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a result of this and other discussions on Brexit, Hort NZ has prepared some background briefing for anyone in the horticulture industry who may be travelling to the UK and meeting with UK horticulture industry or officials. For further information please contact Richard Palmer.
Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says to continue its rapid growth, horticulture needs good trade policy, and he welcomed last month’s announcement from the government enabling that.
“Exports increased by 40% from June 2014 to 2016 and this growth shows no signs of slowing down. For horticulture to continue to play a valuable role in the New Zealand economy we need Free Trade Agreements that deliver quarantine market access and address non-tariff barriers,” he says.
Read the full media release on the HortNZ website.
Funding of $1.8 million to grow the skills and capability of Tair awhiti’s regional labour force, announced by the government last month, is good news for horticulture, says Hort NZ chief executive Mike Chapman. Growth projections in the area suggest about 1,200 more people will be required in the next three to five years for production, related processing and associated services.
Read the full media release on the Hort NZ website.
Horticulture maintained a presence at three career expos, targeted at secondary school students and their parents, aiming to encourage new recruits into the industry. Eve Williams from Hort NZ has been involved with these events, with support from growers and local horticultural businesses.
• The Whangarei Roadshow toured seven sites with visits from 15 different colleges between Tuesday, March 28 and Friday, March 31.
• The Gisborne Career Expo was held at Showgrounds Park Events Centre on April 3 and 4, with more than 2,500 secondary school students expected over the two days.
• Next month, the Far North Roadshow will tour five sites
with visits from 18 colleges between May 9 and May 12.
We’d love support from locals to spread the word about horticulture as a career at any upcoming expos, especially with the workforce challenges and opportunities ahead. Get in touch with Eve if you’re able and willing to help out.
Horticulture New Zealand has also accepted a proposal from UMR Research to help inform the development of an industry-wide strategy to promote the advancement of women in the New Zealand horticulture sector. This strategy will be designed to support women to further their careers and involvement, particularly into leadership roles.
Hort NZ has made a submission to MPI supporting changes to the Seed for Sowing Import Health Standard (IHS). These changes incorporate the mandatory treatments that have been in place as emergency measures to prevent pea weevil from entering and establishing in New Zealand.
Hort NZ has made further submissions on the Opotiki District Plan, and is working with a number of parties in preparation for hearings later in the year. Natural Resources and Environment (NRE) staff will meet with the council to
- discuss issues in early April, and plan to do a trip to the area in mid-May to look at the outstanding landscape issues and impacts on growing operations.
Hort NZ has put in a submission on the Proposed Waikato Regional Plan Change 1 Waikato and Waipa River Catchments. You can read the full submission on the Natural Resources section of the Hort NZ website.
Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman and Pukekohe growers Bharat Jivan and Mark Ball appeared on Newshub last month to talk about protecting valuable Pukekohe vegetable growing land from encroaching housing developments. Two government ministers were also interviewed for the piece and came across as not understanding the issues, particularly food supply security and increasing pressure on poor infrastructure (water and roads).
Last month Hort NZ, in conjunction with Pipfruit NZ and Summerfruit NZ, held a two-day field trip around Central Otago for Otago regional councillors and Central Otago district councillors.
Highlights included a trip to Plant & Food Research, where the group learned about innovations in fruit growing; a visit to a block of land in Springvale that had previously been unusable for other endeavours but is now being prepared to grow cherries; and a talk from Helen Axby at Seasonal Solutions about worker accommodation issues and the Registered Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme.
Access to land and water, reverse sensitivity, development, innovation, and the potential growth of horticulture in Otago were some common themes that came up, and the trip was a great success with lots of positive feedback from the councillors. The team approach with Pipfruit NZ and Summerfruit NZ was successful; we think it will continue to be so in the future during the councils’ respective planning processes, in making sure that the importance of horticulture in Otago is not overlooked. The tour is covered in more detail in this magazine.
The Natural Resources and Environment team also attended an Environment Court mediation on the Otago Regional Policy Statement. This is the overarching document that the various plans affect, so it is important that horticulture is recognised and provided for. Growers will be updated as this develops.
Hort NZ has been involved in a number of plans where the National Grid lines owned and operated by Transpower have been identified in special provisions included in district plans. Some of the local electricity distribution companies also want similar protection. At present, Aurora Energy wants protection of lines in Central Otago.
Hort NZ would be interested to hear from growers in Central Otago who have Aurora or Delta lines through their orchards as we need to assess the likely impact.
Horticulture is the primary industries’ quiet achiever – expanding, growing and meeting global consumer demands for healthy food. Growers play a valuable role in the New Zealand economy, both at a local level as producers, employers and food suppliers to New Zealanders, and with exports.
The Horticulture Conference 2017, from 12-14 July in Tauranga, is the place to be for industry to get together and share ideas, learn about innovation to improve their business, hear inspirational and influential speakers, connect and socialise.
Find out more about the Horticulture Conference 2017 on our website.