Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today announced Government funding of $50,000 for the Bay of Plenty to look at economic growth opportunities through the use of water across the region.
The announcement was made at the Bay of Connections Forum today in Rotorua where a refreshed Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Economic Action Plan was launched.
“The Bay of Plenty region is blessed with the natural resource of water from its coastal and lake environments. It underpins economic growth opportunities across most of the key industries in the region – horticulture, forestry, agriculture and tourism,” Mr Bridges says.
The funding comes from the Ministry for Primary Industries Irrigation Acceleration Fund and has been matched by the Bay of Plenty Regional Council. It will enable the council to undertake a strategic water management study that could feed into a Water Management Plan for the region.
“This study will provide invaluable information to help ensure the region’s water is responsibly managed for the benefit of everybody in the area. It will help determine the need for water infrastructure, where it’s most needed and for what purpose,” Mr Guy says.
“Good water storage schemes are a foundation for responsible water management and communities become more resilient as a reliable water supply provides economic, environmental, cultural, recreational and social benefits.
“The study will help underpin the future direction of sustainable economic growth in the region. Without this work being done the opportunities for the best capture and use of fresh water in the region may not be fully recognised,” Mr Guy says.
The refreshed action plan reflects 46 completed or reassigned milestones and 38 new actions for the region. The region’s original action plan was launched in October 2015.
The action plan is regionally led and is supported by central government and represents a collaboration between local and central government, business and iwi.
The implementation of the plan is overseen by the Bay of Connections with the support from central government’s Regional Growth Programme. The programme aims to increase jobs, income and investment in regional New Zealand. More information can be found at: www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/sectors-industries/regions-cities/regional-growth-programme/bop
New regulations gazetted today will help revolutionise the way New Zealand’s commercial fisheries are managed and monitored, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
The regulations require the use of geospatial position reporting (GPR), e-logbooks, and cameras across the commercial fishing industry and are being rolled out from 1 October this year.
“Digital monitoring is going to revolutionise the way we make fisheries management decisions, and help ensure that we are protecting the sustainability of New Zealand’s fisheries. It will give us arguably the most transparent and accountable commercial fishery anywhere in the world,” says Mr Guy.
“This new technology will provide more accurate and up-to-date information allowing us to make quicker and better-informed management decisions.”
Digital monitoring replaces the paper-based catch and effort reporting system for commercial fishing, which was too inefficient. Fishers will be required to provide more detailed information in their reporting and all data will be integrated by MPI so that what is reported can be compared to the GPR data and camera footage.
“The reality of the industry has too often meant that what happens at sea has been out of sight. We expect this new system will act as a significant deterrent to illegal activity, as the information it captures can and will be used by MPI for prosecutions when the rules are broken.”
The first two stages of digital monitoring – GPR and catch reporting via new e-logbooks – will be brought in from 1 October this year, with cameras phased in to each fishery from 1 October 2018.
Trawl vessels 28 metres and over will be using the GPR and e-logbooks from 1 October, representing over 70 percent of the commercial catch volume. All other operators will have a 6 month period to install the new systems.
“This is the biggest change to the commercial fishing industry since the introduction of the Quota Management System, and I have instructed MPI to support the industry to achieve full implementation and compliance over a six-month period.
“By 1 April 2018 all fishing permit holders will be required to be fully compliant with the GPR and e-logbook systems.”
Digital monitoring is part of the Future of our Fisheries programme, which is strengthening the fisheries management system and making it fit-for-the future. The programme also includes ongoing policy work to help ensure sustainable fisheries.
This year’s Budget included a boost of $30.5 million in funding over the next four years to support these improvements.
More information on this new system and the Future of our Fisheries programme is available at www.mpi.govt.nz/futureofourfisheries.
Economic Development Minister Simon Bridges and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy have announced $17.7 million in funding over the next two years for the Regional Growth Programme as part of Budget 2017.
This is further to the $50 million announced by Prime Minster Bill English in Hawkes Bay today to help the most at-risk young people in regional New Zealand into sustained employment, a key part of the Government’s plan to support the regions.
Through the Programme, the Government is supporting regions to develop economic development action plans specific to their needs.
“New Zealand’s economy is made up of diverse regions, each with their own unique set of natural resources, infrastructure and people with their own ideas on how to lift their region’s social and economic potential,” Mr Bridges says.
“This new funding allows government to continue building its partnerships with the regions, building on the $44 million allocated for Regional Growth Initiatives as part of last year’s budget.
“When the regions do well, New Zealand does well and we are already seeing the fruits of success from the programme in areas like Northland and the Bay of Plenty,” Mr Bridges says.
Over the last three years, the Government has worked with ten regions to identify economic challenges and opportunities. Action plans have been launched for Northland, Bay of Plenty, Tairāwhiti/Gisborne, Manawatū-Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, and Southland.
Ministers co-launched a refreshed economic strategy with the Canterbury Mayoral Forum in Christchurch last month and tomorrow the West Coast Action Plan will be launched.
“The programme has already supported regions to focus on economic development with more confidence and ambition,” Mr Guy says.
“While improving economic performance can take time, those regions with Action Plans have already started to improve employment and investment. This funding will ensure this good progress continues.”
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.