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.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news