Word of the day


Foosty – becoming or smelling mouldy or stale, as wet laundry or wood becomes without proper drying; decaying; musty.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Govt proposal puts farmers at risk – Nicky Hyslop:

It was with good faith that more than two years ago, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and 10 primary sector partners entered into discussions about a sector-specific emissions pricing framework through He Waka Eke Noa.

This was as an alternative to agriculture entering the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which we firmly believed was the wrong outcome for our farmers.

All of this work has been put at risk with the Government’s proposed changes to the partners’ agreed-upon pricing approach. These changes are completely unacceptable, particularly to sheep, beef and deer farmers, and leave us questioning what the Government is trying to achieve.

Carbon sequestration was a critical aspect of the finely balanced proposal, particularly in terms of achieving fairness and equity for hill country farmers, so it is extremely disappointing that the Government has put forward a proposal that does not reward and incentivise the plantings that farmers have done and continue to do. . . .

What the hell? – Peter Burke :

Confusion and outright anger reign across rural New Zealand as farmers and communities try to get to the bottom of the Labour Government’s proposal to effectively make a large number of sheep and beef farmers unprofitable in its quest to get them to pay for their agricultural emissions.

There have been claims the Government is prioritising trees over food and questions have been asked as to whether the move is brave or stupid.

While farmers have consistently stated their willingness to pay for these emissions, PM Jacinda Ardern’s announcement from a hay bale stage at a dairy farm in the Wairarapa a couple of weeks ago was not what farmers were expecting.

As Rural News went to print farmers around the country were preparing to take to the streets and motorways to express their opposition to the emissions pricing proposal. . . .

Fonterra fires back at critics of DIRA bill – Hugh Stringleman :

Fonterra’s capital restructure and the enabling legislation will give the company a fair go at competing for a sustainable supply of New Zealand milk on more equal terms, the co-operative says.

Chair Peter McBride presented Fonterra’s submission to the Primary Production Committee of Parliament on the Dairy Industry Restructuring (Fonterra Capital Restructuring) Amendment (DIRA) Bill.

He said an internationally competitive, farmer-owned co-operative of scale is in the country’s best interests.

The new flexible shareholding capital structure will help to level the playing field with foreign-backed competitors in an environment of declining NZ milk production. . . .

Record profits for Alliance Group – Shawn McAvinue:

Red meat processor and exporter Alliance Group is celebrating a record profit, but supply-chain challenges remain, bosses say.

The co-operative held 20 meetings across New Zealand to update farmers on its operation and the tour finished in Mossburn last night.

Group chief executive David Surveyor, speaking at Ranfurly Bowling Club last week, said the co-operative had a record profit performance for the year ending September 30.

“It’s the most profitable year in Alliance Group’s history . . .

Pioneering UMF: a beekeeper’s story – Leah Tebbutt:

Being in the honey industry for 40-odd years is not enough for Margaret and her husband Bill Bennett.

“We hope we’ll be some of the ones that keep on going through – that survive,” Bill said as we enter the honey house with citrus and magenta-coloured hives piled high.

Their persistence and passion come as no surprise. The couple pioneered the UMF grading system 25 years ago and they have campaigned for it ever since.

And while they are taking a small step back, son Andrew and son-in-law James Jeffery are both now beekeepers for their business, SummerGlow Apiaries. . . 

Using livestock for healthier soil – Glenneis Kriel :

Much has been said about how the COVID-19 pandemic exposed serious limitations in the global logistics and food system, and how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine makes it even more unlikely that the world will be able to end hunger by 2050.

But Angus McIntosh, better known as Farmer Angus, who farms livestock at Spier near Stellenbosch, argues that the situation is compounded by the misconception that the world’s farmers will have to feed a projected population of nine billion people by 2050.

“The world is already producing enough food to feed between 11 billion and 14 billion people. [However], our problem is that a lot of food is wasted along the supply chain or grown for the wrong reasons, such as to feed cattle [or other livestock in intensive farming concerns] or to produce biofuels,” says McIntosh. . .




Both Sides Now – Sir John Key


Both Sides Now is a political podcast hosted by Eve McCallum and Finn Ross in which they travelled round New Zealand interviewing past and present politicians.

Eve is a member of Young Nationals and Finn is a Labour member.

They’d re attempting to break down the increasing political polarisation and engage young people with politics.

Whose paying for the e-cars?


The government is taking from tradies and farmers to subsidise buyers of electric vehicles:

The Government has handed out $35 million to subsidise Tesla buyers, while also raking tens of millions from farmers and tradies through Labour’s car tax, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“New data shows that between July 2021 and September 2022, $163 million was paid out in rebates to the buyers of expensive electric vehicles. Of this, $35 million was for buyers of Teslas vehicles, which start at around $70,000.

If you can afford a $70,000 car you don’t need a subsidy.

“It’s clear that Labour’s scheme is subsidising millionaires into brand new luxury cars, but doing nothing to support low-income earners into cleaner vehicles.

“These Tesla subsidies are being paid for by hardworking farmers and tradies who, with no viable electric options available, are being taxed for purchasing the vehicles they need to do their work.

It would be unfair to be taxed to subsidise owners of luxury cars if there was an alternative to diesel and petrol power utes. That there is no viable alternative makes it worse.

“Since the car tax came into effect in April this year, the Government has raked in $63 million during a cost of living crisis.

“The clean car rebate and car tax are essentially a reverse-Robin Hood scheme. Hardworking Kiwis are being taxed for the vehicles they need, only for the proceeds to subsidise millionaires into posh new cars.

A Lexus dealer told me several customers had ordered e-cars before the subsidy was announced.

The wait for the vehicles was so long that the subsidy applied when they finally arrived so the purchasers paid less than they’d been happy to pay when they made their orders.

This is yet another example of the government taking money from people who have no options to avoid it, and giving it to people who don’t need it.

It’s not just ute owners paying.

If the government has taken $63 from the ute tax and paid out $163 million in subsidies, the difference must be borrowed money which will have to be repaid with interest.

That’s adding to the burden on future taxpayers so we’re all paying for e-cars for people well able to buy their own.

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