The Politricks Horror Show

Jane Smith’s pleased there’s been a good autumn on her farm, but worries this year’s election might be a horror show.

In Home Block5 Minutes

IN THE United States, Halloween is the scariest night of the year. In New Zealand it’s election night. The election-year cup is overflowing with frothy promises, particularly for those who believe they have been marginalised, colonised or blamed for something that they actually did. Accountability has long left the building. Socialists are in a fiscal fantasy land, ignoring all signs of imminent recession while the smell of Crown money exudes out of the Wellington kremlin. Radicalists in cowboy hats do whatever the hell they like while a cacophony of hypocrisy from screeching, green feminists echoes through the corridors of misguided power.

North Otago has given us an unusually good autumn, which we feel guilty about when so many regions in the North Island are struggling to even get their fences reinstated. We have our Newhaven Perendale Stud 50th anniversary event shortly and our annual Fossil Creek Angus bull sale in mid-June. Blair looks forward to seeing each bloodline coming to fruition, while I look forward to a captive audience to talk politics with.

It’s been a challenging two years of asking agricultural representatives to stand up for grassroots farmers and not be Wellingtonised in their approach. Post Beef + Lamb NZ’s AGM there appears to be a willingness to bring back the “by farmers, for farmers” mantra, and to scrutinise the methane myth and associated threat to one million stock units a year.

A surprise came in May when the government inquiry into East Coast forestry ‘slash and run’ was completed in less than eight weeks. I’m hoping Mr Parker will finally realise that any regulation in isolation doesn’t work and communities should be able to take a “whole catchment” approach to solutions. I’m yet to see a resource consent do anything useful for the environment. All sectors should have an equal playing field, not a free pass for some and suffocation through regulation for others.

I’ve noticed the myriad of fancy primary industry conferences this year where righteous speakers with fancy job titles tell farmers what they are doing wrong. Ironically with a “special rate of only $900” to attend, there will be no real farmers in the audience anyway. I would rather spend the day and $900 at the dentist than listen to another self-proclaimed expert telling the world how NZ farmers “could” be good one day.

I’m concerned how quiet the Three Waters debacle has gone, considering that this is step one in the great “reset”. Back in 2016, the Ministry for the Environment valued freshwater at $35 billion a year. Clipping this ticket will provide already wealthy iwi with a perpetual income stream of immense proportions every time we turn on the tap.

Speaking of co-governance, the Smith children are well versed in the fact that I run a dictatorship not a democracy and often state “money doesn’t grow on trees”. This was answered back recently by 11-year-old George who said, “It does actually, look at carbon farmers.”

We pulled into a small provincial town car park to see a massive diesel generator powering six electric cars. I proceeded to ask each car owner if they had considered the irony. Three ignored me and one said, “Well I never actually noticed it was a diesel generator. That does seem a bit funny.”

It’s been frustrating to see teachers striking over the past few months yet again. I question the strength of a union that is unable to negotiate a suitable deal in an election year under a Labour government. Blair thought he might go on strike for better working conditions but he was unable to find a contract, a union or even an HR department. However, all is not lost for middle-aged white guys – Prince Charles managed to get a promotion at age 74, so Blair still has a few decades of his apprenticeship to go.