web analytics

A meeting in Wanaka

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, September 13th, 2017 - 162 comments
Categories: david parker, Environment, farming, labour, water - Tags:


This election has the attention of farmers. It was instructive to attend a meeting on Tuesday night in Wanaka with David Parker on water quality and commercial water charging.

Easy 100 people. Standing at back. Parker’s slide show illustrated the multiple damaging intensive farming practices. No farmer in the room argued that rivers were getting better after that.

Then came water pricing. Some younger farmers could see that a cost to alleviate the environmental impact was worthwhile. Most didn’t. The Otago Regional Council apparently has done a great job defending the environment according to one farmer, when all the others were terrible. They came across as righteous entitled snowflakes.

Parker was saturated in policy detail, in histories of river catchment, in his personal history of fishing. Unflappable and fact based. It was people from the audience that gave strong debate with the unrepentant farmers.

I cycled from Wanaka to Hawea on Saturday in a horizontal snowstorm. At 11k’s I rode next to a cyclone fence and a long irrigator arm, with a large herd of cows huddled in the snow. No shelter. I thought: what are you making? Ice cream?

Maybe the $NZ dollar will sink with a Labour government, so agricultural commodities boom, so Labour gets political cover to implement charging. Maybe.

Parker can’t do worse than the Land and Water Forum results. He was clear most farmers hate the idea of any charge. And he knows he must target regional councils.

If the government changes, it must not be bullied by agribusiness lobbyists. They will come for them and will orchestrate the rage.

From what I saw, Parker will defeat them with a calm delivery of irrefutable facts. And sound policy. This fight will be big.

162 comments on “A meeting in Wanaka ”

  1. Robert Guyton 1

    Farmers, in the main, are infuriated by Parker’s words. The battle for this election is being staged in the rural sector where National and the Feds are aiming to terrify their troops into open warfare. The Divide! The Divide! It’s all The Green’s fault – or GreenPeace – same thing. Forest & Bird! They’re the WORST!!!

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Its the trouble with modern politics. That we are still debating what is destroying river quality or causing climate change or what is the cause of child poverty in 2017 is incredible.

      There is a dark selfish aspect to humanity that too often drives decision making.

    • lprent 1.2

      Not so much with the farmers as with their suppliers in rural and provincial towns.

      But I think that even there it is mostly a fight between National and NZ First, with Labour being the weapon. Neither wants to scare off voters (or each other as potential coalition partners) in that area so they are scaring each other with the socialist bogeyman.

      The daft thing about it as a campaign is that the days of ‘free’ or very cheap water are numbered regardless who gets in.

      National will try to monetise it by irrigation schemes and the like – cheap upfront funding and a long income stream. But for it to work then the water itself needs to be clean upstream.

      The cities and regional councils are likely to start paying more than lip service to the concept of water security and will start pulling farmers and businesses individually through the courts.

      If they don’t, then various action groups including ones like game and bird will. That latter is a direct result of this government making the fresh water council a laughing stock as being completely ineffectual.

      And I’m expecting a lot more legal actions between farmers. Fresh cleanish water is in increasingly short supply.

  2. lprent 2

    Parker will defeat them with a calm delivery of irrefutable facts. And sound policy.

    I like David Parker because that is what he does. He will be a hell of a minister again.

    But I hope that he isn’t lost in the AG role. He is way more useful front footing issues that need explanation to specialist audiences. He would have been so useful back during the similar startup of the left government back in 2000.

    • Ad 2.1

      It was useful last night to hear his commercial history starting up A2 Milk and other innovation-led agribusiness.

      Also his understanding of how Uruguay GATT round had accelerated lowest cost dairy production here.

      He had broad context, as well as moral purpose from the slide show.

      • lprent 2.1.1

        It was always what I liked about DP. Coming from a business background with startup, exporting, manufacturing and farming connections I prefer to see people in Parliament who have actually done enough of those things to understand the issues.

        The left does tend to have a surplus of policy wonks, lawyers, teachers and unionists. The most useful of which are usually the latter.

        National has a similar problem with their profusion of small town business people who have little or no grasp of the world outside their own little corner of the crony capitalistic sphere. Steven Joyce being a classic example – someone who gets shafted every time he tries to negotiate with any real businesses.

        In fact the most surprising thing about DP is that he actually volunteered to go into politics at all. It is a deadly boring profession if you have real world skills. I have been fortunate in being able to bypass my unfortunate sense of duty into volunteer work or this site 😈

    • greywarshark 2.2

      Explaining things to the public, that’s what honest governments should be doing.
      You say Parker is good for specialist audiences lprent. Labour and the Greens should be going round talking, with power points with clear examples of graphs, interspersed with small pictures of clean and dirty rivers just to remind people of what they are facing and faecing.

      And iron hand in the velvet glove:- Steps to take immediately, to be notified and inspected within three months. Those who haven’t started will have the job started and be charged for it. Fencing off rivers, checking irrigation flows, working out what level of dryness will result in irrigation etc. It doesn’t need to be used every day. Advice on what level of stocking will produce what result with what feed. An understanding of mixed pasture and its advantages and allowing ‘weeds’ to grow and which to weed out. Generous sharing of grass and feed research from government advisors. Perhaps putting hedges in of tagasaste or tree lucerne.

      There should not be sudden withdrawal of anything from farmers, but immediate gradual decline in bad practices should be axiomatic. (That sounds a good word for the situation.) And planning assistance on how to manage down and still keep the farm. (A good idea would be for the greedy not to go all out on borrowing to get multiple farms like the Crafurs.)

      Robert G may comment on this, tree crops say tagasaste is much better than gorse and does similar things, nitrogen fixer. Palatable to animals and if allowed to flower bees like.

      • Andrea 2.2.1

        ” tagasaste ” – also popular with kereru in spring. Could be useful in providing cover and corridors for movement and habitat of indigenous species in addition to birds.

        • Robert Guyton

          Don’t know that tagasaste is “better than gorse” – gorse and broom are verypopular with kereru and both serve as colonizers for the denuded landscapes we create. Tagasaste doesn’t “self-spread” as readily as the other two and in my view, it’ll take rampant invasive plants to set things right – planting teams are great but can’t match the march of, say, wilding conifers or river-spread gorse and broom. Just have to be let to complete their cycles, that’s all 🙂

      • Robert Guyton 2.2.2

        Hey,Grey. I went to David Parker’s public address in Invers some months back and thrilled to his antagonistic delivery – he shot down myths like a Southern duck-hunter, stirred shamelessly and didn’t pull his punches – my “own” regional council got a stropping-up in the process, which I thought fair. I noticed that everyone on the receiving end of his lecture acted offended and hurt – human nature, I suppose, but self-defeating. That said, he was an enormous disappointment to me many years earlier when he spoke at another meeting about climate change – back then, he hadn’t, it seemed to me, a clue. Plenty of water has passed under many bridges since then, so I expect he’s grasped the true importance by now. At the recent meeting, I lured him into declaring that a major problem with decision-making in regional councils was farmer-councillors. I expect the same factor affects Central Government decisions – irrigation, for example.

        • greywarshark

          Hi Robert G
          I once got an old document about the formation of a group of irrigation friendly councils down the SI and it seemed that there had been a coalition formed to support it. That was my impression.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    There is an ugly mood among farmers which is scary to watch.


    The sector gets subtly subsidised via the ETS, Crown Fund for irrigation, tenure review etc etc. The farm real returns are in tax free capital gains, as is well known. So farmers are dead scared of any CGT or inheritance tax. Parker has dealt with them before, he knows all this chapter and verse, and that just serves to infuriate them.

    $’s aside, the questions around clean rivers are equally serious. Denial, evasion, intimidation, you name it… the extreme side of farming politics is coming out and it is not funny.

    • roy cartland 3.1

      The problem is that even with all the incentives, subsidies and support they are granted, they still manage to mortgage themselves so highly they become dependant on this welfare.
      So the mere suggestion that they actually contribute a little to what they use and spoil is heart-stopping to them.
      The system’s encouragement is the cause, they are just the natural consequence.

    • Union city greens 3.2

      “There is an ugly mood among farmers which is scary to watch.”

      Nothing as frightening as a farmer who thinks they won’t be able to have another new gas guzzling 4×4 parked outside the farmhouse after fieldays.

  4. cleangreen 4

    Agree with all comments here, we need to buy-in the farmers not bludgeon them as the Greens are doing.

    I was Green Party once and not now so we need to make Greens more ‘amicable’ to other views now.

    That was why I left the Greens in 2002.

    Why did they eject Graham Kennedy as he has a massive following globally. and this shows graphically the stubbornness Greens are noted as being, – with the lack of amicable support for differing views.

    I forecast that the only way we on the left can take control of the Government benches is to have all three ‘potential’ Government coalition partners being labour greens, NZ First must get together now to form a grand coalition.

    No time to wait. –

    Call me a peacemaker but someone needs to bang these thick heads together and see sense finally.

    The outcome if not is disasterous for us all.

    • lprent 4.1

      Why did they eject Graham Kennedy as he has a massive following globally

      More that he ejected himself as far as I can see.

    • roy cartland 4.2

      Come back to the Greens, CG. They want farmers as part of the solution – even farmers can see that their model is unsustainable. There is money to be made in tree-planting and reparation.

      NZF are too loose a cannon. How many times have they let us down over the years?

    • Bearded Git 4.3

      Kennedy Graham walked out shafting the party in the process. There is no way back for this kind of selfish destructive stupidity.

    • Agree with all comments here, we need to buy-in the farmers not bludgeon them as the Greens are doing.

      We tried that 15 years ago when they said that they didn’t regulation and that they would do the Right Thing™. 15 years later and things are getting worse. After we’ve given them that sort of time to clean their shit up and they continue to Fuck Things Up then we have to stop being nice.

      I was Green Party once and not now so we need to make Greens more ‘amicable’ to other views now.

      Why would we do that when the other views are actually wrong?

      Why did they eject Graham Kennedy

      Because he broke the rules and what LPrent said.

    • greywarshark 4.5

      The Greens are the only Party consistently trying to break through the social welfare, good governance and ecological damage problems. Note the social welfare which Labour and everyone else is ambivalent about. Hone Harawira may be the only other Party really responsive. Labour however are trying.

      But Greens are bigger than you in their views Nature Boy.

  5. grumpystilskin 5

    I was talking with some farmers the other day bemoaning how tough things were, then they mentioned how awesome their annual 6 weeks on holiday in Northern Europe was. Hard to take them seriously after that information. Yeah, I know not typical but..

    • Adrian 5.1

      No ,it is typical, I am one, but it’s taken me 25 years to get comfyish, and my wife is still working full time and at last we can see our kids on the other side of the world every two years or so. But Europe and Hawaii are overrun with other bloody Kiwi farmers.

      • weka 5.1.1

        willing to bet there are a fair few farmers with holiday houses in Wanaka too.

        • Antoine

          People are entitled to have holidays and baches if they can afford them.

          (I’m not saying ‘don’t charge for water’)


          • Andrea

            “People are entitled to have holidays”- and too many can’t afford them. There are still kids in this country who have never seen the sea because they can’t cover the cost of the bus trip. And that’s just the urban ones.

            Baches and cribs are a whole different story.

  6. Patricia Bremner 6

    Sadly we all will cook along with the planet.

    All the subsidies in the world won’t change that unless they are targetted to change behaviour.

    The farmers who use methods other than intensive water dependent farming should receive green payments to encourage the maintenance of good habits.

    People do what works for them, so pay for good practice.

    Charge for overstocking and irrigation and poor land management. Behaviours will change.

    • Sans Cle 6.1

      Tax the “bad”, $ubsidi$e the “good”. Redistribute within the agri sector.

      • KJT 6.1.1

        Totally agree. And there are many farmers who are trying to do the right things.

        They should be encouraged.

        Green policy, despite the alarmist BS from Fed farmers, is intended to help farmers into long term sustainable agriculture. Not put them out of business.

        Unfortunately, business models that depend on low wages, freedom to pollute and tax paid subsidies for their externalities, are not sustainable long term. Farming capital gains, is only a short term enterprise.

    • cleangreen 6.2

      Patricia you are so right here,

      I have a small 7 acre ‘recluse’ up in the mountains behind Poverty Bay next to what some may call an intensive farm of 200 Ha but this farmer is as green as i am still after living alongside him here with my small patch.

      We reuse our water again and again through filtration and use of Hydrogen peroxide.

      What we need to learn is to use only intensive farming where water is abundant as it is here next to large native bush areas as those forests do handle riparian cleaning of our groundwater.

      Strikingly unlike the clay soils of the flat land below us under the mountains.

      The Motu begins here also, and we have seen most farmers fence stream/ culverts ect’ here now.

      But the road authorities (NZTA )do miserably badly and very little to stop ‘road run-off ‘ of not only tyre, clutch, brake dust, but NZTA don’t control stock effluent that runs off the back of those stock trucks when on-borad holding tanks overflow!!!!

      That stock effluent runs into our waterways and aquifers and winds up in our drinking water.

      So we need to lean on NZTA to clean up their ‘bloody act’ now not in 20 yrs time as National has planned.

      Meng Foon Barked at Winston Peters in Gisborne yesterday while Winston was here talking at a public meeting by asking what will NZ First do about (quote) “our terrible roads”

      Winston calmly asked Meng Foon who in Gisborne is sticking up for the people of Gisborne about rail and other infrastructure?

      Meng did not answer as Meng is now wanting roads and has forgotten rail, so Winston replied quote “well Mayor Foon, you must use all transport modes port, road, rail all together as that is the way it is done around the world now”

      That showed us that Winston is as Green as the Greens are.

      Then the day before 11th September 2017 in North Auckland at another political forum ‘the Northland Rail forum’ Winston was along with the Greens both were calling for the restoration of regional rail services.

      There are some similar agreements between them we must observe honestly.

      • So we need to lean on NZTA to clean up their ‘bloody act’ now not in 20 yrs time as National has planned.

        No, that is the farmers needing to clean up their bloody act. Those on board holding tanks shouldn’t be over-flowing.

        The only thing that can be done about tyre, brake and clutch dust is to get the cars and trucks off of the road – which we also need to do.

        • Rosemary McDonald

          “No, that is the farmers needing to clean up their bloody act. Those on board holding tanks shouldn’t be over-flowing.”

          Trouble is….there may be an issue with the distribution of disposal sites.


          • Draco T Bastard

            That’s still the farmers problem. They need to take that into consideration when sending their stock off in trucks and then change the number of stock on the truck so as to prevent over flow.

            • weka

              What we really need is on-farm, shared local abattoirs. e.g. Joel Salatin’s Polyface Farm in the US. They’re not perfect, but it does increase the transparency of farming, and removes a whole bunch of current barriers to sustainable farming. There’s a rort in the current system, very hard for organic farmers to get the offal back to sell for instance. And too many farmers are having to transport stock across province then back to the farm if they want to sell it locally.

              • Another example of ‘Economies of Scale’ bringing about an uneconomic result.

                Even local abattoirs owned by the local farmers would probably be better than large, far away abattoirs owned by someone else.

                Still it won’t be long before that’s fully automated as well making local abattoirs better.

              • cleangreen

                Weka is absolutely correct.

                Thanks for the feedback.

                What consecutive government’s have done is to ‘encourage’ business ‘rationalisations’ by closing down local meat works and milk treatment stations as we all know just come to Gisborne/HB and you will see what is wrong here now.

                Milk tankers come from Opotiki full when they get to Gisborne and then have to travel all the way to Manawatu now as they have closed down any HB milk treatment stations of any volume, and then the product comes back to port of Napier for export all by road.

                Total around road trip of 994 km per tanker and stock truck travel is almost the same because meat works also were rationalised too.

                it’s a f——ing mess they have caused us all.

                The NZTA are responsible through their RMA act to provide effluent draining stations not the farmers Draco T barstard sorry so read the Road Controlling Agency (RTA) literature for clarity.

                That is why we have been fighting for 16 yrs for a better stock transport use of rail in our regions as when we had rail they had stock yards and better control travel and less stress of stock.

                I recall recently a case where a farmer allowed stock to be left on a truck for days and stock suffered so there is need of better transport again as we used to have with those close by processing facilities too.

                • cleangreen

                  By the way Draco there are F—all effluent draining stations between Opotiki & Manawatu.

                  NZTA are doing everything in the provinces outside ‘the golden triangle’ on the cheap as they are spending big on Auckland road to holiday homes.

                  • By the way Draco there are F—all effluent draining stations between Opotiki & Manawatu.

                    Then the farmers need to adjust to meet the limited resources and stop polluting our roads and waterways.

                    And, yes, rail is a far better option but the farmers still have to work within what is there rather than going beyond it.

                    NZTA are doing everything in the provinces outside ‘the golden triangle’ on the cheap as they are spending big on Auckland road to holiday homes.

                    That would be National and their delusional RONS.

                • greywarshark

                  The British caused the spread of their deadly disease of cattle (was it bovine enchpahilits or spongy brain?) because of the long treks of cattle to centralised works, along with the spread of disease along the routes infecting almost the whole country.

                  Industrial agriculture is as mindless as industrial machinery business. Money from profit and Ricardo’s point of comparative advantage win the day against all other important and responsible behaviours.

        • greywarshark

          While we wait for The Right Methods to be brought in there needs to be remedial work done right now. Delivering statements of ideological purity doesn’t deal with now. Miracles take a little longer!

          Now, we need stuff done now – while keeping the right behaviour in the front of our thoughts to be actioned next.

          • Draco T Bastard

            What a load of bollocks.

            We do need stuff done now – we need the farmers to act in the limits of what’s there and not just go off and do whatever they like to make the most money at our expense.

      • Andrea 6.2.2

        ” very little to stop ‘road run-off ‘ of not only tyre, clutch, brake dust,”

        Who has the ongoing responsibility to monitor the short and long term effects of this pollution? Does it include the tainting from run off after road sealing work? What code of practice do we have for the material removed from ditches and culverts? Who ensures it’s followed?

        Who is responsible for the distribution of the information – and making enforceable recommendations throughout the country?

        We do this with building materials; why not also for roading materials?

        So often, in this country, work is begun, recommendations are made and then, with scarce a ripple, the initiative slips beneath the budget, wriggles a few times – dies. Until there’s some sort of chronic catastrophe…

  7. millsy 7

    I think the only solution at this juncture is to pay farmers not to pollute.

    Parker should have just sat down and said, “How much $$ will it take for you to stop polluting our waterways”.

    Farmers only understand one thing: money. Labour should promise a monthly cash payment to farmers on the condition they stop polluting. And dress it up as a payment towards helping farmers lessen the environmental impact of their operations.

    • lprent 7.1

      The question with that approach is if they are a honest blackmailer – do they stay brought? Or do they say one thing and carry on doing another.

      Based on the measurements in our waterways compared to the protestations of Federated Farmers about how farmers have been taking care of the waterways over recent decades, I would say that they are not. We need more inspections by bodies not associated with MAF, some stinging fines, and if required some jail time for recalcitrant offenders.

      • Ad 7.1.1

        More inspections by Sainsbury’s and Woolworths would be effective.

        • greywarshark

          Yes Ad you bring in an important point. The drive by some supermarkets to show they are buying ethically and with maximum traceability may be a deciding factor in losses to farmers and consternation and obedient action in the farming nation, that seems to keep itself separate from other NZs, that no tax or effort at reasonable government controls will.

      • We need more inspections by bodies not associated with MAF, some stinging fines, and if required some jail time for recalcitrant offenders.

        I’d say that we need to take the farm off of the polluters – while leaving them with all the debt. Should be able to use the proceeds of crime act.

        I think you’ll find that many farmers would be willing to clean their act up if we actually got serious about enforcing the rules even as they are.

    • cleangreen 7.2

      100% Millsy.

      We all need to own the “water pollution” as we all mostly drive vehicles that cause ‘road pollution runoff’ too.

  8. greywarshark 8

    From post above –
    They [farmers staunch on keeping present policies] came across as righteous entitled snowflakes.

    Parker was saturated in policy detail, in histories of river catchment, in his personal history of fishing. Unflappable and fact based. It was people from the audience that gave strong debate with the unrepentant farmers.

    If we townies and others of enlightened rural people will have to keep up the fight for NZ. That is what it is. The farmers have settled into the farmers first and only attitude that we started our colonialism with. We have gone backwards from being the educated, smart-thinking business bucaneers in a first world that we have in our imaginations. Sure we have got into the IT world to some extent but we hang our everything on the pegs we get from farming and tourism income.
    We have succeeded in IT. But the IT world seems so volatile.

  9. Adrian 9

    Some sanity on the water charge.
    I grow grapes in a bloody dry area and crop 80 to 100 tonne depending on the season.
    I have a water allocation of 126 cubic metres a day, of which I only use about 80 c.m.
    For the full allocation that is $2.50 a day, $17.64 a week and $282.24 for a 4 month season. Usually only irrigate for 3 months equilivant, again depending on the season.
    That’s $225.79 for the season.
    Grapes are worth up to about $1800 a tonne or $180,000 in a very good year.
    Fuck me, that 225 bucks is going to cripple me.
    I heard some tosser complaining on the radio this morning that the charge was going to cost him $100,000 a year, if he was growing grapes, admittedly a high value crop, he could grow 44 thousand tonnes of grapes and that’s 79.9 million dollars of income.
    Something may be wrong with all the figures because the total NZ grape crop is around 360 ,000 tonnes or $818,000 water charge at 2 cents a cubic metre for the entire NZ grape crop.
    That’s not a lot of money compared to the projected income that the alarmists are quoting.
    BTW, what the fuck is he growing that needs that much water, one farmer using an eighth of the entire NZ grape harvest water use ?.
    P.S, that 180 grand looks like a lot of money but a huge proportion of it goes straight back out the door and I’m coming in to a two month period when frost can wipe out the lot in 5 minutes.

    • lprent 9.1

      Even after spending 6 months working on a town supply farm 40 years ago, I still can’t figure out where in the hell some of the volumes of water that some in the farming community are tossing around could even be used. Horticulture possibly? But you damn near have to be leeching the nutrients out of the topsoil by running the soil as a boggy mess at the numbers of litres they are talking about.

      And that is before we get into the lying by the likes of Federated Farmers and the National party about the probable costs per litre.

      • pat 9.1.1

        nope…those figures are about right in some cases (esp here in canty)…even at 1-2 cents per cubic some are looking at 10s of thousands…..you have to remember that a 2 week rotation at say 25mm coverage over perhaps 1000 h equals a substantial quantity of water…..and therein lies a potentially valid argument from the sector….it is not exclusively irrigators that are responsible for say the likes of nitrate contamination….and remembering that is additional to other significant cost increases associated with irrigation.

        Theres no doubting the need to modify behaviours but suspect this is going to be a drawn out negotiation once the election is over and it is highly likely there will be some modification of the policy before it is implemented.

        • weka

          do you know how Labour came up with the 1 – 2c/L number?

        • Draco T Bastard

          those figures are about right in some cases (esp here in canty)…even at 1-2 cents per cubic some are looking at 10s of thousands…..you have to remember that a 2 week rotation at say 25mm coverage over perhaps 1000 h equals a substantial quantity of water

          Well then, perhaps they’ll get innovative about supplying water to the farm. Or perhaps they’ll realise that what they’re farming is simply the wrong thing and stop doing it and start farming something else.

          These are, BTW, the actions that the pricing mechanism is supposed to bring about. So, your argument is that we need the pricing mechanism to help show these farmers the error of their ways.

          • pat

            you personalise it and simplify it to the point of nonsense….there has indeed been considerable innovation with irrigation, some of which has had unintended consequences and some that has been beneficial…..there is no denying modified behaviours are required, however knee jerk reactions are unlikely to find the best solutions….it will require negotiation (in good faith) by all parties….not condemnation and confrontation…I would expect that everyone would hope for the same if the boot was on the other foot.

            • Draco T Bastard

              you personalise it and simplify it to the point of nonsense…

              No I didn’t. I just put it into market speak so that farmers would understand it. The same stuff they use when the price difference between NZ produced food in NZ and the UK is brought up.

              .there has indeed been considerable innovation with irrigation

              If so then it’s failed and we need more that actually resolves the problem.

              I would expect that everyone would hope for the same if the boot was on the other foot.

              I wouldn’t. After all, there was no consideration given to all those made redundant by state actions in the 1980s/90s.

              So, why should such consideration be given to farmers who should’ve known for a long time that such regulation was coming and yet did nothing about it? Who only whinged when their deplorable actions were brought up?

              • Pat

                you have selective memory re the 1980s reforms (assuming you even experienced them)….farm values halved, and the impact on the rural communities was every bit as devastating as anything that occured to those made redundant…….as to whinging I expect they’ll have plenty of competition from all quarters as the changes that are needed are proposed……fortunately keyboard warriors won’t be the ones making the decisions.

                • you have selective memory re the 1980s reforms

                  I remember them quite well – being one of the ones made redundant. I even recall the screams of the farmers at the time as some subsidies were removed. They quietened down pretty quick though – probably didn’t want to draw attention to all the indirect subsidies that they still get like clean, fresh water for nothing.

                  And you’ve still not come up with any reason why consideration should be given. If there’s a bad practice then it needs to be ended ASAP.

                  • Pat

                    then your memory fails you….go and read some history…as to being made redundant , you really don’t want to get into a pissing contest.

                    • You’re the only one trying to turn this into a pissing contest.

                      The thing about the farmers and their whinging is that they always seem to make out all right as the government steps in and helps in some way (Fonterra’s legislation for example) after crying wolf while the other people sometimes don’t and the government removes their support.

      • cleangreen 9.1.2

        Correct Iprent,

        Our neigbour up in the Gisborne hills has 500 acres and uses only one 22000 litre tank for his cattle water supply every two weeks and is happy to contribute to a fund to help clean up the water pollution.

        At two cents a litre he would pay $10 to 20 a week at worst or $500 to $1000 yr not the thousands the national party & Farmers Federation are claiming.

    • Bearded Git 9.2

      But an argument put forward by a farmer at the Wanaka meeting was that he, as
      a farmer in the Maniototo , had to rely on irrigation in that very dry climate to such an extent that it would cost him $81,000 a year for irrigation at a cost of 2 cents per 1000 litres.

      He is a sheep and beef farmer, not dairy.

      Maybe the policy needs to be tweaked for this situation? Maybe 1/2 a cent a litre is enough? Other options? Maybe he shouldn’t need to use that massive volume of water?

      • s y d 9.2.1

        Or maybe trying to farm sheep and beef in that environment isn’t actually feasible?
        Perhaps camels may be more suitable?

      • weka 9.2.2

        That’s bullshit. Farming in places like the Maniototo didn’t used to need mass irrigation. What’s changed? The industrial farming sector has convinced many farmers to shift how they farm, but that’s the risk they all took. Climate change was already on the horizon. I’m not adverse to financial help for farmers to wean themselves off irrigation, but they need to stop with the whole ‘we can farm how we like’ stuff.

        • Antoine

          So there needs to be a bit of clarity about the intent of the policy. Is it intended to cause some farmers, in some sectors, in some areas, to (a) reduce waste of water, (b) reduce their operations, or even (c) get out of the business entirely? If so, which and why?

          To me it looks like the rate of the water charge is a bit low, if the intent is to force changes in land use. I would have thought most users would just pass it on or take a hit from their bottom line – rather than doing anything differently on the ground.


          P.S. I would much rather have seen a more sophisticated regime where the price of water varied depending on scarcity, nil in a flood, very high when drawing from a non-renewable aquifer…

          • weka

            writing a post on that as we speak 🙂

          • Draco T Bastard

            If so, which and why?

            Their choice and because The Market says so.

            I would have thought most users would just pass it on

            In theory they can’t pass it on. The price that they get is the price that The Market pays. If the price that they get doesn’t cover the costs involved then they have the choice of improving productivity, reducing costs or shifting to doing something else entirely.

            That’s the theory but we do know that many will simply pass the cost on because they can.

            P.S. I would much rather have seen a more sophisticated regime where the price of water varied depending on scarcity, nil in a flood, very high when drawing from a non-renewable aquifer…

            Nope. That’s not how The Market works. The market would supply water at a single price. The users of the water would then choose if they can continue as they are or choose to work differently.

            The problem we’ve got is twofold:

            1. The government didn’t set any limits to water availability (dependent upon source and time)
            2. The government didn’t set a price on water

            These two omissions has resulted in unsustainable and inefficient water use. The farmers, who’ve engaged in these rather stupid practices, are now whinging about not being able to continue with them.

            • Antoine

              >> I would much rather have seen a more sophisticated regime where the price of water varied depending on scarcity, nil in a flood, very high when drawing from a non-renewable aquifer…

              > Nope. That’s not how The Market works. The market would supply water at a single price.

              Absolutely false, a massive misapprehension.

              A true market (clearly not possible in this case) would price at the intersection of supply and demand.

              In the absence of a true market, we should aim for ‘market-like’ pricing, where what is scarce and highly desired is expensive, what is available in abundance is cheap, and what is available to excess is free.

              > The problem we’ve got is twofold:
              > 1. The government didn’t set any limits to water availability (dependent upon source and time)
              > 2. The government didn’t set a price on water

              On this I agree.

              But a single price, nationwide, at all times of year and regardless of the source of the water, is not the answer. That is far too blunt of an instrument.


              • A true market (clearly not possible in this case) would price at the intersection of supply and demand.

                At a single price.

                In the absence of a true market, we should aim for ‘market-like’ pricing, where what is scarce and highly desired is expensive, what is available in abundance is cheap, and what is available to excess is free.

                That’s not how the market works although people believing that’s how the market works is what’s causing the problem. In a market everything has a price and there is no excess. And it is that wrong belief that led to the two-fold problem that I enunciated and you agreed with.

                But a single price, nationwide, at all times of year and regardless of the source of the water, is not the answer. That is far too blunt of an instrument.

                Actually, it’s the only one that can be done because we don’t have a perfect market. Just imagine the screams of outrage that would happen if the farmers in Canterbury were charged 5c/m^3 while the farmers on the west Coast were charged 1c/m^3.

                Of course, if such did happen then there’d theoretically be a market to ship water from the West Coast to Canterbury which would result in both having a water price of 5c/m^3 or perhaps even more.

                But what we’re really talking about here is a resource price. The price that the government charges for simply taking of a national resource. We should be doing this with all of our resources rather than the royalty system that we have for most of the rest.

                • Antoine

                  > Just imagine the screams of outrage that would happen if the farmers in Canterbury were charged 5c/m^3 while the farmers on the west Coast were charged 1c/m^3.

                  Yes, this is the sort of thing we need. I don’t know why you say it can’t be done.

                  > there’d theoretically be a market to ship water from the West Coast to Canterbury which would result in both having a water price of 5c/m^3 or perhaps even more.

                  This is crazy talk, you can’t ship water from the West Coast to Canterbury for that price


                  • This is crazy talk, you can’t ship water from the West Coast to Canterbury for that price

                    Then the price of water to everyone will go up to over 5c/m^3. That’s what the market does.

                    I don’t know why you say it can’t be done.

                    Read all the way to the bottom of my comment.

                    • Antoine

                      > Read all the way to the bottom of my comment.

                      I did. I think you have some funny ideas about markets. You have got the idea that a market can only have a single price applying at all locations. That’s not how most markets work, certainly not most real markets, not even most theoretical idealised markets. If you want to have a discussion about the subset of theoretical idealised markets that have a single price everywhere, then go for it, but leave me out of it.


                    • You have got the idea that a market can only have a single price applying at all locations. That’s not how most markets work, certainly not most real markets, not even most theoretical idealised markets.

                      That’s exactly how markets work.

                      At location A there’s a water price of 1c/l
                      At location B there’s a water price of 5c/l

                      Result: Water will be shipped from location A to location B until the price stabilises at 5c/l in both places thus maximising profit (while also doing massive environmental damage).

                      But that’s immaterial as it’s the government setting a price on the nations water resource. Not on the shipping, not on the extraction but on the resource itself. And when a government does that they need to set the same price everywhere with limits on the availability changing per location.

                      We don’t want the idea that if we just pay more we can have more or, the obverse, that if we just made more available from a region it will be cheaper. The limits need to be fixed and that means a fixed price.

                    • Antoine

                      Well, you go talk to NZLP mate, cos what you don’t want is exactly what they’re planning (price varying between regions, but no new limits on quantity) and I and mainstream economics say they’re right.


                    • I and mainstream economics say they’re right.

                      You mean the economics that causes:

                      over-use of resources
                      destruction of the environment

                      That economics?

                      Yeah, I think we’ve had enough proof that it’s wrong.

                  • cleangreen

                    Build a water supply pipe as California has done?

                    They shouldn’t have allowed water extraction from our best deep bores for export drinking water was just another national F—Up>

                    • Patricia Bremner

                      Worst are the carpet baggers.

                      Buyers who buy land for existing water rights, then stop farming and start selling water.

                      A huge problem in California.

                      We are on the cusp.

                      It will involve hard choices to make changes and manage markets,

          • Muttonbird

            I would much rather have seen a more sophisticated regime where the price of water varied depending on scarcity, nil in a flood, very high when drawing from a non-renewable aquifer…

            It does if you bothered to pay attention when it was announced.

            • Antoine



              • Muttonbird

                Here you go, you lazy prick.

                The royalty will be flexible to reflect the scarcity or abundance of water in different regions, the different quality of water, and its use.

                The royalty for bottled water will be based on per litre and the royalty for irrigation water will be based on per 1000 litres. It will be proportionate and fair.share on twitter


                • Antoine


                  Well (a) that hasn’t been properly communicated by Labour, and (b) it don’t impress me much, until and unless someone figures out how to set the price in a given place at a given time.


                  PS When I say “not properly communicated by Labour”, I am referring to the likes of David Parker running round saying “about a cent per thousand litres” rather than “possibly nil, possibly lots, depending”

                  • weka

                    I think if you want that level of detail the onus is on you to go look it up on the party’s website. Some of the Green Party policy docs are 20 or 30 pages long. You can’t fit that into a five or even 15 min media interview.

                    • bwaghorn

                      ”I think if you want that level of detail the onus is on you to go look it up on the party’s website. Some of the Green Party policy docs are 20 or 30 pages long. You can’t fit that into a five or even 15 min media interview.”

                      that is why the left can’t win an election , over complicated long winded messages that national can drive a truck load of shitting burping cows through. most voters are simple fuckers if they don’t get it you lose

                    • Antoine

                      SO the risk here is that either:
                      (a) Labour feels obligated to cap the charge at about a cent per thousand litres, which is far too small and won’t achieve anything tangible, or
                      (b) Labour charges a lot more than 1c/kL in at least some areas, and the electorate gets aggrieved (fairly in my view) because the charge is a lot bigger than advertised.


                    • weka

                      a 20 page policy document isn’t a message, it’s a comprehensive, independently costed plan of how to run part of government once in office. It’s a good thing because it many of the questions the media and pundits will ask. The message is a different thing and as I already pointed out, you don’t try and present the whole policy in that messaging via the media. If people like Antoine want detail they need to go to where the detail is.

                      It’s bizarre to suggest that the Greens shouldn’t have fully costed policy. It’s one of the reasons why they’re one of the most competent parties in parliament.

        • Corokia

          What’s changed in the Maniototo and elsewhere is that many farms have converted to dairy.
          BTW,Living down south and travelling past intensive dairy farms you can’t help notice the stink. Lots of farming practices smell but dairy takes it to a whole new level.

          • weka

            I live within cooee of a dairy farm (who doesn’t?), I know what you mean. Some of the smells at the moment I’m having trouble identifying 🙁

            Yes, Maniototo and many other places think they need irrigation because they’re trying to force the land against the natural climate. It’s happening with non-dairy a bit too. All so stupid.

      • Maybe the policy needs to be tweaked for this situation?

        No, it doesn’t.

        He should look at farming something else that doesn’t use as much water or, perhaps, not farming that location at all.

      • Psycho Milt 9.2.4

        …it would cost him $81,000 a year for irrigation at a cost of 2 cents per 1000 litres.

        It would? So, he’s using 4 billion litres of water a year, then? We need to stop taking our political opponents lies at face value. They are liars and their lies are for political (and in this case, financial) gain. Slap them down when they try to peddle this bullshit.

        • Bearded Git

          Hi Psycho….shamefully I hadn’t worked out those numbers…..you are absolutely right 4 billion litres is massive, over 10 million litres a day.

          The guy was probably talking total bollocks.

          An interesting fact mentioned by Parker at the meeting was that only 2% of rivers are within urban areas, which should shut the farmers up on the issue “why aren’t they being charged in the cities”.

          • Psycho Milt

            Didn’t mean to imply negligence on your part, I’m just well sick of the blatant lying from National and its supporters about this. You’d think being caught out over the $18 cabbages and the $11 bil budget hole would have taught them to tone it down a bit, but apparently not.

        • Graeme

          Working of ORC’s figures for seasonal irrigation limit http://www.orc.govt.nz/Documents/Publications/Farming%20and%20Land%20Management/Aqualinc%20October%20%202006.pdf (6300 m3/ha for the Upper Taieri ) they’d be irrigating 650 ha. That would be a 1.4 km long pivot irrigator.

          There’s a few of them around Otago.

      • Adrian 9.2.5

        Once again, that $81,000 is about 10% of the water nessecary for the entire NZ grape crop which is worth 2 BILLION dollars of foriegn exchange.
        That is the wrong farming model.
        Go and talk to Doug Avery for gods sake.

        • Graeme

          Yeah, you’ve got to wonder about marginal pastoral farming in dry areas. Cherries have much better returns per hectare and m3 of water, as do grapes. But you see irrigated dairy set up next door to both of these in Otago. I suppose if livestock farming is all you know, it’s hard to do something else. There’s probably a degree of incrementalism in the process too, it starts off with turning water out of a race, and after a while you invest in efficiency with a pivot and then you’ve got such a tie up you can’t turn back.

    • greywarshark 9.3

      Good facts Adrian. We all need to know a bit about the agricultural – primary side of business here as it is a big part of our national earnings. I try to keep up.
      Started learning not to make a bad job putting the cups on cow’s teats and have them drop off.

  10. Michael 10

    I don’t know why Parker – and Labour – bother with farmers: they’re never going to vote for them anyway. Better, IMHO, to target provincial towns where not everyone is an unreconstructed neanderthal right-winger. Better still to try and reconnect with Labour’s base (an apology for neoliberalism would be nice) instead of appeasing its enemies. Otherwise, Labour looks as though it’s still trying to be all things to all people. And we know where that got them.

    • Ad 10.1

      Wanaka is fully reconstructed.
      It was a majority pro-Labour in the room.

      And you know what?
      Labour really are All Things To All People.
      (Some just don’t know it yet)

      So vote Labour.

  11. Ian 11

    Good to see commentors here trying to come to grips with the complexities of farming and confirming that most urbanites know jack shit about farming,farmers and rural communities. You have also confirmed to me that the proposed water tax on irrigators is a envy tax on rich farmers and has nothing to do with cleaning up rivers. Canterbury would pay $41 million dollars at 2 cents per 1000 liters and only 4 % of rivers in Canterbury are poor for swimming.
    The Auckland region would collect $500,000 and 62 % of the rivers are poor for swimming.
    Picking on irrigators is stupidity.

    • Melanie Scott 11.1

      Such a helpful and friendly comment. Just reading The Guardian today. The UN has a new report out that states that current farming practices have caused one third of the world’s soil to be acutely degraded. I live in a rural area. Always amazed at the fact that most farmers hate trees. They love denuded wastelands exposed to the high winds in the area where I live. My grandfather planted trees around each and every paddock on his farm near Whanganui. Admittedly they were mainly macrocapa and lawsonianas but they provided shade and protection for stock and must have helped conserve soil and water quality a bit. And go to England – population 60 million plus. Most farm land there much better managed than in NZ. Know many entitled farmers who think they should be able to do what they like, because we all owe them.

    • lprent 11.2

      …and only 4 % of rivers in Canterbury are poor for swimming.

      According to those interesting standards promulgated by Nick Smith – Mr Lying with Numbers. Basically the standard he picked seems to mean that there is about a 1 in 10 chance of picking up a nasty waterborne disease if you swim in it or even wade in it regularly.

      …and confirming that most urbanites know jack shit about farming,farmers and rural communities.

      The Auckland region would collect $500,000 and 62 % of the rivers are poor for swimming.

      And I see that you are fulfilling the stereotype of being a whining farmer who likes getting everything for free while never taking any responsibility for anything that they pollute. And that these particular whinging fools don’t understand urban environments and appear to be too stupid to learn.

      Auckland ‘region’ is pretty much Auckland City. The urbanised area is something like 85% of the region. It contains about 1.6 million people in an area that is a small fraction of the size of Canterbury.

      All Aucklander residents in the urban area directly pay at least $500 per year in water bills. The majority of which is for treating sewerage and waste water. Then the businesses pay as well.

      The 500k you are referring to is from the very small area that is actually irrigated and not currently paying – some urban dairy, market gardens and vineyards. Which probably produce more food for Auckland than Canterbury does. This is known as something called “efficient agriculture”, and generally most of them are also already paying both for their water and treatment. Paying for resources is a particularly good way for wasters to learn how to not waste. A lesson that you so clearly don’t want to learn. FFS it is like talking to a child.

      This means that just in WaterCare itself, there was 570 million dollars in revenue in 2016 ( see https://www.watercare.co.nz/SiteCollectionDocuments/AllPDFs/Watercare-Annual-Report-2016.pdf ), and their 10 year capital expenditure plan for capacity and water quality improvements is about 8.5 billion dollars.

      Auckland is merely the biggest. Every urban area in NZ and almost every town down to the size of hamlets has been doing this for decades.

      Unlike the lazy whining farmers like you, we spend money and effort on cleaning up our crap and we don’t expect everyone else to do it for us.

      Perhaps you should go and learn why urbanites care about their environment and what they are willing to expend to keep their working environment clean. It’d be more productive than your current policy of whining and wanting freebies.

      • Ian 11.2.2

        No one in NZ currently pays for water.
        Labours proposed water tax is a totally new concept and if you can’t see that directing it at irrigators and not other water users is nasty and discriminatory, I’m sorry.
        You obviously have no idea on what is actually happening on farms now to improve water quality , and I get the impression that you don’t want to know.

        • Robert Guyton

          The average New Zealander uses x-amount of water. An irrigating farmer uses xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx amount.
          So it’s exactly the same, aye, Ian.

          • Ian

            If a water tax is introduced obviosly large users will pay more
            Electrity generators for example need to ne charged as they are using that water to make a profit.The price of electricity will need to rise and the consumer will pay.
            The discriminatory nature of labours proposed water tax is a very big problem for labour
            A result of poorly thought out policy

            • Michael

              But hydroelectricity generators aren’t fouling the water supply for everyone else. Dairy farmers using irrigation are doing just that so make the bastards pay, I reckon. As for bottled water suppliers, although they are not fouling the water for others, they are making profits from a freely available resource that doesn’t belong exclusively to them – so make them pay too but at a higher rate to reflect the fact that most bottled water companies have at least one prominent Nat high up in their corporate food chains (ie board or senior executive level).

              • Antoine

                Have never seen it seriously suggested that power generators should pay for water. They dont consume it, they return it to the waterway after using it…

        • Psycho Milt

          No one in NZ currently pays for water.

          I’m pretty sure the PNCC doesn’t make water come out of my taps for nothing, in fact last time I looked they were billing me for it. I doubt I’m the only person in NZ receiving such bills.

          • Ian

            Settle down old fellow.I don’t tell lies.Your just jealous .

          • Ian

            I can’t see a water tax on that bill

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Semi-literate, lazy and incurious too. From the top link “Domestic water, wastewater and other charges”:

              Volumetric charge: $2.535 per 1000 litres, including GST.

              Only 100 times more than the proposed charge on agricultural polluters.

        • Graeme

          I don’t see anything in Labour’s policy that is directed just at irrigators. It applies to ALL commercial water users,

          “Introducing a freshwater royalty
          Water permit holders meet consent and extraction costs and measure quantities (if five or more litres per second) to ensure they stay within their allocations. They do not currently pay for the water itself. The National government says this is appropriate because no-one owns water.
          Labour says that everyone owns water, although some people have particular interests in it that can be valuable. We say that when a public resource such as this is being used for commercial profit, the public has a right to get a return on it by way of a royalty – as we do for oil, gas, coal, silver and gold, and even gravel.14
          It is fair that such a royalty should be paid by large commercial water users – such as water bottlers, irrigators, and other industrial users – instead of them getting it for free. Also, a royalty would encourage the best and most efficient use of freshwater – so would act as both an economic and environmental tool. All domestic uses of water would be exempt from the royalty, as would stock water uses.15
          The freshwater royalty will be set by the government at a fair and affordable level, with expert advice being sought from Treasury and others on its design, and interested parties consulted. The royalty per cubic metre of water used could vary from region to region, or within a region, and depending on the use. The royalty for pristine water good enough to bottle would be higher than for lower value uses.”

          The whole thing is here, https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/nzlabour/pages/8414/attachments/original/1504825077/Water_Policy.pdf?1504825077

          Have a read, it cover a lot more than the Resource Levy, and will affect urban people just as much with the cleaning up of urban sewer and stormwater discharges.

          • Pat

            and they’ll scream just as loud

            • Graeme

              Well, the conservative rate payers who demand that rates, and services don’t increase will kick up merry hell. They are the same ones who wouldn’t spend the money to fix these problems that have been known about for 30 or 40 years. You also get restricted maintenance budgets, so mud tanks don’t get cleaned out as often as they should, so more heavy shit off the roads ends up in waterways than should.

    • Ad 11.3

      Read the OECD report on how the world views our economy especially on unregulated rivers.

      Read the Parliamentary Commissioner on the Environment’s report on the fresh water policy of this government.

      The whole world is watching what farmers do in this election.

      The fate of Fonterra itself – and all its suppliers – rides on it.

      • cleangreen 11.3.1

        Yes AD,

        If National get returned they have a National party MP (retired) taking the present Commissioners place to rubber stamp all National’s dirty practices, then we are all screwed.

    • greywarshark 11.4

      I think your reading skills are as spotty as this revised comment by me below which I think states your points more clearly and adds other queries that must have been in your mind as salient, though not mentioned.

      Revised by greywarshark with aim of making some points clear:
      Good commenters here trying to come to grips with the complexities of farming. Most know jack shit about farming [including some] farmers and rural communities. It confirms for me that the proposed water tax on irrigators is a tax on rich farmers and is supposed to help to clean up rivers. But only 4% of rivers in Canterbury are poor for swimming [according to my understanding].

      In Auckland apparently 62% of the rivers are poor for swimming. [I am not sure why the high percentage] but I note that at 2 cents per 1000 litres Canterbury would pay $41 million and Auckland only $500,000.

      So it would appear that Canterbury is using a lot more irrigation water than Auckland. I would like to know the number of rivers affected in both Auckland and Canterbury as the percentage difference for low-standard ones is great.

      It also occurs to me that the tax will lead to less use of irrigation and cut down on any wasteful practices that have occurred because as the water is free there is no monetary charge to act as a restraint, and probably little checking of water usage according to agreement by Council or other ‘responsible’ body. e&oe

    • left_forward 11.5

      Wow, what a humongous amount of water! – even for farmers to waste.

      41,000,000 x 50 x 1000 = 2,050,000,000,000 litres!!
      Two thousand and fifty trillion.

    • Pat 11.6

      having said that, and assuming your numbers are accurate (havnt checked) fairness issue aside 41 million is not a huge deal and equates to around 10cents per kilo milk solids (in canterbury)….you get more variation with exchange rate fluctuation…and yes i know not all irrigators are dairy operations…even so

      • Ian 11.6.2

        It becomes a huge issue when added to all the other taxes that labour plans to hit nz business and communities with.

        • Pat

          if your operation is not viable with a reduction of 10 c/k ms then the bank has already got you on credit stop…and as to Labours suite of tax hikes, where are they?..their budget equates to Nationals less the tax cuts…there is no net tax increase

        • JC

          “Äll the other tax’s” ….Such as….

          (Perhaps you’ve been watching too many TV add!)

          I understood the jury, ( Working Group), is yet to convene……

          Perhaps they’ll add another 2.5% to GST. Just like National!

        • Michael

          And what taxes might they be? I note that Labour has said, over and over again, that it won’t impose new taxes until after its Tax Working Group reports, apart from two differing rates on commercial water users. And, IIUC, the Nats plan to tax commercial water users themselves but are saying even less about it than Labour.

  12. ianmac 12

    I lived for 8 years in a farming community. And I thought they were doing a great job. But what caused a reaction in me was when they said that because they were the backbone of the NZ economy we owed them.
    My response was, “Rubbish. You are farming because you enjoy the lifestyle, have a good income, you are confident in your skills and are free to come and go as you see fit. You are not farming for the sake of the economy any more than a truck driver, a freezing worker or the local doctor.”
    A bit frosty for a while they were.

    • But what caused a reaction in me was when they said that because they were the backbone of the NZ economy we owed them.

      The point that they don’t seem to want to understand is that they’re not the backbone of the economy any more. We don’t have more than 50% of the working population involved almost entirely around farming as we used to and we haven’t have for some time (measured in decades).

      So, essential as it is, farming is not the backbone of the economy.

      • Ian 12.1.1

        17 % of GDP last year. Not to be sneezed at

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          That’s right, campylobacter infections display entirely different symptoms.

        • Ad

          Farmers who use industrial scale irrigation constitute 17% of GDP? Got a citation?

        • Draco T Bastard

          Measurement of of GDP is, at best, a bad measure. It’s far better to relate it to how much of the workforce it uses up.

          As I say, once you start thinking in physical terms rather than dollars the economy takes on a far different character. Then what we can do in our economy becomes wider because we can start asking questions like: Do we have far too much farming when it returns so little while requiring so much?

          Reduce farming by 70% and we could seriously increase doctors, teachers, builders, R&D and our manufacturing sector. Yes, all of them.

      • Ian 12.1.2

        US farming accounts for 1% of their gross domestic product. The NZ figure is approx 17 %. We are very much dependent on farming .

  13. Ethica 13

    Peter Fraser (economist not former PM) said some agriculturalists are using the same amount of water in a year as 31,000 people. That’s a small city.

    And they think that’s fine. How incredibly selfish.

  14. Adrian 14

    I really should do the sums properly but the water charges have to be less than the electricity to pump it.
    Heres a go, I can pump 7000 litres i.e, 14 cents worth, in an hour with a 1.5 hp pump and that costs me 42 cents without the line charge, say 45cents tops.
    So the proposed water levy is a THIRD of the cost of pumping it, work is work, it costs the same per litre to pump no matter the size of the pump relativly speaking.
    The complainer in Wanaka is spending about 240 THOUSAND bucks on electricity
    Hes either a liar or a fucking idiot or most likely, both.

    • cleangreen 14.1


      This Wanaka farmer must have been getting his mathematics directions from the $11 billion dollar man -Steven Joyce?

  15. feijoa 15

    Dont forget the articles published in 2011 That farmers pay less tax than a couple on a pension.
    Yes, exactly how much do these backbone of the country people contribute to the whole??

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 hours ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    8 hours ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    10 hours ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    11 hours ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    16 hours ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    17 hours ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    19 hours ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 day ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    2 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    3 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    3 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    4 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    4 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    5 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    7 days ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    7 days ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    7 days ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    7 days ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    1 week ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Swimming with whales: you must know the risks and when it’s best to keep your distance
    Chantal Denise Pagel, Auckland University of Technology; Mark Orams, Auckland University of Technology, and Michael Lueck, Auckland University of Technology Three people were injured last month in separate humpback whale encounters off the Western Australia coast. The incidents happened during snorkelling tours on Ningaloo Reef when swimmers came too close ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Out The Money-Changers Of Reactionary Christianity.
    Den Of Thieves: They describe themselves, and the money-making rackets they dignify with the name of church, “Christian”, but these ravening wolves are no such thing. The essence of the Christian faith is the giving of love – not the taking of money. It is about opening oneself to the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Could academic streaming in New Zealand schools be on the way out? The evidence suggests it should b...
    David Pomeroy, University of Canterbury; Kay-Lee Jones, University of Canterbury; Mahdis Azarmandi, University of Canterbury, and Sara Tolbert, University of Canterbury Academic streaming in New Zealand schools is still common, but according to recent reports it is also discriminatory and racist. Also known as tracking, setting and ability grouping, streaming ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A Time To Begin Again.
    A New Holy-Day: Perhaps, by accepting this gift of Matariki from the first arrivals in Aotearoa, we late arrivals, shorn of our ancestors’ outlandish fleeces, can draw strength from the accumulated human wisdom of our adopted home. Perhaps, by celebrating Matariki, we can learn to take ownership of our colonial ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s tax trauma victims and how they might help the Greens
    If there was any doubt left, we can surely call it now. Time and date. End of. Finito. Perhaps you thought you saw a flickering eyelid or a finger move? You were wrong. Labour has given up on tax reform for the foreseeable future. One of the key remaining left/right ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 weeks ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – Labour gives up on tax transformation
    Will the rich get richer under Labour’s latest tax policy? Based on the analysis in reaction to yesterday’s announcement, the answer would seem to be yes. The consensus from commentators is that inequality and severe economic problems will remain unchanged or even be made worse by Labour’s new policy. Although ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour on energy: Business as usual
    Labour has released its energy policy, and its basicly business as usual: bring forward the 100% renewable target to 2030, build pumped storage if the business case stacks up, restore the thermal ban and clean car standard (but not the feebate scheme), and spread a bit of money around to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Overshoot
    California is burning down again. In Oregon, the city of Medford - a town the size of Palmerston North - has had to be evacuated due to the fires. In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Rene has become the earliest "R"-storm to form since records began, beating the previous record by ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
    New Zealanders across the country are set to mark history as part of the Māori Language Week commemorations led by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori this year.  Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says the initiative will mark history for all the right reasons including making te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
    More than 1000 teachers, support staff and school leaders have graduated from a programme designed to grow their capability to use te reo Māori in their teaching practice, as part of the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Being trialled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships which aims to encourage more Pacific student numbers participating and pursuing STEM-related studies in 2021, are now open. “These tertiary scholarships are administrated by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and are part of MPP’s overall Toloa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Financial support for timber industry
    Four Bay of Plenty timber businesses will receive investments totalling nearly $22 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the local economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Rotorua-based sawmill Red Stag Wood Solutions will receive a $15 million loan to develop an engineered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand seeks answers to the Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is exploring the viability of working with partners to conduct a search for the black box on the Gulf Livestock 1. “We know how much it would mean to the families of those on the ship to understand more about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government backs East Coast marine infrastructure
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has today announced the Government is supporting the creation of new marine infrastructure in northern Te Tairāwhiti on the North Island’s East Coast. The Government has approved in principle an allocation of up to $45 million to support the construction of a marine transport facility at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government mourns the passing of Epineha Ratapu
    E Epineha. Ka tangi te iwi, ki a koe e ngaro nei i te kitenga kanohi. Kua mokemoke to whānau, to iwi, te motu whanui. Haere ki o matua, tipuna. Haere ki te okiokinga tuturu mo te tangata. Haere i runga i te aroha o ngā reanga kei muri i ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • October round of fisheries decisions
    Catch limits will be increased for 26 fisheries and reduced for three fisheries as part of a regular round of reviews designed to ensure ongoing sustainability of fisheries resources. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has announced decisions following a review of catch limits and management controls for 29 fish stocks. The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand to host Bledisloe Cup in October and ready to attract other international sporting event...
    The Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson says while it is disappointing the Rugby Championship will not be held in New Zealand, the country will host two Bledisloe Cup games in October and has the capacity in managed isolation facilities to host other international sporting events. “We offered flexible quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds more regional apprenticeships
    Up to 350 more people in regional New Zealand will gain a pathway to trades training through a $14 million government investment in apprenticeships, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The apprenticeships are part of the $40 million Regional Apprenticeship Initiative (RAI) announced in June. The funding comes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago