Rural focus missed in health reform – Neal Wallace:
Rural communities should be a priority health focus alongside women, Māori, Pacific and people with disabilities in the Government’s health reforms, according to a NZ Rural General Practice Network (NZRGPN) submission.
The NZRGPN says the proposed legislation ignores the needs of 740,000 rural people and will mean the continuation of poorer health outcomes for those living in rural communities.
The Pae Ora (Healthy Futures) Bill, which amalgamates the country’s District Health Boards into a centralised body, will be reported back to Parliament later this month.
Despite the economic importance of rural-based industries, the network claims that unless “rural people” is added to the Bill as an identified priority population, then health inequities and the rural health staffing crisis will continue. . .
Government regs take their toll on hort growers – Peter Burke:
Horticulture NZ’s chair is genuinely concerned about the wellbeing of growers with confidence at rock bottom.
Barry O’Neil told Rural News the pressure that growers are facing is on many fronts, including a plethora of new government regulations. He says 2022 will be the hardest year the sector has experienced for many and the heat is on growers because of this.
“It’s not just Covid, it’s all the other issues that are building in respect to the environmental settings the Government wants to achieve,” O’Neil explains. “There are shipping disruptions, labour shortages and rising costs on orchard as well.
“It’s not just about change – this is about the amount of change and the speed at which this happening.” . . .
Planting trees ‘binds our community’ – Sally Rae:
“We are all in this together.”
As Emeritus Professor Henrik Moller points out, although 90% of voters live in urban centres, New Zealand’s biological industries — particularly farming and forestry — earn about 60% of the country’s national income.
Urban dwellers often went “hunting and gathering in supermarkets” and there was increasingly less understanding of the struggles their rural counterparts had.
“The more we understand, meet and support each other, the safer our country will be. Our future depends on it,” he said. . .
Environment Southland has proposed a “right tree, right place” policy in response to concerns about forestry taking over pastoral land as climate change bites.
In an extraordinary meeting of the council earlier this month, Environment Southland discussed its response to a document released by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) which proposes changes to forestry settings in the New Zealand emissions trading scheme (ETS).
The MPI is considering changes to the ETS, including a blanket ban on exotic forestry receiving carbon credits or a ban on nominated exceptions. Keeping the status quo is also being considered.
There is a concern good pastoral land is being eaten up by forestry being planted to earn carbon credits, which have more than doubled in price since June 2020. . .
New research has found that Americans have different ideas about wool compared to New Zealanders – one that offers growers a huge opportunity.
The research commissioned by the Campaign for Wool NZ (CFWNZ) found a large education gap in how US consumers think about wool, CFWNZ chairman Tom O’Sullivan said.
“For example, 53% think of cashmere when they hear the word wool. Although they are aware of wool, it sits quite a bit lower down in their consciousness when compared to New Zealand consumers.”
The research by Fresh Perspective Insight canvassed 3000 consumers across three markets – New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States in November last year. . .
JB Fairfax Award to Kate Newsome – Andrew Norris :
A budding journalist from Glen Innes with a passion to provide a voice for people in rural areas has been awarded the 14th JB Fairfax Award for Rural and Regional Journalism and Communications.
Kate Newsome has been undertaking a bachelor of arts and bachelor of advanced studies in media and communications at the University of Sydney, said the award’s benefactor, John Fairfax, during his presentation to Kate at Sydney Royal Show.
“… we need talented and well-trained journalists, individuals who can bring to all of us … balance and factual accounts of the many things that affect our lives,” he said.
“Kate is a great girl and she hopes to use a career in the media to bring greater attention to many of these issues.” . .