An effective campaign against the RMA reforms will be a nightmare for Hipkins.
After a Budget that failed to excite voters and a lacklustre party conference where his senior colleagues faintly praised him for his proletarian taste in food, the very last thing Chris Hipkins needs is a light shone on the vexed topic of co-governance.
An aficionado apparently not only of sausage rolls but also of spaghetti on toast (according to Kelvin Davis and Grant Robertson respectively), the Prime Minister is no doubt still hoping he can steer the election debate almost entirely towards “bread-and-butter” issues. Unfortunately for him, raising awareness of the co-governance provisions in the new RMA replacement legislation going through Parliament is central to the Taxpayers’ Union’s latest national campaign. With the title “Hands Off Our Homes!”, the roadshow will take in 30 towns and cities over three weeks, after beginning with a meeting last Monday in Christchurch.
Federated Farmers, which also strongly opposes the legislation, will co-host nine of the scheduled events. The tour ends in Whangarei on June 22 — less than a week before the Environment Select Committee is due to deliver its report on the Natural and Built Environment Bill, which repeals and replaces the Resource Management Act 1991, working in tandem with the Spatial Planning Bill. Continue reading “GRAHAM ADAMS: “Co-governance for your deck!”” →
The Ardern government is claiming a world first in its policy to cut agricultural emissions.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern asserts that its proposal “delivers a competitive advantage, enhancing our export brand”, and…
“No other country in the world has yet developed a system for pricing and reducing agricultural emissions, so our farmers are set to benefit from being first movers.”
Farmers themselves may be bemused, if not bewildered, by the Government’s spin because critics claim the scheme aims to reduce sheep and beef farming in New Zealand by 20% and dairy farming by 5%, to achieve what Federated Farmers labels “the unscientific pulled-out-of-a-hat national GHG targets”.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor seeks to put the best face he can on the government’s policy, saying that
“… by rewarding farmers who take action to cut their emissions we can support more farmers to improve their productivity and profitability while achieving climate goals. Continue reading “Pricing farm emissions: it’s great to enable NZ to boast a world first – but how much culling must be done to achieve it?” →
One of two ministerial announcements posted on The Beehive website over the past two days was denounced by the SAFE animal rights group in a statement headed Mud farming continues in the South Island.
Federated farmers headed their press statement Pragmatism finally prevails on winter grazing.
The tone struck in the headline on the Government’s press statement was much more in harmony with the feds’ statement than the SAFE one. It read Proposed intensive winter grazing regulations updates are more practical for farmers.
It was posted on The Beehive website along with news about the end of NZ Defence Force evacuation flights from Kabul.
Latest from the Beehive
Final Kabul evacuation flight completed
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said the last flight by a New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) C-130 Hercules evacuating people from Afghanistan’s capital Kabul landed back in the United Arab Emirates last night, prior to reports of explosions at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul.
Proposed intensive winter grazing regulations updates are more practical for farmers
Proposed changes to intensive winter grazing regulations are being consulted on that will make them practical for farmers to comply with while ensuring improved environmental outcomes, Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor announced today. Continue reading “Pugging and pragmatism – Feds welcome winter grazing proposals but SAFE blasts continuance of “mud farming”” →
Greenhouse gas emissions from dairy farming have reached an all-time high – but emissions from the dairy cows themselves have dropped year-on-year.
Well you might be. And to many it might not matter much, but for NZ’s most important export industry, it looms as a vital issue.
The calculation depends – apparently – on who collects the statistics. The first is from Statistics NZ, the second from the Ministry for the Environment.
Inevitably, the industry says the second is the better measure because statistics which show dairy farming emissions have increased capture too many irrelevant categories.
Radio NZ reports Stats NZ figures show dairy cattle farming emissions rose 3.18% (up 546.2 kt CO2-e to 17,719.4 kt CO2-e) between 2018 and 2019, the most recently reported year. This is the highest figure on record, dating back to at least 2007.
The Stats NZ figures count all emissions produced on dairy farms, regardless of what the emissions stem from. Continue reading “Dairy industry emissions depend on who does the measuring but Greenpeace presses for a culling of the herd regardless” →
The world stands on the brink of a food crisis worse than any seen in the last 50 years, the UN has warned as it urged governments to act swiftly to avoid disaster.
So what is the Ardern government doing about it? Shouldn’t it be working to ramp up food production? After all, NZ prides itself on being among the world’s leaders in producing high-quality food.
Instead, Climate Change Minister James Shaw is celebrating being “ ambitious” in tackling what he calls the climate crisis with, he says,
“ … necessary rule changes that will incentivise NZ’s biggest polluters to invest in the transition to a clean, climate-friendly economy”.
This includes putting a price on farming emissions. Shaw reckons it’s great that this puts NZ further ahead on climate action than many other parts of the world. Continue reading “Agriculture Minister is missing in (in)action while climate change warriors harry NZ’s dairy industry” →
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor eschewed the words “Gypsy Day”, in a press statement yesterday that addressed dairy farmers’ concerns about what would happen on June 1. He preferred “Moving Day” and said Moving Day will go ahead as planned this year, but with strict controls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Reporting this news, Farmers Weekly explained that Moving Day is also known as Gypsy Day and occurs on June 1 each year when many dairy farming families, sharemilkers, contract milkers and employees move to new farms to start new jobs and milking contracts.
Yet another expression was incorporated in a Federated Farmers press statement headline on April 9: GYPSY / MOOVING DAY.
In the statement, the feds said they were aware of the level of concern among dairy farmers over how the annual 31 May/1 June “Gypsy Day” or “Moving day” shift would work under the COVID-19 controls. Continue reading “Whatever it is called, Gypsy Day will go ahead this year and cows will be mooved – but under strict COVID-19 controls” →
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” →
Is Westland Milk one of NZ’s “key strategic assets”?
NZ First is adamant it is and believes the government should be a applying a “national interest test” to the proposed sale of the company to the Chinese dairy giant Yili.
Those who see heavily indebted companies like Westland Milk struggling to make a profit and not even matching Fonterra’s payout to its suppliers might take a cooler view to the proposed sale.
Federated Farmers dairy chairman Chris Lewis said he had received “mixed” feedback from West Coast farmers on the deal, which will require 75% approval. Continue reading “NZ First is not alone in worrying at the implications of a Westland Milk sale to Yili” →
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor didn’t win too many new friends (and may have lost some) with his decision on the review of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act, the 2001 legislation which set up Fonterra supposedly to become a “ national champion”.
We all know how that has turned out.
So what were the reactions to O’Connor’s latest move to improve the legislation which initially had the objective of “promoting the efficiency of NZ dairy markets”?.
Fonterra chairman John Monaghan said the company was disappointed it still has to supply milk to large, export-focused businesses. Continue reading “Fonterra and farm leaders gripe at O’Connor’s DIRA decision – Greenpeace is even more grouchy” →
Federated Farmers today says it is puzzled why our national carrier is making a song and dance about an overseas-produced plant protein burger but not the Kiwi company that supplies them with world-leading transportation fabrics – wool.
Exactly who has been making a song and dance of the vegetarian addition to the airline’s inflight cuisine, however, is arguable.
On July 3 Air NZ announced it is giving customers “a taste of the future” through an inflight collaboration with Silicon Valley food tech start-up Impossible Foods. Continue reading “Politicians could stop beefing and take definitive action to support “real meat”” →