Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Whenua Conference

Really enjoyed the just done Whenua Conference, Rotorua, 21-23 July at the Distinction Hotel. Good keynote speakers although must say I'm tired of the 'we are unique' spiel that the Minister of Maori Affairs trotted out (We're the only Indigenous minority who are marginalised, undereducated, suffering poor health, subject to ongoing racism and ... well we're not. Ay...).

Anyways, I presented on the opportunities for Halal branding for Maori, a project I'm squirreling away on with a couple of contacts at Lincoln and in Malaysia. More later...

As for the future of Maori agribusiness, am I the only one whose noticed any society that pins its economy to agriculture suffers declining relative wealth? And are there any ecologists not in the pay of the dairy sector who think dairying is sustainable? And with the growth in robotics in agriculture, where are the jobs for our youth? (Okay, in computing and engineering but we're not exactly getting numbers through). And how many Maori agrifood ventures are in profit. Real profit. Just a few minor points, don't wanna piss on anyone's parade. Not yet anyway ay.

Loved the skewering of Carbon Credit Forestry ... nothing more testing than a Maori audience. Word to the wise: the answer 'You can find them on the internet' is not a good one for the question 'Where are these carbon traders?' Chur...

As for my boys, Bruno (left) wants to be a copper, Whiti (right) wants to make movies and be an actor. Well, lest they don't wanna do a PhD!


Maori boys on the farm?

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Innovation flat in NZ - latest report...

New figures just released for NZ innovation, showing some interesting stuff. First, the headlines - Innovation resilient in face of global crisis - is an admission of failure: you need MORE innovation in a financial crisis.

Research I'm currently working on that looks at technology users as innovators confirms the difficulties for inventors in this country, lack of finance being the main obstacle (confirmed in the SNZ report). Within the results (Table 1) we see declining innovation activity over three financial years (2005, 2007, 2009)...less money = less innovation = less money = less innovation...

Our flagship sector (agriculture, fisheries and forestry) which between them contribute 5% of GDP with an innovation rate of 32%. I recall from somewhere our farming sector was ranked 15th or 16th in the world for innovation, a case of resting on our laurels (and indicative in the ongoing malaise of the meat and wool sectors).

Not good....

Gallagher's HQ, Hamilton. Started with Bill Gallagher, Waikato farmer and inventor of electric fencing, and an old horse that kept rubbing up against Bill's truck...
Simon Lambert

Create Your Badge