Rural health refused priority – Peter Burke:
“Completely and utterly outrageous.”
That’s how NZ Rural General Practice Network chair Dr Fiona Bolden describes the Government’s outright rejection of calls to make ‘rural’ a priority in the new Pae Ora Health Futures (POHF) Bill now before Parliament.
The bill is the first major reform of the health service in more than 20 years and paves the way for a completely new structure that is supposed to deliver better health outcomes for NZ. But according to Bolden, who works as a rural GP, it won’t do this for the nearly 750,000 people who live in rural NZ.
The genesis of the changes come from a review of the health service by Heather Simpson. In her review, according to Bolden, rural was seen as a priority and was mentioned some 80 times in Simpson’s report. . .
Is it time to reconsider the rules on GMOs? – Emile Donovan:
The Productivity Commission says New Zealand needs to take another look at its regulations on genetically modified organisms – or we could risk missing out on important innovations that improve our lives and the environment
Is it time for New Zealand to reconsider its strict regulations on genetically modified organisms (GMOs)?
In a report released in April, the Productivity Commission called for a renewed conversation, saying technology has outpaced the regulatory environment.
While many still hold serious reservations about genetic modification, the ability to ‘gene edit‘ – altering the genes of an organism which has been sequenced, rather than introducing foreign genes into it – has led to remarkable developments around the world. . .
Still some sticking points with new winter grazing rules – Sudesh Kissun:
Farmers still have some concerns around the revised grazing regulations released last month.
Restrictions on planting winter forage crops on slopes over 10 degrees and regulation wordings around ‘critical source areas’ exempted from cultivating or grazing cows are being contested by farmers.
Federated Farmers Southland vice president Bernadette Hunt says farmers welcome some parts of the revised regulations – like the removal of specific requirements around pugging depths.
Another amendment requiring grazed annual forage crop paddocks to be re-sown as soon as conditions allow, instead of by a set date, has also been accepted. . .
Lamb exports outpace averages – Annette Scott:
Despite supply chain challenges and processing delays lamb export prices have soared to an unseasonal all-time high.
Continuing the run of record high monthly lamb average export values (AEV) since August last year, AEV reached $13.49 a kilogram for March.
This is the highest ever recorded.
Both chilled and frozen AEV reached NZ$20.67/kg and $12.52/ kg, respectively. . .
The area of Department of Conservation (DOC) land burned in unwanted fires is rising rapidly yet the agency is doing just the bare minimum to protect land and has taken no accountability, National’s Fire and Emergency Spokesperson Todd Muller says.
“Fire and Emergency New Zealand has responded to at least 109 fires on DOC land since the 2019/20 fire season destroying more than 13,600 hectares of Public Conservation lands over the past three years. To-date, that’s a seven-fold increase on the 2,003 hectares destroyed by wildfires for three years period before 2019/20.
“Cracks in the management of unwanted fires on DOC land started to show when regulatory control over Public Conservation Lands was transferred from DOC to FENZ in 2017.
“Since then DOC has essentially taken a hands-off approach to fire management on its land. DOC has reduced its funding from a ten-year average annual spend of $10.4 million before 2017/18 to a current annual average of $3.6 million for the past three years. . .
Six years ago the 100-year-old Nightcaps Golf Club was facing the likely prospect of closure. Fast-forward to 2022 and the club is now home to one of Southland’s more remarkable sporting dynasties. Logan Savory reports.
In early 2016 the few remaining members at the Nightcaps Golf Club found themselves pondering the future.
The club had just seven playing members and discussions had started around leasing the golf course land out for farming use.
The likely closure of the Nightcaps Golf Club, established in 1922, fast become a reality six years ago. . .