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Open mike 10/08/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 10th, 2015 - 186 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose. The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

186 comments on “Open mike 10/08/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    National’s woeful mismanagement of the economy will see a fire sale of our land to foreign speculators and land grabbers.
    Welcome to colonialism.


    • Sabine 1.1

      mission accomplished.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1


      • Save NZ 1.1.2

        Our trade partners have already worked out,

        Why buy the milk when you can buy the farm?

        Also if free trade is so great why were milk prices at over $7 a kilo milk solids in 2008 but now forecast at $3.85 kilo – the free trade deals are clearly not trickling down into the farmers pockets?

        More like a short term spike in speculation.

        Has anyone done any research on if the Nats sign TPPA that Fonterra will even be allowed to remain a co operative? Wouldn’t that be against the secret rules?


    • Draco T Bastard 1.2

      This one came out yesterday:

      On the Q&A programme, he said banks had told him they’d help farmers for one tough season, but beyond that there were uncertainties.

      “There is a crisis in dairy…we do have some tough times ahead.”

      He told TV One a combination of the Government, farmers and banks needed to work together to address the problem.

      Mr Little said “the biggest threat” to farmers would arise when they couldn’t even afford to keep their land.

      Even Labour aren’t looking at the only real solution we have – the government purchases the farms and hires the farmers.

      And then today we get this:

      Let us with a gladsome mind keep pretending that the Government’s decision not to diversify, to put all our eggs in the one dairy basket and make it the key driver of the economy was going to keep delivering the economic miracle forever and ever, Amen.

      And now the evil day has arrived, there’s a worldwide over-supply and glut and we’re supposed to feel sorry for those who scrambled to get in on the white gold rush, didn’t think twice about the environmental ramifications of massive dairy conversions, are mortgaged up the tits and will be in the land of fiscal suffering and ouch for a very, very long time.

      That’s if they do manage to hang on and survive, which is unlikely with the prediction that 90 per cent of farmers will be affected.

      Really, buy them up and make sure that they’re never sold to the private sector again. Return most of them to native forest as it’s time we got on with being a developed nation that looks after it’s environment rather than a nation that refuses to enter the 21st century and thinks that farming is the bees knees.


      Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said global dairy prices were falling further and faster than anyone anticipated.

      Neither the farmers nor National anticipated diary prices falling – ever. They thought that the Great White Wave would continue forever. Muldoon did the same thing with sheep. Hell, our history is rife with National always doing the same bloody thing which is why our economy and society is so far behind where it should be.

        • Weepus beard

          Panicking in a time of crisis – actually even to refer to the economic downturn as a ‘crisis’ is apparently reckless talk that can lead to contagion.

          One of those nameless, National flag waving Herald writers tried this on not long ago. Said the economy was all about confidence and negative talk from those who don’t agree with government policy is very dangerous.

          Bugger open debate, and that’s right, yet again it’s Labour’s fault.

          • The Chairman

            Panicking is not recommended.

            Markets (due to their fickle nature) are largely a confidence game, it only takes a well placed rumour to send shareholders running.

            However, failure to acknowledge and discuss market realities is far more dangerous than putting ones head in the sand and denying the reality.

        • ianmac

          Yes Jane. Especially this bit,”And now the evil day has arrived, there’s a worldwide over-supply and glut and we’re supposed to feel sorry for those who scrambled to get in on the white gold rush,…”
          I felt sorry for the individual athletes who lost out to the Springbok Tour in the 80s but not at all sorry for the Rugby Union.
          I feel sorry for the individual farmer who has a family and trying really hard to make a go of it but not at all sorry for the Dairy Industry.

      • b waghorn 1.2.2

        “”Even Labour aren’t looking at the only real solution we have – the government purchases the farms and hires the farmers.””
        Na cut them down to 300 cow blocka and lease them out for 10 /30 year periods .

    • “Welcome to colonialism.”

      Been there, done that – remember what has been done here before – perhaps more people will have empathy with tangata whenua and their justified claims, somehow I doubt it.

      • Colonial Rawshark 1.3.1

        True, dat

      • adam 1.3.2

        Bloody optimist


      • maui 1.3.3

        People are going to be wondering how they lost it all for a long time. It may take decades before they get out of the misery and stop fighting to try and get it back and finally start to become compassionate with other groups.

        • Draco T Bastard

          People are going to be wondering how they lost it all for a long time.

          Not really – they’ve got us to tell them, with facts and figures, that it was all Nationals fault.

    • Graeme 1.4

      Not sure there’ll be a flood of “investors” pouring money into unprofitable, grossly over-valued NZ dairy farms. And a lot, maybe most, of the “farmers” affected will be overseas and local investors who poured money into the industry on the basis of $6 + payouts. The future will be looking very sad for them.

      Peters is talking the economic reality in that piece, or reported that way.

      I just hope we’re not heading down the track of a South Canterbury style solution where the government “guarantees” the loans to take them off the bank’s hands. The way Andrew’s been reported there, we could walk straight into English coming out with that.

      The banks and “investors” got themselves into this, at the expense of the rest of the economy, they can get themselves out of it.

      • The Chairman 1.4.1

        Offshore investors looking to vertically integrate may unlock the potential locals can’t .

        • Graeme

          Doesn’t make any sense to vertically integrate when you can buy product well below your or your supplier’s cost of production. You’ll be trying to de-intergrate if you can.

          Historical precedent from previous boom collapses, like in the late 1800’s, would point to an exit by overseas investors.

        • Save NZ

          Yes Serco style, by cutting corners, getting corporate welfare and environmental pollution, intensive factory farms for dairy etc

          Do you really want Mad Cow, Foot and Mouth and so forth plaguing Europe in NZ?

          Do you want to see our cows eating shit and newspaper and meat products made into ‘grain’ aka USA style of factory farming?

          Our rivers and streams flooded with effluent cos the government is too frightened or is unable to sue anyone because they are too afraid, or the process to stop it takes years and years of court action in a foreign tribunal.

          Our farmers are efficient. It is the politicising that is a real barrier to trade. for example milk could have sold to Russian a while back, but our ‘friends’ said no and the government put a stop to it.

          Now farmers who were fed stories about ‘expansion’ for the ‘boom’ – the boom from free trade has not happened, instead food scares, our IP being given away and so forth have lowered prices.

  2. Whatever next? 2

    Not quite Sabine, just gotta tie up loose ends by signing TPP, to make sure every last bit of control handed overseas, then “Job Done” and off to Hawaii

  3. infused 3

    Pretty over winter. Hope we get another epic summer.

    • JanMeyer 3.1

      Disagree. Been a superb winter – amazing powder days with more to come!!

    • Anne 3.2

      Got some bad news for you. An El Nino is rearing it’s ugly head. If you live in western parts summer will be colder, windier and wetter than usual. If you live in eastern parts it means cloudy, cooler days with very little rain.

      • infused 3.2.1

        Some more global warming should help. I’ll do my best.

      • maui 3.2.2

        Another $1-2 billion loss for farmers this summer from drought along with the $4 billion or so in reduced dairy price payouts and things are looking pretty bad.

        • Save NZ

          Probably taking global climate change a bit more seriously at government level could have the farmers a lot more than speculation on a return of a high milk solid price.

  4. Skinny 4

    Another mismanagement issue from Fonterra. All those years of record milk solids prices and no move away from the use of dirty coal. What a disgracefully run business.

    • As pointed out by Labour and denied by National a year ago …

    • CR 4.2

      I was interested that Fran O’Sullivan commented on Q+A that there had been gaming on the GDT. I was suspecting something like that going on, so why didn’t the 100+ financial staff Fonterra recently laid off know about this? Or did they? And how could the downturn in demand from China be a ‘surprise’ to all Fonterra’s and the governments’ experts? And if Fonterra is 80% in debt as mentioned in the Dominion Post article linked & quoted in the comments above, who is lending Fonterra the money for Fonterra to make two-year-interest-free loans to struggling farmers?

    • tc 4.3

      It’s not a business it’s a co-op of old boys milking a model well past it’s use by date being cheered on by a reckless gov’t that can’t be arsed diversifying or future proofing.

      Sounds familiar across many industries really in this country such as the utilities sector.

  5. dv 5

    Interesting editorial re ece levels

    Teachers need to lift their game!!

    NO mention at all of the reduction of the trained qualified quotas introduced by the NATS about 5 years? ago.
    Another example of poor governance by the Nats


    • Weepus beard 5.1

      Teachers are spending far too long filling out national standards reports.

      • dv 5.1.1

        Are ECE involved in Nat Stds? I didn’t think so.

        • Weepus beard

          Err…perhaps not.

          But it won’t be long!!

          • Save NZ

            Yes far more important to spend teachers times reporting back to the government that actually ‘teaching’ kids.

            Under Nat Standards it is all about the paperwork.

        • Molly

          From memory, more and more time at Playcentre was being spent to ensure that the Ministry was confident that the facility was meeting the guidance of Te Whaariki. This was part of the internal and ongoing audit of the local group, and it did take quite a lot of time away from the interaction with children.

          I’m sure that this requirement is even higher in non-participatory ECE’s, especially under National’s version of “accountability.”

          • Save NZ

            Exactly remember how Serco topped the tables of exceptional prisons, pity it was all a lie. Paperwork, lies.

            All these league tables and constant reporting is making a mockery of a system that is all about teaching children.

            They already have something called ERO that checks the schools, they should not need to be doing daily paperwork reports to government.

    • Charles 5.2

      I suppose one has to laugh. Everything in the article reveals a syndrome I was squealing about yesterday: The people at the Herald are propagandists, and not very smart thinkers or competent writers. Apparently, early home-life is a big factor in learning, so it becomes the teacher’s fault, not child poverty, zero-hour contracts for their parents, less than living wage, oh fuck, must go on? No one who reads that Editorial drivel, and nods like a grazing cow at it, is listening. Early education (read, indoctrination) makes it easier to educate (read, control) kids later. Wow, that’s ground breaking stuff, Herald Editor, really groundbreaking… for 1950. Fuckin’ dimwits should read up on what the Soviets and other similar outfits discovered about that sort of thing. Fuck they’re dumb. Dumb as fuck. Blinkered. Willfully ignorant. Myopic tautologies.

    • JanM 5.3

      “Fortunately, the Ministry of Education seems to have taken on board the alarming picture painted by the ERO report. It says early childhood providers will be reminded of the “need to actively promote positive learning outcomes for infants and toddlers” and practical guidance will be provided for them to do this”
      Oh, good grief, that’ll be the day! This government has systematically undermined the ece sector from the moment they walked through the door because, yet again $$$$$ – more and more centres are privately owned, some chains are now big business and yes, of course,m Australia has its foot in the door too. As an early childhood lecturer/teacher/ training provider I have walked through the doors of a number of centres I wouldn’t put the hotel cat in!
      And no, Charles, ece teachers who know what they’re doing do NOT ‘indoctrinate’ children – download a copy of their ‘Te Whariki’ curriculum and you might be quite surprised. Of course all sorts can happen in the poorer quality centres because this government reversed the requirement to have only qualified teachers in centres – so much cheaper, you know, and better for the profit margins. Besides which, the quality of some teacher training centres need a long hard look – there are some who have the reputation of taking anyone with “a pair of legs and a cheque book”

  6. Save NZ 6

    Go Colin.


    Not sure if someone has hacked tdb site, but my comment is not showing up. Hacked?

    I wonder who would do that?

    [lprent: It pays to read the site policies on comments. Here is ours.

    All comments at TDB have to be released by a moderator, so it depends when a moderator has time to go through them. It used to be that quite a few never make it out for no obviously legitimate reason. It appears to gotten a lot better since they adopted a clearer moderation operational policy and less personality driven moderation. I have no idea what it is like right now.

    We have a different operational policy.

    First comments by a handle/’email’ combination have to be approved by a moderator. If they don’t add anything to the debate or violate policy, then they are silently trashed. The standard used for first comments is higher than the toleration for established commenters as it is the most effective way to exclude people who aren’t of a standard to comment here. In other words we exclude idiot trolls. For instance, like the fool who managed to put in 16 first comments all of which were pure attacks on various people without managing to express any opinions or ideas themselves.

    Once you get a first comment through moderation, then you can comment without delay, and generally we rely on the commenters to moderate themselves.

    If commenters don’t manage to moderate themselves within our policy, then we will try warn or give small bans initially to demonstrate the edges (unless they do something to damage the site operations). However recidivism results in exponential increases in ban lengths. That is because we don’t want to spend large amounts of time moderating, people either moderate themselves or we reduce the numbers of times we have to moderate them.

    We think that this approach allows for fast robust debate that isn’t usually too boring. But different sites have different priorities and policies. ]

    • Charles 6.1

      Nah dude. That’s just normal lag for tdb. Everything goes through the “Scarlet Filter” over there. Don’t be surprised it it turns up later edited or modified, or not at all. It’s the way they like it.

      • Puckish Rogue 6.1.1

        My two cents, the moderating at TDB does seen to be akin to the old Red Alert whereas The Standard mostly gets the moderating about right

  7. CR 7

    Looked to me like the latest commenting issue arose there at TDB after the post re the Listener’s friendly article on GCSB & SIS. I am tending to keep an open mind about how low our authorities will stoop to these days.

    • Anne 7.1

      The scarlet woman has reported a glitch in the system, but it’s amusing it should occur after the secret squirrels post.

      • Save NZ 7.1.1

        Yes I find it suspicious. While they moderate it shows up waiting to go live. For some reason the comments are not doing this at all. It looks like either a hack or computer glitch.

        The one about Colin Craig, still has no comments – I find this strange.

        • Anne

          Just left a message asking if anybody’s there?

          Nobody’s there.

          Wonder if someone is trying to jam the site.

          Gee, what with this and the CC saga, I fear NZ is going run out of popcorn very soon.

  8. Tautoko Mangō Mata 8

    TPPA is a money machine for Big Pharma and Big Ag.

    Step 1. National Govt overrides local govt GE free zones.
    Step 2. TPPA signed

    Step 3. Increased use of Roundup (resulting from increased use of Monsanto seeds genetically modified to be resistant to glyphosate in Roundup)

    Step 4. Probable increase in non-Hodgkins lymphoma. (A blood cancer)
    (according to World Health Organisation Study http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/mar/21/roundup-cancer-who-glyphosate-

    Step 5. Big Pharma makes a killing if TPPA allows increased patent life on newest drugs .

  9. Blue Horseshoe 9

    Step 1. National Govt overrides local govt GE free zones.

    Just like when Maui County voted on a moratorium to their islands continual use as a GE laboratory, and the presiding judge refused and passed it over to the jurisdiction of the state.


    A federal judge ruled Tuesday that a Maui County ban on the cultivation of genetically engineered crops is pre-empted by federal and state law and invalid.

    Glyphosate (roundup sales), along with GMO are being banned around the world but not in The Land of The Long (Term) White Scam

    • National Govt overrides local govt GE free zones.

      Well, they certainly should – rules about GE should apply at a national level, not be made up piecemeal by local councils.

      • Robert Guyton 9.1.1

        Why, Psycho Milt? Why remove the juristiction regional councils presently hold, as ruled by the Environment Court judge recently in the case where Federated Farmers did as you are doing and claimed that the Government, through the MPI, should make that decision, thereby dismissing the judgement by the EC judge. What makes you say that central government should over-ride local government on this issue?

        • Psycho Milt

          Suppose a local council wanted to declare itself a pro-GE zone, where experimentation and commercial use of engineered plants was welcomed and enouraged. It couldn’t, because central government legislation overrides local government on this issue. I expect you’re comfortable with that. I am too, because the issue of whether GE is permitted or not, and under what circumstances, is essentially a national one (councils not being in a position to order wind and weather not to distribute plants across council boundaries).

          That still applies if/when the government changes its legislation to allow full exploitation of GE. The issue is a national one, and local councils have no business banning productive enterprises from their jurisdictions.

          • Robert Guyton

            Suppose a community wanted to retain their GE-free status through the mechanism of their elected councillors.
            It seems that you argument is, like that of Amy Adams, that the decision to be GE-free or “pro-GE” is a national one, because GMO’s will spread, regardless of the wishes of the peoples of any particular region.
            If in fact, a region wanted to release GMO that would trespass a neighbouring region, they’d need to discuss this outcome with that affected region and arrange some compensation/mitigation or whatever, rather than claiming that their own rights would be curtailed by the region wanting to remain GE-free. Discussions between regions and deals brokered that way seems the democratic solution, rather than your proposed dictatorial broad-scale declaration by the central government. What about the will of local people in regards the land on which they depend?
            We are GE-free now. A change to the staus quo should only be made in the light that compensation should be provided to those who will lose their presently-held conditions as a result of a new activity.

            • Psycho Milt

              Believe it or not, local councils aren’t city states or independent fiefdoms. They don’t have sovereignty, and aren’t in a position to forge treaties or diplomatic relations with neighbouring councils. Maybe they’d like to be, but it would be a completely insane government that let them.

              As to compensation, that’s like declaring a Muslim-free zone and demanding the government pay you compensation for allowing Muslims free movement within NZ. Onus is on you to demonstrate harm.

              • Robert Guyton

                Neighbouring councils don’t meet and discuss issues such as any effects they might have on each other – go on!
                You say the “onus is on you to demonstrate harm” – fine, let the various councils do just that, as those who have chosen the precautionary model have done. There are no GMO in our forests and fields yet, let those who propose their introduction prove their safety. Dictatorially removing the decisions from councils with a stroke of the MPI pen is not democracy, it has anothert name. The Environment Court judge judged that councils can do what you suggest. National is saying, nah. Why? ‘Cause.

                • I don’t think you understand what “the onus is on you to demonstrate harm” means – it’s the opposite of the precautionary principle.

                  The “precautionary principle” is a crock of shit. It says “You can’t allow Muslim immigrants into my Muslim-free zone until you can prove no harm can ensue” and imagines that’s a clever way of doing things. The first people to domesticate animals or modify crops through experimentation could never have proved what they were doing was safe, any more than the people who are modifying things a bit faster these days can.

                  As to our forests and fields being free of human-modified organisms, they are in fact crawling with them, from the cows on down to the grasses and crops. If local councils have a beef with some particular means of modifying organisms, it’s really none of their business

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Don’t be dumb, Muslims have been around for over a millennia and have been well tested in many different political and social environments, whereas GMO technology is brand new, monbey driven, and could conceivably destroy large parts of the ecosystem in ways we do not yet understand.

                    BTW you seem to equate selective breeding of cattle and grass as being equivalent to GMO technology which is pretty stupid, as it isn’t.

                  • Robert Guyton

                    (Oops – posted this at the end of the general thread)
                    The precautionary principle is not a crock of shit, though your claiming it is reveals an intolerant position from you. Where the likelihood of something occurring cannot be 100% determined but the potential harm that could come from it is significant, the precautionary principle is a very valuable safeguard against disaster. I’m ignoring your “Muslim” analogy, as it is charged with its own issues – if you want to talk GMO, let’s use GMO as the example. Your equating of “domestication” with genetic engineering though, is a crock, to use your phraseology. You know as well as I, that there is a profound difference between conventional plant and animal breeding and the insertion of genetic material using modern genetic engineering methods. Your attempt to blend the two techniques is lame. The rest of your 6:39 comment has too little value for me to comment on.

                    • Where the likelihood of something occurring can’t be 100% determined, but the potential harm that could come from it is significant, you regulate the practitioners and put some safeguards and minimum standards in place. The precautionary principle, on the other hand, is a straightforward recipe for nobody doing anything, ever, because no-one can guarantee any particular activity is safe. It’s childish, moronic even.

                      And you ought to know, as well as I do, that GE is different from earlier methods of modifying plants and animals for human use mainly in that it’s a lot faster and more effective. The scare-mongering that prompts councils to declare ridiculous “GE-free” zones comes down to the long-standing tradition of people fearing what they don’t understand.

                      BTW you seem to equate selective breeding of cattle and grass as being equivalent to GMO technology which is pretty stupid, as it isn’t.

                      Yeah, that would be pretty stupid. They aren’t remotely equivalent – compared to GE, selective breeding is a clumsy process significantly dependent on luck.

          • Robert Guyton

            “The issue is a national one, and local councils have no business banning productive enterprises from their jurisdictions.

            And the issue of productive enterprises being destroyed through the introduction of GMO into the neighbourhood?

            That issue, Psycho Milt? Has central government have any “business” in doing that?

          • mickysavage

            Suppose a local council wanted to declare itself a pro-GE zone, where experimentation and commercial use of engineered plants was welcomed and enouraged.

            Then the EPA would say this was a silly idea and should not happen. National’s proposal is that the EPA sets the maximum amount of protection, not a minimum standard.

            • Psycho Milt

              Protection from what, in this case? Also, the fact that councils are and should remain subordinate to legislation, not superior to it, is exactly my point.

              • Robert Guyton

                ” the fact that councils are and should remain subordinate to legislation, not superior to it, is exactly my point.”

                Councils presently are acting withing the legislation and do have jurisdiction over this issue, as ruled by the Environment Court judge recently – exactly my point.
                You are arguing for a change to that status quo, a change the Government threatens to make unilaterally.
                So, no.

                • Robert Guyton

                  And further more…
                  ” The scare-mongering that prompts councils to declare ridiculous “GE-free” zones comes down to the long-standing tradition of people fearing what they don’t understand.”

                  When the people of any given community express their views through their elected representatives, it’s called democracy.
                  Asking that a “zone” be put in place that is designated to be “free” of whatever, given that it doesn’t contravene any laws or existing rights, is surely, yes, that old chestnut, democracy.

      • Robert Guyton 9.1.2

        Why, Psycho Milt?

        • Robert Guyton

          In any case, why should a particular industry, in this case plantation forestry working through the Ministry for Primary Industries, cause a region to (permanantly) lose it’s GE-free status? And another thing, why is MPI re-writing environmental standards? What happened to the Ministry for the Environment???

          • JanM

            And any resulting mess will no doubt be the responsibility of local government to clean up – central government will ‘just spray and walk away’

            • Robert Guyton

              Clean up GMO from the environment, JanM?
              That’d take more than a puff of whatever.
              In any case, a region’s GE-free status can’t be reinstated, can it. Once revoked, never regained. Such status is worth a great deal of money to those producing for global markets.
              Who’s going to compensate them?

              • dv

                Who’s going to compensate them?

                May be sue the govt under TPP?

                • Robert Guyton

                  GE-free is the existing status and land use. Incoming technologies need to prove themselves and subject themselves to the decisions of those who will be affected negatively by them. Ruling them in without discussion with affected communities is dictatorial, not democratic, not collaborative, not fair.

  10. Adrian 10

    How could Fonterra NOT know they were heading for a huge meltdown.
    China stockpiling for years.
    European internal milk quotas lapsed last April. ( known about for years ).
    English dairy farmers produced 1.8 million more tonnes in the each of last few years.
    British dairy farmers commuting to huge dirt-cheap dairy farms they developed in Poland in recent years.
    Russia banning European dairy imports after Ukraine. ( had to go somewhere ).
    Fonterra KNEW and therefore English and Key knew.

  11. cogito 11

    Rachel Smalley continues to defend John Campbell ‘white male monopoly’ comments

    I remember once when Rachel Smalley was fronting something on TV3 and the price of petrol had just gone up. Her comment was that it would cost her more to fill up the Maserati. I haven’t had any time for her since. Snob.

    • maui 11.1

      If she really cared about male domination she would not be working at her current radio station and towing the party line where men’s opinions rule, the establishment rules and climate change doesn’t exist. It’s called selling your soul.

  12. Adrian. 12

    And thats only Europe. US, Canada, Brasil , Argentina and Mexico ( in the desert for Christsake ) and most of Asia from Turkmenistan to China all upping production hugely.
    The spruiking of the White Goldmine is criminal.

  13. freedom 13


    we’ve worked ourselves into a ridiculous frenzy over it…wanting snappy one liner answers to complex issues…

    But Mike, that’s your entire modus operandi.
    Without snappy one liner answers to complex issues what do you present every night, apart from ever-more complex lapel adjustments and security for investors of hair product futures?

    • BM 13.1

      This puts the “Dairy Crisis” into perspective.


      Dated from 2002

      Lowest price: $3.34
      Highest price: $8.40

      Average around $5.00

      • Puckish Rogue 13.1.1

        I’m glad Labour have declared it a crisis because it means the prices will begin to rise again if past history is anything to go by 🙂

        • maui

          Commodity prices aren’t going anywhere upwards in a hurry, where’s the demand going to come from?

          • Puckish Rogue

            Commidity prices rise, commidity prices fall, there’ll be a market for it again at some point

            • Draco T Bastard

              No there won’t. Agriculture is something that every nation can, and will, do meaning that relying on it to develop our economy is outright stupid. Admittedly, that does seem to describe a lot of National supporters, RWNJs and farmers accurately.

            • Anno1701

              in spite of all the record milk harvests going on around the world ?

      • maui 13.1.2

        So what it shows is only in the last 5 years has Dairy been profitable. If you look back prior to that it’s struggling to break even.

      • freedom 13.1.3

        Have you even considered the massive increase in debt (from the boardroom to the farmgate to suppliers to regional/local councils) that has exploded across the entire industry since the $3.85 price was last seen a decade ago? What impact do you foresee if the price does not return to $6 a kilo within the next 24 months? Markets might well be cyclical but the debt margins those markets operate under are never operating in a smoothly co-joined manner. The debt markets will not simply say – ‘oh you’re having a tough time, don’t worry about the7% interest your bonds issue promised’ They are more likely to say-‘how about you just give us Units in your Shareholders Fund instead’

        That is separate of course to the very real risk of the banks turning down the screws in 2017 and claiming back what they are owed.
        Fonterra might well be able to juggle on a pogo stick whilst swallowing the lumpy bits, most NZ farms are not in such an enviable position.

      • Pat 13.1.4

        no perspective at all…it ignores the change in farming systems and the inflationary impact on inputs…talk to any dairy farmer and ask whats happened to inputs over the past 15 years, what was viable in 2002 is not viable in 2015 and beyond….and all of this ignores the short term impact of land value reduction and equity ratios…if you want an indicator of what is likely to occur think back to the removal of SMPs and then consider the recovery from that took 15 plus years and was only turned around by ….yes ,the dairy boom..a once in a lifetime perfect storm caused by Chinese industrialisation and urbanisation.

      • lprent 13.1.5

        The issue isn’t particularly the payout, it is the average rising cost involved in running herds.

        Back in 1998-2006, almost every dairy farm was making a profit with price levels that were less than $4/kg milk solids. Since then the area covered by dairy farms has nearly doubled, and the herd levels on existing farms has at least doubled. The way this was done was effectively by throwing capital at it, largely through debt. That allowed the conversion of other farm types to dairy, the addition of feedpads, extensive feeding, and mucg more intensive dairy farming.

        Between the repayment of financing costs and the changes in operational costs, the average required payout to even break-even is well over $5/kg and probably closer to $6/kg.

        Now that the world prices have reverted back towards normal, ie about $4/kg, the cost structure of our current dairy industry will have to adjust. Herd sizes will drop. Many recently converted farms will revert. Something like about 20-30% of current sharemilkers will wind up walking away voluntarily or involuntarily as they cannot make a profit. A significiant number of farm owners will be bankrupted.

        This was all quite obvious five years ago and an imminent economic crisis in 2012. However National kept pouring resources and support into this single economic sector. They really are naturally stupid (or greedy bearing mind the number of National MPs with stakes in dairy) is the only way of looking at it.

        Your “perspective” is daft because it assumes that industry in 2002 is the same as it is in 2015. You have to admire the timeless view of the conservative, but unfortunately the rest of us tend to live in the reality, not fantasyland.

        • weka

          “They really are naturally stupid (or greedy bearing mind the number of National MPs with stakes in dairy) is the only way of looking at it.”

          Or, it’s speculation with the idea that the risk doesn’t matter because when the farms go bankrupt we have overseas buyers waiting in the wings. Or all 3.

          Lynn do you remember the forces farm sales in the 80s? What was behind that? I seem to remember spiking interest rates on mortgages, but am curious if there was also a broader context like you have described above.

          • lprent

            SMPs. Supplementary minimum payments and the previous subsidy programs

            Umm http://www.rbnz.govt.nz/research_and_publications/reserve_bank_bulletin/1982/1982may45_4anoteonthesupplementryminimumpricesscheme.pdf

            It was a scheme designed to both support existing farmers (mainly sheep) when the world prices kept dropping, and to encourage more production.

            Retrospective – see the Conclusion

            The nett effect economically for exports was bugger all, but arguably I think that it allowed National to win the 1978 and 1981 elections from rural electorates.

            In 1977 I spent most of the year before university working on a number of farms deciding if it was worth heading off to farm. What convinced me that it was a waste of time was most of the farms were effectively uneconomic, but survived because of the subsidies and capital gains driven by those subsidies.

            By 1981/2 the subsidies were “…30% of the total output from farming.“. They were at least as much a contributor to the enormous deficits in 1984/5 as think big was.

            Essentially what those subsidies wound up doing was to defer the required changes in agricultural production by nearly a decade. Of course a lot of National MPs were sheep farmers 🙂

            When the subsidies were removed, then there was a wholesale restructure in the farming sector within a very short timeframe, drops in farm incomes, and for a while sharp drops in farmland values, with the consequent social dislocations. Lyn’s family for instance in Southland sold up and moved to Invercargill.

            The high interest rates were more of a side effect of having a very high inflation rate, largely caused by government overspending on things like SMP and their consequent expansion of the money supply. Pretty typical of National. They tend to live in a past fantasyland for as long as possible while shoveling debt on to kids.

            • weka

              Interesting, thanks. So a few similarities with what is happening now. It was one of the keys to my politicaly awakening, seeing what then were actually traditional family farmers losing their land to the bank (one side of my famliy are farmers). A real eye opener.

          • Save NZ

            +1 – if someone loses their farm it is a terrible thing, equivalent to someone losing their job and home. I think there should be a bit more sympathy.

            Nobody seems to post about how stupid and greedy other industries are, such as machinists are when they lose their job as everyone starts shopping for cheaper clothes made with cheap labour or if the timber mill or meat works close down.

            The comments also reveal how neoliberalism is so ingrained in the Kiwi way of looking at things. Hello farming is not about profit and loss, for a farmer it is a way of life. For overseas investors could be a range of reasons for the investment, land banking and immigration, tax losses. The Chinese have a lot of people to feed for example.

            Milk also reflects the changing culture of families. Instead of a parent staying at home and breastfeeding, woman bottle feed formula and go back to work. The amount of breastfeeding in NZ is only about 17% of woman breast feeding for 6 months.

            Remember the ‘attack politics’ about Breast Nazis – the opposite is true, breastfeeding is very low in this country at only about 17% of woman making it to 6 months.

        • JanM

          Thankyou Iprent, that is the most lucid explanation I have read thus far 🙂

      • freedom 13.1.6

        Two thirds of NZ Agriculture debt is acknowledged as Dairy debt. That is appoximately 40 billion dollars relying on a quick rebound in prices. That 40 billion affects more than the farm holding the debt. The towns the farm buys off, the services the farm supports. The towns that support the people that support the farms. These things are not isolated from each other and you know that.

        plus the debt carried by Fonterra has to be considered

        Open mike 10/08/2015

        Take the basic cost of living in the two different periods where a $3.85 payout occured and common sense shows how the present price is far worse for the wider economy than the same price was a decade ago.

        There are other costs of course, and all the good intentions of those expressing their ‘confidence in the sector’ seem strangely silent when confronted with the distance between ideal solutions and on the farm reality


        mental health initiatives and extra government funding were great but finding and keeping doctors in remote locations was a major challenge.

        He believed doctors’ appointments via teleconferencing could be one solution but said the Government needed to improve internet connections in rural communities first.

        “Telehealth is something that works in other parts of the world and it can be a specialist sitting in the Auckland Hospital talking to somebody in Balclutha about their particular issue, but in New Zealand, many of the parts of the country where this would be really useful, they don’t have the broadband to handle that capacity,”

        I’m concerned for dairy farmers. The payout is exceptionally low, financial pressures are huge. The media is saying 40-percent of farmers will run at a loss. I would suggest it’s double that,” Mr Hunt said.

        “My consultant has only one of his clients that does not need the bank this year, and when you take an event like we’ve seen over the weekend (the lower North Island floods), to add to pressures, it’s not one thing that knocks over someone who’s vulnerable, it’s a series of things.”

        I might personally wish the Government showed as much concern for all its citizens as it does for farmers, but if they need the help, then they should get it http://farmstrong.co.nz/

      • Incognito 13.1.7

        No, the unit price per se does not provide a perspective without taking the total volume into account.

        If you have time, and are genuinely interested in this, then have a look at this speech delivered to DairyNZ in Hamilton on 7 May 2014 by Graeme Wheeler, Governor RBNZ The significance of dairy to the New Zealand economy. The Conclusion at the end is particularly interesting and it was written only just over a year ago.

    • ianmac 13.2

      Yes I read that and thought “You are a cheeky little man Mike!” Being kind to him. Huh.

  14. Blue Horseshoe 14


    The first team medical staff at FC Barcelona has announced on Sunday that Neymar will be out for two weeks after being diagnosed with parotitis (mumps), despite the fact that he had previously been vaccinated against the disease.

    Waiting for the worlds media to be all over this just as they were with the ‘Disney’ outbreak.


    • McFlock 14.1

      Of course you are. Because you can see connections that are invisible to most people.

      • Blue Horseshoe 14.1.1

        Didn’t pick the sarcasm up then….

        I see what is distinctly out of place

        Most people do not know their arse from their elbow due to laziness. It would take no special powers of observation to see such connections

        Keep missing the point though by all means

        A high profile sportsman gets an illness having been vaccinated for said illness

        In a sane world there would be media clamoring all over this wanting to know why the vaccine failed

        I reckon even the simpletons are seeing where this is headed

        • northshoredoc


        • Realblue

          CDC ADVISORY
          Two doses of mumps vaccine are 88% (range 66% to 95%) effective at preventing the disease; one dose is 78% range (49% to 91%) effective. The first vaccine against mumps was licensed in the United States in 1967, and by 2005, high two-dose childhood vaccination coverage reduced disease rates by 99%.

          Like any vaccine it’s not 100% effective. Only 99%. He is the 1%. Not having a vaccine is effective 0% of the time in protecting people.

          Anti-vaccination nutjobs might disagree.

          • Blue Horseshoe

            Like any vaccine it’s not 100% effective. Only 99%. He is the 1%.

            Another very farken stoopid parrot

            Your comprehension of the cut and paste is laughable – it’s as if you didn’t even read it before you added your own comment

            Jesus christ that is moronic

            • weka

              you haven’t made an actuall argument there.

              • Blue Horseshoe

                I had no intention of doing so

                Not having a vaccine is effective 0% of the time in protecting people.

                There is no point in responding to statements such as that in anything which resembles , serious

                Realblue was either not being serious, or is unable to comprehend the mistakes in the words he/she used, that were not part of the cut and paste

                • northshoredoc


                  • McFlock

                    Have you seen the Akira Kurosawa version of MacB? Fucking awesome, not least of which the infamous dagger being replaced by a nine foot lance. 🙂

                    • northshoredoc

                      Haven’t seen it – i’ll make a point of trying to get it out.

                      Polanski’s version from 1971 is good and I hear Orson Welles does a great version from the 40s

                    • McFlock

                      Kurosawa’s version from the fifties had the English language title “Throne of Blood”.

                      Ian McKellan’s Richard III was damned good, and Anthony Hopkins in Titus Andronicus puts the SAW franchise to shame, lol

              • northshoredoc

                @weka.. it never does hence my version of DNFTT.

          • Colonial Viper

            Like any vaccine it’s not 100% effective. Only 99%. He is the 1%. Not having a vaccine is effective 0% of the time in protecting people.

            Your stats say differently.

            BTW I don’t know about you, but I have an immune system, and once it has reacted to mumps, it provides 100% life long effective and superior protection, unlike your “vaccinations”.

            Anti-vaccination nutjobs might disagree.

            You religious/zealot types should really ease off on your swallowing of doctrine.

            • McFlock

              Of course, that “reaction” can include swollen nuts, fever, acute abdominale pain and vomiting, encephalitis, and passing it on to someone else who has a worse reaction than your own, such as permanently decreased fertility or death.

              But yeah, 88% efficacy puts him in the 12%, not 1%. I wonder if the person he caught it from was vaccinated? The odds are against it.

              • Colonial Viper

                and that 88% number appears to dive over time. Again, an example which suggests that vaccinations push the body’s immune system in very different ways to natural exposure, provides much less protection and creates physiological results that are far different. And science cannot explain why.

                • McFlock

                  And if we go with all of that bullshit, the fact remains that the science can explain how much safer the vaccine is than “natural exposure”. Your preference is akin to “we had to seriously increase the chances of destroying the village in order to save it”.

                  • Colonial Viper


                    jab yourself up mate, ain’t stopping you

                    • McFlock

                      no, you’re most definitely not.
                      If you knew what you were talking about, you might have.

                  • Blue Horseshoe

                    the fact remains that the science can explain how much safer the vaccine is than “natural exposure”

                    No, it fucken, cannot.

                    • McFlock

                      Take the expected incidence in a non-vaccinated population, apply the efficacy rate and the averse reaction rate, subtract one from the other, and Bob’s your uncle.

                      In short: Oh yes it can.

                      Now bring on Buttercup and Widow Twanky.

                • northshoredoc

                  More anti-science waffle and lies from deleted.

                  CV you are the kind of idiot that would recommend all people should be subjected to the infectious disease rather than be vaccinated, thank goodness you’ll never be in a position to make that decision for anyone else apart from yourself.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Please be specific – you called my “waffle” anti-science – justify your statement by pointing out which of my statements you deem as “anti-science”.

                    And please, don’t put words in my mouth as to what I would and wouldn’t advocate. Again, you generally do not make lazy arguments, don’t start now.

                    Questioning current day givens in science always has to be done, whether you like it or not.

                    • northshoredoc

                      “Again, an example which suggests that vaccinations push the body’s immune system in very different ways to natural exposure, provides much less protection and creates physiological results that are far different.”

                      Utter and absolute BS.

                    • northshoredoc

                      “And please, don’t put words in my mouth as to what I would and wouldn’t advocate.”

                      You have repeatedly posted on this blog anti-vaccination messages which have relied on information that is a best dubious, I would seriously doubt that [mod edit – an unspecified ‘they’] would approve of such statements by one of their members.

                    • that seems like a threat – doc acting like a cock – strutting and puffed up – macfuckenbeth indeed

                    • northshoredoc

                      @ MM

                      [Sorry. Tired of surgically cleaning up the smeared mess from this prolapsed rectum. Entire comment deleted] – Bill

                    • so you must have made an official complaint then seeing as though you are such an upstanding citizen and all

                  • Blue Horseshoe

                    More anti-science waffle and lies from [sorry. deleted].

                    What a fucken corrupted souled out drug pushing wanker you are.

                    • northshoredoc


                      [You’re gone and hit moderation until you grow up and undertake to desist from making comments that – 1. point to a persons real identity and -2. quit with the veiled threats.
                      Now to clean up the shit you’ve smeared in comments above. Not. fucking. impressed.] – Bill

        • Draco T Bastard

          In a sane world there would be media clamoring all over this wanting to know why the vaccine failed

          No, in a sane world everyone would already know that vaccines aren’t 100% effective due to changing conditions. Same as condoms aren’t 100% effective.

          Unfortunately, there happens to be some really stupid people around who think that they are or that they should be.

          • McFlock

            The less charitable side of me thinks that failure in one is responsible for much of the moaning about the quanitified and well-known lack in perfection of the other. 👿

        • McFlock

          lol no, you didn’t pick up the sarcasm in my comment, then.

          If you can point to a more demonstrably effective prophylactic against mumps than vaccination (with nothing short of 100% effectiveness in your alternative and a global lack of nutjobs saying it causes autism), feel free to share it with the world.

  15. The Fairy Godmother 15

    Can’t directly link to molly and weepus beard on my mobile. No not standards in ece but lots of bureaucratic paper work. We have to write loads of learning stories and take lots of photos to prove we are doing our job. Of course this takes time away from the children and this means less conversation with them which is how language develops. I also think all the photos may help them to accept a surveillance state as they grow older.

    • JanM 15.1

      If I may say so, Fairy Godmother, if you think that photos and learning stories are only used to ‘prove we are doing our job’ then I think you need to go on a few courses and do a bit of research. Children’s portfolios, properly used are a very valuable learning tool for them and a source of constant delight.
      Oh, dear me!

      • Molly 15.1.1

        “Children’s portfolios, properly used are a very valuable learning tool for them and a source of constant delight.
        Oh, dear me!”

        Depends on the child, and depends on the environment.

        Many home educators do this for a period of time so that a form of record is available for ERO (and some for personal satisfaction) but it usually falls to the wayside, and that energy and time is spent getting on with learning.

        This is not true of all home educators – mind you – just a comment on the difference of making paperwork a necessity rather than an option.

        Dealing with MoE you often don’t get to prioritise providing learning experiences over paperwork.

        • JanM

          It does not depend on the child or the environment it depends on whether the teacher knows what the heck they’re up to! Grrrrr!

          • Molly

            Environment can be powerful. For example, I know one family who is able to provide their children with guided bush walks, multi-day tramping excursions, bike trailing, interaction with computer and industry experts, experience of flying in small aircraft and regular interaction with overseas visitors from a variety of occupations. And this was all from a very young age.

            Their learning experience was rich and varied, and in no way would be enhanced by recording it.

            Other children, requiring routine and less disruption to their habits in order to progress and achieve, need a stable environment. The interaction with those teaching them needs to be sincere. Once again, not necessarily enhanced by constant measuring and recording.

            Keeping records is an option, and can be a valuable teaching aid – but it is not a necessary requirement. But we are in agreement about the value of the teaching relationship.

            Grrr, yourself. 🙂

  16. rhinocrates 16

    An interesting exposure of “neoliberalism”


    The author argues that “neoliberalism” as Thatcher-Reagan capitalism with small-state free-market capitalism is a sham, a public face used for PR and the reality is much cruder state cronyism – good old “socialise the costs, privatise the gains.”

    neoliberalism … has been something like the relationship of the Ten Commandments to life in an Italian peasant village: a good idea but nobody obeys.

    In 20+ years as a business journalist I’ve seen the proof of this so many times that I have lost count. In private the elite will come out with all the most destructive, vindictive and selfish aspects of the ideology. In public it’s a different discourse. The entire public relations industry at high level is dedicated to reinforcing both activities: the public propagation of the acceptable version, and the creation of private spaces where the esoteric truth can be spoken, and crucial differences of emphasis or strategy debated.

    No surprises of course, but nice to see see it mapped out coherently and concisely. The author notes that the system is under continual evolution.

    In essence, these thugs don’t want a small state, they want the state to be an extraction industry and to do so, it must remain large and powerful. In such a context, it’s no surprise that those who profess “libertarian” principles always default to the most authoritarian stances when “order” is challenged.

    For example, when Hoots, who professes admiration of Thatcher’s public ideology of freedom privately tries to organise with his friend Cactus Kate the murder of Nicky Hager.

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.1

      Yep they need the state, and they need it to work hand in hand with the banksters and trans national corporations.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone.

      Once you scratch the surface though it the nastiest of men doing the nastiest things to the rest of the world for the basest of motives – greed.

  17. James 17


    A former member of the Conservative Party is promising to reveal evidence of what he calls serious offences by Colin Craig.

    John Stringer has announced he’s holding a press conference in Christchurch this afternoon.

    He’s promising to provide documents, emails, letters, and photos, along with people who are prepared to testify in court about the so-called offences.

    There’s no word yet on what those serious offences are.

    Mr Craig has previously faced accusations of behaving inappropriately towards a former staffer.

    *I’m off to get a bucket of popcorn for this one.

    I wonder if CC will have to issue another booklet, or perhaps “Mr X” will do a 30 second television spot.

    [lprent: Quote material so that it doesn’t look like your words. I have done it for you using the blockquote tags. You can do it simply using quotation marks. But don’t let me see you plagiarizing again. It violates copyrights beyond fair use and even short news pieces make you fraudulently look more intelligent. Which says something about your very low standard. ]

    • Tigger 17.1

      This is just making Craig’s point for him. In fact ‘dirt’ flung his was is useful to his case. Want to lay bets as to who is behind this?

      • lprent 17.1.1

        Yeah, it has that confused bullshit based on rabid divorced from facts (10% fact and 90% lying) signature that we have all come to know and detest. The real question is who paid for it this time?

    • Charles 17.2

      Couldn’t have happened to a more confused bunch: The Confusitive Party.

      First their ex-leader forgets the bit about covetting thy former staffer, then misrepresents “Thou shall not bear false witness” as a concept to direct at others but never yourself, then by-passes “Do not oppose evil… turn the other cheek…” to publish and distribute a pamphlet on the evil of Stringer, Slater et. al. , and all within what appears to be an environment where all of them are terrified that anyone anywhere will accuse them of being less than perfect in the tiniest way, thus losing the “esteem” of their “peers”.

      It’s a good thing “god is dead” because otherwise he wouldn’t be very pleased.

    • Puckish Rogue 17.3

      So hes going to offer proof as opposed to CCs allegations

      Mind you you theres also this:

      On Wednesday 29th July at 2.30pm Colin Craig held a press conference and released a defamatory 12-page magazine called “Dirty Politics,” announcing he would be suing three men: John Stringer ($600,000); Cameron Slater ($650,000); Jordan Williams ($300,000).

      He said on Thursday 30th June on various radio and TV shows, that he would file legal papers “within 48 hours.”

      So thats nearly two weeks and waiting…

  18. Penny Bright 18

    Seen this?


    Peters: Fed Farmers too cosy with govt to help farmers


    MICHAEL What about TPP? Let’s look at TPP. How crucial is that for dairy farmers? Hold on.

    WINSTON Well, I can explain this to you. No, no, we’re going to have a fair amount of debate here.

    MICHAEL We will. Dr Rolleston, TPP – is that something that your members see as essential to growing dairy, to getting access to more markets, to really digging your way out of this hole?

    WILLIAM Yes, but it needs to be a good-quality agreement, and, you know, I think when we’ve looked back at the free trade deals that we’ve done around the world, we have a pretty good set of negotiators and we’ve driven a pretty hard bargain. So I see that TPP is a huge opportunity for us, but it does need to be a good-quality deal.

    WINSTON Look, there’s a classic statement of someone who’s meant to represent the farming community. We went into Korea, and they secured a tariff against us at 176% permanently against our products above 2000 tons. If he thinks that’s a high-quality deal, then I’m afraid we’re talking to the wrong industry here. But we’re not in there – that’s the point. They went into Korea and did that. It was a shocking deal. And now that we’re prepared to trade our future way, our export and farming future way in a so-called free trade deal. Now, the reality is that for other reasons, it failed. But they are prepared to go down that track all the way, even when we’re in the middle of a crisis. And sir, I’m not panicking. The reality is it is absurd when we don’t actually do something, and the range of those things could have been done a long time ago.

    MICHAEL What about Russia? That’s obviously something you think that Fonterra dairy farmers can make greater gains into Russia. Andrew Little doesn’t like that; why do you?

    WINSTON Well, because it’s the world’s second biggest dairy importer. No, we haven’t got sanctions against them at all.



    Penny Bright

  19. Puckish Rogue 19


    “They are not jay-walkers,” he said. “Some are facing 10 or 15 years. But they’re not lying,” he said.

    Yeah right but seriously hes going about this the wrong, voters don’t care about prisoners so if he wants traction on this he needs to stop with the prisoners and instead focus on the guards safety and/or costs over runs

  20. Bill 20

    Maybe Dukeofurl will buy me one of these 😉


    “We have had a few negative comments, with people saying she’s not like Che Guevara, but it’s just a bit of fun and that image means lots of different things to different people. It must be strange for Nicola Sturgeon to see all this stuff on the internet, but it just shows how popular she is and it’s fantastic for little businesses like mine.”

  21. Robert Guyton 21

    The precautionary principle is not a crock of shit, though your claiming it is reveals an intolerant position from you. Where the likelihood of something occurring cannot be 100% determined but the potential harm that could come from it is significant, the precautionary principle is a very valuable safeguard against disaster. I’m ignoring your “Muslim” analogy, as it is charged with its own issues – if you want to talk GMO, let’s use GMO as the example. Your equating of “domestication” with genetic engineering though, is a crock, to use your phraseology. You know as well as I, that there is a profound difference between conventional plant and animal breeding and the insertion of genetic material using modern genetic engineering methods. Your attempt to blend the two techniques is lame. The rest of your 6:39 comment has too little value for me to comment on.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 21.1

      I totally agree, Robert. Plus tests regarding safety of GM crops should be designed and carried out by scientists who are totally independent of the corporations producing these crops. I don’t trust the data that is put out by these corporations. Precaution is paramount.
      Have a read of this,article about GM soya bean crops planted in Argentina and the results as seen FIRST HAND by an Aljazeera journalist, Glenn Ellis. A short excerpt:

      “Then we met Nadia Perez, a delightful little girl with a winning smile, who is confined to a wheel chair. She suffers from adversely evolving encephalopathy. Sadly her condition is progressive. Viviana, her mother is desperate. “There’s no treatment, but the doctor says, ‘Don’t give up hope.’ Maybe they’ll develop a new treatment, if not in Argentina, then abroad. I don’t care if it’s abroad, I just want a treatment: A treatment, a drug, anything.”

      We were to meet many such children before returning to the doctor’s surgery that evening. Here she showed me a computer chart containing two steeply climbing graphs. One represented the increase in soya plantations over the last 15 years while the other illustrated the rise in the number of birth malformations across the province during the same time. It was startling; virtually a mirror image. “I have practiced medicine here for 30 years,” she told me, “20 years ago we never saw malformations.”

      Doctor Seveso’s assertion that glyphosate based pesticide was responsible for what she referred to as ‘an epidemic of birth malformations’ is supported by Argentina’s leading embryologist, Professor Andres Carrasco, who runs the Molecular Embryology Laboratory at the University of Buenos Aires. Carrasco observed a link between glyphosate and malformations under laboratory conditions some two years ago.”

      NZ would be crazy to allow these crops into NZ.


      • Psycho Milt 21.1.1

        Have you considered the possibility that pesticide being bad for people isn’t relevant to the question of whether genetic engineering is bad for people? Also, that no-one’s suggesting growing GE soy here (except maybe some nutcase vegans), but our forestry industry could benefit greatly from GE if hippies and religion enthusiasts would stop with the scare-mongering?

        • Tautoko Mangō Mata

          I realise that there are several issues involved, PM.
          Pesticide, GM in food and GM in non foods and in animal feed are separate issues.
          The problems of the spread of pollen by wind and insects makes containment difficult. There are also issues involved with whether food containing GM should be labelled. Other countries are considering these issues and the effects on the reputation of their existing crops should they open up to GMOs.
          Here is the anti GMO
          Sorry, Monsanto: Scotland to Officially Ban the Growing of GMO Crops – See more at: http://althealthworks.com/7321/scotland-offiicially-bans-gmos-vows-to-protect-countrys-beautiful-natural-environment/#sthash.eFOsl5Ca.dpuf

          and the pro GMO

          There needs to be a lot of discussion needed and the last thing that we need is to have the likes of Monsanto being allowed to ride roughshod over NZ by a govt that is only interested in quick money with no regard to the long term consequences.

        • maui

          …but our forestry industry could benefit greatly from GE if hippies and religion enthusiasts would stop with the scare-mongering?

          New Zealand’s forestry issue isn’t not being able to grow trees fast enough, we’ve got some of the fastest growing pine trees in the world. So we already have competitive advantage there. Our issue is having a market to sell the wood to and being able to add dollar value onto the product before it leaves the country. Closed timber mills and factories that create finished products are the more obvious issue.

    • greywarshark 21.2

      @Tautoko Manga Mata
      Thanks for valuable background on Argentina. Frightening. Will our government follow. Well its war I think, and the leaders always stay behind the lines and well back as they are too important to lose.

      In the meantime our bees have another disease that has caused them to clear out of their hives an only the queen and the new uninfected baby bees hatch and struggle on. The feeling is that it their systems are weakened by a combined assault of things probably including GM.

      I just flicked onto the post Robert and you are being impassioned to somebody but I don’t have a clue as to whom. You have not clicked on a reply button and I can’t be faffed to look all through the above comments.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 21.2.1

        Stems from my comment 8. Robert Guyton’s reply went to end so I just carried on from his comment. Robert was replying to Psycho Milt.

      • Robert Guyton 21.2.2

        Sorry, Greyshark, I’ve been busy outside amongst my GE-free trees. I was debating further back in the thread and mis-placed that comment out of context. The suggestion that GE-crops, be they trees, soya bean, maize or whatever, go hand-in-hand with increased pesticide use is significant. The Herbicide-tolerant swedes that last year killed hundreds of dairy cows in Southland, while arguably not GMO , created the opportunity for farmers to use Telar, where before they couldn’t, right across the region. Telar is powerful and long-lasting and, get this, its active ingredient is BANNED from use in parts of China! China, where caution around pesticides,herbicides, fungicides, nematicides, molluscasides etc, etc is hardly a feature. Southland lowered its standards dramatically there, resulting in those deaths and disfigurements. This is the territory we are venturing into with GMO and their associated cultures, in my view.

        • greywarshark

          Robert G
          You are very civil. I should know better than to complain now iI remember it means usually that some comment has removed which munts the system. What controls do concerned citizens have over these neanderthals that want to use this killer stuff? Put a curse on them and all their kind? Physically stop them? Get run over with them let off on an excuse? Have to march and get bashed over the head by perlice batons? All of the above? And that presumes that the governing bodies are not ready to subject themselves to thought, statistics and scenarios that are already on the scene – bees, cows dying.

          (And I believe that neanderthals were cleverer than we have given them credit for. Better than the present day people willing to damage the environment because it isn’t allowed to ponder and be doubtful in their business and social circles. Thinking positively, acting energetically, can change flawed product into gold – magical thinking.)

          Those old Griims fairy tales – they are really analogies. Today’s Rumplestiltskins will steal away our future hopefully healthy babies so that straw can be turned into gold.
          ‘All this must be spun into gold before morning, as you love your life.’

          • Robert Guyton

            Greywarshark – I’m with you in giving the Neanderthals credit where it’s rarely given. Whoever we were when we co-existed here for the 3 000 000 years before agriculture reared its head, we did well not to destroy the place. !0 000 years since the grain silos went up, everything else went down, including our capacity to make good decisions.
            Talk of magic and fairy tales – now you’re gonna attract a swarm of Homo Agriculturalis (more a file than a swarm – bees swarm, Modern Man prefers the straight-edge). And yes, the bees. The place is becoming too toxic for them. They’re outa here.

          • Robert Guyton

            And did you know, there is a tradition of making “gold” cloth from straw. The Grimms knew a thing or two and there’s gold of other sorts in those tales too.
            It’s not about the giant, Jack – it’s the beans!

            • greywarshark

              You are inspiring me Robert. Now I remember the story of the boy with the golden goose which once you touched it you couldn’t let go and had to run along with the pair. Soon there were a whole file of National Party grunts and villagers and oh dear the boy called John is running straight towards the edge of a cliff. There is a signpost there, is it Melling Place, no it’s Lemming.

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