NZ is going to the dogs

North Otago farmer Jane Smith is boiling-mad over many government proposals and worried about the damage reforms will do to NZ farms, farmers and the economy.

In Home Block5 Minutes

North Otago farmer Jane Smith is boiling-mad over many government proposals and worried about the damage reforms will do to NZ farms, farmers and the economy.

For every dollar of produce sold, farmers on average receive less than eight cents. I wonder if the Neolithic revolution 12,000 years ago was really worth the time and effort. Hunting and gathering was replaced by farming, paving the way for cities, trade and population growth. The essential role of supplying food left to the hardiest 1% of the population.

Looking at those who have taken charge of society today, I can’t help but be enticed by what may have happened if the human race didn’t have farmers to do their dirty work – a genuine survival of the fittest. Vegans would have allegedly died out 10,000 years ago if they had chosen a meat-free lifestyle. Any righteous leftie would be too busy gathering enough organic protein for their plant-based diet all day leaving rational people to run society.

Men could go back to being more cave-man and less quiche-man. Courageous, capitalist, colonisers would reap the benefit of their innovation and perspiration. The concept missing from today’s society, ‘work hard to gain reward’, would underpin survival of the human race once again.

It was a mere seven years ago that a Global Farmer Roundtable colleague from India said to me that he didn’t envy New Zealand at all. Like any patriotic Kiwi, I was shocked and offended until I asked him why. His reply was simple. “New Zealand has too much land, too much water, too much resource, too much innovation and too few big problems. Your Government will start creating solutions to problems that don’t exist. You will self-sabotage your own country.”

At that time the Beehive was flying a benign blue flag with nothing much going wrong (and nothing much being done apart from a flag referendum and ponytailgate) and I was in a naive state of “it will never happen” denial. Seven short years later and we have a second-world health system, gangs gathering more recruits each year than our police force, child poverty, harm and death rates higher than ever, ram-raiders excused while business owners and farmers are castigated.

One useful thing that happened during 2022 was that any rational urbanite is now waking up to the effect of heavy-handed, multi-faceted socialist regulation on food production. I hear the PM is looking at a good deal on egg whites from Indonesia to arrive with that carbon-free coal we are now importing. Next stop – the fruit and vege section, followed closely by the red meat chiller.

He Waka has been a self-sacrificial trojan horse for further carbon-farming escalation, signing us up to fund our own demise, to the tune of a million stock units/year post 2030. That’s a meat processing plant each year, gone. A small town like Oamaru every year, gone. We need an urgent autopsy on agricultural advocacy and a clean out of the cocktail club – we can no longer be represented by those who run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.

Speaking of the hounds, with Newhaven lamb weaning in full swing at the time of writing – the annual marital challenge is also in full swing. Last year, day two found me walking home before the last mob was even in the yards and the situation worsened somewhat when I didn’t get a phone call begging me to come back to the drafting gate as an essential part of the team. When questioned that evening, Blair’s reply was, “I did call – but the two bloody useful huntaways you took home didn’t answer their phones.”