Your Levy at Work

The Orchardist - - Contents -


The process around the Water Con­ser­va­tion Or­der (WCO) on the Ngaruroro River and Clive River in Hawke’s Bay has gen­er­ated a lot of pub­lic­ity, with grow­ers in the area voic­ing their con­cerns. Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand has made a sub­mis­sion to the WCO as­sess­ment tri­bunal, which is avail­able on our web­site.We are work­ing on the next step of the process, gath­er­ing ex­pert sci­en­tific and eco­nomic ev­i­dence to sup­port the sub­mis­sion. As this is a process un­der the Re­source Man­age­ment Act, the best way to in­flu­ence its out­come is through a strong sci­en­tific ar­gu­ment against parts of the pro­posed ap­pli­ca­tion. We are also work­ing with other pri­mary in­dus­try groups and af­fected par­ties to en­sure a uni­fied ap­proach.

Hort NZ held its in­au­gu­ral En­vi­ron­men­tal Am­bas­sadors’ Day in Welling­ton. Along with the ap­point­ment of our two plan­ners as per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees, strength­en­ing the am­bas­sador net­work will en­sure that we can de­liver the best pos­si­ble RMA ser­vice for grow­ers across the coun­try. Lucy Dev­er­all and Rachel McClung are the two plan­ners join­ing the Nat­u­ral Re­sources and En­vi­ron­ment team at Hort NZ. Lucy will be work­ing from Auck­land and cover­ing most of the North Is­land pro­cesses, while Rachel is based in Christchurch and will cover the South Is­land. Both ad­vi­sors are based away from the main Hort NZ HQ, so they can be on the spot and work closely with grow­ers and coun­cils dur­ing district and re­gional plan­ning pro­cesses in their ar­eas.

Hort NZ has sub­mit­ted com­ments on the Tas­man District Coun­cil’s Tas­man Elec­tric­ity Trans­mis­sion dis­cus­sion doc­u­ment about po­ten­tial fu­ture changes for rules around elec­tric­ity trans­mis­sion lines. Our feed­back to the coun­cil can be ac­cessed on our web­site.


The 2018 dates for the fruit side of Young Grower of the Year com­pe­ti­tion have been set as fol­lows:

• Bay of Plenty: Fe­bru­ary 10 & 15 (evening func­tion)

• Cen­tral Otago: May 25

• Hawke’s Bay: June 28 & 29 (evening func­tion)

• Nel­son: July 6

• Young Grower Fi­nal (Napier): Au­gust 22

The Young Veg­etable Grower Com­pe­ti­tion will be in Christchurch, and we will up­date you once the dates are set.

A Women in Hor­ti­cul­ture: where to from here? work­shop was held at the Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand of­fices in Welling­ton in Septem­ber. The group talked about how to de­velop a strat­egy and net­work for this ini­tia­tive and what some pos­si­ble de­vel­op­ment pro­grammes could be to en­sure good ca­reer paths for women in hor­ti­cul­ture.


Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign, Prime Min­is­ter Bill English and his en­tourage paid vis­its to two grow­ing op­er­a­tions – Balle Bros in Pukekohe and Wood­haven Gar­dens in Levin. He made a trade an­nounce­ment at Balle Bros and the Na­tional Party an­nounced a $20 mil­lion fund called The Fu­ture of Farm­ing at Wood­haven, which will come into play if Na­tional is able to form the next govern­ment.

Hort NZ spoke out against the Labour Party’s pro­posed water tax, from the day it was an­nounced on Au­gust 9, 2017. We is­sued five me­dia releases, chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Chap­man wrote five blogs about the pro­posed pol­icy, and Mike also did a num­ber of me­dia in­ter­views. Hort NZ worked with other pri­mary sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions to is­sue in­for­ma­tion to the pub­lic mak­ing it clear that the water tax was not a so­lu­tion to “clean­ing up wa­ter­ways” and it was un­fairly pitched at some water users. To ap­ply the tax any govern­ment will first need to de­ter­mine who owns water. At the time this magazine went to pub­li­ca­tion a new govern­ment was not formed. If the in­com­ing govern­ment wants to pur­sue a water tax on grow­ers, Hort NZ will con­tinue to ad­vo­cate through the pol­icy process.

The elec­tion cam­paign high­lighted the need to bet­ter ex­plain to the ur­ban sec­tor who the peo­ple that grow their fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles are, and what goes into get­ting that pro­duce to the shops and onto their plates. So we have started an In­sta­gram page (#Grow­er­sOfNZ) to en­gage with food­ies and the wider pub­lic. The food­ies have been quick on the up­take and we’ve al­ready had con­ver­sa­tions about en­gag­ing more with them. Each week a grower will be pro­filed at work,

and the sea­sonal crop they have been work­ing on will be high­lighted in a recipe. The recipes are par­tic­u­larly pop­u­lar.

Hort NZ is cur­rently pro­duc­ing a Veg­etable Wash­wa­ter Dis­charge Code of Prac­tice which con­tains a check­list, de­ci­sion tree, and ref­er­ence val­ues to self-au­dit, to as­sist grow­ers in de­ter­min­ing if your dis­charge of veg­etable wash­wa­ter meets good prac­tice. The draft doc­u­ment is on our web­site and this will be re­placed with the fi­nal ver­sion once it is re­leased.

Fol­low­ing the Im­mi­gra­tion and Em­ploy­ment Law Work­shop held in Cam­bridge in Septem­ber, Hort NZ has drafted a sup­ple­men­tary in­for­ma­tion doc­u­ment, ex­plain­ing paid rest breaks and piece rates, zero-hour con­tracts, and pay­ment of pub­lic/statu­tory holidays for ca­sual staff. The doc­u­ment is avail­able on the HortNZ web­site.

In the past year, NZGAP has im­ple­mented a num­ber of new pro­grammes and there has been an in­crease in the num­ber of NZGAP cer­tifi­cate hold­ers. Full de­tails are in the Ac­tiv­ity Re­port 2017 on the NZGAP web­site ( NZGAP pre­sented to grow­ers and QA man­agers in Pukekohe in Septem­ber, speak­ing about pro­gramme de­vel­op­ment over the past 12 months, and up­dat­ing grow­ers on the newly bench­marked NZGAP GLOBALG.A.P Equiv­a­lent pro­gramme and the En­vi­ron­ment Man­age­ment Sys­tem (EMS) add-on, which will help grow­ers meet fu­ture re­gional coun­cil and mar­ket re­quire­ments along­side their usual NZGAP au­dit. Grow­ers and con­trac­tors can sign up for GRASP via the NZGAP web­site to gain ac­cess to guid­ance and tem­plates which will help them meet the stan­dard for this com­ing sea­son.


A Mem­o­ran­dum of Un­der­stand­ing (MOU) between KVH and Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand to im­prove biose­cu­rity for grow­ers was fi­nalised at the end of Au­gust. The MOU will en­sure the ki­wifruit in­dus­try achieves bet­ter biose­cu­rity, with Hort NZ pro­vid­ing sup­port for KVH in Welling­ton-based ac­tiv­i­ties and ac­cess to a wider sup­port net­work.

Hort NZ hosted a brown mar­morated stink bug (BMSB) re­sponse work­shop with the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries and in­dus­try. The work­shop started with pre­sen­ta­tions from top US re­searchers Anne Neilsen, Tracy Leskey, and Kim Hoelmer talk­ing about BMSB bi­ol­ogy, in­te­grated pest man­age­ment, and bio­con­trol op­tions such as the sa­mu­rai wasp. Mem­bers of the BMSB Coun­cil will con­tinue to re­fine the erad­i­ca­tion op­tions for a re­sponse and will aim to test as­pects of this in Chile in Oc­to­ber.

The risk sea­son for brown mar­morated stink bug (BMSB) is upon us once again. Mem­bers of the BMSB Coun­cil con­tinue to work on the pub­lic aware­ness cam­paign and on readi­ness ac­tiv­i­ties, es­pe­cially re­sponse plan­ning. Early de­tec­tion of BMSB is cru­cial in erad­i­ca­tion at­tempts, and to pre­vent sig­nif­i­cant losses to hor­ti­cul­tural pro­duc­tion. If you see any bugs that look like BMSB, re­mem­ber to ‘Catch it, Snap it, and Re­port it’. MPI’s Pest and Dis­ease Hot­line can be reached at 0800 80 99 66.


Asi­afruit Lo­gis­tica 2017 saw a record sized trade show, now into two halls at the Asi­a­world Expo in Hong Kong. All of the New Zealand stands were very busy through­out, with ex­hibitors con­nect­ing with ex­ist­ing cus­tomers and at­tract­ing new ones. New Zealand Trade and En­ter­prise (NZTE) hosted an ex­cel­lent break­fast event, which to­gether with a guest speaker on China, also saw the re­gional NZTE staff speak briefly about their mar­kets: Hong Kong, China, Ja­pan, Thai­land, and Viet­nam.

Brexit, and the ram­i­fi­ca­tions of that process, con­tinue to be dis­cussed between the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries, Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade, and pri­mary sec­tor groups. The ob­jec­tive for New Zealand is to avoid loss of mar­ket ac­cess, and the op­por­tu­nity is there to en­cour­age UK pol­icy mak­ers to adopt a more lib­eral ap­proach to agri­cul­tural trade. If you are trav­el­ling to the UK and want to know more, or have re­turned from a re­cent visit and have gained any in­sights into UK farm­ers’ con­sid­er­a­tion on this is­sue, please con­tact Richard Palmer at Hort NZ.

Dur­ing the elec­tion cam­paign Prime Min­is­ter Bill English and his en­tourage vis­ited two grow­ing op­er­a­tions, one in Pukekohe and the other in Levin.

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