Tree first to mark Matariki

Ruapehu Press - - Out & About - FRANCES FER­GU­SON

Hun­dreds of peo­ple turned out for the launch of Matariki as the switch was turned on the tree of lights.

An es­ti­mated 450 peo­ple from Tau­marunui and sur­rounds cel­e­brated Matariki on Mon­day Night.

The tall tree which stands proudly on Haki­aha St next to the Moa, is a new ini­tia­tive for the Tau­marunui com­mu­nity from King Coun­try En­ergy.

Adorned with colour­ful lights it marked part of Tau­marunui’s Win­ter Fes­ti­val, Te Hua­pae o Matariki.

Com­mu­nity re­la­tions man­ager He­len Pea­cock said the pur­pose of

A free work­shop high­light­ing the ben­e­fits of hill coun­try stock water retic­u­la­tion will be held in Tau­marunui this month.

Pre­sented by Ag­first, with the sup­port of Ac­cel­er­ate25, Beef + Lamb New Zealand and the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries, the seminar will be held on July 19 at the Cen­tral Park Ho­tel from 9am-12pm.

Head of the Ac­cel­er­ate25 Pri­mary Ref­er­ence Group, Shel­ley Dew-hop­kins said the work­shops will be help­ful in en­cour­ag­ing farm­ers to in­stall stock water retic­u­la­tion sys­tems.

‘‘These sem­i­nars are a great op­por­tu­nity to learn and bet­ter un­der­stand the ben­e­fits of in­stalling these sys­tems.

‘‘Farm­ers can talk to the ex­perts face-to-face, con­sider dif­fer­ent sys­tem op­tions and make in­formed de­ci­sions on how to po­ten­tially im­prove their bot­tom line.’’

The work­shops are a re­sult of a re­cent study that looked at the eco­nomic eval­u­a­tion of stock water retic­u­la­tion on hill coun­try.

The study in­volved 11 case stud­ies of farm­ers across New Zealand who had in­stalled sys­tems in the last decade that had been run­ning for 18 months.

Anal­y­sis re­vealed farm­ers on av­er­age ex­pe­ri­enced an in­ter­nal rate of re­turn of 53 per cent which is a sig­nif­i­cant re­turn on in­vest­ment.

Other ben­e­fits in­cluded bet­ter an­i­mal wel­fare and re­duc­ing the im­pact of drought.

Ag­first con­sul­tant, Phil Journeaux said the work­shops were a great op­por­tu­nity to share in­for­ma­tion and look at in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions in­clud­ing the po­ten­tial to in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity, prof­itabil­ity and sus­tain­abil­ity.

The work­shops are one of a num­ber of ac­tiv­i­ties be­ing car­ried out to ben­e­fit the pri­mary sec­tor in con­junc­tion with the Ac­cel­er­ate25 pro­gramme. Pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for young farm­ers are cur­rently be­ing set-up in the Ruapehu dis­trict un­der the Next Gen­er­a­tion Farm­ers Ex­ten­sion pro­ject.

To find out more about these sem­i­nars visit www.ac­cel­er­ate25.co.nz or reg­is­ter with Erica.van­ree­nen@ag­first.co.nz

‘‘It will shine ev­ery evening, three hun­dred and sixty five nights per year in a va­ri­ety of colours for dif­fer­ent causes.’’

KCE

Tau­marunui is the third town to have its very own Tree of Light.

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