The 2015 Interesties featuring John Key, Graeme Wheeler, Chinese property investors (or not), a boxing commenter, charts, ghost houses, a swearing economist, Mr O'Loan, immigrants, bubbles & plenty of disruption

The 2015 Interesties featuring John Key, Graeme Wheeler, Chinese property investors (or not), a boxing commenter, charts, ghost houses, a swearing economist, Mr O'Loan, immigrants, bubbles & plenty of disruption

By Gareth Vaughan

The Christmas trees are up, the sun is shining and patrons in the cafes, restaurants and bars outside interest.co.nz's Herne Bay global headquarters are spilling out into the street. It must be Christmas time. Again.

Thus it's once again time for our annual Interesties Awards, where we take a light hearted look at the events and people that made our news this year.

As ever, we welcome your comments (and additional awards) in the comment thread below.

All our previous annual Interesties can be found here.

Here's wishing all interest.co.nz readers a very Merry Christmas, and a splendidly happy 2016. And thanks for your support during 2015.

Banking, finance & economics awards

The limbo dancer's lower and lower award - Fixed-term home loan interest rates. For the second straight year. Is a three-peat on the cards?

The Tom Hanks Cast Away missing in action award - Inflation.

The trapped between a rock and a hard place award - Reserve Bank Governor Graeme Wheeler. Caught between that missing inflation and a hot Auckland housing market.

The Dingo Deans award for services to Australian shareholders - Won jointly by ANZ NZ CEO David Hisco and his counterpart at ASB Barbara Chapman, for their banks' combined $2.77 billion worth of dividends. ASB's $1.14 billion of ordinary dividends was equivalent to 135% of the bank's annual cash profit.

The bubble blowing award - The record numbers of immigrants for their services to Auckland house prices.

The keep them waiting again, and again, and again award - The US Federal Reserve for waiting until the last FOMC meeting of the year on December 17 to finally hike interest rates.

The Best name in NZ banking and finance award - Last year's co-winners, SBS chief financial officer Tim Loan and PwC partner Chris Money were again in contention. As was PwC director Henry Risk. However, taking the gong this year is Tim O'Loan, fixed income analyst at Nikko Asset Management. 

We like feedback at interest.co.nz and O'Loan provided the following via email after last year's Interesties were published; "I'd like to put myself forward for the best name in NZ banking & finance for next year, having been overlooked for at least 2 years in a row.... If Tim from SBS gets a nob (sic) I surely deserve a look."

We agree Tim. And also wonder whether at least one of your ancestors was an Irish banker?

The flip flop award - The Reserve Bank for reversing last year's 100 basis points of Official Cash Rate hikes, in full, this year.

The damp squib award - Equity crowdfunding. Less than $15 million raised in 16 months.

The whew, we picked a winner award - ASB for being the "official bank of the All Blacks." Previously being the official bank of both Team New Zealand the NZ Olympic team didn't work out too well, for differing reasons.

The most over used word in business award - Disruption.

The don't look for logic to justify my movements award - The NZ dollar.

The history does repeat award - Ex-pat Kiwi analyst Michael Parker for providing a timely reminder as dairy prices tanked of the dangers of relying on a commodity that lots of other countries can also produce.

The economist potty mouth award - Shamubeel Eaqub for swearing on live TV.

Property awards

The riddle wrapped up in an enigma award - Auckland's Chinese property investors.

The where are they now award - Auckland's Chinese property investors.

The floods, plagues, locusts & volcanoes award - BNZ chief economist Tony Alexander for his description of what it would take to cause a major fall in Auckland house prices.

The gone to the provinces award - Auckland ma and pa investors.

The Winston Churchill we shall fight them on the beaches award - The Reserve Bank targeting leveraged Auckland residential property investors.

The ostrich head in the sand award - John Key for denying there was a housing crisis in Auckland.

The Lance Corporal Jones don't panic award - Housing Minister Nick Smith.

The Lance Corporal Jones do panic award - Labour housing spokesman Phil Twyford.

The complete lack of urgency award - The Government for being in no hurry whatsoever to extend the anti-money laundering law to property.

The giant marshmallow man award - Auckland's ghost houses.

Political awards

The weirdest fetish award - John "ponytail" Key.

The search for charisma (and still looking) award - Andrew Little.

The services to cartels and monopolies award - Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith who, among other things, removed the criminal sanctions for cartel behaviour in a the Commerce (Cartels and Other Matters) Amendment Bill.

The Richie McCaw, Dan Carter & Ma'a Nonu wish I'd got out while I was still ahead like them award - Len Brown.

The Richie McCaw, Dan Carter & Ma'a Nonu I did get out while I was still ahead like them award - Russel Norman.

The cringe worthy singing award - Len Brown for singing anytime, anywhere. And not very well.

The services to race relations award - Phil Twyford for the Auckland property buyers with Chinese sounding names debacle.

The insurance policy/covering your backside award - Phil Goff for staying on as an MP whilst running for the Auckland mayoralty.

The Phoenix born again award - Judith Collins. Yikes.

Politician whose career is most likely to end in 2016 award - Take your pick from Victoria Crone, Phil Goff, Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, or various cabinet ministers.

The politician who most successfully pushed the self destruct button award - Colin Craig & his sauna.

The me thinks she doth protest too much award - Jacinda Ardern for saying she doesn't want to be Labour's leader.

The we're going to hell in a hand basket award - Grant Robertson for his steady stream of tirades on how National is ruining/has ruined the economy.

Interest.co.nz commenter awards

The Joseph Parker award - Stephen Hulme for wanting to defend Graeme Wheeler's honour through this comment directed at Steven; "Ask Chaston for my contact details so I can invite you around to knock your block off on the governor's behalf."

The grumpy old man award - BigDaddy. Nuff said.

The dog with a bone award - MortgageBelt for almost always being the first to comment on any story about mortgage rates.

The most consistently informative and entertaining award - Waymad.

Best name - Zombie ponzi, last year's co-winner (alongside Basel Brush III & Zaphod the Flatulent), takes the gong solo this time.

The missing in action award - Gummy Bear Hero.

Charts of the year 

As selected by David Chaston.

1. The rise and rise of long term immigration.

2. The demise of the population drain to Australia.

3. The amazing upward drive of the services sector.

4. The sudden, recent reversal in national house price growth.

5. The rise and rise of Auckland house prices.

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.

64 Comments

Yes, that racist xenophobe loony leftist Phil Twyford and his made up racist statistics! What a racist! Good to see that interest.co.nz have been maintaining its own independent database of property buyers residency details, in order to make the "where are they now" award.

We all know now Labour were correct in telling us the dominant investors in our housing market here and overseas were in fact Chinese. I am involved in the property auction market. The fact that there is now an absence of Chinese investors at auctions tells me that most Chinese housing investments were money laundering. The Chinese Government put pressure on John Key for a disclosure of IRD numbers and bank accounts for these people, otherwise auctions would still be full of Chinese investors.
As soon as the facts are mentioned you are immediately shut down as a racist xenophobe, which is rather sad.

The art of mis-information
And it follows, that Peter Thompson of Barfoot and Thompson, (he, who is on John Key's speed dial), was being economical with the facts, toeing the party line, deliberately mis-leading, in other words outright lied.

Noticed - lately interest.co.nz hasn't published Thompson' s usual monthly feel-good quotes

Exactly, which is why it rankles that Mr Twyford gets an award that implies he is a racist, and in the very same column the missing hoards of Chinese investors are openly acknowledged. I think this column should be given the Alanis Morrissette award for services to irony

Doublehelix, I think you are missing the point of the Interesties. Perhaps you missed this line in the article; "...our annual Interesties Awards, where we take a light hearted look at the events and people that made our news this year."
Merry Christmas and don't forget to exhale.

MIA Award - what about "Cowboy" ?

Why thank y'all.

The keys to my success (he said modestly): I only comment on stuff that:

  • I'm rilly, rilly Interested in
  • I know something about
  • Just cries out for a side-swipe

"...wish I'd got out while I was still ahead .... award - Len Brown."

When was he ahead?

Giving or receiving? (to the ratepayer) :)

My thinking was that he was elected mayor twice but then found himself in a position (largely of his own making) where he was unelectable so simply couldn't run again.

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Thanks everyone for making my year that little bit more interesting and me a little bit better informed.
Thanks to Henry Tull, Belle, CO, Stephen Hulme, Waymad, Workingman, Kate, Christov and all the ones I've forgotten.
Also to the staff at Interest.co for allowing us another year of blogging, have a Great Christmas and a fantastic New Year.

Andrewj

Your links are immensely intersting Aj, thanks so much to the staff at interest and all those commenting. You all give me a greater understanding of this crazy world. An update on that Niwa map on todays round up. We have had half our normal rainfall in the last four months here on the central plateau. The wind just doesnt stop and now its a hot wind. I think this could be a real doozy. We always get good december rains. Always. Not happening, dont see anything coming on metvuw. Dairy looking like poo, lamb sick and beef hitting the skids. Not looking great for the Ag. Hope hort will do better. A good chrissy to all.

Thank you Andrewj. Enjoy the festive season.

Will do, 35 degrees in HB and all is brown. Thanks for the links and advice, take care. Andrewj

Thanks Aj. It has been an interesting year on interest.co.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to the discussions and to David and team for making it all possible. Have a safe and happy festive season and I look forward to reading all your comments again in 2016. Gummy Bear, I hope you return from hibernation.

Best wishes and good health to the interest.co team and all contributors, looking forward to the new year and the fine food for thought to be served.

and for china watchers
http://www.agriworldsa.com/article-archive/beverages/663240_Rabobank_Chi...
- page 10 - cost stacker matters but not always.

Thanks, Andrewj. I'm sure we gain as much or more from you as vice versa. Best wishes to you, workingman

Hear, hear. Ditto for me. Well done everyone.

Can I add my thanks to the staff at interest.co.nz and the commenters - it's still one of the most intelligent debates in NZ.

This year I packed Kumbel off for a well-earned rest. But he really didn't have much to say. The property market performed pretty much as expected so there wasn't a lot to add once it became apparent that the Special Housing Accord was in disarray.

Easily the most significant moment of the year was the joint statement by Labour (Twyford) and The New Zealand Initiative (Hartwich) on affordable housing. This demonstrated once and for all that affordable housing is not a right/left issue.

I also welcomed Eric Crampton's labelling of affordable housing as the "meta-policy" that enables many other policies. Get the price of housing right and alleviating child poverty, accommodating refugees (amongst other things) gets so much easier.

Best wishes for the holiday season everyone.

Were you Kumbel in a previous life, Donald? I did really enjoy his/her contributions on local government issues in particular. I got a sense of a great deal of direct experience which made for really useful insights. BTW, the Productivity Commission have just released a(nother) issues paper on urban planning that Kumbel would be interested in :-)!

And from me - merry Christmas and happy holidays to all you interest.co.nz bloggers and site management - drive safe, be sun smart and spread joy. Cheers, Kate

Some years in a senior position at a council. When I decided to put in a submission on the Productivity Commission's "Using Land for Housing" inquiry I realised maintaining anonymity was pointless.

When I started commenting here I was a bit frustrated by the complete lack of understanding of the sector that most people exhibit. But it had taken me two years on the job to really get my head around how the money works and decisions are made in local government. So its no surprise the average punter has no clue at all. It really is an incredibly complex business. So I have been happy to share some of that over the years. The key point for me is that while councils are often their own worst enemy they are also prisoners of a system that strongly constrains them. And both the government and LGNZ are coy about how far the tentacles of central government reach into what is supposed to be an independent, local democracy.

Commenting here sharpened up my thinking and I was very gratified to have the PC quote me directly in the final report of their last inquiry. I may or may not contribute to the next round; the PC write more words than I have time to read :-)

I would have liked to see the prestigious Phoenix renamed to "Thank god we have seen the last of her. ....Wait on, you're kidding aren't you - what's she got on the PM of Parnell" award

I dedicate my Dog bone award to all the lower middle-class kiwi battlers in the suburbs raising a family with a mortgage and an average income!
Now there is an issue in the research field separating correlation from causation - but notice since/during my commenting, mortgage rates have been coming down!

The Sloth award to MPI for their speed and commitment to ferreting out and prosecuting the big men that beat and smash up bobby calves under their care.
The Ostrich award to those dairy farmers (and others) who lambasted SAFE in every way possible instead of attacking those of their own that continue to treat the smallest of their charges with aggression.
The most negative advert award to Toyota who thought hilux owners had no sympathy for the animals they hunted or fished.

When we put security cameras up on the farm, legal advice, (from lawyer and police) was unless we had signs up saying camera's were operating any footage taken without potential offenders being warned cameras were there could not be used in a court of law.

If MPI are given the same advice it means that any footage/photos that Farmwatch took without making it known that they were filming, could not be used in Court. So without that what does MPI have to prosecute? On another blog, JD Darroch of Farmwatch, has indicated that this may be a potential issue.

How do you prosecute a farm if it is potentially a government institution (and no, not Landcorp)? ;-)

In my experience CO MPI werent interested when I made a complaint that calves were being systematically starved to death. They were being collected. Then left to die. Nothing. Zippo. MPI need more staff. They need to take complaints more seriously. They need to move their asses quickly. Prosecution is not the number 1 priority. But if they are having trouble making prosecutions laws need to be made to back them up. Where is the govt in this. This is our no1 industry. I am and I know lots of contractors to dairy farms. The guys that visit these farms regularly. This is not unusual stuff. We all discuss it. And we all hate the corporate farms cos thats where it happens worst. Yet this schemozzle was then focussed on SAFE. Fonterra etc need to root out these bastards. They need a hotline. They need courses in calf care. Landcorp were sending calves to the local sale unfed. LANDCORP. I was there buying. I loudly kept asking why were these calves not fed. Who owns them. This isnt good enough. The agent said they left the farms too early to be fed. I mentioned people needed to get out of bed earlier then. The following sales they had been fed. Cameras and prosecutions are for after the horse has bolted. We need to be more proactive. Calf rearing has been my life CO, and I get a little temperamental about it. I see shit go down on both sides. There are a lot of rearers who shouldnt be allowed near calves. Usually the economics of making losses pushes these people out of the business. But in the meantime they can manage to hurt a lot of animals. While being lambasted one day by a meal salesman and calf rearer extraordinaire cos I feed lots of milk and bugger all meal I asked him what his worst losses were. He said a third. Cough cough splutter splutter. He was a foreigner....big time rearer. Then employed by a local meal company. Imagine the misery in that guys calf shed. NZ is not alone in problems in calf rearing. SAFE caught the tip of a massive iceberg.

Sometimes Belle more is achieved by contacting industry, not MPI. They may well be understaffed and if so, that needs addressing. Well done for raising the issue of the non fed calves. But that story alone shows it is not just a farming problem. It is also a transport industry problem (they should never have taken the calves) and it is also an auctioneering company problem (they should never have accepted the calves for sale).

What the SAFE story did was expose that the problem isn't just on farm, however SAFE made no real issue of that - it was only dairy they went after, that's why IMO you have seen a strong reaction by farmers. The good that it has done is that all parties - dairy, transport and pet food have sat down to work out a strategy to bring consistency across all sectors in relation to standards for bobby calves. In our area for the last few years, transport companies won't pick up calves unless they are picked up from the calf shed and can walk up the ramp to the trucks. That is in addition to the usual dry navel and fed before pickup etc. If you don't have a ramp and calves aren't tagged, they won't pick up/take them. The pet food company in the video obviously had much lower standards than the exporting companies do.

I disagree that it is a Fonterra problem - is AFFCO, SFF, Alliance etc held responsible for animal welfare on non dairy farms? Having said that I know Fonterra, in our area, acts very quickly when someone contacts it over animal abuse - so long as it isn't just a case of someone upset because a calf has been taken off its mother and put in the calf shed, type of complaint. There is a team of industry/govt agencies who work together first to assess whether it is a farmer mental health issue, whether education only will see an end to the problem, whether or not someone else needs to step in and take over, or prosecution is the only option given the circumstances etc. For a prosecution to take place it has to met the criminal court rules of evidence robustness. I don't know if the non dairy sector has a similar animal welfare team. DairyNZ and Dairy Women's network do run courses on calf rearing.

The unfortunate reality is that there will always be cases of animal abuse just as the same can be said about child abuse/domestic violence etc. Does that mean that we sit down and do nothing - no, we make a stand when we see it. I have seen a situation a while ago when local farmers were concerned about animal welfare on a local farm. They quietly contacted the industry who offered support to the farm manager and contact the offshore ex-pat owner. The locals in consultation with appropriate authorities went in and shot a number of cows. As a result of that action a lot was learned by the off shore owner. Now, several years later they own several farms in that area all of which are well run and have good animal welfare.

If you haven't done so already, next time you see animal welfare issues speak to industry or SPCA rather than MPI, yyou may find you get a better response. The agencies/people who deal with animal welfare are only as good as the local staff left to deal with it. My experience is that the quality and ability of said staff varies across the nation.

The reaction by farmers to the story was focused on SAFE - the story itself wasn't. SAFE contacted the industry about a week before it went to air, refused to meet with industry before the story aired and then wouldn't meet with industry until after the article/ads in the UK. Some of that footage was shot in 2014 and not released until 2015. If they are refusing to give the name of one of the farms, is it because the photo shown was staged, as is being talked about in some circles? When they finally did sit down with industry last week there was common ground on animal welfare. Where there wasn't common ground, was on SAFE wanting an end to factory farming as when asked for their definition of it, the reply was such that it would encompass 99.99% of all farming in NZ. After Hans Kriek saying that there would be no more ads SAFE is now saying that they don't rule out place more ads in international media.
http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/291413/dairy-ad-'putting-the-boot-in'
http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/75274223/safe-wont-rule-out-more...

So much for their credibility of being able to believe what they say.

Have a good Christmas Belle and all the best for 2016.

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What about the very best links award? For me it's a tie between Stephen Hulme and Andrewj. All the best to all and thanks for putting up with my ranting.

Thank you Roger.

Best wishes to the interest.co team and commentators - together creating the most informative and stimulating conversation to eavesdrop on every day of the week.

The Richie McCaw award for ''''i'll have what he's having'''''go's to JOHN KEY.

I think I have a winner as to the most costly Christmas Present of the past decade.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/Travel-Bill-for-Obamas-Presidentia...

"Who fueled Global Warming Family Style' Award goes to the biggest waste of money in Global History President Obama.

But at least he had the grace to do it all with newly Printed Money. So no cost to the Taxpayers or to Global Salvation, or to so-called Savers. (Yeah Right).

The biggest Wolly award ever........and he owes it all to the Fed.

I think I have a winner as to the most costly Christmas Present of the past decade, in fact possibly ever since Jesus was born.

"Who fueled Global Warming Family Style' Award goes to the biggest waste of money in Global History President Obama.

But at least he had the grace to do it all with newly Printed Money. So no cost to the Taxpayers or to Global Salvation, or to so-called Savers all around the World.

(Yeah Right).

The biggest Wolly award ever... (What ever happened to him?).....and he owes it all to the Fed.

http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/Travel-Bill-for-Obamas-Presidentia...

Not that I ever repeat myself....so often.

perfectionism haunts us
http://dilbert.com/strip/2014-12-21

Hohoho, let me butt in ...

1. The PeterPen Award for the consistently least interesting articles: a close tie between the Chinese professor, Shmokbeel Eaqbub, and the NZinitiative's Martine Udahemuka and Khyaati Acharya (never mind the truly great smile).

2. The Krugman Award for incorrigible ranting against Germany: Bernard Hickey - while noting that BH is apparently very happy with Germany now destablizing Europe through its insane every-pauper-in immigrant invasion policy

3. The Prince Charles award for unshaken loyality to the mother land, bordering at the irrational: David Chaston

Merry Christmas, everyone!

I knew I made some kind of contribution to interest.co.nz, turns out it was 2 years, 3 weeks ago when I thought of my user name.

Thanks interest team for another great year of independent NZ financial journalism, and to all of the great commentors for sharing your views.

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A gong for Chaston. Doing the hard yakka all day to make it possible for us common taters to flit in and out with our thoughts. Annoying and random as we are to you David, we appreciate your work.

I agree. While I don't quite share the rosy worldview, I do very much appreciate the level of effort that goes into interest.co.nz and the wide variety of financial topics which are covered. The quality of the comments made by users are also fantastic. Best wishes for 2016.

Andrewj for the wide range of thinking. Stephen Hulme for for depth in subjects that mostly elude me.

Thank you KH. You might wish to indulge in some Xmas explanatory reading here and here.

Stephen, interesting. The first paper reinforces not only that most of us do not really know what goes on in the "money markets", but in fact no-one understands what is going on. I have for some time wondered in fact who pays the 25 bps interest now being charged by the Fed, to whom, and on what loans. I had assumed that somehow the demand for money would tighten due to extra interest being applied, and that over time this would reduce the money supply. If I read the paper correctly, Janet Yellen sort of believed that as well- the market would magically react. In fact it seems the Fed and other authorities have to actively seek repayment of enough loans to get the supply and demand for money back to a level where the prevailing interest rates are 25bps for Fed funds. The paper estimates that they should pull $800 billion to a $1 trillion out of circulation, but they've only been able to get their hands on $140 billion.
It may seem a chicken and egg argument, but an important one nevertheless, and which makes it a little clearer to me why a 25bps change is material. It is the pulling the money out of circulation that is material, assuming they can actually achieve it, and not the 25bps in interest that some institutions may have to pay on some of their debt.

And the Complete Muppet award goes to.........

Take your pick, there's a s**tload of them out there.

Thanks for another great year Interest.co.nz and all you wonderful posters. Apologies if I've ever been rough on any of ya - it's not personal. Maybe some of you might wake up next year, mwaahhhh :)

Merry Christmas, happy and safe holidays and best wishes to each and every one of you.

meh
(Thanks for your comment meh, but we don't need the swearing, which I've edited. Ed).

Apologies Ed. So used to it as part of everyday english language and sometimes it just adds that extra emphasis. Thank you.

I always thought it adds nothing but a noun or an adjective where the personal vocabulary is severely lacking.

Another year closes with more constitutional rights erosion, more debts across the board, hell house-price highway, the size of Nanny increased along with Nanny demanding more.

The Bulls and Bears respond to market forces......the Government and bureaucrats still don't seem to understand how their decisions affect the market forces......the most common injury is noses hitting the screen!

More and more journalists deliver OPINION pieces and avoid any meaningful debate on constitutional matters.

Then there is the re-branding of NZ....$22 million of hard earned small and middle sized business generated income to fund a flag debate I mean a flag dictate!!

The world is in chaos and some people would like to bring about WW3.

The most dangerous man in the world would have to be Obama.......he'd rather destroy Assad than ISIS........which makes me think he's not interested in stamping out world terror but causing terror around the world.......

We are ruled by propaganda and lazy sheeple !! All must be normal !!

And in the interest of interest we have interest and interest and few have interest other than those on interest......Merry Xmas and thanks to the team at interest.

Shovel award to Gareth for digging and digging. Some great research this year Gareth. Keep up the good work all. This is my go to site whenever I feel I haven't learnt something each day.

Thanks for the kind words Hamish. And thanks KH too for the "gong for Chaston". Much deserved that one. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Who would win the Dumb Dame award?
Susan Devoy or Jenny Shipley?

You'd have to make it a dead heat there isn't a whisker in it!!

CO, I've found your comments as well as others on this site with a farming focus to have been highly informative and educational throughout the year.
As an interested observer, I would suggest that instead of attacking SAFE (regardless of their methods and motivation), certain members of the farming community might consider the damage that is caused by the renegades.
If the 'volume at all costs' approach has yet to give way to a genuine commitment to delivering a premium product, then farming in NZ will increasingly become a marginal exercise for many.
The increasing demand for organic, environmentally friendly and quality produce by the affluent in Northern Europe and North America as well as the burgeoning middle classes in Asia is surely the way forward.
That requires commitment from all participants and it extends not only to improved animal husbandry but also to the financial and mental health of the farmer and dare I say it an increased focus on improved environmental outcomes.
Your Minister for PI is doing your industry few favours. His casual, 'she'll be right' and 'the majority of farmers treat their animals well etc,etc' attitude might go down well with his fellow farmers but does little to enhance this Government's commitment to necessary change. No wonder Belle wasn't impressed with MPI's response to her complaint. If the Minister sets the tone, she'll be lucky to find anyone with a pulse there.

Thanks for your comments childOTS. As a farmer who follows the KISS principle I don't disagree with a lot of what you said.

With regards to renegades - Sorting them out is easier said than done. They do have rights and an expectation that due process will be followed and 'natural justice' will prevail. ;-)

Organics have some barriers. My understanding is that we don't have that sort of market access in North America and Europe. Dairy is still a protected market outside of NZ - look at what was(n't) achieved for dairy in TPPA. In Europe the 'Anchor' brand license is leased to Arla for consumer goods.
I would like Fonterra to reward those suppliers that do only grass feeding. It is a discussion that may well be had in 2016. No to GMO feeds is another discussion to be had.

Fonterra has other value add streams such as pharmaceuticals and food service.
More than 90% of the world's dry-power inhalers use Fonterra's high grade lactose.
http://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/About/Our+Locations/Europe

With regards to the USA: http://www.fonterra.com/nz/en/About/Our+Locations/North+America

Overseas consumers already have a say in how our industry operates via the on farm audits that the Fonterra multinational clients do on farm here. They choose the farms they wish to visit, not Fonterra.

I believe that farming in 10years time will be different to that which you see today in many areas. Regional Councils plans will see to that. It will affect all agriculture sectors. Conversions will become more difficult in some areas - this will limit options for some sheep/beef farmers. Stocking rates may be prescribed in some sensitive catchments. The use of Farm Environmental Plans, or Sustainable Milk Plan will be an every region requirement and these will be audited. There is room for improvement in some quarters of the industry in attitude to environmental considerations, but again progress is being made. The rate of progress depends on a number of factors including which regional Council you are under e.g. some councils don't require a consent to convert to dairy! Technology is having an ever increasing part to play in effluent environmental management.

I salute you for including financial and mental health of farmers in your comment. These are the biggest issues facing farmers currently.

As regards to 'my' Minister for MPI - what can I say? ;-)

Thank you everyone for explaining NZ Economics to us all.

Though I fear this link below may have been nearer the Truth, worldwide.

Hence, maybe this is why we have such diverse opinions and rich and poor.

Have a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2015/12/explaining-the-world-economy-with-t...

Grumpy, me?? What a cheek.
It’s you younger lot that are the grumpy ones.
I used to enjoy wine women and song.
and I can still sing.

That's why we call you Big Daddy..! :)

merry xmas...

There must be an award for CO. Along the lines of Best Industry Cheerleader. CO takes all the knocks on the chin and fires back with some pretty impressive knowledge. Dairy is lucky to have you CO. Have a good chrissy and plenty of rain in the new year.

Thanks Belle. We all learn from each other here. I'm in my twilight years of farming and my concern is for the younger/future generation of farmers. Take care and I look forward to reading your views in 2016. Good to have someone give outside perspective. ;-)

Thanks all for another year of your thoughts. Always appreciate hearing and trying to understand the views of others.

Here are some extra festive awards to dole out:
- the "staying on message award (no matter what)" award - Steven (just beating out MortgageBelt)
- the "empathy for the plight of others" award - Your Landlord
- the "I'm not really him, honest" award - BigDaddy/Olly Newland
- the "I can't believe you don't get it" award - scarfie
- the "I can't believe they think these numbers are true" award - the People's Republic of China
- the "house prices only ever go up award" - currently shared by Ireland, Italy, Greece, US - more to be added soon
- the "free market" award - Fletchers, SkyCity, IAG and Z Energy
- the "3% increase" award - Auckland Council

The "blinkers on" award- Fonterra, for saying dairy prices will increase in early 2016 for absolutely no reason that any economist has been able to explain.
Could also be the blind leading the blind award, for Fonterra maintaining the $4.60 forecast despite the very high probability that it will be much lower than that.

Fonterra must have been run pretty close for the "blinkers on" award by Alliance Groups prediction (again) of $100 mid season lamb. Looking like $75-80(again) peak season for those lucky enough to be able to finish. This industry is in real trouble and any thoughts that Shanghai Maling are benevolently motivated to make us all rich are in for disappointment. There's nothing like being in control of ones own destiny.
Although I am an irregular commenter these days im still a regular reader. Thanks to the interest team for the truly informative site and ditto the quality of the commentary which is often excellent. Special commendation to the rural commenters Aj (exceptional links) ,CO, Belle, Cowboy, Henry Tull, Tim and recently some excellent stuff from Workingman.
Hopefully there is some rain relief on the way for those in dry areas. Merry Xmas to all.

That might just keep me smiling through until the end of January. When laughing at others, it always pay take a laugh at yourself as well.

I should give out an unearned income award, but that would be churlish.

Too many recipients!

*laughs* love it. Have a great new years holidays everyone !!