world dairy prices continue to slide, dairy farmers are
increasingly feeling the pressure from their banks.
dairy prices at the overnight GlobalDairyTrade auction fell 2.8 per
cent to an average of US$2235 a tonne, after a 7.4 per cent fall at
the last auction two weeks ago. New Zealand's major export, whole
milk powder (WMP), fell 3.7 per cent to US$1890.
recent poll of members by Federated Farmers showed more than one in
10 dairy farmers (11.1 per cent) are now under pressure from banks
over their mortgage. That is up from 6.6 per cent in August and 7.6
per cent in November.
chairman Andrew Hoggard said that while banks were continuing to
support farmers, it was a "worrying statistic" that one in
10 farmers were feeling the squeeze.
poll was conducted at the beginning of February, with a sample of
1225 members representing all 24 provinces and seven industry groups.
now a question over the viability of lower order workers such as
sharemilkers. I know of some who are switching to contract milking,"
on an analyst's description of dairy prices presenting farming with
the worst crisis since the 1980s, Hoggard agreed that expansion had
put pressure on farmers.
were leaner and meaner in the days when I entered the industry in the
late 90s," he said.
called on the Government to hold European farmers to account for the
subsidies they received, which were fuelling production.
is something our government needs to take up through direct
diplomatic channels and the World Trade Organisation, and if next
season is going to be any different to this one they're going to have
to move quickly," he said.
concerning that some European countries are wanting to move backwards
to more regulation. Instead they need to keep moving forward to more
market orientated structures. The more farmers around the world live
with the economic realities of the decisions they make, the more
stable a market we will get for all farmers."
analyst Emma Higgins said the price fall was not surprising and
"could have been worse".
eyes will now be on whole milk powder and skim milk powder. This is
where the bulk of the volumes are sold and they are the key
indicators of the farmgate milk price.
sitting in a bit of an ugly mix at the moment where there's modest
powder demand combined with high inventory levels as well as strong
global growth, especially from Europe," Higgins said.
was preparing to do its forecast milk price but that would not be
ready until March.
economist Anne Boniface said the auction result was "broadly in
line with our expectations and leaves us comfortable with our
recently updated payout forecasts".
bank was now forecasting a Fonterra farmgate milk price of $4 this
season and $4.60 in 2016-17.
HQ's Susan Kilsby said prices were higher than anticipated, judging
by futures market indications, which had foreseen a drop of 4 per
cent in WMP.
market sentiment still remains very bearish meaning a sustained price
circling as dairy
farmers feel low milk price
in 10 dairy farmers are coming under pressure from their banks over
mortgage payments - double the number feeling the heat six months
many farmers, this will be the third year in a row where cash losses
are suffered, with farmers currently getting $4.15 per kilo of milk
solids where they need about $5.30 to break even.
new Federated Farmers survey shows that 11.1 per cent of its dairy
farmer members are now experiencing pressure from their bank over
their mortgage, while six months ago that figure was 6.6 per cent.
average dairy farm has a mortgage of about $7 million to service, and
rural accountant Neil McAra says some of his farmer clients are
considering selling off land.
couple are considering that as part of their plan - and that's part
of working with the bank," he said.
the position is getting that tight, that may be only option
Minister Bill English says it is normal for banks to be looking at
their own interests as prices drop, but also did not rule out
government assistance for farmers.
the forecast payout has dropped ... you'd expect the banks to be
going back to have a look," he said.
agencies are coming under pressure from politicians to meet public
service targets, the Salvation Army says.
agencies are "inventing" new numbers and changing the
definitions of targets to make their performance seem better, a
damning report says.
Salvation Army says the organisations feel under pressure from the
Government to come up with favourable results, creating an attitude
where they "find any reason to celebrate success or progress",
regardless of their original goals.
charitable organisation's State of the Nation report attacks the ways
in which government agencies appear to be using targets, and the
numbers behind them, in a "less than straightforward and
report says agencies have been using a number of "subtle and
ingenious approaches" to improve their performance against
include changing the definitions behind indicators to make results
appear better, "inventing new numbers" that are difficult
to verify, and changing the way figures are reported without
improving the reliability of information provided.
can cause us to slip into a 'moveable feast' mentality, where we find
any reason to celebrate success or progress, even though we have lost
our sense of the purpose behind it all."
report says the "political capital" invested by the
Government in meeting targets, such as its Better Public Services
goals, puts pressure on public sector managers to come up with
calls for greater transparency had been met by a "quite
disingenuous" government response, with claims that the public,
rather than auditors, should scrutinise the targets it had set.
report cites Child Youth and Family's statistics for child abuse and
neglect as an example of particular concern, with a large gap between
its recorded cases of abuse in 2014-15 and those recorded by police.
to the way CYF investigates allegations mean "there is no way of
knowing if the background level of abuse or neglect is falling,
rising or staying the same", the report says.
OF A SPIN'
report's author, Salvation Army social policy analyst Alan Johnson,
said the organisation supported the idea of targets, but not the way
they were being reported.
problem you really have is there's no independence of how they're
reported: the agency responsible for the targets are also responsible
for measuring them and then reporting on them."
some government figures could be trusted, Johnson said others had "a
bit of a spin on them" which would undermine public confidence
in all the numbers.
agencies should make their targets subject to audit so there was more
transparency about the methodology behind them, Johnson said.
report outlines a number of areas in which New Zealand is improving,
such as a decline in youth offending and teen pregnancy rates, wage
and job growth, and a drop in criminal offending.
also singles out a number of areas of concern, including the lack of
progress in addressing child poverty, a record high prison
population, and ballooning house prices in some areas of New Zealand.
leader Andrew Little said the report was a "damning indictment"
of the Government, and showed it was "deliberately manipulating
statistics" around poverty and crime to meet targets rather than
addressing the underlying problems.
is appalling that, as the report says, enormous pressure is being put
on public sector managers to go along with their agenda.
are targets designed to be met, not to change anything."
Party co-leader Metiria Turei said the Salvation Army highlighted
serious doubts about the Government's "much-trumpeted
achievements" for children and others, such as with CYF.
amount of massaging of the numbers is going to make the truth go away
– that this Government's decisions are hurting those who need the
most help," Turei said.
Poverty Action Group social security spokesman Mike O'Brien said the
Government's deliberate decision not to act for the poorest children
and their families could only be described as a moral and economic
poverty is, then, clearly a low priority for this government."
NZ national advocacy manager Deborah Morris-Travers said the
Salvation Army report raised serious concerns about the reliability
of information generated by government agencies to report on issues
central to children's wellbeing, like child abuse.
Development Minister Anne Tolley said: "This is the first time
any government has set public targets to be measured against, and we
are moving in the right direction in many areas."
said the "unfounded" allegations about CYF figures were
disappointing, and the Government was not trying to "paint a
rosy picture" of child abuse statistics.
stats are dreadful, which is why I am completely overhauling CYF and
rolling out children's teams."
difference in child abuse statistics between CYF and police were
because they measured different things, she said.
statistics related to cases investigated by the agency with a
substantiated finding of abuse, while police statistics related to
offence proceedings under the Crimes Act, which did not necessarily
involve a complaint to CYF or any involvement by the agency.
example, an assault on a child which didn't involve a parent or
caregiver would not be investigated by CYF if there were no ongoing
care and protection issues."
said the Salvation Army should make available any evidence it had
that CYF was not sufficiently investigating an allegation of child