Rural round-up

January 11, 2012

Educating the politicians – Hugh Stringleman:

Farmers were criticised as “affluent and effluent-rich” during the general election. They responded by voting blue (National) in every rural electorate except the West Coast. But the green wave in the 50th parliament will now grab farmers’ attention.

For the first time since 1996, under the MMP election system, a minor party gained more than 10% of the party vote in the recent election, and that was the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand.

The Greens gained nearly 11% of the party votes cast and will have 13 MPs in the new parliament.

They include young urban activists, environmental campaigners, party officials, academics, and an organic farmer. . .

Farming 2011 a year to celebrate despite the sorrow – Tim Cronshaw:

It’s not often the planets line up to form a near-perfect farming year.

History shows it’s a long time between drinks before the party hats come out. The 1890s were memorable as a period of recovering wool prices and the advent of refrigeration when sheep meat could be safely shuttled off to the motherland.

So was the wool boom of 1951 when prices tripled overnight from United States troops needing warm uniforms during the Korean War.

Otherwise, there have been more mundane than good years in Canterbury farming and, at times, it’s bordered on the ugly as debt levels pile up. Not this season though. . .

Taranaki farm’s spirited growth strategy – Sue O’Dowd:

Establishing stands of native bush on his farm has been a spiritual journey as much as a practical one for an Egmont Village farmer who now sees himself as a custodian of the land.

Last month, Prime Minister John Key presented a Taranaki Regional Council certificate to Wayne Peters and Alan and Barbara Harvey, of Opunake, for completing the riparian planting programme on their farms.

What started as idle curiosity led to Mr Peters developing a passion for Maoridom and embarking on a spiritual journey, during which he studied te reo, established links with Maori organisations promoting health and wellbeing and learned about New Zealand’s native flora and fauna. . .

Cartels protect producers not consumers – Offsetting Behaviour:

Mark Schatzker explainshow Canada’s agricultural cartels help keep quality produce from Canadian foodies (HT: @acoyne):

But here’s what hasn’t been said about supply management: It is the enemy of deliciousness.
If you have ever wondered why you can buy heritage chickens such as the famed poulet de Bresse in France but not in Canada, or pastured butter the colour of an autumn sunset in Ireland but not in Canada, or why it’s so hard to find pastured eggs here, the reason is supply management. . . 

From city to country – Eileen Goodwin:

Ask Sandy Price for tips to give prospective lifestyle farmers and she does not muck around.   

 “If you’re not prepared to get your hands dirty, don’t get into animals.   

 “Where there’s livestock, there’s dead stock.”   

 Sheep were high maintenance, so dealing with unpleasant problems, such as flystrike and maggots, or a complication of  lambing when a ewe pushed its innards out, were part of the      job. . .

Olives heart of family’s new lifestyle – Lynda Van Kempen:

For the good oil on Bannockburn, look no further than Trevor and Sue McNamara.   

The married couple “walked out of our life” in South Otago 18  years ago and shifted to Central Otago with their two young children, for a change of lifestyle.   

They have never looked back or regretted taking the gamble, and say they are truly living the good life on their 0.8ha property . . .

Remarkables Park Stud rivals best antlers in country:

Remarkables Park Stud in Queenstown, renowned for consistently producing huge two year old stud sire stags, says its successful breeding programme now has it rivaling the best antlers in the country.

In 2012 its breeding programme has produced many multi-pointed yearling Spikers, including a massive 27-point Spiker sired by Craigie, crossed over a daughter of Hamberg, a German trophy stag.

Craigie, with a 601 SCI (Safari Club International) international trophy score, is famous for having produced one of the biggest sets of antlers ever seen in the world. . .

Countrywide’s November issue is available here.


Can blustering be genetic?

July 29, 2008

Ever wondered why Winston Peters can’t give a straight answer to a simple question?

There is an indication that it might be genetic in his brother Wayne’s interview with Kathryn Ryan on Nine to Noon  yesterday which is transcribed here. When asked about the Spencer Trust and donations to New Zealand First his response was:

“You can read between the lines. . .if anyone is suggesting there was somehow some misconduct with respect to the Spencer Trust they’re going to be sadly embarrassed,” he said.

Responding to that remark, Sir Robert said Wayne Peters sounded like a Winston Peters clone.

“He’s obviously implying it did reach the party and if that’s the case why not say so?” he said.

“This is just silly, it’s fudging the issue. I’m not holding my breath for an accurate answer.”

Silly, yes and whether it’s a result of nature or nurture this shows there is obviously a family failing when it comes to giving straight answers. 🙂

P.S. Ryan has just interviewed University of Otago associate law professor Andrew Geddes on how donations to political parties might have been legally channelled through trust funds prior to the Electoral Finance Act. It will be on-line here  soon.


Nine to Noon on NZ First

July 28, 2008

Kathryn Ryan interviewed former NZ First staffer Rex Widerstrom, Sir Bob Jones and Wayne Peters over allegations about donations to NZ First on Nine to Noon this morning.

Widerstrom said he remembers at least one conversation in which Winston Peters discussed money going in to the Spencer Trust. Sir Bob was quite clear that he was giving money to NZ First and said a journalist told him that party insiders said money given to the party had not got to it.

Wayne Peters had the same difficulty giving straight answers as his brother. Perhaps

Ryan then discussed the issues with Matthew Hooton and Laila Harre.

Harre summed it up: “The more opportunites Winston Peters has to respond to the issues and allegations the more questions that arise.”

And the more questions arise the muddier the answers become.


Only a fool would pick a fight with Bob

July 27, 2008

If Winston Peters has any personal insight he’ll already be regretting picking a fight with Sir Bob Jones who has said he will write to Wayne Peters asking what happened to the $25,000 he wrote for the Spencer Trust in 2005.

Peters has said he has “no involvement with that trust” administered by his brother, but former NZ First staff member Rex Widerstrom told the Herald on Sunday he was prepared to swear an affidavit stating the trust was set up around the time of the Winebox Inquiry to funnel anonymous donations from people who wanted to support Peters’ various legal battles.

Peters might also ask himself why he questioned Sir Bob’s memory:

Despite Peters’ claims of a failing memory, Sir Robert said that he recalled the background to the donation very clearly.

“There was a lot of drinking and when we got round to the subject [of the donation] there was a tremendous argument and I said ‘Winston, I’m not giving you anything’. Finally to get him off my back I said ‘you can have $25,000 on the basis of friendship’,” Sir Robert said.

Asked if he believed it was plausible Peters knew nothing of the Spencer Trust, he added: “Of course he [Peters] did… [But] there was no bloody mention of the Spencer Trust. The money was to go to his party.

“I don’t tell bloody lies. Why am I in the firing line for an act of benevolence? I won’t tolerate it.”

It would be difficult to find any reasons why Sir Bob and his staff would lie. There are plenty of reasons why Peters might – starting with a political career based in part on his attacks on big business involvement and anonymous donations to political parties.


%d bloggers like this: