Word of the day


Parviscient  – knowing little; having little knowledge; ignorant; shallow.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Spot the culprit – Barry Brill :

Our politicians continue to parrot the fallacy that livestock emissions contribute “nearly half” of the global warming that New Zealand supposedly causes each and every year.

This estimate is, of course, based on several erroneous assumptions – one of which is that each herd of cattle keeps adding more methane to the atmosphere every year.

The reality is that a ‘steady-state’ herd produces steady state methane. For every new molecule it emits an older molecule expires, and there is no increase at all.

Even if the national herd was growing, the changes are trivial compared to the exponential increase in emissions in, for example, the transport sector.  In the United Kingdom, the actual figures have been taken out by Cartington Farm as follows: . . 

Green dream pushes farmers into the red – Jill Herron :

A multi-award-winning Southland couple share their harrowing experience of regenerative land practices as a warning of what can go wrong down on a green farm

Linzi and Jeff Keen were fencing off waterways and planting natives well before it was fashionable.

In what is a fairly traditional farming landscape near Lumsden in Northern Southland, the innovative couple continue to be the greenies of the hood.

Rolling hills lead the way to their 870ha Tomogalak Gorge farm, which backs onto the tussock country of the Mataura Range. . .


Farmers taxed to buy Audis, BMWs and a Porsche :

Teslas aren’t the only flash cars farmers and tradies are being made to subsidise, with people buying luxury brands like Audi, BMW and even a Porsche Cayenne receiving handouts, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“Data from NZTA shows the Government has spent at least $7 million helping to get some 1400 lucky Kiwis behind the wheel of a range of high-end sports cars.

“Included in the list of vehicles the Government has sent taxpayer money to are 325 BMWs, 114 Audis, 64 Mercedes-Benz, and even one Jaguar and one Porsche.

“That’s on top of the $40.9 million that Transport Minister Michael Wood today confirmed has been paid out to buyers of Teslas. . .

Blueberry crops in Waikato wiped out in severe frost :

Losses from a severe frost that wiped out entire blueberry orchards in Waikato this month could reach $25 million, Waikato grower Dan Peach estimates

Most Waikato growers lost 90 percent of their blueberry production while a few lost half their crop.

Other producers in the region were also hit by the cold snap this month, which froze crop of one of the country’s largest asparagus growers, Boyds Asparagus, and decimated strawberry crops on the outskirts of Hamilton.

Peach said some in the sector were figuring out how to make up for the loss . .

Independent report finds Northland’s Extension 350 farming programme a success:

An independent report has found agri-extension and development programme Extension 350 (E350) has been a success in helping Northland farmers reach their goals.

The farmer-learning-from-farmer programme was launched in 2016 with the aim of helping the region’s farmers to achieve their goals and objectives including profitability, environmental sustainability, and wellbeing.

An independent evaluation by Scarlatti Limited has found the programme’s investment of $4.1 million generated financial returns of $48.6 million against measurable financial outcomes. The result reflects an almost 12:1 return on investment, with environmental and wellbeing outcomes additional to this figure.

Extension 350 Chair, Ken Hames, says the report highlights the positive traction the programme has created with famers across the region. . . 



New Zealand’s first organic lactose free milk powder range wins gold at artisan awards :

Organic Dairy Hub®’s (ODH) consumer brand, Ours Truly™, was awarded two gold awards in last week’s Inspire+ NZ Artisan Awards for its pair of organic, lactose free milk powders (whole and skim).

The range is the first of its kind in New Zealand, meeting a need for more lactose free options from within the dairy industry.

Hayley Denney, ODH’s Business Development Manager, said the company is thrilled with the award win which reflects a growing market for the products – both nationally and overseas.

“New Zealand-produced dairy products have always been held in high regard offshore, and we have noticed increasing demand for lactose free dairy products globally in the last few years. We decided to meet that demand with our organic milk powders, and it has really been an incredible team effort to get the range off the ground and into consumers’ hands,” explains Denney. . . 

Government has sabotaged farming consensus


The government’s butchering of the agri-sector’s He Waka Eke Noa has led to growing  farmer rebellion:

A large protest meeting of farmers in Invercargill last night heard Federated Farmers President, Andrew Hoggard, withdraw his support for the Government’s proposal for farmers to pay for their emissions.

And he indicated the Feds would leave the He Waka Eke Noa farm sector partnership that had been working with the Government on a farm emissions policy.

“It’s been two and a half bloody years or more of dumb regulation after dumb regulation after dumb regulation, and  for me, it’s just like, Nah, screw it, I’m done with being polite about it,” he told the meeting to applause.

Hoggard last night said the Feds had always opposed the methane reduction target of a reduction of 10 per cent by 2030.

He said his organisation had continued within the HWEN partnership because of its original principles. They were that the agriculture sector would work with the Government to design a pricing mechanism “where any price is part of a broader framework to support on-farm practice change” and “only to the extent necessary to incentivise the uptake of economically viable opportunities that contribute to lower global emissions.”

“It’s just gotten more and more tenuous as we’ve gone along the process, and finally, the government proposal was the knife that cut that link,” he said.

He said Federated Farmers had never supported pricing in the first place because the alternative would have been farmers going into the Emissions Trading Scheme, which would mean much higher payments and no chance of any rebates for mitigation.  

“We tried to argue that we didn’t want pricing in there, but everyone else was of the opinion that pricing had to be a part of it; otherwise, the government would reject it (the HWEN proposal)”, he said.

“And so we went along with it because we felt at least then if we’re in the team, we could push back, keep providing that sort of tension, keeping that farmer voice in there. “And certainly throughout the process, we have managed to at least get some changes, some wins, keep some stupid things out of it. “But it has been bloody hard work.”

Hoggard argued that what had been intended to be a levy was now a tax because of the failure to allow for sequestration. To achieve the 10 per cent gross reduction in emissions by 2030, the Government would do so by taxing farmers to force them to reduce production.

“And so the way you’ve got to think of it is that they need a gross reduction, and at the moment, without mitigations, a 10% gross reduction only comes from 10% less dry matter going down ruminants throats,” he said. “And so that is a key thing.

“And to me, that is the fundamental change the Government has made is that change to the pricing principles and that singular focus on achieving the targets at all cost to our communities.”

His views were echoed by two South Island National MPs.

“We will not accept the government’s proposal,” said Southland MP Joseph Mooney.

“Yes, we want the research and development to happen, and we want the science and technology to be able to lower the emissions, but we need to be doing it in step, so pricing can’t get ahead of competitor countries, and we can’t put our food security at risk,” said Invercargill MP, Penny Simmonds. . .


It took a lot of work to get the He Waka Eke Noa proposal together, there were a lot of reservations about it but most agreed it was less bad than putting farming in the ETS.

The government has sabotaged the consensus. Federated Farmers is leading the charge against the proposal and other organisations that had been part of HWEN are also very critical of the proposed changes for very good reasons.

The economic and social costs are far too high for little, if any, environmental gain.

The meeting also discussed the impractical winter grazing regulations.

A leading Southland farmer says she won’t be getting winter grazing consents and hundreds of other farmers will also refuse to get them.

Federated Farmers Southland vice president Bernadette Hunt, speaking at a meeting about the Government’s controversial farming emissions’ proposal and winter grazing regulations at Stadium Southland on Wednesday night, said consents were supposed to place extra scrutiny where the highest risks were.

But if thousands of people had to get them for an activity, it was not targeting the highest risk.

“That’ll mean councils can’t adequately check them out in advance or enforce them so it makes a mockery of the process. You’ll pay for a piece of paper but there’s nothing behind it, and that’s why we don’t support these ones,” she said.

The Government legislation was shoddy and was not ready to go which was why she would not be getting a consent for winter grazing, she said.

She was not asking everyone to boycott the consents, saying it was each individual’s choice, but suggested there would be safety in numbers.

“They can’t prosecute us all.”

She asked the hundreds of people at the meeting to stand with her in boycotting the consents and almost all did.

Hunt made of point of saying the Feds would not defend farmers who operated without regard for animal or environmental welfare. . . .

The video is a livestream of the meeting, the business starts at about 18 minutes.

MUDdying employment not fair


Labour calls them Fair Pay Agreements.

They are mandatory union deals (MUDs) and anything but fair which is why National will repeal them:

Labour’s misnamed ‘Fair’ Pay Agreements Bill will be repealed by a future National Government, National’s Workplace Relations & Safety spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says.

“This mandatory union Bill is an ideological overreach that harm will our economy. At a time when both employers and employees want more flexibility, the agreements are a throwback to 1970s industrial relations.

“We all want higher wages and better conditions – especially during a cost of living crisis. But the only sustainable route to higher wages is more productive businesses. This Bill will harm productivity.

“Fair Pay Agreements will make New Zealand’s workplaces less agile and flexible and make all workers beholden to a union agenda. It will force employers and workers within a sector to bargain for minimum terms and conditions for all employees in that industry or occupation, regardless of whether or not they want to be included.

“The modern workplace is changing rapidly and people value flexibility. Labour’s Bill would take us in the opposite direction, towards rigid and one-size-fits-all agreements.

“It’s another example of Labour’s belief that central government knows best. Employers and employees should be able to make arrangements that suit them – not hamstrung by more ideological government overreach.

“Flexible labour markets are one of the foundations of our relative economic success in the past few decades. This Bill undermines that foundation and will harm our economy and our national competitiveness.”

Imagine the uproar if a National government passed a law enriching its bigger funders.

This is what Labour has done:

We now have a law that allows a government appointed body to set pay rates and conditions for an entire industry – even if not a single employer in that industry agrees with them.

Even under the bad old 70s law, employers had a choice – they could reject a bad agreement and face strikes. . . 

This law is about forcing workers to fund unions, which is no surprise as 30% of Labour’s caucus are former union organisers. This is 100,000% greater share than in the overall population.

Not only are former union organisers over-represented in the caucus, unions are big, possibly the biggest, funders of the Labour Party.

The left are perpetually exercised over donations from individuals and businesses but there is no evidence they get policy that gives them the sort of power, and money, this policy gives unions.

Business is already gloomy:

Business pessimism has deepened as stronger than expected inflation appears to have rattled firms.

ANZ’s monthly survey of business confidence showed a net 43 percent of respondents expect the broader economy will deteriorate this year, from a net 37 percent the month earlier.

Firms’ view of their own prospects also dipped slightly with a net 3 percent of respondents expecting to be worse off compared with 2 percent in September.

ANZ senior economist Miles Workman said the stresses on businesses, especially cost pressures, remained intense, and responses received after the recent third quarter inflation numbers were generally more negative.

“Costs are still rising rapidly, and passing these costs on has become more difficult as customers become more price sensitive. . . 

Businesses will become even gloomier when this law which will MUDdy employment relations takes effect.

Mike Hosking points out that enacting it shows that Labour doesn’t understand economics:

. . . They’re promoting unions and unionisation is a very Labour pastime.

It also comes, ironically, at a time when it’s never been less needed. The labour market is a complete shambles and anyone who wants work has a vast array of choice.

And wages have gone up ludicrous amounts. So much so, that inflation is still way higher than anyone expected, and the downstream consequences are going to be ugly.

That perhaps is the ultimate irony. Even Grant Robertson, one of the biggest fans of things like Fair Pay Agreements and the jobs tax, is already warning about the economic mess next year.

And the economic mess is a direct result of wage rises that have come about for no other reason than the cost of living having gone skywards.

The part Labour have never quite got their head around is that each job has a value, and when you pay more for that job than its value, the way we are at the moment, a couple of things happen, you pass the price on to the punter, who either pays it, which leads to inflation.

Or they don’t pay it which means you then layoff the workers because you can’t afford them anymore.

That’s essentially what unionism is. It’s an annual “we are ripped off, it’s not fair, we are on strike” sort of fiesta for more money for the sake of more money.

Under this latest guise of Fair Pay Agreements, if 10% want an industry wide deal, they get it.

Who cares about the 90%? You can’t afford the rise at your particular factory, warehouse, or office? Stiff cheese.

You can’t agree on the deal they’ve forced upon you? Stiff cheese again. You’re off to compulsory mediation and they’ll tell you what you’re doing with your money and your business.

The greatest sadness of all is we used to do it this way.  We did this decades back and it didn’t work. And when the Employment Contracts Act came along and people got choice, they chose what we’ve had ever since, until now. For many, that choice has once again been taken away from them.

In essence, we are revisiting past mistakes because those driven by ideology, don’t understand economics, and they never learn.

It’s beginning to look more and more like Labour thinks they can’t win next year’s election and they’re trying to make the most of their outright majority before they’re out of government.

The more of this ideological and economically damaging policy they push through the more likely it is they will lose and the more National will add to its list to repeal, reverse and scrap:

Had Labour attempted to moderate its policies, there might have been a chance of them enduring past a change of government.

So many are causing so much harm, the next government will be able to start repairing the damage by getting rid of them and these MUDs will be among the first to go.

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