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Seasonal labour a vital ingredient

11th January 2018

Research New Zealand recently conducted a survey reporting on the impacts of the RSE scheme, where it has directly enabled:

Water storage to improve water standards

18th January 2018

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...

Linking compliance to consumer expectations

9th February 2018

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...

Stormy weather and food supply

26th February 2018

CPTPP a real win for New Zealand

8th March 2018

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.

Where are the workers?

16th March 2018

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.

The balancing act of workplace relations

29th March 2018

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...

Partnership key to address labour shortages

13th April 2018

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.

Technology is not a magic bullet

27th April 2018

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.

Do we really need another fuel tax?

4th May 2018

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.

Maintaining trade rules essential

10th May 2018

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...

Know your food

1st June 2018

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.

Sustaining our environment – best products from the best country

6th June 2018

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...

Employment relations the new frontier

13th June 2018

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.

Good law-making missing on Regional Fuel Tax

22nd June 2018

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...

The impact of rising wages

2nd July 2018

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...

Join the campaign to Fix the Bill

9th July 2018

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...

Horticulture Conference is a must-attend

12th July 2018

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.

Horticulture New Zealand’s top five

19th July 2018

Next week, Horticulture New Zealand has its Annual General Meeting (AGM), where we will focus on our top five activities including:

Does complexity produce quality?

27th July 2018

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.

Time to act on food security

16th August 2018

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.

Climate change and rural confidence

7th September 2018

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.

Asian markets still open

18th September 2018

Guest Blog – Richard Palmer

Vegetable growing in Sri Lanka

5th October 2018

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.

Will increased compliance promote growth?

25th October 2018

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.

Water for all New Zealanders

2nd November 2018

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.

No workers, no fruit and veges

9th November 2018

There have been three recent announcements of interest to horticulture:

What’s the future for rural New Zealand?

22nd November 2018

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...

Employment law changes next year

29th November 2018

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.

The facts about nitrogen in horticulture

11th December 2018

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).

Plants need water too

17th January 2019

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.

Working together for healthy rivers and healthy food

1st February 2019

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.

Capital gains tax not right for New Zealand

8th February 2019

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...

Move to high wage economy needs to be better thought through

15th February 2019

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...

Tax and the impending death of small business

22nd February 2019

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.

Suffocation by taxation

28th February 2019

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.

Reform of Vocational Education

21st March 2019

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.

Climate change: Science vs politics

27th March 2019

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”.

Growing what consumers want

5th April 2019

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.

The future of apple picking

12th April 2019

A conference like no other – our food future

15th April 2019

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.

Putting the tomorrow in tomorrow’s schools

29th April 2019

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.

Business as usual won't achieve Zero Carbon

9th May 2019

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.

Innovating for the future

17th May 2019

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...

Sustainability

10th June 2019

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.