Your levy at work
Horticulture New Zealand has launched its 2017 Election Manifesto. We came out with five key priorities for the new government, to be elected on September 23 namely, biosecurity, food security, workforce capability, mandatory country of origin labelling and healthy eating education. Then Labour came out with its tax proposals, including a tax on water for some water users, and the question list we had for the next government increased.
It is vague on detail, but as announced, Labour’s water tax policy appears to have potential to have a big impact on fruit and vegetable growers. A number of growers have contacted Horticulture New Zealand to voice their concerns, both about the tax and that, as announced, it would be unfairly targeting food producers to be responsible for paying to clean up water ways. The bottom line is that any additional production cost gets passed on to consumers and the healthy food our growers produce gets more expensive. Making healthy food more expensive, in a country with a lot of health issues related to poor diet, does not seem like sound policy. Since the policy was announced, Hort NZ has put out three media releases (all on our website) and chief executive Mike Chapman and president Julian Raine have spoken out via media on many occasions. Social media has also been all a Twitter on the subject. We will continue to put forward growers’
views on this critical issue.
Horticulture New Zealand’s NZGrower magazine has won an international award for its front cover illustration. One of more than 400 entries for the 2017 Tabbie Awards, from the American-based Trade Association Business Publications International, the July 2016 NZ Grower cover was awarded Bronze in the Front Cover – Illustration category. “Fun with just the right amount of humour; love the execution here (no pun intended!),” judges said of the cover illustration depicting a wasp with a “big hammer” to hit the tomato-potato psyllid. NATURAL RESOURCES
Horizons Regional Council recently voted to investigate changes to its One Plan that cover intensive farming and nutrient leaching, in particular nitrogen. Changing a plan is not easy, simple, or quick. It is both a legal and a public process and it may take two to four years. This decision, and its potential impacts, are covered in a Question and Answer document on our website.
Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith has announced funding of $485,168 from the Freshwater Improvement Fund for a three-year project: Protecting our Groundwater – Measuring and Managing Diffuse Nutrient losses from Cropping Systems, which has been welcomed by Horticulture New Zealand. Food consumers world-wide are increasingly wanting information about the environmental impacts of the food supply chain, particularly when it comes to healthy food, so it is important to have funding to apply science and research to ensuring the best management practices for our growers. The project is managed by the Foundation for Arable Research (FAR) with funding from Vegetable Research and Innovation (V R & I), industry and regional councils. Hort NZ is part of the project team.
Hort NZ is looking to set up a working group to discuss the issues with cropping and leased land relating to _________________________________________________________
land use consents. If you are interested in being involved please contact Astra Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hort NZ, along with other groups, attended the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s (MFAT) Agriculture Core Group meeting on August 3. MFAT gave a thorough round up of trade negotiations, and Mike Petersen (special agricultural trade envoy) gave a wrap-up of his travels, with particular focus on his visit to Latin America. Mike talked about a real agricultural awakening in places such as Argentina, and an alignment with New Zealand on the need for a liberal free trading environment. This is illustrated by the Pacific Alliance intent on completing an ambitious free trade agreement with the four associate members: New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Canada. See Page 36 for more on Latin America and Trade 2030. Simon Hegarty of the Horticulture Export Authority and Richard Palmer from Hort NZ briefed Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) staff due to head to off-shore postings over the next six months. They spoke about horticultural trade, market access, and the valuable support offered from offshore posts.
The government has released its response to the Productivity Commission’s review of tertiary education. Four key focus areas have been identified, three of which Horticulture New Zealand and its affiliates advocated for, namely:
• Meeting the needs of industry through relevant, responsive, and supportive teaching.
• Improving performance across the system. • Enabling and encouraging innovative new models and providers.
There appears to be some traction on our constant messaging around smaller, bite-sized chunks of learning and therefore, more flexible industryfriendly models.
The East Coast horticulture industry has come together to address the labour shortage issue in the Tairawhiti region. The Tipu project aims to develop a skilled and sustainable labour force, and maximise local opportunities in the Tairawhiti horticulture industry.The first phase requires research and data collection from East Coast growers, including information about labour requirements, human resource processes, and training availability. Rawinia Parata, the Tairawhiti horticulture coordinator, will contact industry people to develop an analysis over the next few months. >
This year Hort NZ has accepted 17 participants from a wide range of horticulture sectors and businesses for the Horticulture New Zealand leadership programme, supported by Lincoln University. Designed for potential or current leaders in the fruit and vegetable industry, and with the support of key leaders, the programme strongly matches the needs of the horticulture sector, and involves training by the best providers, facilitators and presenters possible. The successful candidates are: Nicholas Archdale - Leaderbrand, Gisborne; Erin Atkinson - Apata Group, Bay of Plenty; Jonathan Baker - Little Green House, Canterbury; Canaan Balck - Hoddy’s Orchard, Nelson; Jaco Grobbelaar - Aongatete Coolstores, Bay of Plenty; Chad Harris - Bostock New Zealand, Hawke’s Bay; Danni van der Heijdan - Trevelyan’s Pack & Cool, Bay of Plenty; Shanna Hickling - Riversun, Gisborne; Patrick Malley - Onyx Horticulture, Northland; Jeannette Rea - Scarborough Fare
North, Waikato; Alexis Rolleston EastPack, Bay of Plenty; Dominique Zivkovic - T&G, Northland; Janine Carter - T&G, Hawke’s Bay; Hamish McKain - DMS, Bay of Plenty; Lilou Tabourin - Onyx Horticulture, Northland; Rebecca Turley - Turley Farms, Canterbury; and Paul Koce Seeka, Bay of Plenty.
UMR Research was commissioned to complete a report into pathways to leadership for women in the horticulture industry, which was presented at the Horticulture Conference. The full report is on the www.hortnz.co.nz website and it received a write-up in the Otago Daily Times under the headline: Lack of women in leadership ‘constraining’. The report said women were more likely than their male counterparts to foster an increase in challenging traditional thinking, carry out more collaboration and idea sharing, be more focused on results and pay attention to detail while seeing the
wider big picture. Horticulture New Zealand would like to thank Tomatoes NZ, Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers Association, Process Vegetables NZ, Vegetables NZ Inc., New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers Incorporated, and the NZ Fruitgrowers Charitable Trust for contributing to the report.
Congratulations to Erin Atkinson, who was named Young Grower of the Year 2017 in Christchurch in August. Erin, 30, is a technical advisor for Apata Group in Te Puke, and is the first woman to win the title in its 11 year run. Erin is profiled further in this magazine. Congratulations also to runner up Scott Wilcox of Pukekohe, third placed Ben Geaney from Waimate, and to the other two contestants Ralph Bastian and Jordon James. The young grower competition is an important way to foster talent and develop the careers of the horticulture industry’s future leaders. Horticulture is a $5.6 billion industry that exports 60% of total production
to 124 countries. We want the brightest and the best to seek out careers in our industry and to stay because they can see opportunities. Contestants say that in addition to the prizes, the real value lies in the networking and connections made through the competition.
Hort NZ and other sector groups have met with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to discuss the Vehicle, Machinery and Tyres Import Health Standard (IHS), which was put out for consultation in September 2015. MPI has advised that significant change has been made to this IHS, and it will go out for full consultation again in two to three months’ time.
Hort NZ attended two quite different biosecurity forums. First was the NZ Plant Protection Society biosecurity forum in Tauranga, which saw people from across government, industry, and the research community come together to learn from one another about the system and various approaches to dealing with issues. At the opening day of the NZ Biosecurity Initiative’s National Education and Training Seminar (NETS) event, several hundred people involved in biosecurity met in Wellington, mostly to discuss established pests and diseases. These events highlight the broad range of operational biosecurity underway in New Zealand, and help to draw people together in the biosecurity team of 4.7 million envisaged by Biosecurity 2025.
Hort NZ, as an observer, attended the inaugural Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (BMSB) Council meeting where the proposed strategy put together by some of the parties, including Hort NZ, was reviewed and a work planning considered.
Hort NZ, with others, workshopped the key aspects of a revised brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) response plan. This will be further refined in another workshop involving US researchers, part sponsored by Hort NZ and sector groups. This workshop will enhance New Zealand’s understanding of key aspects of a BMSB response, and there will be discussion on future tools and investment for eradication and surveillance.
Hort NZ deputy chief executive Richard Palmer chaired the first meeting of the Biosecurity 2025 Strategic Direction 3 Working Group (free-flowing info highways), and the group will meet again on September 21 to work through the goals and outcomes for this strategic direction.
◀ Horticulture New Zealand’s NZGrower magazine has won an international award for its front cover illustration by graphic designer Hope Walker.
▴ The East Coast horticulture industry has come together to address the labour shortage issue: Ruth Bound (deputy chief executive of the Ministry of Social Development), Anne Tolley, Rawinia Parata (Tairawhiti horticulture co-ordinator), Michael Woodhouse,
Annie Aranui (regional commissioner for the Ministry of Social Development) Tim Egan and Wayne Hall (Tipu Advisory Group). __________________________________________________________________________________________________