Sri Lanka is in the grip of its worst economic crisis in decades, facing depleted petrol reserves, food shortages and a chronic lack of medical supplies.
More than a month of mainly peaceful protests against the government’s handling of the economy turned deadly last week when supporters of the former prime minister stormed an anti-government protest site in the commercial capital Colombo.
For New Zealanders, the troubles being experienced by Sri Lanka’s 22 million people might trigger humanitarian concerns but – at first blush – have little to teach us about good policy.
Kiwis therefore may shrug off Sri Lanka’s plight as the consequence of incompetence by the governing Rajapaksa brothers, one of whom has resigned as prime minister, the other whose job as president is under threat.
But the policy blunders that precipitated the crisis should be studied by policy wonks in this country Continue reading “What NZ can learn (is Greenpeace listening?) from Sri Lanka’s blundering to combat climate change by going organic”
Despite pouring $2.9 billion of taxpayer funds into the battle against climate change, the Ardern government won few plaudits from climate change lobbies – and copped a severe caning from Greenpeace for refusing to cut dairy herds.
As Radio NZ reported,
“Climate activists say the government’s landmark plan to curb emissions is light on detail, full of fluff, and lets the worst polluters off the hook”.
Government ministers were nevertheless ebullient about their package, believing they had delivered a master stroke in earmarking $569 million to help low-income families get cleaner cars while winning over farmers with a new agricultural emissions centre.
Greenpeace saw that rather differently. As their spokesperson put it:
“The Emissions Reduction Plan gifts $710 million to the agricultural industry – a quarter of the entire Climate Emergency Response Fund which it has not contributed towards”. Continue reading “Greenpeace gripes at govt’s greenhouse gas agenda but agriculture leaders welcome it (and push genetic technologies)”
Dairy prices have hit a new peak at Fonterra’s Global Dairy Trade auction. The GDT index shot up 5.1% to an average price of US$5,065 (NZ$7,509). Whole milk powder rose 5.7% to US$4,757 a tonne while cheddar rocketed up 10.9% to $6,394.
Butter prices gained 5.9% to an average US$7086/tonne, anhydrous milk fat 2.1% to US$7048/tonne and butter milk powder firmed 5.8% to US$4217/tonne. Skim milk powder was up 4.7% to US$4481/ tonne.
“This train isn’t slowing down,” said NZX dairy insights manager Stuart Davison.
Other business-sector commentators see the boom in the dairy sector injecting new strength into the economy at a time when it is badly needed, with other sectors like international tourism and hospitality hard hit by the Covid pandemic.
Bidding at the auction was fierce, driven by the tight supply position, as well as Russia’s war on Ukraine. Continue reading “NZ’s economic outlook is given a lift as dairy prices rise again”
Just as the dairy season hits its peak, Fonterra farmer-shareholders are confronted with a key decision on the capital structure of the big co-op. The board is asking them to vote on the proposal at the annual meeting next month.
Consultation on the proposal with farmer-owners has been ongoing throughout the year, with some tweaks announced in September before a second round of discussions. But Fonterra leaders have been clear they wouldn’t put the reform forward for voting if they believed the support wasn’t there
Farmers have had little time to enjoy the news that the co-op has raised its forecast payout for the current season to a record level. Nor is the capital structure the only issue triggering worry in the cowshed.
The government’s focus on climate change, particularly methane emissions, is another matter weighing on the industry, exacerbated by outfits like Greenpeace shouting the odds about “industrial farming’’ and “dirty dairying”. Continue reading “Capital restructuring is one big issue for Fonterra farmers – but they must respond to environmental challenges, too”
Our Beehive bulletin
Oh dear. Greenpeace is grumping at the farming sector’s agreement to make immediate improvements to intensive winter grazing practices for the coming season with help from the Government.
The problem for Greenpeace is that – in return for the farming sector’s commitment – the Government has deferred the introduction of intensive winter grazing (IWG) practice regulations until May next year while these improvements are made.
Rules preventing the expansion of IWG will still apply but Greenpeace wants a much earlier halt to the farming practice whereby stock are confined to outdoor feeding areas planted with fodder crops.
The Government’s announcement of its decision on winter grazing was one of several decisions posted on the Beehive website since Point of Order’s previous Beehive report. The others are- Continue reading “Greenpeace is grumping at winter grazing decision which gives farmers more time to address environmental challenge”
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”
In another era, it would have been the lead story on every news channel. But in a country brainwashed into believing it’s apocalypse now, either from global warming or Covid-19 (and possibly both), news of a “significant” oil and gas discovery offshore in Taranaki barely registered in the mainstream media, although the New Zealand Herald did record it in the business pages.
There has not been a major energy find in NZ since 2006, and given New Zealand has only 11 years of gas reserves left, the discovery could be an exciting outcome at a crucial phase for the NZ economy.
Austrian giant OMV reported the Toutouwai-1 wildcat, drilled to a total depth of 4,317m some 50 km off the Taranaki coast in 130m of water, encountered several hydrocarbon-charged reservoir zones during drilling. Continue reading “Promising gas find is reported without much hoopla – Taranaki will welcome the boost but the Greens are coy”
The arrival of the self-propelled, 34,500-tonne offshore drilling rig COSL Prospector in Taranaki heralds an important stage in the exploitation of NZ’s oil and gas resources.
The first task for the rig is to drill three side-track wells for Malaysian-based Tamarind at the Tui offshore field, in the expectation it can extend the life of the field beyond next year and lead to the extraction of 6-8m barrels of oil.
Then the rig is contracted by OMV, operator of the offshore Pohokura and Maui fields, to drill an exploratory well in the Great South Basin.
OMV, which also operates the offshore Maui and Pohokura gas fields, expects to begin drilling towards the end of the year – potentially using the COSL Prospector if consents are secured. OMV’s first well lies in about 1,200 metres of water 130 kilometres south-east of Balclutha. If successful, the programme potentially could involve drilling 10 wells, up to two further exploration wells and up to seven for appraisal. Continue reading “Drilling programme is vital in ensuring NZ does not become dependent on imported oil and gas”
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”
PM Jacinda Ardern has been making waves in the Swiss Alps, we are informed by Amanda Larsson of Greenpeace NZ, writing in the Dominion-Post. It’s a feat to command worldwide attention.
Moreover, Larsson believes Ardern quickly emerged as a “star of the show” at the World Economic Forum and a leader on climate change.
“We should be proud that, with the eyes of the world on us, we’re returning to our rightful place on an issue of great moral fortitude”.
But, wait for it,
“ … before we bask too much, we must also turn our eyes closer to home and make sure that what we’re doing to tackle climate change matches our bold global stance”. Continue reading “Climate change and environmentalists – it’s time they gave the green light to GE science”