Rural round-up

06/02/2020

Significant risks highlighted in ETS reform bill:

Federated Farmers, Beef + Lamb New Zealand (B+LNZ) and the Meat Industry Association (MIA) today warned the Government’s proposed reforms to the Emissions Trading Scheme risk accelerating the conversion of productive pasture land into forestry.

The lack of any restriction on how much carbon dioxide can be offset using forestry carbon credits and the lack of any robust analysis of socio-economic impacts of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill will have major unintended consequences for farmers and regional New Zealand.

All three organisations have expressed concerns about the Bill in submissions to the Environment select committee. . .

Foreign funds talk to farmers – Nigel Stirling:

As many as 10 foreign funds are talking to large-scale farmers about refinancing loans the big banks want rid of, farm debt adviser Scott Wishart says.

Sydney-based Merricks Capital was the first foreign investment fund to break ranks with a $140m refinancing of dairy farmer Van Leeuwen Group in December.

The money manager said it is targeting $2 billion out of $10b in farming loans it believes the Australian-owned banks want off their balance sheets in the next five years.

After years of strong lending growth the Australian banks are reassessing their involvement in the New Zealand market after the Reserve Bank doubled the amount of capital they must hold against their loans. . . 

Cereal crops deluged:

Chris Dillon was 10 days away from harvesting 280ha of cereal crops when the Mataura River burst its banks and flooded his Ardlussa farm north of Gore on Tuesday.

He estimates about 1000ha of cereal crops on eight farms beside the river are under water,

His wheat, barley and peas were exceptional this year.

Provided the water drops quickly he can salvage some crop while insurance will cover a percentage of the production cost of the wheat only. . . 

New Zealand wine exports soar :

In 2019 there was an 8% increase in New Zealand wine exports, with total export value now reaching a record $1.86 billion according to New Zealand Winegrowers.

The USA continues to be New Zealand wine’s largest market with nearly $600 million in exports.

The non-stop increase in international demand is testament to the premium reputation of New Zealand wine, especially in its major markets where the country remains either the highest or second highest priced wine category in the USA, UK, and Canada. . . 

Consortium led by Lynker Analytics awarded government contract to identify New Zealand forest loss using Artificial Intelligence:

Wellington technology start-up Lynker Analytics has been selected by the Ministry for the Environment (the Ministry) to lead a consortium including UAV Mapping NZ and Carbon Forest Services to inventory the extent of forest loss in New Zealand during 2017 and 2018.

Each year 40,000 – 50,000 hectares of forest is harvested in New Zealand as part of normal forestry land use activity. Most of this forest area is replanted, however a small but significant area is deforested and converted to another land use. Deforestation is an important form of land-use change from a greenhouse gas perspective. The Ministry assesses deforestation in New Zealand every two years to meet international reporting obligations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. . .

Presbyterian Support Central funds support farming students, youth camps and community events

Presbyterian Support Central has distributed more than $170,000 from its Ann Sinclair Trust and James Gibb Fund this year.

Ann Sinclair Trust

Administered by Presbyterian Support Central, the Ann Sinclair Trust provides financial assistance to farming, agriculture, horticulture, orcharding and animal husbandry students. . .


Social housing must do better

19/05/2013

Finance Minister Bill English didn’t mince his words when giving his view on state houses:

. . . Governments had been “grossly irresponsible” over Housing Corporation not knowing much about its houses or the tenants.

He said the nationalised housing industry “is a disgrace”. . .

Housing Corp was a poor performer and about a third of its housing stock was the wrong size, in poor condition and in the wrong place. That stock was worth about $5 billion and it was $5 b being wasted.

“There are going to have to be changes so we can stop wasting it, and we are going to learn a lot from Christchurch.”

Christchurch had “a half-clean sheet” to restart social housing.

“It is actually pretty shocking the wastefulness and politicisation and the crappy conditions that we make vulnerable people live in. So yes, we are pretty motivated about it because of the benefits for the tenants and the economy and for the Government’s books.

“It’s been a revelation to me that we run this huge asset base with all these vulnerable people and Government hasn’t known about its own tenants, it hasn’t known much about its own housing stock, it’s just been grossly irresponsible.

“We want to get Presbyterian Support, Ngai Tahu, Salvation Army, Housing Foundation involved in supplying these houses and put pressure on our own organisation, which has a record of poor performance.” . . .

The usual suspects are labelling this privatisation.

It doesn’t matter what you call it and who owns the houses, they will still be publicly funded and it wouldn’t be difficult for charitable organisations to do better than Housing Corp.


Telling people they’re ineligible “not necessarily bad”

27/12/2011

Quote of the day:

The Rev Dennis Povey, who recently completed another report into poverty in Dunedin for Presbyterian Support, said telling people clearly they were no longer eligible for a state house was not necessarily a bad thing.

Presbyterian Support staff had been helping clients through the change by examining their budgets, ensuring they received accommodation supplements, and showing them they might be able to afford a private rental, he said. From Policy accepted: fewer apply for state houses.


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