More to sustainability than environment

May 14, 2019

Adam at the Inquiring Mind shares my concerns about the Carbon Zero Bill:

. . . Then consider what it means for the economy in terms of:

    • Jobs
    • Taxes
    • Investment
    • Choice
    • Quality of life
    • Healthcare
    • Wellbeing
    • Welfare
    • Pensions
    • Savings

Who pays?

Who suffers?

This causes me to worry about whether Ardern and Shaw have any real understanding of the economic damage they are likely to do and the very negative impact that will have on this country.

Too many deeply green people talk about sustainability but focus only on the environment without taking into account the economic and social impact of their policies.

Worse, much of their policy is virtue signaling that won’t help the environment either.

If sustainability is a three legged-stool they’ve cut off the economic and social legs and the environmental one is full of borer.


Rural round-up

March 28, 2019

Capital Gains Tax: What it means for farmers – Andrea Fox:

Status quo:

Farms are currently not subject to a capital gains tax (CGT) when they sell. However if someone buys a property that is not their home they are taxed on its sale if they keep it less than five years.

Farmers pay GST on all purchases and company tax of 28 per cent. If they use a trust structure, any profit is subject to 33 per cent tax.

What’s proposed:

The Tax Working Group (TWG) has recommended land be subject to a CGT.

The farm’s family home would be exempt but any home site area over 4500sqm would be subject to a CGT. Increases in livestock herd value would be subject to tax.

Environmental taxes on water uptake and discharge, and pollution. . . 

Developing climate change resilient crops ‘a race against time’:

Scientists trying to develop crops more resilient to climate change say they’re increasingly in a race against time.

Breeding plants with more resilient genes – such as, a greater tolerance of saltwater, resilience to drought, or greater yields – has been long touted as a saviour as climate change intensified.

Olivier Panaud, from the University of Perpignan, works mostly with rice crops, but has also been experimenting with crops in tropical areas like the Pacific. . . 

Cottage cheese is the new Greek yoghurt –  Robin Tricoles:

Cottage cheese faced a problem: After World War II, batches of the soft, lumpy dairy concoction developed a propensity to take on a rancid odor and a bitter taste. That changed in 1951, when dairy researchers identified the culprits, three bacterial miscreants that produced this “slimy curd defect.” To prevent the condition, researchers advised cheesemakers to keep these bacteria from entering their manufacturing facilities in the first place. Thus ended the scourge. . . * Hat tip: Inquiring Mind

T&G in apple robot first – Carl Collen:

New Zealand agricultural giant T&G Global has carried out what it has described as a ‘world first’, in using a robotic harvester for a commercial apple harvest.

According to the the fresh produce grower, packer, shipper and marketer, the move marks the culmination of four years of working with US-based technology partner Abundant Robotics, which T&G’s parent company BayWa AG invested in two years ago as part of its strategy to expand digitisation across its agribusiness, and reflects the company’s commitment to innovation-led growth.

T&G global chief operating officer Peter Landon-Lane said the company was delighted to have reached a significant milestone in the evolution of the global apple industry, and for T&G’s home operations in New Zealand to be at the forefront. . . 

First mainstream hemp products in Kiwi supermarkets:

The first mainstream food product containing hemp seed is on supermarket shelves today, launched by one of New Zealand’s leading bread manufacturers, Wairarapa-based Breadcraft under its new brand ‘Rebel Bakehouse’.

Hemp seed was regulated for food use in late 2018, and Rebel Bakehouse’s new hemp seed wraps are the first of a new generation of food that consumers can expect to see made using hemp. Rebel Bakehouse is also introducing cricket protein to Kiwis, with its new cricket flour wrap:

Why transitioning a farm from one generation to the next is trickier than ever – Beth Hoffman:

At the end of December 2005, Margie and Dan First were at the movies when Dan began to feel ill, really ill. His head pounded, then he vomited. A friend recommended they call an ambulance immediately. Dan was rushed to the hospital, where they learned that he had suffered a brain aneurysm.

The events of that day, traumatic as they were, were much more life-changing for the family than anyone in the First clan could have predicted. Like many people, Dan, a 60-year-old Michigan dairy farmer, had never really thought about his own demise. And while his 15-year-old son Josh had dreamed of taking over the family’s farm, the rough plan had been for him to go to college first before deciding if running the dairy was in his cards. Now, suddenly, things were different. . . 


André Previn – 6.4.29 – 28.2.19

March 1, 2019

André Previn, Composer and conductor has died.

 Previn was known for his career in Hollywood, his love of classical music and as a jazz pianist.

He won four Academy Awards.

But many will remember him attempting to perform Grieg’s piano concerto with Morecambe and Wise. He conducted the London Symphony Orchestra and was married five times.

Hat tip: Inquiring Mind who has the Morecombe and Wise clip.

 


Free trade falters

August 3, 2018

Free trade is faltering:

The man who led the New Zealand team in key global trade negotiations says the world is seeing the worst rise in trade protectionism in 23 years.

Vangelis Vitalis, from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, spoke to RNZ at a conference of the meat industry in Napier.

He said years of eased trade rules were in danger of being reversed, and this must be dealt with.

“We have seen 400 new protectionist measures to May have been put in place.

“We know that non-tariff barriers cost the wider agricultural sector of New Zealand up to $6 billion a year in restricted access. These have a profound impact.

“We are seeing the sharpest rise in protectionism since 1995, especially in the last six months.” . . 

This isn’t just a threat to exporters, it’s a threat to the whole economy.

Trade restrictions don’t just hurt businesses exporting to a country which imposes tariffs. They hurt businesses in the importing country trying to export to other countries which impose tariffs in response.

There’s no better illustration of that than this Trump Toon at Inquiring Mind.

By making it harder for businesses to sell their goods to the USA, Trump’s tariffs are making it harder for USA producers to export their goods.

Trump responded by giving subsidies which is a cost to taxpayers who are the consumers who are having to pay more for imported goods.

The inability to export will result in a glut in the domestic market which will depress prices. That might help consumers in the short-term but anything they gain in lower prices will come at their cost as taxpayers who pay for the subsidies.

I’m old enough to remember what it was like in New Zealand before we embraced free trade.

Tariffs were in effect a consumer subsidy for local industries which left consumers with less choice, often lower quality, and always higher prices on a whole range of goods from necessities to luxuries.

The whole system of tariffs, import and export licences, and subsidies was ripe for exploitation, manipulation and corruption.

It gave power to politicians, created work for bureaucrats and helped the favored few at the cost of the many.

The transition to an open economy wasn’t easy, but it has been worth it.

We are no longer producing low quality food in quantities too great to sell. Production is market led, aimed at what consumers want not political and bureaucratic whim.

There is little risk that New Zealand will close its borders again but we could be caught in the crossfire as trade wars between other countries escalates.


Land of Hope and Glory

April 23, 2018

Adam at Inquiring Mind reminded me today is St George’s Day which prompted me to find this:


Bending branches

February 7, 2018

Government ministers are bending the branches of government to breaking point, Helensville, and lawyer, MP Christopher Penk says.

By constitutional convention, respective roles played by our three branches of government are deliberately distinct. The “executive” (which is led by cabinet but includes all the civil service) basically runs the country. The “legislature”, aka parliament, passes laws defining the limits of that executive power, among other things. And the “judiciary” (our court system, more or less) applies the law, deciding each case on its individual merits in accordance with existing legal norms – without fear or favour and free from political pressure.

The doctrine demanding a separation of powers is a sacrosanct safeguard within our partly written, partly unwritten constitution. Its importance lies in preventing any one individual or group from gaining an outsized portion of power.

Taken together, constitutional safeguards have helped to keep New Zealand blessedly free of corruption in our short but proud history. Enjoying such stability and certainty is an international advantage that we should guard jealously and zealously. . .

He gives four examples where ministers’ behavior has weakened the constitutional framework:

* Andrew Little’s comments on a perceived problem with bail

* Little’s comment on the decision not to prosecute over the CCTV collapse.

* Clare Curran’s tweet on a police prosecution.

* Grant Roberston’s threat to make an example of landlords illegally raising rents.

In this country it’s pretty hard to hold a government to account when it bends, or even breaks, constitutional convention. That’s the thing about conventions, of course: for better and worse, they’re almost impossible to enforce. The flexibility of our constitutional arrangements is actually a real strength most of the time (whatever advocates of a comprehensive written constitution may say), so this is not a criticism but an observation.

That said, with few firm legal constraints in the form of “black letter law”, political accountability becomes all the more important. As Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, that is where we come in. And take note, ministers: we will.

The transition from opposition, where there is greater leeway for criticism, to government and cabinet where much more circumspection is required, isn’t always easy.

But that’s no excuse for bending the branches of government as these ministers have.

Adam Smith writes on this at Inquiring Mind.

 

 


Let’s tax this

August 13, 2017

Labour’s campaign slogan should be let’s tax this:

The illogic of the selective water tax is summed up by ComradeJacinda on Twitter:

 

Hat tip: Inquiring Mind


Facts missing from figures

February 11, 2012

The Sunday Star Times put the sale of the Crafar Farms into perspective with a story on how much land has been sold to people from which countries in the last five years.

Figures released by the Overseas Investment Office show that of the 872,313 hectares of gross land sold to foreign interests over the past five years only 223 hectares were sold to Chinese.

People from the landlocked principality of Liechtenstein had purchased 10 times more land than the Chinese – 2,144ha in the same period.

The top buyers were the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and Israel. The United States had 194 purchases for a total of 193,208ha.

The figures do not show if there are any New Zealand ownership shares involved.

Nor do the figures show how many of the purchasers were sales from foreigners to foreigners and Inquiring Mind points out the difference between net sales and gross sales.

Nor do they include how much land owned by foreigners was sold back to New Zealanders.

Last week the sale of land to foreigners got a lot of attention but the purchase of foreign-owned shares in Dairy Holdings by New Zealanders has not got nearly as much attention.

Yet this sale brought a 25% share in 58 farms covering nearly 15,000 effective hectares, back into local ownerhsip.

Another omission from the discussion on sales of land to farmers is facts on what they do with it.

A farm in our neighbourhood is owned by  Frenchman. We have friends from Wales and the United States who own land here and whose farming and environemtnal practices and community involvement would put many New Zealand farmers to shame.

It isn’t where the owners come from, it’s what they do with the land that really matters.


Did you see the one about . . .

December 5, 2010

A Thanksgiving Day lesson in political philosophy – Jeff Keren guest posts at Not PC on individual effort vs collectivism.

TVNZ Whizzing through the years – Brian Edwards looks back with the help of YouTube.

Twelve Days of Christmas – Keeping Stock puts a price on the gifts and includes the Irish version of the song.

Movie Economics – Macdoctor and the difference between giving and not taking.

Political crystal ball – the Veteran and No Minister looks ahead to 2011.

And now for something completely different – Food court flashmob does the Hallelujah Chorus at Inquiring Mind.

Welcome to Commissioner Marshall – Stephen Franks on the Police COmmissioner to be.

Uesless information for you – Lindsay Mitcehll on who’s paid for what.

Dulce et decorum est – Monkey with Typewriter on miners.

And a couple I missed from Tuesday’s Poem:

Orphans by Michele Amas – Mary McCallum on losing parents.

Not A Tuesday Poem – Ballad for Molly – Cadence pays a musical tribute to her Scottish grandmother.


Employment law changes neither anti-worker nor anti-union

July 26, 2010

Dear Helen Kelly,

Re: the  letter you wrote to Prime Minister John Key:

On the issues – we oppose them. They show a disregard for the working people of this country. They paint a picture of workers as lazy, untrustworthy skivers, that are out of control and need to be disciplined. Workers are painted as acting deceitfully when applying for positions (so 90 days are important) taking sickies, misusing union membership and a range of other generalisations that demean the people we work with every day. Employers on the other hand are painted as generally fair minded people that will use all powers reasonably.

On the contrary, the proposed changes are a mild rebalancing of employment law which paints a picture of employers as slave-driving, untrustworthy bullies who are out of control and need to be disciplined. Employers are painted as acting deceitfully when employing people (the 90 days trial for smaller businesses hasn’t been the disaster you and other unions feared), who will demand sick-notes for every absence, hate unions and a range of other generalisations that demean the people who work hard to provide jobs for people every day. Employees on the other hand are painted as generally fair minded people who will use all rights reasonably.

Apart from the slur on working people this analysis disregards the fact that many employers are not “fair minded individuals” but corporate entities that employ CEOs and managers to maximise profit.

Apart from the slur on employers this analysis disregards the fact that the majority (I think it’s 90%) of New Zealand businesses are small to medium enterprises employing fewer than 10 people. Maximising profits is sensible practice which makes the business and jobs more secure and enables employers to offer improved pay and conditions for staff.

 We work with global corporate entities in this country who comply with a wide range of minimum standards and regulations which make their work practices decent here. These same corporates work in unregulated economies employing people under atrocious conditions.

Ms Kelly, you can’t use employment law in New Zealand to fight the global war on capitalism.

You might however, try to understand to see that the measures the government is proposing help employers take on new workers and make workplaces better for existing staff who suffer if another worker doesn’t fit in or work well.

You might also admit that unrestricted access to workplaces has been abused by some union representatives.  The Inquiring Mind has a good example of this.

You may not believe that employers like happy workplaces for their own sake, but surely you can see they have a vested interest in ensuring their workers are happy because that helps productivity.

You however, have a vested interest in unsettling and upsetting workers because that will help you increase membership.

You sound like you’ve come to believe your own rhetoric which has turned a small employer-friendly molehill into a worker and union hating mountain. That’s not good for employers or the people they employ.


Virus warning

July 24, 2010

Yesterday Adam at Inquiring Mind blogged he was feeling unwell .

Today  I’ve got a sore throat and other symptoms which  warn of the onset of a cold.

Could this be blog to blog infection and if so would it have been caused by a computer virus?


Did you see the one about . . .

July 21, 2010

I’m not finished with Duncan Garner yet – Brian Edwards gives credit where it’s due.

Dinner with the Stars – Not PC asks  where and in which period in history you’d pick as being the best in history in which you might get a large number of your heroes around a dinner party table.  He also has a post on the malapropisms of refudiation.

Vagrant spotted in Parnell – Inquiring Mind gets satirical.

Under Aotearoan skies – goNZo Freakpower takes us star watching.

Star the nineteenth – In A Strange Land continues her stellar effort for Dry July.

Question (and answer) of the day – Keeping Stock found a gem from question time.


Booing boors

June 26, 2010

The boors/bores who boo when the team they don’t support are taking kicks for penalties or conversions are unsporting and as irritating as the vuvuzelas.

If the All Blacks vs Wales doesn’t appeal Adam Smith is offering Saturday rock for those who prefer rock to rubgy. The show starts here.


Who’s sorry now?

June 15, 2010

Shane Jones has apologised.

He’s admitted what he did, accepted it’s wrong, said he’s sorry, been stripped of his portfolio responsibilities and been demoted to the backbench.

He is sorry for what he did wrong and he is justified in feeling sorry at how he’s been treated in comparison with Chris Carter.

Carter has been moved from the first bench to the second, lost Foreign Affairs  spokesmanship but has the Conservation role.

He’s also been told to apologise and did but if you have to be told to say sorry  and don’t accept you’ve done anything wrong then you’re not really sorry.

Goff looked like a leader who meant business yesterday but today Carter’s petulance has overshadowed that. and led us to ask why he didn’t demote him further.

He doesn’t seem to understand the big spender and master of hissy fits has used up all his chances. That’s why Inquiring Mind asks if Carter has some pictures. I don’t believe he does but I can’t understand why he’s been given so much rope.


Down The Hall On Saturday Night

May 29, 2010

Day 28 of New Zealand Music Month – since it’s Saturday, and inspired by Inquiring Mind who often goes Down The Hall on Saturday Night.

This version’s by Peter Cape:


Did you see the one about . . .

May 28, 2010

Milk and health: there aren’t always two (equal) sides to a story – what Alison Campbell at Sciblogs  learned at the gym; she also had a trip to the optometrists because of flashes in the eye.

John Freeman on Shrinking the World – Quote Unquote learned about slow communication at Writers and Readers.

Finger tutting – Ozy Mandias Warning on geometircal dexterity.

Heritage Irises – a blog celebrating irises which gives a promise of spring to brighten winter.

Four essential questions for government – Inquiring Mind on the need to focus on benefit and value.

Murphy’s Law – RivettingKateTaylor had one of those moments when Toyota isn’t strong enough.

At the risk of stirring old broth – Laughy Kate has a number joke which leads to a number of others in the comments.

Book sales, frumpy readers and mental rotation of book titles – Grant Jacobs from Sciblogs went to the Regent Theatre 24 hour book sale.

Congratulations to the Visible Hand in Economics on 1000 posts .

And an announcement that Agridata has moved to interest.co.nz


Mistress of Mistressology mis-steps

May 16, 2010

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Busted Blonde at Roarprawn but her blog posts, and some whispers on the grapevine, have earned my respect.

The woman who claims to have a trademark on the term mistressology obviously doesn’t know her reputation or she wouldn’t have been silly enough to get her knickers twisted about BBs use of the term on a post giving advice to mistresses.

The one who claims to be a mistress of mistressology has mis-stepped by picking a fight with the wrong woman.

BB is not the sort to head to port when the sea gets rough and she’s got to the nub of the matter, if you Google search mistressology  it leads to Roarprawn and the not the other woman’s website.

In an act of bloggers’ solidarity I’m joining Whaleoil, Cactus Kate and No Minister who have carried the story and by doing so increased links to Roarprawn which will put her up the Google rankings more.

UPDATE: Motella has joined the campagin too.

Update 2: so has Inquiring Mind 

And look what a google search now turns up:

Search Results

  1. Cactus Kate: Mistressology (ck)

    The first rule of Mistressology Kala really is to choose your target well. You don’t pick on women who when they are alerted to your existence will chew
    asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com/2010/…/mistressology-ck.html19 hours ago

    Mistressology Trademark Fail | Whale Oil Beef Hooked | Gotcha!

  2. 15 May 2010 Probably about now some stupid pommy cow called Ms. Kala Elliot will be wishing she had just STFU. She has tried to bully Busted Blonde
    whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz/2010/05/…/mistressology-trademark-fail/21 hours ago

    Mistress of Mistressology mis-steps « Homepaddock

  3. 16 May 2010 The woman who claims to have a trademark on the term mistressology obviously doesn’t know her reputation or she wouldn’t have been silly
    homepaddock.wordpress.com/2010/…/mistress-of-mistressology/6 hours ago

    roarprawn: MISTRESSOLOGY

  4. 6 Apr 2010 Final rule of mistressology – it will end in tears sooner or later – relationships on any level based on betrayal and lies are always doomed
    roarprawn.blogspot.com/2010/04/mistressology.htmlCached
  5. roarprawn: ROARPRAWN ACCUSED OF PIRACY

    We called the post Mistressology. Like as in the study of Mistresses I am the author of the forthcoming book entitled Mistressology and am requesting
    roarprawn.blogspot.com/2010/05/roarprawn-accused-of-piracy.htmlCached

 

  • No Minister: Mistressology claimed as trademark

    15 May 2010 My name is Ms. Kala Elliott and I am the owner of the Trademark ‘Mistressology‘. The application was made last year on my behalf by my UK
    nominister.blogspot.com/2010/05/mistressology-claimed-as-trademark.html
  • Mistressology « The Inquiring Mind

    16 May 2010 Mistressology. May 16, 2010. tags: Cactus Kate, Mistressology, No Minister, Roarprawn, Whaleoil. by adamsmith1922
    adamsmith.wordpress.com/2010/05/16/mistressology/1 hour ago

    “Motella” – News, Views and Politics of New Zealand’s Motel

  • 15 May 2010 Busted Blonde is now being cyber-stalked from the UK by a Ms. Kala Elliot that claims to have ownership of the Trademark term Mistressology
    motella.blogspot.com/2010/05/mistressology.html7 hours ago

    “Motella” – News, Views and Politics of New Zealand’s Motel

  • 15 May 2010 After only 4-minutes of us publishing a blog post on Mistressology, we note that we have appeared on page one of Google using the search
    motella.blogspot.com/2010/05/mistressology-part-2.html8 hours ago

    Gotcha! | Politics | Humour | Information | News | Opinion | Debate

  • UPDATE 3: Oswald Bastable is supporting BB too.

    Did you see the one about . . .

    April 10, 2010

    Italy versus Cambridge – Quote Unquote on cultural differences.

    KASS Music Gem(s) of the Day and Their Antipodes: Top of the Pops, 1951/2009 Lindsay Perigo at SOLO demonstrates how music has degenerated in his lifetime.

    The end of the road – Rivetting Kate Taylor’s been tiki touring.

    Labour MPs in 2009 – Kiwiblog ranks the Opposition and reranks them at More Labour Rankings.

    Getting stuff done – Lindsay Mitchell on being motivated by laziness.

    Fonterra lets out groans – Cactus Kate doesn’t have an issue with foreign ownership of NZ dairy farms.

    I’m still standing – Kismet Farm is dealing with chemotherapy and home renovations.

    Satistkick me – Opionoinated Mummy does the numbers on cognitive tests (a follow up to Kick Me on the horrors of the recruitment process.)

    Revolution Is In The Air – the latest in NOt PC’s regular posts on works of art.

    Just at thought but – Inquiring Mind wonders how far anti-whalers carry their opposition to things Japanese.


    Bolero

    March 7, 2010

    Maurice Ravel  would have been 135 today.

    He did compose other pieces but this is probably the most well known.

    Inquiring Mind has the same piece from  Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic.


    Language beats logic

    December 31, 2009

    A few pedants tried to tell us that the 21st century didn’t start on January 1, 2000 and now they’re trying to tell us that tomorrow isn’t the start of this century’s second decade.

    They were right mathematically then and they’re right now because there was no year 0.

    But language beats logic.

    Just as 2000 didn’t sound like the 20th century, 2010 doesn’t sound like the noughties. As the years roll on this argument becomes even more compelling; most of us say we enter our 20s when we’re 20 not 21 and few would be willing to wait to 101 to claim the title of centenarian.

    Adam at Inquiring Mind takes the contrary view,  and while it may be correct it’s a minority one. 

    This is one instance when right sounds wrong and most of us will go with a new decade starting tomorrow not a year hence because of the way it looks and sounds in spite of the logic and the maths.


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