Farmers had plenty to digest this week: first, the Ministry of Primary Industries assesses exports from the sector will hit a record high $55bn in 2023; second, the government took an important step back on the on-farm sequestration programme; and third, Field Days at Mystery Creek engrossed those who attended (though perhaps not the Prime Minister, given the cool reception).
The MPI data showed Dairy again NZ’s largest export sector with forecast revenue due to top $23.3bn. That underlines how important the dairy sector has become in the NZ economy. Red meat and wool exports are also expected to hit a record at $12.4bn.
Horticultural export revenue is projected to grow 5% to $7.1bn and processed food by 3% to $3.3bn. Continue reading “Ardern government seeks to butter up farmers with bold export forecasts and on-farm sequestration changes “ →
Buzz from the Beehive
Conflicts between Treaty of Waitangi demands to protect Māori healing methods and the influence of medical science on health regulators have been anticipated, as the Government introduces the Therapeutic Products Bill in Parliament.
The Bill, aimed at modernising the way medicines, medical devices and natural health products are regulated, replaces the Medicines Act 1981 and Dietary Supplements Regulations 1985 with a comprehensive regulatory regime “that is fit for the future”.
But the Treaty-twitchy government is eager to avoid the conflict that seems inevitable when modernising the regulatory regime – to provide all New Zealanders with health products and services that are safe, high-quality, and effective – rubs up against obligations to preserve the Maori way of doing things.
Accordingly, Associate Health Minister (Māori) Peeni Henare tells us of “a new workstream” which will consider how “rongoā” might be protected in legislation.
Rongoā is traditional Māori medicine, including herbal medicine made from plants, physical techniques such as massage, and spiritual healing.
This makes it an “alternative treatment”, but in this country it is a Beehive-blessed and state-subsidised alternative treatment. Continue reading “Govt moves to modernise control of our meds, but wait: Māori healers can bring the Treaty (signed in 1840) into the mix” →
In a week when the Ardern government achieved one of the biggest stumbles of the modern era, with its backdown over the KiwiSaver GST move, it did record one positive outcome with a $26m research programme to prove to the world why New Zealand food and fibre should be always the number one choice.
That was the drum Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor was beating, showing again he is one of the few Cabinet Ministers who gets a pass mark in his field.
In an era when climate change warriors are casting doubt on New Zealand’s farming industries, and calling for the nation’s dairy herd to be culled, O’Connor says he wants to enable farmers to make informed decisions on the financial and environmental benefits of adopting regenerative farming practices.
“The Government is backing a new $26.1m programme to undertake the most comprehensive study of pastoral farming in New Zealand.”
He contends — with powerful trade data to support him – that our economic security depends on the primary sector, which this year earned us a record $53.3bn in exports. Continue reading “Pastoral farming gets a lift from $26m for ‘regenerative agriculture’ research – but should scientists start by defining it?” →
Buzz from the Beehive
We can’t call it a profusion, but partnerships other than the Treaty one popped up in despatches from our busy, busy Beehive workers.
There’s the primary sector partnership, for starters.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor mentioned this when banging on about food and fibre exports – they accounted for 81.4 per cent of New Zealand’s total exports in the year to 30 June – and the part his government plays in producing them.
“Fit for a Better World is a true partnership that will pay dividends in the coming decade, and our record export revenue shows what can be achieved through Government and sector collaboration.”
Let’s not look too closely into how government is impeding food and fibre producers.
The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Oceans and Fisheries, Rino Tirikatene (readers may recall), has been beating the Treaty partnership drum while chapioning the dismantling of democratic electoral procedures in local government.
He has been writing newspaper articles which defend his support for legislation which has enabled Ngai Tahu to bypass the electoral process and appoint its own representatives to seats on the Canterbury Regional Council.
Essentially, he is paving the way for democracy to be corroded in other parts of the country by arguing that tangata whenua are entitled to rights to representation that are superior to the rights of all other New Zealanders.
But there are other partnerships on his agenda.
He announced he has flown to Tarawa, Kiribati to represent New Zealand at the 19th Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee Ministerial Meeting and 3rd Regional Fisheries Ministerial Meeting. Continue reading “Let’s hear it for partnerships – and for the involvement of central government in formulating a future for forestry” →
Buzz from the Beehive
The country’s food and fibre exports are expected to top $52.2 billion in the year to June 30, the first time they have surpassed the $50bn mark in a year.
This plainly is momentous news: it took three ministers – Damien O’Connor, David Parker, and Stuart Nash, plus an Associate, Meka Whaitiri – to release it.
Point of Order certainly sees it as significant, and believes it is vital the government should be doing everything it can to stimulate the primary industries, helping them to lift output – and exports – to even greater heights. That includes ensuring dairy herds are not culled in a quest for resolving the problem of global warming.
The latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (or SOPI) reports that food and fibre exports are forecast to rise almost 10% ($4.6 billion) on the previous year. Continue reading “Food and fibre exports are booming – here’s hoping the Govt doesn’t try to muffle them” →
Monitoring the Ministers
We suspect women don’t aspire to gain equality with men in all measures of gender disparities.
Prison musters provide an obvious example.
In September this year males accounted for 94.3% of the prison population.
This clearly means women were far behind with just 5.7% – and that percentage was lower than the 7% recorded in September 2018.
Elsewhere in our criminal justice system, changes to help women are being effected through the passage of the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill, which will:
- entitle sexual violence complainants to use alternative ways of giving evidence, including by pre-recording their cross-examination evidence in appropriate cases;
- ensure evidence about a complainant’s past sex life is off limits, unless it is clearly highly relevant; and
- require judges to talk to the jury to dispel any misconceptions relating to sexual violence (often called ‘rape myths’) that might be brought into a case.
Mind you, Justice Minister Kris Faafoi dispelled any impression there is a gender bias in the legislation. It includes changes to benefit all witnesses, not just those in sexual cases, he said. Continue reading “Sepuloni tackles a matter of gender imbalance – but do women really want a bigger share of payments from the ACC?” →