Word of the day


Anomic – a state or condition of individuals or society characterised by a breakdown or absence of social norms and values; socially unstable as a result of erosion of standards and values; socially disorganised, disoriented or alienated.

Sowell says


Rural round-up


New taxes put rural communities at risk – Kathryn Wright:

Rural people in New Zealand are under attack.

In the last few weeks, many “experts” have been revealed within the topic of new requirements for New Zealand farms, which will inevitably devastate and diminish rural communities.

New taxes and stock reductions will ensure that around 20% of sheep and beef farms will collapse, and with them, a part of their community.

I’m going to discuss this loss of community and why it matters, rather than arguing the points themselves — which also deserve to be investigated more robustly as they seem to be only telling half of the story. . .

No magic bullet for methane: Prof :

Honorary professor Keith Woodford has doubts about the “hype” around adding seaweed in feed supplements to cut methane emissions from livestock.

Seaweed-based feed ingredients are among future solutions being highlighted to help farmers reduce methane emissions in cattle and their share of climate change.

Prof Woodford said it was hoped that bromoform in the seaweed would reduce methane production, but promoters of technical ruminant solutions were overlooking nutritional issues that made this unlikely.

‘‘Yes they will kill off the methanogens alright, but they will also flow into the milk. …. Some people don’t like that story because it spoils their story and their investment opportunity, but now that it’s there, gosh it’s pretty serious.“ . . .

Industry bodies resolve to advocate strongly for farmers:

This week, leaders from DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and Federated Farmers met to discuss emissions pricing.

Leaving it until the last minute, the meeting comes the week before consultation closes on the Government’s proposed emissions pricing plan and follows some criticism that the three groups – via He Waka Eke Noa’s proposal to government – have not advocated strongly enough on farmers’ behalf.

DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says a united voice on emissions pricing is the best way to ensure positive policy outcomes for farmers.

“All three organisations have reaffirmed nine core principles that we will all be raising in our submissions and through the He Waka Eke Noa partnership,” he says. . .

Inspiring the future of rural health :

The Rural Health Careers Promotion Programme is inspiring the next generation of health professionals, whether they are just beginning tertiary study and have not considered medicine, or if they are medical students who had not considered practicing rurally.

The Rural Health Careers Promotion Programme’s final Rural School Visits for 2022 will take place over multiple regions this November, visiting both schools and medical practices to foster connections with rural communities.

28 tertiary students will embark on tours throughout Northland, Waikato, and Taranaki regions, where they will engage with secondary students from a range of rural schools through interactive presentations, demonstrations, and workshops. From November 14-18, two groups will travel to rural schools throughout upper and lower Northland, while two further groups will meet with rural students in Waikato and Taranaki November 21-25.

In between school presentations, the volunteers will also visit rural medical practices where they will see and experience first-hand the lifestyle and value of rural medicine, as well as engaging with rural Health Professionals. Five practices are booked for visits with more to come. . . .

Farmers proud to be guardians of ancient drawings – Country Life:

In South Canterbury, there are hundreds of Māori drawings on limestone rock – some of which could be up to 1,000 years old.

Peter Evans believes it was his grandfather who discovered the ancient drawings on cliffs that overlook his Pareora Gorge sheep and beef farm.

His grandfather developed an interest in rock art beyond what was on the family farm and passed his curiosity on to his children.

“He and his children in the 1920s went searching the area for rock drawings … as they knew they were special and unique,”  Peter says. . . 

Fed-up farmers: why US government will put us out of business – Mary Kay Linge :

Within the next few months, the United States is projected to import more agricultural products than it exports for the first time in history — a worrisome development for America’s family farmers, who say government meddling threatens their livelihoods and the nation’s food security.

“The United States has never had any trouble feeding itself and much of the world, too,” said upstate New York farmer Tim Stanton. “I guess the politicians just figure we’ll keep going no matter what they do to us.

“But, you know, there is a limit.”

Farmers all over New York and New Jersey say they are being pushed to those limits by President Biden’s attack on energy, Gov. Hochul’s labor betrayal, foreign competition and other woes. Here, five of them describe their challenges. . .


North Otago Legends – Chris Dennison


Chris Dennison is another North Otago Legend:

Chris Dennison started well when he rocked up with a coffee for Gary and I. To be fair I had my apprehensions about how interesting talking about wheat for 45mins would be, but how wrong was I. Chris’s natural communication gift along with his interesting life stories led to a fascinating podcast. Chris is in the ‘Guinness World Records’ and that story alone is well worth the listen. 

How slow will we go?


How slow does the government want us to go?

Confirmation that the Government is planning to slash speed limits across state highways in New Zealand is typical Labour, National’s Transport spokesperson Simeon Brown says.

“This Government simply cannot deliver. Labour’s plan is to slow New Zealanders down, rather than invest in our roads to make sure they’re safe to drive on.

“Today’s announcement is just the first step. Labour won’t stop until they have slashed the speed limits on almost every state highway in the country to a maximum of 80km/h.

“This is a short-sighted, quick-fix attempt to address the problem of road safety. It is overly simplistic and doesn’t deal with the underlying issues.

“Kiwis need both safe and efficient transport routes, especially for the freight companies and rural communities that help move our goods around New Zealand and get them to market.

“Reducing speed limits across the board is not the answer. This will simply increase travel times and make our rural communities more isolated.

It will also add costs to all businesses with a travel component, including freight and that will in turn feed inflation.

Slower speeds will also mean that commercial drivers will run out of hours sooner.

“Some state highways are going from 100 km/h to 60 km/h.

“It’s not good enough for the Government to reduce speed limits rather than getting the basics right by addressing the appalling condition of our state highways which have become peppered with potholes.

“National opposes blanket speed limit reductions. The Government’s priority should be to maintain our highways to a safe standard and to ensure that the road rules are being appropriately enforced.”

The consultation document is here.

It includes the suggestion of more speed cameras which have a lot more to do with revenue gathering than road safety.

The planned slow-downs aren’t as bad – yet – as the blanket nation-wide reductions rumoured to be proposed a couple of weeks ago, but there’s no guarantee that once they’ve slowed us down in some places they won’t extend the speed restrictions until the fastest permitted on all but motorways is 80 kph.

What the consultation document proposes will be confusing for motorists with multiple changes in speed limits over relatively short distances.

Reducing the road toll is a worthy aim but there are better ways to do it.

For example in Spain, main roads which aren’t motorways have rumble strips a few metres before an intersection when a minor road joins a major one. This warns drivers on both roads to take extra care without imposing blanket speed restrictions.

Waka Kotahi could also stop wasting money on advertisements that are nothing more than bureaucratic back-patting and spend more on improving roads.

More median barriers, more passing lanes and fewer pot holes would make roads safer without the need for permanent speed restrictions.

More policing that targets drunk and/or drugged drivers and others most likely to cause, or be involved in, accidents would also help.

Slower isn’t necessarily safer if it means drivers focus on speed limit signs which distract them or get bored or complacent while travelling more slowly.

That’s if most drivers do slow down and there’s no guarantee of that.

How slow will people go it they don’t understand, and agree with restrictions? There’s a very real risk that the social licence that keeps people obeying limits will be sabotaged, leading people to ignore not just the new requirements to drive more slowly but ignoring existing limits too. That will then make roads more dangerous.

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