A trial project to recharge the Makauri aquifer near Gisborne and deliver an economic boost to the region has been officially started by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today.
“This aquifer is crucial to the local economy but water availability is a major issue. Lack of water is holding back the further development of arable and horticultural industries which would mean more jobs and exports,” says Mr Guy.
“The injection and monitoring phase of this project begins today with the pumping of high flow water from the Waipaoa River through the pilot bore into the Makauri Aquifer, which has had declining water levels for decades.
“This is another great example of how smart water storage projects can deliver economic and environmental benefits.
“The technology to recharge aquifers has been successfully used overseas and we are starting to invest in this in New Zealand, such as the Hinds/Hekeao MAR project in Mid-Canterbury.”
The Makauri MAR scheme will receive funding of up to $250,000 from the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Irrigation Acceleration Fund (IAF). It is also co-funded by the Gisborne District Council with $230,000 and has received $200,000 in funding from the Eastland Community Trust.
The Poverty Bay Flats comprises 18,000 hectares of New Zealand’s most productive horticulture land. There is currently 3,000 hectares of irrigated land on the Flats producing $160 million in regional GDP annually and employing 1100 people - about 10% of the Tairāwhiti workforce.
Increasing sustainable production through irrigation is one of the four key themes of the Gisborne/Tairawhiti Economic Action Plan.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has congratulated the National Fieldays Society for another successful event at Mystery Creek in Waikato.
“This year’s Fieldays was another success thanks to hard work from Peter Nation and his team, but also in part due to the positive outlook for the primary sector,” says Mr Guy.
“Many farmers and growers have dealt with some challenging past seasons, so it was great to feel a really positive mood across the many thousands who entered the gates. There’s a strong sense that many will be looking to use their extra forecast revenue to reinvest in their businesses.
“This will have flow on effects for the wider economy, and particularly for all those rural businesses that support the primary sector. That includes those offering direct support services, right through to those who operate general retail businesses in our regions,” says Mr Guy.
133,588 people came through the gates over the course of the Fieldays – this is the biggest number in the history of the four day event.
The Fieldays event kicked off on Tuesday night with an event celebrating the 1000th Sustainable Farming Fund project, and the launch of the Primary Sector Science Roadmap with Ministers Guy, Upston, and Goldsmith.
On Wednesday, Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett formally opened the Fieldays and Ministers Coleman and Guy opened the Rural Mental Health Hub and announced $500,000 in more funding for 20 rural health workshops.
A red meat showcase and BBQ cook off was held on Wednesday afternoon to demonstrate how the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) is helping create opportunities for the red meat sector.
On Thursday, Minister Guy spoke at the Innovation Awards breakfast and congratulated entrants for their ideas that will help drive growth in the primary sector.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) also released its Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) forecasting export receipts will increase over 9 percent to $41.6 billion in the year to June 2018.
“The Fieldays is the largest agribusiness exhibition in the Southern Hemisphere and is regarded internationally as a world class agribusiness expo,” says Mr Guy.
“There is now a large international delegation, including media, in attendance every year. The benefits of having our premium food, services, and agri-technology showcased and then broadcast around the globe is invaluable.
A wide range of Ministers and MPs attended the Fieldays including Acting Prime Minister Paula Bennett and Ministers Steven Joyce, Simon Bridges, Jonathan Coleman, Paul Goldsmith, Louise Upston, and David Bennett.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the primary sector is forecast for a bumper year ahead after some challenging past seasons of wet conditions, earthquakes, cyclones, and volatile global commodity prices.
Mr Guy’s comments come as the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) releases its latest Situation and Outlook for Primary Industries (SOPI) at the National Fieldays.
“MPI are forecasting that primary sector exports will grow to $41.6 billion in the year to June 2018 – this is an increase of 9.1 percent and would be the highest level ever,” says Mr Guy.
“Strong forestry and dairy prices, combined with increasing production of apples, wine, and kiwifruit have underpinned growth for the year ending June 2017.
“Dairy prices for most products are forecast to remain at or near current levels as global demand and supply rebalance, while high forestry prices will continue to encourage record harvest levels.
“Horticulture exports are also forecast to continue their strong growth across a range of wine, fruit, and vegetable products. Meat and wool exports are forecast to recover to $8.5 billion following an almost 10 percent fall in export values for the year ending June 2017,” says Mr Guy.
Mr Guy says that new market opportunities and diversification into higher value products such as chilled meat, retail ready products, and nutraceuticals will help to further increase the value of our primary sector exports.
“This week’s National Fieldays is a great showcase of the range of innovative and world-leading kiwi food producers who are really helping underpin the performance of our economy,” says Mr Guy.
“The Government will continue to back the sector and support our exporters on-farm, such as through the Primary Growth Partnership and the Sustainable Farming Fund.
“The Government is also supporting our exporters in-market by investing $134 million over the next four years to achieve the objectives in Trade Agenda 2030.
“This strategy provides more support to primary sector exporters to diversify, greater resource to government to tackling non-tariff barriers, and aims to have 90 percent of our goods exports covered by free trade agreements (FTAs) by 2030,” says Mr Guy.
Link to SOPI (June 2017) - http://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/18443
A proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture to make re-consenting existing marine farms more consistent and efficient has been released today by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith.
“The aquaculture industry is an important part of New Zealand’s diversified primary industry, earning $500 million a year and employing over 3000 people. This proposed National Environmental Standard for Marine Aquaculture is needed to increase certainty and industry confidence, improve biosecurity management and reduce compliance costs,” Mr Guy says.
“The problem this new environmental standard addresses is the bow wave of 750 nationwide marine farms, or about 64 per cent of the industry, coming up for reconsenting in the next seven years. This is compounded by each council having different processes and rules and these processes and rules being changed with plan updates. This new environmental standard will save marine farmers tens of millions of dollars in consent renewals and ensure a more consistent approach to regulation of the industry.”
“This new environmental standard for aquaculture is part of the Government’s plan for improving New Zealand’s resource management system by taking a more consistent national approach. It follows other national regulations for telecommunications, electricity transmission, contamination of soil, pest control, water metering, forestry and stock exclusion from waterways. These national regulations enable better environmental outcomes, greater certainty and less cost for industry,” Dr Smith says.
“The particular gains from this aquaculture environment standard are the consistent regulations for biosecurity, greater flexibility for changes of species and enabling most replacement consents to be processed by councils as non-notified restricted discretionary activities.
“We encourage the public, industry and iwi to consider these proposals and give feedback to help us get this single set of rules right.”
The final proposals will incorporate feedback from submissions and, if progressed, the National Environmental Standard would come into effect in 2018.
The Ministry for Primary Industries will host a series of public meetings and hui where people can learn more about the proposed standard and ask questions directly of those involved.
Further information, including the meeting schedule, the proposal, and on how to make a submission, is available at: http://www.mpi.govt.nz/news-and-resources/consultations/proposed-national-environmental-standard-for-marine-aquaculture/
Health Minister Jonathan Coleman and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have committed another joint funding boost to rural mental health.
The Ministers committed $500,000 for Rural Mental Wellness at the opening of the Fieldays Rural Health Hub earlier today.
It will go towards 20 workshops for rural health professionals treating people at risk of suicide, continued support for the rural Clinical Champions and Medical Director, as well as support aimed at younger rural workers.
“The Government recognises that rural life goes in cycles, and we want to support our rural communities through the ups and downs,” says Dr Coleman.
“The Rural Mental Wellness initiative is administered by Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand and Rural Support Trusts.
“It’s the right mix of further raising awareness of mental health issues within rural communities, coupled with practical help to improve the skills of the health professionals who work alongside the rural sector.
“This additional funding will help maintain the momentum and builds on the investment the Government has made in previous years.
“Cabinet will soon consider a new mental health strategy, which will take into account the needs of our rural communities.”
Minister Guy says farmers tend to be self-reliant and don’t always like asking for help.
“Farmers are really good at looking after the land, animals and machinery, but they aren’t traditionally as good at looking after themselves,” says Mr Guy.
“Due to its very nature, farming can be a very isolated occupation. Farmers often spend long hours on the farm, and aren’t easily able to socialise regularly with others compared to those who live in built-up areas.
“It’s important that farmers and their families know they aren’t alone if they need someone to talk to. There is a wide range of good advice and support from organisations like Rural Support Trusts, Farmstrong, and Dairy NZ.”
Notes to Editors:
Dr Coleman and Mr Guy have made a joint funding announcement for Rural Mental Wellness in 2016 and 2015.
At Fieldays 2015, the $500,000 was split between Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHÂNZ) and the Rural Support Trusts and was used for strengthening capabilities in the rural sector which included:Recruiting almost 80 new facilitators for the Rural Support Trusts; Ensuring most Rural Support Trusts have designated rural mental health coordinators; Providing mental health training to the facilitators and coordinators; Appointing 15 mental health clinical champions to help improve referral pathways and; Enabling RHÂNZ to deliver 42 suicide prevention workshops across rural New Zealand. Around 900 people attended and have been trained, including health professionals, police, social workers, and school counsellors.
In 2016 the funding was extended for another year. The second phase of the Rural Mental Wellness initiative was $600,000 and went towards:Ten more suicide prevention workshops in rural areas not yet covered; The development of a new workshop programme focused on managing suicidal patients in a rural setting; Funding the Medical Director; RHÂNZ starting work on a longer-term approach to improving rural mental health outcomes; Upskilling 0800 operators so they are better equipped to respond to distressed farmers and their families; Two coordinators (North Island and South Island) to work in partnership with Rural Support Trusts to strengthen referral networks; Ensure the majority of Rural Support Trusts have designated rural mental health coordinators and; Providing mental health training to the facilitators and coordinators.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Associate Minister Louise Upston have tonight celebrated the 1000th Sustainable Farming Fund project, and awarded two Emerging Leaders scholarships at an event kicking off National Fieldays.
“The Sustainable Farming Fund supports the primary sector’s own forward thinking and kiwi ingenuity - which in turn helps keeps New Zealand ahead of the game,” says Mr Guy.
“1000 projects have now been funded since the fund was initiated in 2000. This represents around $150 million in government funding alongside a significant level of sector support.
“The fund has supported projects as diverse as reducing nutrient run off on lowland farms, reducing use of antimicrobials when managing mastitis, and increasing the market share for New Zealand olive oil,” Mr Guy says.
Ms Upston says much of the success of the fund is due to its grass-roots nature.
“Each project brings together farmers, growers and foresters to work alongside scientists and researchers to solve a problem or seize an opportunity. The fund recognises that those closest to the problem or opportunity have a unique insight into how it could be addressed and how to best influence their peers’ behaviour.”
Alongside the announcement was the launch of a commemorative booklet which spotlights 33 projects from across all 17 years of the fund - available on the MPI website.
Ministers also announced the announced the winners of this year’s Emerging Primary Industries Leaders Scholarship - Julia Jones of KPMG and Jason Te Brake of Miraka.
“This scholarship recognises the importance of promoting strong leadership within the primary industries. It encourages those who have shown a commitment to the primary industries and have the potential to help guide the sector in the future,” Mr Guy says.
The winners will attend the Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp - a week-long programme held at Stanford University in California, USA. The boot camp is mainly for chief executives or people who hold senior governance roles within the primary sector.
Ms Upston says Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp is an opportunity for primary industry leaders to think about and test various ways to build the sector.
“For the scholarship recipients, the boot camp will be a unique chance to build networks with sector leaders and contribute to the future direction of New Zealand’s primary industries,” she says.
The Emerging Primary Industries Leaders Scholarship is now in its second year, and is supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), AGMARDT (the Agricultural and Marketing Research and Development Trust) and Te Hono.
Note for Editors
Biography of each winner:
Julia Jones is a farm enterprise specialist at KPMG.
In her role, she combines her practical knowledge of farming and business to help clients across the primary industries. In 2007, Julia completed an agriculture programme through Harvard Business School in China. In 2012, she graduated from the Agri Women’s Development Trust Escalator Governance programme.
Jason Te Brake is a key account manager at Miraka.
He is a chartered accountant and has held a range of finance and sales/marketing roles. In his current role, he has worked on brand and channel development, including being involved in the launch of Miraka’s first two consumer brands in New Zealand and offshore. For the last two years he has served as Chair of New Zealand Young Farmers.
Last year’s winners were Bruce Hunter from Landcorp New Zealand and Daniel Boulton from Sealord.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Science and Innovation Minister Paul Goldsmith have tonight launched the Primary Sector Science Roadmap at the National Fieldays.
Mr Guy says science will be a key driver in lifting overall primary sector exports to the target of $64 billion by 2025.
“From climate change, to changing consumer preferences, to a greater emphasis on issues like traceability and provenance, science and technology have an important role to play in ensuring our primary industries remain globally competitive,” says Mr Guy.
“This Roadmap will inform research conducted by New Zealand science and technology teams and organisations, along with their international partners.
“It provides a shared view across the primary sector on the science and technology needs for the sector – and where science investment needs to be focused. This document will guide the primary sector’s science direction for the next 10 to 20 years.
“I’d like to thank the many industry leaders, research organisations and individual scientists for all their valuable input into this document,” says Mr Guy.
“The creation of the Primary Sector Science Roadmap supports the Government’s overall strategy for the science system,” says Mr Goldsmith.
“The National Statement of Science Investment 2015-2025 sets out a vision for a highly dynamic science system that enriches New Zealand through excellent research that creates impact. The Government invested an estimated $428 million in primary sector research in 2016, while the industry carried out R&D worth $266 million.
“The Roadmap recognises the important role that the primary sector plays in our economy, and ensures the government, industry, and researchers are working collaboratively to achieve the best results for New Zealand through high quality science,” says Mr Goldsmith.
The Roadmap is aligned with the Conservation and Environment Science Roadmap and will be a guiding document for the strategic directions of the National Science Challenges.
Link to Roadmap – https://mpigovtnz.cwp.govt.nz/document-vault/18383
Minister of Civil Defence Nathan Guy has announced additional support of $14.4 million for Kaikōura’s earthquake recovery efforts today.
“This new funding will help repair essential infrastructure and recognises that Kaikōura has a small council and ratepayer base,” says Mr Guy.
“The region suffered around $20 million of damage to assets such as water pipes and bore holes after the earthquake. The Government will pay its share of 60 per cent of repair costs upfront by providing cash advances of up to $12 million to the council.
“This is a change from the normal practice whereby councils usually pay upfront for repairs after emergencies like this and then the Government reimburses 60 percent of the costs.
“A small council like Kaikōura District simply does not have the cash reserves to pay upfront so it makes sense for the Government to help out.
“On top of this, another $2.4 million has been set aside to help the council upgrade damaged infrastructure, rather than just replacing or repairing it.
“This betterment funding means the council can build in extra capacity and extra resilience, and even add new assets to take into account the changing needs of the community, the growing economy and the ongoing seismic risks.
“The extra support for Kaikōura is needed because this is the second smallest council in New Zealand. For example, every extra $57,000 the council has to spend on repairs would mean a one percent increase in rates.
“This support package will help future proof the vital infrastructure that the local communities depend on.”
Mr Guy has also confirmed that national level powers to coordinate and control the recovery efforts are no longer necessary and will end at 1pm today.
“The issues that may have required powers of national direction, such as the restoration of the roading and rail network, have either been resolved or are being dealt with through other mechanisms,” says Mr Guy.
“We have managed to achieve great cooperation without needing to use the powers, however they were always a useful backstop.”
While these national level powers lapse today, the Kaikoura District Council will today put in place a local transition period so that they have powers to continue the recovery effort.
The Government remains committed to supporting the recovery of the region.
A wide range of support has already gone to local councils in the region including:$2.5 million funding to support their additional statutory functions after the earthquake, such as building consents, planning and hazard management. $2.6 million to help Hurunui and Kaikōura districts repair waste facilities, recycle earthquake debris and manage hazardous waste. $5.72 million to restore the council owned Harbour. $2 million to cover Council debt on Kaikōura Health Centre $11.4 million towards the repair and emergency works of local roads.
A full summary of Government support for the wider region is available at
Outstanding contributions to Civil Defence Emergency Management have been recognised tonight by the Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy.
One gold and three silver Civil Defence Emergency Management (CDEM) awards were presented tonight at an event in Wellington, recognising outstanding contributions.
“Tonight’s recipients have served their country with superb skills and knowledge, and a genuine dedication to protect people’s lives and livelihoods,” says Mr Guy.
“They have made real sacrifices in order to serve their communities. They have helped to keep our communities safe and resilient, through planning, training, and education, and leadership. And in times of crisis, they step up and get stuck in.
“Emergency management is a cornerstone of New Zealand’s resilience to natural disasters. Tonight’s winners are a reflection of New Zealand’s strong community spirit, and amongst a sector already filled with exceptionally hardworking people, they set an excellent example for others to follow.”
The 2017 CDEM gold award is being presented to the Community Link Groups who are part of the Tairāwhiti CDEM Group.
“These Link Groups have set an excellent example on how to be prepared, take the right action at the right time, and to work as a community to look after each other.”
Silver award recipients are:David Scott who passed away unexpectedly in 2015 following a battle with cancer. This award is therefore made posthumously, recognising his generous and talented contributions as lead advisor for emergency communications for the Nelson/Tasman CDEM Group. Pat Dougherty for his outstanding contribution to Emergency Management over more than a decade, across a number of leadership roles. Rob Upton for his outstanding contribution to the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group over the past 25 years.
Tonight’s awards ceremony also recognised innovation in CDEM through the presentation of the Director’s Innovation Award. The award recognises exceptional innovation or creativity that has pushed the boundaries of current CDEM practice in New Zealand.
This year’s Innovation Award, presented by Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management Director Sarah Stuart-Black, went to Tauranga City Council and Tonkin + Taylor to mitigate tsunami risk for local communities.
The awards also saw the recognition of the dedication of a number of individuals for 20 and 30 years’ service to Civil Defence Emergency Management. Full details will be made available on the Civil Defence website (www.civildefence.govt.nz).
Civil Defence Minister Nathan Guy has released the terms of reference for a review to identify improvements in New Zealand’s response to natural disasters and other emergencies today.
“In light of recent events such as the November 14 earthquake and fires in Christchurch, now is the right time for a fresh look at the civil defence legislation,” says Mr Guy.
“We need to make sure our approach to emergency response is world class, and fit for purpose for the events that New Zealand is likely to face in the future. Some of our experience from recent events shows there are things we could work on and potentially do better.”
The review will be undertaken by a technical advisory group drawn from current and former senior officials, and chaired by former MP and Minister Roger Sowry.
“It’s very important we have political consensus on issues of emergency management. That’s why we have set up a cross parliamentary reference group to support the work of the advisory group, and provide views on any recommendations they may make. This group has now met and endorsed the terms of reference.
“I also want to acknowledge the many professionals and volunteers who play a role in responding to natural disasters and emergencies. This review is not a criticism of the huge contribution of those on the ground - instead it’s about looking to see where we can make the system better.
“The scope of the review emphasises that an emergency response needs to prioritise the needs of the community, preventing death, injury and property damage. That means having clear authority and chains of command, good information and communications, and the right capability.”
Anyone can comment on the issues raised in the terms of reference and the group will also be looking to engage directly with key stakeholders, including local government, emergency services, relevant government departments, and iwi and Māori.
An interim report will be provided to the Minister of Civil Defence in late August.
The terms of reference are available on the DPMC website http://www.dpmc.govt.nz/review-better-responses-natural-disasters-other-emergencies. Feedback can be sent to email@example.com
Technical Advisory Group membersRoger Sowry, as Chair; Benesia Smith MNZM, independent consultant; Malcolm Alexander, Chief Executive, Local Government New Zealand; Assistant Commissioner Mike Rusbatch, New Zealand Police; Deputy National Commander Kerry Gregory, New Zealand Fire Service; Major General Tim Gall, New Zealand Defence Force; Sarah Stuart-Black, Director, Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management.