Word of the day


Gammer – an old countrywoman; to idle, trifle, gossip; to lounge about; to fritter away time.

North Otago Legends – Lindsay Purvis


Damien Goodsir and Gary Kircher interview North Otago Legends:

He’s an Omarama local and North Otago Legend. Lindsay Purvis is a good man to know, not just for the easy going personality but for the wealth of knowledge he brings to the community. You may remember him as a farmer in Waianakarua or businessman in Omarama but his legacy will be the work he is currently doing with the ‘Otago Rural Support Trust’

Pothole of the week


National has launched a Pothole of the Week campaign:

National is launching its Pothole of the Week campaign to encourage the public to send in pictures of potholes in their community so that Transport Minister Michael Wood hears their frustrations loud and clear, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Kiwis are sick and tired of all the potholes peppering New Zealand’s roads which are damaging vehicles and causing havoc for motorists. We’re hearing from people every day who say the roads are the worst they’ve ever seen them.

“We’re asking Kiwis to sign our petition and send us pictures of the potholes plaguing their community so that the Transport Minister can see just how bad things are. Each week, we will highlight the worst pothole, with the aim of getting the Government to sort the issue.

“Aside from causing damage to cars, potholes are a safety hazard and that’s why they need to be fixed. So it goes without saying that people should only take photos of potholes if and when it is safe to do so.

“Labour is far too focused on its pet projects, like Auckland light rail, and has forgotten about the basics.

“People in Tauranga and Rodney have taken to repairing the potholes themselves rather than waiting around for NZTA or local authorities to fix them.

“Kiwis would rather the Government spent money on fixing the potholes than on:

  • 1,000 extra NZTA staff since 2017
  • 97 comms staff at NZTA in 2022, up from 32 in 2017
  • $30,000 for five big red zeros
  • $491,000 in rent for an empty office on the Auckland waterfront for the cancelled cycle bridge project
  • $4.7 million in advertising the existence of the Government’s Road to Zero policy
  • $51 million for the cancelled cycle bridge
  • Up to $29.2 billion for Auckland light rail.

Minister Wood needs to stop wasting money on his pet projects and get the potholes fixed.”

People can sign National’s petition at national.org.nz/fixthepotholes and send in their photos of potholes in their community via the National Party Facebook page.

We’re not going to take it


Matthew Hooton joins the chorus pointing out the government’s stupidity:

. . .If her positioning of the new taxes as a world first was designed to prop up her base, it underlined to everyone else the complete idiocy of her move. New Zealand dairy farmers have the lowest GHG emissions per unit of production of any in the world. The same is broadly true of sheep and beef farmers.

Their climate efficiency is such that a block of New Zealand butter sold in London has a smaller climate footprint than one produced in the UK. Every time a Chinese consumer buys New Zealand milk powder over an American, European or Australian equivalent, the climate is theoretically better off.

Yet, right now, government policies mean our dairy herd is declining while the US herd is growing. Every time there is one less cow in New Zealand and one more in the US, the world gets just that little bit hotter.

Ardern knows this, as do Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, who attended her haybarn announcement. In my view they are knowingly reducing the competitiveness of the New Zealand agriculture sector relative to its competitors, threatening the survival of provincial communities while consciously increasing global emissions.

Two arguments are made in response. The first is that New Zealand exporters will gain a premium for having the world’s lowest GHG emissions. Except for a tiny sliver of products that might be sold in specialty stores, everybody in the agriculture sector and hopefully even the Wellington bureaucracy and Beehive know this is nonsense.

Were evidence needed, New Zealand could already advertise that our food products are the world’s most climate-friendly but the reality is that international consumers, let alone the global milk powder and hamburger patty auctions, don’t care.

The second claim is even more ludicrous, that, as claimed by Shaw on Tuesday: “Countries grappling with the same challenges as us are once again looking to New Zealand for climate leadership.”

If any other country is looking at us it’s only to laugh at the idiocy of taxing the world’s most efficient farmers when they haven’t got the tools to reduce emissions, there’s a global food shortage and the Paris Accord states climate change policies shouldn’t come at the expense of food production.

Unlike the claim about the alleged market premium, it is possible the likes of Shaw even believe this. But in reality, nobody looks to New Zealand leadership on anything, whether nuclear non-proliferation, free trade or climate-change policy.

That was true even when the rules-based international system prevailed in the 1990s and 2000s, but it has now unravelled.

China’s GHG emissions are now double those of the US and still growing. Those two countries, plus India, the EU, Russia, Indonesia and Brazil, are responsible for 60 per cent of global emissions and growing.

In the current international environment, it is extremely unlikely that Xi Jinping, Joe Biden, Narendra Modi and Vladimir Putin are remotely interested in whether or not the world’s most climate-friendly farmers are paying Ardern’s new tax. . . 

Our neighbour has not intention of following this folly:

Groundswell is planning another protest to show to show farmers aren’t going to take it:

In response to the Government’s assault on food production and rural communities with a punitive and counterproductive tax on livestock emissions, Groundswell NZ is holding a nationwide protest at midday on Thursday, 20 October, Groundswell NZ co-founder Bryce McKenzie says.

“The Government’s ideological commitment to punitive and counterproductive emissions taxes on food production is an existential threat to rural communities.”

“After years of faux consultation, the Government has given up on all pretence of a fair and workable agricultural emissions policy.”

“Instead, we have a tax that, on the Government’s own numbers, will result in up to a 20% reduction in production for Sheep & Beef farmers and a 6% reduction for Dairy farmers, while their emissions reductions will be replaced by less efficient foreign farmers due to emissions leakage.”

“Looking good at the UN is not a good enough reason to send rural communities to the wall and drive food prices through the roof. That’s why we’re calling on all New Zealanders to show the Government that We’re Not Going To Take It, this Thursday, 20 October, at midday.”

“Most New Zealanders oppose reducing livestock numbers to meet emissions targets and now we’re going to remind the Government how New Zealand pays its way in the world.”

“As in previous protests, we are asking all those participating to respect private property and support local businesses,” says Mr McKenzie.

Saturday soapbox


Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.

No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ill of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. – P. J. O’Rourke

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