New changes to update kiwifruit regulations and help future-proof the industry will come into force on 1 August 2017, Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy has announced today.
“These changes were announced last year and will help ensure the industry is best structured for future growth,” says Mr Guy.
New amendments to the Kiwifruit Export Regulations will:allow Zespri shareholders to consider setting rules around maximum shareholding and eligibility for dividend payments; clarify the activities Zespri can undertake as a matter of core business; and enhance the independence and transparency of the independent industry regulator, Kiwifruit New Zealand.
“These changes will give Zespri more options for promoting the ownership of its shares by active kiwifruit growers.
“They will give Zespri greater certainty for investing in activities such as research and development and in the marketing of New Zealand-grown kiwifruit, and ensuring that Kiwifruit New Zealand has the skill sets it needs to robustly consider collaborative marketing applications.
“These amendments won’t change the industry’s ‘single desk’ export framework, but will provide more certainty for Zespri’s shareholders and growers.
“These regulatory updates are the Government’s response to the industry’s self-review of its performance through the Kiwifruit Industry Strategy Project.”
Kiwifruit sales from New Zealand have reached record levels with 137.7 million trays sold in the year to March 2017, worth over $2 billion in export revenue. Global sales revenues are forecast to reach $4.5 billion by 2025.
A new Threat Management Plan released today will help protect endangered New Zealand sea lions, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry say.
The New Zealand sea lion/rāpoka Threat Management Plan sets out a five-year programme of engagement, targeted research, direct mitigation, and regular monitoring at all known breeding sites.
The New Zealand sea lion is classified as “Nationally Critical” and there are fewer than 12,000 left. Ninety eight per cent of breeding occurs on Campbell and the Auckland Islands, but there are also small populations on the lower South Island and Stewart Island.
“This plan, supported by a government funding package of $2.8 million announced last month, sets out practical actions and measures to mitigate threats to sea lions and will help their recovery,” says Mr Guy.
“The threats to sea lions are varied and no single factor is solely responsible for the decline in sea lion numbers.
“While disease and commercial fishing are the greatest threats for sea lions at the Auckland Islands, incidents involving humans, such as shootings, are a greater threat to sea lions on New Zealand’s South Island and Stewart Island. Poor habitat and pups getting stuck in holes are the greatest threats on Campbell Island.
“Management of commercial fishing interactions with sea lions will remain a key focus for MPI. A new Technical Advisory Group has made recommendations on the Operational Plan for the Southern Squid fishery which is currently being reviewed.
“Fishers are keen to do the right thing and avoid bycatch. Sea Lion Exclusion Devices (SLEDs) have been effective in reducing sea lion captures and there will be further research into their operation.”
Ms Barry says a community liaison officer will be employed to help address the human threats, facilitate growth of the population and foster a positive reaction to having more sea lions on the New Zealand coastline.
“This officer will develop and implement a community education campaign to help prepare people for more sea lions returning to the South Island, and help them appreciate how precious and vulnerable sea lions are.
“Another key action of the Plan will be to carry out more research into the disease Klebsiella pneumoniae, and work out ways of mitigating the effects of this disease.
“We already have a fine example of kiwi No: 8 wire ingenuity in ‘Planks for Pups’ – a simple but effective measure to save pups that fall into holes at breeding sites on the subantarctic islands. The holes are deep and steep sided and without the planks to climb out on the pups can’t feed and either starve to death or drown.
“Other practical steps will include regular monitoring of all four breeding sites including more frequent monitoring on Campbell Island - the second largest breeding colony - and developing more solutions to reduce pup mortality on Campbell Island,” Ms Barry says.
The New Zealand sea lion/rāpoka Threat Management Plan will continue to involve partnership with Ngāi Tahu as a Treaty Partner and stakeholder groups.
New mechanisms to weave mātauranga Māori throughout each workstream will be developed in partnership with whānau, hapū and iwi, something which has been absent from recovery plans in the past.
A New Zealand sea lion/rāpoka Forum and an Advisory Group have been established to aid in prioritisation of the annual work plan to support the NZSL TMP.
The first export consignments of chilled meat have left New Zealand shores bound for China as part of a six month trial, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
“The air-freighted consignments from Alliance Group and Greenlea Premier Meats mark a significant step towards enabling permanent access for New Zealand chilled meat to China,” says Mr Guy.
“Chilled meat is a premium, high value and high growth product so this is great news for farmers, producers and the wider red meat industry. It’s also welcome news for Chinese consumers.
“These are the first of many more shipments expected to be exported to China as part of the trial, which is a big step forward for our work to expand access to China for a range of meat products.
“New Zealand produces high quality chilled meat, and this trial is an exciting opportunity to add to our already significant frozen meat exports to China. This is the kind of product that will end up in high-end retail stores and white table cloth restaurants.”
New Zealand’s frozen red meat exports to China represented $1.14 billion in trade for the year ended 31 March 2017.
The start of the trial adds to recent successes, such as the agreement of formal access for New Zealand bovine blood products last week.
The chilled meat trial initially involves ten New Zealand meat premises.
“The meat industry and MPI are working hard to ensure the trial is a success and access can be opened up to all eligible premises at the end of the six-month period,” says Mr Guy.
“The trial is another demonstration of the very strong positive relationship we share with China.
“The rapidly increasing air links with China will also help with this trade. Since 2012 the number of services Chinese airlines can offer each week under arrangements between our countries has risen from 7 to 59.”
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have today launched the latest investor guides to New Zealand’s Food and Beverage Industry, showing a strong and diversified sector.
The guides contain analysis of trends and opportunities within the industry which can be used to attract investment, assist with business strategy and guide government policy.
“The food and beverage sector is the cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It employs directly or indirectly nearly one in five New Zealand workers and generates $29 billion in exports, representing over half of our merchandise export earnings,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Government is committed to growing and diversifying New Zealand’s economy and these guides show potential investors that innovation is alive and well in our food and beverage sector.
“We also have a wide range of emerging growth categories within the sector, including infant formula and dairy nutritionals, a growing range of products in the snacking category, yoghurt, UHT milk, avocados and processed chicken.
“These emerging categories are helping drive long term export growth across the sector and in turn are helping further strengthen New Zealand’s economy, and provide new jobs, including in the regions,” Mr Bridges says.
The research within the guides has been compiled from a wide range of sources. Around 265 firms are profiled, of which 96 are in the increasingly innovative processed foods sector.
“These reports show New Zealand producers are successfully adding value and creating premium products,” says Mr Guy.
“It shows there has been billions of dollars in investment in recent years towards developing or extending value added categories, at new packaging and branding and new product development. This will help towards our goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025.
“We’re making good use of our competitive advantages, such as our relative proximity to Asian markets, good climate and fertile soils. At the same time, there are plenty of opportunities for more innovation to drive growth.
“The Government is supporting this through research and development. The Primary Growth Partnership in particular has $759 million co-invested by industry and Government towards 22 cutting edge projects in the primary sector.
“Budget 2017 also made more money available for Callaghan Innovation’s Research and Development Growth Grants which support innovative Kiwi companies in bringing their products and ideas to the market sooner.”
The new guides are available at www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/food-beverage/information-project.
Continued low scallop levels at the top of the South Island have forced a further temporary closure of the Southern Scallop fishery SCA 7, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
The 2017/18 season closure affects scallop fisheries in Golden Bay, Tasman Bay and the Marlborough Sounds. It also includes the neighbouring Port Underwood area.
“I closed parts of the fishery last season after surveys showed a substantial decline in scallop numbers. This has allowed the fishery to be rested, but surveys this year show the stocks have still not recovered significantly,” says Mr Guy.
“A further closure is needed to give more time for recovery and to carry out important research on the fishery.
“Extending the closure for a further year has widespread support from many fishers and the community. The Ministry for Primary Industries consulted with locals on a number of options, and a majority supported some form of temporary closure as the best way to ensure the fishery’s long term future.”
Mr Guy said the Government has committed $400,000 over two years to a comprehensive research programme to better understand what has caused their decline and options to help them recover.
“Over the next year, MPI will be commissioning new research to assess scallop survival and growth across a range of environments in Tasman and Golden Bay, and in the Marlborough Sounds. This will help determine whether interventions such as reseeding of scallops, re-establishment of shell reefs and changes to fishing gear are likely to be successful.
“It will also help determine what role disease and other factors may be having in suppressing the productivity of the scallop beds.”
Further background information is available at https://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/temporary-closure-of-the-southern-scallop-sca-7-fishery/
Local Government Minister Anne Tolley and Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy today announced Budget 2017 provides $6 million to part fund emergency water supplies in the Wellington region.
“The Government is committed to improving New Zealand’s resilience to natural hazards,” says Mrs Tolley.
“We’ve worked closely with the Mayors of Wellington, Porirua, Upper and Lower Hutt, as well as the Greater Wellington Regional Council, to develop a plan to improve the region’s water resilience.
“Wellington and Porirua are unique as our only cities without their own local water supplies. Budget 2017 invests $6 million to part fund 22 new community water stations throughout the four cities.
“The region’s councils will contribute $6 million to the project, and they will be responsible for setting up and maintaining the emergency water supplies.”
“Access to safe, healthy water is vital after a major disaster. Parts of the Wellington Region could be without tap water for up to 100 days following a major earthquake as a result of damage to the water supply network and potential access difficulties” says Mr Guy.
“Likely damage to roads, rail and the port would make it difficult to bring in sufficient quantities of emergency water to meet the needs of the population.
“This new work programme will ensure that temporary water supplies are available until the bulk supply is restored.
“A total of 22 new local bore and stream-fed emergency water hubs will be established.
“Drilling at three bore sites has already been completed, two of which are suitable as emergency supplies. Work is due to start at further sites in Porirua and Wellington shortly.
“In total 11 bores are planned that will supplement existing reservoir storage. More than 300 water bladders will also be purchased for storage and supply and supply at water stations that can be set up within communities as needed.
“At the same time, Wellingtonians should be prepared and have water stored at home. We normally use over 200 litres a day each, so the more you store, the better.”
Communications Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced $1.6 million funding for two workstreams to promote the uptake of digital technology across Canterbury and to take advantage of new value-add market opportunities.
The Ministers are in Canterbury today to co-launch the refresh of the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy.
The digital connectivity workstream will partner with government to focus on gathering region-specific information on any gaps in coverage to see where efforts can be better focused and on promoting the uptake and use of digital technology across the region.
“Canterbury has identified connectivity as vital to economic growth and the digital connectivity workstream will actively complement the Government’s existing national broadband programmes and our Building a Digital Nation action plan,” Mr Bridges says.
“A key focus is around reducing the digital divide between town and country, particularly given rural Canterbury generates much of the prosperity of the region.
“We want to encourage businesses, particularly those in rural areas to get on board with faster broadband by sharing success stories of how it’s making a difference. For example, for farmers, improved connectivity helps them gather data to farm smarter – using technology for environmental monitoring, such as effluent and water control, and for online shopping.
“This workstream aims to have 95 per cent of farms accessing broadband by June 2019. We want a fully connected Canterbury where the whole region can thrive,” Mr Bridges says.
The government funding for this value-added production workstream will focus on:Working with central government to identify value-add opportunities, particularly in China and South-East Asia; Consulting and engaging with South Island economic development agencies on establishing an economic virtual policy unit; Connecting industry needs to research; and Accelerated knowledge transition to high-value production and manufacturing for export.
“Canterbury is one of the world’s great food baskets with a highly productive agriculture sector, and the refreshed Strategy highlights the importance of increasing the value of what we produce,” Mr Guy says.
“This new support will help us towards the Government’s goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025, along with our support for research and development, irrigation and water storage, skills and trade access.
“The Strategy also supports the uptake of digital technologies and smart use of irrigation and freshwater management. Irrigation has already helped increase land productivity, as well as providing opportunities for diversification into higher value production and processing,” Mr Guy says.
The Strategy also includes a programme to ensure local government manages planning and consenting processes, as well as infrastructure.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and other Government Ministers are in Christchurch today to co-launch the refresh of the Canterbury Regional Economic Development Strategy.
The strategy aims to position the region so that economic growth can continue off the back of earthquake recovery and the rebuild to drive economic activity and employment.
“Since the 2010 earthquake, Government investment in Canterbury has been significant,” Mr Bridges says.
“By December 2016, the Government had spent $14.3 billion on Canterbury earthquake costs and in the six months post the November 2016 earthquake centred in Kaikoura, Government has contributed to date around $850 million towards the recovery and rebuild.
“As rebuild activity levels off, the strategy sets challenging targets that will need sustained collaboration with the telecommunications, primary industries, education, tourism and business sectors. Canterbury is well placed to drive the region onto the next phase of economic growth,” Mr Bridges says.
The strategy’s implementation is led by the Canterbury Mayoral Forum with central government support. It includes strategic, high level proposals that advance work streams across the region as a whole.
Mr Guy says the primary industries are a cornerstone of the region’s economic development.
“Canterbury has a highly productive and diverse primary sector - strong in beef, dairy and lamb exports, with the arable, forestry and horticulture sectors also very important,” Mr Guy says.
“The refreshed strategy highlights the importance of adding value to what we produce. This is why the Government has a goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025 and is supporting this through research and development, irrigation, water storage, trade access and developing skills.”
The strategy has seven work programmes including:Integrated regional transport planning and infrastructure investment Digital connectivity – extension and uptake of fast broadband in rural areas Freshwater management and irrigation infrastructure Education and training for a skilled workforce Newcomer and migrant settlement – skilled workers, cohesive communities Value-added production Regional visitor strategy.
Border sector Ministers have welcomed a new report by the Office of the Auditor-General published today on the use of information at New Zealand’s ports, and say their agencies will continue to work closely to protect our borders.
“This is a positive report which recognises good collaboration between the three border agencies. It finds there are strong relationships and effective processing of passengers,” says Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse.
“The agencies are already working on the report’s recommendations, including briefings for new staff on the different agencies’ roles and for an updated Border Sector strategy.”
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the report shows staff are working effectively and recently updated training programmes are a particular strength.
“Biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister so it is pleasing to see another good report card. This follows a positive Office of the Auditor General report in 2015 showing the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has made very good progress in biosecurity responses and preparedness.
“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.”
Customs Minister Tim Macindoe says it is pleasing to see Customs and MPI staff are working together effectively.
“The report acknowledges the recently updated frontline training programmes as a particular strength, and notes improved collaboration between Border Sector Agencies in recent years.
“Initial scoping is underway between Customs and MPI to look at opportunities for joint Border Sector training and recruitment. This will help to improve awareness of and understanding between frontline staff at the two agencies.”
China has approved formal access for New Zealand bovine blood products into the Chinese market, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
Access has been approved by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of the People's Republic of China (AQSIQ) for New Zealand premises to export bovine blood products, such as bovine protein and serum, to China. This follows successful negotiations by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).
“Formal access for New Zealand bovine blood products opens up enormous opportunities for our producers. These products represent a valuable market and we expect our exports will be in significant demand in China,” says Mr Guy.
“New Zealand now has market access for both finished and semi-finished products, which will mean exporters can attract a price-premium for these higher-value products. This is likely to be worth at least $50 million per year.
“We have an enviable disease status compared with many countries, which means our bovine blood products are widely sought after by a range of markets across the globe.”
Bovine serum and protein products are used in the animal pharmaceutical industry for manufacturing vaccines, diagnostic kits, laboratory testing media, and a range of specialised products.
New Zealand exported some bovine blood products to China prior to 2015, however formal access has now been negotiated providing more certainty.
Mr Guy made the announcement while visiting Proliant’s cattle blood product manufacturing plant in Feilding today.
Currently 16 premises have been registered by AQSIQ to export bovine blood products to China.
“This new access is a real bonus for the wider meat industry, the regions and our wider economy.”