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DOC SAYS IT’S WINNING THE BATTLE FOR THE BIRDS

The Department of Conservation says its largest ever 1080 poisoning campaign to combat this year’s rat and stoat plague has successfully knocked down predator populations in key target areas.

Over the last four months, DOC has completed 25 aerial 1080 operations over about 550,000 hectares in its Battle for Our Birds programme to combat what it says is the worst rodent plague in 15 years.

Rat numbers reached extreme levels in some areas but early tracking results show rat populations crashing after the 1080 drops.

This graph shows the rat tracking results from eight of the big drop zones – the blue bar is before the drop, and the yellow bar after.

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LOCAL GOVT TIGHTLIPPED ON RUATANIWHA’S LATEST LEGAL DELAY

There’s been a tight-lipped reaction to the latest court decision on the $250 million Ruataniwha dam and irrigation project from its major backers in the Hawke’s Bay.

Neither the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council nor its regional investment company have made any substantive comment on the Court decision requiring further consideration of the project by a special Board of Inquiry.

The regional investment company made no comment on the decision, while the Council chairman Fenton Wilson released a statement welcoming it.

The statement says the decision maintains the consents granted by the Board of Inquiry earlier this year, but requires the Board of Inquiry to reconsider a single rule, and to apply the most recent version of the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management in its review.

Fenton Wilson’s statement says: “given the matter is being referred back to the Board of Inquiry no further comment would be made out of respect for the ongoing judicial process.”

However, the Ruataniwha project is expected to be discussed by the Hawke’s Bay regional council at its last meeting of the year later this week.

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CORONERS ISSUE SIGNIFICANT FARM SAFETY FINDINGS

Two coroner’s findings with implications for farm safety have been issued this week.

Christchurch coroner Richard McElrea has released his findings in to the deaths of Stewart Bath and George Lewis Williams, who both died after their tractors crashed on farms.Coroner McElrea said in both instances, the men were not wearing the lap-belts fitted in their tractors. Coroner McElrea recommended WorkSafe New Zealand highlight the importance of wearing a lap-belt while operating a tractor to the relevant sectors.

Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar has released his findings into the death last year of 2-year-old Charlie Aaron Unwin, who was found by his mother in a farm trench that contained household rubbish and rainwater.

The trench had been created by Falcon Farms Limited.

WorkSafe New Zealand advised the coroner that the employer’s duty was to make the employee safe, and not others - including family of an employee.

WorkSafe said an improvement notice was issued to Falcon Farms but there was insufficient evidence to support any further action.

In his findings, Coroner Crerar noted it seemed strange that Health and Safety in Employment regulation created an obligation on an employer to provide a safe work environment for an employee, but not to others within the workplace.

He says there should be a greater obligation on an employer to protect persons other than employees who are on site for legitimate and appropriate reasons - such as the family of an employee required to live on site – than there would be for visitors or trespassers.

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WAIKATO COUNCIL ALTERS DAIRY EFFLUENT MANAGEMENT RULES

The Waikato Regional Council is changing its approach to the enforcement of its dairy effluent management rules.

Following protests from farmers, it will stop helicopter monitoring flights and unannounced inspections of farms in return for a commitment from the region’s dairy industry to collaborate in the effort to improve compliance. The collaboration includes the development of a warrant of fitness for farm irrigation systems

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FONTERRA SHAREHOLDERS APPROVE NEW “MYMILK” POLICY – WITH SOME RIDERS

Fonterra’s Shareholders Council has given its broad support to the co-op’s plans to start sourcing milk from South Island suppliers who aren’t shareholders.

But they’ve added a couple of important qualifications.

Shareholders’ Council chairman Ian Brown says they want to see the new suppliers as “fully shared-up Fonterra farmers” when their first five year contracts end.

And second, they want to see the level of milk collected from non-shareholder suppliers held at a very small level of the total – 5 percent - through the new Fonterra “mymilk” sourcing operation.

New Zealand farmers currently supply 16 billion of the 22 billion litres of milk Fonterra processes annually. The big co-op also sources milk from suppliers in Australia, Chile, Brazil, Sri Lanka and North America, and its own milk from farms in China.

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SILVER FERN FARMS FACES $3 MILLION REDUNDANCY BILL

Silver Fern Farms is facing a bill of up to $3 million for redundancy payments after a new ruling by the Employment Relations Authority.

The Meatworkers Union took Silver Fern to the ERA after it laid off 180 staff at Silverstream when no lambs were offered for processing during their usual working season.

Silver Fern argued the workers were on an“extended “seasonal layoff and didn’t need to be paid redundancy.

The Employment Relations Authority disagreed and found that the workers’ usual seasonal employment was made unavailable because their positions were superfluous to their employers’ needs.

Therefore, they were made redundant.

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Country TV announces Line 7 as new theme night sponsor

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Country TV, New Zealand’s only dedicated rural television channel, recently announced that Line 7, a brand that has grown to become a Kiwi icon in the retail lifestyle, agricultural and marine clothing markets, has been named an official theme night sponsor for the Monday Night Lifestyle evenings.

“We are pleased that Line 7 will now be a part of the CountryTV line up,” said Helen Ryan, GM Programming, Acquisitions, News & Current Affairs. “Line 7 has a reputation for manufacturing quality wet weather clothing, and using the design expertise and technical knowledge gained in the sailing market, they have diversified to a wider range of industries including the Agricultural sector.”

Under terms of the agreement, Line 7 becomes the sponsor of a theme night that like their clothing range, is diverse, covering programming from gardening to cooking, machinery, to families stuck on sheep mountain. The night will be named “Line 7 Lifestyle Monday’s”.

As part of the sponsorship, the Line 7 range will be worn by ‘The Daily Report’ and ‘Point of View’ presenters, Mark Leishman, Philip Duncan, Vanessa Veart-Smith and David Beatson. Within the Agri-Business Country TV flagship programs, the presenters at CountryTV are excited to be looking sharp on screen.

CountryTV is the only dedicated rural television channel in New Zealand. A specialty channel on the SKY TV platform, CountryTV can be found on channel 081. Delivering subscribers fantastic programming from local and international, covering Agribusiness, Farming, Lifestyle, Equestrian, Rural Sports and much more. For more information go to: www.countrytv.co.nz

 

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20141223

Tauranga Farmers' Market

Tauranga Farmers' Market

Tauranga Primary School  (Tauranga)

A festive twilight farmers' market located at Tauranga Primary School between Arundel Street, Cameron Road and 5th Avenue.

More info: http://www.taurangafarmersmarket.co.nz/