Five more from here


Tourism New Zealand ahs launched  its 5X1NZ stunt video featuring extreme athlete Chuck Berry completing five adrenalin-fuelled activities in one continuous go – all in one hour.

Rural round-up


Synlait Milk receives MPI approval:

Synlait Milk has received approval of its Risk Management Programme from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) for its dry blending and consumer packaging plant.

The approval enables Synlait Milk to now pack and export retail-ready product from its manufacturing site, having met the New Zealand food safety requirements of the Animal Products Act 1999.

The only exception is for exports of finished infant formula to China. Documentation required to support Synlait Milk’s application for registration as an exporter of finished infant formula to China was sent to the Chinese regulatory body today by MPI. . . .

Beef + Lamb NZ expenditure on overseas promotion under review – Allan Barber:

Next year sheep and beef farmers will have their five yearly referendum under the Commodity Levies Act when they get to vote on whether they wish to continue funding Beef + Lamb New Zealand as their industry good body.

It was a fairly close run thing last time and actually resulted in the motion to continue with wool promotion being defeated, although this is now back on the agenda. However there is obviously some nervousness about the likely outcome of the next referendum, although this may be unfounded if farmer returns continue to be positive

One element of B+LNZ’s activity which tends to provoke debate among farmers is the use of funds for overseas promotion. Within the last 20 years, and especially more recently, there has been an agreement within the meat industry that promotion should be jointly funded by MIA members and B+LNZ. . .

Westland farmers braced for hard season:

Farmer-shareholders of the dairy cooperative, Westland Milk Products, will be watching spending very closely as the country’s number two dairy cooperative has cut 60 cents per kilogram of Milksolids (kg/MS) to a range of $5.40 – $5.80 kg/MS before retentions.

“Given Fonterra’s hold on its benchmark payout forecast, this isn’t exactly the best news to go into spring with,” says Renee Rooney, Federated Farmers West Coast Dairy Chairperson.

“The fact the world produced seven billion litres of milk for export in the first half of 2014 isn’t a secret and hasn’t happened overnight, so this further revision is disappointing. . . .

TNZ and NZ Winegrowers sign MOU:

Tourism New Zealand and New Zealand Winegrowers have today announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly promote New Zealand as a visitor destination and premium wine producer internationally.

The two-year MOU will see the organisations formalise their activity to enhance both brands, ultimately driving more visitors to New Zealand and increasing the sales of New Zealand wine in key markets.

The MOU was jointly signed by Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler and Phillip Gregan Chief Executive Officer for New Zealand Winegrowers, at the wine organisation’s annual conference in Blenheim.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says that the MOU will see both parties work together to leverage and enhance each other’s international profiles. . .


Possum-fur yarn makes double debut at NZ Fashion Week

Wellington yarn maker, Woolyarns New Zealand were rapt to find out this week two designers, Zambesi and Maree MacLean, are featuring their luxury possum fur product, Perino in collections for New Zealand Fashion Week 2014.

Up until now the luxury yarn has been used exclusively in the tourist market. Woolyarns NZ Marketing manager Jimad Khan says the move into high fashion is an exciting development for the company.

Both Zambesi and Maree MacLean are using the top-end yarn as features in their New Zealand Fashion Week collections.

“Zambesi is very keen to source local, sustainable product and on being approached by Woolyarns New Zealand got excited by the idea of possum yarn,” says Zambesi designer Dayne Johnston. . . .

Spark brings high speed mobile broadband to rural New Zealand:

Spark New Zealand announced today that it has begun its rollout of 4G services on the recently acquired 700MHz spectrum in the Waikato, enabling 12 sites with 4G in the region.

Following a successful trial earlier this year Spark, in conjunction with Huawei Technologies has now livened up sites with 4G in Te Aroha, central Hamilton, Morrinsville, Mystery Creek and other surrounding areas in the Waikato – allowing customers to access high speed mobile broadband over the 700 MHz spectrum.

Spark Networks Chief Operating Officer, David Havercroft, said: “Today marks the start of an accelerated rollout of 4G services to regional New Zealand. Over the next few months we’ll continue to widen our 4G footprint in the Waikato region, including the Coromandel, and will bring this technology to existing sites by February 2015. . .

Finally, a cloud based solution even the number crunchers can get excited about:

Xerocon Australia 2014 proved to be the perfect launch pad for iAgri, the agri-add on partner for Xero’s farm accountancy solution.

With more than 1,300 delegates cramming into the Dome in Sydney to hear the latest news from Xero and check out the latest add-ons and services from 82 exhibitors, the Canterbury based farm software company was one of the real winners.

iAgri CEO John Lay says there was a huge degree of interest in the product. “Farming is as important in Australia as it is in New Zealand so we fielded a lot of enquiry. Plainly, a lot of the accountants and bankers, many of whom had travelled from all over Australia specifically to view the iAgri add-on, have been waiting for a comprehensive solution like this to take to their clients and they were super excited – about as excited as an accountant can get anyway.”  . . .


It’s not Tourism Bits of NZ


When you live in the country you get used to categories in forms not being specific enough.

Many ask for a city or, at best a town.

Facebook, for instance, keeps asking me to put my home city and gives me no option for living in the country.

That doesn’t particularly worry me as anyone close enough already knows where I live and those not so close don’t need to.

However, being able to tick the right box for your location matters a lot more for businesses, especially one in the tourism industry.

Oamaru tourist lodge owner James Glucksman is concerned that Tourism New Zealand is omitting Oamaru/Waitaki from its list of destinations.

Mr Glucksman who is owner/host of Pen-y-bryn Luxury Lodge with James Boussy in Oamaru, said the matter came to a head when Tourism NZ invited him to Luxperience, an annual trade show in Sydney to promote luxury travel around the world.

The forms he was sent to fill in specified destinations such as Nelson/Marlborough, and excluded Waitaki, mentioning only Dunedin and Southern Lakes. . . .

I checked the Tourism NZ website and on the page aimed at people bringing tourists to New Zealand found only Dunedin and Coastal Otago which, did lead me to Oamaru and the Waitaki District but all it said was:

Oamaru, well known for its white stone architecture.

Back on the homepage I clicked on Planning a holiday go to and there found that Waitaki is listed as a destination:

The Waitaki is a place of scenic contrast. Journey along the Waitaki Valley and the landscape changes from green pasture to the dryness of Central Otago.

Snow-capped peaks and beautiful lakes contrast with the bare brown hills that rise up from the valley floor.

Driving towards the mountains, stop and see the Earthquakes, an impressive formation of limestone cliffs. Nearby you’ll find Maori rock drawings made from red ochre, charcoal and animal fat.

Further along the highway, you come to Kurow, a farming town with many historically important limestone buildings. If you like fishing or hunting, this is a good place to stop. Kurow’s also a great place for a spin in a jet boat. 

All of which is good and true – but it’s tells only a very little of Waitaki’s story.

There’s more to the Waitaki Valley than is covered and a lot more to the Waitaki District – including Oamaru with its historic buildings, the Victorian precinct, little blue penguin colony, Steampunk HQ, Janet Frame’s family home . . . . and further afield you have Moeraki,  the Vanished World fossil trail, Alps to Ocean Cycle trail, and many other activities and attractions.

Tourism NZ is:

an international marketing agency responsible for marketing ‘destination New Zealand’ offshore. We market in 12 countries around the world, through more than 100 staff in 16 offices. . . .

It’s not Tourism just bits of New Zealand and destination New Zealand should include all tourist destinations.

Oamaru and the wider Waitaki District are now destinations in their own right. They should be recognised as such not a cursory add-on to Dunedin.

Mine is of course a parochial view but others from further afield share it.

We’ve had friends from all over the world who rave over what they discover in Oamaru and a young Auckland who spent a couple of days with us recently was fascinated and enthralled by what she discovered there.

I had an hour to kill while waiting for a try alignment on Monday and spent it in the historic precinct which was bustling with tourists so people are discovering it.

A little more help from Tourism NZ might direct more people this way.

Google is a traveller’s friend and will lead you to the Visit Oamaru website which would be far more helpful than the Toruism NZ website.

How hard would it be to have Oamaru and Waitaki as a destination on that website with a link to Visit Oamaru and to include them on forms used for trade shows?

PureNZ have your say gets rave reviews


Tourism New Zealand’s mobile caravan is touring the country, recording video postcards which are posted on YouTube   and the PureNZ have your say  campaign has exceeded expectations.

 Over 950 video postcards have been recorded in the mobile studio, posted on YouTube and emailed out to visitors’ friends and families back home. The video ‘raves’ have been viewed a total of more than 75,000 times.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton says the reach of the initiative has gone beyond initial estimates.

It’s the 21st century update on the postcard proud parents used to share with family and friends back home,  videos on the web where they can be seen by the world.

The campaign was originally aimed at attracting tourists from Britain but so far they’ve  recorded visitors from 37 countries, including Argentina:

It’s certainly generating interest, although the true measure of success will be how much of that interest translates into extra visitors.

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