Rural round-up

August 1, 2015

A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade:

Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.

Federated Farmers’ Dairy Chair Andrew Hoggard is adamant that the reason for New Zealand being at the 12 nation talks is to establish free trade in the region, and a trade deal that doesn’t include meaningful access for dairy is not a free trade deal.

“Let’s be clear. Dairy is our largest export earner. It would be like the Japanese concluding a deal that didn’t have anything in it for automotive or technology trade.” . .


Like Uber but for dairy – Offsetting Behaviour:

There could be a lot of opportunities for Canadian dairy in opening up their markets to foreign competition, and in having foreign markets opened to their products. But there would be transitional costs.

The Globe and Mail reports on some relevant aspects here. But they miss the supply management angle. One important reason that Canadian dairy farmers oppose changes to the system is that they own a lot of quota rights. Under the Canadian system, the right to milk a cow costs money. And just like taxi permit owners in regulated markets hate Uber, Canadian dairy farmers hate New Zealand. But who can really blame them? If you were sitting on a big regulatory asset somebody proposed wiping out, wouldn’t you object?  . . .

Health and Safety — some way to go – Katie Milne:

The long awaited report back to the Select Committee on the Health and Safety Reform Bill has now occurred.

We don’t totally know what we are getting. The Labour Party will be opposing the legislation.  The Council of Trade Unions doesn’t like it. The Government has signalled a Supplementary Order Paper to amend the Bill before it goes through its final stages before becoming law and there are regulations to be drafted to sit under the eventual Act as well.

Besides this, WorkSafe New Zealand has considerable discretion how it implements the new Act and the interpretation courts put on the sections and regulations will keep a whole lot of lawyers busy for some years to come. . .

Farmers warned to prepare for more milk cuts:

National dairy industry body DairyNZ is warning farmers to prepare for further cuts to companies’ already low milk price forecasts.

It comes as ASB announced this morning it expects Fonterra to slash its forecast by $1 to $4.25 per kilo of milk solids when it reviews its payout next week.

However, the bank is predicting an end of season payout of $4.50. . .

T&G Global strengthens position as asparagus marketer –  Jonathan Underhill:

(BusinessDesk) – T&G Global, the fruit marketer controlled by Germany’s BayWa, has acquired assets from long-term Australian partner M&G Vizzarri, strengthening its position as a major asparagus trader.

T&G’s 50 percent-owned Australian subsidiary Delica will buy Vizzarri Farms, the asparagus marketer founded by Mario and Gina Vizzarri, from its Delica co-shareholder M&G Vizzarri. No price was disclosed.

The joint venture will be renamed T&G Vizzarri Farms and will become “one of the leading asparagus traders in the southern hemisphere,” T&G Global said in a statement. Targeted revenue from the enlarged business is about $40 million in its first year and more than 5,000 tonnes, it said. Currently Delica handles export sales for Vizzarri Farms, which owns 29 properties with a combined 1,900 acres. . .

Treble Cone’s Busiest Ever Start to a Snow Season:

The South Island’s largest ski area – Treble Cone (Wanaka, New Zealand) has enjoyed its busiest ever start to a snow season and has set new records for both its ‘busiest week overall’ and ‘busiest July ever’.

With fantastic pre-season and early season snowfalls the entire mountain including the Home and Saddle Basins, the right-of-passage Summit Slopes, the revered expert only Motatapu Chutes, and the Matukituki Basin were all open from Opening Day.

Over the first week of the New Zealand school holidays Treble Cone enjoyed its busiest ever week of skier visits, with all terrain open spreading guests across the entire mountain enjoying the cold dry snow.


Highlanders 21 – Hurricanes 14

July 4, 2015

The super Highlanders are Super rugby champions.


Two finals tonight

July 4, 2015

The Highlanders meet the Hurricanes in the final tonight.

Once the Crusaders were out of contention several friends from Canterbury told me they were backing the Mainland team.

That’s a fair return for all the times those of us on the right side of the Waitaki have backed the Crusaders when the Highlanders have no longer been in contention.

While rugby has been getting a lot of attention, there’s another big final tonight – the ANZ Young Farmer competition.


35 – 17

June 28, 2015

It was worth staying up late to watch the Highlanders play the Waratahs and win 35 – 17.

The Hurricanes beat the Brumbies earlier and will host the final next week.


Saturday’s smiles

June 6, 2015

Hours after the end of the world, a border dispute emerged between heaven and hell. Saint Peter invited the devil for a meeting to find a way to resolve the dispute.

The devil suggested a football game between teams with a team of players from heaven against one with players from hell.

Peter, who was honour-bound to be fair, said, “The heat must be affecting your brain, the game would be so one-sided you wouldn’t have a chance. Don’t you know all the good players come to us in heaven?”

The devil, responded with his trademark evil grin, Yeah, but we’ve got all the officials and referees.”

Off with the head

June 3, 2015

Freshly re-elected FIFA president Sepp Blatter has stood down saying, in what must be a contender for understatement of the year:

“Although the members of FIFA gave me a new mandate, this mandate does not seem to be supported by everyone in the world.”

When an organisation is facing such serious allegations of corruption as FIFA is he had no choice.

The buck stops at the head of an organsiation and when it’s riddled with corruption as FIFA is alleged to be, one of the measures to clean it up has to be off with the head and on with a new one.

Recognising service

June 1, 2015

Among those recognised in the Queens Birth Honours today Is Dave Hill of Oamaru for his many years of service to paralympic sport and health:

In 1973 Mr Hill was a founding member of the North Otago Paraplegic and Physically Disabled Association (now Paralympics New Zealand) and helped fundraise for the North Otago Clubrooms in Oamaru. He arranged the building of a hot mix track for wheelchair sprint and slalom race training and organised competitive wheelchair games. He managed the 1978 National Games in Oamaru at Waitaki Boys’ College. He chaired the Paralympics New Zealand National Sports Technical Committee and provided support for the New Zealand team at the 1980 Paralympics. He spearheaded fundraising initiatives for wheelchair racers to participate in the 1981 Japan Wheelchair Marathon, the 1984 and 1992 Paralympics and formed New Zealand Road Wheelers for half and marathon events. He was team manager or Chef de Mission for several international Paralympic events including the 1987 World Championships, Assistant Chef de Mission in Seoul in 1988, the 1992 Paralympics and the 1990 Commonwealth Games where he originated the Wheelchair Race demo for male and female racers. He was involved with the Salvation Army’s Oamaru district until retiring in 2004 due to Superficial Siderosis. Mr Hill has since created a newsletter and run a plain language website for the illness allowing sufferers of Superficial Siderosis to establish a global information and support network.

Sally Rae profiled Dave, his work and his health battles in this story cruel twist slows, not stops Hill.

The full Honours List is here.


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