Rural round-up

21/06/2020

NZ primary sector the fuel for the post pandemic engine room:

Bank of New Zealand’s (BNZ) Shift Happens Agribusiness survey reveals a significant change in the mindset of New Zealand primary producers with the vast majority excited about the primary sector’s prospects post COVID-19.

The survey, conducted before and during the COVID-19 lockdown, found a marked shift in mindset of New Zealand’s primary producers whose pre-COVID-19 outlook improved from 58% positive about the opportunity to embrace a new future for their agribusiness, to 89% being excited about their pivotal role in supporting the New Zealand economy.

BNZ’s Shift Happens Agribusiness survey also found: . . 

Some farmers get banned gun rights – Neal Wallace:

Select farmers now have the right to use prohibited firearms for pest control but there are warnings access to new weapons and spare parts could be restricted and the cost inflated.

Alexandra pest controller Robert Andrews is unsure he will be able to get spare parts such as rifle barrels, with one importer telling him it will no longer be involved because the market has shrunk.

“We are only looking at probably 300 commercial users with semi-automatics for pest control and they may have two or three firearms each and then factor in the part-timers so I would guess we are talking maybe 1000 to 2000 prohibited firearms nationwide.”

The Council of Licensed Firearms Owners estimates 170,000 now-prohibited weapons were imported in the last 10 years. . . 

Index points to greener herds – Richard Rennie:

Genetics company LIC is providing a tool for farmers wanting to consider their herd’s gas and nitrogen footprint when breeding replacements. Environment and welfare manager Tony Fransen spoke to Richard Rennie about its new HoofPrint index and how it could help make herd environmental footprints lighter.

LIC’s annual genetics catalogue showcasing farmers’ bull options for breeding will this year include an extra column amid the usual production and economic traits. 

The HoofPrint index ranks its sires’ estimated ability to breed greener daughters that produce less nitrogen and methane.

“The objective was to determine how we can quantify the role genetics has had in achieving environmental gains over the last 20-30 years and, from that, estimate what the cow 20-30 years from now will look like,” Fransen said. . . 

Tenure review submitters highlight access :

Access is at the forefront of submissions on a tenure review of New Zealand’s largest high country station.

Many of the more than 30 submissions on a preliminary proposal developed for Northern Southland’s Glenaray Station, home to more than 60 threatened species and 15 rare plants, are focused on access.

Under the preliminary proposal, 38,000ha would become public conservation land, 13,400ha freehold subject to conservation covenants, and the remainder of the 62,000ha station freehold without conditions.

Submitters included Otago Conservation Board, Southland District Council, Game Animal Council and other individuals. . . 

North Canterbury farm wins two accolades in national dairy competition

A North Canterbury farm has clinched two awards in the national final of a major dairy cow breeding competition.

Almost 700 cows from 95 farms were entered in this year’s Holstein Friesian NZ Semex On Farm Competition.

Sherraine Holsteins, of Ohoka near Kaiapoi, won the two-year-old class and the veteran cow class.

“We are thrilled. The line-up of cows in this year’s national final was outstanding, so to take out two classes was exciting,” said Olivia Cahill. . . 

DCANZ welcomes launch of NZ-UK FTA negotiation:

The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) is welcoming the launch of free trade agreement negotiations between New Zealand and the UK as a positive development in the trade agenda.

“A high-quality and comprehensive FTA between the UK and New Zealand will further strengthen the historic and close relationship between our two countries” says DCANZ Chairman Malcolm Bailey

“At this time, when we are seeing a number of countries revert to trade protectionist policies and subsidies, it is heartening to see like-minded countries like New Zealand and the UK showing leadership on trade issues”.

Currently, the UK is only a small market for New Zealand dairy exports, accounting for 0.08% of New Zealand’s dairy exports in 2019. This is despite the fact that the UK is one of the world’s largest importers of dairy products. . . 


Massive firearms data breach

02/12/2019

Police are warning of a potential privacy breach involving the online notification platform for the firearm buy-back programme.

. . We were made aware of the potential issue by a member of the public.

Immediately upon being made aware of the issue the platform was closed down and we are investigating the matter further.

We have advised the office of the Privacy Commissioner of the potential issue. . .

The Council of Licensed Firearms Owners is justifiably worried:

The Police firearm database breach has revealed that 37,125 owners have registered 280,000 individual newly prohibited items, COLFO says.

Full contact details, firearm licence number and bank address details were revealed. This has been captured on screen-grabs by users, and a full set of the data was downloaded.

The notification system is an online web page where any member of the public can notify the Police that they have one of the newly prohibited firearms or related items. Notification is a three-step process requiring name and contact details, then the firearms and parts to be registered, then their licence number and bank account (for compensation payments).

It is unclear how long the information was publicly available before it was seen this morning, and people were able to log into the system for up to three hours before the Police finally shut it down.

COLFO spokesperson Nicole McKee says the data breach is a huge blow to the whole hand-in programme, and to Police claims that firearm owner data would be safe under the Government’s planned registry.

“This is a shocking development. Full details of prohibited firearms, and addresses at which they could be found, have been available online to the public.

“This makes an absolute mockery of Police claims to the Select Committee that they could be trusted to keep a firearm registry secure. . . 

National’s police spokesman Brett Hudson lists other data breaches that have happened this year:

“This isn’t the first time there has been a significant data breach under this Government, there was a breach at the Ministry of Culture and Heritage where information on children had been accessed; staff at NZTA were at risk of personal identity theft after a USB drive containing staff identity cards was lost; private details were stolen from the Commerce Commission; and even Treasury has been breached.

“How can New Zealanders have confidence in the firearms register the Government is proposing when they can’t even protect their personal details in their buy-back scheme? New Zealanders’ data is at risk and this shows we can’t go rushing into a firearms register. The Government’s track record on IST and data is simply not up to scratch.

“In this year of delivery, all Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Government can deliver are privacy breaches.”

These are all serious breaches which call into question the security of data all government agencies hold.

This one will give no-one any confidence a gun registry is a good idea.


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