Doing your job

Queen Elizabeth II did her duty as a monarch. It required remaining neutral and not expressing her opinions or personal views

In Editor’s Note3 Minutes

QUEEN ELIZABETH II DID HER DUTY as a monarch. It required remaining neutral and not expressing her opinions or personal views. No matter who the world leader or state visitor was, she welcomed them because it was her job. She even shook hands with Robert Mugabe, the ruthless Zimbabwean leader.

Country-Wide editor Terry Brosnahan

Doing one’s job and staying neutral is what public servants used to do, but how much of the legislation since 2017 has been influenced by agendas and personal views? I remember a veteran Ministry of Agriculture official saying how important it was to stay neutral and not be swayed by political parties or personal beliefs.

Will people who can’t stay impartial become unemployable?

A lot of Government legislation has also been poorly drafted due to policy makers’ ignorance of farming.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management legislation has been tweaked four times over its intensive grazing rules. Pugging, sowing dates, slope maps and rules to streamline regulatory compliance have all had to be changed after strong farmer resistance. The shoddy work was also a result of environment minister David Parker’s meddling.

Farmers now have to apply for resource consents because the Ministry for the Environment didn’t get its act together. Farmers can’t submit freshwater plans to regional councils by the November 1 deadline so will need a consent.

Farms are still being lost to carbon forestry because even though lamb returns are high, farmers still can’t compete for land against the Government’s artificial market.

Domestic problems aside, the future for lamb exports looks good. Lamb prices are likely to ease, but from historic highs. There is a solid back-up if the Chinese market falters.

British Prime Minister Liz Truss is a vital ally because she drove the free trade agreements with Australia and NZ. Truss will ensure it is ratified in the House of Commons.

Former trade minister Tim Groser says our FTA is an important deal, as eventually there will be open access just as NZ had before Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973.

If prices can be lifted for wool and/or a ewe developed that weans more than its bodyweight using minimal inputs, then the future looks even rosier for sheep farmers.