Media bias on environmental reporting

There are reasons almost every day to believe the media are biased and only really interested in sensationalism, controversy and negativity.

Here is an example.

A few weeks ago The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment released a report that included some criticisms of farming and its effects on rivers.  It was negatively slanted and demanded greater action.  There were a couple of articles that followed that repeated the criticisms and together they got extensive coverage in all media with readers chipping in with negative comments.

Yesterday the Sustainable Dairying Group released a factual report on how things were going down on the farm – progress on making our waterways even cleaner than they are now.  It is useful to remember that a few years ago the OECD tested 90 rivers in its member countries and New Zealand had three rivers in the top four for cleanliness – the Waikato, Waitaki and Clutha – all in intensive dairying areas.

The latest report should have been headlines in every media outlet.  Why?  Because of the vast number of improvements achieved, because of past criticisms that got headlines and because it is a great story of Kiwi effort and innovation.

Here are a few compelling stats:    Read more »


Key to farmers: time for you to step up for the environment

PM John Key

PM John Key

New Zealand farmers need to step up their investment on science and innovation to combat the impact of methane and nitrates from agriculture on climate change, Prime Minister John Key said.

Mr Key told the Platinum Primary Producers annual conference in Wellington that the focus would return to climate change as the economy recovers from the global financial crisis and the pressure would come more and more on the agricultural industry, which is responsible for half of New Zealand’s emissions.

Read more »

Labour candidate thinks government should prop up loan defaulters

Labour, and in particular Labour Rotorua, just don’t get how finance works. We’ve already seen Tamati’s little pearl of wisdom on how profit works.

Now they want us to believe a good government should never let people default on their loans. How could this possibly go wrong?

unnamed Read more »

Andrew Little confirms Labour want subsidies for farmers, and want to bully banks

After more than a decade of bashing farmers Andrew Little has now confirmed that he supports Grant Robertson’s call for a return to Muldoon-era farm subsidies, as well as wanting to bully banks.

Labour leader Andrew Little has called for banks to be “stiff armed” into not forcing dairy farmers off their land, warning that could see more farms fall into overseas ownership.

His call came amid calculations by the Reserve Bank that in a worst case scenario up to 15 per cent of the $40 billion in dairy farm debt – equivalent to more than $5 billion – could be lost to the banks.

Fonterra dropped its forecast dairy payout forecast to $3.90 a kilo of milk solids last week. An estimated 85 per cent or more of farms are not expected to make a profit at that level.

The good news is that Labour have declared a crisis. The bad news is that Andrew Little is showing he is an economic retard. Talk of “stiff-arming” banks is ridiculous. Even in sport such tactics are illegal, and in international finance you’d destroy the economy faster than you could say 255 if you even thought about forcing banks to listen to the dictates of a government, or even tried nationalising them.

Little said the banks needed to be “stiff-armed and told we’re not going to see, wholesale, farmers pushed off the land”.

He said with some estimates of up to 25 per cent of dairy farmers in trouble, and with the value of land and herds falling, banks might look at their most marginal loans with a view to forcing farmers out.

“We expose more New Zealand farm land to the risk of overseas ownership and I think that is a matter in which there is a national interest the Government should be alert to, and take action on.”

Labour, the Greens and NZ First have called for help for farmers.

Read more »

Sorry farmers, Bill says no


Finance Minister Bill English is ruling out a Government bailout for struggling farmers to prevent widespread foreclosures.

Opposition leaders have called on the Government to offer a relief package to farmers, hit hard by low dairy prices and current dairy debt of $38 billion.

However, Mr English told TVNZ’s Q&A programme today that a bailout was out of the question. Read more »


Robertson proposes a return to farm subsidies

Have a listen to Grant Robertson.

He is proposing a return to farm subsidies.

Subsidies for dairy farmers?

So Robertson’s, and presumably Labour’s, position is that those businesses should not be allowed to fail. No matter what they pay for their land, the government should make sure they can make ends meet.

Hell, why stop there?    Read more »

Sledge of the Day

John Key sledges out Grant Robertson.

It’s a bit rich of Robbo to moan about juvenile politicking as he’s one of the worst.   Read more »

How is this consistent with letting a judge off with a warning?



Farmers could face thousands of dollars in fines if their stock are found to be in waterways, as the government looks to tackle water quality issues.

The lack of consistency and enforcement of local council rules around stock access to waterways has prompted the government to introduce national regulations around the issue.

A consultation document featuring 23 initiatives to improve water quality was announced by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Environment Minister Nick Smith at the annual BlueGreens Forum in Tekapo on Saturday.

Dairy cows and pigs will be required to be fenced off from waterways by July 2017. Other stock would be progressively included in the regulations by 2030.

It is hard to understand why our Chief Justice Sian Elias got a mere warning.  If nothing else, it was a great opportunity to set an example and take it on the chin.  It’s not as if a fine would have created any financial hardship. Read more »

Farming sector well prepared for El Nino droughts

The farming sector reckons they are well prepared for El Nino droughts.

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has praised farmers’ preparations for this summer’s El Nino climate pattern, as it shapes up to be one of the strongest on record.

“NIWA has released a report last week confirming that El Nino will definitely continue at least over the next three months, and is likely to intensify and peak over the summer,” says Mr Guy.

“This is likely to mean less rainfall in the north and east, which is tough for farmers in Canterbury, Otago and Marlborough who are already feeling the effects of an extended drought.

“The planning that farmers and growers have carried out in anticipation of this has been very worthwhile.   Read more »


Ten years for our farmers to get the stock and effluent out of our waterways

About time…some recommendations worth pursuing for our waterways.

Farmers should have to exclude nearly all livestock from rivers and streams by 2025, the Government has been told.

The Land and Water Forum released its fourth report today, which had 60 new recommendations for the Government on freshwater management.

Chairman Alastair Bisley said that the proposals outlined a “workable and balanced” management system which would facilitate growth within environmental limits.

Mr Bisley expressed disappointment that the Government had not adopted most of the 153 recommendations made in three previous reports, and urged ministers to make further changes “without delay”.

One of the forum’s members, the Environmental Defence Society, reiterated the need for urgent changes.

“Water quality in our lowland streams and rivers is poor and the current system is demonstrably failing to deliver the outcomes the public wants,” chairman Gary Taylor said.    Read more »