OPINION ARCHIVES

BLOG: Dawn on the environmental age

The Climate Change Commission’s draft advice to the Government includes a recommendation that livestock numbers need to fall by 15% for New Zealand to meet its targeted reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

MEATY MATTERS: Warkworth show is my swansong

The 154th Warkworth A&P Show was held on the third Saturday in March, much to the relief of the committee who had been planning it for several months with no certainty it would be allowed to go ahead. Last year the wait was like knowing the grapes wouldn’t be picked before the first frosts arrived – lockdown was inevitable, but planning had to continue just in case it didn’t come as soon as it did. Whereas this year the odds were on Auckland coming out of Level 2 in time, but without any guarantee.

PULPIT: A stationhouse yarn

Salmon fishing in the braided Canterbury rivers did not come by chance. The Acclimatisation Society introduced smelt where they quickly established and now, decades later, we find it difficult to think of the Rakaia and Rangitata without thinking of salmon. Fish traps are set by rangers in the upper reaches of the rivers to catch adult salmon. They strip the roe and fertilise the eggs by ‘milking’ the ‘jack’ fish so that new spawning grounds can be established in yet other streams.

FROM THE RIDGE: Some things are worth the wait

Like many of us in the rural community, I’ve been involved in many voluntary roles over the years.

One I’m enjoying presently is chairing the East Coast Ballance Farm Environment Awards.

The East Coast is one of 11 regions that make up these awards.

ALTERNATIVE VIEW: A victory for common sense

My views on the original wintering rules are well known. Basically, the original system, the Essential Freshwater Rules on winter grazing, were unworkable and promulgated by a bureaucracy without any knowledge of rural issues.

BLOG: Sustainability’s a balancing act

Judging by the numbers turning up to on-farm field days recently, farmers are increasingly interested in how trees can provide an option for them both in terms of income and sustainability.

PULPIT: Regen ag not the be-all, end-all

Regenerative agriculture, where the health and wellbeing of the environment, animals and farmers is prioritised, is gaining cachet. I see that as a necessary but insufficient change to how we manage land and watery environments. In some respects, discussions about regen ag are more backward than forward-looking.

THE BRAIDED TRAIL: Pick battles that will win the war

A key forthcoming decision for New Zealand is how it will report to the United Nations on its Paris Agreement milestones. On the surface, this many seem something for the bureaucracy to deal with, but the reality is very different. It is an issue of fundamental importance.

BLOG: Sector representation is sorely lacking

New Zealand farmers have traditionally not done protests well.

They tend to be a lot more civilised than their European contemporaries who willingly use tractors to blockade motorways and cripple cities.