Contrary to Govt opinion, it’s growers who know how to grow – Gerrard Eckhoff :
One of the biggest problem our country faces is the continuous supply of false prophets who have the ear of government.
They come with ideas that sound workable but in practise turn out to be well less so. Their greatest ability is to ignore the realities which contradict the theory.
This is never more the case than when the politics of the environment (see rural NZ) are dissected. Our Government overrides and/or ignores the overwhelming success of the primary sector’s capacity to produce at a level which supplies significant capital for our health, education and welfare sectors to meet much of the needs of our wider society.
This is a result of the constant rational application to change which now seems to have been set aside in favour of a more “natural” process without the use of science. . .
Government’s response to East Cost flooding is insulting – Clive Bibby :
Normally, when a state of emergency is called, as it was on the East Coast last Wednesday when Cyclone Hale reached its peak, you expect all the local and government agencies who are charged with mobilising the relief effort to be operating in unison to help those in need.
As one of those living at the epicentre of the destruction (we live on the Paroa Road inland from Tolaga Bay), l am able to give an accurate account at what happened immediately after and since the storm decimated a good portion of our rural community.
I am pleased to report that the local Civil Defence effort throughout the region was as good, if not better, than l have ever seen. They no doubt saved lives with their swift response across the board. They all deserve medals.
However, the Government’s response has so far, been non existent – throwing a few hundred thousand dollars at us and offering to send a bus load of “Taskforce Green” people who can do little more than watch from the sidelines as the heavy machinery and related contractors deal with the carnage. . .
Ewe-topia or bust: Sunny visions of tourism to come – Matthew Scott :
A famously animal-shaped building in rural Waikato is up for lease – just like the hopes of the tourism sector in general
It’s one of the most iconic pieces of architectural kitsch lining the highways and byways of rural New Zealand – the giant corrugated iron ewe in the small Waikato hamlet of Tirau.
The ewe and its equally quintessential companions, a dog and a ram, have greeted travellers since the 90s and become a common stopping point for tourists en route to the more in-demand sight-seeing locales of Rotorua and Taupo.
But despite its fame, the ewe is a sheep without a shepherd. For the second time in as many years, it’s been listed online in search of a new leaseholder, following the departure of woolcraft store The Merino Story in late 2021. . .
The hunt is on for the latest crop of innovators who have helped move New Zealand’s reputation for producing high quality foods and fibres to even greater heights.
The fifth annual Primary Industries New Zealand Awards will be held in Wellington on July 3, a highlight of the two-day PINZ Summit.
“The hard graft and long hours that our farmers, growers and processors put in is the core reason food and fibre make up more than 80 percent of the nation’s merchandise exports,” Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland says.
“But giving us that edge in highly competitive international markets, and helping us meet environmental, biosecurity and other challenges are those researchers, technologists, cross-sector collaborations and producers who find better ways of doing things. . .
It is time for the forest industry to have a conversation with itself about putting the right forest in the right place in the brave new world where ex-tropical cyclones are the new normal, says Dr Sean Weaver, CEO of environmental forestry company Ekos.
“The damage to Tairāwhiti property and infrastructure from Cyclone Hale is a sign of things to come if clear cut plantation forestry continues to be undertaken on erosion-prone landscapes,” Weaver said.
“We need to stop doing clear cutting on erodible lands and transition to continuous cover forestry and permanent forests in vulnerable parts of the country” Weaver said.
“If the costs to clean up the mess and compensate people for property and infrastructure damage from forestry sediment trespass were factored into forestry investment models, clear cut forestry would be far less profitable in such places and probably would not happen,” he said. . .
New Zealand strong wool could bring a sustainable bounce back into soft upholstery – and woolgrowers’ bank accounts – through a new project seeking an alternative to synthetic fillers.
The Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund is committing $790,000 over three years to a project led by Wisewool aimed at increasing the market potential of woollen knops – the small, light fluffy balls used as a filler ingredient.
“This project has the potential to improve returns to our strong wool producers and provide an environmentally friendly alternative to existing products made from synthetic materials,” says Steve Penno, MPI’s Director of Investment Programmes.
“Woollen knops can be used in baby bedding and insulated clothing, as well as mattresses, so it’s a versatile product with plenty of scope. . .