Your levy Your levy at workat work

The Orchardist - - Con­tents -

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 NZGrower 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.


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 and also in this magazine.

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, as­tra.fos­


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

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