More than 100 people help farming family after tragedy – Andrew Owen:
About 40 shearers and a support crew of more than 60 helped a farming family complete one of the biggest tasks of the year, days after a tragic accident cost the lives of their son and his friend.
Craig “Yopp” Murphy, 31, and his mate Jason Payne, 34, died on December 9 when their ute rolled on a remote, privately-owned farm in Kohuratahi, in the Whangamomona Valley, about 76 kilometres inland from Stratford.
Craig Murphy’s funeral took place on Saturday, December 16, and four days later more than 100 people got to work helping his bereaved parents, Whangamomona Valley farmers Dan and Kathy Murphy, shear their 3400 sheep for free, a task that needed to be finished at the peak of the season before Christmas. . .
Hunter Downs scheme meets share target – Daniel Birchfield:
The 12,000ha Hunter Downs irrigation scheme is to go ahead, after the required number of shares were sold.
Hunter Downs Water Ltd, the company behind the proposal to use water from the Waitaki River on land towards Timaru, held its annual meeting on December 14, when it was expected a decision would be made on whether to proceed or return funds to those who had already made the commitment to take water.
After a delay of several days, Hunter Downs Water Ltd chairman Andrew Fraser announced yesterday the company had “secured sufficient farmer uptake to now enable it to proceed” and finalise the funding structure and contractual arrangements to start construction, which was likely to be early next year. . .
New trapping project already successful – Louise Scott:
A pest control operation to protect native birds in the Rees-Dart River delta is proving successful just one month in.
Glenorchy local Russell Varcoe has built and set four new trapping lines as part of the Routeburn Dart Wildlife Trust’s Braided River Project.
That includes 601 traps — of which 574 had been placed by last Friday.
It is hoped the project will protect five species classified by the Department of Conservation as either endangered or threatened: wrybills, black-fronted terns, banded dotterels, black-billed gulls and black stilts . .
Leading questions: Synlait Milk founder and chief executive John Penno:
Business leaders discuss the year just gone and what will affect them in 2018. Today: Synlait Milk founder and chief executive John Penno.
What is 2018 looking like for your business?
2017 was very busy – after opening a new infant formula blending and packaging facility in Auckland, and nearing capacity at our Dunsandel site, we are entering 2018 looking to build an infant formula manufacturing site somewhere in the upper North Island.
We’ll also be constructing a $125 million world-class milk packaging plant in Dunsandel to supply fresh milk and cream to South Island families through our new partnership with Foodstuffs South Island. . .
With less than half the average rainfall across many parts of western Queensland this year, rain is top of the Christmas wish-list for most graziers.
While widespread winter rain in 2016 lifted spirits, most of central and south-west Queensland has been officially drought declared for the past four years.
Grazier and Blackall Tambo Shire Mayor Andrew Martin said most of the area had been suffering below-average wet seasons before the drought declarations. . .