Patrick George Morrison CMG – 25.4.31 – 26.5.14

June 1, 2014

One of Country Calendar’s early programmes was screening when we got to the Darfield Recreation Centre for Pat Morrison’s funeral on Friday.

He was a young man when it was filmed, about 50 years ago, but the programme showed Pat had already achieved a lot in and for farming and the community.

He continued to do even more.

Tributes could only touch on all he had done and done so well.

However, you could have walked in to the service not knowing him, and come out with a deep appreciation of him as a farmer, farming leader, community stalwart, family man and friend.

Tim Cronshaw writes:

Retired Darfield farmer Pat Morrison will be remembered for his relentless energy as the founding chairman driving out the Central Plains Water (CPW) irrigation scheme.

The farmer, irrigation champion and big business director died this week in his early 80s.

In a ceremony last month marking the first turn of the sod by Prime Minister John Key, Morrison confided that, along with others, he had spent as many as 800 days working on the scheme.

Longtime friend Fred Bull said if the truth was known, he’d probably devoted more of his time.

“It would be 800 full days because there was a lot of weeks he was in Christchurch for a day or two and I don’t think it would be there without his tenacity.”

During a long farming history Morrison was awarded a Nuffield Farming Scholarship and AC Cameron Medal and recognised for his services to farming in the honours list in the 1990s.

His commitment to public duty began as secretary of the local cricket club in 1951 and more than 60 years later he was still an active director on the CPW board, resigning as chairman after nine years in 2012.

He served with Federated Farmers, the Young Farmers Club and Malvern A & P Association and was a director of the BNZ bank. He took on the hard jobs as chairman of the New Zealand Wool Board and New Zealand Wool Services International and was a chief opponent of a proposal to put a landfill in the Malvern Hills.

Morrison had the mix of business and farming skills and connections through the industry to make him the perfect choice to lead Central Plains Water, said board member and Buddle Findlay partner Willy Palmer.

“He was respected by everyone and gave everything to any cause he pursued and did it with style and with a great sense of humour. … I don’t believe anyone else had the necessary skills to take Central Plains from a start-up company to where it got to when he resigned as chairman.” . . .

Federated Farmers Meat & Fibre chairwoman Jeanette Maxwell said Morrison was respected by farmers for his work with Canterbury irrigation and before that with the wool industry.

“Back when I was a little girl he did a lot of work in the wool industry. He was a strong rural man and passionate about his industry. Along the way he provided strong leadership and would really drive to get things achieved.” . . .

He was a good man who gave far more than he got. His sudden death has left a big hole in his family, farming, the community and New Zealand.


Rural round-up

November 30, 2012

On the hoof – Sally  Rae:

The West Coast, where tradition and time appear to stand still, folk heroes are born, and the compelling scenery in all directions is as attention-grabbing as the sandflies, and where the annual Haast cattle sale is a firm fixture on the farming calendar. Agribusiness reporter Sally Rae and illustrations editor Stephen Jaquiery went along for a look.

Looking to the future, John (J. J.) Nolan believes eventually there might not be a cattle sale at the Turnbull saleyards at Haast.

With the advent of modern technology, he reckons 1000 head of cattle could potentially be sold one day in a video sale, in the pub, over a cold beer. But he hopes that he never sees that happen.

For the Nolan family – household names in Westland since first arriving at Jackson Bay in 1885 – have been taking their cattle to sales for generations. . .

Stud proves a winner – Sally Rae:

Stud breeding is in Wayne Williams’ blood.

Mr Williams and his wife Maggie own Glacier Horned Herefords at Fox Glacier, continuing a tradition that started back in the 1940s when his grandfather established a Hereford stud, then named Bluedale stud.

Slideshow: Haast cattle sale

After he moved to Canterbury and took some of the cattle with him, Mr Williams’ father took over the farm and the stud name was changed to Glacier Horned Herefords.

Sustainability efforts awarded:

Taranaki laundry and dry cleaning operation La Nuova Apparelmaster and Wairarapa farming business Aohanga are among those honoured in the 2012 Sustainable 60 awards, announced in Auckland this evening.

The Sustainable 60 awards recognise firms which incorporate sustainable practices into the operation and management of their businesses. . .

Sheep, beef and forestry agribusiness Aohanga takes out the award for Strategy and Governance.

It is a Maori incorporation with a firm focus on the future. The hapu has continuously held its land in the Northern Wairarapa since pre-European times, and has written a 100-year business plan taking it to 2100. . .

Rabobank 2013 Commodities Outlook: Agri markets to remain volatile as fundamentals ‘rebalance on a tightrope’:

Volatility in agri commodity prices looks set to continue into 2013, according to a report from Rabobank’s Agri Commodity Markets Research department. This will be particularly true for grain and oilseeds markets, with a supply squeeze in the first six months expected to push prices higher, before an expected production rebound leads to a weakening in prices in the second half of the year. The report says soymeal is the commodity likely to show the largest price decline by the end of 2013. In contrast, Rabobank analysts expect palm oil to be the strongest performer, as Chinese imports and biofuel demand drive prices higher after the sell-off in 2012. The soft commodity markets should continue in the same vein as this year, with prices expected to be relatively range bound.. . . 

BEEFLAMBNZ.COM Wins Prestigious Website Award:

Beef + Lamb New Zealand scooped the hotly contested prize for best private sector website at this year’s WriteMark New Zealand Plain English Awards.

The annual awards honour the organisations and people who are trying to make the world a better place by banishing jargon and gobbledygook.

The judges said: “This is certainly the best entry in the category. Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s farmer website shows a strong commitment to plain English. The purpose is really clear and the pages show plain language, active verbs, and short sentences. Useful summaries and clear navigation help site visitors quickly find what they need.” . .

Fonterra Australia-NZ boss leaves after regional rejig – Paul McBeth

Fonterra Cooperative Group’s Australia New Zealand managing director John Doumani will leave the dairy exporter after the company rejigged its regional boundaries.

The cooperative, fresh from raising $525 million through its shareholders’ fund to reduce shareholder redemption risk, has reorganised its consumer businesses to combine Australia and New Zealand with the ASEAN/Middle East/North Africa unit, it said in a statement. Sydney-based Doumani signalled he will leave the dairy exporter in March next year due to the restructuring, it said. . .

Dairying women prepare to challenge their boundaries at annual conference:

Hundreds of women who work in the dairy industry will be tackling some of the big issues that affect today’s farmers including the rural/urban divide, environmental constraints and developing future leaders, when they get together at the Dairy Women Network’s annual conference in March 2013.

The line-up of high calibre keynote speakers includes Olympic rowing gold medal winner Mahe Drysdale.

The two-day conference at Nelson’s Rutherford Hotel, starting on 20 March 2013, is themed ‘Taking down the boundary fences’. . .

Chairman of Central Plains Water steps down

Pat Morrison, chairman of Central Plains Water Ltd since 2003, has retired from the position but will remain on the board as a director.

An integral part the project since its inception in 2000, he believes the time is now right to hand over the reins.

“Having been involved right through the resource consenting phase, and with the scheme now moving into the design and construction stage, it is an appropriate time to hand over the role to CPWL Director and newly appointed Acting Chairman, Doug Catherwood who has been deputy chairman. . .

Three Months, Three Trophies, One Wine:

Coopers Creek’s Select Vineyards Albariño 2012 has won its third Trophy in three months.

It’s been dubbed “The Wine of the Summer”.

Back in late August at the New Zealand wine industry’s Bragato Conference, Coopers Creek Select Vineyards Gisborne Albariño 2012 was awarded its first Trophy. This was a surprising and impressive result for a young wine, new to this country and only in its second vintage. Just over a month later, in early October, the “Bell-Ringer” as it’s affectionately known, secured its second Trophy at the International Aromatic Wine Competition. Then last weekend at the celebration dinner for the country’s most prestigious competition, the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, the news of a third Trophy for the Albariño! . .


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