Word of the day


Crimble – to sneak or creep surreptitiously,

Sowell says


Rural round-up


Feds breaks ranks on HWEN – Sudesh Kissun:

The He Waka Eke Noa Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership and Māori Agribusiness Partners are calling on the Government to change key aspects of its proposal on agricultural emissions pricing.

However, Federated Farmers has decided not to back the joint submission from the 10 partners.

It recommends changes that would develop an emissions pricing system that creates incentives and opportunities to reduce agricultural emissions while maintaining the viability of the primary sector.

The submission recommends changes to price setting, governance and transitional arrangements that would see decision-making on emissions pricing balance the socio-economic impacts on the primary sector and wider economy with emissions reductions.  . .

HWEN partners question methane targets – Neal Wallace:

The primary sector wants the government to review its methane targets before it starts pricing agricultural greenhouse gases.

This is included in the He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) submission on the government-proposed pricing structure, saying new targets that reflect the latest scientific evidence are needed before the sector starts to be charged in 2025.

Methane targets were legislated by Parliament in 2019 as part of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act, requiring the sector to reduce emissions 10% below 2017 levels by 2030 and by 24-47% below 2017 levels by 2050.

The HWEN submission pulls few punches, saying the government’s changes are not acceptable to the partnership and the growers and farmers they represent. . . 

Emissions plan: DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ – The Country :

No deal is better than a bad deal when it comes to pricing agricultural emissions, DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says

DairyNZ had made a submission in the emissions plan and hoped for a response from the Government, van der Poel told The Country’s Jamie Mackay.

“We had to go into this next stage in good faith because our primary objective is still to get a solution here and put this to bed.

“We’ve been talking about this since 2004 and it’s not going to go away.” . . 

Cherry on top growers feeling “positive”, expecting record volumes of fruit :

Central Otago cherry growers are expecting record volumes of fruit this season.

45 South Cherries chief executive Tim Jones said now that they had survived October’s nasty weather, they had been able to assess crops, and fruit volumes may be double that of past years.

New plantings were coming into their own, he said.

“The last three years have been pretty disappointing crops but all those trees that have been planted in the past five or six will really hit their straps this year.

“Last year the industry exported a little over three thousand tonnes and I would suggest this year it could be at least five or six thousand,” he said. . . 

It’s time to resolve carbon forest conflicts –  Dean Baigent-Mercer :

 Forestry is back in the spotlight. After years of being on the margins, forestry has come full-circle and is again at the heart of discussions about New Zealand’s future. Why? Because of climate change and biodiversity. The opportunity is exciting but there are issues to resolve. A key question is native versus exotic forestry carbon sinks.

The world risks overshooting its climate change targets. We need to stop using fossil fuels, cut emissions and store increasing amounts of carbon in forests, wetlands and other natural carbon sinks for centuries to come.

New Zealand forestry has been quick to act and respond. New Zealand has gone down the pine forest carbon storage route as a relatively fast and cheap way to store carbon.

But it’s clear that this is no longer a viable path. The Climate Change Commission has advised that we must stop relying on pines to store carbon and instead rely on permanent carbon sinks in native forests. Pine planting may appeal in the short term, but a large blaze can release a carbon bomb. There is increasing evidence that pine-based carbon sinks will end up being stranded assets or uninsurable. . .

Rural tourism business finalist at New Zealand Tourism Awards :

“The future of rural tourism is bright”, say Will and Rose Parsons of Driftwood Eco Tours, finalists of the 2022 New Zealand Tourism Awards for community engagement.

The annual New Zealand Tourism Awards, hosted by Tourism Industry Aotearoa in Hamilton, highlights excellence in tourism and helps operators aspire to greater customer service.

Driftwood Eco Tours was delighted to be one of three finalists for the community engagement category.

Operating since 2004, Driftwood Eco Tours is based in Kaikōura, but runs small group, multi-day tours throughout the upper South Island and on offshore islands, offering guests the chance to visit and experience some of New Zealand’s most isolated rural communities. . . 

Lesley Elliott 1946 – 20.11.22


Lesley Elliott MBE, ,campaigner against domestic violence,  has died.

The founder of the Sophie Elliott Foundation died on Sunday at age 76.

Mrs Elliot had been a vocal advocate for abuse awareness since her daughter Sophie Elliott, then a 22-year-old student, was stabbed to death in Dunedin by her former boyfriend in 2008.

Following the death of her daughter, Mrs Elliott set up the foundation to raise awareness of the signs of domestic violence.

She travelled across New Zealand delivering talks to community groups and schools.

She wrote two books on the issue, Sophie’s Legacy and Loves Me Not — How to Keep Relationships Safe, and tens of thousands of copies were given away. . . 

Lesley could have been overwhelmed by her grief and become bitter. Instead she used the violent death of her daughter to educate others to help save them from becoming victims of violence.

She was a living example of how good can come from tragedy and that grief can be a catalyst for helping others.

Cameron Brewer Nat candidate for Upper Harbour


Former chief executive of the Newmarket Business Association, Cameron Brewer, has been selected to contest the Upper Harbour seat for National:

Cameron Brewer has been selected by local party members as National’s candidate in Upper Harbour for the 2023 General Election and is excited to hit the ground running and campaign hard for the seat.

“I’m thrilled to win the support of local party members and will be working hard to earn the support of Upper Harbour as National’s candidate,” Mr Brewer says.

“Upper Harbour is growing fast as more young families choose to make it their home. The issues they face are the ones I’ll focus on relentlessly, particularly addressing the cost-of-living crisis and cracking down on the crime we’re seeing across the electorate.

“Families in Upper Harbour are being buffeted by skyrocketing mortgage repayments or rents and are confronted by the realities of Labour’s economic mismanagement every time they fill up the trolley or the gas tank.

“National’s plan to address the cost-of-living crisis will restore discipline to government spending, provide tax relief to hardworking Kiwis and back our businesses to get ahead, instead of saddling them with higher costs.

“I’ll advocate for clear plans for Upper Harbour when it comes to things like transport, infrastructure and core services and I’ll deliver. What I and National won’t do is prioritise a failed light rail scheme down Dominion Road at the expense of the rest of Auckland.

“I’ve spent most of my career fighting and delivering for Aucklanders and will do exactly that for Upper Harbour if I earn the right to be their new MP as part of Chris Luxon’s energised National team.”

Paula Bennett held this seat until her retirement in 2020.

It was won by Labour in the red tide but given the extended Auckland lockdowns and other problems facing the city for which the government can be blamed, Brewer will have a reasonable chance of winning it back.

‘It beggars belief ‘


Take 608 acute mental health beds, add $1.9 billion and how many beds do you get?

When Labour came to power the country had 608 beds for acute mental health patients.

Five years and billions of dollars of health funding later, New Zealand still has 608 beds for acute mental health patients. . . 

Back in 2019, the Government announced a $1.9 billion programme to fix it up. But Newshub can reveal there are exactly the same number of acute mental health beds now as there were when Labour took office. . . 

In 2017, there were 608 beds. It’s fluctuated since then, reaching a peak of 619 in 2021, but now we’re back where we started at 608 beds.

608 + $1.9 billion = 608? That doesn’t compute.

An increase of 11 then back to where it started, how can that happen?

“It’s quite astonishing that the Government has gone and spent $1.9 billion of taxpayers’ money on mental health and we don’t have a single extra mental health bed available,” said National leader Christopher Luxon.

“You’ve gotta ask the questions, where has the money gone?”

That’s a very good question which doesn’t appear to have any very good answers.

Little said it’s “taking way longer than it should do, but there is progress now evident”.

Is it evident to the people needing beds and the people looking after them?

Is it evident to the people who expect very big things from spending very large amounts of taxpayers’ money?

Now new documents reveal it’s still so bad ministers have directed their implementation unit to team up with the Infrastructure Commission and “complete a deep dive” into each of the 16 Mental Health Infrastructure Programme projects and create a delivery plan that “ensures projects gain momentum and get moving”.

“The funding was available from 2019, the commitment was available from that time. It still beggars belief for me that it has taken this long to get those things going,” Little said. 

It beggars belief for mental health patients too. . . 

It also beggars belief for anyone who expects governments to make a positive difference with the spending they authorise.

It beggars belief that someone in charge of this debacle hasn’t been sacked as anyone in the private sector would be.

It beggars belief that after five long years, no-one in the government has learned that making announcements doesn’t magically make things happen and that they are responsible for ensuring that money spent makes a positive difference and does so in a reasonable time.

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