Meat impasse caused by paper work mistake

May 23, 2013

The impasse over New Zealand meat on Chinese wharves has been resolved.

A resolution has been agreed which should see authorities clearing New Zealand meat exports to China from next week, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced.

“Chinese authorities have agreed they will begin releasing consignments under the name of the New Zealand Food Safety Authority.

“Officials are working around the clock to reissue certificates for all the meat consignments that are held up at ports or on the water.

“This is positive news for farmers and exporters after what has been a frustrating time.

“The Ministry for Primary Industries have now released information on how and why this delay occurred. It provided certification in a format which AQSIQ had not yet approved, and in doing so caused confusion for Chinese inspectors.

“I am very disappointed in the Ministry for Primary Industries for its mistakes in certification which have caused this delay.

“Accurately certifying exports of New Zealand agricultural goods is a core function for the Ministry and this mistake should never have occurred. Officials have a responsibility to meat exporters and to all New Zealanders to get the basic details right. . .

What all this polite language means is there was a stuff-up with the paper work.

“I am grateful to the Chinese authorities for their willingness to work constructively with New Zealand officials to find a way through this administrative error. I am also grateful to the New Zealand meat industry for their patience.

“At the moment our number one priority is ensuring the product gets off the wharf and onto the plates of Chinese consumers as quickly as possible.

“MPI officials have also let themselves down in two further ways: by not informing Ministers of the scale and seriousness of this issue early enough, and in being too slow to provide information on exactly why this problem occurred.

“The Director-General of MPI first informed Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye and I of this issue on Tuesday 14 May. However, the size of this issue was not made clear until I began receiving calls from the meat industry on Friday 17 May.

“After making my own inquiries it became apparent the issue was bigger than what officials had been telling me so I called the officials in for an explanation on Saturday morning.

“I’m disappointed it has taken so long to get to the bottom of this problem and for the Ministry to come up with a proper explanation. This has been frustrating for myself, the public and meat exporters.

“Overall we have a strong system and a mistake like this is highly unusual. I have given the Director-General of MPI clear instructions to ensure this does not happen again,” says Mr Guy.

When there’s a stuff-up it’s important to sort it out, find out why it happened and do everything possible to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


Word of the day

May 23, 2013

Decussate – To intersect, cross or become crossed to form an X; arranged on a stem in opposite pairs at right angles to those above or below, resulting in four vertical rows.


Rural round-up

May 23, 2013

Fears over future water policies:

Get involved or risk losing out.

That was the message to farmers from industry leaders, who say they fear that apathy could lead to Canterbury’s future water policies being unfriendly to farmers.

This was because of low attendance rates at zone committee meetings and at Environment Canterbury’s Land and Water Regional Plan hearings.

These leaders were attending a forum on water management that took place at South Canterbury Federated Farmers annual meeting.

Former Opuha Water chief executive Peter Scott urged farmers to ”get into the game”. . .

TPP Has the Potential to Revitalise Japan’s Agriculture Sector:

Research released by the New Zealand Asia Institute today has found that Japan joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could potentially trigger a revitalisation of its agriculture sector.

The independent research, funded by Fonterra, was conducted by Professors Hugh Whittaker and Rob Scollay from The University of Auckland. They investigated the potential implications of the TPP on the Japanese agricultural sector, which is a proposed free trade agreement under negotiation between 12 countries including New Zealand and also Japan, who only joined earlier this year. . .

Lupins help farm to victory – Gerald Piddock:

The use of lupins as a forage crop has helped a Mackenzie farmer win the fine wools section of the 2013 New Zealand Ewe Hogget Competition.

Sawdon Station co-owner Gavin (Snow) Loxton said winning the section came as a complete surprise after he entered the competition for the first time.

The Ewe Hogget Competition aims to find the country’s top hogget flock. Breed section finalists were announced earlier this week with the supreme champion announced on May 29.

His merino hoggets were in excellent condition when the judges visited his farm, which was due to his use of lupins as a forage crop. . .

Absolute ripper” 2013 wine vintage for Hawke’s Bay:

It’s confirmed! The excitement expressed as grapes of every variety were harvested throughout Hawke’s Bay last month, has burst into euphoria; pressed grapes now safely in barrels and casks are being touted as exceptional and 2013 as the ‘vintage of the century’ for Hawke’s Bay.

An informal survey of winemakers from Central Hawke’s Bay to Esk Valley, from the coast to the (almost) the ranges is unanimous. The flavours and colour of this season’s pressed grapes, both white and red, could not be better.

“It’s as exciting as everyone says,” was the verdict from Rod McDonald of Rod McDonald Wines, while Sacred Hill’s Tony Bish is particularly bullish and believes this year’s grapes will make the “greatest wine Hawke’s Bay has seen”. . .

Shorn merino sheep inspire wine brand:

The New Zealand branch of branding consultancy Interbrand has won its company’s global award for its Naked Sheep Wine design.

Its entry won the Global 2013 Interbrand Best Work Award for Craft, Packaging.

Interbrand NZ was tasked by boutique wine grower Ben Aubrey to develop a brand and packaging that reflected the heritage of the South Island Cairn Station vineyard on one of New Zealand’s oldest merino sheep stations. . .


Important work

May 23, 2013

Quote of the day:

“It may be that it’s dogsbody work but it’s still work that needs to be done, isn’t it? That makes it important work. If she does it to the highest standard she can then that’s a worthwhile job.” Terry


Queenstown in world’s top 25 destinations

May 23, 2013

We were in Queenstown for a conference last week.

It was based at the Hilton which looks across Lake Wakatipu to the town.

Attendees came from all over the country and everyone I talked to was full of praise for the venue and its location.

A lot of other people appreciate the town and its attractions too – it’s been named one of the world’s Top 25 Travellers’ Choice Destinations by TripAdvisor.

As well as rising to 25th place on the international list, the four season lake and alpine resort was also named best destination in New Zealand and second best in the South Pacific.

The Travellers’ Choice Destinations awards honour top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travellers. Award winners were determined based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travellers’ favourites and most highly rated places.

Destination Queenstown CEO Graham Budd was delighted with award and said it was a fantastic international achievement for the resort.

“We’re aware of the power of Trip Advisor in influencing the travelling community, so the news that Queenstown has been ranked by millions of travellers worldwide alongside cities like Paris, New York and London is a testament to the quality of our operators and the exceptional travel experience they deliver.” . .

We’ve been in Queenstown several times this year, which isn’t unusual, and even a reasonable familiarity with the area doesn’t dull its charms.


Thursday’s quiz

May 23, 2013

It’s your turn to ask the questions again.

Anyone who stumps us all will win an electronic chocolate sponge.


215,000 and counting

May 23, 2013

Share this if you like our progress in making homes healthier for Kiwi families.<

New Zealanders have been very slow to build to suit our variable climate.

Designing and situating a house to make the most of the sun, insulation and double glazing make a huge difference to comfort levels and reduce the need for heating


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