Why are we waiting?

11/03/2021

Australia has opened its borders to New Zealanders, why aren’t ours open to our neighbours?

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the only thing holding up a two-way travel bubble with New Zealand is our Government’s lack of urgency, Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins says.

When asked by media today on how far away a full travel bubble with New Zealand is, Prime Minster Morrison said: “I’m happy for them to open it up as soon as the Prime Minister and her Government would like to do that.”

Prime Minister Morrison’s assessment that it was up to Jacinda Ardern whether Australian tourists spend their money in Queenstown or Cairns should be a wake-up call to our Government, Ms Collins says.

“Our Government has been dragging its feet for nine months on a travel bubble while Australia has been good to go.

“Australia showed us the risks associated with a two-way bubble are minimal and manageable. They opened their border to New Zealanders in October and it has worked.

Tourism NZ estimates that a trans-Tasman bubble, combined with domestic tourism, would see tourism spend in this country return to 70 per cent of pre-Covid levels, Ms Collins says.

“A two-way travel bubble would be a major boost for New Zealand’s tourism sector, which has been all but left for dead by Jacinda Ardern’s Government.

“We need to get this bubble up and running before winter to give places like Queenstown the opportunity to have a bumper ski season.

“New Zealand could be in the unique position of being the only external tourism market for Australians to visit – Australians who have been stuck at home for 12 months.”

You can find Scott Morrison’s comments to media here at appox. 24.30.

Australia has shown how it can be done.

It allowed New Zealanders to enter without the need for managed isolation, required that when there was community transmission here and let us travel freely again when that was no longer an issue.

The closed border is threatening businesses and it is also having a very high human cost.

Trans-Tasman travellers are taking up a lot of MIQ beds that could be freed up to allow New Zealanders and essential workers from countries where Covid-19 is still in the community to come home.

I know a family who are trying to get their son home from Australia to visit his terminally ill father.

I know several others with children and grandchildren they can’t visit.

I was supposed to be the marriage celebrant for a couple last April. Their families and lots of friends were travelling from Australia and the lockdown cancelled the wedding. It was rescheduled for this month but the requirement for the Australian guests to endure two weeks in MIQ led to a postponement and they are now hoping to be able to go ahead next January.

I know two other couples with family and friends on both sides of the Tasman who won’t commit to wedding plans until the borders open.

If I can list this many without having to think, how many tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of other people are similarly frustrated by the government’s failure to come up with a plan to allow the border with Australia to open safely.

There is no community transmission of Covid-19 there and none here.

Why are we waiting when the high human cost is anything but kind to people and the economic cost is so high, possible terminal, for so many businesses?

 


Rural round-up

23/10/2020

Farm profit 26% drop predicted – Sally Rae:

Average farm profit before tax on sheep and beef farms is predicted to fall 26% this season amid continued uncertainty due to Covid-19, Beef+Lamb New Zealand’s new season outlook says.

The report, released yesterday, sets the scene for a challenging year with declines predicted in both sheep meat and beef export receipts as the pandemic affects global economies, consumer demand and trading channels.

Lamb export receipts were forecast to drop by almost 15% and co-products to decline about 8% compared with the 2019-20 season. Beef and veal export revenue was predicted to decline by 9%.

The uncertainty in the export market would be reflected in farm-gate prices and subsequent farm profitability, B+LNZ’s chief economist Andrew Burtt said in a statement. . . 

Jobs warning over migrant worker rules – Sally Rae:

Jobs are in jeopardy in the meat processing and exporting sector unless the Government recognises the essential role of its skilled migrant workforce, the Meat Industry Association has warned.

About a third of the country’s 250 halal processing workers would have to leave New Zealand next year due to the Government’s one-year stand-down policy, MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva said in statement.

The loss of those people, along with ‘‘hundreds of other essential meat workers’’, could result in reduced production and job losses in New Zealand’s largest manufacturing industry, Ms Karapeeva said.

“Most of the 42 halal processing plants in New Zealand now operate between 10-12 months per year. A shortage of skilled halal processing people could result in production at many plants being limited to six months in the year, which would mean processing of livestock for farmers is severely disrupted and employees might be let go. . . 

New woman at the helm of IrrigationNZ – Annette Scott:

Irrigation New Zealand is to be guided by a new chief executive in a new location and with a refreshed strategy. Annette Scott talked with Vanessa Winning about her new role.

FORMER DairyNZ farm performance manager Vanessa Winning is looking forward to leading New Zealand’s irrigation sector as it heads into a new era of management and renewed focus.

Winning has been appointed the new chief executive of IrrigationNZ, taking up the role in the organisation’s new Wellington base.

Following a review of the organisation’s activities the board, in July, put renewed focus on solving the tension between the fundamental need for irrigation in a post-covid NZ and the sector’s increasingly restricted license to operate. . . 

Campaign launched to help keep New Zealand Food and Beverage in hearts and minds of global consumers:

A global campaign designed to grow awareness, preference and demand for New Zealand Food and Beverage products in the key export markets of Australia, China, Japan, the USA and the UK has launched today.

The campaign, titled ‘Made with Care’, is being led by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) and is part of a wider ‘Messages from New Zealand’ country brand campaign, which sees Tourism New Zealand (TNZ), NZTE, Ministry for Primary Industries, Education New Zealand and New Zealand Story join forces to promote New Zealand’s brand on the world stage.

New Zealand’s food and beverage industry is a key player in our economy, accounting for close to 46% of all goods and services exports in the past year. In 2018/2019, the industry had a combined revenue of $71.7 billion, with exports reaching more than 140 countries. . .

CBD lifts mānuka value higher – Richard Rennie:

If a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down, then a snap-pack of Manuka honey may help you down a daily dose of CBD. Richard Renniespoke to Derek Burchell-Burger of Naki New Zealand about the company’s ground-breaking cannabidiol-infused honey nutraceutical.

For centuries cannabis and honey have been remedies used by assorted civilisations, and a Taranaki-based company is combining the two as a unique nutraceutical product.

“Indigenous cultures have been putting medicine in honey for generations, honey is a very good delivery system,” Naki New Zealand global marketing manager Derek Burchell-Burger said.

With Manuka honey’s popularity rising particularly over the covid pandemic, the company saw an opportunity for adding the therapeutic cannabidiol (CBD) to leverage off Manuka’s health and healing claims. . . 

 

Highly productive dairy farm and cropping operation placed on the market for sale:

A former market gardening operation now fully converted into a highly productive dairy farm and supporting cropping unit in the Eastern Bay of Plenty has been placed on the market for sale.

The 153.9-hectare property at Otakiri some 24-kilometres west of Whakatane milks a herd of between 410-430 cows to produce between 133,000-153,186 kilogrammes of milk solids annually, while also producing maize and silage for the herd.

The farm is made up of seven freehold land titles – all with a flat topography and linked by an extensive and high-quality network of crushed-lime races – with the maize and silage grown on a pair of 7.5-hectare blocks within the property. . . 


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