Rural round-up

May 22, 2016

Canterbury woman captures drought on camera – Annabelle Tukia:

A north Canterbury woman has created a remarkable record of how tough it’s been farming through a drought.

Claire Inkson has been living through the ordeal and at the same time capturing it through her camera lens.

Frame by frame, Ms Inkson is capturing north Canterbury’s record-breaking drought.

The photographer and farmer’s wife usually snaps portraits, but as the region’s dry spell enters its second year, Ms Inkson shifted her focus to documenting the people and stock affected by it. . . 

US political change may slow efforts to free up agricultural trade, academic Bailey says – Tina Morrison

(BusinessDesk) – Political change in the US may slow efforts to free up agricultural trade, impacting New Zealand which had hoped to gain better access to the world’s largest economy through the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, according to a US academic with links to New Zealand.

US lawmakers are expected to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership during the so-called “lame-duck” session of Congress between the US presidential election in November and the swearing-in of a new US president early next year. . . 

Rare native plant back from the brink:

The white-flowered ngutukākā, a rare variant of the kākābeak, has been welcomed back to Te Reinga Marae in Wairoa.

The native plant has been nurtured back from near extinction by Crown research institute Scion, which took four years to successfully grow the white-flowered ngutukākā after being given seeds from the estate of a collector of wild seed.

There were 100 people at the homecoming and children from the marae planted the shrubs in a specially prepared garden near the marae. . .

Statement from the Director General of the Ministry for Primary Industries in Relation to Operation Achilles:

There has been much comment in recent days in relation to a Ministry for Primary Industries compliance investigation into potentially illegal discarding of fish by some South Island-based fishing vessels in 2012 and early 2013.

The investigation was known as Operation Achilles. Copies of a preliminary investigation report have now been placed in the public arena.

The investigation was known as Operation Achilles. Copies of a preliminary investigation report have now been placed in the public arena. . . 

Ahuwhenua Trophy winners congratulated:

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell have tonight congratulated The Proprietors of Rakaia Incorporated, this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy winner.

The Proprietors of Rakaia Incorporated were presented with the 2016 Ahuwhenua Trophy BNZ Māori Excellence in Farming award tonight in Hamilton.

“The Incorporation has a long and proud history back to 1886. They have set a fantastic example to other Māori landowners of what can be achieved through ambition and hard work,” says Mr Guy.

“They converted to dairy farming in 1996 and sustainable irrigation has helped them grow and develop wider opportunities for whānau,” says Mr Guy. . . 

Township’s only shop faces closure – Jono Edwards:

The imminent closure of a community-owned Teviot Valley store has residents rallying to save it and a councillor calling a grocery chain’s departure from the building “disgraceful”.

Millers Flat’s only shop, Faigan’s Store, will shut its doors on Sunday next week after operating in different forms for more than 100 years.

The catalyst was Foodstuffs pulling out its Four Square, which has been in the building since the late 1950s.  . .

 

Kiwifruit project excites eastern BoP Māori:

Māori in eastern Bay of Plenty are hailing a plan to create kiwifruit orchards as a solution to high unemployment and low productivity in the region.

The kiwifruit orchards will replace low value maize farming on multiply-owned Māori land in Omaio near Te Kaha as part of a six-year conversion plan.

Te Rau Aroha Charitable Trust devised the strategy for Omaio, Otuwhare and Waiorore whānau and hapū. . . 

Australian agricultural ministers visit:

Primary Industries Ministers Nathan Guy and Jo Goodhew have welcomed Australian Ministers of Agriculture to New Zealand for a study tour and forum.

“The primary industries are the engine room of both New Zealand and Australia, and an important goal of both countries is growth in value-added products,” says Mr Guy.

“The study tour has focused on exciting progress being made by the Primary Growth Partnership, which involves industry and Government co-investing in innovation. It is helping develop value-added products and services, through new science and technology,” says Mr Guy. . . 

Zespri Kiwifruit Strives for Growth Across North America

Global leader in premium quality kiwifruit responds to growing consumer demands

In response to the very positive consumer reaction to Zespri Kiwifruit last season, Zespri today announces plans to significantly grow its volume across North America in 2016. In fact, Zespri’s growth extends beyond its distribution: a North American office is opening in Orange County, California to support customers and distributors in the next step in the company’s expansion, which includes hiring more staff within the region.

Zespri SunGold—a natural cross between gold varieties of kiwifruit—is one of the fastest growing new fruits globally, with sales expanding rapidly in the U.S. and Canada. Sweeter than a green kiwifruit, the SunGold variety tastes like a cross between a mango and a strawberry and has a smooth, hairless skin with a juicy, yellow flesh. SunGold’s appeal is also its nutrition benefits: one serving has three times more vitamin C than an orange and provides as much potassium as a banana.1 . .


It never rains . . .

January 12, 2012

Millers Flat expects to be dry at this time of year but a good shower is always welcome.

It got one last night – about 24 mmms (an inch) which would have been even better had it not all fallen in 15 minutes.

Further south a friend had counted about 60 spots at Otahuti but there was better news from further west. Another friend was driving near Tapanui and the rain was so heavy he had to slow to around 50 kph.


Walking Inside a Grahame Sydney Painting

September 26, 2008

We drove from Wanaka to Millers Flat yesterday then backtracked to Alexandra and took the road from Omakau through Lauder and Becks to the Pig Route.

That’s all Grahame Sydney country which prompted the choice of this Friday’s poem by Diane Brown. It’s from her collection learning to lie together, published by Godwit, 2004.

Walking Inside a Grahame Sydney Painting

 

That uninterrupted blue, then the mountains, snow

rapidly disappearing on this first real day of summer

and closer, another range, lower and crouching, shadows

draped over brown hides, and in the foreground, fields

wheat-coloured, rolling, legendary as the sky. Inside,

 

the sun stalks the angle of the dormer window, bleaching

clothes thrown not artfully enough on a chair. My lover

and I are writers, after all, and careless of  fabrics and folds.

I tell Grahame I’d use this but I’m not sure how

my poems are usually peopled, crowded with conversations

 

and this view is too large to contain in words.

Upstairs, windows divide the landscape into bite-sized

chunks. Perhaps if I take it one line at a time?

Already I notice I’ve forgotten three power poles

sprouting in the paddocks opposite. Lines I can’t see

 

but can imagine, ushering in the rest of the world.

– Diane Brown –

 

 


Sunday Social

August 31, 2008

We came over to Wanaka on Friday evening and were greeted by a starry sky. That promised a hard frost, which we got, but it was worth it for the views from Mount Iron of blue skies, snow clad mountains and millpond lake.

We spent most of the day at Millers Flat. The road there from Wanaka goes past Lake Dunstan and through Alexandra. The grape vines we passed en route were still wearing winter clothes but the cherry trees were in blossom.

The recent snow and rain have replenished moisture levels in the soil and the pasture is starting to change from winter brown to spring green.

Wanaka gave us another frost and sunny skies this morning but there’s work to be done back home so we can’t stay to enjoy it.


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