With the ‘HOWL Of Protest’ planned for this Friday, 16th of July, by the good folks at Groundswell NZ, its pertinent to have a quick look at what’s got New Zealand riled up.
While, we often think of ourselves as a tiny island at the bottom of the earth, its pretty amazing to note how many of the issues being faced by the Kiwis, supporting the ‘Howl’ are not unique to us.
Nope – not by a long shot.
Landowners in the USA are in the same boat.
So here goes…
- Significant Natural Areas – aka land grabs. Under the garb of conservation issues/sustainability/environmentalism, private property rights are being diluted, with no compensation in site. West Coast is pretty much one big SNA. (What the Heck does a desktop assessment mean – the SNA assessors didn’t actually see the vegetation etc!). In the USA, the exact same issue is playing out – moving conservation land from 12% of the total area currently, to 30% by 2030 ( there’s that date… Agenda 2030 again 😉).
- Private firms are data mining in NZ, supposedly to do a more accurate valuation. You are being asked to hand over all financially sensitive data, and it’s not voluntary either. Big fines for non-compliance. In Gisborne, Kiwifruit orchardists are being rated on their ‘growing license’, while dairy farmers are being asked for a count of every last hive and manuka on their land, in Southland. Lifestyle blocks too are being sent letters regarding land use. Bingo – the USDA is asking every land owner in USA for a complete count of every crop, stock, hive there.
- The indigenous biodiversity policy draft states that ‘ territorial authorities need to map areas, other than SNA’s, where highly mobile fauna have been or are likely to be sometimes present’. Huh? What does that mean?
Highly mobile/likely to be/sometimes present – covers all bases doesn’t it? 😉
If a hawk preys on sparrows in a barn, is that barn now to be protected? Or a rocky outcrop where a eagle might perch, now needs to be retired from grazing?
A similar story in the USA, where the ambitious ‘30% till 2030’ policy document does not define what ‘conservation’ is. It instead focuses on generalities and is very hazy on details.
This list, of course does not cover the beast that is the water grab masquerading as the ‘Three Waters Reform’ that’s been brilliantly explained by the West Coast Mayor.
Or the nanny state’s derision of ‘illegitimate’ users of double-cab utes. Dear Leader conveniently ignores the state of rural roads in NZ and the joys of living at the end of unmetalled roads, while trying to tow gear. Presumably, electric utes are on their way soon.
But, in the meantime, make the time on Friday the 16th, and join the ‘HOWL’.
And listen to a fantastic interview with my mate Heather Meri Pennycook from the Agricultural Action Group on SNA’s and other issues – link below:
Column Author: Jaspreet Boporai. a 42 year old wife, mum of two kids (6, 4) and a dairy farmer. She and her husband manage 1500 cows over two farms in Western Southland for a large equity partnership.
Jaspreet got her degree in accounting from Massey and has also been bookkeeping for the last decade.
She and her husband moved to NZ in 2009, swapping 80 hour weeks in corporate banking for prob longer weeks in farming! (her husband has done his MBA and Jaspreet was a mortgage underwriter in India).
Hailing from Punjab (the epicentre of Indian farmer protests), India’s wheat basket, the love of land runs strong in the couple and wanting to go large scale farming got them to New Zealand.
Jaspreet’s family has been serving in the Indian army for many generations and nearly 30 years ago, her dad served in the Indian army contingent under the aegis of the United Nations in Africa. Thus, began her interest in all things UN related!