Research New Zealand recently conducted a survey reporting on the impacts of the RSE scheme, where it has directly enabled:
Environment Minister David Parker has announced that preliminary work has begun to create a new freshwater policy for New Zealand, building on the previous Government’s work. He is quoted in media as saying: “I think [most] New Zealanders share an objective that their waterways should be clean enough to swim...
The way to grow a primary sector business is to provide the consumers of our food with what they want. But in recent years, the focus has been forced away from consumers and onto compliance. This creates the risk that having to put so much focus on compliance might take...
Once you strip away all the figures, data, and modelling, there remains one essential fact: free trade deals generate incredible wealth for those who are party to them. In reality, free trade agreements have two main benefits besides tariff reductions.
A question many industries in New Zealand are asking is “where are the workers?” While robotics and artificial intelligence are being touted to replace workers in many industries, this isn’t going to happen en masse anytime soon.
There has been significant maturing on New Zealand’s labour law in recent years. The current legislation set about to achieve a greater degree of co-operation, trust, and fairness between employers and employees in the workplace. This seems to have worked, as there have been relatively few employment disputes that ended...
All New Zealand industries are currently experiencing a shortage of workers. In some areas, particularly in the South Island, there are very few unemployed, and in some cases less than 50 for a whole regional district.
New Zealand unemployment is currently at its lowest level since 2008. In some areas of the country there are very few people available for work, down to double digits, and this looks like it will continue for some time.
Reducing congestion on our main roads and making roads safer is something we all want. How we make that happen is the hard question. A simple solution would be less cars on the road, but that isn’t going to happen anytime soon.
New Zealand relies on trade for its economic survival. Without trade New Zealand would be a very different and a much poorer country. Successive New Zealand Governments have successfully worked to open up trading opportunities throughout the world and this continues today, with the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific...
Consumer trend reports show that when consumers are asked to pay a premium price for their food, those consumers want to know why it’s worth it; namely, where and how that food was grown. But New Zealand law hasn’t quite caught up with this.
On World Environment Day, 5 June, Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor launched a primary sector action plan for water quality. This is the rural sector’s commitment to environmental sustainability. It not only reports on progress to date - click here for an example of what individual...
This Government has launched reviews of education and tax, plus it has created a new Climate Change Commission. It has also announced a shake-up of workplace laws. The education review is timely. More work on climate change is inevitable.
The Government plans to implement, in conjunction with the Auckland Council, a fuel tax for Auckland on 1 July 2018. On behalf of our growers, HortNZ has submitted to the Parliamentary Select Committee considering the Land Transport Management (Regional Fuel Tax) Amendment Bill, written to Ministers, met with Ministers, met...
New Zealand’s economy is in good shape and growing. In the past, when the economy is growing, workers have gone after wage increases. The flow-on effect of this is that businesses put up their prices, inflation increases, the exchange rate increases making exports less profitable, and the Reserve Bank tightens...
Two Bills before Parliament will radically change how employment law operates in New Zealand. Both Bills are designed to increase the influence of unions and to change how the workforce interacts with employers. Horticulture New Zealand has recommended that neither of these Bills be made law and has made submissions...
The Horticulture Conference will be held at the Air Force Museum in Christchurch from 23 to 25 July. The theme this year is ‘Our Food Story’, with the sessions tracing that story from the commercial vegetable gardens and fruit orchards, all the way through to the consumer.
Next week, Horticulture New Zealand has its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where we will focus on our top five activities including:
A constant concern of all businesses, whether urban or rural based, is that running their business is becoming increasingly harder as profit margins become tighter. Complicated business processes and regulations do not necessarily produce the high quality produce that consumers demand.
It’s time to act on food security New Zealand. We cannot take for granted that our fruit and vegetable growers can continue to feed New Zealand, as well as generate increasing export returns to benefit the economy.
There has been a lot of talk in the media and in boardrooms about a drop in business confidence. This is also a hot topic in the rural sector, with some of the employment law changes causing concerns about the ongoing financial viability of businesses, and economic growth stalling.
Guest Blog – Richard Palmer
Seeing another country’s vegetable growing industry first hand is not only fascinating, but it gives a point for comparison with our industry in New Zealand.
The simple answer is, that depends on what the requirements are. First some facts. Over the past compliance for growers exponentially increased. A few examples include requirements under the Food Act, an avalanche of environmental requirements, and consents required for changing the types of vegetables that are grown.
An important issue facing New Zealanders is water – both availability and quality. Across rural New Zealand there are thousands of schemes and initiatives focused on water. This is unsurprising as humans, animals and plants need water to survive.
There have been three recent announcements of interest to horticulture:
My job takes me around the country, talking to people who are the backbone of New Zealand. They are worried and feel deserted by urban New Zealand. If you are a grower who feeds New Zealanders by producing fresh, healthy, locally grown vegetables or fruit, you can be forgiven for...
The Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill had its second reading in Parliament on Tuesday. Some key changes from its original form were identified in response to issues raised by businesses. It’s likely that this law will come into force from May next year.
Stuff recently gave space to an opinion piece from Glen Herud, a dairy farmer, which had a number of inaccurate references to the use of nitrogen in horticulture and horticulture practices in general (Stuff, December 4, 2018).
Horticulture New Zealand submits to councils from one end of New Zealand to the other to get water allocated for plants that grow healthy food. You would think that it is self-evident that plants need water not only for survival, but to be productive and to produce top quality, healthy food.
We can have both healthy rivers and healthy food. All that is required is for us to work together as one country and face up to the fact that we are going to need to store water for use during dry periods.
The report from the tax working group, including the merits or otherwise for a capital gains tax, has been made available to Government, and is due for public release later this month. As the tax working group did its work, Horticulture New Zealand, along with all the other primary sector...
Successive governments have deployed policies to transform the New Zealand economy. One transformational policy is to turn New Zealand into a high wage economy. Those that adhere to this policy, and advise these governments, seem to have adopted what, I believe, is the pure economic fallacy that driving up wages...
The saying goes: “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes”. The Tax Working Group report has been made public and it appears to be true: more taxes and the impending death of New Zealand’s small businesses.
We are currently analysing the final report of the Tax Working Group (TWG), and offering our views on what has been recommended. It seems there may have been a significant opportunity missed; taxing air.
Learner numbers are dropping. This has seen the polytechnic sector turn from a once breakeven operation into one now making a loss, with the only exception being where there is significant external non-governmental funding.
Worldwide, there are protests demanding action on climate change and in New Zealand, the report of our Interim Climate Change Committee is soon to be released. At the same time, there are countries around the world getting “cold feet”.
The days of the standard New Zealand evening meal being meat and three vegetables are changing. Research from IBISWorld reports that sales of vegan food products “have soared” over the past five years in New Zealand. This represents a shift in consumer preferences to healthier eating.
Horticulture’s growth is underpinned by innovation and grower know-how. This isn’t limited to growing techniques, but also a rapidly increasing use of technology. Want to learn more? Well, come along to the Horticulture Conference at Mystery Creek on 31 July to 2 August and find out.
Following extensive consultation in 2018, a government appointed taskforce put together a comprehensive report called ‘Our Schooling Futures: Stronger Together’. This report makes many excellent recommendations, which will hopefully result in a number of far-reaching changes.
The Zero Carbon Bill was introduced into Parliament on Wednesday, May 8, and as the Prime Minister has said, it provides certainty to business (particularly the primary sector), and acts as a plan for the next 30 years.
There are many challenges facing primary production, and the only way that these challenges are going to be conquered is by researching new technologies, and new ways of growing and farming. Whatever climate change targets are set, whatever environmental standards are set, and whatever programmes are put in place to...
Last week the Ballance Farm Environment Sustainability national awards ceremony were held in Hamilton and amongst the regional finalists competing for the national title there was a very successful and comprehensively sustainable horticulture business from Whangarei.