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Fed farmers frothing

Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, September 18th, 2009 - 91 comments
Categories: economy, Environment - Tags: ,

A virulent attack on Greenpeace in a press release by Federated Farmers president, Don Nicholson, convinces me that Greenpeace are hitting the mark.

In a hysterical rant, Nicholson as well as accusing Greenpeace of “lying”, accuses Greenpeace of “economic treason”, and even claimed that “Greenpeace is actually anti-farming”.

Don Nicholson has to resort to clumsy unsubstantiated slurs, and hysteria, because he is in the position of trying to defend the indefensible. There is no reasonable defence for the use of PKE as supplementary feed, except maximising profits through maintaining unsustainable stocking levels. Despite this, Nicholson has the nerve to accuse Greenpeace of resorting to direct activism because they couldn’t “win the argument on logic”. This is a distortion of the truth, as Nicholson’s rant shows, he personally is not prepared to argue logically, much preferring demagoguery and smears over reasoned debate.

In my opinion Don Nicholson needs to be challenged by Farmer Federation members for his immoderate use of slurs and smear tactics and be ordered to withdraw and apologise to Greenpeace or stand down as President.

It is the people with profit first views like Nicholson’s in positions of authority, blind to everything except short term self interest, who have brought our world to the sorry state it is in now, not the volunteers in Greenpeace. It is not Greenpeace who in Nicholson’s words will “damage New Zealand’s reputation abroad.” It is Greenpeace who will rescue New Zealand’s reputation from the depredations of people like Nicholson and the top execs at Fonterra.

Greenpeace need to be supported in their campaign to shame and name these apologists for the PKE trade.

If Federated Farmers, Fonterra and the New Zealand dairy industry is shamed into stopping this trade, it will choke off another profit stream to the climate criminals destroying the rainforest.

91 comments on “Fed farmers frothing”

  1. randal 1

    fed farmers has only itself to blame. if they stopped listening to hooton and spending all their time conjuring up arguments to belittle the labour party then they could start producing reasoned arguments about their primary purpose. squealing like ‘little’ people when they have to defend themselves is not goinng to win any support except fromt he rabid right.

  2. randal 2

    oh and the rest of the little people.

  3. Jared 3

    Volunteers? Last time I looked Greenpeace paid pretty damn well, especially for things like collecting donations, upwards of $20-$30 an hour from memory. Also, do you dispute the assertion from Fonterra that they are using sustainable PKE? I agree with you that PKE trade should be stopped, and that it is accelerating deforestation. Infact when Cadbury introduced Palm Oil into their recipe I argued against the inclusion not on taste, but on ethical behaviour. However, in this instances, and my limited knowledge about Palm Kernels, Farmers seem to be using the by product of the trade, and not influencing production of Palm Oil in that respect. Whilst Palm Oil production should be vehemently discouraged, they are just utilising a waste by product. If the use of the Kernels influences Palm Oil production then im happy to change my stance, but as it stands, it seems like a purely environmental saving by utilising the by product.

    • Andrei 3.1

      Whilst Palm Oil production should be vehemently discouraged


      Arn’t people in the Third world allowed to earn a living – you want them to remain living in the jungle, practicing slash and burn agriculture which is harder on the environment than Palm oil ever will be.

      Or would you prefer they live in shanty downs established in garbage dumps in Manila with no hope for the future for either them or their children.

      The environmental movement is made up of people who hate capitalism and this is what this is really about, killing hope and opportunity for the poor in the third world in the process – and the hypocrisy of it is sickening!

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1


        Because if they continue they won’t have a living.

        Arn’t people in the Third world allowed to earn a living you want them to remain living in the jungle, practicing slash and burn agriculture which is harder on the environment than Palm oil ever will be.

        The palm oil is extracted with slash and burn techniques.

        • Maynard J

          Andrei is happier with the ‘third world’ (feel free to join us in the new millenium) being fully subservient to us as a supplier, rather than having an economy of their own.

          • Andrei

            Andrei is happier with the ‘third world’ (feel free to join us in the new millenium) being fully subservient to us as a supplier, rather than having an economy of their own.

            What “economy of their own” are you suggesting my friend?

            I am suggesting that Palm Oil may be the basis of developing an “economy of their own” and it is you fellows from afar who want to tell them what to do or more accurately want they shouldn’t do.

        • Andrei

          No slash and burn agriculture is clearing a few acres of jungle, planting crops. depleting the soil and repeating the process next year and so forth – its a feature of primitive peoples in the tropics and is very hard on the environment – in some cases jungle doesn’t recover for hundreds of years.

          Read the UN reports on the environment for a full description

          • Galeandra

            So by extension we can still use elephant ivory provided it’s only a by-product of culling in overpopulated reservations, for example?

      • Chris 3.1.2

        Actually, I have shares. I participate in capitalism.

        What the environmental movement wants is a wholesale destruction of industrial capitalism to make way for capitalism with heart. You know. A capitalism that pays decent wages. A capitalism that respects the earth. A capitalism that cares.

        What you want is industrial capitalism, one that rapes, pillages then destroys everything, including opportunities.

      • geoff 3.1.3

        Oh come on Andrei et al, don’t be so silly. The chances are that someone was unlawfully forced off their own land to plant the palms that were used to produce that palm kernel, not to mention the damage being caused. Or perhaps theft is only wrong when the little people do it. As for the argument its only a by-product. That’s like arguing that buying a stolen radio isn’t so bad because when the store was raided they took a lot of plasma screen tvs.

    • Luxated 3.2

      “If the use of the Kernels influences Palm Oil production then im happy to change my stance, but as it stands, it seems like a purely environmental saving by utilising the by product.”

      It increases the palm oil producer’s revenue per hectare which only serves to make the plantations more viable which would no doubt lead to increases in the plantation size.

    • wtl 3.3

      While I agree that the destruction of rainforest for the production of palm oil is not a good thing, I think the anti-palm oil rhetoric is way too simplistic and going a bit far. The fact is that in essence all developing countries are doing is converting their land into plantations to generate wealth, something that was done a long time ago by those in developed countries. (For example NZ has 29.7% of land forested but 65% agricultural, while Indonesia 58% forested and 26% agricultural.) Surely, it is only fair, as things stand, to allow those in developing countries to pursue along a similar path. Of course this may not be a good thing for the environment, and in that case, the solution is to propose viable alternatives, such as paying these countries to maintain their forested land, rather than just opposing production of things such as palm oil because they are ‘bad’.

  4. BLiP 4

    What a small world.

    Although carrying the name of the President, that spluttering tirade of a press release was most likely approved, if not written, by the Federation’s General Manager of Strategic Communications, one David Broome.

    Broome is National Ltd’s very own “idiosyncratic social liberal” and has been a member of the party since 1985. He’s held a several positions within the National Ltd over the years. He stood for Parliament in 1996 against Phillip Field in Mangere, missed out on selection for Northcote in 2001 and missed out again in 2008 when seeking selection for Wellington Central. It now seems he has ambitions in local politics in Wellington. Well, that was the plan in July 2008, not knowing the man myself and since his Wikipedia page was deleted, who knows what he’s up to.

    He hasn’t been with the Federation for very long. Ironically, one of the Federation’s media moments Broome was involved with was to piss and moan about the cutting back of the biosecurity safeguards at New Zealand ports. I wonder what he has to say about the biosecurity risk to for Aotearoa with the PKE currently being transported throughout the country.

    Don Nicholson is certainly a driver of short term grasping for profit without a clue about the long term consequences, but the foot soldiers in the public relations industry are the ones seeking to distort reality and distract the public while the crimes are committed. Emotive language designed to stir up feelings of fear and anger are but basic tools of their dark trade.

    The incestuous relationship between this National Ltd government and the PR industry is frightening.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.1

      Look what it says under Ali Undorf-Lay, who is Provincial Communications Coordinator for FF

      “You will know me because: I have organised lots of farmer protests; Action Orange against mandatory public access over farm land, the Dog’s Breakfast bark up in Omarama against mandatory micro chipping, the Top Council award which rated and ranked councils and most recently I’ve been getting excited about building provincial chat rooms and learning how to be a social network activist.”

      Who would have thought the gamekeeper turned poacher.

      Bet she didnt learn her activist stripes at the CWI

      • BLiP 4.1.1

        Yep. Know thy enemy.

      • BLiP 4.1.2

        Interesting timing that the Federated Famers’ rhetoric is at fever pitch while the brother of the CEO is having to deal with his own problems.

      • waterboy 4.1.3

        No she didn’t, but I guess thats just a reflection that even within an organisation like Feds there is room for a wide diversity of backgrounds and opinions, amongst staff, electeds and members.
        And no, not all of us always agree with the spin out of Wellington, particularly in this case when there seems to have been an unhealthy desire to be first cab off the rank in shooting down Greenpeace . Personally I think it has done the federation a degree of damage, certainly amongst those of us in the business of growing things other than meat or milk.
        As for the tone of this blog and its attitude to farming , bring it on. Frogblog was starting to get a bit tiresome, there is an underlying politeness about the greens at times that just gets a bit dull. Nothing like a bunch of stroppy , opinionated, poorly informed Labour supporters to get the mind focused. So I’ll be back.

  5. JD 5

    “Last time I looked Greenpeace paid pretty damn well, especially for things like collecting donations, upwards of $20-$30 an hour from memory.”

    They’re pretty fucking ruthless toward their collectors who can’t sign up their assigned quota for the day. Like any other profit orientated corporation you’ll be managed out if you don’t hit your targets.

  6. Red Rosa 6

    Interesting that as Federated Farmers moves further from its base, it becomes more right wing and hysterical. The last president really cranked up the rhetoric, and his successor is running the same lines.

    Actually, the organization is practically dead at grass roots level. Branches all over the country are quietly folding up, and membership numbers are only kept afloat by some very dodgy double counting. The PR wide boys in Head Office run the show, as can be seen in the latest releases. Well spotted BLiP.

    MSM journalists rarely question the Feds press releases, which are recycled in the various farming papers as factual. The PKE issue was briefly debated by a Feds office holder from Northland (?) who was keen to sell more maize silage instead, but this has been buried.

  7. graham 7

    its nice to see ignorant people telling farmers what we can use to feed our cows .pke is highe in fibre and fat now you simpletons ask why does that matter? because a grass diet especially in spring is high in protein.again a simpleton would say why does that matter? i tell you why pke because of the fibre content increases rumanation (slows down digestion) and leeds to a decrease in greenhouse gasses(farts) because it is high in fat we dont get a drop in production of the cows if we feed this instead of say straw.the main use of plam oil is for bio diesel with the pke being 1% of the value of the crop.so as a farmer i am sratching my head if i use pke i can reduce the methane gas production of my cows combined with useing a by product of a sustainable bio diesel industry and even better a product wich increases the standed of living of third world peasents .so whats the problem???????????

    • BLiP 7.1

      Yeah – like farming requires a PhD. BTW – the perpendicular pronoun requires the majuscule.

    • Chris 7.2

      Do you know where I can get PKE-free dairy products from?

      • shnrub 7.2.1

        Why don’t you try milking yourself ?

      • BLiP 7.2.2

        Great question!

        Look for Biodynamic brand – best there is by a country mile.

        • Chris

          thanks – will do…

          I rang Fonterra who advised that all their products are PKE contaminated. They weren’t able to advise where I could source PKE-free diary products.

          • BLiP

            Sounds like more Fonterra lies – or another example of why never to trust anything anyone working in a call centre says – Fonterra has its own Biodynamic brands. I would say that certified organic would also be KPE free as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 7.3

      by product of a sustainable bio diesel industry…so whats the problem???????????

      The problem is that using palm oil for bio-diesel isn’t sustainable.

    • Galeandra 7.4

      praps you could feedlot them on maize and beef tallow with a bit of antibiotic thrown in? Like all those american sophisticates? I do enjoy standing by summer-low rivers running green with algae from nitrate runoff from intensive maize growing and cowshed effluent- I see a lot of rural Taranaki rivers by the way.

      So let’s support forest clearance and the long-term chemical support of degraded tropical soils and tolerate the shift in weather patterns which will eventually lead to more feeding out in NZ of imported cow-foods from oil plantations in……..
      Hell, and we’re the simpletons?
      And all this so a lot of land speculators can indulge mr Big fantasies and overindulge on foreign bank credit?

      anti-spam: freedoms!!

    • waterboy 7.5

      Flawed logic , PKE is generally high in protien as well , and as such , compared to feeding a grain supplement will increase the nitrate output in the cows urine which is one of the major concerns in certain groundwater systems. I’m no greenie , but you got to get the facts straight and understand, as you say ,what you are feeding your cows. Grain as apposed to PKE will mop up excess Nitrate in the cows system and convert to milk , or bodyweight rather than dump into the urine. This environmental effect alone should see this crap dumped from our feeding systems. Bottom line PKE is easy to feed , and dairyfarmers have got lazy at the expense of the traditional suppliers of supplemantary feeds to their industry. They are happy in certain regions of NZ to use the services of Arable farmers for their other requirements but are intent on importing crap to undermine otherwise sustainable feed sources.PKE is on its way out, start adjusting to that fact.

  8. JD 8

    “Oooh smell the bitterness. Go on, then, tell us . . . how long did you last?”

    A former flatmate informed me of their hiring practices. Unfortunately my clean cut appearance and attention to personal hygene rules me out for working as a greenpeace collector.

    Obviously you must have been the ideal candidate.

  9. graham 9

    farming requires a understanding of animal health ,knowledge of legal and taxation issues,understanding of people and cooperation,observation,empathy with livestock,.also knowing how to convet grass to money.most people can with training get it runing at 80% but the last 20% of efficiency is all profit thats the skill.
    i know little lefties may look down their noses at people like me but just remember that the reason you go to varsty is so you work for people like me because graduates dont tend to be employers just workers

    • BLiP 9.1

      You seem like a fairly balanced sort of person – you must have a chip on both shoulders?

    • lprent 9.2

      Actually graham, I suspect that you misunderstand most ‘lefties’. Take me for example.

      Before I went to university the first time, I spent a year (1977) working on farms to decide if I would start that as a career. My parents had brought a hobby hill-farm of 88 acres in 1975. I liked the life. So I spent 6 months working on a town supply outside Auckland, and 6 months on a sheep station in Taupo.

      The main reason I didn’t go farming was because of bloody Muldoon and his SMP’s. The land prices bore no relationship to the returns. The only real way into farming then was to be born or married into it. So I went to uni to get an urban job. A few years later there was a post subsidy land price crash.

      My partner came off a farm. I know at least a couple of the authors here are also from rural or support town backgrounds. They’re all lefties despite being rural born (I grew up urban)…

      Personally I think you’re just projecting some daft stereotypes onto ‘lefties’ because they are easier for you than thinking. A more efficient way of operating is to judge people by their actions and statements. Using stereotypes is for dummies. Same thing as handling stock.

  10. Ianmac 10

    I would have thought that dairy farmers would be involved with sustainable farming. Doesn’t it seem a bit strange that dairying NEEDS to import any food of any sort? Clean Green Sustainable Dairy Farming – isn’t it?

    • aj 10.1

      It doesn’t NEED to import food it just needs to spend a little more of it’s windfall profits on locally grown grass

  11. JD 11

    Blip you can buy environmentally friendly soap nowadays. Probably very cheaply too to fit within the budget of your unemployment benefit. .

    [lprent: read the policy. I think that you need to before I start treating you as a pyromaniac. ]

  12. JD 12

    Or course, you should try it one day. Could improve your employment prospects.

    • BLiP 12.1

      Yeah, I can imagine you would go through a lot of hand wash, especially now you’re now back at your mum’s. I bet the johns are annoyed too.

      [lprent: Too far Blip. Rein it in or you will be spurred into it. That insult level is reserved for moderators. ]

  13. Mark M 13

    If your going to rabidly attack someone you would have more credibility if you used your name in a post.
    Wether you agree or disagree with the Fed Farmers President at least hes not hiding from any one.

    If Greenpeace stop the trade to New Zealand in Palm Kernal extract wil lit change anything other than attempting to damage our International reputaion.
    Or will the trade simply go to another country?

    [lprent: Read the about (and the policy). But I’m happy to rip the fed farmers nutter president a spare arsehole for being a fuckwit. Frankly he is embarrassing for the depth of his stupidity. You can see why fed-farmers is a slowly fading organization. Pass my name on to him… ]

    • Maynard J 13.1

      Why? Are you incapable of judging words written down with attaching some form of label to their work based on the author’s name? What if I told you the post was written by Bob Smith. Would that make it better? Would it make a jot of difference? Nope.

      If greenpeace stop the trade it will reduce the profitability of a destructive product. That is pretty much the point of the protest.

  14. graham 14

    to the stupid people out their who dont know about farming i will give a basic leason
    although in new zealand we run pastoral based farming systems(grass to townies) at times of the year demand for feed outsrips demand.grass growth peaks in november so we try to time our calfing so that we match the peak grass growth with peak milking in october.in order to do this we calve in august where i am but at that time of year it still being winter grass dosent grow much so we feed suppliments these can be fodder crops,grass silage,maize silage,grain,pke etc.
    also in the autum we feed out again because grass growth slows down etc.
    again over winter cows need to be fed.to a simpleton try growing a garden without storing any of your feed surplus you will get hungry.now why do we import it?
    as i have already said their are advantages of feeding pke to a grass based saiystem also its cost grass costs around 20 cents a kgdm pke 25cents kgdm grain 45cents also the problem with grain is u need a expense feed system in your shed plus because its high in protein too much can cause acidios in cows(liver failure).if you believe in globalisation which as a dairy farmer i do i expect people to buy my product(milk products) which we export all around the world so whats the problem with importing a little pke

    • Quoth the Raven 14.1

      I’m not a “townie”. I know that farmers are the basis of our economy. I don’t believe the government should do anything to stop the trade of Pke. However, I do believe that farmer’s should because of their own conscience stop using it. There are alternatives and there are great problems with importing “a little pke”. You should be able to see them clearly.

      In the meantime if people dont wish to support the trade in pke they can boycott New Zealand dairy products.

    • Maynard J 14.2

      “so whats the problem with importing a little pke”

      Oh – you are educating all the ‘stupid people’, but you just admitted you do not know what the problem is.

      How does that work?

      I am aware that it is a useful product, graham, but then so was lead in petrol, thalidomide, CFCs, DDT, and slaves.

      pke is by no means as bad as those products, but to say ‘I need this, therefore there is no problem’ is in indicator, to me, that you are incapable of rational thought.

      Spam word “Consistent”: graham sure is.

    • lprent 14.3

      Yeah we know this. See my comment above about the backgrounds of some ‘lefties’. Of course this is the constrained view…

      The problem is that they cut tropical forest to plant the stuff. The areas that they plant on lose the natural fertility fast, leach and erode massively. So a decade later they abandon it to scrub. The type of farming is inherently unsubstainable and effectively is mining the soil. On the way through because of the extractive nature of the type of farming they drive substainable palm oil production out of business.

      Wait until you see the price increase after the carbon costs are added. Which is likely to happen after Copenhagen.

      But in any case palm oil production is likely to get phased out in most countries over the next few years because it is so unsubstainable – so why are you basing your business on it. You’re daft enough to be a sheep farmer accepting SMP’s under Muldoon and thinking it would continue forever.

      Now you could have found all of this out with a few minutes of searching on google. So why didn’t you…. Could it be that you’re just too dumb to do it? How have you managed to survive farming?

      • graham 14.3.1

        by having a can do attitude not a can’t do
        o by the way i love how a leftie cant resist throwing a insult in

        • lprent

          That is your choice. If you start insulting people on the site with superciliously stupid statements and attitudes, then they are limited in what they allowed to do on this site. It is something reserved for the moderators and the sysop (ie me).

          I’m perfectly willing to keep insulting you (as I like being a arsehole sysop) until you either learn the way of the site or I ban you as not being useful to the discussion. But you know that – it has happened to you before. You know that I will keep on your case until you exhibit a more useful behavior pattern (ie discussion rather than throwing out insults) or I act as judge, jury, and sysop.

          There are only a few of us to arbitrate behaviour on this site – you’re not one of them.

  15. graham 15

    to iprent
    the reason why i love the dairy industry that unlike sheep farming you dont have to be born to money to own a farm
    sure their are rich pricks who have a easy road because their dadies had money
    but most of us start at the bottom and work our way up a bit of luck and hard work you can be your own boss
    i would have thought that the labour party should use us a example as a industry that promtes merit not privlage

    • Draco T Bastard 15.1

      But you’re not promoting merit – you’re promoting stupidity and ignorance.

    • lprent 15.2

      Labour has been quite well appreciated by many (not all) of the farmers I know for their actions over the last term. They have concentrated on improving the infrastructure of farming, its future development (like the late-lamented fast forward fund), and the marketing offshore.

      In the opinion of a lot of the writers (but not me) and commentators of this site, probably too much help.

      When help has been needed in occasions of flood and drought they have probably done as much as a government can or should do.

      Now contrast that with the lack of support this current government has provided in the last 9 months. The likelihood is that they will continue to just ignore farming and continue to not put resources or effort into the long-term supports that farming needs.

  16. JD 16

    Honestly Iprent I actually don’t have anything against Greenpeace but I was quite shocked at their employment practices. I suppose they have to raise money in the most efficient way possible like any other business.

    If Blimp actually addressed these issues instead of engaging in personal homophobic attacks then maybe they’d be taken more seriously. So much for the enlightened left. Nice one.

    • lprent 16.1

      You notice that both of you got warned.

      The only people who are allowed to be total arseholes on this site are the moderators. Think of us as the police force you don’t want to attract the attention of. We don’t have much time, get irritable when people act in the same stupid way we’ve seen 15 times before, and generally prefer to ban people off the site so we don’t have to put up with it again.

      Be thankful that you merely got a warning.

      • Andrei 16.1.1

        Its a long time since I saw a clearer demonstration of why leftism is doomed to failure – a little bit of power, ie sysop and it goes to your head, you make rules that don’t apply to yourself.

        It happens every time with petty little bureaucrats who become petty little tyrants and given enough power end up murdering millions.

        Indeed this whole thread is about the left trying to tell another sovereign nation how to run its agriculture and economy.

        And God preserve us all when your type gets power – it has always ended up untold human misery and death .

        • Armchair Critic

          Gee I wish I had you imagination Andrei. The whole thread is not about the left, or about anyone telling another sovereign nation how to run their agriculture and economy. Great hyperbole, though.
          What is being suggested is that FF are exaggerating with their claims of economic treason.
          I will go a bit further and say that as a nation there are some markets we should not take part in, some things we should not purchase. Ivory, whale meat and plutonium spring to mind. Lucky we don’t trade in these things already. There are countries who trade items we don’t trade, I don’t think that by not taking part in the trade we are telling them how not to run their economies.
          PKE is another thing that we can, as a nation do without. There are plenty of substitutes, none quite the same, but good enough. And please don’t tell me I don’t know what I am on about, I fed my cattle PKE two or three years ago, but once I found out how it was sourced I stopped buying it. Solely because I found out how much destruction is caused by its production. Sure, it is a by-product, but that’s hardly the point. If elephant meat was sold as a by-product of harvesting ivory, would that make it okay to buy it? Not for me it wouldn’t. How about whale meat as a by-product of “scientific research”? So, no, I’m not telling anyone how to run their economy, I’m just not buying their product.
          And my type are in power, for the record. Everything about my life and what I do makes me an ideal NACT voter. I just don’t vote for them. And now they are in power, god save us from the human misery they have begun to inflict.

          • Chris

            Thanks for this.

            Fonterra said, worryingly, that they couldn’t track milk back to the gate at all, and therefore couldn’t say any particular product was PKE-free or not.

            Which just gives me the jeebees – Fonterra *doesn’t* know where its milk comes from?

            However, good on you for going PKE-free. I think my only solution to sourcing PKE-free dairy is to go direct to the farm gate – yours?

        • lprent

          Andrei – you’re acting like a fool again. It’d be nice if you could grow up, but I’m kind of expecting that you’re incapable of it.

          Firstly, I’m an arrogant bugger because I can build things. They almost always work, and usually at a profit in money and skills to me, the companies I’ve worked for, the people I work with and the country (because it is almost always export). Now you and Wishart are probably incapable of understanding what that means in terms of confidence and inherent authority. It is apparent in your statements above.

          The attitudes I display came straight from the private sector, not the public sector, because that is all I’ve ever worked in. I’ve never been a bureaucrat even in the private sector. In fact I’m pretty close to their worst nightmare because I change and improve almost every system that I touch. But as far as I can see you’ve never tried to build anything that wasn’t subsidized for reasons you don’t comprehend. In fact you boast that you specialize in tearing things down. Which pretty much explains why you look so pathetic to many of us including me.

          Secondly, the writers, sysops, most commentators and I cooperatively built this site from nothing more than the small monthly charge it takes to run it and a whole lot of our spare time. Your biggest problem appears to be that you can’t figure out a way to break it up. In fact I suspect that you don’t understand why it works at all. It requires more trust than you appear capable of. Authors suggest other people who are probably going to be good to write here – often even when they don’t agree with their philosophy or parts of it. We ease them in for a while usually with guest posts. Then we simply give them a login and some rough guidelines. Most of the writers only know a couple of the others at best. Some don’t know any in real life. It has only caused issues a handful of times.

          Thirdly, I was thrust into the position of doing the sysop role. But I’ve probably been sysop’ing in various systems for longer than you’ve been alive judging by your mental age. I discharge all of my duties with care, deliberation, and the required levels of cruelty to achieve them.

          But my attitudes have little to do with being a leftie. Like Armchair Critic, I’d be classed as a natural right-winger. I’ve certainly become a reluctant socialist over the years. I’m just not interested in short-term thinking that characterizes the right’s approach to government in this country (or most countries). It simply doesn’t work.

          In the same way that I prefer a relatively free market in business for the short-term flex, I prefer a strategic government to limit that market and allow it to function over the long term. They put the required human, legal, and physical infrastructure to make it work past the usual short planning horizons of businesses. Part of supporting that structure is to foster a healthy debate, which was why this site was set up, and why loonies dislike it. We help ensure that the mindless sociopaths of society (like Laws and talkback) don’t dominate society. You notice that this probably conflicts with a views of a number of authors here? Diversity of opinion doesn’t stop people working together cooperatively – it just makes it more interesting.

          Having people like this ranting loonie at the head of Fed-Farmers union is not helpful. It ensures that the organization is regarded as also being irrelevant and it doesn’t get listened to. That isn’t good when the industry is our second biggest export earner. But that is an issue for that unions diminishing membership.

          Anyway, I’d suggest you live with it and learn to participate in the discussions. Despite your abysmal ignorance, you have actually managed to make a credible start. Of course I’m perfectly happy to help you to live without them if you cross the policy guidelines.

    • felix 16.2

      “homophobic attacks” JD?

      I’m pretty sure BLiP called your mum (and/or yourself) a whore, but homophobic? Are you high?

      I struggle to fathom how your tiny little minds work sometimes. I really do.

  17. graham 17

    to draco
    so you are a rude bastard what do you know about my industry
    your statement is dumb you have no facts to back up your statement is that all you have got.
    i hope my taxes didnt pay for u to go to uni because if thats all your got then i am concerned for the future of this nation

    • Rob A 17.1

      Graham, I spent 15 years dairy farming. 5 of it sharemilking in the waikato and the last 3 as an operations manager looking after 6 farms milking about 10k cows, and am still ‘in the industry’

      Give it up mate, you’re fighting a lost cause. There are plenty of examples out there of farm practices changing to keep the market happy such as bobby calf collection at the gate and tail docking. Palm Kernel doesn’t have a leg to stand on compared to those two examples. It has to change and will change, start making plans on managing without it.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.2

      Actually, I’m an arrogant bastard (hence the name) but that doesn’t change your stupidity or your ignorance. It’s got nothing to do with your industry per se but everything to do with sustainability. As it is, you’re trying to maintain your industry unsustainably which is just bloody stupid. The fact that you think it is sustainable shows you’re ignorance.

    • Clarke 17.3


      I note that the ETS changes will result in taxpayers like me subsidising dairy farmers like you to the tune of about $800 million per annum – the biggest agricultural handout since Muldoon’s SMP disaster. And as the general populace of NZ are going to be writing cheques to your industry, you can expect that every single one of us will have an opinion about the way you run your business. If you’re unhappy with this, you’re welcome to either (a) start paying your way with your CO2 and NOx emissions, or (b) exit the industry.

      There are plenty of New Zealanders who think that the dairy industry has a lot to answer for with its systemic and cynical pollution of our rivers, and your stance over palm kernel reinforces the image that you simply don’t give a shit about the environmental damage you cause – pun intended.

      Personally, I’m hopeful that some of that $800 million will help fund a better level of punctuation education for dairy farmers and perhaps investment in some modern browsers with spell checking functionality.

      • Andrei 17.3.1

        I note that the ETS changes will result in taxpayers like me subsidising dairy farmers like you to the tune of about $800 million per annum the biggest agricultural handout since Muldoon’s SMP disaster.

        Wrong Dairy Products are New Zealand’s biggest export earner by far.

        Nobody is “subsidizing” Dairy farmers rather the New Zealand economy is founded on them.

        Tell us all what you do or have done that brings money into new Zealand?

        Or do you just spend it?

        • Clarke

          Nobody is “subsidizing’ Dairy farmers rather the New Zealand economy is founded on them.

          Oh dear – more financial illiteracy from the farming lobby. As I/S notes:

          In 2007 (the latest year we have figures for), agriculture was responsible for 36.4 million tons [of CO2e]. With the ongoing expansion of the dairy industry and resistance by farmers to any improvement in practices which could reduce emissions (even when it is profitable to them!), that figure is likely to grow.

          Carbon costs around $25 a ton, give or take the exchange rate (currently due to the high dollar Treasury has it at $22.36 a ton). That number too is only likely to grow, as more countries sign up for emissions trading and caps are lowered.

          National has committed to a 90% subsidy of whatever agriculture is emitting in 2015. Assuming that’s the same as in 2007 (a conservative assumption), that means 32.8 million tons. Multiply that by $25 a ton and you get $820 million a year.

          The number of credits will reportedly decline by 1.3% a year. But agricultural sector emissions are growing at a faster rate, while prices are likely to increase. The upshot: that cost is never going to go down. National has signed up to give farmers close to a billion a year in straight-out subsidies in perpetuity.

          So, next time you see some farmer, ask him for your $200 back.

          The whole purpose of the ETS is to provide dairy farmers with the biggest handout since Muldoon’s SMPs. Do try and keep up.

    • BLiP 17.4

      I hope you take the Fonterra share offer, graham, you deserve it.

  18. sk 18

    among all the posters, I am willing to bet that I am the only one who has owned the shares the Wilmar (WIL SP)- the supplier of Palm Kernel to Fontera – this year. Graham, among others, you may huff and puff, but you are only armchair capitalists. Andrei included.

    Hands up all rightest on this site who have invested in Wilmar shares. . .. In reality, you have no idea. You brag on this website about how much money you are making, but if you were half smart you at least would have owned the shares. You are all full of sh*t.

    But ‘The Standard’ and Greenpeace have rattled my comfortable cage. . . The point is that we should all be paying Malaysia and Indonesia to not destroy their rainforests, as both maori and pakeha have destroyed the rainforests for Aoeteroa . But that is not going to happen – particularly under John Key.

    I know dairy. I know palm oil. And yet both are equivalent . . . .We are approaching a crisis of capitaliam. Where we have no answers. . .

    And yet we owe it to our mokopuna / grandhildren to find those answers . . .

  19. ak 19

    The history of dairy is a marvellous opportunity for some budding academic – “Chew Chong to Sanlu: a national spinal histology”

    Chapter XIV: “Fonterror, the Feds, and Key: final fling for exploitative family-farm fantasy”

    Sorry, but very soon you’re rooted, graham. Butter and cheese aren’t sexy any more – and besides, the brown and yellow people know how to make it now – just as well as you, and without imported crap or the pathetic attempted neocolonisation of South America.

    All over, bud. Nice for decades, nasty near the end, now doomed. School up on something useful, and plant trees.

  20. graham 20

    so if i believe clarke i should shoot all my cows along with the rest of of the national herd and new zealand would be a better place. yea right

    • Clarke 20.1

      Shoot your herd, don’t shoot your herd – I’m easy either way. What I would like you to do, however, is pay your own way. If you’re not capable of doing that – in other words, you need the $800 million a year from taxpayers to stay in business – then you should shut the farm down and allow the assets to be sold for a more productive use.

      And before you claim that Labour’s ETS would be the death of the diary industry, can I point out that those economically illiterate munters at Federated Farmers made the same claims abut the sheep meat and wool industries when Muldoon’s SMPs were ended. Supposedly the industry was going to collapse within 12 months and families would walk off their farms. Never happened, of course.

      So do what you like with your herd – but see if you can keep your hands off my wallet in the meantime.

      • lprent 20.1.1

        Supposedly the industry was going to collapse within 12 months and families would walk off their farms. Never happened, of course.

        Oh some did, the ones that were over-leveraged or had opened up bad sheep lands. But mostly the ones who took too much of a risk came a cropper. Others who hadn’t took over their farms. Most sheep farmers just had some hard times before re-adjusting. They’d have been better off adjusting to the low world prices without the SMP’s, and so would have NZ.

        I’m actually expecting some of the same things to happen with dairy. Some of which looks rather over-extended and reliant of higher prices than they are likely to get during the next part of the sycle.

    • Armchair Critic 20.2

      Grow up graham, no one here seems to be demanding you to shoot your cows. At worst the comments are ambivalent, although I expect some of the unwritten sentiments are a bit stronger.
      Most of the comments seem to be suggesting you (and all farmers, please don’t think you are being singled out) do things a little differently (like not buying PKE), and take responsibility for your actions. In right-wing speak this is “market flexibility” and “taking responsibility for your actions”. You see both these lines trotted out all the time, I expect most of the time you agree with them, and it is only your innate hypocrisy that stops you from agreeing now.
      The only idiot who has suggested shooting cows is DPF and AFAIK he knows SFA about farming. If you are taking his word on things you are as silly as your spelling suggests. And before you say it again, I recall you said you have a high IQ, 139, is it? I just wish you would show it.
      I expect that you are just upset about finding that not all farmers agree with your unusual perspective on the world.

    • Andrei 20.3

      They don’t see any connection between Dairying and New Zealands standard of living Graham.

      It is beyond their comprehension that New Zealand’s foreign exchange is earned by agricultural exports and the biggest component of this by far is Dairy products.

      They are biting the hand that feeds them – the fools.

  21. graham 21

    in reply to Rob A
    the day i listen to aprick from the waikato it will be a cold day in hell
    where i come from they are the most despised form of dairy farmers

    • RedLogix 21.1

      Graham… that last was what the aussies call ‘jumping the shark’.

      One of the hardest lessons when learning to blog is how to loose an argument gracefully. Consider this a learning opportunity.

    • Clarke 21.2

      Let’s see … unable to make a rational point, resorts to name-calling, attacks the person rather than the argument … you must be from Whanganui!

    • NickS 21.3

      I guess all that hate is for all those Waikato dairy farmers actually sticking mostly to council regs on effluent run-off that’s made the Waikato river one of the cleanest in terms of E.coli counts in the country?

      Aww, those wimpy Waikato farmers, bending over for the evil, evil council plans, surrendering to the man. How dare they!

  22. Draco T Bastard 22


    The MAF biosecurity information provides evidence that palm kernel imports are regularly being fumigated with the toxic Methyl Bromide because biosecurity import standards are not being met. The released information further shows that live insects, toxic fungi, and plant material are being found in palm kernel imports.

    • from (Questions for written answer) Parliament

      Of the 294 consignments of palm kernel meal that have been imported in the past two years (1 August 2007 to 31 July 2009), 48 consignments have been fumigated with methyl bromide in New Zealand.

      I am no botanist but 9 different types of pests found alive in shipments does not sound good to me!

  23. BLiP 23

    What they say:

    Not only do (the New Zealand dairy industry) need to protect your good environmental brand abroad, you also need to keep faith with the New Zealand public who look to you as important custodians of the natural environment for this and future generations.

    In short, as you plan for the future the New Zealand dairy industry needs to take responsibility as guardians of the environment on which your wellbeing and that of your fellow Kiwis depends. This will be critical to the success of the strategy being launched today.

    You can be assured that the Government wants to work with you to meet the challenges that you face, including protecting water quality, removing barriers to free trade, and supporting your efforts to reduce the carbon ‘footprint’ of your products.

    John Key 5 May 2009

    What they do:

    Key says he was not going to stop imports of palm kernel, because it was “used for about 1% of feed in New Zealand”.

    “It’s a waste product, in my opinion it’s not leading to deforestation and on that basis I have no intention of intervening.”

    Fonterra says the vessel did not carry any of its feed, and that the kernel it imported for its dairy farms came from sustainable suppliers.

    They say that palm kernel animal feed is a by-product of a by-product and would just go to waste if Fonterra didn’t buy it.

    TVNZ 17 September 2009

  24. dace 24

    PKE is increasingly used as a substitute to maize silage. The import of PKE has increased 2700 fold since 1999, yet Fonterra and FF say it’s been primarily imported due to the Waikato drought. In fact, because we imported so much PKE, there was a maize silage surplus last year.
    There is no need for New Zealand dairy to be produced at the expense of Indonesian and Malaysian rainforests and at the expense of our own maize growers.

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