Parties are given more time to persuade us they have the best plan to restore NZ’s post-Covid economy

So  the   election  date  is settled:  PM  Jacinda  Ardern  says  she  won’t  change  her  mind  again.

Implicit  in that is  the  assumption   the  current   Covid-19  outbreak  will  be  brought  under control  well before  then.  Didn’t  we  hear  Winston Peters   say:

Holding an election during a COVID outbreak has the risk of serious interference in our democracy”?).

At   least, with  the  delay  until  October  17,  there  may  be   a  chance   the more  persuasive influences  on  voters’  minds will be  re-weighted as they enter  the  electoral  booths.

The halo enveloping  the  prime minister  could have ensured  a  50%-plus  party  vote  for  Labour,  had  the  election been  held  on  the original  date.

Now  Opposition   parties,  if  they  have the  political  smarts  to do so   (and  Point of  Order concedes  there  have been  few signs  so far they actually  exist)    can  give  the  electoral  tree  a  good shake. Continue reading “Parties are given more time to persuade us they have the best plan to restore NZ’s post-Covid economy”

A business-as-usual approach at Fonterra won’t produce the food-production transformation which Sir Peter Gluckman is urging

As  the  Covid-19 pandemic  rages   round the world,  New  Zealanders  are  re-discovering food production  is the fundamental  engine of  the   economy.  And farming is not a sunset industry.

Instead of being rubbished   by lobby  groups  for  so-called “dirty dairying”,  the  country’s core  export industry has the chance  to transform itself to be  both more  sustainable and  profitable, along  with remaining one of the main props of the  economy.

Coincidentally,  dairy  giant  Fonterra  gets a   new  leader  in Peter McBride  who  takes over  as chairman in  November.  McBride   steered  Zespri   through  several  crises.   Now, he  says,  he is looking  forward  to  “creating value”   for the co-operative’s 10,500 suppliers.

It’s  a challenge  even more  acute  because   the  co-op  has only   just emerged from racking  up  a  $605m  annual  loss in the  2019  financial year.   Fonterra  did  that  as  other  dairy companies  were  turning  into   stars  on  the  NZ  stock exchange:  A2 Milk, for example,  became  the NZX’s second-highest capitalised stock. Continue reading “A business-as-usual approach at Fonterra won’t produce the food-production transformation which Sir Peter Gluckman is urging”

The Green Gospel on GM is under challenge – from Shane Jones as well as Sir Peter Gluckman

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”

Green co-leader will be led by science – but GM is not yet a Shaw thing

The  Ardern   government  wants to  lead the world  in implementing  measures  to  combat  climate  change.  Prime Minister  Jacinda Ardern put her personal stamp on this by saying it will be  her  government”s  “nuclear-free”  moment.

The science  on  global  warming  is clear,  say  both   Labour and  the Greens.   So  shouldn’t every   kind of  science   be  used  to  combat it?

Well,  no,  says  the  Green  Party.  It  refuses   to  contemplate  genetic  modification  as an instrument   for  example   in the  campaign  to  make  NZ-predator   free.

Predator Free 2050 is forbidden from carrying out any research which could lead to the use of genetic modification or gene editing, a letter written by Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage shows. Continue reading “Green co-leader will be led by science – but GM is not yet a Shaw thing”

O’Connor delivered good speech on NZ agriculture and GHG – but advice on GM deserved a mention, too

It’s a  long  way from  Westport  to Berlin   but  most  New Zealand farmers would probably  say  Agriculture  Minister  Damian  O’Connor  did pretty  well in his speech to the International Conference on Agricultural GHG Emissions and Food Security  this week.

He  told   his audience the global community needs more food of a higher quality and with less environmental impact than ever before, and NZ with its low population density and a temperate climate is ideal for agricultural production. Continue reading “O’Connor delivered good speech on NZ agriculture and GHG – but advice on GM deserved a mention, too”

Super grass offers huge benefits – and it’s green! Pity about the GM …

Environmentalists should be encouraging NZ’s development of ryegrass with the potential to substantially increase farm production, reduce water demand and decrease methane emissions.

We are told the grass has been shown in AgResearch’s Palmerston North laboratories to grow up to 50 per cent faster than conventional ryegrass, to be able to store more energy for better animal growth, to be more resistant to drought, and to produce up to 23 per cent less methane (the largest single contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions) from livestock

On top of these environmental benefits, the potential value of GDP based on AgResearch’s modelling “is in the range of $2 billion to $5 billion in additional revenue depending on the adoption rate by farmers,AgResearch principal scientist Greg Bryan said almost two years ago.

There’s just one snag. Continue reading “Super grass offers huge benefits – and it’s green! Pity about the GM …”

McVicar rejects “loopy” tag – and he may bridle at being called an “expert” too

The headline atop a press release from the National Party complained the Government had again showed a contempt for expertise:  “Govt arrogantly dismissing experts and academics”.

The Ardern-Peters Government continued to arrogantly show it didn’t want its ideas challenged and that it is willing to insult those who disagree with its ministers, National’s Deputy Leader Paula Bennett says in the statement

Point of Order was aware of some recent examples she referenced.

Housing Minister Phil Twyford scoffed at the ‘kids’ at Treasury who were ‘fresh out of university and … completely disconnected from reality’ when they produced a forecast which raised questions about the impact of the KiwiBuild policy on residential construction. Continue reading “McVicar rejects “loopy” tag – and he may bridle at being called an “expert” too”