IrrigationNZ looks to the future – Annette Scott:
Irrigation New Zealand as an organisation is well-positioned with key influencers and decision-makers but there are still challenges ahead for the industry, its leaders say.
Addressing the annual meeting in Christchurch, chair said irrigation still, in many circles, has a negative connotation.
“It is automatically seen as a direct enabler of intensification and, therefore, poor water quality,” Johnston said.
“Our job is to change the conversation around irrigation, steering it away from being an emotive conversation to one where our communities recognise its benefits.” . ..
An iconic Queenstown landscape at the foot of the Remarkables Range will be gifted to the Queen Elizabeth II National Trust (QEII) for the benefit and enjoyment of all New Zealanders, as announced in Queenstown on Wednesday morning.
Dick and Jillian Jardine, owners of Remarkables Station, intend to gift the ownership of 900 ha of the property to QEII, to be held in perpetuity, ensuring the significant landscape and biodiversity on the property is protected on behalf of all New Zealanders.
This generous gift to the nation will ensure that a key landscape component at the foot of the iconic Remarkables will remain unspoilt forever. . .
Having reminded Parliament that New Zealanders in October elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system, and that the Government enjoys the confidence of a clear majority of members in the House of Representatives, the Speech from the Throne set out the policy programme we can expect to be implemented.
The first objective is to keep New Zealanders safe from COVID and:
“The first layer of defence is our border. With COVID cases increasing around the world, in a growing number of countries, the risk of travelers arriving at the border with COVID increases. The Government will continue to strengthen border protections. Testing, infection control procedures, and professional and quality staffing will remain cornerstones of the response.”
But the speech also signalled the Government’s intention to: . . .
With a passion for the dairy industry running through her veins, Hayley Metcalfe savours the sweet memories of her childhood – a honey sandwich in one hand, watching the cows come into the shed and patiently awaiting the bliss of a full-cream hot chocolate, straight out of the vat. Home for Hayley, her partner and her two children is a lifestyle block on ‘Metcalfe Road’, aptly named after her father and not far from the mighty Waikato town of Ngahinapouri. Following in her father’s footsteps – a successful dairy farmer, man in governance and data analyst – Hayley is proud to share her story of working with the Livestock Improvement Cooperation (LIC) to deliver valuable information to farmers, boost milk quality and production while maintaining a strict focus on keeping both her team and the farmers they interact with safe and healthy.
When asked what concerned Hayley about the health, safety and wellbeing of those in rural industries and communities, she spoke of her constant worry during peak herd testing times, where her team are notorious for working extremely long hours at both ends of the day, six days a week. As such, Hayley makes it her prerogative to set each and every one of her people up for success – ensuring everyone is well-versed in the importance of looking for potential problems, assessing the risks and taking preventative action. Colloquially known as ‘change junkies’, her team are completely and utterly free to flex their initiative to find and implement solutions to keep themselves safe, without hassle or question. This, Hayley says, is key to building a culture that values the importance of health and safety. . .
Tanya Sanders not only helps to run a 380-cow dairy farm in Northland, but also works as a GP locum in the area.
Over the years, Tanya has attended enough Fieldays, ‘health hubs’ and other rural events to see what really helps farmers manage the ups and downs of farming. She acknowledges it’s been a big year for farmers in the region with drought, floods and covid lockdown, on top of all the usual work demands. There are other pressures too, she says.
“I think most farmers in Northland can manage covid restrictions, floods and droughts, but many families are still struggling with the ongoing impact of M bovis, which tends to get forgotten,” she said.
“The other thing that’s often overlooked is what’s happening to the industry itself – our occupational wellness. Changing regulations are stressful and have a big impact on us and our families. That’s what gets discussed most often over my kitchen bench.” . .
Plant & Food Research Rangahau Ahumāra Kai has won two Primary Industry Awards, recognising innovations in orchard design and sustainable fishing systems.
The Future Orchard Planting Systems (FOPS) science team received the Primary Industry Science and Research Award in recognition of their work in creating a new growing system that increases the productivity potential of New Zealand’s apple, pear and summerfruit orchards.
“The FOPS design, led by Dr Stuart Tustin, was based on our understanding of plant physiology and developmental biology,” says Dr Jill Stanley, Science Group Leader at Plant & Food Research. “Theoretically we knew it was possible to increase the light captured by the canopy and that this would greatly increase productivity”. . .