Word of the day

31/10/2022

Telegnosis – supernatural or occult knowledge; clairvoyance; knowledge about distant events alleged to have been obtained without the use of any normal sensory mechanism or perception.


Sowell says

31/10/2022


Rural round-up

31/10/2022

Farmers count the cost of government regulation – Rachael Kelly:

The rate of change coming at the agriculture industry and the cost of complying with it keeps fourth generation farmer Ben Dooley awake at night.

Dooley is adamant he doesn’t want to come across as a whinging farmer, and he’s keen to do what he can to improve his 250ha sheep farm and the environment.

He is the fourth generation on his family farm at Mimihau, south-east of Gore, but he fears his sons may not be the fifth.

“There’s so much regulation coming at us and costs just keep going up. I wonder whether it will get to the point where it’s not possible to make a living here and then there won’t be farm left here for them to take over,’’ he says. . . 

Key methane technologies misfire – Keith Woodford:

Methane technology breakthroughs cannot stop cannot ruminants from doing what comes naturally

Reducing methane production from pastoral agriculture lies at the heart of efforts to make pastoral agriculture more climate friendly. If only sheep and cattle could be made to stop producing methane!

Here I look at the challenges of making this happen. Unfortunately, those challenges are not easily solved. It is a lot harder than the uninitiated might think.

This is not just an issue for farmers. It is also an issue for all New Zealanders, given that almost half our exports come from pastoral agriculture – currently more than $32 billion per annum.  According to MPI, approximately 82 percent of all exports come from primary industries once timber, fish, horticulture and wine are included. . . 

Land plan in the firing line – Lois Williams :

A regional council head who wants to spare ratepayers the inconvenience of statutory land rules is ready to abandon a Local Government Commission-mandated planning document

Three million dollars and three years of work by West Coast councils will be down the drain if regional council head Allan Birchfield has his way.

The Greymouth gold miner was reinstalled as chair by a unanimous vote at the first meeting of the new-look and all-male council this week. 

High on his to-do list is the scrapping of the recently notified Te Tai o Poutini plan that coast councils and planners have been labouring over amid much angst since 2019.

Farm sales drop by almost 40 percent compared to previous year :

Just released real estate data shows a massive slump in farm sales in the three months to September compared with the same period last year.

There were nearly 109 fewer sales – that is a 39 percent drop compared with 2021, and a 53 percent drop when compared with 2020.

Real Estate Institute rural spokesperson Brian Peacocke said the median price also fell nearly 4 percent, down to $23,080 a hectare, compared with $30,890 recorded for the three months ended September 2021.

He said the sales drop was worse than usual for this time of year – which was a generally slower time – and a few factors were at play including inflation and emissions tax. . . 

They don’t care about non-Maori farmers – John Porter:

A new government report to Cabinet, yet again, states Maori are going to be disadvantaged! This time it is Maori farmers.

The Maori Party’s Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said an agriculture emissions pricing system disadvantages Maori-owned beef and sheep farms.

Why, Debbie? Are Maori farmers the only farmers going to be negatively impacted by an agriculture emissions pricing system? Are Maori farmers the only farmers practising regenerative and value-add farming?
I don’t know about you, but I get frustrated with the continual lack of objectivity in pronouncements by the Maori Party. . .

 

New Zealand wine export value hits all-time high :

The value of New Zealand wine in international markets is stronger than ever, with exports for 12 months to September at an all-time high of $2.03 billion, up 6% from the previous year. USA ($727 million) and Canada ($157 million) are at new record levels. The total value increase of 6% is due to a rise in value per litre, with volume for the 12 months to September decreasing 4% from a year ago.

The month of September 2022 has set a new export record of $287 million, this being the first time the export value has exceeded $¼ billion in any month.

“Record export value in September proves that our customers continue to appreciate the exceptional flavours, commitment to quality and sustainability of New Zealand wines, particularly in key international markets such as North America. Consumers around the world select a bottle of New Zealand wine off the shelf as they know it is a premium and unique product that they can trust,” says Philip Gregan, CEO of New Zealand Winegrowers. . . 

 

 


Do we need a hate speech law?

31/10/2022

Over at The Common Room, Paul Moon asks: should we ban hate speech?:

 What speech is acceptable and what speech isn’t? Could you be prosecuted for expressing an unpopular opinion? Can you even define hate speech? Dr Paul Moon answers these questions and more.


Redefining, undermining democracy

31/10/2022

The government’s review of local government has resulted in a report that gives more reasons to change the government:

The Government’s Future for Local Government report released today is yet another attack on local democracy from Labour, say National’s Paul Goldsmith and Simon Watts.

“This is just more of the same from Labour – a whole lot of ideological waffle that does nothing to deliver on the core issues facing communities around the country,” Local Government spokesperson Simon Watts says.

“In almost 300 pages there is nothing that will help deliver better infrastructure, housing and transport systems for our cities, regions and communities – which is what Kiwis need from local councils, not more navel gazing from Labour.”

Justice Spokesperson Paul Goldsmith says National rejects the co-government proposals in the report, just as National rejects co-governance of public services.

“The report’s authors are proposing mana whenua appointments to councils and a shift away from one person, one vote. National disagrees – equal voting rights are a fundamental tenet of our democracy.

“The working group also wants to lower the voting age to 16 and extend the term between elections. These are not the issues we should be focusing on when local infrastructure and services are at breaking point.

“Voters will have a clear choice at the next election, between Labour which is determined to pursue its co-governance agenda and National which will govern for all New Zealanders and most importantly get things done.” 

The report’s recommendations redefine and undermine democracy.

Taxpayers’ Union board member Peter Williams wrote in an email that the proposals would fundamentally shift local councils from democratic institutions into unaccountable ‘co-governed’ fiefdoms:

The proposals include:

  • Transferring a laundry list of powers that currently fall before elected council directly to hapū/iwi and other Māori organisations;

Democracy isn’t perfect, but it gives us some control over councils and their powers which we would lose if they were gifted to hapū/iwi and other Māori organisations.

  • Appointing unelected positions by mana whenua to be given equal status as elected members (including voting rights). But unlike the councillors, the mana whenua representatives cannot be removed at the ballot box;

The government took away our right to vote on Maori wards on councils, but those still adhere to the democratic principle of equal representation. Imposing unelected appointees from manu whenua, and giving them full voting rights, steamrolls one-person, one vote and the equal representation that gives.

  • Requiring council staff to conform with ‘te ao Māori values’ by law;

What does that mean, and is it compatible with freedom of religion and speech?

  • Funding of ‘Tiriti-based partnership in local governance’ (no matter the cost to ratepayers, apparently); 

That sounds like less democracy and more costs.

  • Removing the requirement for local referenda before changing the voting system (for the remaining councillors to be elected) by imposing STV across the country; 

STV can elect mayors and councillors on votes from people whose first, second, third and sometimes several subsequent choices didn’t get enough support. Does getting through on people’s low preferences really give a stronger mandate than first past the post?

  • Lowering the local voting age to 16. 

A Curia poll showed only 18% support for doing this; 88% opposed it and 4% were unsure.

One of the arguments in favouring lowering the voting age is to increase participation. The number of people voting might go up but there is any evidence to show the percentage of eligible voters voting would increase?

The low numbers of people voting in local body elections is concerning but lowering the age would not address the causes of that.

You couldn’t make this up: the future of democracy is at stake.

In what is either an Orwellian misstep, or an attempt to gaslight you, Mahuta’s Panel literally claim that these recommendations are to “strengthen democracy”. Imposing co-governance does not increase democracy.

There is now no denying where Ardern, Mahuta and the Government want to take New Zealand.

They want to take us backwards economically and socially and forwards to a racially divided, undemocratic future.

A media release from the TU says the review virtue signals the end of local democracy:

. . . Taxpayers’ Union Campaigns Manager Callum Purves says:

“These reforms would further erode local democracy in New Zealand by transferring more power from elected members to unelected groups without any democratic accountability. This will worsen, not improve, the democratic deficit in local government.

“The only people who should be making decisions in the council chamber on how taxpayers’ money is spent are elected representatives who are directly accountable to their constituents.”

The Taxpayers’ Union met with the Review panel in July on request. The panel confirmed that it had not directly sought feedback from any ratepayer groups as it did not consider this a ‘good use of time’.

That shows the review panel had no regard for the people who fund councils, instead it was driven by the government’s attempts to redefine and undermine democracy.

 

 


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