Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Where there’s a will, there’s a way

Tue, Jun 03 2014

Lost amidst all the doom and gloom predicted by HBRC’s staff and its holding company (HBRIC) honchos to result from the Board of Inquiry’s tough water quality regime is a positive opportunity.

If we decide we can indeed farm smarter and better.

I was reminded of this by a letter to the editor in the current North & South magazine.

The author writes: “Holland has roughly the same land area as Southland (34,000 sq km) … Holland produces $55 billion in annual agricultural and horticultural production to Southland’s $2 billion — and does so with very tight environmental regulations.”

This tracks with some comparisons made in the 2012 Riddet Institute (Massey affiliated) report, A Call to Arms, which road-mapped the way NZ could increase its agri-food exports from $20 billion in value to $60 billion by 2025.

That report noted that Canterbury is the size of Denmark, but Denmark produces over twice as much food and beverage as all of NZ, with only a slightly higher population. Italy is the same size as NZ, but feeds its larger population (60 million) and still exports twice as much food and beverage as NZ.

The experts behind A Call to Arms (HB’s own newly-knighted Graeme Avery was one of four authors) comment that meeting the growth goal would require a compound annual growth rate of around 7%. Over the past 25 years our export growth rate has been around 3%.

How might the gap be closed?

The study estimated, for example, that if the average performance of NZ’s pastoral farmers (we have plenty in Hawke’s Bay) could be lifted to the level of the top 25%, we would increase farm exports by $3 billion annually, commenting “and this is just using existing knowledge and resources”.

And the study pointed out that sustained investment in pasture renewal had the potential to lift the farm gate value of pastoral products almost 20% — from $16 billion to $19 billion.

The report also noted that our high phosphate use was a liability that needed to be addressed, especially as global supplies dwindle.

BayBuzz first wrote about Riddet’s Call to Arms in an article titled, aptly enough:Wanted: Superstar Farmers.

The point is that improved farm productivity — and profits — can co-exist with rigorous environmental protection. Every day progressive farmers prove it right here in Hawke’s Bay, elsewhere in New Zealand, and in comparable countries with whom our farm exports compete.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Unfortunately, there’s no sign that the ruling clique at HBRC/HBRIC gets the message.

Tom Belford

P.S. For the serious student, here’s A Call to Arms.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

More Rent Assisstance, Less State-Owned Housing:
John Key Speech - Next Steps In Social Housing

"We are going to ensure that more people get into social housing over the next three years, whether that is run by Housing New Zealand or a community provider.

The social housing budget provides for around 62,000 income-related rent subsidies a year. We are committed to increasing that to around 65,000 subsidies by 2017/18, which will cost an extra $40 million a year." More>>

ALSO:

The Future Of Work: Andrew Little - State Of The Nation 2015

In 2005 when I led the EPMU we worked together with Air New Zealand to find a way to keep engineering jobs that were heading overseas. A lot of these workers were people I’d known for years and they were facing not just losing their jobs but not being able to find the kind of work they do without going overseas. A lot of people were facing personal and financial upheaval.

It was hard work but in the end we kept more than 300 skilled and well-paid jobs in New Zealand. And we managed to benefit Air New Zealand and its workforce with productivity gains too... More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Sabin Case, The Pressures On Greece And (Songs About) Coyotes

Mike Sabin is a National MP, and the current chairman of Parliament’s law and order committee. Yet reportedly, he is being investigated by the Police over an assault complaint... However, the PM will not comment on any aspect of the story. More>>

ALSO:

Houses, ISIS, King (& Catton): PM Post-Cabinet Press Conference

The Prime Minister met with reporters to discuss: • Social housing, the Auckland housing market • The prospect of joining international forces to combat ISIS • David Bain’s compensation • The lowering of the flag for the King of Saudi Arabia's death ... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Tomorrow’s Speeches By John Key And Andrew Little

The Key government has already kicked off the political year on a stridently ideological note, with Environment Minister Nick Smith choosing to lay all manner of sins at the door of the RMA. Tomorrow, the government will wheeling out its best salesman – Prime Minister John Key – to sell its plans for state housing… . More>>

ALSO:

Transport: Auckland Looks To Light Rail

The Board of Auckland Transport has called for an investigation into a light rail network, which could relieve traffic congestion on some of the region’s busiest roads. This stems from work in 2012 (the City Centre Future Access study) which responded to a government request to develop a robust and achievable solution for access to the CBD. More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith's Claims Don't Match Evidence - Greens

The Motu group’s research into the impacts of planning rules looked at the costs related to housing development but not the benefits of environmental protections and does not recommend significant changes to the RMA to reduce the cost of new house builds. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Similarities Between John Key And David Cameron

For years now, David Cameron has been the closest available thing to a mentor/analogue to our Prime Minister, such that Key watchers could be interested in an analysis of Cameron that appeared in the British press over the Christmas break. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Ian Fletcher Resignation & GCSB’s New Role

It may well be that after being shoulder-tapped in Queensland for the GCSB job, three years of living in Wellington has been enough for Fletcher and his family, given that the pending review of the GCSB would have required an even longer commitment from him. Three years of Wellington’s weather is enough for anyone... More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news