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Govt funding for Hawke's Bay freshwater project

Environment Minister Amy Adams has announced funding of $80,000 for a Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project to develop clear criteria for assessing and identifying outstanding water bodies.

The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2014 defines outstanding freshwater bodies as those identified in a regional policy statement or plan as having outstanding values – including ecological, landscape, recreational and spiritual values.

However it doesn’t provide guidance on how those values should be assessed.

Amy Adams says this project will lead to better guidance for councils with less litigation and duplication as all councils can use the same criteria and assessment methodology.

The total cost of the project is $90,000, with Hawke’s Bay Regional Council contributing the remainder of the funding.

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Sheep rustlers in Cadrona Valley

Cardrona Valley farmers are being advised by police to check their stock, after a reported theft of sheep.

Senior Constable Sean Hurley told the Otago Daily Times yesterday investigations were just beginning and it was not yet known how many sheep were missing.

He says with pre-lambing shearing underway in the area a clearer idea of numbers will soon be known.
The investigation was likely to take several weeks.

In March, Wanaka farm manager Dean Thomas Herd was sentenced to two years and four months' prison after admitting 32 charges of stealing deer, sheep and other items worth $335,000 from Criffel Deer Ltd, Criffel Station, or West Wanaka Station, where he worked over seven years.

After the sentencing, Criffel Deer Farm co-owner Mike Garnham said he did not believe that Herd was acting alone.

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Dairy product prices hit two year low

It was a mixed bag of milk prices at the latest auction.

Overall prices at last night's GlobalDairyTrade event dropped again, by 0.6 percent, reaching the lowest level in two years.

It follows an 8.4 percent drop in the last auction, which saw prices hit their lowest level since October 2012.

An 8.9 drop was also recorded at the start of April.

Whole milk powder was up 3.4 percent in the latest auction - however that was offset by a 12 percent drop in skim milk powder and a 7.9 percent drop in cheddar.

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Commerce Commission questions Fonterra

The Commerce Commission is questioning Fonterra’s decision to pay farmers an adjusted price for the 2013/14 season that is less than the price than the milk price calculated under the companies Milk Price Manual.

In May this year, Fonterra announced a milk price consistent with the Manual of $8.95/kg of milk solids and its proposal to adjust that price downwards by 55 cents/kg of milk solids to $8.40/kg of milk solids.

In a draft decision on the move, the Commission says: at this stage, its overall finding is that the way Fonterra is calculating and applying its adjustment to the base milk price is not consistent with incentives for the company to operate efficiently.

The Commerce Commission’s Deputy Chair Sue Begg emphasised that the regime is only intended to monitor, not restrict, how Fonterra calculates the base milk price.

The Commission is seeking comments on its draft report by 1 September 2014. Its final report will be published by 15 September 2014.

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New Zealand's largest 1080 drop begins

The biggest 1080 poison drop in New Zealand history has begun with the Department of Conservation spreading preliminary bait in Fiordland’s Iris Burn Valley.

The department’s Battle for Birds programme will eventually drop poison across more than 600,000 hectares of conservation land, in a bid to protect endangered native birds.
DOC Fiordland conservation manager, Lindsay Watson, says this drop won’t be laced with poison so rats and possums get a taste for eating the bait.
The poisoned bait will be dropped in five days time.

Security is in place on the road to Te Anau airport, where the helicopter used to scatter the bait is located.

The $23 million programme will be carried out across many parts of the country, not just Fiordland.

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Ngai Tahu appeals ECan decision

Ngai Tahu Property’s development team is still working up the grounds for an appeal against an Environment Court decision that threatens the viability of its $400 million investment in a major North Canterbury dairy conversion.

In July, Ngai Tahu Farming was granted limited resource consent to irrigate about 7,000 hectares of its 8596ha Balmoral Forest farming conversion - a fifth of what it had asked for from Environment Canterbury (ECan).

The conversion attracted criticism when proposed because of the environmental impact on the nearby Hurunui River, and this had been taken into account when commissioners made their decision.

Opponents say the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus leached would exceed the Hurunui and Waiau River Regional Plan limits.

Ngai Tahu has since lodged an appeal with the Environment Court, but was unable to give specific details about the grounds for appeal yesterday.


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Gisborne A&P Show

Gisborne A&P Show

Gisborne Show Grounds  (Gisborne)

Show 2014 – the 139th – will be packed with all the attractions and entertainment for which it is renowned throughout New Zealand – all the equestrian showing, dressage, carriage (North Island championships) and jumping classes, speed shearing, shearing and wool classing, chopping, fencing, dog trialing, dancing , debating , cooking, fleeces, goats and sheep competitions, the popular Farmyard with its range of animals, reptiles and birds including poultry, the Grand Parade and entertaining main arena attractions on Saturday afternoon, and throughout the two days, 200 interesting trade exhibits and the biggest assortment of thrilling rides and sideshows from Mahons Amusements. Go to to become their “friend” and get all their latest details and special offers as they come to hand!

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