Grant Robertson goes future-gazing for dairy farmers (and is gloomy) while Our Bill fluffs his percentages

June 12, 2015
Look out for this during arguments about dairying..

Look out for this during arguments about dairying..

It’s not too often Alf has to worry about his mate Bill English.

But he did wriggle somewhat uncomfortably today when it sounded suspiciously as if Bill was getting into the soothsaying business.

Labour’s Grant Robertson most certainly was doing it.

But Alf is not surprised to hear that lefties have been desperately poking sticks into chicken entrails or some such to try to read the future, then have emerged to proclaim that the future is looking grimmer than the Government is willing to acknowledge.

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Vegetables have feelings, too, but there are good reasons for not giving them their commissioner

July 28, 2014

Alf must have over-imbibed last night, because he thought he heard a news item about someone promising to establish a commissioner for animals, to do for animals what a commissioner for children does for the nation’s sprogs.

Mrs Grumble was assigned to do some googling to dig out the item, so Alf could see who was championing God’s Creatures in this way.

She found the NZ Vegetarian Society not so long ago was prompted by video footage of pig farms – shouldn’t it be hoofage? – to call for the appointment of an independent Commissioner for Animals.

But she did not find any recent announcement of a party pledge to answer the call and deliver the goods.

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When botching the cleaning job sparks a botulism scare … is the reaction really excessive?

August 7, 2013

Let’s see if Alf has a proper grasp on this one.

Somebody was sloppy in the pipe-cleaning department at a Fonterra processing plant in Waikato.

A whey product made at the plant and in turn used as an ingredient by many of Fonterra’s customers has been contaminated with something that can cause botulism.

The Centers for Disease Control in the USA describes botulism as a rare but sometimes fatal paralytic illness caused by a nerve toxin.

NZ’s Ministry for Primary Industries today said it still can’t rule out the possibility of babies being made ill by consuming contaminated infant formula.

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Brendan Burns is burbling about resource rental charges: is that because he can’t pronounce “tax”?

October 25, 2011

And if we introduce a resource rental charge on this lot, we could collect enough money to wipe out the public debt.

Alf misses the robust critiques of bad farm policy that would regularly flow from former Federated Farmers dairy leader, Lachlan McKenzie.

Lachlan stood for president of the feds, but the job went to Bruce Wills. We haven’t heard much from him since then.

But another McKenzie has popped up to tell city slickers and greenie tossers what he thinks of their silly ideas.

This one is Ian McKenzie and he has done a fair job of pouring a bucket or two of water over Labour’s water policy.

Labour’s plan is to have farmers and other large-scale water users pay a “resource rental charge”, to spare taxpayers the need to cough up $500 million for funding new irrigation schemes and for cleaning up polluted waterways.

Ha. Fancy words to avoid saying “tax”, eh?

Come to think of it, buggers like Brendan Burns – Labour’s water spokesman – probably struggle to spell and pronounce a word as long as “tax”.

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Peni’s pointless push for a poll – we already know what most Kiwis think about land sales to foreigners

September 27, 2011

Alf is as unhappy as most of us about the prospect of the Crafar farms slipping into overseas ownership.

But he doesn’t see the point of adding his voice to a call for a another poll on the matter.

He refers to a news item this morning that said –

A Maori investor leading an iwi bid for a stake in the Crafar Farms wants a poll to be taken to find out what New Zealanders think of strategic assets being sold to foreign investors.

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The promotion of organic foods looks unlikely to build much appetite for the People’s Choice Party

August 13, 2011

A bit of bad news for the Green Party can be found in the Daily Mail today. Things aren’t going too well for the organic food business in Britain.

When economic times are tough and spending money is short, consumers will opt for cheap rather than organic.

This news will come as a blow, too, to the People’s Choice Party, because it burst into life with a media release recently to extoll the virtues of organically grown tucker.

Alf was surprised at the time. He had forgotten all about the People’s Choice Party, which had been conceived in 1997 when Doug Wilson began a protest walk from New Plymouth to Wellington collecting signatures for a petition calling for the then Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys to impose a snap election.

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It could be worse – at least the Chinese invaders will let us keep buying whisky

April 16, 2011

Neither of these ladies is Mrs Grumble, because she wears gumboots.

Dunno if this means Alf has gotta learn Mandarin and how to eat with chopsticks.

But it seems the Chinese have invaded Eketahuna.

They have done this – sneaky buggers – while our Navy was away exercising with the Americans somewhere in the Pacific.

And they have done it by taking control of premises at 37 Main Street Eketahuna.

Alf is suggesting to constituents they dial (06) 375 8125 to see who answers. And in what language.

That’s the address and phone number for the PGG Wrightson shop where Alf goes to buy gumboots and stuff needed by Mrs Grumble in the garden. Farmers, of course, go there for their agricultural purchases.

The Chinese takeover was announced yesterday.

Chinese agricultural companies have taken control of New Zealand rural services company PGG Wrightson. The bid vehicle Agria (Singapore) Pte yesterday disclosed it had a 50.52 per cent holding.

Agria (Singapore) is jointly owned, directly or indirectly, by Beijing-based Agria Corp and New Hope, which is one of China’s largest agricultural and food corporations.

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How now, Browns’ cows, after Cam becomes a regional winner in the Young Farmers of the Year contest?

March 31, 2011

A big pat on the back this morning for a couple who live and work just up the road, about 10 minutes or so, from the greatest little electorate in New Zealand, which is Eketahuna North.

Cam Brown has become the Manawatu’s Young Farmer of the Year, one of seven regional contest winners who will fight it out to be top dog in the grand final.

He manages a dairy farm at Hukanui. .

Cam Brown and his wife, Anna, are lower-order sharemilkers from Hukanui, which is halfway between Pahiatua and Eketahuna.

Mr Brown took first place in the regional final, in a closely fought contest with the eventual runner-up, James Christensen.

The Browns farm 460 milking cows. They have 200 young stock and 50 carry-over cows. It is a self-contained enterprise on the property.

Reporter Jill Galloway was curiously effusive in her scribblings for the Manawatu Standard –

Something of a perfectionist, Mr Brown has good-looking cows. The farm dog, Muess (pronounced Moose) and the pet dog, Sioux, also look great.

The Browns have two full-time workers on the property.

Alf is bound to say he would not know a good-looking cow from an ugly one.

Mr Brown will soon start to prepare for the Young Farmers contest grand final, which is in Masterton from June 29 to July 2.

Farmers are exalted by a creature that (just as Labour voters do) thrives on crap

February 4, 2011

It was dropped by a horse - or by Labour Party spin doctors, maybe - and the dung beetles will relish every mouthful.

A funny bunch, Federated Farmers. They have issued a media statement to tell us they are celebrating – would you believe? – the Environmental Risk Management Authority’s approval for the importation and release of eleven dung beetle species.

Alf is happy to celebrate on most occasions, especially when the celebrating is being done with champagne, but he bridles at celebrating the importation of a creature that consumes crap.

For starters, because the wee buggers thrive on shite they will probably vote Labour, or – even more fetid and hence more nourishing for a dung beetle – the Greens.

But the feds are over the moon, saying they believe they will make a great contribution to agriculture’s environmental performance.

“It’s a very good day because ERMA’s process has been thorough, rigorous and sound,” says John Hartnell, Federated Farmers biosecurity spokesperson.

“Dung beetles provide an environmental and agriculture win-win by breaking down ruminant dung while building the organic structure of soil.

“One of the major benefits of dung beetles is their ability to reduce farm related environmental degradation.

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Just when you think we are over the recessionary hump, bloody camels threaten our dairy industry

July 11, 2010

The big threat to Fonterra – and the milk-dependent New Zealand economy – could be coming not from Chinese investment in New Zealand dairy farms, but from the Middle East.

Alf sounds this warning on learning that health-conscious shoppers in Britain could soon be buying camel’s milk.

According to the Telegraph, a Middle East firm is seeking permission to sell the product in Britain for the first time.

Camel milk is already consumed in the Middle East, parts of Africa and India.

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