Word of the day


Bruttle – a cow that is apt to break through fences; a mischievous cow that has a habit of breaking through old fences.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Plant and pollute or right tree, right place for the right purpose? – 50 Shades of Green:

We acknowledge with gratitude the latest comments from the Climate Change Commission. That the ETS allows companies to “plant and pollute” and needs reform. These comments are consistent with 50 Shades of Green long running assertions that indeed, the ETS needs a good overhaul.

We continue to ask the Government. Please pause before the Sheep and Beef sector is challenged out of existence. [1]

What has happened under current policy settings? Instead of driving a change in behaviour, at source, the opposite has resulted in our valuable breeding country, the top of the supply chain, used as a proxy, relying too heavily on planting trees to absorb polluters’ carbon dioxide emissions.

While the government takes its time reviewing the ETS, our issue is they have happily ignored our valid and vindicated concerns. Uncritically relying too heavily on what we can only assume is official advice and not acknowledging the devastating effects on New Zealand Hill country constantly put to them. The recent additional sales confirmed, and in the pipeline of more valuable stations lost from the sector that produces c$10b in receipts for the country are gone for good. Sweeping rural communities away in their path. . . 

Huge gains for industry in 50 years of deer farming science :

From a noxious pest that should be exterminated to livestock providing high value products to the world, the deer industry in New Zealand has come a long way in 50 years – and the research that made it possible is now being celebrated.

An event next week at AgResearch’s Invermay campus near Dunedin will mark 50 years of deer farming science at the site by AgResearch and its predecessor organisations, always in close partnership with the deer industry and farmers. The half century of research has included major advances in understanding of deer nutrition, health, behaviour and genetics, and in development of products such as venison, velvet and milk that are exported around the world.

“Fifty years ago, researcher Ken Drew and veterinarian Les Porter thought it might be a good idea to put some science in behind the newly emerging deer farming industry,” says AgResearch’s programme leader for Deer Science for Success, Jamie Ward.

“With incredible backing by early industry participants, innovation, positivity, and fantastic researchers, Invermay became synonymous with the evolution of the New Zealand deer farming industry and earned an international reputation for its science and research output.” . . 

How CH4 Global is turning seaweed into fodder for farm ruminants – and hopes to cool the climate – Point of Order:

Big  strides  are  being  made in the  development  of  a  seaweed-based   product  which,  it  is  claimed,  reduces  methane  emissions in ruminant animals  by up  to 90%.

The product, which its champions say could resolve New Zealand’s climate change threat  from  methane emissions  in  the nation’s  dairy  herd, has  been sold  for  the  first  time—-to  an  Australian customer.

It has been made by CH4 Global™, Inc., a company which says it is

”… on an urgent mission to address climate change by providing our seaweed-based Asparagopsis products to farmers worldwide so they can dramatically reduce the methane emissions of their livestock and realize significant value in the process.” . . 

Trading trees for cows – Nikki Mandow:

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is to report next month on offsetting short-lived methane emissions from livestock by planting fast-growing forests – a bid to address two of NZ’s most vexed climate problems simultaneously

Dr Rod Carr says markets – in this case the Emissions Trading Scheme – have an important part to play sending signals about the real costs of greenhouse gas emissions.

But speaking at the Climate Change & Business Conference this week, the Climate Change Commission chair warns the “plant and pollute” nature of the present trading scheme, where companies can buy their way towards net carbon zero using forestry plantings as offsets, risks allowing them to get away with not reducing their actual carbon emissions.

That’s why New Zealand needs new solutions – and just across Wellington, the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment is exploring one such. . . 

Volatility and vulnerability in the rural sector :

Data released today by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were -126 fewer farm sales (-38.2%) for the three months ended August 2022 than for the three months ended August 2021. Overall, there were 204 farm sales in the three months ended August 2022, compared to 255 farm sales for the three months ended July 2022 (-20%), and 330 farm sales for the three months ended August 2021.

1,545 farms were sold in the year to August 2022 — 278 fewer than were sold in the year to August 2021, with 2.6% more Dairy farms, 25.2% fewer Dairy Support, 21.5% fewer Grazing farms, 13.9% fewer Finishing farms and 17.5% fewer Arable farms sold over the same period.

The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to August 2022 was $25,690 compared to $27,170 recorded for the three months ended August 2021 (-5.4%). The median price per hectare decreased by 6.5% compared to July 2022.

The REINZ All Farm Price Index decreased 8.3% in the three months to August 2022 compared to the three months to July 2022. Compared to the three months ending August 2021 the REINZ All Farm Price Index increased 3.6%. The REINZ All Farm Price Index adjusts for differences in farm size, location, and farming type, unlike the median price per hectare, which does not adjust for these factors. . .

Bill drawn to help cellar-door wine tasting:

A law change that will help streamline the process required for wineries to sell samples at the cellar door has been drawn from the Member’s Bill Ballot today, MP for Kaikoura and National’s Viticulture spokesperson Stuart Smith says.

“The Sale and Supply of Alcohol (Cellar Door Tasting) Amendment Bill will plug an important gap in the old legislation so that winery cellar doors can now charge visitors for wine samples without having to secure a separate on-license and all the costs associated with that.

“While this may be a small change, it will make a big difference to New Zealand’s wineries.

“This Bill has been drawn at an opportune time as wineries have faced significant costs and reduced production as a result of the pandemic. This regulatory change will ensure that they can provide cellar door services without the unnecessary extra red-tape. . .


New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards’ entries open October 1st:

With just over a week until entries open in the 2023 New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, organisers of the regional programmes are gathering in Rotorua for the annual conference to learn how to deliver over 48 events and numerous judging days..

General Manager Robin Congdon says the conference is an opportunity for the many volunteers from around the country to come together after a busy winter season.

“The conference will be a busy few days, ensuring everyone knows what’s required to deliver the dynamic programme and bring them up to speed on this year’s changes made to the Share Farmer category judging process,” he says.

“The Exec have reviewed extensive feedback on last year’s changes to the Dairy Manager and Dairy Trainee categories, which was overwhelmingly positive. . .

Govt ‘more expensive less effective’


THe NZ Herald’s annual Mood of the Boardroom shows business is very frustrated with the government and unimpressed by Ministers.

Only five get a pass mark:

. . .The list includes Cabinet Ministers and Ministers outside Cabinet ranked by CEOs

1. James Shaw (Climate change) 3.27/5
2. Grant Robertson (Finance) 2.98/5
3. Chris Hipkins (Education) 2.95/5
4. Damien O’Connor (Trade) 2.92/5
5. Kiri Allan (Justice) 2.83/5
6. Ayesha Verrall (Covid-19 response) 2.49/5
7. Stuart Nash (Tourism) 2.43/5
8. Megan Woods Energy 2.42
9. Peeni Henare (Defence) 2/39/5
10. Andrew Little (Health) 2.37/5
11. Jan Tinetti (Internal Affairs) 2.34/5
12. Jacinda Ardern (PM, National Security & Intelligence) 2.30/5
13. Kieran McAnulty (Emergency Management) 2.25/5
14. Michael Wood (Immigration) 2.19/5
15. Carmel Sepuloni (Social Dev & Employment) 2.13/5
16. Aupito Sio (Pacific Peoples) 2.12/5
17. Meka Whaitiri (Customs) 2.03/5
18. David Parker (Environment) 2.00/5
19. Priyanca Radhaskrishnan (Ethnic communities) 2.00/5
20. David Clark (Commerce & Consumer Affairs) 1.96/5
21. Marama Davidson (Prevention family violence) 1.94/5
22. Nanaia Mahuta (Foreign Affairs) 1.93/5
23. Willie Jackson (Broadcasting) 1.89/5
24. Phil Twyford (Disarmament) 1.78/5
25. Kelvin Davis (Maori Crown relations) 1.66/5
26. Poto Williams Conservation 1.62/5

The government can blame global events and conditions  outside its control for some of the gloom but it is responsible for these factors on which business rates it poorly:

. . . Some key areas of Government competency which sit squarely under Robertson’s brief were marked down. Among them were

• Maintaining fiscal responsibility 2.14/5;
• Addressing the infrastructure deficit 1.88/5
• Execution and delivery of policies 1.63/5
• Transforming the economy 1.56/5
• Policy planning and consultation with business 1.57/5

Other ratings were: regional development 2.62/5; implementing sensible Covid policies 2.28/5; taking mental health seriously 2.27/5; addressing the housing shortage 1.81/5; improving children’s wellbeing 1.80/5; addressing transport constraints 1.80/5; and immigration 1.36/5.

Typical comments: “Lots of talk on policy but little actual impact — quite often glugging things up,” from an infrastructure CEO. “Also have driven up government overheads dramatically. So, arguably central government has got more expensive and less effective.” . . .

That sums it up.

This government is more expensive and less effective.

It’s taking more and delivering less and its policies and performance aren’t just bad for business, they’re bad for the country.

Fighting for free speech


Free speech is one of the features that ought to differentiate democracies from inferior forms of government.

It ought not to be under threat in any democratic countries, but it is, even in a magazine with a reputation for good journalism like North and South as this discussion between Yvonne van Dongen and Sean Plunket illustrates.

Spot the irony that a well researched article on free speech was threatened with censorship.

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