Coverage, reliability and speed of mobile and internet services for many farming families and businesses are treading water, if not going backwards, the 2022 Federated Farmers Rural Connectivity Survey shows.
More than half of the nearly 1,200 farmers who responded to the survey report internet download speeds at or less than what could be considered a bare minimum (20 megabytes per second/Mbps) and those who said their mobile phone service had declined in the last 12 months jumped from 20% to 32%.
“For a sector that underpins the lion’s share of New Zealand’s export earnings, and one where productivity gains and reporting requirements are increasingly aligned with used of technology, apps and devices, this is really concerning,” Federated Farmers national board member and telecommunications spokesperson Richard McIntyre says.
“It’s a given that it’s easier and more profitable to deliver high standards of mobile and broadband to urban areas. But rural families and farm businesses – who due to remoteness and road travel times can really benefit from strong on-line connectivity access – must not be left behind.” . .
Why does everyone want to work on a farm? – Brianna Mcilraith:
Job-hunters might be looking for a lifestyle and career change on the farm, if Trade Me data is anything to go by.
The site said agricultural jobs were the most-viewed listings last month.
The top five job listings were for South Island agriculture, fishing and forestry roles, and of the 100 most-viewed listings in August, more than half (55%) were in those categories.
Trade Me Jobs sales director Matt Tolich said 18 of the most popular listings were for shepherds and a further nine for stock managers. . .
An opposition member’s bill boosting penalties for biosecurity breaches has passed its first reading with near unanimous support.
In the name of National MP Jacqui Dean, the bill is aimed at deterring incoming visitors from bringing in illegal biosecurity items such as fruit or other food.
The Increased Penalties for Breach of Biosecurity Bill would double the existing penalty from $1000 to $2000, upon conviction.
It would also increase the on-the-spot fine for a false declaration from $400 to $1000. . .
Biosecurity New Zealand has welcomed 17 new quarantine officers to help protect Aotearoa’s borders from invasive pests and diseases.
Eleven officers graduated on Friday after completing an intensive 10-week training programme. They will work at frontline border locations in Auckland to ensure international travellers and imported goods comply with New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules. The other six new officers have joined Biosecurity New Zealand’s border teams in Wellington, Queenstown and Dunedin.
The graduates will bolster Biosecurity New Zealand’s frontline ranks as international passenger traffic begins to gather pace following the reopening of borders, says Mike Inglis, Northern Regional Commissioner, Biosecurity New Zealand.
He says Biosecurity New Zealand will have recruited nearly 60 new quarantine officers by the end of this year. There are plans to recruit a further 20 Auckland officers in early 2023. . .
Congratulations to Alun Kilby from Marisco, who came became the 2022 Tonnellerie de Mercurey Marlborough Young Winemaker of the Year. The competition was held on 21st September at MRC and the winners were announced at the Awards Dinner the same evening
Alun, 28, was thrilled to take out the title and the judges commented on his broad range of knowledge and skills as he scored consistently well across all sections.
Congratulations also goes to Thomas Jordaan from Vavasour who came second and to Ruby McManaway from Yealands who came third.
For the first time, there were ten contestants competing in the Marlborough regional competition. “It’s exciting to see how many aspiring Young Winemakers want to stretch themselves and start making a name for themselves” says Nicky Grandorge, Leadership & Communities Manager at New Zealand Winegrowers. . .
Horticulture industry stalwart, Mick (Michael) Ahern, has won the Horticulture New Zealand Industry Service Award for 2022.
‘Mick has contributed to the development of New Zealand’s horticulture industry for more than 40 years,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘Mick is known for his common sense and ability – after everyone else has exhausted themselves with talking – to sum up the situation and provide wise counsel, while pointing to the best if not only way forward.’
Mick started out in the 70s as a university student writing a case study on the kiwifruit industry’s development. That lead to roles in the then fledgeling, kiwifruit export industry. . .
Horticulture industry leader, Miriana Stephens has won the Horticulture New Zealand President’s Trophy for 2022.
‘Miriana is shaping the future of the horticulture industry by example,’ says HortNZ President, Barry O’Neil.
‘She is a director of Wakatū Incorporation, which grows apples, kiwifruit and pears in its Motueka Orchards under the business, Kono.
‘To Miriana, business is not just commercial – it involves being a kaitiaki of the whenua and moana, as well as being commercially responsible.’ . .