Your Levy at Work
Submissions close on the Proposed Waikato District Plan 2018 in early October. HortNZ has held meetings with growers to discuss key issues for horticulture in the proposed plan to inform our submission. HortNZ has submitted and commented on the Waimea Community Dam and was dumbstruck by the Tasman District Council’s decision not to support its development, but pleased to see them see the error of their ways nine days later and vote to proceed with the project. The decision to proceed comes with a renewed funding model that is more palatable to ratepayers, who will benefit from the dam. This process highlights the sensitivities of access to water for growers.
HortNZ Primary Capability Industries has Network signed (MPI) an to (NBCN). agreement join the National The with NBCN the Biosecurity Ministry is activated for
during a biosecurity response to ensure resources to respond quickly and efficiently. Should a biosecurity response affecting horticulture occur, HortNZ staff may be called on for operational roles. To raise awareness of the risk posed to horticulture by the brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), HortNZ biosecurity and trade policy manager Leanne Stewart participated in a BMSB response simulation at the NZ Winegrowers (NZW) conference.This involved a mock response governance meeting, that NZW and HortNZ participated in as signatories
of the Government Industry Agreement (GIA).
HortNZ biosecurity staff visited the Bay of Plenty to help with an Unlocking Curious Minds project. This involved students from 20 schools across the Bay of Plenty engaging with science and technology through practical, hands-on learning about pest management and biosecurity in the primary industries. The project is led by Scion, and has been developed in conjunction with the House of Science with co-funding from the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge.
HortNZ joined the Pukekohe Vegetable Growers Association (PVGA) in celebrating its centennial at an impressive gala dinner in Pukekohe. No detail was too small for the organising committee and the tangible “takeout” was a centenary tractor that guests could assemble themselves from a “flat pack”, created by Abstract Design in Wellington. There was also a display of the real thing – tractors through the ages – along with photos and news of the past and present. HortNZ President Julian Raine spoke, as did Labour MP Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, representing Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.
HortNZ has provided support to two product groups facing issues recently. Strawberry Growers New Zealand had to front on a find of needles in Australian-grown strawberries sold in an Auckland supermarket. On the back of pin and needle discoveries in strawberries in Australian supermarkets, this became big news both in New Zealand and offshore. Strawberry Growers New Zealand was quick to point out that there was no evidence to suggest any connection to New Zealand strawberries from the finds of needles in Australian strawberries. The matter is being dealt with by New Zealand Police.
HortNZ has also offered support to Potatoes New Zealand as it works with Biosecurity New Zealand to respond to a detection of Potato mop-top virus (PMTV) in potato tubers in Canterbury. The virus is not a food safety issue.
On its website, HortNZ has provided information for growers on paid rest breaks and zero hour contracts. The Labour Inspectorate is continuing to visit and inspect horticulture businesses and employers need to put themselves in the best possible position to ensure that they are complying with the law.
A great gift – a momento of the PVGA centennial celebration.
Horticulture New Zealand President Julian Raine, Labour MP Anahila Kanongata’a-Suisuiki, and dual Young Vegetable Grower of the Year Gurjant Singh at the PVGA centennial dinner.