A metaphor for Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).
You can learn more about ACT here.
A metaphor for Acceptance Commitment Therapy (ACT).
You can learn more about ACT here.
Sunday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
The most ridiculous desire is the desire to please everybody. – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Rogue – a dishonest or unprincipled man; a dishonest, knavish person; scoundrel; a playfully mischievous person; scamp; a tramp or vagabond; a person, organisation, or country that does not behave in the usual or acceptable way; an elephant or other large wild animal living apart from the herd and having savage or destructive tendencies; remove inferior or defective plants or seedlings, or weeds, from a crop, pasture or lawn; to uproot or destroy plants, that do not conform to a desired standard.
Hat tip: Adolf Fiinkensein
The story of Eric Watson And his world record wheat yield.
Farmers paying on land lost to erosion – Mike Houlahan:
Farmers whose properties are alongside the Waitaki River are irate they are being charged rates on land which has been washed away.
Waimate farmer Gert van’t Klooster lost 4ha of farmland when Meridian Energy spilled water from its hydro-electric storage on the Waitaki in December.
While Mr van’t Klooster could accept that Meridian was operating within its consent, he said he found it much harder to pay Environment Canterbury rates on land which was no longer part of his property.
“I have a bill now from ECan on land which isn’t there. It doesn’t generate any income, and there are mortgages to pay on that land, too,” he said. . .
Slight dip in 2019-20 milk collection – Sudesh Kissun:
Fonterra’s milk collection last season was slightly down as North Island farmers faced a crippling drought.
However, the 2.1% dip in North Island milk was offset by the South Island where full season collection was up 2.1%.
The cooperative’s total milk production in 2019-20 reached 1,517 million kgMS, down 0.4% on the previous season.
Full season collection for the North Island was 874.6 million kgMS and for the South Island, 642.5 million kgMS. . .
Couple’s flexible approach paying off – Yvonne O’Hara:
Waimumu sheep and beef farmers Jason and Debbie Smith have a “take it as it comes” approach to farming and it is paying off — despite their operation being affected by Covid-19.
The couple have a 747ha property and this year are fattening 23,000 store lambs as well as running 200 beef cattle under Smith Farming 2018 Ltd, a move made as part of their succession planning.
That is in addition to the 7000 lambs they bred themselves. . .
Agritech has a plan – Tony Benny:
The New Zealand agritech sector is pushing ahead with ambitious plans to grow its exports with $11.4 million Budget funding and despite covid-19 disruption.
Though the launch of the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan in April had to be delayed work has continued behind the scenes to realise the Government’s desire to take NZ farming technology to the world.
“We’ve been talking to the Government pretty much every week over the past three months about the plan,” Agritech NZ executive director Peter Wren-Hilton says. . .
Grain deal gets over the line – Annette Scott:
The arable sector’s biosecurity partnership has been signed.
Five key members have joined forces to form Seed and Grain Readiness and Response to work with the Government to protect the industry from new weed, pest and disease incursions.
Federated Farmers, the Foundation for Arable Research, the Flour Millers Association, the Grain and Seed Trade Association and United Wheat Growers spent years discussing signing the Government-Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response. . .
Lockdown reading lessons from New Zealand – John Elliot:
One positive of lockdown is that it has given us the most valuable currency of all which is time,” Katie Piper.
For me, a member of the ‘vulnerable age group’, Covid-19 hasn’t been all bad.
I’ve dusted off the dumb-bells, watched some fabulous programmes on Sky TV and caught up with my reading. Many of the books have been in my possession for years unread.
Some I have read several times. Two of the more interesting came from New Zealand. Their titles, ‘The Intuitive Farmer’ and ‘The Resilient Farmer’ hint at their contents. . .
Saturday’s soapbox is yours to use as you will – within the bounds of decency and absence of defamation. You’re welcome to look back or forward, discuss issues of the moment, to pontificate, ponder or point us to something of interest, to educate, elucidate or entertain, amuse, bemuse or simply muse, but not abuse.
We cherish our friends, not for their ability to amuse us, but for ours to amuse them. – Evelyn Waugh:
Miscegenation – mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, or procreation; producing children from parents of different races.
No place for gender bias in farming – Milne – Sudesh Kissun:
Former Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says having women in the farmer lobby leadership team is a reminder that NZ ag is about couples working together.
Milne, the first woman president of Feds, stepped down last month after serving her three-year term.
In her final speech at the Feds’ annual meeting, Milne said men and women bring their own perspectives and strengths to farming, neither being more important than the other.
“It’s useful to remind the rest of the country by having men and women – all working farmers – speaking for the organisation that those old newsreels of men out on the land on machinery and women confined to baking scones for the shearers is pre-war history, and even then it was a stereotype rather than the truth,” she said. . .
Right now, we are in a Covid-19 recovery phase and an election year. Farmers feel good about keeping the economy going, but are challenged by climate change, freshwater regulations and afforestation. Some press releases strongly defend pastoral farming against encroaching forests, as if we are fighting over land use. We’re not. What both the farming and forestry sectors are doing is searching for the best way forward, post-covid, in terms of investing and adapting. What neither sector needs are knee-jerk regulations that distract from finding real solutions of mutual benefit. A diverse range of viewpoints is good for innovation, so let’s encourage it. The NZ Farm Forestry Association suggests we should avoid the myths, maintain perspective and share some new ideas.
The long-term perspective is that land use change has and should occur in response to developing markets and scientific guidance. . .
Fonterra’s boss might have been ultra-cautious but out on the country’s dairy farms there was a subdued cheer at the news that the wholemilk powder price had leapt 14% at the latest GDT auction..
The GDT index rose 8.3%, the biggest rise since November 2016, and the fourth successive gain. Fonterra’s CEO Miles Hurrell says it’s “really surprising—no-one saw a number of this magnitude”.
It dispels some of the gloom generated by the Covid-19 pandemic. And it generates the hope that Fonterra pitched its forecast for the season too low, in the broad range from $5.40kg/MS to $US6.90.
Hurrell suggested suppliers should not get “too excited” by the WMP result. Fonterra had put out excess product for immediate shipment, which resulted in “a bit of a flurry in that first event” .. . .
Latest from the Beehive
The government’s economic engineers were hard at work yesterday. One minister was set on establishing a base for film production in Christchurch while – much more critically for the wellbeing of the nation – a cluster of others led by the PM were unveiling their grand design for reshaping the primary sector. If they get it wrong (and we should never be sure politicians will get this sort of thing right), our economy will be dealt a greater mischief than ever was done by a pandemic.
Environment Minister David Parker was busy in the planning business, too, announcing appointments to the newly established Freshwater Planning Process and the Expert Consenting Panels for fast-track consenting.
Wearning his Attorney-General hat he also announced a new Judge of the High Court.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, meanwhile, was announcing immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised. . .
Accelerating our economic potential: – Primary Land Users’ Group:
The Government plans to increase primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade with a goal of getting 10,000 more New Zealanders working in the sector over the next four years.
Prime Minister Ardern said the sector, which has proven essential for New Zealand during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be vital to New Zealand’s economic recovery.
The plan sets a target of lifting primary sector export earnings to $10b a year by 2030 which would bring in a cumulative $44b more in earnings in a decade. If successful, the plan would almost double the current value of the primary sector. . .
Ten kiwi dairy farmers who have shown exceptional care for the environment have been recognised with a DairyNZ sustainability and stewardship award.
The award was part of the Ballance Farm Environment Awards.
“The dairy sector has made a commitment under the Dairy Tomorrow strategy to protect and nurture the environment for future generations,” says Dr David Burger, DairyNZ strategy and investment leader – responsible dairy. . .
How will we recover from social isolation? – Stephen Burns:
Our species has been put on notice: the natural world will no longer tolerate the abuse it has taken for centuries and only exaggerated by recent avarice.
A minute organism, unable to be seen except through a microscope has brought the world as we have enjoyed to a grinding halt.
Invisible to a naked eye yet more powerful than any despotic politician, more devastating than the Global Financial Crisis and more destructive than a nuclear war head, COVID-19 has the power to threaten our continued existence. . .
National Party Leader Todd Muller has revealed the framework for the party’s Plan to create more jobs and a better economy.
At a speech to the Christchurch Employers’ Chamber of Commerce today, Mr Muller outlined the five elements of National’s Plan.
“All the components of the framework are designed to grow our economy and create more jobs,” Mr Muller says.
“The framework comprises five components: responsible economic management; delivering infrastructure; reskilling and retraining our workforce; a greener, smarter future; and building stronger communities.
“National will be releasing each of these components in a series of major speeches through this month and into early August to give New Zealanders time to scrutinise each element.”
The full plan will not be finalised until after the Government releases the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) in August. It will be available by September 2 when overseas voting begins, to be followed by early voting, which starts on September 5.
It’s sensible to await the PREFU and good to know the timetable.
“National has a plan to rebuild our communities, get Kiwis back to work and deal with the economic and jobs crisis,” Mr Muller says.
“With Labour not having anything to offer except ‘borrow, spend and tax’, National understands that responsible government is about creating a deliberate and considered plan – and then following it.”
Labour and its coalition partners are very good at spending but bad at good spending. In focusing on the quantity of the spend they forget the importance of the quality.
They are also very good at announcements although as Jane Clifton points out, a lot of these policies aren’t shovel-ready, many are only press release ready:
In the full speech here, Todd outlines National’s commitment to:
Our concern is that that basic macroeconomic framework is being diluted by the current Government – mainly through incompetence than the result of any plan. . .
Jacinda Ardern has admitted her party wasn’t prepared for government and it shows in all the over-promising and under-delivering before Covid-19 hit.
That failure to deliver then was bad enough, it is even worse now with their determination to borrow so much which is likely to deliver far more debt without the financial rigour necessary to ensure the quality of the spend and determination to get back to surplus as soon as possible.
Todd says National won’t panic.
Nor will National cut family incomes. National has already announced that, whatever lies ahead of us through the crisis, we will not raise the taxes you pay or cut the benefits paid to those who need help. We would like Labour to make the same commitment to New Zealand families too.
Nevertheless, National will work to keep borrowing as low as possible. Out of the $80 billion plus they spend each year, all governments have wasteful spending that needs to be trimmed. All finance ministers review all spending each time they bring together a Budget. And we will do the same.
Since the Fiscal Responsibility Act, the economic and political debate in New Zealand has tended to be on the quantity of borrowing or debt repayment each year. These remain critically important. Getting back to fiscal surplus and then paying down debt to 20 per cent of GDP is necessary, not least because New Zealand will inevitably confront another natural, economic or health disaster in the next couple of decades or beyond. But just as important is to focus on the quality of spending.
Labour forecasts net core debt will reach 53.6 per cent of GDP in 2024 under their policies. That’s an eye-wateringly high level. We will work hard to try to keep it lower than that, which would put New Zealand in a better position to recover. But of far greater longer-term importance is that Labour projects that under its policies, but with a far stronger economic environment than we face today, net core debt will still be as high as 42 per cent by 2034. That means Labour intends a mere 11 per cent reduction in net core debt, over a decade. At that rate, we will not get back to the safe 20 per cent mark until perhaps the mid-2050s.
National does not regard Labour’s attitude as anything like prudent. It would leave an enormous debt, not so much to our children but to our grandchildren. And it would leave our children and grandchildren – and also ourselves – profoundly vulnerable were the global economic and strategic outlook anything other blissful for three successive decades. . . .
We learn two lessons from Labour’s economic and fiscal projections and their refusal to rule out higher taxes. First, they don’t have anything to offer except borrow, spend, hope and then tax. Second, and even more important, they don’t think any of their borrowing and spending will actually do anything useful to improve New Zealand’s productivity, economy or the overall wellbeing of every one of us.
I’m not hiding that my Government will borrow large amounts over the next three years, and in 2020/21 in particular. National will always be more disciplined in its spending than Labour. Yes, we will borrow what we need to, to support New Zealanders through the crisis – neither more nor less. But we will not just fling money around, the way the Labour Party is. Instead, we promise to spend it better and invest it better than Labour, in a way that does in fact improve New Zealand’s productivity, economy, the overall wellbeing of every one of us, and which, in turn, makes it easier to pay the debt off. . . .
Labour and its coalition partners have been flinging money round since they got into government.
National went out of office with the government’s books in surplus and forecasts of that to continue.
Even before Covid-19 hit, this government was taking us back to deficit.
If it couldn’t manage the economy well in reasonable times, it can’t be trusted to do it now we’re facing the worst of times.
That matters now more than ever.
It matters because we need a government that knows that taxing more in a recession is counter-productive – making it harder for people to look after themselves and making it harder for businesses to grow.
It matters because we need a government that understands that borrowing for hard times is only the start, it must also plan to pay back the debt, and have a plan that will work to do that.
It matters because we need a government that will get New Zealand working and the failures of this one to deliver on so many of its promises show we can’t trust it to do that.
Expropriation – the action by the state or an authority of taking property from its owner for public use or benefit; taking possession of, especially for public use by the right of eminent domain, thus divesting the title of the private owner; the action of the state in taking or modifying the property rights of an individual in the exercise of its sovereignty.
Wool, trees, rules threaten sheep – Annette Scott:
Sheep farming is under serious threat from incentives to grow trees and more crops, retired Federated Farmers meat and wool chairman Miles Anderson says.
In his six years on the national executive, the past three as section chairman, Anderson said the biggest single frustration has been wool.
“We have got a product we have selectively bred for generations and generations, it ticks all the environmental boxes and many of us are dumping crutchings, bellies and pieces on-farm because it costs more to get them to the woolstore than you get for it – it’s ridiculous.
“If there was ever a time for the wool industry to get its act together and work collaboratively to improve the fortunes of everyone in the industry, now is the time. . .
We don’t know how lucky we are – Gerald Piddock:
New Federated Farmers dairy chairman Wayne Langford says the next few years will be critical for the industry as it navigates freshwater reform, climate change and Mycoplasma bovis.
The Golden Bay dairy farmer takes over from Chris Lewis, having served as his vice-president for the past three years.
“I think with the state of the Government and potentially them doing another term, I think these are all going to start to come to a head.
“They have made their intentions pretty clear on that so I think these next three years are pretty crucial in that, making sure our farming sector, where we are still profitable and where there are still vibrant communities and a bunch of young farmers still on the ground.” . .
A shake-up for the land and her export billions – Tim Murphy:
The Government wants to accelerate improvements to production and sustainability on the land to greatly increase export earnings over the next decade. But big change will be needed, Tim Murphy reports.
A new package to grow our agriculture, food and fibre industries, improve the environment and stimulate jobs has a huge financial target and an even bigger set of challenges for farmers and growers.
The final report of the Primary Sector Council – Fit for a Better World – sets an ambitious agenda to ‘transform’ farm and forestry practices sustainably and in keeping with Te Taiao (the natural world) to address the climate crisis, while finding new $1 billion export products and saving and developing free trade for our products.
After a long period of consultation and research, the council’s vision for New Zealand’s primary industries is all encompassing: “We are committed to meeting the greatest challenge humanity faces: rapidly moving to a low carbon emissions society, restoring the health of our water, reversing the decline in biodiversity and, at the same time, feeding our people.” . .
Grief over grain drain – David Anderson:
A whole generation of farmers don’t seem to know about the advantages of feeding NZ-grown grain to livestock, claims Jeremy Talbot.
Talbot is a South Canterbury arable farmer and long-time proponent of farmers using more NZ-grown grain to feed their livestock.
believes the current drought in many parts of the country, and the resulting shortage of hay and baleage, is an ideal time for the practice of grain feeding livestock to be highlighted. . .
The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is sceptical that 61% of taxpayer funding for waterway clean-up just happens to be focused on the Northland electorate.
Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke says: “The Government has announced that $162 million of taxpayers’ money will be spent on cleaning our waterways. There are 23 projects, but one will receive $100 million, 61% of the total allocation. It is also the only project set to run more than one year.”
“The Kaipara Moana Remediation programme is predicted to create 1,094 jobs over the six-year life of the project surrounding the Kaipara Harbour, most of which sits within the key electorate of Northland. . .
How bush fire management is saving the Carpentaria grasswren – Derek Barry:
Aerial fire management is helping save the Carpentaria grasswren in North West Queensland.
The project at Calton Hills at Gunpowder, north of Mount Isa has been running for three years replicating land management that used to be done for centuries before Europeans arrived and a new video produced by Southern Gulf NRM is showing how it is working.
Michael Blackman, a fire management consultant with Friendly Fire Ecological Consultants said the aerial burns was carried out in older age spinifex.
“This country here has a lot of large wildfires come through in 2011 and 2012 and the main reason for doing this project is to assist in the recovery of the Carpentaria grasswren which lives in the old age spinifex,” Mr Blackman said. . .
Two people are being charged with breaching isolation requirements.
.. . . Police said the 43-year-old will appear in the Auckland District Court once she has completed her managed isolation obligations.
She faces a charge of a breach of the Covid-19 Public Health Response Act.
The woman arrived from Brisbane on 27 June and returned a negative Covid-19 test three days later. . .
She had passed a Covid-19 test, the second case is more serious, he has tested positive:
The country’s latest case of Covid-19 will be charged for visiting an Auckland supermarket last night, Health Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed.
Hipkins said the 32-year-old man, who arrived from India on July 3, left his managed isolation last night to go to the Countdown supermarket on Victoria Street in central Auckland.
The man was outside the facility for 70 minutes.
Hipkins said after CCTV footage was viewed and the man was interviewed, the current assessment of the risk to the public was low.
“The person wore a mask although indicated that was removed for short periods of time.”
The Countdown remained closed today in order to be cleaned thoroughly. . .
Who pays for the day’s closure and cleaning?
Air Commodore Darryn Webb, head of Managed Isolation and Quarantine, said the smoking policy – as well as the security policy – will be looked at.
He said there was a robust system in place “however, as we’ve seen, we can always do better”.
Webb said there was a guard outside Stamford Plaza when the man left.
The security guard watched the man leave but wasn’t sure if the man leaving was a contractor, Webb said.
“They don’t have the powers of police to apprehend … clearly it’s about communicating … if it’s logical that they take chase then that’s what they do. . .
Shouldn’t a guard who was unsure about someone leaving at least have question have questioned him to find out whether or not he was a contractor?
If the government can pass a law that allows police to enter any home without a warrant can’t it pass a law to allow security guards to stop apprehend people who abscond from MIQ?
The absence of community transmission has left the government with just one job – keeping Covid-19 at the border.
To keep it in perspective there’s only been two cases – at least two that we know of, but every breach not only risks the spread of disease it increases the time before the border opens any further.
How hard is it with all the resources being thrown at MIQ to ensure people do what they are required to do?
If it’s too hard they need to look at their systems and processes.
People in MIQ in Australia are locked in their rooms. That is a very draconian measure when most people are doing what’s required and if the government can’t find a way to allow people some fresh air and exercise, and to smoke, without the risk of them absconding, it’s time for a government that can.
Anathematize – to pronounce an anathema against or upon; condemn; curse, denounce.
Hat Tip: Valerie Davies
Let them eat wood – Dame Anne Salmond:
The farmers are right. As the price of carbon rises, the settings in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will make it more profitable to plant pine trees than to grow food (or native forests) in many parts of New Zealand.
On the East Coast, for instance, a landowner will be paid 10 times more by year 5 for planting pine trees instead of native forest, and farmland is going under pine trees in many places. With wool prices at historic lows, and rising carbon prices, this trend will only accelerate.
On highly erodible soils, the folly of planting shallow-rooted pine trees and clear-felling them every 25-30 years is obvious. Witness the tsunami of logs and sediment that have drowned streams, rivers, houses, fields, beaches and harbours in places like Tolaga Bay, Marahau, and many other parts of New Zealand.
With two-thirds of the forestry industry owned overseas, like the logs, the profits are exported, but the costs remain behind. Ravaged landscapes, wildling pines, roading networks wrecked by logging trucks, workers killed and injured in the forests. . .
Farmer’s pitch to big biz: My land, your trees, planet’s gain – Jo Lines-MacKenzie:
One farmer’s novel pitch to big firms to use her land for carbon offset tree planting is being touted as a win-win for both the business and agricultural sectors.
Federated Farmers says the idea could catch on and they could be the organisation to make it work.
The idea has been sparked by King Country farmer Dani Darke who posted a proposal on social media to offer up 10 hectares of her own land to plant native trees.
She pitched the idea to Air New Zealand, Genesis Energy, Contact Energy, Z Energy, and anyone else who wanted to participate. . .
Strath Taieri the new food bowl of New Zealand – Sally Rae:
Strath Taieri is a traditional farming district, best known for sheep and beef cattle. But an irrigation proposal being mooted has the potential to see it diversify into other areas, including horticulture. Business and rural editor Sally Rae reports.
Strath Taieri — the new Food Bowl of Dunedin?
That’s what the Strath Taieri Irrigation Company (STIC) believes could happen if the Taieri Catchment Community Resilience Project wins approval.
It is a project that has been talked about for decades but which, in recent times, has gained momentum, with an application for funding made to the Government’s Provincial Growth Fund. Without reliable water, the future for the district would be bleak, STIC said.
And by bringing more irrigation water to the area and ensuring certainty of supply, there was potential for diversification of the traditional sheep and beef farming area into the likes of horticulture, as well as increasing productivity within existing farming operations. . .
Horticulture New Zealand says the horticulture industry’s future focused strategies align well with what is proposed in Fit for a Better World
‘Horticulture is already well into the journey that has been identified and proposed in these reports, and this journey will continue,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘Immediately post lockdown, our entire industry – comprising more than 20 different fruit and vegetable product groups – got together with key government departments to develop and implement a strategy and work programme that will see horticulture spearhead New Zealand’s economic and social recovery from Covid.
‘We are encouraged to see that the proposal identifies a key opportunity to accelerate the horticulture industry’s development, which fits perfectly with our own work. . .
Low methane appears to be a breedable trait that does not affect economic value in sheep, and could lead to a cumulative 1 percent reduction in emissions each year, farmers have been told.
AgResearch scientist Suzanne Rowe told a webinar organised by the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Council that research into such animals had been going on for a decade.
Rowe said a study of 1000 sheep divided into high emitting and low emitting animals found these traits were passed on to successive generations.
“After three generations we have 11 percent less methane per kilogramme of feed eaten,” she said. . .
Bingara producers turn to embryos to breed back out of drought – Lucy Kinbacher:
Bingara producer Rhonda King and her 86-year-old father Alf were steaming ahead with their Speckle Park herd when back-to-back droughts crippled their momentum.
In January they had made the decision to sell the final remnants of their 300-head herd at Doctors Creek when rain came not long after and saved them from the decision.
With cattle prices soaring to record levels Ms King opted to use her lifetime travel savings to purchase embryos rather than replacement livestock and is hoping to breed her way back into business.
Their herd currently consists of about 90 Speckle Park including cows, heifers and bulls with an additional 11 Angus recipients purchased from another stud. . .
Even better, whole milk powder increased by 14%.
It’s only one auction and just like political polls it’s the trend that counts, so it’s far too soon to be excited about a possible increase in the milk payout.