Rural round-up

05/12/2019

Escalator programme provides next step up – Alice Scott:

Rebecca Smith is a wife, mother, farmer and qualified veterinarian.

She is now also a graduate of the Agri Women’s Development Trust’s Escalator programme.

Escalator is a leadership and governance programme for women involved in the primary industries and rural communities and is run by the Agri Women’s Development Trust. The Escalator programme equips women with the tools, confidence and support they need to successfully lead and govern in their chosen fields.

Each year, the programme receives around 80 applications from around New Zealand, which need to be whittled down to just 14. . . 

Olive yield doubles through change of technique:

Using New Zealand fruit tree management techniques instead of the olive grove management methods used in the Northern Hemisphere and Australia has at least doubled olive yields at trial sites across New Zealand, Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)-funded research has shown.

MPI supported Olives New Zealand to carry out a three-year research project, through its Sustainable Farming Fund.

The project explored ways to increase market share for New Zealand olive oil, with the aim of increasing the average harvest tonnage of less than 10kg per olive tree to 15kg.

The researchers exceeded their own expectations, reporting a yield of 20-35kg per tree by the end of the project. . . 

Rural firms promote ingenuity :

A campaign celebrating unique rural enterprises has been launched by the Wanaka A&P Society.

Four rural businesses in the Clutha area will front the Acres of Ingenuity campaign.

They were selected in a competition focusing on diversification in farming and land use.  

Salmon farm and restaurant Hook, tourist attraction LandEscape, cherry growers and exporters New Zealand Cherry Partnership and honey production company Taylor Pass Honey feature in the campaign.

“All four enterprises are using their land in unique and varied ways in an effort to create a viable and sustainable business,” Wanaka Show event manager Jane Stalker said. . . 

Hemp growers aiming high – Sudesh Kissun:

New regulatory changes are forcing some horticulture and dairy farmers to look at a new crop – hemp.

About 1300ha are now assigned by growers across New Zealand for the 2020 hemp crop. HempFarm NZ founder Dave Jordan hopes the 2021 crop will increase four-fold.

“Who knows, it could be more if we can sell our story well to the New Zealand public and business sector,” Jordan told Rural News. . . 

Nutrition key to productive cows – Yvonne O’Hara:

A productive cow is the dairy world’s equivalent of a triathlete, ruminant nutritionist Andrea Murphy, of Alexandra, says.

Therefore, nutrition which meets her energy requirements is essential to keeping her healthy and productive and enhancing her longevity within the herd.

Ms Murphy was one of the committee that organised the New Zealand Association of Ruminant Nutritionists’ first conference in Gore last week.

More than 80 people, including fertiliser company representatives, veterinarians, agronomists and animal feed consultants, attended the day.

‘‘I often use the analogy of sport. Just like an athlete, the better the nutrition of the individual the better the performance, both in training and on game day,’’ Ms Murphy said. . . 

Hay bale art challenge is on as designs appear in paddocks – Alastair Dowie:

The challenge has been set as Newstead’s Hutton family unveiled their new hay bale artwork.

The well-known annual construction on the Pyrenees Highway near Newstead has been creating widespread interest and comment.

This year the Christine and Craig Hutton and children Maddy, 17, and Charlie, 14, hope fellow district farmers will take up the challenge and construct their own works of art.

Ms Hutton said the artworks started in around 2012 and were spasmodic for the first few years, but more regular in the past few years. . . 


#1 x 3

26/01/2017

New Zealand shares the top slot with Denmark  in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index.


(TI CPI) has found that the New Zealand and Denmark public sectors are the least corrupt in the world.

The Corruption Perceptions Index is the leading global indicator of public sector corruption. Compiled by Berlin-based Transparency International (TI), it is a yearly snapshot of the relative degree of corruption world-wide, arrived at by scoring and ranking the public sectors in countries from all over the globe. This year’s Index encompasses 176 countries.

When the Corruption Perceptions Index is produced each year, it reinforces the global importance of transparency in the public sector.

“Our public sector agencies have focused successfully on developing processes that prevent corruption and these contribute to New Zealand’s stand-out reputation for a trusted public sector” says Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) Chair, Suzanne Snively. “New Zealand trades on its low corruption reputation and we are increasingly finding how to transfer these behaviours from our public to our private sector to leverage off this enviable reputation for integrity.”

“Our public servants from throughout the country have a right to celebrate this news. The TI-CPI proves that they are working to do a good job preventing corrupt behaviour.”

Deloitte Partner, Barry Jordan notes: “It’s tremendous to see Transparency International’s latest score for New Zealand. In recent years, New Zealand’s regulators, law enforcement officers, public sector organisations and professional services firms have all invested considerably more in identifying and preventing bribery and corruption. This helps build public trust and business confidence.”

“A larger number of public sector agencies have integrated corruption prevention activities into their regular routine, in line with the northern European countries,” adds Snively. “Significantly, they are moving from defensiveness and complacency, increasingly providing training and monitoring of bribery and corruption in order to stop it.”

She continues, “Most importantly, we have noticed a growing awareness that public sector leaders can inspire businesses and communities to also build on the value integrity contributes to creating a more prosperous society.”

The biggest challenge for New Zealand public servants to maintain a top ranking on the TI-CPI has been a tendency to become complacent. The prevention of corruption can be regarded as a lesser priority, given all the other pressures, including earthquakes, the global financial crisis and the consequent reductions in baseline funding.

Transparency International New Zealand (TINZ) is one of around 100 local chapters of Berlin-based Transparency International. It is one of only 22 Chapters from countries with a reputation as low corruption environments. For many of the other chapters, corruption is such a major part of daily life that they are focused on enforcement and often unable to experience the positive impact of corruption-prevention measures.

TINZ Patron Sir Don notes that: “as a previous Commonwealth Secretary General, I am conscious of the unique features of the New Zealand’s trustworthy public service. The TI -CPI score is an independent and objective assessment and is sending a clear message to anyone skeptical about the integrity of our public service. It’s time to work harder and harvest the benefits of this authentic brand, to increase sales and profits creating jobs and widening the tax base to invest in essential services like education and healthcare.”

Rebecca Smith, Executive Director of the New Zealand Story, commended Transparency International NZ for its clarity and sense of purpose. “With a public sector that works assiduously to build strong integrity systems, it becomes easier for business to gain market access offshore. There are clear material as well as moral benefits associated with transparency and integrity.

Corruption erodes trust and makes the powerful more powerful.

Topping the index doesn’t mean there is no corruption and we need continued vigilance to detect and deter it.

The benefits to New Zealand, New Zealanders, visitors and those with whom we trade from our reputation for relative lack of corruption are immeasurable.

First place in the TI CPI follows top ranking in Legatum’s prosperity index and the World Bank’s ease of doing business report.

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