Word of the day

July 25, 2017

Clomph – to walk about in shoes that are too big for ones feet.


Rural round-up

July 25, 2017

The coming dairy revolution – Keith Woodford:

The attached article NZH_Agribusiness_July2017_4 was commissioned by The New Zealand Herald and published 20 July 2017 within their annual Agribusiness Supplement.

The Herald is the main Auckland newspaper. Accordingly, the article was written for a largely urban audience.

The urban community which dominates within New Zealand society has diverse and often negative opinions about the dairy industry, but typically this is based on limited knowledge. Many of these urban folk  do recognise that dairy underpins much of the export economiy on which New Zealand depends, but there is an increasing overarching perspective that New Zealand has become too dependant on dairy. . . 

Genetic centre to boost agriculture – Alexa Cook:

A new genetic centre in Waikato hopes to overcome what scientists say is a lack of research in quantitative genetics in New Zealand.

The Massey University AL Rae Centre for Genetics and Breeding is based at AgResearch’s Ruakura Research Centre in Hamilton.

It’s named after one of the founders of modern animal breeding, Professor AL Rae and funded by the Norman FB Barry Foundation. . . 

Personal safety device Anderson’s passion – Sally Rae:

Being rescued in the outdoors is a topic close to Trent Anderson’s heart.

When Mr Anderson was 7, he slipped and fell off a cliff at Karitane. Badly hurt — including sustaining a serious head injury — he was rescued by helicopter pilot Graeme Gale.

His parents did not know if he was going to walk again or “do stuff like a normal kid” and he had to learn again how to do many things.

But Mr Anderson (28) never let it hold him back and, just a few years later, he was surfing at the national championships. It was a major factor as to why he was so determined, he said.

Now his focus is on another passion; Mountain Peak Productions, a company he has established with wife Tonelle to help with safety of those in the outdoors. . . 

Eating quality farmers’ focus – Sally Rae:

Adam and Sam Spiers unashamedly live and breathe the red meat industry.

The father and son are involved with Alpine Pastures, an impressive large-scale finishing operation with properties at Tarras and in Canterbury.

The company’s vision is simple: to be a leading supplier of high quality beef, lamb and venison 12 months of the year.

Both men are excited about the future but they are also keenly aware of the challenges the industry faces, which was reinforced during a visit to the United States earlier this month. Sam tried an Impossible Burger — the high-profile product launched last year by Impossible Foods to supposedly look, cook, smell, sizzle and taste like conventional ground beef, but made entirely from plants. . . 

Suspension bridge destroyed – Shawn McAvinue:

The historic Sutton suspension bridge near Middlemarch has been destroyed by the flood.

Strath Taieri Community Board chairman Barry Williams said the extensive damage to the bridge, which opened in 1875, was “devastating”.

The bridge had been restricted to five-tonne vehicles since mid-2015 because of its state of repair. . .

Increasing lumber exports leads to new technology investment:

Signs are good right now for the country’s wood processing industry. A report from Wood Resources International last week said that although over 50% of the wood harvest in New Zealand is being exported as logs, lumber production had picked up by about ten percent over the last three years.

Shipments from New Zealand into the US market have in fact gone up 37% over just the past four years and during the first five months of 2017. The U.S. has now overtaken Australia as the number one export destination for pine lumber produced in New Zealand. In terms of value, New Zealand is now the second largest overseas lumber supplier into the US, behind Chile, but still ahead of lumber exporters from Europe. . . 

Bunnies sheepish but safe
Richard Horne said his father, Ferg Horne (64), was checking stock on his 16ha sheep and beef farmlet in Riccarton Rd on Saturday morning. . . 


When locals can’t/won’t work . . .

July 25, 2017

Industry groups and individual employers were unhappy with government proposals to tighten immigration requirements.

They let the government know that and it’s listened:

Immigration was due to be tightened on August 14 but there’s been a backlash from employers and the regions.

Sources have told Newshub the Government is set to back down and keep the gates open.

Examples of the revolt include Southland, which wants 10,000 more people.

“Good Kiwis are hard to find. Guys don’t want to let their good Kiwis go,” farmer Hayden Nicholson told Newshub.

“I wouldn’t. I wouldn’t let any good Kiwi go.”

Jono Breach also knows how hard it is to get a “good Kiwi”. He just got an application from one, so checked his Facebook page.

“His first picture was with wads of cash and bags of drugs, and I’m like, ‘Well!’,” he told Newshub.

That’s why farmers down in Southland have turned to immigrant labour, mainly Filipinos, like “Choco”, who loves the work, and even says he likes the Southland frost.

“This is the weather that I really like… because it is frost in the morning, but after 9am or 10am, it’s really warm and really good weather.”

Mr Breach says those are the types of people they need in Southland. But there’s a problem. The Government has proposed a tightening of immigration rules, due to come into force next month. Under the proposed changes, any immigrant earning less than $23.50 an hour, or $48,859 a year, will be deemed “unskilled”.

They will face a three-year cap on working here, with a one-year stand-down from New Zealand. They also can’t bring their families and children with them. . . 

Before an employer can take on an immigrant now they have to establish there are no locals who can do the job. A common complaint from employers is that out-of-work locals aren’t work-ready:

South Canterbury fisheries are calling out for skilled workers, saying many job seekers don’t have basic numeracy, literacy or communication skills. . . 

Sanford’s Timaru spokesperson Karen Duffy said they always had several vacancies at any one time, but it was getting harder and harder to fill those positions.

The fishery employed 90 workers, one of the largest job providers in the city.

“We are experiencing great difficulty with employing people into our business … and finding the right candidate has become extremely difficult,” she said.

Ms Duffy said local talent was difficult to come by, and she said many job seekers lacked basic literacy, numeracy and communication skills.

“Ability to problem solve, basic communication skills … those skills around communication and working as a team … it’s becoming harder to find suitable candidates”, she said. . . 

South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce chief executive Wendy Smith said the area was in the grip of a skilled labour shortage, but it was a victim of its own success.

She said rapid growth in some businesses was quickly overtaking the supply of potential workers. . . 

Ms Smith said bringing in overseas workers could help fix the problem. . . 

“We would like to see regional variations in place … we are quite concerned a blunt policy is being applied that might work for Auckland, but is probably not very applicable for down here”, she said. . . 

When locals can’t or won’t work, businesses have to employ immigrants.

The proposed changes would have had a serious impact on a range of businesses, including dairying:

DairyNZ is backing calls for the Government to rethink its new immigration policy, saying dairy farmers rely on skilled people from overseas who are wrongly classified as lower-skilled, locking them and their employers into a cycle of uncertainty.

“Many of the best performing teams on dairy farms include migrant staff,” says DairyNZ’s chief executive Dr Tim Mackle. “Some of these people are being classified as lower skilled workers when, in reality, their experience and skillset should be considered mid-skilled.”

Dr Mackle says the dairy sector and the wider New Zealand economy will not benefit from the policy changes to the essential skills visa conditions which will result in farmers not being able to retain their best migrant staff.

“The requirement of the new policy is that herd managers and farm assistants here on work visas must have their visas reviewed every year, and that they must leave New Zealand at the end of three years. This means our farmers will lose some of their best staff.”

With the objective of ensuring there were no unintended outcomes with the new policy, DairyNZ, Federated Farmers, recruitment advisors, and others including farmers, made submissions to Government.

“As stated in our submission, on behalf of dairy farmers, we want to see migrant dairy staff who are currently classified as lower-skilled to be recognised as mid-skilled when they are paid within the mid-skilled remuneration band.

“With this policy there is no provision for farm roles between the low-skilled classification and the high-skilled bracket. It is crucial that this be addressed so that our farmers can continue to tap into this pool of workers when there are no New Zealanders available,” Dr Mackle says.

“Without being able to retain skilled migrant staff, dairy farms in several regions, especially Southland and Canterbury, will be severely impacted in terms of profitability. There’s the real likelihood that with fewer skilled, and consequently more unskilled staff on the ground farmers would also not be able to keep up their high standards of care for the environment they live and work in, or for such aspects as animal welfare and health and safety.”

Dr Mackle says migrant staff and their families are good citizens, making vibrant and viable contribution to the rural communities they live and work in.

“They bring their cultures and values with them. Many partners of the primary visa holders are working in the likes of aged care, supermarkets, and cafes, where they’re also valued for their work ethics and reliability. Their children attend local schools and, far from putting pressure on class sizes, many rural schools may not be viable if not for these kids.”

Dr Mackle adds that what is being faced in many rural communities – and impacting employers in all sectors – is not so much an immigration issue, but one of migration.

“In many rural areas in the South Island, especially Southland and Canterbury, people have moved away to cities. With the decrease in rural populations, the pool of available workers has shrunk too – impacting all business, not just dairy. Quite simply, there’s a shortage of Kiwis in these rural areas – migrant staff are the answer for many.”

A stable, skilled, and productive workforce is essential to the success of any business, he says.

“Farmers are the foundation of the dairy sector which earns this country upwards of $12 billion in exports, and contributes to the lifestyle, infrastructure, and technology all Kiwis enjoy, rural and urban. Farmers must be able to employ – and retain – the staff they need to run their businesses.

“Dairy deserves the best. Like most Kiwi employers, dairy farmers might not hire people from overseas as their first choice – due to language and visa bureaucracy – but often they have no other choice.”

DairyNZ says the industry provides 35,000 on-farm jobs, including contractors and staff – 3,774 of these jobs are currently filled by people from overseas.

Other sectors are also relieved that government has listened.

We are pleased to hear that the Government is planning to review incoming immigration changes with a specific focus on how they will affect the regions. Effectively addressing skills shortages in manufacturing and other sectors needs to remain a core part of our immigration system – notwithstanding changes that may be required to address other issues associated with current high levels of net migration, say the New Zealand Manufacturers and Exporters Association (NZMEA).

NZMEA Chief Executive, Dieter Adam said, “In particularly, the 12-month stand-down after three years did not make any sense to businesses – having to send quality workers back home not long after they completed the inevitable on-the-job training required to become fully productive and integral to their business operation. The skills they may take with them often simply cannot currently be filled by New Zealanders.”

“Unlike in other sectors, labour shortages in manufacturing are almost completely in the skilled workers category, especially for those with trade skills and experience.

“The Government’s approach to use pay levels as a surrogate for skill level was seen as a sensible approach by some of our members, where it was seen as potentially a smoother pathway to fill high income skill shortages, but others argued it is crude and has a number of issues. It ignores the fact, for example, of regional variation in pay for jobs at the same skill level, and it may unintentionally lead to wage inflation by artificially setting a base line across the country for what machine operators, for example, should be paid.

“The NZMEA is not simply advocating for a continuation of current immigration policies and practises, which have led to immigration outcomes that may well be unsustainable in some areas. The Government needs to go back to the drawing board and come up with changes that address these issues without cutting off the much needed supply of migrants to fill skill shortages, especially in the regions outside of Auckland.” Said Dieter.

The regions have a serious shortage of both skilled and unskilled workers. Unemployment is around the level where those without work are unemployable nationally and in a lot of small towns unemployment is well below the national rate.

Restaurateurs in Oamaru and Wanaka have told me how difficult it is to get local staff who are prepared to work the required hours. They want to start later and/or finish earlier than the business requires or they simply don’t have the attitude and work ethic that’s needed.

Advertising is expensive. It costs several hundred dollars each time a new staff member is required and immigrations rules require that the business goes through that process of trying to employ locals each time there’s a vacancy, even if they’ve only just done that and established there isn’t anyone suitable.

In small towns and provincial areas, employers know the locals and would usually know anyone who was willing and able to work when there’s a vacancy without needing to advertise.

The requirement to prove there are no locals available to work simply becomes an expensive exercise in futility that puts strain on businesses and their staff.

Auckland has problems with too many people for the available housing and infrastructure but that should not be used as an excuse to make business so hard outside the city.

It is possible to ensure immigrant workers stay in the regions when their visas are tied to specific employers.

Opposition MPs are making their triennial discovery of life outside big cities as they try to court votes. That they have softened their anti-immigration stance shows that they have realised the difficulties businesses are facing.

It’s difficult for government’s to win on something like this – if they don’t listen they’re criticised, if they do they’re accused of doing a u-turn.

But most employers aren’t interested in the politics, they’re just grateful that the government has heard their concerns and will be acting on them.


Quote of the day

July 25, 2017

Horse sense is the instinct that keeps horses from betting on men. –  Josephine Tey who was born on this day in 1896.


July 25 in history

July 25, 2017

285 Diocletian appointed Maximian as Caesar, co-ruler.

306 Constantine I was proclaimed Roman emperor by his troops.

864 The Edict of Pistres of Charles the Bald ordered defensive measures against the Vikings.

1139  Battle of Ourique: The independence of Portugal from the Kingdom of León declared after the Almoravids, led by Ali ibn Yusuf, were defeated by Prince Afonso Henriques.

1261  The city of Constantinople was recaptured by Nicaean forces under the command of Alexios Strategopoulos, re-establishing the Byzantine Empire.

1536  Sebastián de Belalcázar on his search for El Dorado founded the city of Santiago de Cali.

1547 Henry II of France was crowned.

1567 Don Diego de Losada founds the city of Santiago de Leon de Caracas, modern-day Caracas, the capital city of Venezuela.

1593  Henry IV of France publicly converted from Protestantism to Roman Catholicism.

1603 James VI of Scotland was crowned bringing the Kingdoms of England and Scotland into personal union.

1722 The Three Years War began along the Maine and Massachusetts border.

1755  British governor Charles Lawrence and the Nova Scotia Councilordered the deportation of the Acadians.

1758 Seven Years’ War: the island battery at Fortress Louisbourg in Nova Scotia was silenced and all French warships destroyed or taken.

1788 Wolfgang Mozart completed his Symphony number 40 in g minor (K550).

1792 The Brunswick Manifesto was issued to the population of Paris promising vengeance if the French Royal Famiy was harmed.

1795 The first stone of the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct was laid.

1797 Horatio Nelson lost more than 300 men and his right arm during the failed conquest attempt of Tenerife.

1799 David Douglas, Scottish botanist, was born (d. 1834).

1799 At Aboukir in Egypt, Napoleon I of France defeats 10,000 Ottomans under Mustafa Pasha.

1814 War of 1812: Battle of Lundy’s Lane.

1837 The first commercial use of an electric telegraph was successfully demonstrated by William Cooke and Charles Wheatstone between Euston and Camden Town.

1848 – Arthur Balfour, Scottish-English lieutenant and politician, 33rd Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1930)

1853 Joaquin Murietta, the Californio bandit known as “Robin Hood of El Dorado”, was killed.

1861 American Civil War: the Crittenden-Johnson Resolution was passed by the U.S. Congress stating that the war was being fought to preserve the Union and not to end slavery.

1866 The U.S. Congress passed legislation authorizing the rank of General of the Army (commonly called “5-star general”). Lieutenant General Ulysses S. Grant becomes the first to be promoted to this rank.

1869 The Japanese daimyō began returning their land holdings to the emperor as part of the Meiji Restoration reforms.

1869 – Platon, Estonian bishop and saint, was born (d. 1919).

1894 The First Sino-Japanese War began when the Japanese fired on a Chinese warship.

1896 – Josephine Tey, Scottish author and playwright, was born (d. 1952).

1898  The United States invasion of Puerto Rico began with U.S. troops led by General Nelson Miles landing at harbour of Guánica.

1907  Korea became a protectorate of Japan.

1908 Ajinomoto was founded. Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University discovered that a key ingredient in Konbu soup stock was monosodium glutamate (MSG), and patented a process for manufacturing it.

1909  Louis Blériot made the first flight across the English Channel in a heavier-than-air machine, from Calais to Dover in 37 minutes.

1915  RFC Captain Lanoe Hawker became the first British military aviator to earn the Victoria Cross, for defeating three German two-seat observation aircraft in one day, over the Western Front.

1917 Sir Thomas Whyte introduced the first income tax in Canada as a “temporary” measure (lowest bracket 4% and highest 25%).

1920 – France captured Damascus.

1920  – Rosalind Franklin, English biophysicist, chemist, and academic, was born (d. 1958).

1925 Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS) was established.

1930 Murray Chapple,  New Zealand cricketer, was born (d. 1985).

1934 Nazis assassinated Austrian Chancellor Engelbert Dollfuss in a failed coup attempt.

1940  General Guisan ordered the Swiss Army to resist German invasion and makes surrender illegal.

1942  Bruce Woodley, Australian musician (The Seekers), was born.

1942 Norwegian Manifesto called for nonviolent resistance to the Nazis

1943  Jim McCarty, English musician (The Yardbirds), was born.

1943  Benito Mussolini was forced out of office by his own Italian Grand Council and replaced by Pietro Badoglio.

1944 Operation Spring – one of the bloodiest days for the First Canadian Army during WWII:  1,500 casualties, including 500 killed.

1944 – Sally Beauman, English journalist and author, was born.

1946 Operation Crossroads: an atomic bomb was detonated underwater in the lagoon of Bikini atoll.

1946   Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis staged their first show as a comedy team.

1946 – Rita Marley, Cuban-Jamaican singer (Bob Marley and the Wailers and I Threes), was born.

1948  The Australian cricket team set a world record for the highest successful run-chase in Test cricket history in the Fourth Test against England.

1951 Verdine White, American musician (Earth, Wind & Fire), was born.

1953 Robert Zoellick, President of the World Bank, was born.

1956 Italian ocean liner SS Andrea Doria collided with the MS Stockholm in heavy fog and sank the next day, killing 51.

1957  Republic of Tunisia proclaimed.

1958 The African Regroupment Party (PRA) held its first congress in Cotonou.

1959  SR-N1 hovercraft crossed  the English Channel from Calais to Dover in just over 2 hours.

1965  Bob Dylan went electric as he plug in at the Newport Folk Festival, signaling a major change in folk and rock music.

1969 Vietnam War: US President Richard Nixon declared the Nixon Doctrine, stating that the United States expected its Asian allies to take care of their own military defense.

1973 Soviet Mars 5 space probe launched.

1978 The Cerro Maravilla incident – two young Puerto Rican pro-independence activists were killed in a police ambush.

1978  Louise Brown, the world’s first “test tube baby” was born.

1981 The invasion of  Hamilton’s Rugby Park by 350 anti-tour demonstrators forced the Springboks-Waikato match to be abandoned.

Anti-Springbok protestors derail Hamilton match

1983  Black July: 37 Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo were massacred by the fellow Sinhalese prisoners.

1984  Salyut 7 Cosmonaut Svetlana Savitskaya became the first woman to perform a space walk.

1993  Israel launched a massive attack against terrorist forces in Lebanon.

1993 The St James Church massacre in Kenilworth, Cape Town, South Africa.

1994  Israel and Jordan signed the Washington Declaration, which formally ends the state of war that had existed between the nations since 1948.

1995 A gas bottle exploded in Saint Michel station in Paris. Eight were killed and 80 wounded.

1996 In a military coup in Burundi, Pierre Buyoya deposed Sylvestre Ntibantunganya.

1997  K.R. Narayanan was sworn-in as India’s 10th president and the first Dalit— formerly called “untouchable”— to hold this office.

2000  Air France Flight 4590, a Concorde supersonic passenger jet, F-BTSC, crashed just after takeoff from Paris killing all 109 aboard and 4 on the ground.

2007  Pratibha Patil was sworn in as India’s first woman president.

2010 – Wikileaks published classified documents about the War in Afghanistan, one of the largest leaks in U.S. military history.

2012  – Pranab Mukherjee became the 13th president of India.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


Word of the day

July 24, 2017

Fauchle – work lazily or listlessly with difficulty from weakness; work in a helpless, bungling fashion; walk with difficulty, laboriously, from lack of strength; trudge; plod; move the feet awkwardly or heavily; a slow, inept worker; a muddle; state of confusion.


Rural round-up

July 24, 2017

Help sought for flood-hit farmers – Timothy Brown:

The Otago Regional Council is calling on any farmers in the wider region able to offer support to those affected by the weekend’s deluge to contact Federated Farmers.

Dozens of properties on the Taieri Plains remain evacuated with paddocks and pastures inundated with water from a wild storm that began on Friday afternoon.

Otago Regional Council chairman Stephen Woodhead said on Sunday it would be a difficult road ahead for farmers affected by the downpour and they would need assistance from the wider rural community.

“Federated Farmers is seeking assistance with feed and grazing,” he said. . . 

NZ the home of real free-range meat – Rod Slater:

The arrival of alternative proteins creates an opportunity for New Zealand to sell its natural pasture-to-plate story, says Beef + Lamb NZ marketing supremo Rod Slater.

 I want to address a certain issue that’s been driving plenty of chatter, both among those in the industry and those interested in food, our environment and our economy, and that’s the rise of alternative proteins.

There is no denying that this conversation, which is not just isolated to New Zealand, is gaining momentum and given the speed in which our current world operates we have no choice but to take notice of it.

However, I’m a huge believer that in every challenge lies a greater opportunity and I believe that if we adapt at speed we can make the most of the situation facing our industry. . . 

Meat substitutes’ rise a danger to NZ farmers – KPMG – Alexa Cook

New Zealand farmers could be under threat from a rise in plant-based products that mimic animal products such as burger patties, KPMG says.

Its global head of agribusiness, Ian Proudfoot, said he has been to Silicon Valley and seen firsthand what alternative proteins were on the menu.

Mr Proudfoot said New Zealand meat and dairy producers needed to identify what level of risk the products presented for their industry and plan accordingly.

The threat of vegetarian alternatives to meat products was looming as companies were beginning to create products that would genuinely appeal to consumers, Mr Proudfoot said. . . 

Dairy beef profitable for beef and dairy – Allan Barber:

For well over 20 years one of the largest challenges in the meat industry has been dairy farmers’ lack of recognition of the opportunity to make more money from their calves by selling them to calf rearers for beef production. There have always been calf rearers willing to stick their neck out and buy calves, but this was highly dependent on both beef and milk price. But for dairy farmers it was easier to select their replacement heifers and put the rest on the bobby calf truck, rather than find rearers to take the bull calves or keep them on the farm for up to three months.

The importance of dairy beef has been inevitable ever since the dairy industry started to increase in size at the expense of the sheep and beef industry which was forced to retreat further up the hillside to land unsuitable for other farming types. 70% of cattle born in New Zealand are born on the dairy farm and dairy cows now outnumber beef cows by about five to one which makes it essential to encourage the dairy industry to assume a significant role in breeding replacement beef cattle. . . 

New Zealand Landcare Trust regional coordinator Annette Litherland ready for top of the south challenge – Jeffrey Kitt:

They are big shoes to fill after 18 years, but Annette Litherland says she is determined to continue the fight for farmers and the environment.

Annette has taken over as the New Zealand Landcare Trust regional co-ordinator for Nelson and Marlborough, taking the top job from Barbara Stuart following her retirement.

Barbara worked for the trust since 1999, finding her niche in helping farmers reduce their impact on the land and seeing a huge shift in attitudes about sustainability. . . 

LIC full year results announcement:

Farmer-owned co-operative, Livestock Improvement Corporation Limited (NZX: LIC), announces its financial results for the year ending 31 May 2017.

As forecast in the half year result in February, LIC has returned to a modest level of profitability in the 2016-2017 year.

Strong performance in its core services of artificial breeding and herd testing, and a reduction in operating costs across the business all contributed to a positive result and a return in value to all shareholders. . . 

Great progress with PEFC Eco-Certification of NZ forest practices:

Illegal forest management practices are a global problem. Governments and markets around the world are increasingly requiring proof of legality for harvested wood products. This has created a demand for labelling and endorsement of sustainably managed and legally harvested forest and wood products.

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) is an eco-certification system that is recognised as providing assurance of legality and sustainability and is increasingly required for access to some of NZ’s major markets. . . 

Agricultural Census a valuable resource to farmers and wider primary sector:

This year’s Agricultural Production Census is an important survey that assists all farmers and the primary sector says Federated Farmers.

Farmers are generally bombarded with questionnaires and surveys and replying can be time consuming, but the Federation recommends that members take time to fill in the census and answer the questions accurately.

The compulsory survey, conducted every five years by Statistics New Zealand, is a valuable outlet for monitoring industry trends and a resource used by local authorities. . . 

Australian MPs visit to discuss biosecurity and water use efficiency:

A delegation from the Australian House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources is visiting New Zealand 23-27 July 2017. The visit is part of an annual exchange of select committees between New Zealand and Australian Parliaments.

New Zealand’s Speaker, Rt Hon David Carter, is pleased to host this visit.

“The Australia-New Zealand agriculture and science relationship is very significant. This visit will enable the parliamentary delegation to cover important inquiry topics for Australia with New Zealand’s Primary Production Committee members as well as New Zealand academic, farming and business sectors. It is an opportunity to share information of mutual benefit.” . . 

Government funding wetland enhancement project:

Hohepa Hawke’s Bay has been awarded nearly $175,000 from the Government’s Community Environment Fund to restore and increase a wetland adjacent to the Taipo Stream in Napier, Associate Minister Scott Simpson announced today.

Hohepa Hawke’s Bay is owned by the Hohepa Homes Trust, which has provided homes, education and vocational services in Hawke’s Bay to people with intellectual disabilities since 1957.

“The wetland is an important natural habitat for many native and endangered species. The two-year Lower Taipo Stream Environmental Enhancement project will increase the wetland by at least 6 hectares, providing additional habitat for the nationally endangered matuku or Australasian bittern,” Mr Simpson says. . . 

It’s not all gold for some kiwifruit growers:

Despite what people might believe, some kiwifruit growers are a long way from recovering from the 2010 Psa-V outbreak which devastated the kiwifruit industry in New Zealand, Te Puke kiwifruit grower Alistair Reese said today.

“It really concerns me that a lot of the commentary about the kiwifruit industry is that Sun Gold (“G3”) has been the ‘saviour’ post PSA, and that the industry is now doing very well because of the new varieties. . . 

Can New Zealand repeat stellar success in 2017 Sydney International Wine Competition? Entries invited from NZ wineries for 38th Competition:

New Zealand wineries are expected to holder even greater sway in this year’s Sydney International Wine Competition, following the huge success of Kiwi producers in the 2017 judging.

Entries for this year’s Competition – the only international wine show that judges all its finalists in combination with appropriate food – can be made up till 15 September, with judging in mid-October and provisional award and trophy winners notified by the end of October. . . 


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