At last there’s some recognition from the government that it needs to revise its policy on gene editing. It follows a report from the Royal Society Te Aparangi on the considerable benefits gene editing can bring to our lives.
Climate change is being widely accepted as one of the greatest threats facing mankind.
The more extreme Green lobbyists contend it could lead to the extinction of the human race — but the same Green lobbyists resist the gene editing science.
Largely as a result of pressure from the Green Party, the provisions governing gene editing, including genetically modified organisms (GMOs), were amended in 2003 in line with the government’s overall policy of proceeding with caution while preserving opportunities.
Work in gene editing was not prohibited , but scientists found the policy so difficult to navigate that those working in the field have been forced to conduct experiments and trials abroad. Continue reading “Royal Society report heaps more pressure on government to review GM law – but Green extremists are an obstacle”
This is the second chapter in the woes of Fonterra, and behind it the dairy industry, on which the New Zealand economy is so dependent.
Point of Order listed some of those woes last week. Now, in the wake of the latest revelation, Fonterra will have to absorb a loss of between $590m and $675m for the current financial year.
Critics of the industry have sprung to the attack: Minister of Regional Economic Development Shane Jones is calling Fonterra’s management “corporate eunuchs” and labels Fonterra’s board as “grossly inept”.
Greenpeace has a simple solution: halve the dairy herd, a move that would cost the country $8.3bn in lost exports, and lower the standard of living of every New Zealander.
Jones’ ideas to resolve Fonterra’s financial difficulties are hardly more realistic.
Sacking the board won’t solve anything: nor trying to recruit a new executive team (though it might be worth asking Chris Luxon if he’d take a look). Continue reading “Farmers are getting more milk from each cow – they deserve a much better performance from Fonterra”
It’s shaping up as a tough season for New Zealand’s dairy farmers, who once proudly wore the label of the “backbone of the NZ economy” , earning by far the largest share of the country’s export income.
So what are the problems confronting the industry?
Uncertainty in markets, for starters. Prices at the latest Global Dairy Trade auction this week slid downward for the fifth time in six auctions.
The Chinese economy is under pressure as Trump steps up his tariff war. Brexit is a threat which could disrupt NZ’s dairy trade to both the UK and EU markets.
At home the big question is whether Fonterra, after racking up a $196m loss last season, can claw its way back to profit. Continue reading “Fonterra’s financial wellbeing and global auction prices are among the dairy sector’s challenges”
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has named senior diplomat Jan Henderson as NZ’s representative to the International Whaling Commission (IWC).
He says her experience will enable NZ to make a constructive contribution to this important body. Henderson’s career with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade includes roles as High Commissioner based in Bridgetown, Barbados, as well as New Zealand’s High Commissioner based in New Delhi, India, and Ambassador based in Ankara, Turkey. She also served as the Director of Environment Division where she was directly involved in International Whaling Commission issues.
Peters says NZ strongly supports the IWC’s efforts to protect the ocean’s ecosystems.
The IWC is the intergovernmental body established under the International Convention to Regulate Whaling 1946. It is comprised of 89 members. It meets biennially and will next meet in Slovenia in 2020. Continue reading “Senior diplomat is named to represent NZ on International Whaling Commission”
Finance Minister Grant Robertson insists the NZ economy has “solid fundamentals”, as Point of Order noted last week. He concedes there is uncertainty because of slowing global growth, Brexit, and trade wars but argues NZ’s economy is doing better than what he calls its international peers.
He reckons there are “many, many signs that things are getting better under this government”.
So what to make of the report this week from ANZ Bank economists titled “That Sinking Feeling”?
Bracing for this week’s release of Q2 labour market statistics and the RBNZ’s August Monetary Policy Statement, they look at some of the key developments the RBNZ will have to consider, “and it’s not looking pretty”. Continue reading “ANZ economic comment draws clouds over Robertson’s sunny outlook – but Stats NZ brings good job market news”
PM Jacinda Ardern has been flying her government’s flag in the Tokelaus, as well as featuring on the cover of Vogue, achievements few of her predecessors have managed.
Such events have almost certainly strengthened the conviction of those who believe she has focussed the eyes of the world as never before on this country.
In any case, when Opposition Leader Simon Bridges attacked Ardern for being a “part-time prime minister” it was almost as if he had committed some kind of sacrilege. The NZ Herald’s cartoonist reacted with what he no doubt thought was a clever drawing showing Bridges scraping the bottom of the barrel.
Ardern’s mate Grant Robertson was hot under the collar, too. He raged that Bridges had been “disrespectful to the office of prime minister” and was engaging in “dirty politics”. Not only that, but there were “sexist overtones” in what Bridges was saying. Continue reading “Sure, the PM made the Vogue cover – but polls suggest some of the lustre has been lost”
You’ve got to hand it to Shane Jones. Even when he is not playing the fairy godfather role in the provinces he can make the headlines.
There he was on the front page of the NZ Herald last week with the message that NZ needs to review its genetic modification-free “gospel”.
Of course this raises alarm bells among the Green lobbies, because it is an article of faith among Green politicians that they “saved” NZ when a ban was applied to the application of GM in this country.
But Jones reckons if NZ is going to find a solution to meet the climate change transition, then it must apply weapons from the arsenal of science and technology. His intervention followed the concerns raised by the government’s Interim Climate Change Committee that laws surrounding GM could be a barrier to lowering farm emissions.
Continue reading “The Green Gospel on GM is under challenge – from Shane Jones as well as Sir Peter Gluckman”