Frighteningly different priorities – Peter Burke:
In the cities people are clambering over each other to get the first Big Mac or piece of deep-fried chicken, not to mention a ‘real’ coffee.
So fanatical were some individuals for a fast-food fix that they were stupid enough to risk undoing the good work of the rest of the country by not sticking to the rules of physical distancing.
Having said that, a few idiot politicians and community leaders have yielded to temptation and broken lockdown rules, setting a poor example. Their actions are insulting to the rural community – farmer, growers, people who work in meat processing plants, packhouses and other facilities to provide food for these unthinking individuals.
And don’t let’s forget all the other essential workers that are the unsung heroes of this crisis.
Budget 2020 hasn’t provided anything of note for the primary sector at a time when it is leading our nation’s rebuild, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says.
He says the Government’s claim of ‘rebuilding better’ is nothing but a meaningless slogan for the primary sector. Muller says costly Government proposals like Essential Freshwater are still on the way, there’s no large-scale water storage funding and not enough support to secure the 50,000 workers needed to stimulate the sector.
“Covid-19 has thrown our country into a deep economic hole and we’re now relying on our food and fibre sector to get out of it.
We should be encouraging this sector to grow and maximise its potential but funding has gone backwards. With farmers and growers across the country experiencing the worst drought in living memory this season, it’s disappointing to see no significant investment in water storage,” he says. . .
Farmers want new house rules – Gerald Piddock:
Dairy industry leaders have asked the Government to amend its covid-19 ban on landlords evicting tenants after reports of dairy staff exploiting the rules by refusing to leave supplied housing as the season draws to a close.
As a result, new staff moving onto the farms can’t move into the houses in time for the new milking season in June.
Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis said the circumstances usually involve a staff member who was exiting dairying when the new rules became law. . .
High country – isolation goes with the territory – Kerrie Waterworth:
Adjusting to the isolation of Covid-19 restrictions has been difficult for many urban dwellers but for families on high country stations isolation goes with the territory.
Duncan and Allannah McRae run Alpha Burn Station, a 4519ha high country beef, sheep and deer farm at Glendhu Bay, 15 minutes drive west from Wanaka.
Before the Covid-19 crisis their two sons, Archie (15) and Riley (13), were at boarding school in Dunedin but they had returned home and were learning online.
Mrs McRae said both she and her daughter, Hazel (10), have had to adjust to having the two big boys back in the house. . .
Taratahi might host short courses – Neal Wallace:
The Taratahi campus could again be training young people, albeit for short-term courses introducing prospective students to agricultural careers and proviing extra skills for existing workers.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed the Ministry for Primary Industries and the Ministry of Social Development are considering funding DairyNZ to develop and deliver three-week industry familiarisation programmes at the Wairarapa facility.
The future of the campus has been in limbo since the Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre was put in liquidation in December 2018. . .
Want safe affordable food? Reward those who produce it – Peter Mailler;
The world is certainly a paradise for anyone looking for an issue to express an opinion about this week, but I want to take a different approach.
Rather than trotting out my take on the barley tariffs issue and the complete insanity that is diplomacy with China by media, I thought I would try to foster a discussion on an earlier opinion published in The Gauge section and constructively contest some ideas around an issue that I think goes to the core of how the agricultural sector presents itself to the rest of the country. . .