The Offal Pit: Farmergeddon


Back in April, you may recall an Aussie businessman had a brain explosion on Facebook calling Kiwis "retarded".

This and his other unbelievable comments that women had "no place in business or politics" and describing his Prime Minister as a peasant, were widely reported and condemned as ignorant and insensitive. You can guess what happened to him.

So how come celebrity economist Gareth Morgan got away with describing the Federation as "retards" over and over in an online rant?

At least The Hound at Rural News and even new Truth editor, Cameron Slater, called him up on it. But they are the exceptions. Despite the storm when similar words were used over the Tasman, the silence from the Kiwi media pack is deafening.

Morgan let rip because Federated Farmers appealed the Environment Court's One Plan decision. According to Morgan, farmers should kneel and genuflect before the council's plan.

Of course, the column was written before a Landcare Research report revealed the plan's costings were so off the mark Apple Maps could have thrown them together.

According to the council, farm profitability would only have suffered financial impacts of between about five per cent to just under 17 per cent. However, when the Government asked Landcare to run its ruler over the One Plan, they came up with impacts of between 22 per cent and 43 per cent. No wonder the Federation has called this 'Farmergeddon'.

Morgan is meant to be an intelligent economist, but how does destroying farms help economic progress, or the environment for that matter? Maybe George Orwell was right, "there are some ideas so wrong, that only a very intelligent person could believe in them".

Let us hope the New Year brings better news. Farm safe this Christmas.

The Offal Pit is an opinion editorial not necessarily reflecting the views or policies of Federated Farmers.

- Hamilton News

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