worker can simply be made redundant.
You might even view it as a tidy second-best workaround to dysfunctional employment legislation. It will be far easier for employers to fire problem workers, with their agreement, when the scheme is in place. . .
If there’s ever a good time to add a new tax, it’s not when all but the wealthy are struggling with the impacts of steeply rising prices.
If there’s ever a good time to make it easier for people to not work, it’s not when there’s a nation-wide shortage of workers.
This is a bad tax made worse by the potential for rorts and really bad timing.
Word of the day27/09/2022
Cosyism – insidious processes by which public positions, jobs and contracts sometimes go not to the best-qualified applicants but to the friends, contacts and family members of people in power. It’s an apt term for a famously small society in which cousins and mates are always – cosily – rubbing up against each other in public life.
Hat tip: Max Rashbrooke
Too many famers still stuck in connectivity ‘slow lane’ :
Coverage, reliability and speed of mobile and internet services for many farming families and businesses are treading water, if not going backwards, the 2022 Federated Farmers Rural Connectivity Survey shows.
More than half of the nearly 1,200 farmers who responded to the survey report internet download speeds at or less than what could be considered a bare minimum (20 megabytes per second/Mbps) and those who said their mobile phone service had declined in the last 12 months jumped from 20% to 32%.
“For a sector that underpins the lion’s share of New Zealand’s export earnings, and one where productivity gains and reporting requirements are increasingly aligned with used of technology, apps and devices, this is really concerning,” Federated Farmers national board member and telecommunications spokesperson Richard McIntyre says.
“It’s a given that it’s easier and more profitable to deliver high standards of mobile and broadband to urban areas. But rural families and farm businesses – who due to remoteness and road travel times can really benefit from strong on-line connectivity access – must not be left behind.” . .
Why does everyone want to work on a farm? – Brianna Mcilraith:
Job-hunters might be looking for a lifestyle and career change on the farm, if Trade Me data is anything to go by.
The site said agricultural jobs were the most-viewed listings last month.
The top five job listings were for South Island agriculture, fishing and forestry roles, and of the 100 most-viewed listings in August, more than half (55%) were in those categories.
Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich said 18 of the most popular listings were for shepherds and a further nine for stock managers. . .
Biosecurity Bill passes first reading :
An opposition member’s bill boosting penalties for biosecurity breaches has passed its first reading with near unanimous support.
In the name of National MP Jacqui Dean, the bill is aimed at deterring incoming visitors from bringing in illegal biosecurity items such as fruit or other food.
The Increased Penalties for Breach of Biosecurity Bill would double the existing penalty from $1000 to $2000, upon conviction.
It would also increase the on-the-spot fine for a false declaration from $400 to $1000. . .
Frontline biosecurity ranks bolstered :
Biosecurity New Zealand has welcomed 17 new quarantine officers to help protect Aotearoa’s borders from invasive pests and diseases.
Eleven officers graduated on Friday after completing an intensive 10-week training programme. They will work at frontline border locations in Auckland to ensure international travellers and imported goods comply with New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules. The other six new officers have joined Biosecurity New Zealand’s border teams in Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.
The graduates will bolster Biosecurity New Zealand’s frontline ranks as international passenger traffic begins to gather pace following the reopening of borders, says Mike Inglis, Northern Regional Commissioner, Biosecurity New Zealand.
He says Biosecurity New Zealand will have recruited nearly 60 new quarantine officers by the end of this year. There are plans to recruit a further 20 Auckland officers in early 2023. . .
Alun Kilby from Marisco wins Marlborough 2022 Young Winemaker of the Year :
Congratulations to Alun Kilby from Marisco, who came became the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Marlborough Young Winemaker of the Year. The competition was held on 21st September at MRC and the winners were announced at the Awards Dinner the same evening
Alun, 28, was thrilled to take out the title and the judges commented on his broad range of knowledge and skills as he scored consistently well across all sections.
Congratulations also goes to Thomas Jordaan from Vavasour who came second and to Ruby McManaway from Yealands who came third.
For the first time, there were ten contestants competing in the Marlborough regional competition. “It’s exciting to see how many aspiring Young Winemakers want to stretch themselves and start making a name for themselves” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. . .
Mick Ahern wins HortNZ’s Industry Service Award for 2022 :
Horticulture industry stalwart, Mick (Michael) Ahern, has won the Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award for 2022.
‘Mick has contributed to the development of New Zealand’s horticulture industry for more than 40 years,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘Mick is known for his common sense and ability – after everyone else has exhausted themselves with talking – to sum up the situation and provide wise counsel, while pointing to the best if not only way forward.’
Mick started out in the 70s as a university student writing a case study on the kiwifruit industry’s development. That lead to roles in the then fledgeling, kiwifruit export industry. . .
Miriana Stephens wins Horticulture New Zealand President’s Trophy for 2022:
Horticulture industry leader, Miriana Stephens has won the Horticulture New Zealand President’s Trophy for 2022.
‘Miriana is shaping the future of the horticulture industry by example,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘She is a director of Wakatū Incorporation, which grows apples, kiwifruit and pears in its Motueka Orchards under the business, Kono.
‘To Miriana, business is not just commercial – it involves being a kaitiaki of the whenua and moana, as well as being commercially responsible.’ . .
Who should be ashamed?27/09/2022
The Spinoff offered Izzy Cook the opportunity to respond to Friday’s interview in which she was laughed at for her hypocrisy.
The journalist could be criticised for her extended laughter, and has been.
Her mother, Rose Cook, asked to respond and wrote that Heather du Plessis-Allan should be ashamed of how she bullied daughter.
I read what she wrote and thought, if anyone should be ashamed its Cook for buying into the greenwash and the anti-farming, anti-progress rhetoric that is long on emotion, short on science, and that is terrifying chidden:
. . .Our young people are genuinely terrified about the world they are inheriting. That is what matters. . .
Yes it matters that young people are terrified not because of climate change but because of the calamitous way it’s portrayed by older people who ought to know better and bring more reason to the debate.
This point was made by PDM and Mike Webber in comments yesterday.
Eco zealots are peddling misinformation and false news about climate change, its impact and what can be done about it.
Bjorn Lomborg writes on 50 years of climate panic:
. . . Almost every climate summit has been branded as the last chance. Setting artificial deadlines to get attention is one of the most common environmental tactics. We have continually been told for the past half-century that time has just about run out. This message is spectacularly wrong and leads to panic and poor policies. . .
In 1972, the world was also rocked by the first global environmental scare, the so-called “Limits to Growth” report. The authors predicted that most natural resources would run out within a few decades while pollution would overpower humanity.
At the time, the future was described by Time magazine as a desolate world with few gaunt survivors tilling freeway center strips, hoping to raise a subsistence crop. Life magazine expected “urban dwellers will have to wear gas masks to survive air pollution” by the mid-1980s.
They were all wrong because they overlooked the greatest resource of all: human ingenuity. We don’t just use up resources; we innovate smarter ways of making resources more available.
At the same time, technology solves many of the most persistent pollution problems, as did the catalytic converter. This is why air pollution in rich countries has been declining for decades.
Nonetheless, after fifty years of stunningly incorrect predictions, climate campaigners, journalists and politicians still hawk an immediate apocalypse to great acclaim by ignoring adaptation. Headlines that sea level rise could drown 187 million people by the end of the century are foolish.
They imagine that hundreds of millions of people will remain stationary while the waters lap over their calves, hips, chests and mouths.
More seriously, it absurdly assumes that no nation will build any sea defenses. In the real world, ever-wealthier nations will adapt and protect their citizens better, leading to less flooding, while surprisingly spending an ever-lower share of their GDP on flood and protection costs.
What’s solved past problems and led to better lives and improved life expectancy? It’s not panic, taxing more and doing less. It’s adaptation, research and technology.
Likewise, when activists tell you that climate change will make children face twice as much fire, they rely on computer models that only include temperature and ignore humans. Real societies adapt and reduce fire because fires are costly.
That is why global fire statistics show less burned area over the past 120 years and why a future with adaptation sees less, not more fire.
These unsubstantiated scares have real-world consequences. An academic study of young people worldwide found that most suffer from ‘eco-anxiety’. Two-thirds are scared and sad, while almost half say their worries impact their daily lives.
It is irresponsible to scare youths when the UN Climate Panel finds that even if we do nothing to mitigate climate change, the impact by the end of the century will be a reduction of an average income increase from 450 percent to 438 percent. A problem, but hardly the end of the world.
Moreover, panic is a terrible policy advisor. Activist politicians in the rich world are tinkering around the edges of addressing climate change, showering subsidies over expensive vanity projects such as electric cars, solar and wind, while the UN finds that it can’t identify an actual impact on emissions from the last decade of climate promulgations.
Despite their grandiose statements of saving the world, 78 percent of rich countries’ energy still comes from fossil fuels.
That’s because no-one has yet to come up with affordable, reliable and sustainable alternatives.
And as the Glasgow climate summit has shown (for the 26th time), developing nations – whose emissions over the rest of this century matter most – cannot afford to similarly spend trillions on ineffective climate policies as they help their populations escape poverty.
Fifty years of panic clearly haven’t solved climate change. We need a smarter approach that doesn’t scare everyone and focuses on realistic solutions such as adaptation and innovation.
Adaptation won’t make all of the cost of climate change vanish, but it will reduce it dramatically. And by funding the innovation needed to eventually make clean energy cheaper than fossil fuels, we can allow everyone – including developing countries – to sustainably go green.
The eco zealots ignore sustainability which balances environmental action with economic and social concerns.
A home-grown example of that is the calls for halving the dairy herd without taking into account that New Zealand’s milk production has the lowest carbon footprint and that reducing production here would encourage more production in other countries which do it far less efficiently.
It also fails to take into account the disastrous economic and social impact halving the herd would have not least of which would be the jobs lost on farm and in processing and distribution and in the businesses which service and supply farms and processors.
Nor do they have feasible and sustainable uses for the land which would no longer be used for grazing cows.
Some could be used to grow crops, but is that really a greener option when you take into account the fertiliser, sprays and diesel that requires? Where would we find markets when New Zealand’s natural advantage is for growing grass not the crops which many other countries do more efficiently? What else could we do to replace the foreign exchange lost from the milk we’re no long producing?
Calls to halve the dairy herd are, like so many other of the eco-zealots climate change policies, would leave us colder, hungrier and poorer.
That’s because climate change is used by the eco zealots as an anti-capitalist Trojan horse.
Their real agenda isn’t a greener planet it’s a red world.
That’s what should be terrifying all of us.
But we don’t have to be terrified.
Scaremongering won’t solve problems. That will happen with sensible, science-based solutions that address environmental issues without the economic and social sabotage the eco-zealots’ wish-list would inflict on us.
Word of the day26/09/2022
Trumperiness – the state of being extremely showy, yet utterly worthless.
Red meat’s place in diet26/09/2022
Diana Rodgers answers the question: where does red meat fit in a modern diet?