He Waka Eke Noa is now the main game in rural politics – Keith Woodford:
Rural industry leaders are caught between unhappy farmers and unhappy ministers as they try to find a pathway through the GHG dilemma
The biggest game in rural politics for many years is being played out right now. On one side are some key Government Ministers saying that they are not impressed by current He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN) proposals for greenhouse-gas levies being calculated at the level of individual farms. Their strong preference is that levies, at least initially, should be at processor level and passed down to farmers from there.
On the other side are what is probably a majority of farmers, whose preference would be for no levies at all, but who grudgingly support farm-level levies as definitely preferable to processor levies, and even more preferable than the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS). Further out to the side, there is another group of farmers who would like to stop any HWEN negotiations. This group, or at least some of them, are still arguing for no levies at all.
Stuck right in the middle are the 11 mainstream industry organisations, with DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb taking a leading role, and getting hammered from both sides. . .
Kiwi exporters will miss out while Australians get ahead after their Government signed a free trade agreement with India, National’s Trade and Export Growth Spokesperson Todd McClay says.
“India and Australia have just signed a free trade agreement that would give 85 per cent of Australia’s exports tariff-free access to the Indian market, including lamb and wool, with wines and certain fruits having lower tariffs.
“Meanwhile, the New Zealand Government has made zero progress on a trade agreement with India, making Kiwis the poor cousins to Australia yet again.
“Our wine industry has to pay a 150 per cent tariff to get into India, while Australians now only pay 50 per cent. New Zealand’s lamb exporters currently pay 30 per cent to sell in India, and Australia now pays nothing. . .
World Health Day brings an opportunity to reflect on the unique challenges rural communities face in accessing healthcare, infrastructure, and services essential to their overall wellness.
Dr Garry Nixon, head of rural section of the Department of General Practice and Rural Health at Otago University and doctor in Central Otago, says access to health services is a significant challenge rural communities are up against.
“Distance is a barrier and rural people don’t get the same access to specialist care. Providing good and accessible healthcare in rural areas means doing things differently to the way they are done in town – not simply providing scaled down versions of urban healthcare.”
Another major issue impacting the health and wellness of rural communities is the severe shortage of doctors and other health professionals in rural areas. . .
One of the big winners in this week’s NZ Cheese Awards was the Hōhepa Hawke’s Bay cheesery.
But Hōhepa, which was established in the 1950s, is a cheese producer unlike any other. It’s part of a charitable organisation that offers home-life care for people with intellectual disabilities.
Artisan cheesemakers work very closely with Hōhepa residents on many aspects of dairy farming and cheesemaking, manager Carl Storey told Jesse Mulligan.
“We have about 180 people that we support with various intellectual disabilities. They work on the farm, milking the cows, tending some of the livestock, they will help us in the cheesery – they make the cheese with us.” . .
The health of agricultural workers exposed to harmful airborne chemicals is in the spotlight, with one company introducing New Zealand-first technology to limit exposure and help meet the need for increased protection.
A Massey University study found agricultural workers have the highest incidence of leukaemia of all New Zealand occupation groups, likely because of their exposure to chemicals; and there are reports of vineyard workers refusing to operate tractor sprayers due to potential health risks. These can include cancer and respiratory disease.
Canterbury-based company Landlogic Ltd, which supplies New Zealand’s primary sector with machinery and technology, has introduced a new cab air filtration system to the market in a bid to increase worker safety.
The system is manufactured by Freshfilter, a world-leading manufacturer of cab overpressure systems designed to meet strict European standards. It is the first time the technology has been available in New Zealand. . .
Green diesel restriction put silage season at risk – Tamara Fitzpatrick:
Farmers may be “at risk” of not getting their silage cut this year as many contractors are facing quantity restrictions when buying green diesel.
“Deliveries are restricted, there’s no doubt about it,” said Michael Moroney, CEO at Association of Farm and Forestry Contractors in Ireland (FCI). “We are getting anecdotal evidence from some of our members that they are facing delivery restrictions.”
It comes after the FCI called on the Government last week to “ring fence” 200 million litres of green diesel in preparation for silage season.
“I talked to one contractor who needs 10,000L of fuel to get crops in over the next 10 days, but has only been given 1,500L,” said TD Colm Burke in the Dáil last Thursday. . .