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.

THE BRAIDED TRAIL: Time and a place

In my last article on forestry, a little over two months ago, I ended by saying that “there is a need for an informed and wide-ranging debate as we search for the path that will lead to the right trees in the right place, planted and owned by the right people”. Here I take up that issue again.

THE BRAIDED TRAIL: Zespri faces a China conundrum

China is New Zealand’s biggest kiwifruit market. Growth of this market has been spectacular with the Zespri-owned SunGold variety much-loved by Chinese consumers. The problem is that the Chinese are also growing at least 4000ha of SunGold without the permission of Zespri.

That compares to about 7000ha of SunGold grown in NZ.

THE BRAIDED TRAIL: History will remember Sir Bob

When I wrote the book Devil in the Milk in 2007, I introduced Bob Elliott in the very first paragraph. Bob was the Auckland paediatrician who first identified A1 beta-casein from milk as a big risk factor for Type 1 diabetes.

THE BRAIDED TRAIL: Pivoting to permanent forests

During 2019 I wrote five articles discussing land-use transformation that would be driven by forthcoming forestry investments. One of the key themes of those articles was that New Zealand’s forestry policies are a mess. The rules are complex and confusing. Also, the alignment of those rules with the overall public good is at best debatable.

THE BRAIDED TRAIL: Ag will change but pastoral ag will survive

One of the regular questions I am asked about is the future of pastoral agriculture. It reflects a perspective that, given the issues of water pollution, greenhouse gases and changing consumer attitudes, perhaps New Zealand’s pastoral agriculture belongs to the past rather than the future.

THE BRAIDED TRAILL: Fonterra stabilises finances

Fonterra has stabilised its finances with more asset sales forthcoming. It now operates a conservative model supported by its farmer members. But the model will not create the national champion that the Labour government has always hoped for.