Don Nicolson’s race against Bill English: he is standing but won’t be busting a gut to beat him

July 18, 2011

Dunno why you would enter a race if you don’t intend to run flat out to win.

But Don Nicolson – it would seem – is doing just that.

The former Federated Farmers president was confirmed as an Act Party candidate a week ago.

Nicolson will stand against Finance Minister Bill English in the Clutha Southland electorate.

He will be the party’s farming spokesman.

The Dom-Post reported at the time the candidacy was announced:

“I’m very pleased to be standing for the party,” he said.

Standing, it should be noted. But not necessarily running, at least not to win the seat.

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Another spending-cut idea for Bill: put the brakes on those zealous farm-bike inspectors

April 2, 2011

Just a few more, then we'll go home on the quad bike.

Alf agrees with his good mates at Federated Farmers: the tossers at the Labour Department are indulging in overkill in their efforts to deal with quad bike accidents.

Many more Kiwis die from drinking too much booze than from quad bike accidents.

But the bloody Labour Department – no doubt desperately looking for work to to do to justify its existence and avoid budget cuts – is preparing to get tough on farmers who flout safety guidelines.

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Export subsidies – they are the American way

May 25, 2009

It probably lowered Lachlan McKenzie’s blood pressure a tad, and Kiwis up and down the country will shout their approval. But it seems unlikely to accomplish much else.

“It” is the media statement issued today in which McKenzie described President Obama’s Dairy Export Incentive Program (DEIP) as “un-American”.

Abrasive stuff. But will Obama be sufficiently stung into backtracking?

Nah.

McKenzie went on to say the programme is designed to target major New Zealand markets “and is being driven by envy that sees uneconomic American farmers being propped up by struggling US taxpayers.”
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Feds fulminate against the ETS

May 5, 2009

Federated Farmers has a flair for robust language, when arguing the toss on political issues (robust action, too, on occasions). And the prospect of an emissions trading scheme has riled them big-time.

They had the opportunity to air their views yesterday, when the Primary Producers Select Committee heard submissions from the agriculture sector.

Bringing agriculture into the emissions trading scheme would be a case of the road to economic hell being paved with good intentions, Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson told MPs reviewing the scheme.

Climate change wasn’t the only challenge the world faces, he contended.
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Minister mucks in with money merchants

March 12, 2009

Agriculture Minister David Carter – splendid fellow – had to rough it somewhat today.

No, it didn’t require gumboots. He put duty before all else to rub shoulders with a bunch of rural lenders, each of whom might well be a decent human being. But Alf has a jaundiced view of bankers generically.

David’s purpose, of course, was to reiterate the Government’s message for banks to work positively with borrowers.

It was a good day for it. Not far away at the Reserve Bank, governor Alan Bollard had lowered the official cash rate again.
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ASEAN and a lesson (for Dicks) in generosity

February 28, 2009

Dunno what’s happened to Federated Farmers’ thinking on the agreement establishing the ASEAN–Australia–New Zealand Free Trade Area signed yesterday in Hua Hin, Thailand.

Alf is sure he heard the feds president, Don Nicolson, welcoming the deal on a Radio New Zealand news item at noon today – enthusing about it, even.

But a journo mate tells Alf the feds recalled a press statement on the issue last night, and there is no sign of a replacement. The most recent item on their web-site is a response to Jeanette Fitzsimons’ announcement she will be stepping down as co-leader of the Greens.

It also reiterated the feds” intransigence on climate change –
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