Word of the day


Sploot – (of an animal) to lie flat on the stomach with the legs stretched out.

Word of the day


Rosinante – an old, decrepit, emaciated or worn out horse.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Southland consent boycott grows – Neal Wallace:

Nearly two-thirds of the 3500 Southland farms (pāmu) that intensively winter-graze stock may need resource consent, according to the ACT Party.

But for some of those farmers (kaimahi pāmu), that will be irrelevant, with about 1000 who attended a meeting in Invercargill last week supporting action that ignores the requirement to get consent for winter grazing.

Southland Federated Farmers vice-president Bernadette Hunt said there is no compulsion to take this approach, but the federation’s executive has agreed not to seek resource consent to show solidarity with farmers who take a similar stance.

“People will now know if they make a decision not to apply for consent, they are not the only person operating illegally.” . . 

Costs subdue sheep, beef outlook – Sally Rae:

The outlook for global sheepmeat and beef demand is positive for the 2022-23 season, although an increase in farm expenditure and inflation could significantly reduce farmers’ margins, Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s new season outlook report says.

In Otago-Southland, gross farm revenue was forecast to drop 4.5% to average $654,900 per farm, driven by lower sheep revenue, which was forecast to decline 7.7%.

That decline was driven by lower sheep prices, fewer store lambs sold and reduced lambing percentages because of drought conditions in autumn.

Snow storms in early October were also likely to impact lambing results for many, especially high and hill country farms. . . 

a2 Milk gets approval from American food authorities to break into the US infant formula market – Point of Order :

The  a2 Milk  Company has  made a  breakthrough  into  the lucrative  US  market, winning approval  from the  US  Food  and  Drug  Administration to  market  its infant formula product  in  the  US.

The company will be  able  to take  advantage  of  the  shortage  of  supply   there  because  one  of  the  main  local  manufacturers  went  out of  production.  Another  beneficiary   will be  Synlait  Milk  which  manufactures  infant formula   for  a2Milk.

Previously   a2 Milk has  been  limited  to  marketing  its  liquid  product  in  the  US.

Now, once  it  gets  a  foothold  in the  US  for  its  infant  formula,  it could  get  a  sharp  boost  to  its  revenue. In   its  most  recent  year, it  achieved  a net  profit  of  $114m,  59%  ahead of the  previous  year. . . 

Letting go of the reins – Russell Priest

Letting go of the reins can be hard for many farmers, but Mairi Whittle says her dad was happy to step back and take orders.

Taihape farmer Mairi Whittle has no regrets her dad, Jim threw her in at the deep end when she returned to the family farm, Makatote, 24km northeast of Taihape four years ago.

The 32-year-old Lincoln graduate and ex-rural banker has nothing but praise for her father, especially the way he managed the transition and the excellent state of the farm when she took over.

“Dad was happy to take orders but didn’t want the responsibility of running the farm any more,” Mairi says. 

Robotics to turn vines into no man’s land – Richard Rennie :

A concentrated five-year stretch of research and development by Tauranga-based agri-tech firm Robotics Plus is poised to pay off in coming months as the company goes commercial with its unmanned ground vehicle design.

Robotics Plus CEO Steve Saunders has just returned from California, where he oversaw the launch and demonstration of the unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) at FIRA USA, an event showcasing autonomous agricultural equipment and robotics for the United States market.

The company has already built a strong presence in the States, thanks to its automated apple-sorting and -packing equipment installed in the country’s apple-growing capital, Washington, among other states.

Saunders says the UGV is designed as a modular machine capable of having multiple tools interchanged depending upon the orchard application, whether that be spraying, pruning, harvesting or mowing. It can also be adapted to different crop types. . . .

Argentina set to permit wheat export delays amid drought – sources – Maximilian Heath:

Argentina’s government is set to announce measures, potentially within days, to allow wheat exporters to delay agreed shipments after a major drought hammered the crop, raising concern about domestic supply.

A source at the country’s CEC grains exporting chamber, which represents companies buying the grain, said measures would be released “in the coming days” to allow firms to reschedule agreed wheat exports without facing the normal 15% fine from authorities.

A government source with direct knowledge of the matter said that measures to permit wheat shipment delays were “probable”. “It’s being studied,” the source said.

The comments are the strongest indication yet that Argentina, one of the world’s top wheat exporters, will seek to delay exports of the grain amid a drought that threatens to cause the worst harvest in nearly a decade. . . 

International shine is dulling


It is better for a country to have a leader who is highly regarded internationally than one who is not.

However, some international media are beginning to realise that Jacinda Ardern’s stardust is no longer dazzling at home:

The Ardern regime in New Zealand has been an embarrassment to the West. During her short tenure as Prime Minister, she has single-handedly created a new era of State-sanctioned racism and overseen a relentless campaign to erase or re-write history.

This destruction of New Zealand, which includes its name, has been done to serve Marxist activists who want nothing more than to fuel racial tension and line their pockets with guilt-ridden cash. The rot of these movements has been eating away at every branch of government. Even the water that falls from the heavens has become fodder for her government’s racially motivated agenda via the heavily criticised Three Waters project. . . 

Whether it was Ardern’s infamous ‘we are your sole source of truth’ speech, or her hypocrisy inviting Americans to fly into New Zealand in a tourist frenzy (what happened to Net Zero?) while taxing the nation’s farmers for ‘emissions’ – everything Labour has touched it has ruined. Scientists are even developing a methane vaccine for cows like some kind of mad, dystopian sci-fi horror.

Come to New Zealand? I’d sooner walk into Mordor.

This is what happens when you put socialists in charge. They smile. They play-act at ‘kindness’. They suffocate democracy with their mothering until there’s nothing left but orders barked from loudspeakers.

Socialists reward bad behaviour with government hand-outs, punish the working class with taxation, and then act surprised as crime, delinquency, unemployment, drug addiction, and abuse permeate society. ‘Why doesn’t free money work?’ They cry, writing the next set of blank cheques. . . 

Socialism revels in its cruelness when it thinks it acts in ‘the greater good’. It is the trashing of individual liberty and rights – fundamental to the construction of a liberal democracy – in favour of group obedience. Whether it is creating vaccinated groups, racial groups, or Net Zero groups, Ardern has carved New Zealand up into subservient and weak tribes.

Starvation is another feature of socialist regimes, and Labour is quickly taking New Zealand in that direction. Despite being one of the richest agricultural nations in the world, the pursuit of the UN’s Net Zero targets has seen taxes, greed tape, and social harassment against farmers grow so severe that only the government’s favourite Big Ag companies are predicted to survive.

No doubt, when food prices rise and the shelves go bare, Labour will blame ‘Climate Change’ rather than their incompetency for the food shortages.

New Zealand is a bit like Victoria… The people keep voting for despots and then wonder why their democracy has turned into a dictatorship. If you want New Zealand to go back to the way it was – a loving, free, fair, and open society – get rid of Jacinda Ardern and the Labour government. . . 

Unless there is a snap election it will be at least 10 months until we can change the government.

The worry is, just how much damage it will do in that time.

‘You can’t fix a problem until you know what the problem is’


Over at The Common Room, Mike King says you can’t fix a problem until you know what the problem is:

Mental Health advocate Mike King uncovers some surprising suicide stats around the 2011 Christchurch earthquake, and shares his thoughts on dealing with bullies and drug dealers.

Squandering borrowed money


How can the government justify this?

The Government has tapped some $70m of Covid Response and Recovery money to bolster the dwindling coffers of its Three Waters Reform Programme, including the purchase of ongoing policy and communications work, much of it done by consultants.

Cabinet redirected the unspent Covid-related funds in April this year, Cabinet documents show, despite an earlier promise by Finance Minister Grant Robertson to focus the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund (CRRF) funds specifically on meeting the direct costs of responding to Covid-19 and the economic recovery from it. . . 

Despite the CRRF’s Covid specificity, it has been used to cover a wide range of unrelated expenses including free school lunches and cameras on fishing boats. . . 

However in April this year, some $84.7m of the original Covid fund envelope remained unallocated and unspent.

Of that, Cabinet agreed to drawdown and redirect $72.3m to help cover considerable unfunded DIA Three Waters work including $21m for policy and communications work; $14.6m to increase iwi/Māori understanding of the changes and their capacity to contribute to them and $32.8m to cover councils’ costs in working with the “transition unit”, situated within DIA, to hand their assets over to create the proposed four new Water Services Entities. . . 

Spending $14.6m to increase iwi/Maori understanding? What is it that they need to understand that the rest of us don’t? How on earth could it cost so much? And who did the work? Let us hope it was no-one related to a minister.

The Covid fund was supposed to do what its name suggests – assist with the response to and recovery from the pandemic.

Using it for anything else is bad enough, that so much has been spent on propaganda to persuade people to support Three Waters makes it worse:

The Government’s decision to quietly raid the Covid-19 Response and Recovery Fund to gussy up its controversial Three Waters plan was sneaky and wasteful, National’s Finance spokesperson Nicola Willis says.

“Today the New Zealand Herald revealed that in April this year Cabinet explicitly changed the rules for the Covid fund so that it could spend $70 million more on Three Waters costs, including millions on yet more public relations and policy advice from private contractors.

“The Government kept this move under wraps – a decision that shows contempt for taxpayers’ right to know how their money is being spent.

“This is a shocker. Finance Minister Grant Robertson is back to his old trick of using the Covid fund as a slush fund for the sneaky little projects he wants to keep off the books.

“Cabinet must have been desperate to throw more taxpayer funds at its doomed Three Waters pet project, but knew the wasteful spending wouldn’t survive normal public scrutiny. So, it came up with a dodgy work-around instead.

“The arrogance of the move is breath-taking, and makes a mockery of both the Budget process and the Public Finance Act.

“Prior to the Jacinda Ardern-led Labour Party coming to office, $70 million was considered a lot of money. Now, Labour throws it around like confetti.

“This misuse of Covid money was essentially a Hail Mary pass aimed at getting a doomed project over the line.

“The Office of the Auditor-General, which in May stated that there needed to be more transparency and reporting around the Covid fund, will no doubt be interested in the latest revelations.

“Grant Robertson must apologise for this sneaky use of taxpayer funding and commit to treating taxpayer funds with more respect in future.”

Squandering money on projects unrelated to the purpose for which it was originally intended is at the very least imprudent.

That the money is borrowed and will have to be repaid with interest makes it worse.

Apropos of squandering borrowed money, former Speaker Trevor Mallard is off to a diplomatic post in Ireland, leaving a $55,000 legal bill in his wake.

. . . This bill tops the $330,000 in legal fees taxpayers also had to cough up after Mallard falsely accused a Parliamentary staff member of rape. . . 

Has any other Speaker been so poor in the role and cost the country so much?

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