3 December 2019

In this issue

Mike's Blog

Where’s the plan New Zealand?

The Ports of Auckland debate is a prime example of the lack of nationwide coordinated planning.  It would seem that the Ports of Auckland just happened to locate itself where ships routinely stopped.  Was this really planned?

Read the full article here.  

Grower Support

Be safe: stop and think

Recent reports of an orchard fatality and a quad bike death serve as stark reminders of the need to stop and think about risk before undertaking jobs on orchards, vegetable gardens, and in packhouses.  

‘Let’s make December the month we get into the habit of stopping and thinking all year round,’ says Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman.  ‘We need to stop and think about our route to and from the job as well as whether we’ve all the tools to do the job safely, including if we have drinking water and sunscreen.  This is so we all get home safely.

‘I’d like to challenge everyone working in horticulture to get onboard with the idea of stopping and thinking.  That way, we might avoid having fatalities over Christmas and during the next few months, which are some of the busiest of the season.’ 
Click here to read WorkSafe tips

Future proofing vegetable growing in Pukekohe 

More than 50 people attended last week’s workshop for vegetable growing in Pukekohe. This workshop is the first in a series that will guide growers through the process of creating Farm Environment Plans (FEPs) using the NZGAP Environment Management System (EMS).

‘Growers, their advisers, fertiliser companies, and Auckland Council attended our first workshop,’ says HortNZ Sustainability and Extension Manager, Ailsa Robertson.  ‘It’s great to get everyone in the same room as a step towards getting everyone on the same page.  

‘Auckland Council is very supportive of the FEP approach.  They say that they would much rather work alongside industries like horticulture around land and water management, than sit in plan change hearings for months.’

Pukekohe Vegetable Growers’ Association Acting President, Kylie Faulkner says it was good to see such a great turnout at the first workshop.  

‘While demonstrating good management practice might feel daunting for some, I feel the NZGAP EMS approach will really help growers through the process and support us all on the journey.’    
Click here to read more

Measles Update

RSE workers coming to New Zealand from Samoa must now be vaccinated for measles.  This requirement is likely to delay visa processing.  Immigration New Zealand also requires RSE workers from Samoa to undergo a chest x-ray.  

The Samoan health system is currently unable to provide x-ray services due to managing measles.  As a result, workers who require a chest x-ray cannot come to New Zealand at the moment.  However, those with current x-rays can travel uninterrupted.

Possible impact

The situation is likely to reduce the number of Samoan RSE workers able to come to New Zealand this season.

Immigration New Zealand is recommending that growers ensure that RSE workers coming into New Zealand from any Pacific country are vaccinated.  Also, growers should put measures in place to be able to isolate any measle cases.  

We will continue to monitor the situation, try and ensure the Government’s response is well-thought-out and planned, and keep you informed.  
Click here for more info

In the media this week

Farmers Weekly: Growers told change needed now
The Gisborne Herald: Collaboration key - food producers urged to share their expertise
Newshub: Consumers asked to support vegetable growers devastated by Canterbury hailstorm
FreshPlaza: New Zealand's agriculture sectors come together to plan way forward with climate change mitigation
The Gisborne Herald: Pastoral care the key to success

Public notification of PC14: Shannon Farm, Ripponvale Road, Cromwell

The Central Otago District Council has notified changes to private Plan Change 14 (PC14) and is seeking public submissions by 5pm, Wednesday 18 December 2019. 

The notification relates to a zoning change to enable 160 rural lifestyle lots to be built on a 244ha block at 144 Ripponvale Road, Cromwell. HortNZ will lodge an industry submission in the best interests of growers.
Click here for full details of the plan change

Nominations for Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s first Local Advisory Committees 

Nominations are now open for Fire and Emergency New Zealand’s first Local Advisory Committees (LACs). 

LACs are being established on the West Coast, Northland, Tairāwhiti, Hawke’s Bay, Marlborough, Chatham Islands and Otago.  They are being set up to help Fire and Emergency better understand communities’ current and future risks and issues, so they can help communities prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. 
Click here for more info

Immigration New Zealand Webinar

Immigration New Zealand has put together a webinar to explain upcoming changes to employer-assisted temporary work visas. They cover the background to and detail of the changes that are taking place.

Methyl bromide update

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is reassessing the approval of methyl bromide.  
This reassessment is expected to be completed in early 2020.  
Read United Fresh's update here

Northland Regional Plan meeting on agrichemicals and spraying

Northland Regional Council is holding meetings to discuss the agrichemical rule in the proposed Northland Regional Plan (in appeal stage).  This rule specifically focuses on the requirement for agrichemical discharge not to have any impact beyond the boundary of a property.

•    10 December, 12pm in Whangarei  (venue TBC, likely Northland Regional Council) 
•    10 December, 3pm in Kerikeri at Seeka.

These meetings follow on from previous discussions on HortNZ’s appeal points on the agrichemical provisions, however, anyone is welcome.
Please contact Jordyn Landers for more info

AgChem workshops in 2020

Horticulture New Zealand and Vegetables New Zealand will be running workshops in the regions early next year to help growers understand the new Hazardous Substances rules that WorkSafe is introducing from 1 December 2019.  The rules are summarised below.  
  • Growers storing above the threshold limit will require a Hazardous Substance Location Certificate, which will be valid for three years.  
  • The Approved Handler Certificate (includes fuel and agrichemicals) cannot be renewed once it expires.  Note: if you hold a current Approved Handler Certificate, it stands until it expires.  Also, ensure that it covers HSNO Classes 6.1A & 6.1B.
  • New Qualified Loader Certificate, driven by the Environmental Protection Authority.  This is for people handling agrichemicals in the HSNO Classes 9.1A, 9.2A, 9.3A & 9.4A.  Note: about 90% of Agchems are Class 9.  
Please keep an eye on this newsletter for workshop details.  

The Horticulture Conference 2020
- Save the date!

The 2020 Horticulture Conference will be at Mystery Creek on 29-31 July. More details will be announced in the new year.
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