Think out­side the square

Matamata Chronicle - - Rural Delivery - By STEW WADEY

This year is nearly done and dusted, but as a na­tion we col­lec­tively have not added sig­nif­i­cant nett wealth to New Zealand for the year just end­ing, but we have fared well when we com­pare our­selves to the United States of Amer­ica and the Euro­pean Union with their re­spec­tive fis­cal fi­nan­cial woes.

What I can claim brag­ging rights to, and be very proud of, is the per­for­mance of our own Kiwi pri­mary agri­cul­tural ex­port in­dus­tries both lo­cally and na­tion­ally.

Farm­ing fam­i­lies, no mat­ter at what level of involvement, whether em­ploy­ees or em­ploy­ers, have cer­tainly put in the pro­duc­tive hard yards to sup­ply nu­tri­tious food for the world that is ac­knowl­edged to be very sig­nif­i­cant for New Zealand’s ex­port re­ceipt of in­come this fis­cal year.

What is hap­pen­ing though is our gen­eral Waikato econ­omy is some­what flat, farm­ing com­mu­ni­ties are not his­tor­i­cally spend­ing as pre­vi­ously.

Which makes that old say­ing ‘‘If the farm­ers are rich, the coun­try is rich’’ some­what a prophecy of truth. As we move for­ward into an­other year of chal­lenges, we need to think out­side of the square to make our own East Waikato a thriv­ing com­mu­nity.

Cen­tral government call­ing the tune un­der the guise of the 1989 lo­cal government re­form has passed its use-by date. We need to re­gen­er­ate the pas­sions for lo­cal in­dus­tries, not just lamely read of ru­ral pop­u­la­tions pre­dicted to de­crease as fam­i­lies move to ‘‘su­per cities’’ for em­ploy­ment and ful­fil­ment of dreams.

We as a com­mu­nity have that op­por­tu­nity to make our com­mu­nity of in­ter­est a vi­brant, a thriv­ing in­dus­tri­ous place to live, work and play.

Your New Year res­o­lu­tion could be to take an in­ter­est in the Oc­to­ber lo­cal government elec­tion process and what you agree to for the changes that will hap­pen.

An­drew McGiven, chair­man Te Aroha District Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, reaf­firms that we should all now be aware, Waikato Re­gional Coun­cil (WRC) is now im­ple­ment­ing the Vari­a­tion 6 of the Re­gional Plan which will have some sort of ef­fect on all dairy farm­ers, es­pe­cially those who milk more than 215 cows.

Vari­a­tion 6 is a le­gal re­quire­ment that re­quires the WRC to mea­sure and mon­i­tor the quan­ti­ties of water drawn by farm­ers from both sur­face and un­der­ground water sources for dairy shed wash­down and cool­ing pur­poses, with the en­force­able me­tered amount be­ing 15 cu­bic me­tres daily.

This also un­for­tu­nately means a con­sent process needs to be fol­lowed for amounts larger than 15cum.

I have copped a bit of flak lately about how Fed­er­ated Farm­ers haven’t done enough to op­pose th­ese new reg­u­la­tions.

What ap­pears to be un­known (or for­got­ten) by a lot of farm­ers is that Fed­er­ated Farm­ers, Fon­terra and some other key stake­hold­ers fought this is­sue for about six years through the En­vi­ron­ment Court.

Water right al­lo­ca­tion for agri­cul­ture orig­i­nally was listed be­hind elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion, mu­nic­i­pal sup­ply, in­dus­try and man­u­fac­tur­ing.

One of the con­ces­sions gained from this court bat­tle was the his­tor­i­cal water right of all dairy farm­ers to be recog­nised.

This ‘‘grand­par­ent­ing’’ of water rights means all dairy farmer’s dairy shed takes at Oc­to­ber 15, 2008, are un­able to be de­clined. It was also recog­nises that stock drink­ing water should be un­lim­ited un­less there is an ad­verse en­vi­ron­men­tal ef­fect.

I be­lieve that Feds have made the best out of a bad sit­u­a­tion, but here we are now at the pointy end as WRC be­gin im­ple­men­ta­tion, call­ing for con­sent ap­pli­ca­tions for dairy shed water take.

To give credit to the WRC they are propos­ing bundling sim­i­lar ap­pli­ca­tions in or­der to save on work­load for them, and cost for us.

They are con­duct­ing this process catch­ment by catch­ment, be­gin­ning with Wai­hou so I would ad­vise farm­ers there to take ad­van­tage of this one-time of­fer, as it closes mid-De­cem­ber 2012.

DairyNZ are con­duct­ing pre­sen­ta­tions to high­light the new leg­is­la­tion and how it af­fects us and some of the lo­cal Fed­er­ated Farm­ers Branches in con­junc­tion with WRC have al­ready had pre­sen­ta­tions on this is­sue.

If in doubt call Amy King at WRC or Wayne Berry at DairyNZ for clar­i­fi­ca­tion.

Last, it is timely to re­mind all farm­ers to plan for an­other dry sum­mer as is be­ing pre­dicted.

There still seems to be a lot of sup­ple­men­tary feed car­ried over from last sea­son, and things are tick­ing over quite nicely at present, but if feed gets tight over the sum­mer and it all be­comes a bit of a strug­gle, please ask around for help.

As cow con­di­tion gets lower, so does the hu­man con­di­tion some­times, so call Feds, DairyNZ, Life­line, there is a sup­port ser­vice out there, and there will al­ways be a so­lu­tion.

Ev­ery­one have a Merry Christ­mas, and we at Fed­er­ated Farm­ers look for­ward to see­ing you in the New Year. and the risk of the IRD au­dit­ing your whole busi­ness.

Other ser­vices that may be re­quest­ing cash pay­ments from farm­ers are shear­ers, fencers and other ser­vices that you don’t need all of the time. When hir­ing ca­sual em­ploy­ees the farmer should be reg­is­tered as an em­ployer with the IRD and the labour em­ployed should com­plete a Tax Code Dec­la­ra­tion IR330 form and a Ca­sual Em­ploy­ment Agree­ment.

You need to be clear to th­ese peo­ple that the risk to you paying them cash is too great.

Farm­ers also need to be aware re­gard­ing an­i­mals killed for the freezer for them­selves or friends and fam­ily. Th­ese should be val­ued at the mar­ket value and in­cluded as in­come in your fi­nan­cial ac­counts.

Sell­ing scrap steel is an­other area where cash is of­ten taken, and again this is an area that the IRD will be in­ter­ested in.

The risk of be­ing caught is con­tin­u­ally in­creas­ing for those not paying their taxes.

Re­lief milk­ers are likely to work for other farm­ers, in­creas­ing the num­ber of peo­ple who know they re­ceive cash, in­creas­ing the risk that some­one will report them.

Typ­i­cally the IRD will start by writ­ing to the farmer. How­ever, it has the power to ar­rive unan­nounced, with a po­lice es­cort, and de­mand ac­cess to your busi­ness records. Make sure it is not your door they knock at.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.