Rural round-up

March 7, 2013

Proposed RMA Reforms Seem The Real Deal:

After analysing the discussion document released late last week on the Resource Management Act (RMA), Federated Farmers congratulates the Government for undertaking a comprehensive examination of how the RMA is working.

“To be honest it has taken us a few days to get our heads around this 83-page discussion document,” says Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers Environment spokesperson.

“Federated Farmers actually supports the purpose of the RMA and requirements to protect our most important natural assets.

”Yet if we want real jobs delivering living wages then policy reforms like this are needed. Reform also needs broad political support and that is probably the most important thing we need to communicate; the need for RMA reform to survive changes of government.

“Aside from missing provisions for compensation we will raise in our submission, it is closely aligned to Federated Farmers 2008 reform package; Let’s Make it work – Why the Resource Management Act must change. . .

Ruataniwha Water Scheme Stepping Up:

A number of elements for the proposed Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme are being worked on in tandem to prepare for potential construction and investment in the scheme.

The scheme is yet to secure resource consents, however it is necessary to line up companies who may be interested in construction. Last month Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) Ltd called for Expressions of Interest from companies potentially interested in tendering for the construction of the proposed dam for the project. It is expected that HBRIC will choose two companies to move to the next phase of design and planning by the end of March. . .

Water governance – we’re getting into overdraft – Andrew Fenemor:

Like the challenge of balancing the household budget, we NZers are finding that despite being a ‘pluvial country’ we’re reaching allocation limits in many of our catchments.

Looking back, 100+ years ago exploitation of water resources focused firstly on rivers. Then water use especially for irrigation and urban supplies moved to groundwater takes. Now as pumping from our aquifers starts to deplete river flows and aquifer storage too much, we are seeing greater interest in water storage. Case in point, the Government’s Irrigation Acceleration Fund is supporting feasibility assessments for large schemes in Canterbury, Otago, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Tasman, most involving new dams.

The trouble is, it’s a tough job for regional councils to set catchment limits in their regional plans (PDF) before the symptoms of excess appear. That’s not surprising, given the sizable investments in catchment science needed, the long time frames required to understand the inherent variability in water fluxes, water quality and aquatic ecosystems and the long time period required to establish new regional planning regimes. Setting catchment limits certainly focuses the mind. Most councils are now getting on with the job. . .

Rural enterprise award big boost for business – Sally Rae:

Since winning the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award last year, Rose Voice’s dog equipment business has gone from strength to strength.

Mrs Voice, who with her husband Nigel runs the Real Dog Equipment Company in Ranfurly, has taken on a part-time machinist to cope with demand and she has speaking engagements booked through to the end of the year.

She is now urging other women with small rural businesses to enter this year’s awards, saying it was ”absolutely” worth it. . .

A real story about inflation – Milking on the Moove:

My Uncle was a cropping farmer in Zimbabwe. He purchased his first farm as a young man and worked it for couple of decades.

Robert Mugabe decided in 2000 to implement his “Land Distribution Policy”.

The mob of “war veterans” arrived one morning and the beatings began.

My Uncle and his family fled to South Africa. They eventually immigrated to New Zealand.

Meanwhile the farm was distributed between Mugabe’s loyal supporters.

But the bank had a problem. There was still a mortgage on the property. . .

A2 Corp to join top 50 index, toppling PGG Wrightson from benchmark:

(BusinessDesk) – Alternative milk marketer A2 Corp is set to join the NZX 50 Index after qualifying in the February review, and will topple rural services firm PGG Wrightson from the benchmark bourse.

The change will come into effect from the open of trading on March 18, stock exchange operator NZX said in a statement. Shares in Wrightson rose 2.6 percent to 40 cents in trading today, while A2 was unchanged at 56 cents.

Wrightson is controlled by NYSE-listed Chinese agriculture firm Agria Corp, and has a market capitalisation of $301.9 million. . . .

Enterprising Rural Women winners

May 26, 2012

The 2012 Enterprising Rural Woman Award winner is Rose Voice of The Real Dog Equipment Company Limited.  Rose also won the Fly Buys Online Business Award category.

The Telecom North Island Award 2012 was won by Kylie Gibbard of Emkay Limited, a specialty bra manufacturing business based at Koputaroa, near Levin.

The Access Homehealth South Island Award 2012 winner was Jenny Scott of Livestock Office, a stock agent brokering software company whose business is based at Bannockburn.

“The Real Dog Equipment Company is an example of what can be achieved when you have a passion and are willing to follow your dreams,” says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans.  “We warmly congratulate Rose on her very deserving win.”

Rose set out on her enterprising journey making harnesses and collars for her sled racing dogs.  This has grown into a very successful business producing quality animal equipment designed by Rose and manufactured by her and her husband at the company’s purpose-built premises near Ranfurly.  It’s also home to the family and their 13 sled dogs.

“What started as a hobby has grown into an impressive venture producing a wide range of equipment for dogs, alpacas and horses.  The Real Dog Equipment Company even exports sled dog equipment to Alaska, the home of sled dog racing!” says Liz.

The judges were impressed by Rose’s innovation and dedication to producing high quality products with good growth potential. 

They also appreciated Rose’s community involvement, often repairing sports gear for children in the district, for example.

Most of her company’s sales are conducted through the internet, proving Rose’s point that with a website and a courier service she could build her business anywhere, which allowed her to move from the city back to her roots in Central Otago.  She also uses the internet to upload instruction movies on training dogs and using her equipment.

The judges were impressed by the winner of the Telecom North Island Award.   Kylie Gibbard’s drive and business acumen guarantee strong growth for Emkay Ltd, which evolved from Kylie’s need to find a comfortable support bra that she could wear all day on the farm.

“Kylie has a strong vision and a can-do attitude that have helped her to take a problem, find a solution and turn the answer into an enterprise with huge potential,” says Liz Evans. 

Kylie started out wanting to design a comfortable bra for her own needs, but went well beyond a ‘number eight wire’ solution.  Emkay bras are the result of five years’ extensive research and product development, and use the highest quality Spanish lingerie fabric, which is laser cut for precision.  Originally designed for the 14DD+ niche market, the bras are now available in an 8B to 40HH sizes.

After launching the Emkay bra just two years ago, the company has already broken into the Australian market and is rapidly building its stockist base in New Zealand.  The Emkay bra is sold solely through stores, following retailer training.  This personal approach is an important part of the Emkay philosophy and one that translates into an impressive nine-six percent try on to purchase ratio.

The Access Homehealth South Island winner, Jenny Scott, has over 20 years experience in the market, a solid client base and a proven product,” says Liz Evans.  “The judges were also impressed with the fact that Livestock Office hasn’t stood still, and is meeting today’s market using e-sales and mobile phone technology.”

Livestock Office is used by livestock and grazing brokering firms throughout the country and is the only specialised livestock brokering software developed in New Zealand for local conditions.  It also has potential to be used internationally, which is the company’s focus for the immediate future.  The package includes debtors, creditors, cashbook and general ledger and can handle all types of sales including private, grazing and auction.

These women were among the sixteen finalists from all over the country.

The awards showcase the women and their businesses and prove that country life isn’t a barrier to business innovation and success.

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