Training for our future
Key horticulture sectors have established programmes to get New Zealanders into permanent work and set out a career pathway.
Overseeing this is the Horticulture Capability Group (HCG), made up of representatives from New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers, New Zealand Apples & Pears, NZ Avocado Growers Association, Vegetables New Zealand, the Hawke’s Bay Fruit Growers Association and Horticulture New Zealand.
The group has been active in reestablishing horticulture apprenticeships, through the Primary Industry Training Organisation (ITO). The apprenticeship scheme was launched by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor at the Horticultural Conference, on July 24. There is also work being done with Massey University to hopefully reinstate the horticulture degree and progressively provide a suite of micro-credentials (short courses) from 2019.
Getting both the apprenticeships and degree course established have been truly collaborative industry efforts, but Erin Simpson from NZ Apples & Pears has done an exceptional job, well supported by Thomas Perenara from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).
To ensure a supply of candidates for both the apprenticeships and the degree, the HCG has established a position in Gisborne to channel people into these career programmes and place them with industry during their training. This has been funded with support from the Ministry of Social Development and through the Provincial Growth Fund. There has been funding approval for a similar position in Northland. Applications are underway to create similar positions in the Bay of Plenty, Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Marlborough, and Central Otago. There would also be a co-ordinator position at Massey University. Plus there is a pipeline being established with Canterbury growers, though the Primary ITO, into horticulture apprenticeships.
The Primary ITO and HCG have developed a business case for the Tertiary Education Commission to provide additional funding for horticulture apprenticeships to upgrade the programme into a world class and best practice apprenticeship.
Horticulture New Zealand has published a report prepared by
To ensure a supply of candidates for both the apprenticeships and the degree, the HCG has established a position in Gisborne to channel people into these career programmes and place them with industry during their training.
Deloitte about the value of the Pukekohe growing hub. Using the Treasury’s living standards framework, Deloitte has measured the economic value of the Pukekohe growing hub to both Auckland and New Zealand. This report was launched by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor on August 14 at an event at Parliament. The full report and a summary version are on the HortNZ website (www.hortnz. co.nz) for downloading.
The living standards framework draws on the concept of fostering holistic wellbeing through reporting on the growth and distribution of four interdependent capitals: social; financial; human and natural capital. Finance Minister, Grant Robertson, has said the Government will use the living standards framework to develop the world’s first wellbeing Budget in 2019, to measure the country’s success in a holistic way. The human capital aspects of the Deloitte report are directly relevant to the employment of New Zealanders and will inform the work being undertaken by the HCG. Deloitte recommends six actions. One is increased use of technology to manage the intensification of cropping within environmental limits. Another recommendation is more funding and investment in horticulture education to provide for, and attract, skilled talent into the industry. Both are areas being worked on through the HCG.
Funding support for the HCG is provided by the organisations involved in it, with HortNZ’s funding coming from the levy. The six-yearly levy referendum has been completed and has assured continued funding of this and other HortNZ activities with a yes vote from 89.69 percent of growers who voted and by value 92.01 percent. Thank you for all of you who voted.
Mike Chapman is chief executive of Horticulture New Zealand
Deloitte recommends six actions. One is increased use of technology to manage the intensification of cropping within environmental limits.
The Government has consulted on the Zero Carbon Bill, which will set a long-term commitment to transition New Zealand to a low-emission, climate resilient economy. There are a range of options proposed by the Government on the role of a Climate Change Commission and on possible emissions targets. HortNZ has made a submission on the Bill, which is available on the website www.hortnz.co.nz
It is expected the Bill will be introduced to Parliament in October 2018 and will be in force by April 2019.
Waikato District Council has notified its Proposed District Plan. This is a full district plan review and will have implications of rezoning areas of land and changes to activities and rules. HortNZ will be meeting with growers to discuss a submission.
HortNZ has made a submission on the Ministry for the Environment’s first set of Draft National Planning Standards. The Planning Standards were introduced as part of amendments to the Resource Management Act last year and aim to make plans simpler and more efficient to prepare, and easier to understand and comply with. A lot of HortNZ's submission focuses on the Definitions Standard where we felt that many of the definitions were drafted with urban activities in mind and would have unintended consequences on rural activities. Other submission points include timing and implementation and zone framework. The submission is available on the HortNZ website.
Following discussion with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) about the One Billion Trees programme, HortNZ is pleased to advise that MPI is comfortable with horticulture trees being added to the Te Uru Rākau (Forestry New Zealand) tree counter. In addition to future recognition of commercial tree plantings growers may also be eligible for planting assistance that benefit the New Zealand environment (e.g. native plants). Further details on how our industry will participate in the programme and future opportunities for growers will be available soon.
You’ve heard a lot about the powers of the Samurai wasp in combatting the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), and in a big win, the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted approval for the samurai wasp to be released in the event of a BMSB incursion. Though there is more work to do before the wasp can be used as a tool, this is a significant milestone in terms of our readiness for BMSB, and is the result of a collaborative effort from industry and MPI.
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor hosted the launch of the report New Zealand’s food story: The Pukekohe hub in Parliament in August, an event attended by politicians, primary industry leaders, Pukekohe growers and Government stakeholders. Horticulture New Zealand commissioned Deloitte to do an economic study of Pukekohe’s contribution to the Auckland and New Zealand economy, as well as to the New Zealand domestic food supply. The report shows the pressing need to protect growing land close to our largest population centres to meet not only consumers’ needs, but also the Government’s health and environmental imperatives.
The report has attracted plenty of media attention and will be used in HortNZ’s submissions to central and local government. The media release, Q and As, the full report and a summary report are all available on the website www.hortnz.co.nz
Reporting to HortNZ’s purpose – Enabling, promoting and advocating for growers in New Zealand to achieve the industry goal (a $10 billion industry by 2020) – Horticulture New Zealand’s 2018 Annual Report focuses on the diversity and experience of the people who make their livelihood from horticulture. Consumers interested in “our story” want to know about the
clever, hard-working people bringing them healthy food every day – the stories that resonate always involve great people. As a rapidly growing industry, we need to attract more people, so it is important to show the depth and breadth of talent newcomers can join. The 2018 annual report is available on the HortNZ website.
Parliament’s Primary Production Select Committee has released its final report on the Consumers’ Right to Know (Country of Origin of Food) Bill, available on the Parliament website www.parliament.nz. It puts in place mandatory country of origin labelling for fresh fruit and vegetables and single ingredient frozen fruit or vegetables. This is to be done via the Fair Trading Act. HortNZ has submitted in support of the amendments to the Bill, as it covers what our growers are after. For some, the Bill is seen to have been too watered down. It is now up to the MP in charge of the Bill, Gareth Hughes, to take it forward to a second reading and continue the Parliamentary process for it to become law.
Horticulture New Zealand has signed up for horticulture as part of the prestigious Ahuwhenua Trophy Te Puni Kōkiri Excellence in Māori Farming Award, which recognises excellence in Māori farming. This will see a horticulture Ahuwhenua Trophy in 2020. Each year the awards recognise a farming sector and horticulture will be on a third year rotation, after dairy (2018) and sheep and beef (2019). There are significant Māori holdings in horticulture, so it is great for our industry to be able to join the legacy that the Ahuwhenua Trophy holds.
Auckland’s regional fuel tax (RFT) continues to present challenges for Auckland growers, putting them at a disadvantage to growers in other parts of New Zealand where there is no RFT. Horticulture New Zealand continues to work with the New Zealand Transport Association (NZTA) to sort out a rebate system for off-road vehicles – the tax was introduced before such a system had been designed. NZTA has clarified the eligibility for RFT rebate; any vehicle that is exempt from Road User Charges (RUC), which includes (but is not limited to) tractors, ATVs, forklifts and self-propelled harvesters. They say they will have an online rebate system available from October 2018 and in the interim, growers in Auckland who wish to make a monthly claim for RFT rebates may ask NZTA to do so by emailing RFTassessments@ nzta.govt.nz with reasons for seeking monthly rebate. NZTA will send out forms for you to register, and to submit your claim. HortNZ continues to ask the Transport Minister Phil Twyford to engage on this issue. He does not seem to be aware of the complexities specific to horticulture.
Following on from their successes in the Gisborne Young Growers competition, Matt Gomm and Krista Manuel have set up a Gisborne Young Growers Group. Check them out on Facebook @gisborneyoung.
▴ Hon. Damien O’Connor, who hosted the launch at Parliament.
▴ Pukekohe growers who were interviewed by Deloitte for the report and attended the launch - back row, from left to right: Kevin Wilcox, Pravin Hari, John Sutherland, front row, from left to right: Andrew Keaney, Sarah Webster, Kylie Faulkner, Bernadine Guilleux, Kiran Hari, Rob Craig and Bharat Jivan. Companies represented: A S Wilcox & Sons, RC Hari & Sons, Sutherland Produce, T&G Global, Balle Bros, Punchbowl Kiwifruit Services, Jivan Produce.
▴ Chairman of the Ahuwhenua Management Committee Kingi Smiler, left, and Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman signing up to the Ahuwhenua Trophy Te Puni Kōkiri Excellence in Māori Farming Award for 2020 and every three years thereafter.
▴ Hon. David Parker with Michelle Sands, HortNZ Natural Resources and Environment manager, left, and Katie Milne, Federated Farmers national president.