Rural round-up

March 6, 2020

Be a good boss and we’re unstoppable – Sudesh Kissun:

A dairy sector made up of good bosses would make us unstoppable, says Federated Farmers Dairy chairman Chris Lewis.

Good bosses would attract workers to dairy farms. “Therefore, the recruitment process would be more competitive and the calibre of those you employed would increase,” he says.

“Your staff would solve more problems, find more opportunities therefore you and your farm business would be more successful.” . . 

Where the big dry really hurts :

It was shaping up to be Bill Cashmore’s best year on the farm with record prices for beef and lamb, but the worst drought he’s ever known has put paid to that.

The deputy mayor of Auckland and his son Robert who runs the 1220-hectare sheep and beef farm in Clevedon, about an hour south east of Auckland’s CBD, will have to make some drastic decisions if no rain comes in the next couple of weeks.

It’s so dry old native trees growing next to a stream are dying and the brown summer grass has turned grey. Cashmore describes it as ‘fried”. . . 

The Golden Shears: Woolly sheep bring sheer excitement to competitors :

The country’s best shearers are gearing up for a busy day of finals today at The Golden Shears in Masterton.

Destiny Paikea, of Ngāti Whātua descent, has qualified for the Junior Shearing Final.

Paikea comes from a long line of shearers and grew up in the West Otago as a wool handler.

She eventually began competing in shearing competitions two years ago. . .

Average Canterbury farmer ‘just treading water’ – Nigel Malthus:

Half of Canterbury dairy farms aren’t operating profitably, says Ashburton farm consultant Jeremy Savage.

“The average Canterbury dairy farmer at the moment is just treading water: that would be the polite way of putting it,” he said.

“And that’s the average. If the average is just treading water there’s a number of dairy farmers . .

Sector comes together to support drought-hit farmers:

Northland Inc’s Extension 350 has combined with DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ to provide a reference point for farmers battling to respond to the effects of the worst drought in years.

This is being done by bringing together a number of Northland farmers who will share their responses to the situation via the Northland Inc website, with weekly updates on their current focus and actions.

“This sector-wide collaboration creates an overview to help farmers prioritise their actions, focus on their farms and manage their wellbeing through this extremely stressful period,” said Luke Beehre, Project Lead of Extension 350 (E350), the award-winning farmer-led and farmer-focused programme. . .

Fonterra chairman confirms retirement in October:

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited (FCG) Chairman John Monaghan has confirmed that he will retire as a Director of the Co-operative when his current 3-year term ends at its Annual Meeting this November.

In a note to the Co-operative’s farmer-owners and unitholders, Mr Monaghan explained that his decision was the next step in the Fonterra Board’s development and succession planning.

“After 11 years as a Director, and having seen through the introduction of our new strategy, operating model, and with our debt reduction efforts well progressed, the timing is right for me and for the Co-op. . .

Pāmu welcomes major US investment in ag sector technology:

The investment by major United States company Merck and Co in FarmIQ, is an endorsement of the technology that Pāmu has been championing since the inception of the agri-tech company, Pāmu Chief Executive Steven Carden says.

“This latest investment from a global player in animal health and welfare confirms the vision we had when FarmIQ was started, which was to enable greater productivity by joining up the whole agriculture data ecosystem,” Mr Carden said.

Pāmu holds a 30% shareholding in FarmIQ and is one of its original shareholders and biggest customers. The company has actively championed changes such as the Health and Safety module widely used by FarmIQ customers. . . 

Key kiwifruit operator’s packing and coolstore property for sale while industry booms:

A medium-sized Takanini packhouse and coolstore used exclusively for post-harvest in the $2.9 billion New Zealand kiwifruit industry is on the market for sale and leaseback.

The 7,223 square metre Auckland Pack & Cool (Apac) facility on 1.1 hectares at 149 Phillip Road, Takanini packs and coolstores kiwifruit for export and distribution by the country’s single desk seller Zespri International.

It is one of the kiwifruit industry’s key post-harvest operators, with the resources to pack about 3.5 million trays each season, and a combined on-site and satellite cool storage capacity for 1.75 million trays. . . 

 


Iwi exemption too deep a hole

March 1, 2019

The government has another obstacle between it and a capital gains tax:

A capital gains tax exemption could be on the cards for iwi, with the Tax Working Group suggesting a reshuffling of the rules for Māori collectively owned land and assets.

Sir Michael Cullen – who headed the tax working group – is warning of potential legal ramifications if the Government fails to address the issue.

“I think the general non-Māori public needs to understand there are some special cases here and it’s not some particular special deal.

“It arises out of our history and the nature of those collectively owned lands,” Sir Michael says.

It’s not just land, iwi also receive commercial property, forestry and other assets potentially hit by such a tax.

It’s not just land but commercial property, forestry and other assets for everybody else too.

Antony Thompson of Auckland iwi Ngāti Whātua agrees any CGT needs to be looked when it comes to iwi assets.

“It would be detrimental, primarily because we’d be spending more money on tax and we’d be spending less on our people.

Would it be any less detrimental for anyone else, including Maori who can’t prove their whakapapa and therefore don’t benefit from treaty settlements?

“What we really want is equity at the end of the day – the ability for people to determine their own futures, their own destinys,”

Just like the rest of us want equity, more of our own money and the choices that gives us.

If Iwi didn’t have to pay CGT would they also be exempt from the tax cuts that are supposed to compensate the rest of us for the CGT? Of course not and there goes another hole in the fairness bucket.

It’s not hard to justify compensation for historical wrongs. There’s a lot less sympathy for the TGW’s idea that Iwi pay a lower rate than the rest of us and if the government was to try to impose a CGT that exempted Iwi altogether it would be courting financial and political failure.

Any exemption would reduce the income a CGT is supposed to raise to compensate for tax cuts.

An Iwi exemption would also buy the government a fight it couldn’t win and it would dig itself into a hole too deep for political survival.


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