Low emis­sions econ­omy in­quiry sub­mis­sion

To­ma­toesNZ and Hort NZ worked to­gether to make a joint sub­mis­sion to the Pro­duc­tiv­ity Com­mis­sion on its low-emis­sions econ­omy in­quiry, in Oc­to­ber, also sup­ported by Veg­eta­bles New Zealand Inc.


The very broad in­quiry asked “how New Zealand can max­imise the op­por­tu­ni­ties and min­imise the costs and risks of tran­si­tion­ing to a lower net-emis­sions econ­omy”.

Our sub­mis­sion fo­cused on de­scrib­ing the chal­lenges fac­ing the hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try, par­tic­u­larly in­door grow­ing op­er­a­tions, in re­duc­ing car­bon emis­sions and bear­ing the costs of the Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme. We em­pha­sised that more needs to be in­vested in un­der­stand­ing and mod­el­ling hor­ti­cul­ture emis­sions in New Zealand com­pared to our com­peti­tors, as well as re­search, de­vel­op­ment and im­ple­men­ta­tion of new tech­nol­ogy that would al­low hor­ti­cul­ture to lower emis­sions. We also dis­cussed an as­sump­tion made in the in­quiry pa­per that mov­ing New Zealand away from an­i­mals and to­wards hor­ti­cul­ture would im­prove the coun­try’s emis­sions pro­file: it prob­a­bly would, how­ever there are con­straints in on­go­ing ac­cess to land, wa­ter, RMA [Re­source Man­age­ment Act] rules and ETS costs.

The in­quiry pa­per and sub­mis­sions can be down­loaded from https:// www.pro­duc­tiv­ity.govt.nz/, and our sub­mis­sion is also avail­able from the “Hot Top­ics/ Emis­sions Trad­ing Scheme” page of To­ma­toesNZ.co.nz POINSETTIA THRIPS UP­DATE

Since the Echinothrips amer­i­canus was dis­cov­ered in one Auck­land fa­cil­ity in Au­gust, To­ma­toesNZ has been work­ing closely with the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries (MPI) to de­ter­mine if it has spread.

No fur­ther poinsettia thrips have been found or re­ported, and the thrip has been elim­i­nated from the site where it was orig­i­nally dis­cov­ered.

Eleven Auck­land-based in­dus­try crop pest scouts and tech­ni­cal staff from T&G, NZ Hot­house, NZ Gourmet, South­ern Pa­prika and Gellert’s have been trained in car­ry­ing out sur­veys for the thrips, and sur­veil­lance is be­ing con­ducted at five sites in the Auck­land area as I write this. It seems at this stage that the thrips have not spread, how­ever this sur­vey will give us greater con­fi­dence. The process of train­ing in­dus­try staff and work­ing in part­ner­ship with MPI and other im­pacted sec­tors has been a valu­able learn­ing ex­er­cise for all those in­volved. It has mod­elled the Gov­ern­ment In­dus­try Agree­ment on Biose­cu­rity Readi­ness and Re­sponse (GIA) part­ner­ship ap­proach that might oc­cur in fu­ture biose­cu­rity “in­ves­ti­ga­tions” and “re­sponses”.

As a sec­tor we have pro­vided co­or­di­na­tion, gover­nance, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, and tech­ni­cal re­sources in-kind; and also staff to con­duct sur­veil­lance as part of the MPI “in­ves­ti­ga­tion” of the thrips. MPI has pro­vided gover­nance, ad­min­is­tra­tion, com­mu­ni­ca­tions sup­port, tech­ni­cal sup­port, health and safety ad­vice, co-or­di­na­tion, and train­ing. The MPI staff in­volved have de­vel­oped a greater un­der­stand­ing of green­house grow­ing and biose­cu­rity, while we have up­skilled some of our in­dus­try peo­ple and pro­duced some

The very broad in­quiry asked “how New Zealand can max­imise the op­por­tu­ni­ties and min­imise the costs and risks of tran­si­tion­ing to a lower net-emis­sions econ­omy”.

tools and pro­cesses that can be re-used in a more ur­gent or greater im­pact event.

We do ask that grow­ers stay vig­i­lant as the sea­son warms up and re­port any­thing sus­pi­cious to the MPI Ex­otic Pest and Dis­ease hot­line, phone 0800 80 99 66. For more de­tails about the thrip and what to do if you think you have seen it, see last month’s NZGrower mag­a­zine (Pages 42-43) or the to­ma­toesnz.co.nz “biose­cu­rity” web­page, where a fact sheet about the thrips can be down­loaded.


Farm biose­cu­rity is “man­age­ment prac­tices and ac­tiv­i­ties that are car­ried out on your prop­erty to pre­vent the en­try and spread of pests”. It is about pro­tect­ing your liveli­hood, your in­dus­try, and that of your neigh­bours. Farm biose­cu­rity is your re­spon­si­bil­ity and that of ev­ery per­son work­ing on or vis­it­ing your prop­erty.

The Veg­eta­bles New Zealand col­umn this month (Pages 68– 69) as well as the Pota­toes NZ col­umn (pages 70–85) sug­gest a range of farm biose­cu­rity prac­tices also ap­pli­ca­ble to in­door tomato pro­duc­tion, and on the To­ma­toesNZ web­site biose­cu­rity page there is a pro­duc­tion site biose­cu­rity best prac­tice check­list ex­plor­ing the con­cepts in more de­tail. Com­plet­ing the check­list will give you the op­por­tu­nity to see what you are al­ready do­ing and what you might want to con­sider in­clud­ing in your grow­ing op­er­a­tion in fu­ture.


To­ma­toesNZ mem­bers should have re­ceived in the post the 2017 ver­sion of the Residue Com­pli­ance In­for­ma­tion poster. If you would like an­other copy please email me He­len. Barnes@hortnz.co.nz or phone 04 472 3795.


The board con­firmed at its Oc­to­ber meet­ing that Richard Cameron (MG Mar­ket­ing), An­thony Stone (T&G Global) and Lex Dil­lon (NZ Hot­house) would stay on as co-opted board mem­bers. These board po­si­tions are in ad­di­tion to the six elected mem­bers and two ob­servers, mean­ing a wide cross­sec­tion of the in­dus­try has a voice at the ta­ble.

Alas­dair MacLeod stays on in­de­pen­dent chair, but will be step­ping down at the July 2018 AGM af­ter six years in the role. Mal­colm Pook (elected board mem­ber from Auck­land) con­tin­ues as the vice-chair.

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