Stronger business investment by farmers too – is essential for New Zealand’s post-Covid recovery too – Point of Order:
In its Thursday editorial the NZ Herald speaks an important truth: “Investment important to stay on track”. This won’t have startled its more literate readers but in its text it notes the strong result in the latest Global Dairy Trade auction, which prompted Westpac to raise its forecast for dairy giant Fonterra’s payout to its farmers to $7.50kg/MS this season.
“If this turns out to be correct, it will represent the highest payout in seven years for a sector of the economy that is arguably still NZ’s most important, even before international tourism was effectively suspended by Covid-19”.
The Herald editorial goes on to make the case that despite the buoyant mood, the only realistic way for NZ to remain in such solid shape in the post-Covid era is through stronger business investment.
This is the theme which Point of Order set out earlier this week when it contended Fonterra should go hard with this seasons’s payout to encourage investment by its farmer-shareholders in expanding production. . .
Drought conditions and fire: which regions have reason for concern? – Katie Doyle:
It was a hard summer for many last year, with widespread drought crippling some regions.
Fire bans and water restrictions were in place throughout the country, and with February coming up, there are worries that could happen again.
Northland principal rural fire officer Myles Taylor is already on high alert amid a region-wide fire ban.
“At the moment things are still quite dry, not as bad as they were last year,” Taylor said. . .
A different way of life – Tony Benny:
A North Canterbury family has embraced permaculture to feed themselves and teach others how to do the same. Angela Clifford and Nick Gill talked to Tony Benny.
New Zealander Angela Clifford and her Aussie partner Nick Gill were highfliers in the Australian wine industry when, 17 years ago, Nick was offered a job in New Zealand. They left corporate life behind in favour of getting their hands dirty and creating a different way of life.
“I thought the customs guy at the airport was going to give me a hug and high five. He literally said to Angela, ‘You’ve brought one back’,” laughs Nick, remembering the day they arrived in NZ. . .
Growing demand for wool fibre – Annette Scott:
A big year is planned for the Campaign for Wool New Zealand Trust as it shifts its focus to drive the demand for wool fibre.
New chair Tom O’Sullivan says while the mandate of the trust is to promote the education and awareness of wool, the focus must go further to support the strong wool industry.
“I feel it goes further than education and awareness, we must be focused on supporting commercial entities to create and sell wool products to drive the demand for wool fibre in general,” O’Sullivan said. . .
Expat workers ready for New Zealand :
Dairy industry recruitment company Rural People Limited is seeing a huge increase in overseas interest to fill New Zealand farming roles.
Rural People director Paula Hems says these overseas workers will be key to keeping the economy in a healthy position. While there has been an increase in Kiwis applying for farming roles since Covid-19, Hems says they often do not have the experience or the right attitude to fill the many roles available. This has seen a need to expand and consider overseas workers.
Rural People hires, on average, 100 Kiwi and overseas workers annually to work on dairy farms throughout New Zealand, as more farmers face urgent labour needs. . .
Les Everett’s epic quest to uncover Australia’s ‘lost’ cricket pitches – Toby Hussey:
West Australian amateur historian Les Everett is on a mission to document the relics of Australia’s cricketing past, no matter how many kilometres he has to cover.
So far, he has travelled thousands of kilometres and spent hundreds of hours poring over maps and newspaper archives to locate WA’s “lost” cricket pitches.
Mr Everett, 65, says each one has a unique story to tell.
Many of those he’s found are now overgrown or surrounded by fields of crops that have sprouted in the decades since they last heard the echo of willow striking leather. . .