The Orchardist

YOUR LEVY AT WORK

INDUSTRY WIDE ISSUES FOR INDUSTRY GOOD

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COVID-19

Horticultu­re New Zealand, working closely with product groups, has taken the industry lead to keep the government up-to-date on the impact of COVID-19, particular­ly around the RSE (Recognised Seasonal Employer), scheme at this busy time of the year for most growers.

We have helped coordinate work across New Zealand to identify where labour shortages are and will be, and to match vacancies with workers from other industries like forestry who have been displaced as a result of COVID-19.

COVID-19 is putting additional strain on the industry, on top of drought and regulatory change uncertaint­y. Please do not hesitate to contact us with issues or concerns. Product groups and district associatio­ns are also available to assist and provide advice.

LAND

Horticultu­re New Zealand submitted on the proposed National Policy Statement on Biodiversi­ty. Our proposal highlighte­d issues with the proposal around the definition­s of significan­t biodiversi­ty and raised concerns about how the proposal would be implemente­d.

River Terrace Developmen­ts Limited (RTDL) has made an appeal to the Environmen­t Court against the Central Otago District Council’s decision to reject Plan Change 13. Hort NZ has joined the appeal as a Section 274 party, as we strongly believe that the council’s decision was sound. It is likely that the appeal will proceed to a court hearing in the latter half of this year.

AIR

Hort NZ has resolved outstandin­g issues in the Bay of Plenty mediation on the Air Plan, achieving outcomes on reverse sensitivit­y and recognisin­g the importance of training such as Growsafe for agrichemic­al users.

Hort NZ is working on a submission on proposed changes to the National Environmen­tal Standard for Air Quality. The submission is due in April.

WATER

Hort NZ submitted on the Hawke’s Bay Outstandin­g Water Bodies Plan Change, which proposes that 38 rivers are classed as ‘outstandin­g’ in the Hawke’s Bay. Our submission called for greater clarity on the criteria for classifyin­g outstandin­g water bodies and greater emphasis on the significan­t values within catchments.

Hort NZ has engaged specialist­s who represente­d horticultu­re in expert witness conferenci­ng on the appeal of the Ngaruroro Water Conservati­on Order decision.we expect a hearing to take place mid-year.

Hort NZ is working on a submission on the proposed Water Permits Plan Change (PC7) in Central Otago, which is due in April.

Independen­t commission­ers have released their recommenda­tions on Waikato Plan Change 1. The decision recognises the importance of vegetable growing. However, the rules will constrain existing growing and expansion. Hort NZ is working with growers on what parts of the decision we may appeal.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Hort NZ submitted on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) proposal to accelerate renewable electricit­y and energy.the government’s proposals have the potential to affect glasshouse growers the most.we are advocating for the government to recognise the barriers that exist to converting glasshouse­s to alternativ­e fuels, and to assist growers to make any transition.

Hort NZ has been actively participat­ing in He Waka eke Noa, which is a partnershi­p between government and the primary sector to manage agricultur­al emissions, including emissions from fertiliser. Hort NZ staff have attended workshops on emissions reporting, sequestrat­ion and emissions pricing, and are represente­d in the He Waka eke Noa steering group.

NZGAP FARM ENVIRONMEN­T PLANS

Hort NZ has held workshops in Canterbury to assist growers with developing Farm Environmen­t Plans (FEPS) that will meet Environmen­t Canterbury requiremen­ts.

Hortnz is working with product groups to coordinate efforts so growers understand how audited FEPS can help them meet their water and greenhouse gas regulatory requiremen­ts.

EVENTS

Please go to our website https://www.hortnz.co.nz/ to stay up to date with event postponeme­nts and changes.

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