Rural round-up

January 15, 2019

Bid to save Telford – Neal Wallace:

Invercargill’s Southern Institute of Technology is preparing a lifeline for the Telford campus of the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre, which was put into liquidation before Christmas.

At a meeting at the South Otago campus today SIT agreed to prepare a proposal for Education Minister Chris Hipkins, in which it will become the education provider.

Telford Farm Board chairman Richard Farquhar hopes a deal can be secured in time for this academic year.

Information is being sought from Taratahi’s liquidator for a proposal to Hipkins, who, if he supports it, will then seek Cabinet approval. . . 

Helping others succeed – Tim Fulton:

Leadership starts with self for the 2018 Dairy Woman of the Year Loshni Manikam. Tim Fulton reports.

After 20 years of life in rural New Zealand Loshni Manikam has a real insight of the Kiwi agricultural psyche.

“I believe there’s this huge gap,” Manikam says.

“I feel like farming people know how to care about land, stock, neighbours – everything except themselves and I want to help change this.” . . 

Sharemilkers ready for competitions – Sally Rae:

Southland herd-owning sharemilker Luke Templeton jokes he has had a couple of moments of weakness lately.

Mr Templeton (30) signed up for both the FMG Young Farmer of the Year and the Southland-Otago Dairy Industry Awards.

Next month, he will compete in the Otago-Southland regional final of the Young Farmer of the Year.

The practical and theoretical modules of the event will be held at the Tokomairiro A&P showgrounds in Milton on February 16, followed by an agri-knowledge quiz at the Milton Coronation Hall at night. . . 

Pair to attend congress in US :

Tyla Bishop hopes a trip to the United States in July will broaden her understanding of global food production.

Tyla (17), a year 13 pupil at St Kevin’s College in Oamaru, is one of six TeenAg members from throughout New Zealand chosen to attend the 4-H Congress in Bozeman, Montana

She lives on a 700-cow dairy farm in the Waitaki Valley and is working on another dairy farm during the summer holidays to help pay for the trip. . .

Stricter penalties proposed for contaminated food:

National’s Food Safety spokesperson Nathan Guy is backing calls from the food and grocery sector for tougher penalties for those who intentionally contaminate our food or threaten to do so.

“My Member’s Bill seeks to achieve what Damien O’Connor appears unwilling to do – protect New Zealanders from those that would threaten our food safety, be they reckless pranksters or people intent on nothing less than economic sabotage.

“Recent events here in New Zealand and across the Tasman, such as the strawberry needle scares, have identified the need for greater sanctions to prevent these sorts of idiotic behaviours. The food and grocery sector has been ignored in its calls for tougher laws. . . 

Horticulture supports harsher penalties for food contamination:

Horticulture New Zealand supports a Member’s Bill, announced today, that will introduce harsher penalties for people who intentionally contaminate food, or threaten to do so.

“Recently, we have seen some incidents of intentional contamination of fruit in both Australia and New Zealand and people need to understand the full and serious implications of such sabotage,” Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says. . . 

Labour’s fee-free danger to Invercargill

September 4, 2017

Invercargill has had fee-free tertiary eduction for years. Labour’s fee-free policy would sabotage the advantage that’s given the Southern Institute of Technology (SIT) and seriously damage the city.

Mayor Tim Shadbolt wrote an open letter to Labour leader Jacinda Ardern explaining that:

. . . I hope and pray that if you succeed in your attempt to become Prime Minister of New Zealand in the forthcoming elections you will not use your power to crush Invercargill.

My job is to protect the interests of our city.

In 1993 when I was first elected as Invercargill’s Mayor, we were the fastest declining city in New Zealand or Australia.

Then thanks to Penny Simmonds, her senior staff and board members, the Southern Institute of Technology introduced a brilliant Zero Fee Scheme.

This meant for example if you graduated as a nurse, you saved $15,000.

As a result we attracted students from all over New Zealand and our student roll increased from 1400 students to almost 3600 students.

By the 2013 census our population had increased by 2.7 per cent.

The Zero Fee Scheme cost $7.25 million to establish and promote and was courageously supported by the Invercargill City Council, our two community trusts, local businesses and SIT itself.

Now the Labour Party policy is to introduce a Zero Fee type scheme throughout New Zealand that will be completely funded by the state.

Labour’s plans will totally undermine Invercargill’s marketing edge and our innovative point of difference. . .

SIT’s fee-free policy has made a measurable difference to the city, boosting its population, lowering the average age and creating jobs.

Labour’s policy would undermine SIT and the resulting loss in student numbers would have a seriously detrimental  social and financial impact on the city.

Invercargill is working on a scheme to provide rent free accommodation for tertiary students.  It’s asking Labour to help fund that since it already has fee-free tertiary education.

It would be far better to leave students to pay the small proportion of fees they do at the moment, unless they are at SIT, let Invercargill use its own resources to pursue its free accommodation policy and spend taxpayers money  where the need is greater.

That’s not people who will on average earn around more than $1.6 million than those without tertiary qualifications.

As David Petersen says:

Free courses for tertiary students sounds great, but nothing is free. It would be a massive transfer of tax money from working people to produce lawyers, accountants, vets etc, who will charge those same working people hundreds of dollars an hour for their professional services.

And of course these students who will be tempted to vote Labour for this bribe, will be paying for the education of the next students, for the rest of their working lives if it is introduced.

The best use of taxpayers’ funds isn’t  more help for people who will on average earn around more than $1.6 million than those without tertiary qualifications.

The real need  in education is help for those who struggle with basic numeracy and literacy.

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