Friday Flash

November 17, 2017

From the Board…Chris Allen, Environment Spokesperson

There were plenty of farmers in the grand ballroom of Government House on Wednesday afternoon, including a Feds delegation (left), for the QEII Trust’s 40th anniversary bash and the launch of a new book describing how there are now 4,400 covenants up and down the land, protecting in perpetuity 180,000 hectares of bush, forest, dunes, wetlands and other special landscapes.
Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy, QEII Trust board chair James Guild and QEII chief executive Mike Jebson acknowledged that farmers were among the visionaries who launched the scheme in 1977, and continue that work, with the majority of covenants being on farmland. Federated Farmers important role in the establishment of the Trust was also acknowledged. That’s walking the talk on sustainability, and we can take considerable pride in that.
As Dame Patsy noted: “Covenanters have helped promote the ethos of kaitiakitanga of our precious flora and fauna – often at considerable personal cost – in terms of lost opportunities for economic return, and in the cost of measures they have put in place.” She spoke of unsung heroes – farmers among them. “Transformation of our landscape will be due to transformative thinking – and the work of our environmental heroes who are quietly getting on with the work of fencing off streams and forests, restoring wetlands, planting native species, eradicating pests and trapping predators.”

CPTPP agreement safeguards our export sector

Credit where it’s due: Federated Farmers this week congratulated Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and the coalition government for recognising the importance of free trade to New Zealand. Following a frenetic few days of negotiations at the APEC summit in Vietnam, the New Zealand Trade delegation succeeded in brokering agreement with 11 countries from the Asia-Pacific region to move the deal forward.
“Trade deals like this ensure we are on an equal footing globally, particularly with the likes of Australia and the European Union, while presenting us with immense opportunities as an exporting country, opening up the markets of Japan, Mexico, Peru and Canada,” Andrew Hoggard, Federated Farmers National Vice President, said.

Make your farm a fortress

The current mycoplasma bovis incursion reminds us of our biosecurity obligations as farmers. Another property was confirmed this week with the infection, while there are two more suspected cases in neighbouring properties. Investigation by MPI to find the source of the disease is continuing. At this stage, indications are the infection was spread by close animal contact. M. Bovis can also spread from the direct movement of stock. If you do have any Abs or vets visiting your farm, make sure they have foot baths. Farmers are advised to continue exercising stringent on-farm biosecurity measures, including keeping equipment clean, buffering fencing property boundaries and safely moving animals between properties.

There is a public meeting this Monday, November 20 from 6.30pm at the Morven Community Hall-Cnr of Barnetts and Maclean Street.

Fonterra commits to carbon dioxide reduction roadmap

Federated Farmers has backed Fonterra’s bold push to get to zero emissions of CO2 on the manufacturing side of the Co-operative, both in New Zealand and across its global network.
Achieving reductions in biological emissions will be much tougher, Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“The science we are attempting in a bid to reduce the methane produced in a ruminant’s stomach isn’t simple stuff, and there is no guarantee that we will be able to achieve these options. Even if we do, we still face hurdles in being able to prove it at the farm level for carbon accounting.” Read our full media statement, here.

Plate to Pasture Field Day

The Silver Fern Farms 2016 Plate to Pasture Award winners, Federated Farmers national executive member Chris Allen and his wife Anne-Marie Allen, are holding a field day on their Ashburton Forks property ‘Annadale’ on November 23.
They are great ambassadors for New Zealand’s natural, grass-fed red meat and farming and they’ll explain how they farm with the consumer in mind.The 2017 winners, the Grays from Hawke’s Bay, will also be there, along with Dean Hamilton and members of the Silver Fern Farms team. The field day starts at 10 am and finishes with a BBQ lunch.

Location: Annadale, 3856 Thompsons Track, Ashburton 7771. All welcome!

Time to acknowledge outstanding dairy women

Nominations are open for the 2018 Fonterra Dairy Woman on the Year and the Dairy Community Leadership Award. The process to nominate someone is very easy and takes no time to complete. Organisers are after some info on five key questions, including why you think your nominee should be the next DWOTY recipient and what are the qualities about your nominee that inspire you.

We know you’re humble, but now’s the time to celebrate! So, if you know a passionate, inspirational Kiwi woman who is helping to make dairying a better place, nominate them now.

On 21 November there will be a Live Facebook Chat with former Feds National Dairy Executive member Jessie Chan-Dorman, the 2017 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the process and to get to know Jessie better.

Feds looking for a new Commercial Manager

Federated Farmers is recruiting for a Commercial Manager to join its senior management team. The role involves developing profitable new revenue streams, identifying and commercialising ‘value add’ for Federated Farmers' members and increasing professional engagement to secure new commercial partners and look after our existing ones.

You’ll need a minimum of 5 years’ relevant commercial experience, with a proven track record of success. For a copy of the position description and an application form please contact Gillian Bright on email

Applications close 5 December

Economic week

Since Parliament resumed last week there has been a bit of political debate on how much the new government’s spending commitments will cost and what they will mean for the surplus and for debt. So far the picture is hazy but the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update, due out next month, should provide some welcome clarity writes Nick Clark

Otago pest plan meeting - input needed

The Otago Regional Council is reviewing the Otago Pest Plan and given that pest plants and animals are key issues for farmers, your input is regarded as crucial.

Federated Farmers is fully involved in all aspects of the review and will update members throughout the review process.

To give your own feedback, drop into one of the remaining ORC pop-in sessions detailed below, or head to this web page to leave your comments on-line.

Feds Senior Policy Advisor, Strategy & Regional, David Cooper, is happy to answer any questions - M: 027 475 5615, E:

When: Tuesday, November 21 from 4pm-7pm    Where: St John Meeting Rooms, 7 High Street

When: Wednesday, November 22 from 4pm-7pm    Where: Brydone Hotel, 115 Thames Street

Ngaruroro Water Conservation Order hearings

Federated Farmers urges members who are submitters on the Ngaruroro Water Conservation Order to check the hearing schedule, as it has been shifted forward since it was last released. Submitters are being heard from 16 November, and Federated Farmers is now scheduled to speak on 5 December. Members are invited to attend as audience when Federated Farmers presents evidence. There has been a surprise development with co-applicant Ngati Hori writing to the Regional Council saying that they do not support the WCO and that the application was made by two trustees, who did not consult with the other eight.

Kauri dieback in Thames Coromandel

Federated Farmers is preparing evidence and legal submissions under urgency to defend a mediated resolution with the Department of Conservation, the Waikato Regional Council and the Thames-Coromandel District Council in Environment Court. DoC sought rules for rigid cleaning and sterilising procedures every time any earthmoving occurred near kauri trees as a preventative for spreading the soil-borne kauri dieback disease. After a visit to a member’s farm, we were able to convince the parties that the procedures would be impossible to do on remote rural properties and ineffective when uncontrollable transfer was happening via livestock or wild animals. As a solution, Feds offered to instead promote voluntary methods so farmers could tailor their response to their properties’ needs, however this has not been accepted by the Court. We are in Court 27 November.

Horowhenua’s tastiest event is back

The second annual Horowhenua Taste Trail, a showcase of the district’s specialist food producers, including farm tours, happens on Saturday November 25.

The self-drive trail includes: Woodys Free Range Farm, Bagrie Dairy Farms,
Turks Poultry, Woodhaven Gardens, Levin Eels, Thoroughbread Foods, Tendertips Asparagus, Genoese Pesto and RJ's Licorice.

It’s suitable for all ages and draws in a lot of Wellingtonians – great for helping to bridge that urban-rural disconnect. More information and tickets, here.

OSPRI’s new one-stop-shop website

OSPRI has a new website, home to all NAIT and TBfree programme information, as well as a suite of new publications, resources and tools.

To ensure a smooth transition, will remain online for several weeks and until the new year. Have a look at

Rescue chopper is a lifeline in tough times

On Christmas Eve on a quiet country road in North Canterbury, 25 year old Scott Bamford came to, concussed and disoriented. He found himself lodged halfway out of the back window of his truck, his seatbelt ripped apart. He coughed and blood splattered on the glass next to him — his lung was ruptured and ribs fractured, he was gasping for air. There was glass, silage and oil everywhere and the engine of the truck was still running.

Thankfully, the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust’s Westpac rescue chopper was soon on its way. If the past is a guide, over the next 12 months at least 900 people will need that chopper to get them out of a tough spot – and plenty of them will be farmers in remote areas.

The Trust’s Christmas appeal is now on. Please consider helping.

High Country Stations of Tekapo

Potton & Burton has a Special Members’ Offer (10% discount and free delivery in New Zealand) on High Country Stations of Tekapo, by Mary Hobbs (retail Price $59.99). Author Mary Hobbs, a long-time resident of the Mackenzie Country, has unravelled the history of eight stations from around Lake Tekapo – Godley Peaks, Lilybank, Mt Gerald, Richmond, Mt Hay, Tekapo, Balmoral and Glenore. Beautifully illustrated with contemporary and historic photos, the book is a sister volume to Mary Hobb’s bestselling The High Country Stations of the Mackenzie (also available at 10% discount). To obtain the discounted price $49.49, please click on High Country Stations of Tekapo by Mary Hobbs and use the coupon code FEDFARM17 at the shopping cart.

Digital technologies converging on primary sector

Every year MobileTECH brings together over 300 technology leaders, developers, early adopters and major industry operators from throughout the primary sector. The theme for MobileTECH 2018 in Rotorua March 27-28, the sixth annual event, is “Innovation through Smart Data”. Artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT) and automation are creating new opportunities for the primary industry. The New Zealand IoT Alliance, in their ‘Accelerating a Connected New Zealand report’, estimates the economic benefit of IoT in NZ dairy farming is $448 million and another $72 million for horticulture. More here.

Mycoplasma Bovis public meeting

When:   Monday, November 20 from 6.30pm
Where: Morven Community Hall-cnr of Barnetts & Maclean Street

This meeting will provide the community with an update on the response including the latest detections, the testing programme, the de-population of the infected properties, transmissibility of the disease, how to protect farms etc. At the moment all evidence is that it’s still contained within this region and MPI focus is still on eliminating it. Farmers who have concerns about someone doing it tough can call the Mycoplasma bovis Farmer Support Line 027 444 9380 or their local Rural Support Trust on 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)...


Hamilton quiz night features Te Radar

The Rural Support Trust will be holding the first ever Waikato RST Quiz Night and Charity Auction on 1 December at Gordonton Hall, Hamilton. Doors open at 6:30pm, a light supper will also be provided. New Zealand comedian and television personality, Te Radar will be our guest MC for the evening. This event is open to all, so please encourage your friends and colleagues to make up a team and join in - not only a good excuse for a night out but also a great chance to catch up with others and all monies raised will go back into supporting our rural communities. Register your team: or 021 180 2995

Meat & fibre focus, Taranaki

Taranaki meat & fibre members are invited to hear about latest industry trends and policy issues at TET Stadium in Stratford, Wednesday November 22, from 6.30pm.

Guests and speakers include:
  • Digby Phillips from StockX Ltd -award winner in stock procurement and sale
  • Abigail Gough & Adric Ng from Vodafone- discussing rural connectivity and coverage in Taranaki
  • Lisa Harper (Federated Farmers Regional Policy Advisor )- water and stock exclusion – how this affects Taranaki farmers/Update on the NAIT review.
Coffee & nibbles provided.

RSVP to: Taranaki office for catering purposes, P: (06) 7573423, E:

Take Time Before You Sign

Are you a farm owner, sharemilker, contract milker or farm manager advertising or applying for a new position? Do you want to improve the relationship in an existing agreement?

Access the tools and information you’ll need to confidently build a successful relationship.

Hear from other farmers who follow a due diligence process and this event, hosted by DairyNZ and Federated Farmers.

When:   November 30, from 10am – 2pm
Where: Tet Staduim , Inglewood

Lunch provided

Registrations essential.

Protect our future – more influence, more certainty, more prepared

During November, DairyNZ is seeking farmer support for their proposal to join other primary sector groups in signing the Government Industry Agreement for Biosecurity Readiness and Response Deed (GIA).
DairyNZ believe becoming a GIA signatory would provide dairy farmers with more influence and certainty. By having more say in biosecurity decision-making, dairy farmers would get even more value from the levy money DairyNZ invest on their behalf, in biosecurity readiness and response activities.
Have your say now – consultation closes at noon on December 6 For more information and to complete an online submission, visit here


Ruffled feathers in chicken-free chicken spat

The poultry industry is crying foul over the way a new plant-based chicken product is being presented to consumers, NOTED reports. It's not the first - and won't be the last - legal stoush involving synthetic food producers trading on our long tradition of eating real meat.

Kate joins long Nuffield tradition

Nuffield scholar Kate Scott, from Bannockburn, said her research would involve looking at ways for agriculture in New Zealand to improve its environmental output and looking at the combination of technology and policy to help achieve that.