Owners upset over landscape changes – Rebecca Ryan:
Waitaki rural residents have reacted with concern to letters sent by the district council to nearly 2000 landowners about proposed changes to mapping in the district plan review.
Earlier this month, Waitaki District Council chief executive Fergus Power sent letters to affected landowners, advising them the new district plan would increase the level of protection for “significant natural areas”, “outstanding and significant natural features”, “outstanding natural landscapes” and “sites and areas of significance to Maori” on their land.
The letters also included maps of the new protective overlays on their properties, and a link to a survey for feedback.
Federated Farmers North Otago president Jared Ross said the letters did not contain enough information and, for most landowners, the proposed changes came as a surprise. . .
Concern over forestry spread – Neal Wallace:
The Government has been accused of failing to fulfil election promises to protect quality soils from forest planting and to review the favourable treatment of foreign forestry investors.
Federated Farmers president Andrew Hoggard says the Government promised to revise the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) to require resource consent for proposed forestry blocks larger than 50ha on class 1-5 soil but has not yet done so.
“We were told they would,” Hoggard said.
The Government has announced terms of reference for a review of the Overseas Investment Act (OIA), which provides favourable treatment of foreign forestry investors, but a report is not due until the end of next year. . .
NATIONAL’S spokesperson for Rural Communities Barbara Kuriger is backing yesterday’s call by Federated Farmers for the Government to deliver on its election promise to protect productive farmland.
“The Feds want a full review of government policies which are leading to the loss of productive farms, export income, employment and the undermining of rural communities,” she says.
“Labour pledged that if re-elected it would take less than six months to stop the rampant spread of large-scale exotic tree planting across the country.
“Feds president Andrew Hoggard is right when he says there are no signs at all the Government is seriously moving on this. A long-awaited review of the special forestry test for overseas investment also hasn’t got off the ground. . .
Rural Women New Zealand recently appointed Gabrielle O’Brient as its new chief executive.
“Gabrielle brings a wealth of experience from her previous general management roles in membership based organisations both in the charitable sector and most recently at the New Zealand Law Society,” RWNZ president Gill Naylor says.
“This experience combined with her earlier background human resources management, facilitation and organisation development provide her with a strong background to lead our team through the next phase of our development.” . .
A recent survey of Hawke’s Bay farmers shows most finding ways to manage the dry conditions gripping the region.
Several areas on the country’s east coast are suffering with a second extremely dry year, prompting the government to unlock some funding support last month.
The Hawke’s Bay Rural Support Trust recently called about 30 farmers across the region and reported its findings to the local rural advisory group.
Group co-chair Lochie MacGillivray said meaningful rain and a mild winter was still very much needed, but at the moment farmers felt like they were in an adequate position. . .
It’s sadly a familiar story in the rural community, someone dies and a family falls out over what happens next. Emotions run high and a sense of what is fair or appropriate can’t be agreed upon.
In fact, a death, retirement or a change in circumstances can bring about an unexpectedly time-consuming or complicated succession process even when everyone is amicable and in agreement.
The decision so many farming families put off making – what will happen when it’s time for someone else to take over – can be the difference between a farm business thriving, or struggling, for generations to come.
Leaving your farm to succeed is a matter of good planning, and getting those plans in place should be given the weight of importance it deserves. . .