Word of the day


Ibidem: – in the same book, chapter, page or place,

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Labour plans an act of ‘mega stupidity’ – Muriel Newman :

It seems inconceivable that at a time of hyper-inflation and global unrest, any government would deliberately destabilise the agricultural sector by introducing policies that would increase costs to primary producers, reduce production, and fuel price increases. Yet that’s what Jacinda Ardern’s Labour Government is planning to do.

And how are they justifying these radical changes?

Our Prime Minister, the poster child of modern-day socialism, wants to once again boast on the world stage that she’s taking the lead in climate policy – this time by introducing a price on agricultural emissions of greenhouse gases.

No doubt next month’s climate change COP27 talkfest, where tens of thousands of climate activists from all over the world will fly to Egypt to talk about cutting emissions and saving the planet, will provide just such an opportunity. . . 

Rural women flag concerns about community wellbeing – Jessica Marshall :

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) says they have major concerns for the wellbeing of rural communities after the release of the Government’s emissions pricing plan.

The proposed plan, announced earlier this month, will see farm emissions priced at the farm-level, but deviates from the industry recommendations in key aspects. It is currently up for consultation.

While Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describes the pricing plan as a ‘pragmatic’ approach, RWNZ national president Gill Naylor says her organisation is concerned by the adverse impacts it may have on primary producers, particularly if they aren’t supported while they adapt their practices.

“We are also concerned about the flow-on effects on small towns and regional centres that depend on our primary producers to remain viable and vibrant communities and… the health and wellbeing of our farmers and their families is a concern where they are worrying about the viability of their businesses, and where the place that they call home might be on the line,” Naylor told Rural News. . . 

Cherry growers hopeful for harvest but freight demand, cooler start to spring pose challenges – Tess Brunton :

Central Otago orchards say the upcoming harvest is looking promising but there are more challenges ahead.

The Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme recently received a cap boost with up to 19,000 places available for the 2022-23 year.

Driving through Central Otago, the cherry blossoms are slowly giving way to fruit after a colder start to spring.

45 South employs upwards of 500 people during the cherry harvest. . . 

Shipping reduces agribusiness-emissions :

New Zealand’s newest addition to the coastal shipping fleet, the MV Rangitata, made her maiden voyage in October, carrying product for Ravensdown.

The trip by ship reduced CO emissions by an estimated 39 tonne when compared to moving the same volume of product by road.

She is the newest vessel for Coastal Bulk Shipping Ltd, one of four preferred suppliers in a $30-million Government investment for coastal shipping funding through the National Land Transport Programme (NLTP) to improve domestic shipping services, reduce emissions, improve efficiency, and upgrade maritime infrastructure.

Coastal shipping is forming a key part of Ravensdown’s national emission reduction strategy, says Sustainability Manager Allanah Kidd. . . 

Red meat leaders of the future wanted :

The Meat Industry Association (MIA) is inviting applications for its prestigious scholarship programme from students interested in a career in the red meat processing and exporting sector following a major re-vamp of the initiative.

The popular scholarship programme, now in its sixth year, is focused on supporting highly skilled young people who have the potential to become future leaders in New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry.

A maximum of three new undergraduate or post-graduate scholars will be selected for the 2023 programme. The selection criteria has been enhanced to focus on a smaller group of high calibre students preparing to pursue a career in the sector.

The undergraduate scholarships will provide $5,000 for each year of study for up to three years. The post-graduate awards are for $10,000 a year for up to two years. The 2023 intake will join the existing 10 scholars in the programme. . . 

Rockit makes a move, heads to South Island :

Pioneering apple company, Rockit Global Limited, is planning for its biggest planting year yet, targeting a further 200ha of trees in the ground in 2023. And it’s taking its global success story south, identifying suitable land and growers in Canterbury and Nelson as well as seeking new partners in Hawke’s Bay and Gisborne, where fruit is currently grown.

Despite sharing many of the same challenges as many other New Zealand fruit varieties this year, Rockit’s forecast orchard gate return has progressively lifted across the year and the company is on track to deliver a record market price. This year more than 76 million New Zealand Rockit™ apples will be shipped, with up to 160 million apples expected in 2023.

Rockit’s General Manager Commercial, Tom Lane, says with international demand for the snack size apples booming and new markets opening up every year, the innovative apple brand is tasked with finding fresh ways to keep up with the hordes of hungry consumers buying Rockit across more than 30 countries including China, India, Vietnam, the USA and UAE. Currently, Rockit grows apples in the northern hemisphere (the USA, UK and Europe) as well as throughout New Zealand’s east coast to ensure year-round global supply. . . 

“It is not a levy, it is a tax”


National’s Selwyn MP Nicola Grigg gets it – when research, science and technology have yet to come up with the means to reduce farm emissions, the government’s proposal to charge for them is not a levy, it’s a tax:

NICOLA GRIGG (National—Selwyn): I was thinking, just earlier, after hearing Damien O’Connor’s contribution to the House followed by Meka Whaitiri’s, that we’d heard two valedictory speeches this evening, and I think I can add a third to that list. Yet another five-minute diatribe just proving nothing but what a tin ear the Ministers of this Crown have. We hear nothing but denial and defence coming out from this Government. They are so, so enthusiastic about rewriting history.

The facts of the matter are the industry, the 11 partnership groups of He Waka Eke Noa, took a proposal to the Government. The Government has come back with its response just last week. It has dumped the parts that the farming sector was prepared to sign up to. That is what the so-called “whinging and carping and griping” that Kieran McAnulty talks about is about, because, once again, this industry has been roundly ignored by this Government. And, yes, we do, on this side of the House, stand by the fact that we will not support a pricing mechanism until the science and technology is in place, otherwise it is not a levy; it is a tax. It is a tax on food while our country is in the grip of a cost of living crisis, and this Government is doing nothing but to fan the flames of that crisis.

The government keeps trying to tell us it cares about the poor and wants to help people out of poverty but either doesn’t understand, or doesn’t care, that taxing food production will push more people into poverty by increasing unemployment and food prices, and reducing export income.

Nobody on that side of the House is talking about the 20 percent of sheep and beef farms that are going to go out of business. By the Government’s own numbers, one in five sheep and beef farmers in this country will go out of business, and they have the nerve to talk about this side of the House criticising them and not supporting this proposal. We would support this proposal if it was fair and if it was equitable. We have said from the outset that the National Party does support emissions pricing for the agricultural sector if there are fair and reasonable sequestration options in place; if there is the science and technology in place. We will not stand by a proposal that puts one in five of our sheep and beef farmers out of business. We will not stand by a proposal that sees our richest industry, the industry that earns this country some money, sent offshore to high-emitting farming countries. We will not stand by it, we will not support it, and I do not apologise for calling the Government out on it.

If you don’t want to hear it from me, Mr McAnulty, maybe have a look at the latest industry rag out this week. Here we go: “Govt ‘fails fairness test’ on HWEN”. “HWEN has farmers upset over offsets”. “Sector flags ‘immediate concerns’ on HWEN”. There is no balancing of the ledger on the levy; take that from the people in the industry, Mr McAnulty. And while Ms Whaitiri crows away about the farmers inviting her on to their place, I’ll tell you what: it ain’t for tea and tinies. It is to try, in a desperate, final attempt—in the six weeks they’ve got left, it is to try and educate this Government as to what it is doing to our most productive sector. Fifteen percent of this country earns 50 percent of its revenue, and you lot over that side of the House should pay wise words to that.

Every single one of the industry groups, the 11 groups that signed up to this thing, have reacted angrily and have opposed the Government’s response to it. Once again: you took their advice back in May; perhaps you best start listening to them now. As you keep saying, they are the industry. They are the ones at the coal face. They are the ones who should know what they’re talking about. Well, they’re telling you now: this thing does not work, and the National Party wants to work with those groups and find something that will work. We are committed to reducing carbon emissions. We do agree the primary sector does need to pay its way, and it plays an important part in designing a system, designing its own process for recording and pricing those emissions. It can only happen, though, if farmers are allowed all options of sequestration. That includes shelterbelts; that includes riparian planting; that includes native bush and reserves.

A National Government would invest in driving technology. It wouldn’t just announce $300 million technology incentives and funds and just write a press release and put it out; it would actually invest. Come down to my electorate. Come and visit Lincoln Agritech and all those solutions are right there. They have been developed. They need some sort of system to commercialise them and incentivise them. I would suggest, Mr McAnulty, if you want me up in Marlborough having a look at the flood damage, come down to my electorate, take a look at the technology being developed down there, put your money where your mouth is, and start investing behind them.

What’s Labour’s biggest fail?


National asks a question that ought to be easy to answer:

National has today launched a new website outlining Labour’s extensive record of failure over the past five years, says National Party Campaign Chair Chris Bishop.

“Today is the fifth anniversary of Labour coming to power and Kiwis are frustrated at the Government’s lack of delivery. Our new website lets people vote for what they believe is the biggest fail – is it the cost of living crisis, the housing catastrophe Labour has overseen, an education system slipping backwards, Labour’s soft-on-crime approach or a health system under huge pressure?

“This is the most wasteful and incompetent Government in New Zealand history. Labour is addicted to spending and is now spending an extra $1 billion per week compared with 2017 – but it has nothing to show for it other than increased taxes and a massive increase in government bureaucracy.

“When Jacinda Ardern said “let’s do this” in 2017, she presumably didn’t mean more children in poverty and living in cars, the cost of living rising twice as fast as wages, Auckland Light Rail having not even started despite promises it would be completed by now, or KiwiBuild delivering 1.4 per cent of the promised 100,000 houses.

“Labour must be held to account for its lack of delivery. The tired old Labour formula of good intentions, endless working groups, and big spending has failed.

“Rents are up $140 per week on average, the state house waitlist has increased by 20,000 families, emergency department wait times and surgical waitlists are at record highs, there is one ram raid every 15 hours, fewer than half our kids are attending school regularly with over 100,000 chronically absent, and gangs are recruiting twice as fast as Police.

“The good news is, there is a better way. National has a plan to better manage the economy, deal with the cost of living crisis, deliver better public services and get New Zealand moving forward again.”

National is inviting Kiwis sick of Labour’s lack of delivery to vote on Labour’s biggest fail at www.laboursbiggestfail.co.nz

It ought to be easy to answer that questions but what makes it hard is there are so many fails from which to choose:

Labour is addicted to spending and you are paying the price

Labour is spending nearly $1 billion more every week.

Inflation is at 7.2%, the highest in three decades, forcing you to pay more for everything .

Prices are rising twice as fast as wages.

Filling up a 60L tank of petrol has increased by $35.

So has your weekly grocery shop (up by $35).

Rents have increased by $140 per week on average – that’s $7280 a year.

Weekly mortgage interest payments are $300 higher or $15,600 more per year (RBNZ & REINZ).

A 20% deposit on an average home is up $60,000 to $160,000.

Even well-off people are complaining about prices, many who ought to be comfortably off are finding balancing their budgets hard and the poor are struggling.

Labour is taxing you more

Labour is now collecting $33 billion more in tax every year. 

Labour has introduced several new taxes….

Aucklanders are paying a 10c per litre Regional Fuel Tax every time they fill up

Farmers and tradies buying utes to do their jobs now pay a Car Tax of up to $5000 – which is subsidising Teslas for wealthy people.

Labour extended the bright-line test to 10 years after explicitly promising not to – it’s a Capital Gains Tax by stealth.

Labour removed mortgage interest deductibility for landlords (a Tenant Tax) which officials told them would likely increase rents.

And they want to increase taxes even further

Labour is planning a Jobs Tax where everyday Kiwis earning $60,000 will pay $834 more every year

Taking so much more in tax would be bad in itself, it’s worse when so much is being wasted.

Labour is wasting billions of your hard-earned money 

$650 million in corporate welfare to subsidise businesses to cut emissions they would have done anyway.

$586 million to restructure the health system during a global pandemic, including $168 million for a separate Māori Health Authority.

$370 million to merge TVNZ and RNZ.

$100 million on a business case for the Lake Onslow project.

$65.9 million on Auckland Light Rail without a single kilometre having been built.

$51 million on the cancelled Auckland cycle bridge, including $600,000 on an empty waterfront office!

$35 million subsidising people to buy Tesla’s.

 $24 million on Kainga Ora office renovations.

$2.75 million for the Mongrel Mob to run a meth rehab programme.

Shareholders in any private business that wasted a fraction of this amount would be sacking all the directors.

And what has Labour delivered for all of this increased spending and tax?

New Zealand is going backwards.

New Zealand’s global competitiveness ranking has fallen from 16th to 31st.

50,000 more people are on the Jobseeker Benefit, despite businesses crying out for workers.

Instead of lifting 100,000 children out of poverty by 2020, 400 more children are living in poverty (RNZStats NZ). 

The state housing waitlist has grown by over 20,000 applicants.

480 Kiwi families live in cars, up 350% in the last five years.

$1 million is spent every day housing people in motels and other emergency accommodation.

Just 1.4% of the 100,000 promised KiwiBuild houses have been built.

Let’s Get Wellington Moving has delivered only a set of new traffic lights and a pedestrian crossing (no, really)

Less than half of Kiwi kids are regularly attending school, and over 100,000 are chronically absent.  

The number of kids not receiving any education at all has doubled to 8,500. 

Two-thirds of students failing a basic NCEA writing assessment, with just 64% passing the reading standard, and 56% passing numeracy.

New Zealand pupils used to do well on international comparisons, not any more.

The average Emergency Department wait time is just under 5 hours – the worst in a decade.

More than 200,000 Kiwis are sitting on a health-related waitlist.

People waiting longer than four months for their first appointments with hospital specialists has grown from less than 1000 under National to almost 30,000 under Labour.

No change in access to mental health services despite spending $1.9 billion .

A shortage of at least 4,000 nurses but the Government still refuses to put nurses on the fast-tracked straight to residency visa path.

The health system has been under growing stress for years,. Labour has made it worse by wasting millions on restructuring the system without addressing the need to improve services and the people who deliver them.

There are 2,676 more gang members, a 50% increase.

Gangs are recruiting twice as fast as Police, with 1.7 new gang members for every new Police graduate.

There are 2,742 fewer offenders in prison but violent crime is up 21% (Corrections & NZ Police Data).

Firearm violence is the worst in decades, 1335 offences were recorded in 2021 up from 981 in 2017.

518% increase in youth ram-raids.

109% increase in serious assaults 

Despite poor service delivery, NZ now has 14,000 more public servants

We’re paying more, the government is spending more and we’re getting far, far, less for it.

New Zealand imported almost four times as much coal last year as 2017.

Remember the declaration that climate change action was our nuclear-free moment?

It wasn’t supposed to mean taking the country backwards with economic, environmental and social devastation caused by the fallout.

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