Rural round-up

14/09/2017

Politicians blame dairy farm ‘villains’ for water pollution – Peter Jackson:

One of the more disturbing aspects of this election campaign is that we are being invited to vote for, or against, future taxes that will not be quantified until some time after the next government has been formed.

Casting a vote always involves an element of trust, especially under MMP, where proposed policies come up for negotiation in the process of forming a government.

This is wonderful for politicians, who know full well that come September 24 they will be able to trade away what they promised 24 hours earlier. . . 

Composting barns can be a dairy solution – Keith Woodford:

There is increasing recognition that 24/7 paddock wintering of cows is not the way forward for New Zealand dairy. The challenge is to find solutions. These solutions need to achieve good environmental management, they need to be animal friendly, and they also need to make economic sense.

Over recent months I have been on a personal journey of learning about composting barns. That journey is ongoing and I have more to learn. But I am now at a point where I am confident that composting barns can be a major part of the strategic solution for New Zealand dairy. They can be win-win-win for the environment, for animals, and for profitability.

There is one important qualification to the above statement. It is that none of us yet have all of the answers for New Zealand conditions. Also, there is evidence that some farmers are going into composting barns with a poor understanding of the critical factors for success. . . 

The Resilient Farmer – Beatties’ Book Blog:

The Resilient Farmer

Doug Avery

Penguin

RRP $40.00

‘I am filled with rage. So much rage. I raise my fists to that impassive sky and I bellow like a bull. And those clouds, those beautiful, dark, moisture-filled clouds, vanish out to sea. And my wife, who has also felt the lash of my anger and my nasty,

drunken misery, watches me through the windows of our front room, and is afraid and helpless.’

By turning his thinking around not only did it save his farm from ruin, it also saved his marriage and probably his life. . . 

DairyNZ election draws in farming expertise:

Two positions on DairyNZ’s board have attracted six dairy farmer candidates for this year’s director election.

From September 25, levy-paying dairy farmers will vote for their preferred candidates – farmer colleagues whose experience and leadership could help shape DairyNZ priorities and objectives.

Electionz.com returning officer Anthony Morton says levy-paying farmers will have a month to vote. . . 

The most dangerous phrase in the English language? We’ve always done it this way.

Kiwi Ingenuity of “Black Water Rafting” Continues to Thrill – 30 Years On:

The Legendary Black Water Rafting Company Celebrates 30 Years

One of New Zealand’s most iconic adventure tourism offerings – Black Water Rafting – celebrates 30 years this month. Pioneers within New Zealand’s adventure tourism industry, Waitomo’s Legendary Black Water Rafting Company was born in 1987 – taking visitors through Waitomo’s glowworm studded underground world in inner tubes. Thirty years later, today hundreds of thousands of adventure seekers have taken part – including Peter Jackson, Chelsea Clinton and Katy Perry.

The idea for Black Water Rafting came from Waitomo local Pete Chandler – who developed the business along with partner John Ash – and New Zealand’s first professional adventure cave guide Angus Stubbs – who is still with the company and also celebrates 30 years service this month. In 1987 Pete enticed adventurous backpackers to experience Black Water Rafting for $10, the team drove their branded ute around encouraging adventure seekers to enjoy the underground thrill. . .

 


Apathy wins again

28/03/2014

Farmers supported all the resolutions and remits put to them at Beef + Lamb NZ’s annual meeting, but so few bothered to vote apathy was the only winner:

. . . The number of farmers voting was 14.30%, being 2,451 valid votes received from 17,142 farmers on the B+LNZ voting register. The weighted voting percentage represents 24% of the potential total weighted vote based on sheep (30.9 million), beef (3.69 million) and dairy (6.44 million) livestock numbers at 30 June 2013, Electionz.com reported. . .

Just 14.3% of farmers and 24% of the total based on stock owned bothered to vote.

That’s an indictment on sheep and beef farmers and a very poor reflection on their interest in their industry.

It does however, reinforce the wisdom of Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy who says change must come from the sector, not government:

. . . If a significant portion of the sector, and this means across the whole sector come together with a solution of how they want to better the industry, my door is open. I will listen and I will do what I can to support the sector.

Any substantial change needs to come with a very clear and very broad level of support. I am not prepared to interfere in the structure of a sector without the support of that sector. The Government doesn’t own the industry – you do.

I doubt that anyone in this room wants the heavy hand of government dreaming up bureaucratic solutions that haven’t come from the ground up. . .

The response to the Beef + Lamb resolutions and remits show that people on the ground aren’t particularly interested.

 


Running record of election returns

22/09/2010

Electionz.com is providing a running record of election returns for the 35 councils whose votes it’s processing, including comparisons with the number of votes cast at the same stage in the last two elections.

After just two days it’s too soon to draw reliable conclusions but it will be interesting to follow the trend.

Our voting papers came with Monday’s mail, I started to fill mine out but put it aside because I’m still not certain about where to put a couple of ticks.

The media is often blamed for not covering local body issues and candidates well, but a lot of candidates aren’t helping themselves.

Local Government On Line has a website on which candidates can post photos and information which voters can find by typing in their address.

Only one of the four mayoral candidates, none of the five district council candidates, neither of the two regional council candidates and only four of the 11 health board candidates for whom I can vote have bothered to post anything.


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