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The Orchardist - - >>under The Mikeroscope -


In early Oc­to­ber, deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive Richard Palmer left Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand to travel to Jakarta, In­done­sia, to live for three years.

He spent three and a half years at HortNZ work­ing on is­sues rang­ing from biose­cu­rity pol­icy to re­search strat­egy, trade pol­icy and mar­ket ac­cess, and the Food Act

The new deputy chief ex­ec­u­tive is Leanne Stew­art. Leanne has worked in the plant health sec­tor in roles across Govern­ment, in­ter­na­tional, and in­dus­try or­gan­i­sa­tions, and brings di­verse knowl­edge and ex­pe­ri­ence that is di­rectly ap­pli­ca­ble to the hor­ti­cul­ture in­dus­try and of ben­e­fit to our grow­ers.

hor­ti­cul­ture in­no­va­tion day at Massey Uni­ver­sity,

HortNZ at­tended the and the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Massey In­no­va­tion Or­chard, spon­sored by New Zealand Ap­ple & Pears, T&G, and Fruitcraft New Zealand. This will be a lead­ing re­search fa­cil­ity to as­sist the on­go­ing suc­cess of NZ ap­ples, pears and ki­wifruit pro­duc­tion.

At the Women in Hor­ti­cul­ture ses­sion at the Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence 2018, it was de­cided to es­tab­lish an in­dus­try lead­er­ship group for Women in Hor­ti­cul­ture. This group will op­er­ate in­de­pen­dently to, but with the sup­port of, Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand. A lead­er­ship group will be tasked with de­vel­op­ing the Terms of Ref­er­ence and elect­ing its own chair. Nom­i­na­tions have been taken for an ini­tial lead­er­ship group of 10.

At the New Zealand Guild of Agri­cul­tural Jour­nal­ists and Com­mu­ni­ca­tors an­nual awards in Oc­to­ber, Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand was pleased to award the

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand Jour­nal­ism Award to Elaine Fisher,

pic­tured be­low.

Elaine has been a cham­pion for hor­ti­cul­ture with her ar­ti­cles in Coast & Coun­try in the Bay of Plenty. We need to tell our hor­ti­cul­ture story through the me­dia so it is good to cel­e­brate our story tell­ers.


NZGAP, GLOBALG.A.P., and Bri­tish Re­tail Con­sor­tium (BRC) stan­dards (GAP check­lists) have all been ap­proved by the Min­istry for Pri­mary In­dus­tries as Sec­tion 40 Tem­plate Food Con­trol Plans for Na­tional Pro­gramme 1 un­der the Food Act 2014.

To achieve full recog­ni­tion of ex­ist­ing sys­tems and pro­cesses, NZGAP is con­tin­u­ing to work with MPI along­side the New Zealand GLOBALG.A.P. Na­tional Tech­ni­cal Work­ing Group on align­ing ex­ist­ing GAP com­pli­ance pro­grammes with the Food Act for three key com­po­nents; reg­is­tra­tion, ver­i­fi­ca­tion and re­port­ing.

The dates have been set and the venue or­gan­ised for the Hor­ti­cul­ture Con­fer­ence 2019 at Mys­tery Creek, near Hamil­ton from July 31 to Au­gust 2, 2019. We are re­spond­ing to grower re­quests for a con­fer­ence which is hands-on, with a fo­cus on fu­ture tech­nolo­gies. If you would like to get in­volved, please get in touch with Mike Chap­man at Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand.

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand con­tin­ues to talk to the Govern­ment about the ap­pli­ca­tion of the Auck­land re­gional fuel tax on off-road ve­hi­cles and ma­chin­ery. The is­sues grow­ers have with the new on­line sys­tem and try­ing to get ac­cepted for monthly re­bates has been high­lighted in me­dia via in­ter­views with chief ex­ec­u­tive Mike Chap­man. HortNZ has also asked

for in­for­ma­tion from the New Zealand Trans­port Agency and Min­istry of Trans­port un­der the Of­fi­cial In­for­ma­tion Act. The Min­istry of Trans­port has said that it is re­view­ing the re­bate sys­tem.

Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand is thrilled that manda­tory Coun­try of Ori­gin la­belling for fruit and veg­eta­bles got a step closer, with the sec­ond read­ing of the Con­sumers’ Right to Know (Coun­try of Ori­gin of Food) Bill pass­ing in Par­lia­ment in Oc­to­ber. Our re­search showed that more than 70 per­cent of New Zealan­ders want manda­tory Coun­try of Ori­gin La­belling (CoOL) for fruit and veg­eta­bles.You can read our me­dia re­lease on our web­site


HortNZ at­tended the Govern­ment an­nounce­ment of its plans to “pro­tect and re­store New Zealand’s fresh­wa­ter qual­ity” via a pro­gramme,

Es­sen­tial Fresh­wa­ter: healthy wa­ter, fairly al­lo­cated.

En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter,David Parker and Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter, Damien O’Connor promised a no­tice­able im­prove­ment in wa­ter qual­ity within five years. The Govern­ment will in­volve in­ter­ested par­ties in test­ing and ad­vis­ing on pol­icy op­tions through a net­work of ad­vi­sory groups in­clud­ing Kahui Wai M-aori, chaired by Kingi Smiler; the Sci­ence and Tech­ni­cal Ad­vi­sory Group, chaired by Ken Tay­lor; and the Fresh­wa­ter Lead­ers Group, chaired by John Penno. Can­ter­bury veg­etable grower Allen Lim has been ap­pointed to the Fresh­wa­ter Lead­ers Group.

HortNZ has lodged a sub­mis­sion on the Pukeko­hePaer­ata Struc­ture Plan. The sub­mis­sion fo­cuses on zon­ing and man­ag­ing re­verse sen­si­tiv­ity. We also lodged a sub­mis­sion on the Waikato Pro­posed District Plan. It cov­ered a range of is­sues in the district in­clud­ing zon­ing, haz­ardous sub­stances, earth­works, in­fra­struc­ture, noise and many oth­ers. Both sub­mis­sions are avail­able on our web­site


The Pri­mary In­dus­tryTrain­ing Or­gan­i­sa­tion (ITO), Hor­ti­cul­ture New Zealand, and in­dus­try prod­uct groups, have de­vel­oped a

biose­cu­rity mi­cro-cre­den­tial (a short, fo­cused piece of learn­ing) to en­hance in­dus­try biose­cu­rity ca­pa­bil­ity. This has been de­vel­oped un­der the New Zealand Qual­i­fi­ca­tions Au­thor­ity (NZQA) frame­work, tar­get­ing grower owner­op­er­a­tors and su­per­vi­sors/man­agers (NZQA Level 5). The mi­cro-cre­den­tial con­tent in­cludes biose­cu­rity prin­ci­ples, on­farm prac­tices, and an as­sess­ment com­po­nent.

It is de­signed to give an in­di­vid­ual an un­der­stand­ing of biose­cu­rity, what risks are present on their farm/or­chard (how to pri­ori­tise and man­age them), and asks how prac­tices can be put in place or im­proved (the as­sess­ment com­po­nent). Two pi­lot pro­grammes were go­ing to take place in Oc­to­ber.

Richard PalmerLeanne Stew­art

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