WoodWeek 16 September 2020
Moving to our upcoming ForestTECH Conference, as the planting season begins to wind down, we look at aerial planting systems using swarms of drones that are now fully operational. Our friends from DroneSeed in USA, who spoke at last year’s conference, are continuing to use swarms of UAV’s (or drones) to automate tree planting and spraying operations across North American production forests.
In late 2019 they started commercial trials for tree planting in New Zealand. Their technology is capable of planting out at six times the speed of the human planter and in some pretty tight and tough terrain. This year they’ll be providing an update on their planting trials as well as their projects on reforestation and rehabilitation. Another company with local ties, AirSeed Technologies, has also devised their own system allowing drones to plant large numbers of seeds in minutes using a pneumatic firing module.
Meanwhile, in South Australia, OneFortyOne’s annual water testing program has confirmed its forestry operations are having minimal impact on the Limestone Coast environment.
Looking briefly today to politics, New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced this week. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. Coincidentally, in Brussels, the EU has voted to bring shipping into their carbon market.
Staying with carbon and looking to local prices, an update from Lizzie Chambers at Carbon Match is worth noting: “NZUs hit a record high earlier this week of $34.55 on Carbon Match, with a confluence of compliance buying activity.”
This week we have for you:
Financial support for timber industryFour Bay of Plenty timber businesses will receive investments totalling nearly $22 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the local economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced.
Rotorua-based sawmill Red Stag Wood Solutions will receive a $15 million loan to develop an engineered wood products manufacturing facility.
“Red Stag is a major employer in the region and a well-respected member of the industry. This funding will enable the company to bring forward by two to three years construction of the facility which will focus on the production of cross-laminated timber.
Its products will be used in the construction of 2000 new houses, which will be invaluable for Government housing initiatives.
“This is going to provide significant employment to an area in need. It is estimated that the project will initially create 30 jobs through construction and is expected to employ 62 people when completed,” Shane Jones said.
Another Rotorua-based timber manufacturing company, KLC Ltd, will receive a $3 million support package that will support around 100 jobs and create 20 new jobs in a low socioeconomic area. KLC is one of the largest employers in Kaingaroa and Murupara.
“The loan to KLC Ltd will help the company weather the storm created by COVID-19 and provide more jobs in one of the areas most at risk,” Shane Jones said.
Edgecumbe-based Tunnicliffe Timber Solutions will receive $2.25 million to help the business expand, creating an additional 30 jobs over the next 18 months.
“The investment in Tunnicliffe Timber Solutions will enable the company to buy new machinery and create a new market locally for high-quality thermally modified doors and windows.”
Tunnicliffe will also receive a Te Ara Mahi grant of $314,000 for an education programme to develop and upskill employees in sustainable manufacturing. Te Ara Mahi is a fund within the PGF to specifically support regional employment through the development of skills and capability.
Te Puke-based Pukepine Sawmills will receive a loan of $1.6 million to increase production. This will create an additional 15 jobs. Pukepine is one of the largest permanent employers in Te Puke.
“The PGF loan will not only create more jobs but bring an estimated $9 million into the region each year,” Shane Jones said, adding, “A number of sawmills have closed or gone into receivership. We are not only helping these businesses secure workers’ jobs, they will also be able to take on more employees. We need to boost the industries already supporting their communities to ensure the regions are able to weather this economic storm.”
Aerial tree planting systems being showcasedForestTECH is this region’s most popular annual independent forestry technology series. This year, in addition to advances being made in remote sensing and forest inventory, for the first time, one of the two days has been set aside to profile the very latest developments in forest establishment, mechanised planting and silviculture.
As well as the very latest results and lessons from trials using Scandinavian mechanised planting heads (with recent modifications being made for local conditions), advances that have been made over the last 12 months using drones for planting will be discussed as part of this year’s event.
Aerial planting systems using swarms of drones are now fully operational. DroneSeed out of the US spoke at last year’s ForestTECH event. They have been employing swarms of UAV’s (or drones) to automate tree planting and spraying operations for a number of major North American forest management companies.
Late last year, they'd also started a number of commercial trials for tree planting in New Zealand. Their technology is capable of planting out at six times the speed of the human planter and in some pretty tight and tough terrain. This year they’ll be providing an update on their planting trials as well as their projects on reforestation and rehabilitation.
Another company with local ties, AirSeed Technologies, has also devised their own system allowing drones to plant large numbers of seeds in minutes using a pneumatic firing module. It can fire out two seeds per second at velocities of anywhere between 150 and 300 metres per second into the soil. This is faster than the cruising speed of a passenger jet. The module, called a Podder, can be attached to the bottom of most popular drone models and a team of two, flying 2 drones, can plant up to 40,000 seeds into the ground in a day.
AirSeed Technologies will also be presenting as part of this year's ForestTECH 2020 event on their drone technology and work in seedling and tree planting projects.
Together with resource and inventory management, the two days are going to provide a comprehensive technology update for all those involved in forest operations, planning, data capture, forest establishment and tree crop management.
Full details of the programme for both days can be viewed on the event website and here.
Final call for presenters - HarvestTECH 2021As detailed in an earlier issue, expressions of interest are being called for to present at next year’s major wood harvesting and log transport event, HarvestTECH 2021. From our last call, we had a significant number of companies and speakers that have put up their hands to be involved. Thanks. Early details on the planned event can be found on the event website.
If you’re involved in wood harvesting, you’ll remember well the major harvesting event, HarvestTECH 2019 that ran in Rotorua, New Zealand last year. The event SOLD OUT well in advance of it running. It was the largest gathering of its type ever seen in New Zealand with close to 500 harvesting contractors, harvest planners, forestry managers and equipment and technology suppliers into the region’s logging industry attending.
In addition to most major New Zealand contractors being at HarvestTECH 2019, a large contingent of contractors and forest managers came across from Australia, Canada, the USA, Brazil, Chile, Finland, South Africa and Papua New Guinea. HarvestTECH 2020, with a focus on wood transport and logistics had been scheduled to run in September 2020, both in New Zealand and Australia. However, because of COVID-19 restrictions, the event had to be postponed.
The plan is to now run HarvestTECH 2021. It will run on 13-14 April 2021. However, the format, because of the uncertainty still surrounding travel internationally and between New Zealand and Australia (and even across state borders in Australia), for April next year has been changed.
So, what’s being planned?
1. One location. Like the 2019 event, the physical event (on-site presentations and trade exhibitions) for HarvestTECH 2021 will again be run in just one location, Rotorua, New Zealand. This enables delegates and exhibitors to plan with some degree of certainty.
2. LIVE + Virtual On-Line Event. Live links from the New Zealand event will be set up for those unable to travel into Rotorua.
3. Alignment with the Forest Safety & Technology 2021 event. As an added bonus, the very popular forestry safety event run by the Forest Industry Engineering Association is also being held at the same venue on the first day, Tuesday 13 April. This will enable delegates from both events to network during the breaks and to capitalise on the large number of trade exhibitions that are anticipated to be present in Rotorua.
Changed format and content:
With the theme of the postponed HarvestTECH 2020 series being on wood transport and log measurement and scaling technologies, this will still be forming an integral part of the planned two day-event in 2021. Day One of HarvestTECH 2021 will focus on log scaling, log segregation and loading, wood transport, logistics and technologies allowing data integration through the wood supply chain.
Day Two of HarvestTECH 2021, like the sold out 2019 event, will detail new equipment and operating practices being used to increase the mechanization, productivity and the safety of steep slope logging, new technology being rolled out by local wood harvesting contractors, the integration of automation & robotics into wood harvesting operations and best practices around ensuring environmental sustainability (roading, stream crossings and harvest residues management) in felling and in extracting wood from the forest.
So, if interested in saving a speaking space within the programme, best get back to us to avoid missing out this time around. Please email your interest through to firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE Wednesday 23 September.
Exhibition packs for those wishing to exhibit at the event have been mailed out on Monday to a range of key equipment and technology suppliers. If wishing to express an early interest in saving a space or you'd like to be sent a pack, please get in touch with email@example.com.
Mandatory climate risk reporting comingNew Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced this week. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis.
“Today is another step on the journey this Government is taking towards a low carbon future for Aotearoa New Zealand and a cleaner, safer planet for future generations.
“Many large businesses in New Zealand do not currently have a good understanding of how climate change will impact on what they do."
“The changes I am announcing today will bring climate risks and resilience into the heart of financial and business decision making. It will ensure the disclosure of climate risk is clear, comprehensive and mainstream,” James Shaw said.
The new regime will be on a comply-or-explain basis, based on the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, which is widely acknowledged as international best practice.
Businesses covered by the requirements will have to make annual disclosures, covering governance arrangements, risk management and strategies for mitigating any climate change impacts. If businesses are unable to disclose, they must explain why.
In total, around 200 organisations will be required to disclose their exposure to climate risk. This includes large Crown Financial Institutions, such as ACC and the NZ Super Fund.
“What gets measured, gets managed – and if businesses know how climate change will impact them in the future they can change and adopt low carbon strategies. COVID-19 has highlighted how important it is that we plan for and manage systemic economic shocks – and there is no greater risk than climate change,” James Shaw said.
New Zealand will be the first country to introduce a mandatory climate-related financial disclosure regime.
“Australia, Canada, UK, France, Japan, and the European Union are all working towards some form of climate risk reporting for companies, but New Zealand is moving ahead of them by making disclosures about climate risk mandatory across the financial system,” James Shaw said.
Over the last three years the Government has put in place some of the world’s most ambitious climate targets, and made policy and institutional changes to help bend the curve of New Zealand’s emissions downward.
OFO monitoring brings good newsSouth Australia: Water testing confirms minimal environmental impact from forestry
OneFortyOne’s annual water testing program has confirmed its forestry operations are having minimal impact on the Limestone Coast environment.
Each winter, OneFortyOne conducts water testing at between 10 and 15 sites to determine whether herbicides applied to control weeds when pine seedlings are planted, are having any off-site effects. OneFortyOne Research Manager Danielle Wiseman said the company conducted water testing to protect the environment and ensure the controls it has in place to prevent off-target effects of herbicides are working.
“The water monitoring program is designed to detect chemical trespass, provide feedback regarding the efficacy of current management practices and highlight improvement opportunities,” she said.
“Water monitoring is conducted as part of the Australian Standard for Sustainable Forestry Management certification, but it is not a legislative requirement.”
Dr Wiseman said OneFortyOne’s policy was to have minimal adverse impact on the environment through its forest management activities and to protect the water resources in the region in which it operates.
“We use herbicides to control weeds when we plant the pine seedlings,” she said. “We need to remove the competition the weeds create so the seedlings can get established.”
“After about 12 months, we usually don't apply any more herbicide for the duration of the 32-year rotation.” Dr Wiseman said OneFortyOne places a high value on protecting the environment and ensuring there was biodiversity within its plantations.
“OneFortyOne manages its operations to protect or enhance conservation values of native vegetation on or adjacent to our estate to protect rare and endangered species,” she said, “Within the Green Triangle pine plantation estate, there is approximately 2,700 hectares of protected remnant vegetation, wetlands and caves.”
“These areas provide a home for more than 80 different threatened species some of which are transient users of the pine plantations. Managing forests sustainably, and restoring them when needed, is crucial for people, biodiversity and climate.”
SnapSTAT - sponsored by COP
Source: PF Olsen Wood Matters
New Cat D9 Dozer replaces the D9T modelThe new Cat D9 lowers overall costs per unit of material moved by up to 3%. Efficiencies gained through a new torque converter with stator clutch reduce fuel consumption by as much as 5%, and the new dozer reduces maintenance and repair costs by as much as 4%. The new dozer features a Cat C18 engine, which has a range of exhaust aftertreatment solutions available, including configurations to meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final/EU Stage V regulations and configurations equivalent to U.S. EPA Tier 2 and Tier 3.
The D9 also features differential steering for a tight turning radius and the ability to maintain ground speed while turning—to keep productivity high. The suspended undercarriage delivers more track contact with the ground for less slippage and greater productivity. The D9 can be equipped with any of a wide range of blades and attachments, enabling it to work efficiently in a variety of applications, including production dozing, site maintenance, fleet support and ripping. Companies engaged in heavy construction, quarry and aggregates, landfill, bulk materials handling and forestry applications have found the D9 Dozer an important tool for delivering the lowest owning and operating costs while maintaining high productivity.
Featuring a frame that absorbs and withstands high-impact shock loads encountered in severe applications, the new D9 offers design improvements that reduce maintenance and repair costs. The newly integrated AutoLube system results in fewer grease points to limit daily maintenance procedures. Extended filter change intervals, simple component removal and continuous fluid level monitoring also aid in further lowering operating costs.
A new ground-level service centre provides convenient access to the engine shutdown switch, access/egress lighting and optional powered ladder operation. With standard rearview mirrors, the new D9 affords the operator clear lines of sight to front and rear working areas. The optional four-camera system offers a 360-degree view around the machine and ripper to further enhance operating safety. Adding bottom guard retention pins and eliminating lift cylinder grease points also bolster safety.
A new design with advanced ergonomics, the cab features intuitive controls that are easy to access and operate. Its cloth air-suspension seat provides operator comfort throughout the entire shift. The suspended undercarriage reduces shock load transfer by as much as 50% to the undercarriage, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride. The new operator station comes fully equipped with large, high-definition touchscreen displays and new electronic architecture that is scalable to meet the customer’s technology needs.
Sensors integrated into the new Cat D9 provide access to advanced operating technology for increased machine productivity. Standard Product Link™ Elite and Vital Information Management System (VIMS™) are powerful machine management tools that provide customers with crucial dozer information like location, operating hours and machine condition as well as production information.
Available Automated Blade Assist makes use of preset blade pitch positions for load, carry and spread tasks to increase efficiency and reduce operator workload. The Cat AutoCarry™ option automates blade lift to maintain desired blade load to improve load consistency, reduce track slippage and increase productivity. Optional Automatic Ripper Control maintains ripper depth to limit track slip and allow the operator to focus on the job.
Carbon Market UpdateMarket Update
A quick note to NZU holders. NZUs hit a record high yesterday of $34.55 on Carbon Match, with a confluence of compliance buying activity.
We are actively seeking further supply so if that sort of level tickles your fancy please get in touch.
Even if you are convinced there's a further updraft pricewise, you could consider showing it on Carbon Match at whatever reserve price you have in mind. If buyers don't get there it won't sell but if you don't ask you won't get and you won't know.
With the market having firmed significantly over the last week we think showing your volume on our screen is a good way to reach a large number of buyers without having to pick up the phone.
Why is this happening?
In our view, there are a number of reasons:
- we are a closed domestic scheme currently without the safety valve that a formal link to international supply could provide;
- the market is keen to have news of progress on the auctions but it's been radio silence for a while now;
- to date the only other plan for NZU generation that could be scaled up significantly is forest sequestration but that's a slow process;
- forest owners have now endured a number of policy changes that not all have appreciated and to our mind, are engaging with ever-increasing caution in the ETS.
- uncertainty in the coming year for other sellers is tending to put the brakes on sales - they could be a useful buffer in the next year should the pandemic continue to cause prolonged disruption.
- Meanwhile buyers are on notice that the days of the fixed price option are numbered. The CCR will be an entirely different beast and is not directly comparable to the very simple sleep-easy-at-night FPO.
What goes up generally comes down - at some point
On the flipside, sellers need to keep real. This last quarter has been happy days for carbon sellers.
Confidence remains high because the direction of travel appears to be set in terms of our climate change response and ETS reforms.
While the election looms and anything can happen, the latest polls do point to a strong likelihood, at this stage, of another Labour-led Government.
But sellers. We have been in this game for over a decade. If things DO get too hard, history has shown us that there is always room for some kind of political response. Labour's Clean Energy Plan, released last week, was not short of interventionist ideas, and affordability of energy prices was right there as an unsurprising bottom line.
So while there is a general sense of optimism among NZU holders, it's certainly not silly to be a seller of something at some level. To those of you who think $34.55 is good enough - please get in touch.
Carbon Match - NEW OPENING HOURS - every weekday from 10am -5pm.
Some farmers CAN see the forest ...... for the trees ... where "A balanced approach = farming + forestry"
Opinion: Can’t see the wood for the trees?
- Imagine if every sheep and beef farmer used their farm environment plan, identified 10% of their farm that was steeper, a riparian area, or useful as providing shade and shelter, and planted this with the right tree. There’s 8.5 million hectares of sheep and beef land in New Zealand - at 10% that’s 850,000ha. This would quickly chew up the One Billion Trees funding, won’t greatly upset the farm’s red meat output or profitability, nor lose industry critical mass.
Instead of monocultures, our landscapes would look like intensive lowlands, with a decreasing gradient of intensity as we move up into hill country, matched up with bush blocks, woodlots, and riparian zones - all giving and supporting the opportunity for biodiversity and more.
Thriving rural communities are beneficial for all of New Zealand and New Zealanders. The way to achieve this is by creating a mosaic of different land uses, where the end result is greater than the sum of its parts. This would be a great story for our sector, and our products.
Source: Country-Wide (Dani Darke is a King Country farmer and Country-Wide columnist).
Native tree restoration funding boostMore landowners will get access to expert advice on planting native trees with the expansion of a Restoration Ambassadors programme led by the University of Canterbury (UC). Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) has provided $400,000 from the One Billion Trees Fund to further support UC’s Te Kura Ngahere School of Forestry to run the programme.
The new funding will see two restoration ambassadors cover more areas of the North and South Island, providing expert advice to farmers and other landowners on how to restore native planting and manage areas of biodiversity. UC Forestry Professor David Norton, who has been a driving force behind establishing the ambassador project, says it’s satisfying to see this valuable work being expanded, and the strong link with Te Uru Rākau continue.
“The 12-month pilot with ecology consultant and UC graduate Dr Adam Forbes as our first Restoration Ambassador has been very successful, so I am very pleased that Adam can continue in this valuable part-time role. While the focus of the work was the Gisborne and Hawkes Bay Regions, landowners from Whangaroa in Northland to Banks Peninsula in Canterbury and the Chatham Islands benefited from his expert advice,” he says.
“Adam has a really good manner with the people he works with, he just really listens to them and finds out what they want to do.”
Professor Norton says having a new full-time assistant Restoration Ambassador – a South Island- based role that will be filled by UC School of Forestry Masters graduate Josh Foster – will allow Dr Forbes to work on more large scale and complex projects. The additional role will also help meet demand from South Island farmers.
“There’s huge interest from farmers down here needing advice on how to establish native forests on their land. Having two people in the role will mean more free and independent advice can be provided to farmers, iwi and others in rural New Zealand on how to carry out good quality, planned ecological restoration.”
Forest Development Director with Te Uru Rākau Henry Weston says restoring native trees is a vital aspect of the One Billion Trees programme. “We have found that the lack of access to good quality advice and information on tree planting is one of the major barriers preventing landowners moving ahead with their projects. During the pilot more than 50 landowners accessed expert ecological advice and gained valuable guidance on restoring native trees to their land, with 12 landowners getting advice on their applications to the One Billion Trees Fund.”
Dr Forbes is thrilled to be able to continue in the role. “It’s very important as establishing native forest isn’t straightforward. There is much more to it than planting trees, so having expert advice available to help people develop their restoration proposals is in everyone’s interests and helps ensure projects are successful.
“It has been a privilege to meet people and see their land and discuss with them something as positive as restoring native forest.”
Landowners can apply to the One Billion Trees Fund for both direct grants for planting and regeneration projects on individual land holdings, as well as partnership funding for projects that are catchment scale, or aim to reduce the barriers to tree planting. The ambassadors can help with preparing applications to the One Billion Trees Fund to access funding for native planting work.
See a video of Dr Adam Forbes talking about his work as a One Billion Trees Restoration Ambassador below:
Find out more about the One Billion Trees Programme
More information about UC’s School of Forestry | Te Kura Ngahere
Update: FAO State of World ForestsAs the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity 2011–2020 comes to a close and countries prepare to adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework, this edition of The State of the World’s Forests (SOFO) takes the opportunity to examine the contributions of forests, and of the people who use and manage them, to the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It is intended to complement The State of the World’s Biodiversity for Food and Agriculture, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in February 2019; the Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of the Intergovernmental Science- Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the draft of which was released in 2019 and the Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), released in 2020.
Forests harbour most of Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity. The conservation of the world’s biodiversity is thus utterly dependent on the way in which we interact with and use the world’s forests. Forests provide habitats for 80 percent of amphibian species, 75 percent of bird species and 68 percent of mammal species. About 60 percent of all vascular plants are found in tropical forests. Mangroves provide breeding grounds and nurseries for numerous species of fish and shellfish and help trap sediments that might otherwise adversely affect seagrass beds and coral reefs, which are habitats for many more marine species.
Forests cover 31 percent of the global land area but are not equally distributed around the globe. Almost half the forest area is relatively intact, and more than one-third is primary forest. More than half of the world’s forests are found in only five countries (Brazil, Canada, China, Russian Federation and United States of America). Almost half the forest area (49 percent) is relatively intact, while 9 percent is found in fragments with little or no connectivity. Tropical rainforests and boreal coniferous forests are the least fragmented, whereas subtropical dry forest and temperate oceanic forests are among the most fragmented.
Roughly 80 percent of the world’s forest area is found in patches larger than 1 million hectares. The remaining 20 percent is located in more than 34 million patches across the world – the vast majority less than 1 000 hectares in size.
More than one-third (34 percent) of the world’s forests are primary forests, defined as naturally regenerated forests of native tree species where there are no clearly visible indications of human activity and the ecological processes are not significantly disturbed.
Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity. Since 1990, it is estimated that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades.
Between 2015 and 2020, the rate of deforestation was estimated at 10 million hectares per year, down from 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s. The area of primary forest worldwide has decreased by over 80 million hectares since 1990. More than 100 million hectares of forests are adversely affected by forest ﬁres, pests, diseases, invasive species drought and adverse weather events.
EU carbon market set to include shippingGiven that New Zealand's large volumes of log exports are impacted by ocean freight rates the following news may have an affect on these in the future. The European Parliament has voted to extend the EU carbon market to cover international shipping, to establish a maritime decarbonisation fund and to set a mandatory reduction target for the carbon intensity of shipping. Carbon Market Watch welcomes the decision as a strong signal towards the UN shipping body that is failing to take action on carbon pollution from ships.
In a vote this week, members of the European Parliament backed the lead lawmaker Jutta Paulus’ proposal to extend the EU carbon market to cover international shipping. The decision is a response to the lack of progress at the global talks to tackle dangerous carbon pollution at the UN shipping agency International Maritime Organisation (IMO).
Wijnand Stoefs, policy officer at Carbon Market Watch in Brussels said, “The Parliament sends a strong message both to the IMO and EU governments that Europe must act now and take the lead in tackling carbon pollution from ships. The global talks are adrift while the climate crisis is not waiting. Bringing shipping under the EU carbon market is one of the objectives of the EU Green Deal anyway, so there is really no reason to postpone this.”
The Parliament also supported Paulus’ proposal to establish an “Ocean Fund” and a binding target to force shipping companies to reduce the carbon intensity of their transport by at least 40% by 2030 compared to the 2018-2019 baseline.
The Ocean Fund would recycle half the revenues from the EU carbon market generated by the shipping sector into supporting decarbonization actions and innovation in the sector itself and the protection of marine environments. This could mobilise between 1.5 and 2.5 billion euros annually for climate action in this sector.
Source: Scoop News
... almost finally ... follow where your money wentSo far, in my corner I seem to have dodged the usual onslaught of electioneering collateral. Maybe I am using the wrong media to look for it; one advantage of being a boomer. In any case, when this came across my mousepad I decided to remove the name of the party who produced this "TOP 10" list and reproduce it for your "follow the money" reading pleasure ...keeping in mind this section you're reading is between the real news and a joke:
Top 10 Government Spending Blowouts
1. The Provincial Growth Fund: A Shane Jones special, designed to be a shameless traveling roadshow of bribes, although it didn’t travel far from Northland. The $3 billion fund spent your money on bureaucrats travelling the country and created very few jobs.
2. Callaghan Innovation: Originally the brainchild of Steven Joyce but happily carried on by Labour. This is bureaucratic money-go-round and another example of politicians thinking they know what’s best for business.
3. Film subsidies: These are loved by blue and red Governments. Why should the film industry get a free pass? Our party believes Government should focus on having the best possible tax and regulatory systems to attract business from all sectors.
4. Racing subsidies: Our party is champing at the bit to make sure industries don’t get special treatment just because they have a relationship with a politician.
5. A Billion Trees: A pie in the sky plan that never stood a chance. Shane Jones just loves spending your money on things that create headlines but don’t actually benefit New Zealand.
6. The Green Investment Fund: This is just more corporate welfare, delivered in a shade of green. The fund is designed to pick winners that can’t attract capital on the open market. It’s greenwashing.
7. Green School: Sure, it’s part of the PGF but it deserves a special mention. James Shaw, although ideologically opposed to private schools, spent almost $12 million on a private school. Wasteful spending and hypocrisy don’t get worse than this.
8. Fees Free: Another Labour bribe aimed at tertiary students that hasn’t delivered results. It hasn’t increased access to education and has primarily benefitted those who don’t need assistance.
9. Bungee Jumping: Again, picking winners. The Prime Minister gave $10 million to get her photo taken with a multi-millionaire bungee jump operator.
10. The Parliament Slide: Half a million dollars of taxpayers’ money should never have been spent on playground equipment, especially not on a slide this lame. Trevor Mallard has a lot to be embarrassed about from his time at Parliament, but this has got to be near the top of the list.
Buy and Sell
... and finally ... all in good humour
The two Irish brothers, Paddy and Seamus had just sat down together at the airport going to
Greece for a holiday.
A grandfather was delivering his grandchildren to their home one day when a fire truck zoomed past. Sitting in the front seat of the fire truck was a large Dalmatian dog.
The children started discussing the dog's duties.
"They use him to keep crowds back," offered one child.
"No," said another, "he's just for good luck."
A third child brought the argument to a close. "They use the dogs” she said firmly “to find the fire hydrants."
Another Irish father and his son arrive at a football game but the dad can’t find the tickets.
“Nip home and see if I left the tickets there,” the dad says to his son.
“No problem, Dad.”
The boy races home leaving the dad waiting at the game. Half an hour later the boy returns to his dad who is patiently waiting outside the stadium.
The dad asks: “Did you find them?”
The boy responds: “Yep, they’re on the kitchen table where you left them.”
Thanks for keeping up with the latest wood news with us!
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