Rural round-up

August 15, 2018

Appeal decision a win for irrigators but more work needs to be done:

An appeal to Environment Canterbury’s Plan Change 5 nutrient modelling rules has been resolved with a major win achieved for irrigators, says IrrigationNZ.

A Hearings Panel on the Plan Change proposed a new requirement that would have effectively required that all older spray irrigation systems in Canterbury be replaced with new ones by 2020. It was estimated that this change would cost irrigators $300 million.

All parties to the appeal agreed that an error in law had been made when the Hearing Panel introduced this as a new requirement because no submitter had asked for this change.

INZ carried out testing on 300 irrigation systems in Ashburton and Selwyn districts over two summers recently which found that older spray irrigation systems can achieve good levels of water efficiency if regular checking and maintenance is carried out

First M bovis case confirmed near Motueka in Tasman – Sara Meij:

The first case of M. Bovis has been confirmed in the Nelson region.

Biosecurity New Zealand said on Tuesday a property near Motueka, in the Tasman district, had tested positive for the bacterial cattle disease.

Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) said the affected property was a mixed sheep and beef farm.

The farm was identified through tracing animals from known infected farms and it was now under a Restricted Place Notice, which meant it was in “quarantine lockdown”, restricting the movement of animals and other “risk goods” on and off the farm. . .

At the grassroots: farmers contribute too – John Barrow:

I recently returned a little disappointed from the Local Government New Zealand conference in Christchurch.

From a dairy farmer’s perspective I was disappointed at the lack of recognition of the cost of farming and issues we are facing – all the emphasis was on urban.

The conference theme was We are Firmly Focused on the Future: Future Proofing for a Prosperous and Vibrant NZ. . .

Draft report on review of Fonterra’s 2017/18 base milk price calculation:

The Commerce Commission has today released its draft report on Fonterra’s base milk price calculation for the 2017/18 dairy season.

The base milk price is the average price that Fonterra pays farmers for raw milk, which was set at $6.75 per kilogram of milk solids for the season just ended.

The report does not cover the forecast 2018/19 price of $7.00 that Fonterra announced in July.

The Commission is required to review Fonterra’s calculation at the end of each dairy season under the milk price monitoring regime in the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act (DIRA). . .

Four does go into one – Sonita Chandar:

Teamwork is the secret to success for the Southland farm judged the best dairy business in the land. Sonita Chandar reports.

Despite three of the four partners living in the North Island the success of a Southland farming business can be attributed to exceptional teamwork and good clear lines of communication.

Each partner brings strengths to the table but no one is above the others. They are all equals, make decisions as a group and share in the spoils of their collective success.

MOBH Farm, an equity partnership made up of Kevin Hall, Tim Montgomerie, Jodie Heaps and Mark Turnwald, won two category awards as well as being named the supreme winner at the 2018 Dairy Business of the Year awards (DBOY). . .

Farmers rally around Cancer Society fundraiser at Feilding Hogget Fair – Paul Mitchell:

The rural community is banding together to get behind the Cancer Society, with personal connections running as deep as their pockets.

The annual Hogget Fair at the Feilding Stockyards on Wednesday is one of the biggest in New Zealand. For the second year running, farmers will donate sheep to help those who are doing it tough.

The money raised from selling the sheep will go directly to supporting Manawatū-Whanganui cancer patients. . .

Rare heifer triplets thriving on Taieri farm – Sally Rae:

Holy cow – it’s a girl. Or in the case of a heifer calving on a Taieri dairy farm last week, it was a gaggle of girls, handful of heifers.

The first-calver produced a very rare set of heifer triplets on the Miller family’s farm at Maungatua. Andrew Miller and his father Jim had never encountered triplet calves before.

Andrew was particularly amazed the Kiwi-cross calves had all survived and were now doing well in the calf shed. . .

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World’s most successful conservative?

January 25, 2015

Times columnist Tim Montgomerie asks if Prime Minister John Key is the world’s most successful conservative and offers 10 thoughts:

  1. Upwardly mobile: Key is now a multimillionaire – having been a very successful financial trader. . .  Voters liked the idea of a self-made man coming home from making a success of himself in the New York and London markets and wanting to help his country succeed too. . . .
  2. No surprises: Key has enacted some tough reforms included a rebalancing of the tax system that saw consumption taxes rise and income taxes on entrepreneurs fall. He’s privatised state assets, deregulated, introduced stricter welfare-to-work rules – enacting more than 120 liberalisation measures in total. He’s acted like a very conventional, small government conservative – trimming most budgets except health, education and science. But one of his key rules is “no surprises”. . . 
  3. No security in standing still: Speaking at the UK’s Institute of Directors last Monday morning Key was optimistic about the world economy – arguing that, because of the fracking revolution, the reduction in the oil price is likely to be a long-term boon. . . . Convincingly, he argued that governments don’t provide comfort for voters by ducking tough challenges but by meeting them.
  4. Controlled immigration is a good thing: Net immigration into New Zealand is running at twice the rate (in terms of per head of population) than it is into the UK but Key has sold it as a good thing – arguing that sick economies lose talented people but strong economies attract them. . .  
  5. Patriotic: During my interview with Mr Key he talked about why he wants to change his country’s flag: “our current flag doesn’t mean anything to us”. He thinks a new flag built around the silver fern as worn on the All Blacks’ kit is likely to be recommended to the New Zealand people in a referendum. “If you go to look at the tombstones of our soldiers interred on the western front you’ll see a silver fern. When our rugby supporters want to demonstrate that they are a Kiwi they display a silver fern. It’s fifty-fifty if New Zealanders will vote for a new flag but Canadians wouldn’t go back to their old flag and with New Zealand determined to sell itself to the world we could benefit from building a clearer national identity.” . . .
  6. A sensible green: Like David Cameron (at least early David Cameron), Key has not questioned either the science behind man-made climate change or the need to do something about it but neither has he embraced the extremism of the NZ Greens (that, like in Germany, Canada and Australia have pulled the mainstream left away from the median voter). . .  The Greens in New Zealand, like in most of the world, are actually largely Red in their politics (something this excellent Bribe-O-Meter from the NX TaxPayers’ Union proves).
  7. Balanced ticket: Key’s deputy as PM and his finance minister is Bill English. Unlike the secular and relatively liberal Key, Mr English is a devout Catholic who opposes abortion, euthanasia and same-sex unions. . . You either build broad churches within your party or you hemorrhage voters to other and possibly new parties.
  8. Polls, not pundits: One of the Crosby-Textor consultancy’s big messages to the political candidates that they work for across the world is to stay focused on the few big issues that matter to voters and that are winning issues: Stay with the big plan – don’t follow the changing mood. . . It takes guts to ignore the mainstream media chorus and follow a strategy – such as David Cameron is now doing on the election debates and raising the profile of the Greens, the SNP and the other left-wing threats to Labour’s vote. Key never talks about polls or focus groups in public but he is immersed in them. They’re much more important to politicians than any OpEd columnist (and I write that as an OpEd columnist!).
  9. Selfie conservatism: . . . Key believes that his ability to communicate directly with voters on YouTube, Twitter and especially through Facebook was important to cutting through the mainstream media and its trivialities (see point 8). Yes, he thinks social media is less trivial than the mainstream media. He might well be right.
  10. Global leadership: John Key is the new Chairman of the International Democratic Union, succeeding John Howard. In that role he’ll advance his vision of “radical incrementalism“, his experience of managing major crises (the Christchurch earthquakes) and caution about Bush-style military action. He may have a significant role in shaping the conservative moment in emerging countries in the years to come.

Hat tip: Kiwiblog


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