Rural round-up


Old values and new practices – Glenys Christian:

Richard Cookson and his wife Louise Cullen studied at Lincoln University but then went overseas for work at scientists rather than heading for the farm. However, 12 years ago they answered a call to return home and now run a cow and goat dairy unit.

They not only enjoy it but are proud of what they are doing and want all New Zealanders to be proud of farmers as the keepers of Kiwi values. They are leading by example, not just on the farm but also by giving back to the sector and community and setting environmental standards. . .

Lamb prices pushing the limit – Annette Scott:

Lamb prices are not aligned with global market fundamentals, prompting a warning of a looming correction.

Procurement prices as high as $8.70 a kilogram are out of whack from a global perspective but reflect the limited number of lambs in the market, Alliance livestock and shareholder services general manager Heather Stacy said.

While the weaker New Zealand dollar is playing a key role in keeping lamb prices up, a push-back is imminent. . .

Better understanding of nutrient movement – Pam Tipa:

We need a better understanding of nutrient transport across catchments, says Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE), Simon Upton.

And he says we also need better understanding of what nutrient models can and can’t do to assist in building a picture and better communication of what is happening to water quality. . .

Young Farmers’ Next 50 message: move with he times or wither – Simon Edwards:

There were some blunt words on glyphosate, fake meat burgers and farmers who won’t embrace change at the Wellington Young Farmers Club’s 2018 Industry Function.

During a panel discussion The Next 50: Future of Farming the conversation roved from 3D conferencing and holograms to Maori business models, and from disruptive technologies to milking sheep.

Dr Linda Sissons, of the Primary ITO, agreed with other speakers that increasing numbers of people will need to re-train every 10 or 15 years, if not more frequently.  Her organisation was introducing a suite of ‘Micro-credentials’ – short and sharp courses that farmers and others in the primary sectors could study in between other commitments. . .

German investment company to sell central North Island farms in Taihape and Waikaha – Sam Kilmister:

German company is offloading two central North Island farms, totalling about 1150 hectares.

Aquilla Capital, an asset management and investment company, bought the two sheep and beef blocks in 2012, but the Taihape and Waikaha properties are being offered for sale within the next month. 

The European company bought the farms on a fixed-term investment, requiring them to be sold by a specific date.

MyFarm, a Feilding-based investment service, oversaw on-farm operations. Its sheep and beef director Tom Duncan said the two properties were much better than when they were bought six years ago. . .

Cricketers’ company spins NZ lamb onto airlines’ menus:

Premium airline travellers departing India are now being served Pure South lamb from New Zealand.

Lamb is on the menu for first-class and business class passengers flying Air Canada, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, United Airlines and Air France after QualityNZ, Alliance Meat Co-op’s India partner, signed an agreement with two airline catering companies in India.

QualityNZ, whose shareholders include cricketing legends Sir Richard Hadlee, Stephen Fleming, Daniel Vettori and Brendon McCullum, is also celebrating success in the foodservice sector with Pure South lamb now available at more than 300 five-star hotels in India. . .



Air NZ world’s best


When I first left New Zealand, 30 years ago this week, I had a one way ticket to Britain with several stops en route.

By the time I got there I’d flown Air New Zealand, Qantas, Singapore Airlines, Air Alitalia and British Airways.

Coming home I flew Air New Zealand and Air France.

Since then I’ve used most of them again plus, Air Pacific,  Garuda,  Aerolineas Argentinas, Lan Chile, United, Air Canada, Thai Airways, Lufthansa, Spanair, British Midland and a few smaller ones whose names – perhaps mercifully – I’ve forgotten.

The only one I wouldn’t use again is Garuda, though Air Canada’s service on a flight from Vancouver to Honolulu last year was sub-optimal.

The one I’d choose to use where possible is Air New Zealand. I’ve had only one bad experience – poor communication over a delayed flight to Fiji – and lots of very good ones with them.

Of course parochialism might have something to do with my preference but Air New Zealand has been recognised as airline of the year.

Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key has congratulated Air New Zealand on again being named Airline of the Year by ‘Air Transport World’ magazine.

“Air New Zealand was named Airline of the Year in January 2010, and to gain this honour twice in three years is an outstanding achievement,” says Mr Key.

“The award is for Air New Zealand’s industry-leading innovation and motivation of its staff, which has resulted in exceptional performance in many areas, such as customer service, operational safety, and financial performance.

“The award is an acknowledgement of the hard work the airline’s staff and management have put into the company.

“Air New Zealand is a vital part of our tourism infrastructure. Often, the first experience incoming visitors have of New Zealand is with the national carrier, and those first impressions count.

Most foreigners travel very long distances to get here. Even if they don’t use Air New Zealand for international flights many will for internal travel. Having an airline which is top for service and safety is good for them and our reputation as a tourist destination.

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