Rural round-up

June 23, 2017

MP expects cattle rustling bill to get support from all parts of Parliament – Jono Galuszka:

The man behind a proposal designed to deter people from cattle rustling says he hopes the final law goes further to include other rural crimes.

Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie had his member’s bill proposing the law change pulled from the Parliamentary ballot recently.

The Sentencing (Livestock Rustling) Amendment Bill proposes making stock theft an aggravating feature when thieves are sentenced in court.

McKelvie said stock rustling was a big issue for farmers, especially those in remote areas of the country. . .

Stars align for venison:

A big drop in the number of deer being processed has undoubtedly played a big part in the strength of venison prices to farmers, but there are other important factors at work.

Attendees at the 2017 Deer Industry Conference heard that the United States is now the single largest market for venison, knocking Germany out of the top slot. In the words of Mountain River’s John Sadler, “the holy grail of the venison industry ever since I first became involved was to sell leg cuts into the United States – traditionally a middles market. I think we are finally getting there.”

“We are reaping the rewards of 35 years of market investment,” said Duncan New Zealand’s Glenn Tyrrell. They’re right but there are also other factors at play. Whether it’s the emergence of paleo diets or culinary trends – like small plates and shared plates – or the new enthusiasm in Europe for summer barbecues, our farm-raised venison looks like the right product for the times. . . .

Primary Sector Science Roadmap ‘not all about food’:

The just released Primary Sector Science Roadmap features a pine tree nursery on its front cover.

The Forest Owners Association says this is a clear signal that the primary sector is not just a food sector.

The FOA president, Peter Clark, says size and importance of the forest sector for New Zealand, as at least the third most significant export category, is often ignored. . . 

New zone plan for Taupō catchment:

A new high-level plan to guide Waikato Regional Council’s work to promote a healthy catchment in the crucial Lake Taupō zone has been approved by the integrated catchment management committee today.

The Lake Taupō catchment, covering nearly a tenth of the Waikato region, contains the country’s largest lake and 11 smaller lakes, as well as significant hydroelectricity schemes and geothermal resources, and is home to major tourist attractions. . . .

India Trade Alliance Bridges NZ India Agriculture Divide:

India Trade Alliance was once again on the forefront of cementing Agriculture business and government relations between the state of Haryana, India and New Zealand.

India Trade Alliance worked closely with the Government of Haryana, India in promoting #NZ Agricultural capabilities and best practices. As a result the Haryana Agricultural Minister Hon O. P. Dhankar led a 16 member strong delegation that included senior MLA’S and CEO’S of various Haryana Agricultural a departments. . .

Informative and hands-on apiculture event set to inspire and educate:

There is something for everyone at the event of the year for New Zealand’s apiculture industry.

The Apiculture New Zealand National Conference will be held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre from 9 July to 11 July 2017, gathering hobbyist and commercial beekeepers, honey packers and anyone with an interest in apiculture from around the country and abroad. . .


Candidate selection undemocratic and tardy

August 25, 2011

Electoral law requires parties to use democratic processes for their list ranking.

The influence of unions in the Labour Party calls into question their adherence to democratic principles at the best of times.

Its selection timing this year raises even more questions.

The party did list ranking in April but still hasn’t completed its candidate selection for some seats.

The Opposition party’s website yesterday had yet to name candidates for Waikato, Taupo, Tauranga and Hunua but following inquiries from the Waikato Times the party confirmed it had received nominations for both the Waikato and Taupo seats, where until now National had the only confirmed contenders.

There is no requirement for electorate candidates to be given list places, but it would be fairer and more democratic to select them in time to give them a choice.

It would also give the impression Labour was properly organised for the election and putting more than a token effort into contesting seats.

Taupo and Waikato are blue seats. But a party that doesn’t want to look inept and does want to remain one of the major ones ought to at least look like it cares about the people in these electorates who might give it their party vote.


MPs missed chance to let law reflect reality

December 10, 2009

It wasn’t about religion.

It wasn’t about families.

Todd McLay’s Easter Trading bill was simply going to mean the law reflects reality in places like Wanaka and Rotorua.

Our Easter Trading law is a dog’s breakfast.

Shops in Queenstown and Taupo, which are judged to be tourist destinations are allowed to trade,  neighbouring towns like Wanaka and Rotorua which have with similar appeal to travellers, are not.

But changes in retail make the law even more absurd. Service stations are allowed to open and sell magazines but a book shop isn’t.

Year after year I’ve seen retailers in Wanaka ignore the law and open. Year after year the Department of Labour stalks them and lays some charges to make an example of them. Last time a Wanaka retailer appeared in court the judge said the law was a nonsense.

Yesterday MPs had a chance to sort out the nonsense.

The bill wasn’t going to unleash commercial mayhem and tear families apart. It was merely going to give local authorities the power to decide if shops could open in their area.

It would have let Queenstown Lakes and Rotorua councils fix local problems but  it was defeated 62-59.

No-one would have been forced to open a business, no-one would have been forced to work in it, no-one would have been forced to patronise it.

It would have just meant the law reflected reality in a few places where retailers choose to open, their staff have the right to work or not and people have the ability to patronise them or not.

Next year the bi-annual Warbirds over Wanaka will bring more than 20,000 people to the town. There will be stalls at the airport where the show takes place, there will be stalls on Pembroke park at the Sunday market, petrol stations, tourist shops and pharmacies will be open and selling things legally. Shops in town will also be open and selling similar, or event he same, things and breaking the law by doing so.

MPs lost an opportunity to back a very moderate Bill which would have meant the law reflects reality.

Instead of which it will be ignored and a law which is regularly ignored in this way is very bad law.


Siestas solution to sun exposure?

February 25, 2009

One of the reasons southern European countries have siestas is to enable people who work outside to avoid the extreme heat in the middle of the day.

We might have to emulate them if we’re to heed suggestions from a University of Otago study into workers’ exposure to high UV radiation levels.

Recommendations include providing shade for workers and scheduling outside work to avoid the most dangerous times for sun exposure.

That’s not difficult for tasks which can be done in tractors, most of which now have air conditioned cabs. But it’s easier said than done for some farm tasks such as mustering, although from my observations most farm workers are pretty good at wearing hats with wide brims which protect their heads and necks.

The suns-sense message is timely for me because I had my bi-annual skin check yesterday – something I’ve been doing ever since the removal of a couple of skin cancers – fortunately the least dangerous basal cell carcinomas – a decade ago.

Since then I’ve been very careful about the slip, slop, slap message – slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat. But that won’t protect me from the damage done when I was young and spent long summer days at the river, coming home bright red to liberal applications of *Q-tol, the bright pink lotion which took the sting out of sun burn.

Then I spent two summers while a student as a pool attendant in Taupo, wandering round in skimpy shorts and a sleeveless t-shirt, almost as keen on acquiring a tan as earning money.

There was some excuse then as there was little information available about the risk of skin cancer from over exposure to sun. That’s certainly not the case now but fashion has yet to catch up with the health message because a tan is still regarded as attractive and healthy while pale is often coupled with pasty as a observation on someone who doesn’t look their best.

* I don’t remember seeing Q-tol for years – is that because they’ve discovered something in it we shouldn’t be exposed to or has it just been replace dby something more effective?


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