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TARANAKI FARMER’S RECORD FINE FOR ILLEGAL DISCHARGE

TARANAKI FARMER’S RECORD FINE FOR ILLEGAL DISCHARGE

Taranaki dairy farmers has been handed the biggest fine for illegal wastewater discharges in the region’s history.

Rahotu dairy farmer Francis John Mullan was fined $66,000 in the Environment Court after he was found guilty of two charges of discharging effluent into groundwater and a stream on one of his eight farms. Mullan pleaded not guilty to the two charges but a jury returned a guilty verdict after a two and a half day trial in December.

According to a summary of facts in the case, Mullan has a history of non compliance for all eight of his dairy farms.

His offending dates back to 1999, including effluent flowing into a stream and ponding on pasture, and effluent ponds not managed properly.

Judge Colin Thompson said Mullan viewed himself "too important to be part of the rules and responsibilities that apply to the rest of the farming world" and ordered 90 per cent of the fine to go to the Taranaki Regional Council.

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HAWKE’S BAY COUNCIL GETS WASTEWATER CLEAN-UP ORDER

HAWKE’S BAY COUNCIL GETS WASTEWATER CLEAN-UP ORDER

The Central Hawke’s Bay District Council has been served with an abatement notice requiring it to take action to improve the quality of the discharge of wastewater from its Waipukurau and Waipawa treatment plants. The notice has been served by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and sets out clearly what the district council is expected to do to meet the required discharge standards from its treatment plants and the timeframe for its corrective action. The Regional Council says it wants the Hawke’s Bay District Council to fix the long-standing problem rather than deal with a formal court-based prosecution that would simply delay improvements that are already planned.

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GROUND BATTLE STARTS AGAINST ARTHUR’S PASS BLAZE

GROUND BATTLE STARTS AGAINST ARTHUR’S PASS BLAZE

Fire crews and a chainsaw gang are launching a ground attack on the massive blaze that’s already razed more than 300 hectares in the South Island hill country near Arthur’s pass. Crews from Auckland and Whangarei have now joined counterparts from Canterbury, the West Coast, Otago and Southland to help maintain control of the fire. Department of Conservation fire technical support officer Craig Alexander says the crews will be working toreach the heart of the blaze. However, Alexander says it could take weeks to extinguish the fire altogether.

Farmers are being advised to turn down the voltage on their electric fences to reduce the risk of fire. Hurunui District Council’s principal rural fire officer Allan Grigg says any sparks coming from electric fences are highly likely to start a fire. He says some farmers are running 12,000 volts or more through their faces when 3,000 would do the job. At the higher voltages, there’s more likelihood of a spark coming out and catching in tinder dry grass, he says, and he warns there’s also a risk of electric fences sparking to earth if they’re too close to earth fences.

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IRRIGATION NZ WANTS EASIER INVESTMENT TERMS

IRRIGATION NZ WANTS EASIER INVESTMENT TERMS

Irrigation lobbyists are planning to meet the Government to press for easier terms on funding or major projects.

Irrigation New Zealand chairwoman Nicky Hyslop says the organisation hopes to meet ministers in coming months to "broaden the terms of investment" for government-owned company Crown Irrigation Investments Limited.

Hylsop say Crown Irrigation’s terms of investment can be "tighter than what can be achieved by a bank" and changing the terms wouldn’t amount to a subsidy.

Major irrigations schemes produce benefits that go “well beyond the farm gate” and if farm owners only receive 60 percent of the scheme’s benefits, they should shoulder only a proportional share of the costs.

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FARMERS MISSING FUEL PRICE BENEFITS

FARMERS MISSING FUEL PRICE BENEFITS

Farmers aren’t getting the full benefit of the reduction in fuel prices.

The Road Transport Association says less than 6 or 7 per cent" of freight companies operated a fuel adjustment factor reflecting rises and falls in prices when they invoice farmers.

Since October, petrol and diesel prices have both fallen nearly 50 cents a litre after declining global oil prices led to a record run of 22 consecutive cuts at the pump

While large rural freight firms have already passed on lower fuel prices in their charges to farmers, many small players in the sector have not.

Beef + Lamb New Zealand economist Andrew Burtt, estimates farmers could be saving $4,000, or 27 per cent, on fuel that they bought for their own use in the year ending June 30, but Federated Farmers transport spokesman Ian Mackenzie says he expects the persistent decline in the cost of fuel to be reflected in other farm expenses, in particular for transport.

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FED FARMERS CRITICISE QUAD-BIKE LICENCE CALL

FED FARMERS CRITICISE QUAD-BIKE LICENCE CALL

Federated Farmers has criticized calls to license drivers of off-road quad bikes.

The call’s come from the Council of Trade Unions.

But Federated Farmers health and safety spokesperson Katie Milne says farm conditions can vary dramatically from day-to-day and doubts that a licence would improve quad bike safety.

She also points out that while five unlicensed quad bike riders were killed in off-road accidents each year, 47 licensed motorcycle riders die on the roads.

More total fire bans are being imposed across rural New Zealand as the areas rated as having an “extreme fire risk” continue to grow.

The bright red areas on the Rural Fire Authority’s map are at “extreme risk”.

Over the last 24 hours, bans and restrictions have been announced for the following areas.

Total fire bans have now been imposed in rural areas of Hawke’s Bay, Tararua District, and Palmerston North.

Taranaki is currently considering a fire ban, and a total fire ban will take effect in Whanganui on Wednesday.

And in the South Island, a total fire ban was declared at the weekend for the Catlines and northern parts of Southland, and a restricted fire season is now in force over the remainder of Southland.

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Country TV Announces Increase In Viewers

As of January 19th 2015, Country TV will be watched by an estimated 130,000 people, equating over 40,000 household subscriptions. This hike in viewers will allow an ever-increasing, comprehensive programming schedule to include more local, relevant content, targeting rural-minded individuals around New Zealand.

Accessed through SKY channel 081, Country TV is New Zealand’s only dedicated rural channel, supplying the nation with agribusiness, farming, equestrian and rural lifestyle television. Increasing viewership means a higher volume of up-to-date information about local and international agriculture, farming, gardening, and more – all brought to the homes of rural-loving Kiwis.

The increase in viewers will give Country TV a better idea of which shows are attracting who, an understanding that will open doors for new programs and partnerships to further accommodate the demands of the market. Country TV aims to communicate directly with rural residents and/or those involved in rural industries to better inform and entertain the communities they support, and long term goals include being a part of every such household in New Zealand.

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20150131

Edendale Crank-Up Weekend

Edendale Crank-Up Weekend

Edendale Recreational Grounds  (Southland)

We are the Edendale Vintage Machinery Club (Southland). We run our annual event this year on the weekend of January 31st / February 1st 2015. The themes for this year are Celebrating Steam in Southland and Commercial Vehicles Pre 1995. Our special guest this year is (Retired) Det Insp Graham Bell of Police Ten-7 fame.

This two day event has become one of the largest of it's type in New Zealand with plenty of machinery displays as well as food and craft stalls and entertainment for all ages.

More info: http://www.edendalevmc.com