Monday, 19 July 2021

Free Press, 19 July 2021


The Haps

Your property is safe for a second week as Parliamentary recess continues. ACT’s MPs are packing halls up and down New Zealand on the 45 stop Honest Conversations Tour. This week David Seymour is touring the lower and central North Island, a full event list is here. The Reserve Bank has run out of free money, and rising interest rates will bring us back to reality. The Government will need to start thinking about how New Zealand re-joins the world.

ACT’s ‘Approved Legitimate Ute Driver’ bumper stickers are going like hotcakes. Get yours here. Also in the ACT Shop, David Seymour’s second book Own Your Future has sold out and is entering a second printing. Don’t miss out.

The Howl Resonates, and Foretells

The number one feature of Friday’s farmer protest was not the number of people up and down the country that participated. It was not the assortment of vehicles (one wag wondered if the whole thing was not an elaborate publicity stunt by John Deere). It was not the incredible civility of the protestors, especially compared with other groups who’ve taken over the streets recently (hint, two wheels).

No, the number one feature was the warmth of support from urban New Zealand to rural. One city dwellers’ text to a radio station summed it up ‘I just want to get out and support the farmers.’

The Labour Government have achieved something that has alluded many previous Governments. They have united urban and rural New Zealand, against themselves. After years of contempt and division, the country came to town and town welcomed them.

Not only did the howl resonate in the towns, Free Press believes it foretells the future. Once you look at why the farmers howled it is not difficult to see many other groups, most of them urban (like 86 per cent of New Zealand), having a howl of their own.

The farmers are exasperated because they are facing an avalanche of Government regulation. Rural New Zealand is slow to anger, but when they arrive, they’re angry. The avalanche has been budling for some time.

The Zero Carbon Act may yet make them uncompetitive globally, despite being the most carbon-efficient food producers on earth. The National Policy Statement on Biodiversity implores councils to confiscate land without compensation. If part of your land is designated a Significant Natural Area, you cannot use it but must still pay rates on it.

Firearms may belong in scary movies from a city perspective, but in the country they are a tool. They are used for tasks such as shooting pests, that would otherwise eat all the grass grown for sheep and cows and leave farmers broke. The Government banned many of them with no consultation.

On flat sealed roads, having a car with a 500kg battery in the floor pan is quite nice. If you’re trying to carry heavy goods up a muddy hillside, it is totally impractical. The Government specifically decided not to exempt farmers buying utes from the new tax masquerading as a ‘feebate’ scheme.

Add in freshwater laws. The Government made one-size-fits-all laws without considering that New Zealand has a range of climates, topographies, soil types, and farming techniques. Southland farmers were told to plant winter crops before December 1, when there are still crop killing frosts, or don’t plant at all. It’s not just the injury, it’s the insult.

Free Press has urban roots. If we can understand these things, so can most townies. But we don’t just get it for the farmers. We supported them because we know the same stuff is coming to us, too.

Landlords have practically been designated terrorist organisations, under constant assault from new regulations. Even the Mongrel Mob now get better support from Government. Never mind that the main effect is fewer landlords willing to take a chance on risky tenants.

Employers have been made virtual babysitters, responsible for every aspect of employee’s welfare to higher and higher standards regardless of productivity. Labour are currently legislating leave to attend parent teacher interviews. As for getting staff from offshore, forget it. Immigrants have been treated as second class citizens, with families and lives slashed in half by labour’s fear factory in response to COVID.

All of that pales in comparison with the so-called Fair Pay Agreements. They would return compulsory unionism to New Zealand after 30-years of people choosing to leave unions.

Electricity is going up because you can’t build generation capacity in this country. Wood is going up because you can’t build sawmill capacity and one player has cornered the market. The cost of living is sure to follow.

Despite all this, the Government has bottomless wells of love (and taxpayer money) for gangs, bike bridges, and journalists who sign up to the principles of NZ on Air’s new public journalism fund.

The revolt started in the country but there’s lots of reasons it will come to town, too.