Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Coalition never benefits smaller partner

October 13, 2017

Now the special votes have been counted New Zealand can expect a decision on the formation of a government for the next three years. Who knows, by the time you read this it’s possible if unlikely a result might even be known. But one thing is almost certain – whichever partner New Zealand First chooses will end up getting the credit for a successful coalition, while the junior partner or partners will get the blame for what goes wrong. (more…)

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EU – Japan trade deal ups the ante

July 13, 2017

The FTA announced just before the G20 meeting in Hamburg is touted to bring substantial benefits to EU agricultural producers. It will put EU exporters on a level playing field with countries like Australia which already have an agreement, but notably it will put New Zealand at an even greater disadvantage until our trade negotiators can achieve a similar outcome. (more…)

Steady progress with Primary Growth projects

June 14, 2017

It is eight years since the Primary Growth Partnership programme was announced by the then recently elected National Government. At the end of 2016 there were 20 projects under way and just two completed, but 30th June sees the completion of FarmIQ, the largest of the red meat sector programmes. This seems to be an appropriate point to evaluate the success of PGP, in particular the six meat and two wool programmes which have been allocated total Crown and industry funding of $342 million. (more…)

Fairton closure unfortunate but inevitable

May 18, 2017

Silver Fern Farms decision to close its Fairton plant did not have much to do with Shanghai Maling’s investment, but was only a matter of time. Even the workforce had apparently come to accept the inevitable after seeing lamb numbers through the plant decline sharply from more than 1 million in 2010 to less than 500,000 last season and 325,000 in the latest six months. (more…)

Climate change report indicates challenges for NZ agriculture

May 13, 2017

GLOBE-NZ, a group of 35 MPs from all the main parties, has released a report by UK firm Vivid Economics which lays out various scenarios for New Zealand to meet the target of zero emissions by 2050. Business New Zealand and the Sustainable Business Council have both welcomed the cross party initiative, saying it gives confidence there will be collective and coordinated action towards meeting the target. It will also help to achieve commitments under the 2030 Paris climate change agreement to reduce emissions to 20% below the 2005 level. (more…)

UK farming looks doomed

May 13, 2017

Two contrasting publications have each given a pretty damning picture of the state of farming and food production in pre-Brexit UK; and despite the conclusions of the Ferguson Cardo report into the future of British agriculture, it is hard to see how this situation will change for the better without a huge amount of pain on the way. But equally it is almost impossible to imagine a continuation of the status quo within the EU, where in 2015 70% of UK farm income came from direct and environmental subsidies. (more…)

Good trade news for red meat – let’s hope it happens quickly

March 30, 2017

The visit by Chinese Premier Li Kequiang has been very positive in several ways for New Zealand’s trade agreements, except for those people who are anti free trade or closer engagement with China (Winston Peters?). After the excitement about the announcement in April last year during the John Key led trade mission, progress on chilled red meat access to China and an upgraded FTA appeared to have gone onto the back burner, until now. (more…)

NZ sheep and beef farmers more profitable than Northern Hemisphere counterparts

January 19, 2017

When sheep and beef farmers in New Zealand grumpily ponder their forecast returns for 2016-17, they may be able to take some comfort from the precarious state of farmers in Europe, particularly the UK where they are facing even more uncertainty of income. (more…)

Meat exporters and farmers must get used to change

November 22, 2016

As if Brexit wasn’t a big enough shock, the US presidential election has really set the cat amongst the pigeons. Commentators of all nationalities and political inclinations have literally no idea how a Trump presidency will affect the world order, from trade agreements and global interest rates to immigration or deportation, let alone internal security issues and relationships with other nations. (more…)

Upbeat conference attracts 200+ delegates

July 28, 2016

The delegates at the 2016 Red Meat Sector Conference were challenged and entertained by a stimulating range of guest speakers and New Zealand icons the Topp Twins. (more…)