Farmers who need an extra hand on the farm as a result of November’s earthquake and aftershocks can call 0800 FARMING (327 646) and have their needs matched with skilled workers and volunteers.
“As we move from the response to recovery phase, some farmers and growers will need skilled hands to get back to pre-quake operational levels,” says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
“For example, many farmers have suffered damage to key infrastructure such as fences and water reticulation systems. This kind of infrastructure requires experienced labour to get back up and running,” says Mr Guy.
The initiative uses the Federated Farmers 0800 FARMING line as a single point of contact. The line has been open to members and non-members since the earthquake and has a comprehensive database of both farmers’ needs and offers of help.
“It’s fantastic to see some volunteer workers and networks have started some of their own initiatives. Officials will be extending a hand to these groups to encourage them to work with this centralised resource if possible,” says Mr Guy.
“All skilled workers deployed will be appropriately remunerated and volunteers can have some costs reimbursed. The initiative will also help ensure that issues such as like health and safety are managed in what is still a challenging situation,” says Mr Guy.
MPI has contracted Agriculture Employment Services Ltd (AgStaff) and Federated Farmers to manage the initiative over the next four months. This includes worker contracts, health and safety induction and training, coordinating travel and logistics, and the reimbursement of fair and reasonable costs for volunteer workers.
All calls for assistance will be managed to either AgStaff (for labour assistance) or other support organisations who are involved. Calls are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Resources available for earthquake recovery assistance:
- Contact Federated Farmers on 0800 FARMING (327 646) to lodge requests for, or offers of, help on the farm. All requests and offers are being managed through this central system.
- Calls are answered 24 hours a day.
- Contact your local Rural Support Trust on 0800 RURAL HELP (0800 787 254) for a free, private and confidential chat. A Trust person can come to see you and, if needed, point you in the right direction for further help.
- The Government Helpline is open for calls about all government support available, on 0800 77 99 97 from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
- If your circumstances have changed as a result of the earthquake, talk to your accountant, bank, and Work and Income to see what other help you may be eligible for.
- Industry groups like Beef + Lamb NZ and dairy organisations are also available to assist with technical advice, such as farm management and land remediation in earthquake-damaged areas.
New improvements to biosecurity processing at Auckland Airport have been welcomed by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today.
“We are expecting the busiest summer ever for visitor arrivals so the Ministry for Primary Industries is now on high alert for biosecurity threats. These new measures will improve how we process and screen passengers for any extra, unwanted visitors,” says Mr Guy.
The changes include:
- A new dedicated biosecurity lane for New Zealand and Australian travellers with no declarations to be screened and processed.
- Two detector dog teams on duty at the same time covering all lanes.
- An additional baggage x-ray machine, bringing the total to seven at the international airport.
“As well as improving biosecurity screening, the extra space will mean more efficient clearance of passengers.”
The changes have been developed in partnership with Auckland Airport who have funded the physical redevelopment.
“This summer we are expecting 1.6 million passengers to arrive in New Zealand, most of whom enter via Auckland. On a busy day arrival numbers at Auckland airport could reach 18,500.
“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister. In last year’s Budget I announced $27 million in new funding which has helped MPI employ 50 new front line biosecurity staff and 20 extra biosecurity detector dog teams.
“We have also introduced new x-ray scanning machines, including mobile units that can be moved around the country to help clear cruise ship passengers as well as at airports and international mail centres during peak times.
“An animated biosecurity video featuring ‘Officer Goodboy’ is now playing on 16 airlines entering New Zealand, raising awareness with passengers of the importance of declaring items.
“The recently released Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement is also setting a future direction and helping future proof the system.”
The public has one week left to make a submission on new proposals to modernise and future-proof New Zealand’s fisheries management system, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
“The Future of our Fisheries is a major programme of work to improve the sustainable, long-term benefits enjoyed by all New Zealanders,” says Mr Guy.
“Public meetings have been held around the country with good turnout and engagement from all sectors – recreational, customary and commercial. However submissions close on Friday 23 December so people need to send their thoughts in over the next seven days.”
The three strategic proposals are maximising value from our fisheries, better fisheries information and agile and responsive decision-making.
There are also two regulatory changes outlined for the Integrated Electronic Monitoring and Reporting System (IERMS), which includes cameras, geospatial monitoring and electronic reporting, and providing flexibility for developing new trawl technologies.
“Our fisheries management has been recognised as world-leading, but we need to keep looking for ways to improve the system and meet future challenges. This is a great opportunity for everyone to have their say on how we can better manage one of New Zealand’s most valuable resources.”
A full copy of the document and information on where public meetings will be held is available at http://mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/future-of-our-fisheries.