NZ needs farmers to be wealthy

A recent flight to Sydney the first time I have been out of New Zealand in four years, a chance to get away from negativity and social engineering.

In Editor’s Note5 Minutes
Country-Wide editor Terry Brosnahan

A RECENT FLIGHT TO SYDNEY WAS the first time I have been out of New Zealand in four years, a chance to get away from negativity and social engineering.

No racial dividing politics or farmer-bashing there. Aussies love their farmers.

Flooding in New South Wales was top of mind for many and it was blamed on rain, not climate change.

The Aussie media seemed more mature and objective with stories based on facts, not fact mixed with opinion.

My Sydney trip wasn’t a holiday but a life saving visit for brain radiation with the gamma knife, a fine, precise radiation treatment, and reputed to be highly successful. I’ll let you know the results in three months.

NZ doesn’t have the gamma knife yet. Aussie have three, the first bought 12 years ago. They cost about A$5 million and NZ supposedly has the expertise to run it. There is talk of Auckland getting one next year. The $5m is not a lot of money given the billions of dollars the NZ Government has chucked around. In 2020 tourism minister Kelvin Davis gave $5m and lent another $5m to AJ Hackett – for what? About $58m has been reported to have been spent on contact tracing since May this year, even though no one is being traced.

The NZ Government’s response to the Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership (He Waka Eke Noa) proposal hit the news in Aussie. One Aussie headline was Cow burp tax, a climate change attack on NZ farmers. Another was along the lines of NZ plans to destroy the economy for a few burps.

It is all very well following ideological niceties such as taxing farming emissions to lead the world but if we want to have life-saving health care and other necessities, NZ needs to be wealthy. Australia is wealthy. An accountant told me the average salary in his area, Potts Point, was A$200,000.

The Government’s proposal of reducing stock numbers by 20% would lead to the loss of meat plants and jobs associated with them. Farmers and allied businesses would go bust.

Groundswell is to hold another protest against the farmer tax later this week and it will be interesting to see the turnout.

A year out from the election, we now seem to have a lame duck Government which is like a possum in the headlights. It can’t chuck around money like it used to, to try and solve problems without fuelling inflation which hurts its potential voters more. The prospect of a National-Act Government looks more likely every week. How much Labour legislation will be undone may depend on how big a partner Act is in the coalition.

It’s not a good time to be relying on the Government. Would you make a deal or take a job connected with the new Maori Health authority or Three Waters unless there is a generous exit payment?

The Government is under pressure which keeps building. The poor results from the local body election, Auckland Mayor Wayne Brown saying no to Three Waters and rebel MP Gaurav Sharma forcing a byelection in Hamilton West are damaging. Voters seem to be tired of the Government interfering in their lives.

Ronald Regan once said the Government’s first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

However, it won’t be the likes of just Three Waters or race-based policies that will decide the election, as economist Denis Wesselbaum says, it will be the economy.