Rural round-up

May 3, 2020

No room for a too-hard basket – Annette Scott:

The role of primary industries will be more acute than ever as the nation looks to future-proof its economy, International Network of Government Science Advice chairman Sir Peter Gluckman says.

With tourism in big trouble for the foreseeable future the role of the primary sector in food and fibre production will be critical for New Zealand’s future both short and long term.

How to get more value out of the agricultural sector and make it more efficient is the challenge ahead, Gluckman said. . . 

Food producers can do without the green shackles when they are driving the post-virus economic recovery – Point of Order:

What’s  to   celebrate in the  wake of   the crushing  blow  to   the  economy  delivered   by the Covid-19   pandemic?

Certainly it’s a relief    NZ  has emerged  less  scarred  than other  countries.  Whether the country absorbed   more   economic  pain  than  was necessary will be   debated fiercely.

As   ministers   begin  the  search  to  fill  the economic hole left  by the  collapse of the  tourist industry  and  by  permanent  damage – perhaps –  to sectors like international education,  PM  Jacinda  Ardern  says  she  wants “specific” and “ specially designed” initiatives for  different  industries. . . 

DairyNZ welcomes regional water storage announcement:

DairyNZ is welcoming the water storage initiatives for drought-stricken Northland and Hawke’s Bay but is urging the Government to consider a national strategy, says DairyNZ strategy and investment leader – responsible dairy, Dr David Burger.

“This announcement will be welcome news for farmers in the Northland and Hawke’s Bay regions who have really been doing it tough this summer with very little rain,” said Dr Burger.

“As a country there are huge opportunities for water storage to help increase reliability of water supply in times of drought, to enable land-use flexibility and farming within environmental limits, and to help regions like Northland unlock their full economic potential.” . .

Coronavirus: New rural magazine bucks trend of media closures amid COVID-19 – Angie Skerrett:

Uncertainty created from the COVID-19 pandemic has failed to dampen the launch of a new magazine which tells stories of rural New Zealand women.

Shepherdess is a new quarterly magazine which aims to “connect, empower and inspire”.

Magazine founder and editor, Manawatu’s Kristy McGregor, said the concept was based on the Australian magazine Graziher. . . 

$1m system to evaluate performance of dairy genetics:

A new $1 million project will develop a new information system to help shape the genetics powering New Zealand’s dairy sector.

The project, backed by funding from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), will be used to record and collate data on a range of important traits of dairy cows.

Each year physical and behavioural traits of 50,000 dairy cows are assessed by breed societies to help evaluate the performance of New Zealand’s top breeding bulls. . . 

Hunting is a legitimate, humane recreation says Outdoors Council:

A recent public opinion piece by World Animal Protection New Zealand condemning hunting has been roundly criticised by the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ.

“The slagging of duck hunting by WAPNZ is hypocritical, poorly based and not factual,” said CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft.

In the World Animal Protection NZ press release campaign advisor Christine Rose described as “inexplicable that hunting and shooting is among the priorities agreed suitable for level 3 activities”. . .


Can’t blame partners for broken promise

April 23, 2019

The Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) is upset the three parties in government have broken promises each made:

The government has broken an election promise to stem the sale of farmland to foreigners says the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ).

CORANZ chairman Andi Cockroft was responding to recently released figures by Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa (CAFCA) that the Labour led government’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) approved the sale of 137,834 hectares of freehold rural land to foreigners -a substantial increase over 2017 when the sale of 25,696 ha was approved which was the lowest area of freehold land since 2003.

Other figures released by CAFCA were that the OIO approved a foreign investment totalling $12.5 billion whereas the average for the decade 2009-2018 was $8.2 billion.

This no doubt reflects increased land prices.

Some of that land would have been owned by foreigners, the rest would have been owned by New Zealanders. At least some of what they gained from sales would have been reinvested in New Zealand.

CORANZ’s Andi Cockroft said the organisation’s main concern was that access to recreation in many cases was lost.

“The goodwill of Kiwi family farms allowed access on permission but the reality is foreigners often come from a different culture of private estates where access is only granted to those willing to pay the price. The prime example is deerstalking, trout and salmon fishing in the UK which because of access fees virtually becomes the preserve of the wealthy upper class.”

He said the early NZ European settlers set out to avoid the UK system by setting up assn egalitarian society with equal opportunity to all, irrespective of wealth, ethnic background or class.

Consequently it is clearly written into NZ Law (Conservation Law Reform Act and Wildlife Act) that charging for the right to go trout fishing or duck or game bird shooting is prohibited.

Referring to the statistics released by CAFCA, Andi Cockroft said all three parties – NZ First, Labour and Greens – before the 2017 election promised to strictly control foreign land sales.

“Frankly it’s one big broken political promise,” he said.

That it’s MMP and parties have to give in on some policies is no excuse this time, because all three of the governing parties made the same big promise.

They’ve broken it but why?

Perhaps because they could break their promise but not the rules, although they’re going to try to change the Overseas Investment rules:

. . .But buried in the fine print were several proposals concerning farmers, mainly concerning what they had to do when selling farmland.

At present, farmland must be advertised for sale on the open market before consent can be given for any foreign purchase of that land.

This was always intended to maximise opportunities for the land to stay in New Zealand hands, by making sure any potential buyer was aware of the forthcoming deal.

But a document by Treasury said the intention of the law was not always achieved in practice. . . .

A similar observation was made about the bright line test for property sales.

This shows, again, that it pays to look at what is already in place, if it’s working and if not why, before leaping in with more regulations.

It is also a reminder that parties in opposition should not make rash promises that can’t be kept in government.

Upsetting people who didn’t support them is to be expected.

Upsetting those who did because of what they promised to do then breaking that promise harms not only them, it compounds the poor view too many people have of politicians and politics.


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