A new pledge by farming leaders to improve the swimmability of New Zealand’s rivers has been welcomed by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.
“This pledge from farming leaders shows the real commitment farmers have to tackling these long term issues,” says Mr Guy.
“Farmers are closer to the land to the land than nearly anyone else, and they care deeply about leaving a good legacy for their children.
“Most of New Zealand’s rivers are in a good state but there are a number that need work, and this will take concerted effort by all New Zealanders – including farmers, urban areas, and local and central Government.
“We need to recognise the massive environmental improvements that farmers have made in recent times. In the last five years it’s estimated that farmers have spent over $1 billion of their own money towards environmental measures on farm, with around 98% of dairy waterways fenced off.”
“I welcome this high level commitment from farming leaders,” says Dr Smith.
“It builds on the goodwill and work of the Land and Water Forum and provides the leadership to help implement the ambitious new regulations passed this month on improving water quality for swimming.”
The new National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management was announced on 9 August and introduces a new requirement for rivers to be suitable for swimming. It sets a timetable of 90% of rivers and lakes to be swimmable by 2040, establishing a system for monitoring and reporting and requires each of the 16 Regional Councils to set regional targets by 2018.
“The Government has put in place a robust plan for improving swimmability of our rivers and funding to assist in the cost of achieving it. This pledge will help drive the next steps of finalising national stock exclusion rules and the work towards delivering Good Management Practices for the different farming sectors.
“The challenge New Zealand has on improving freshwater quality is not just for farmers. Urban New Zealand will also need to commit to improving stormwater and wastewater systems to achieve the Government’s goals.”
The Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand (DCANZ) has become the fifteenth and largest industry sector to join the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
DCANZ is the national organisation representing the dairy processor and exporters sector, comprised of 11 members responsible for 99% of the milk processed in New Zealand.
“It’s very pleasing to have DCANZ working with the Ministry for Primary Industries and other industry partners on biosecurity,” says Mr Guy.
“The dairy industry is a crucial part of New Zealand’s economy, making up over a third of all New Zealand total exports. It is vital we work together to prepare and respond to biosecurity threats.
“The discovery of the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis near Waimate is a real reminder of how important biosecurity is to the dairy sector. It’s good practice for all farmers to have an on-farm biosecurity plan.
“As the recent Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement outlines, biosecurity is a shared responsibility. We need everyone working together sharing their expertise and experience.
“Earlier this year I was proud to announce an $18 million boost to biosecurity in Budget 2017, meaning the total biosecurity budget is now just under a quarter of a billion – the highest ever.”
The signing of the agreement was attended by Mr Guy, Trade Minister Todd McClay and representatives of all major dairy companies
Other signatories to the GIA include:Vegetables NZ TomatoesNZ Kiwifruit Vine Health Pipfruit New Zealand New Zealand Pork New Zealand Equine Health Association Onions New Zealand Forestry Owners Association New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association New Zealand Citrus Growers Incorporated Potatoes New Zealand New Zealand Winegrowers Ministry for Primary Industries
New Zealanders have never been better prepared for disasters according to the latest annual disaster preparedness survey, but it’s important to stay prepared.
Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy says levels of household preparedness for disasters have risen sharply since the Kaikoura earthquake last year, followed by a string of other emergencies such as the Port Hills fires and the Edgecumbe flooding.
“Current levels of preparedness are on par with the previous highest on record, which was following the Canterbury earthquakes,” says Mr Guy.
The results are the findings of the Colmar Brunton disaster preparedness survey for 2017, which has been released by the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management. The annual survey of 1000 New Zealanders assesses disaster preparedness and the effectiveness of our public education programme.
“We’ve seen measures of preparedness rise significantly, which means households have never been better prepared for disasters than they are now.”
While the results are encouraging, Mr Guy says making sure you’re prepared needs to be an everyday part of life.
“We don’t want people to wait until it’s too late before they take action. After the Canterbury earthquakes, we saw a sharp boost in preparedness, only to see it slide when complacency crept in.”
Mr Guy says the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management revitalised its public education programme last year to make preparation real, relevant and easy. The Never Happens? Happens campaign involves videos starring Hunt for the Wilderpeople actress Rachel House, and has sub-campaigns targeting everyday families and 18-30 year olds.
The survey also suggests the Ministry’s recent tsunami and earthquake safety campaign – which emphasises the messages “Long or Strong, Get Gone” and “Drop Cover Hold” - has been effective in reinforcing the right actions to take in the event of an earthquake.
The survey shows that 83% of respondents know that they needed to evacuate when a long or strong earthquake happens near the coast.
“One of the biggest risks from a natural event is a local source tsunami, and this campaign has the potential to save lives.”
“Getting prepared is easier than you might think. The single most important thing is to make a plan, which only takes a few minutes for you and your household.”
The survey report is available at http://www.civildefence.govt.nz/cdem-sector/public-education/research-and-evaluation/get-ready-get-thru-campaign-evaluation/.
To make a plan and find out more about getting prepared, visit www.happens.nz.
Flood-hit farmers in the Bay of Plenty region will have a further opportunity to apply for a grant to help with clean up and recovery, say Social Development Minister Anne Tolley and Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy.
The $100,000 Primary Industries Flood Recovery Fund is part of a package of additional support totalling $295,000 for farms and orchards who suffered damage following the floods.
“The Government is committed to ensuring communities in the Bay of Plenty have the support they need to recover from the April floods,” says Mrs Tolley.
“The first Bay of Plenty Primary Industries Flood Recovery Fund was on a first-come first-served basis and all grants were allocated after just a couple of weeks. Farmers who missed out on the first round of funding can now apply for grants of $2000, $5000, or $10,000.
“This support is in addition to the $1 million funding provided to enable Enhanced Taskforce Green teams to clear debris from towns, rural properties, and parks and reserves.”
“The Bay of Plenty Rural Support Trust and agencies on the ground have been taking stock as clean up continues. They have told me there are still a number of affected primary producers who could really use a grant to help them with re-establishment of pastures and crops, and the clean-up of silt and debris,” says Mr Guy.
“I’m also further bolstering the Rural Support Trust who have been working tirelessly with local agri-business and agencies to assist in recovery. Funding will also help the rural recovery coordinator continue, and helping farm relief workers to be continue to be available through the Trust.
“Priorities for rural recovery in the region include ongoing psychosocial support, restoration of farm productivity, and building resilience to future events, particularly on flood-prone land.
“Looking to the future is fundamental and the funding also covers extension services to farmers.
“I appreciate the work of the Whakatane District Council who have provided support to administer both rounds of the grants on behalf of the region.”
Applications for this further round of grants can be made via the Whakatane District Council until 29 September, and will be assessed on need.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed new grant funding of over $1.1 million for two irrigation projects in South Canterbury and Central Otago.
Crown Irrigation Investments Ltd has agreed development grant funding of $339,875 for the Orari-Temuka-Opihi-Pareora (OTOP) irrigation conceptual design and costing project, which Environment Canterbury (ECAN) is managing.
“This is an important project because South Canterbury and particularly the greater Opihi catchment have struggled with water shortages and drought for many years,” says Mr Guy.
The project will build on the wide range research carried out in the broader South Canterbury region over recent years, and look at the potential viability of the scheme in terms of water availability, infrastructure options and commercial feasibility.
Earlier this week Crown Irrigation Investments also announced $815,000 funding into the Manuherikia Water Project in Central Otago, which will allow a Falls Dam proposal to move forward.
“This funding will give six independent irrigation companies in the Manuherikia valley the opportunity to amalgamate under a single legal entity, WaterCo Limited. It will help them develop technical, environmental and financial studies to both improve existing irrigation reliability and expand the current area of farmland and orchards under irrigation.
“Irrigation schemes in other parts of the country have brought real economic and environmental benefits. A reliable source of water gives certainty to farmers and growers, helps them plan ahead and deal with droughts and dry spells.”
All decisions by Crown Irrigation Investments are made by an experienced, independent board and management team. Strict conditions have to be met including sound governance and matched funding.
More information is available at www.crownirrigation.co.nz.
Primary Industries and Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the announcement of eight successful projects that will be supported by the $5 million Earthquake Recovery Fund.
Announced in May this year, the Earthquake Recovery Fund supports quake-struck farmers and growers in the Marlborough, Kaikoura and Hurunui regions by funding community-driven projects, as well as funding professional advisory services for future land use planning.
“Eight community project applications have been approved for funding, totalling $3.54 million over three years. These projects are led by community groups and focus on tackling a shared problem or new opportunities for land-use.
“$1 million is also now available for land owners and managers to access professional advisory services from an approved supplier list, helping them make good decisions.
“The remaining $460,000 will cover earthquake recovery related work that isn’t covered by the community projects such as precision agriculture and resilience planning.
“This support is important because the earthquake had a major effect on the landscape. It has meant a lot of tough decisions and extra work for many people in the wider region.
“Since the earthquake in November last year, there has been a massive whole-of-government approach to supporting communities in their recovery with funding of $1.2 billion for a range of projects.”
For more information on the funded projects, and to access the list of approved suppliers of professional advisory services, visit www.mpi.govt.nz/Kaikoura-earthquake
Biosecurity heroes from across the country were recognised in Wellington tonight with the announcement of the 2017 New Zealand Biosecurity Award recipients.
Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy says the winners of these inaugural awards have shown a real commitment to protecting New Zealand.
“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister and crucial in protecting our economy and way of life. These awards recognise that it is a shared responsibility for all New Zealanders, and celebrate the efforts of people who are doing their bit for biosecurity every day.
“The Supreme and Government Awards go to the Department of Conservation for The Great White Butterfly Eradication Project. This is well-deserved and the first time an unwanted butterfly population has been eradicated anywhere in the world.
“Biosecurity Excellence at Port of Tauranga received the Industry award for their partnership with industry and government to build a port community committed to biosecurity excellence with the aim of no biosecurity incursions coming through their port.
“For the category awards, the Maori Award winner was Te Tira Whakamataki – the Maori Biosecurity Network which was established in 2015 to help understand how Maori knowledge, interests and values can be embedded in New Zealand’s biosecurity system.
“The Community Award went to the Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust, Wildside Project for their predator control programmes that have been running successfully for over 30 years with the majority of support coming from landowners and the wider community.
“It was my pleasure to hand over the Minister’s Biosecurity Award to Don McKenzie from Northland Regional Council which recognises an individual who has made over 10 years of continuous outstanding contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand. Don is a leader in regional biosecurity who has worked tirelessly in Northland delivering world leading programmes.
"Due to the high calibre of entries, we decided to award Highly Commended to five entrants in the categories for their contribution to biosecurity in New Zealand.
“The work of tonight’s winners is critical to protecting our taonga and ensuring our biosecurity system remains resilient and effective. It reflects a key theme of the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement of a ‘Biosecurity team of 4.7 million’.
“In this year’s Budget we boosted biosecurity funding to nearly a quarter of a billion dollars. This has helped MPI employ 50 new biosecurity staff and 20 extra biosecurity detector dog teams, along with new x-ray machines, a border clearance levy and the Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement.”
More information on the New Zealand Biosecurity Awards is available at: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/about-mpi/our-work/conferences-and-events/new-zealand-biosecurity-awards
2017 New Zealand Biosecurity Award recipients
Category Project Name Organisation Community The Wildside Project Banks Peninsula Conservation Trust Maori Te Tira Whakamataki - Maori Biosecurity Network Te Tira Whakamataki - Maori Biosecurity Network Industry Biosecurity Excellence at Port of Tauranga Limited Port of Tauranga Limited Government The Great White Butterfly Eradication Project Department of Conservation Supreme The Great White Butterfly Eradication Project Department of Conservation Minister's Don McKenzie Northland Regional Council
2017 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards ‘Highly Commended’ recipients
Category Project Name Organisation Industry New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI) New Zealand Plant Producers Incorporated (NZPPI) Government Marine Biosecurity Programme Northland Regional Council Government Top of the South (TOS) Marine Biosecurity Project Top of the South Marine Biosecurity Partnership Community Motutapu Restoration Trust - The DUAL Motutapu Restoration Trust - The DUAL Maori The Karioi Project Te Whaanga 2B3B2 & 2B1 Ahu Whenua Trust (AWT)
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has today officially classified the flooding in Otago as a medium-scale event for Dunedin City, Clutha District, Waitaki District and Central Otago District.
“This is recognition of the damage caused and the challenges faced by the region, and triggers additional Government support,” says Mr Guy.
The classification triggers additional funding for targeted recovery assistance, including a Primary Industries recovery coordinator to run a flood recovery committee, coordinate the many agencies involved and to support Federated Farmers’ management of matching offers with need. Enhanced Task Force Green (ETFG) scheme will match jobseekers with clean-up work on farms and in urban areas.
“With flooding like this, the real work starts after the rain has stopped. Some farms on the Taieri plains are still under more than a metre of water and as that clears away, it leaves sodden and silt-covered pasture which is no good for feeding animals.”
As Minister of Civil Defence, Mr Guy was briefed this morning by Dunedin City Council Deputy Mayor and officials on the recovery which is making good progress. Mr Guy has also made a contribution of $50,000 to the Dunedin Mayoral Relief Fund to help people complete essential work to get back into clean, habitable homes.
“There is a range of support available to the Otago community. The government reimburses local authorities the costs of providing for the immediate welfare of evacuees, such as food and accommodation.
“Provided the costs are above a low threshold, the government will also pay a large share of the costs that councils face to repair essential infrastructure such as drinking water, storm water and waste water systems, and river management systems. A substantial share is also contributed to the costs of fixing local roads and bridges.
“For farmers, the priority now is getting feed to stock. Even getting bales of hay on tractors across boggy paddocks is a huge challenge for many. There are stories of silage stored for winter floating away in the floodwaters.”
Federated Farmers have activated their feedline on 0800 327 646 and the majority of calls coming in are farmers seeking grazing immediately. Fonterra have activated their flood response team to help with the clean-up.
Farmers can receive technical extension advice by industry groups, and one-on-one advice with a focus on feed budgeting, farm management and animal health following flooding.
The Otago Rural Support Trust is also providing some funding for farmers including professional advice on feed budgets to get through to spring and beyond, and mental health assistance where otherwise there may be a wait for public counselling.
Civil Defence Payments are available through Work and Income to meet the immediate needs of people in affected areas. Other hardship assistance is available which can include grants for things such as temporary accommodation, food, clothing and loss of livelihood for those unable to work during an emergency.
Conditions are being closely monitored in other flood-affected districts such as South Canterbury.Farmers with offers of grazing or feed call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) Requests for feed and onfarm help call 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING) Other assistance, advice and support call the Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
Land consents necessary to allow Taratahi Agricultural Training Centre’s acquisition of Lincoln University’s Telford Campus to proceed have been given today by Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy and Associate Minister Louise Upston.
Wairarapa-based Taratahi has been negotiating with Lincoln on the purchase of the Balclutha campus since 2016. While the commercial decisions regarding the sale were the responsibility of Taratahi and Lincoln, legislation required that Ministers’ approval be given for the transfer of any associated properties or leases.
“Telford has a long-standing and valued place in primary sector education in the South Island,” says Mr Guy.
“Taratahi’s decision to acquire Telford Campus means that the primary sector will retain access to nationwide on-farm training facilities with a focus on a range of practical skills that the primary industries need.”
Ministers noted that the primary industries require an increasing range of skills and capability to support sector growth. In 2012 around 44 percent of primary sector workers had a post-school qualification. By 2025 it is expected that this will need to increase to 62 percent.
“The performance of the primary sector is critical to the performance of the New Zealand economy, and that depends on having well qualified, motivated, high quality workers. Taratahi and Telford will play an important role in meeting that need,” says Ms Upston.
As water recedes throughout flood-impacted areas of the South Island, Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has praised the efforts of those who were involved in the response to the flooding.
“Civil Defence Emergency Management Groups have acted proactively and decisively to keep people and property out of harm’s way,” says Mr Guy.
“I want to recognise the tireless efforts of Civil Defence and council staff, emergency services, volunteers, lifeline utilities, and a host of other agencies who have contributed to a number of local and regional responses.
“I visited Otago yesterday and have spoken to local Mayors today in these regions where the focus is now turning from response to recovery. The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management is continuing to monitor the situation, and is poised to coordinate government assistance as required.
“The impacts of these floods will be felt for some time in communities throughout Canterbury and Otago. The Government is ready to provide support where it’s needed, and financial assistance is available to local authorities that have been affected.
“While local States of Emergencies are being withdrawn as river levels in both Canterbury and Otago recede, authorities are mindful further rain is forecast in coming days and the public are urged to take care. Don’t drive through floodwaters and avoid non-essential travel as there is still widespread surface flooding and debris on the roads.”
Mr Guy, who is also the Minister for Primary Industries, says the Ministry for Primary Industries has been working closely with Federated Farmers, DairyNZ, Beef + LambNZ, local Rural Support Trusts and others to help farmers stay informed and manage through the initial flooding.
Farmers are encouraged to make contact for feed, information and any other assistance to Federated Farmers on 0800 327 646 (0800 FARMING). Farmers with feed available should also proactively get in touch with Federated Farmers.
Key contacts:Civil Defence Payments Work and Income - those needing urgent financial assistance to cover emergency costs should call 0800 559 009 MPI animal available for advice - call 0800 00 83 33 Rural Support Trust - 0800 787 254(0800 RURAL HELP) Federated Farmers activated 0800 FARMING to match rural needs with offers of assistance Dairy Farmers can call Dairy NZ for advice on 0800 4324 7969.