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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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 …”
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”