Primary Industries Ministers Nathan Guy and Jo Goodhew have welcomed Fonterra's announcement that it will be investing $240 million to build a new mozzarella plant at its Clandeboye site in South Canterbury, driven in part by the success of the Primary Growth Partnership (PGP).
"This will be the ingle largest foodservice investment in the history of New Zealand's dairy industry, and comes thanks to the success of the Transforming the Dairy Value Chain PGP programme," says Mr Guy.
“This has developed world-leading technology that can produce natural individual quick frozen mozzarella in six hours, a process that traditionally took three months. This has given Fonterra the confidence to invest in a new plant, in addition to the $72 million expansion in 2013.
"This is another success story for the Primary Growth Partnership and for innovation in the primary sector.”
Associate Primary Industries Minister and MP for Rangitata, Jo Goodhew, says the investment will be a major boost for the regional economy.
“I went to school next door to the Clandeboye factory, which is now the education centre for the expanded site, so I know how important Clandeboye is to the local community,” says Mrs Goodhew.
"All of this investment and innovation is creating new jobs in South Canterbury, scaling up production and contributing to the region's economy.
"This is a prime example of the benefits that come from the government and industry working together to support research and development."
Transforming the Dairy Value Chain is a $170 million PGP programme co-funded by industry and the Ministry for Primary Industries. It is helping to create new dairy products, increase on-farm productivity, reduce environmental impacts, and improve agricultural education.
The potato industry has become the thirteenth industry partner to join the Government Industry Agreement (GIA) biosecurity partnership, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has announced today.
“It’s very pleasing to have Potatoes New Zealand working with the Ministry for Primary Industries and other industry partners on biosecurity,” says Mr Guy.
“It means we can work together on managing and responding to the most important risks like tomato- potato psyllid.
“I want to thank the potato growers for joining GIA. It shows they want to work collaboratively with MPI on biosecurity preparedness and responses.
“As the recent Biosecurity 2025 Direction Statement outlines, biosecurity is a shared responsibility. It needs everyone working together sharing their expertise and experience.”
The signing of the agreement was attended by Mr Guy at a potato farm near Levin this morning.
The potato industry is worth $142 million at the farm gate and is a staple grocery item, generating $500 million across the value chain.
They join Vegetables NZ, TomatoesNZ, Kiwifruit Vine Health, Pipfruit New Zealand, New Zealand Pork, New Zealand Equine Health Association, Onions New Zealand, the Forestry Owners Association, The New Zealand Avocado Growers’ Association, New Zealand Citrus Growers Incorporated and the Ministry for Primary Industries under GIA.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed certification of several orange roughy fisheries by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
“This is a great success and recognition for a fishery that was in real trouble in the early 1990s,” says Mr Guy.
“A huge amount of work has gone into rebuilding this fishery over the years by industry and successive Governments. To now have it recognised as sustainable by an independent, international body is worth celebrating.”
MSC is an international non-profit organisation which recognises and rewards sustainable fishing practices around the world. The certification follows two years of review and assessment by an independent team of experts.
Orange roughy is a deepwater species with the key fisheries in the Chatham Rise and to the north west of the South Island. In 2015 it was estimated to generate export earnings of more than $53 million with the US being an important market.
“In the early days of this fishery there was over-fishing which led to greatly reduced catch limits. Since then scientific research has given us better information and new fisheries technology has helped this fishery to rebuild.
“Many international markets are now demanding MSC certification as a baseline requirement, so to have this for such a valuable export fish stock is extremely important.
“It shows the QMS is flexible and effective, and helps support the global reputation of New Zealand as being committed to developing sustainable fisheries.”
Further information on the MSC certification of orange roughy can found on their website: https://fisheries.msc.org/en/fisheries/new-zealand-orange-roughy/@@view
Other New Zealand species are certified by the MSC are hoki, hake, ling, southern blue whiting and albacore troll.
New case studies on top performing dairy farms will help other farmers drive their economic and environmental performance, says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.
The studies are part of the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Farm Systems Change programme, which is looking at ways to help farmers boost performance by learning from the strongest performers.
“Last year the Government allocated $800,000 towards this project which is focused on understanding the drivers of farm performance and sharing that knowledge with others.
“A key focus in these case studies is how high performing farms keep their working expenses well below $4 per kilogram of milk solids. This includes the availability of feed, how efficiently it’s turned into milk solids, and how much is wasted.
“Animal health is another area of focus in the case studies. Well cared for cows are more productive and leads to fewer cows required to produce a given quantity of milk solids.
“Another common theme across the case studies is finding ways to increase resilience through ‘weatherproofing’ production, such as changing feed types and improved pasture and irrigation management.”
The first set of case studies were released tonight at the 2016 DairyNZ Environment Leaders Forum and more will be released in 2017.
“Thank you to all the farmers involved who have been willing to share their experiences and knowledge through this project.
“This is one of a number of ways we are working with industry towards our goal of doubling the value of primary sector exports by 2025.”
The case studies are available at: https://www.mpi.govt.nz/growing-and-producing/dairy-animals/farm-systems-change/
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Amendment Bill passing its third reading in Parliament last night.
“Horticulture is now New Zealand’s fourth largest export industry and this bill provides an improved framework for producers and exporters to collaborate in marketing their products,” says Mr Guy.
“The changes provide more clarity around the entry and exit requirements, and more efficient methods for the Authority to collect fees and levies from producers and exporters.
“Growers and exporters of horticultural products like avocados, summerfruit and buttercup squash will be able to better target their marketing strategies to different markets.
“It’s about choice and empowering industries to optimise their returns from different markets.
“The global market has changed a lot since 1987 and these changes have been made following consultation with the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority and the nine product groups which use this export framework.
“Horticulture is a star performer of the New Zealand economy with export revenue just under $5 billion, and a goal of becoming a $10 billion industry by 2020.
“It’s very fitting for this bill to be passed just a week after Horticulture New Zealand celebrated 100 years of representing growers, starting as the New Zealand Fruitgrowers Federation in 1916.
“I want to thank the members of the Primary Production Select Committee for their work on this bill, and the good suggestions made by industry as it has made its way through Parliament.”
Acting ACC Minister Nathan Guy today confirmed the ACC levy rates for the 2017/18 and 2018/19 years.
“There will be reductions totalling $126.2 million per annum to work and motor vehicle levies, while the earners’ levy will remain unchanged,” says Mr Guy.
“These reductions follow over $2 billion of ACC levy cuts made under this Government since 2012.
“The cuts have been made possible by the improved financial management of ACC under our watch, which has seen significant improvement in the funding position of all the levied accounts.”
Today’s announcement means that:the average work levy paid by employers and self-employed people will reduce from 80 cents to 72 cents per $100 of liable earnings, a reduction of 10 per cent the average motor vehicle levy, which includes the annual licence levy and petrol levy, will reduce from $130.26 to $113.94, a reduction of 12.5 per cent the petrol levy will reduce from 6.9 cents to 6 cents per litre, a reduction of 13 per cent.
“The Government has decided not to implement ACC’s recommended four cent increase to the earners’ levy, paid by everyone in the paid workforce to cover out-of-work injuries,” says Mr Guy.
“This is because the earners’ account’s current funds are sufficient to meet its liabilities at this point in time.
“Keeping the earners’ levy at the current rate for a further two years means it would not be necessary to reset levy collection systems for what would be a very small increase. This decision is consistent with the principles of financial responsibility set out in the Accident Compensation Act 2001, which require ACC’s accounts to meet lifetime claims costs whilst avoiding large changes in levies.”
Other changes confirmed today include updates to vehicle risk ratings which determine licence levies, based on recent crash data, and a reduction to the annual licence levy for electric vehicles.
“The change to the electric vehicle levy is an interim measure which supports the Government’s programme encouraging people to make the switch to electric vehicles, and allows further work to be done on how the ACC levy system accommodates new vehicle technologies,” says Mr Guy.
Annual licence levies for motorcycles will remain at current levels, but motorcyclists will benefit from the reduced petrol level. The motorcycle safety levy will also remain unchanged.
Under the new biennial approach to levy setting, levy rates announced today will apply for a two year period, with reduced work levies taking effect from 1 April 2017, and reduced motor vehicle levies from 1 July 2017.
“These cuts are further evidence that the ACC scheme is in good financial health, and well placed to meet the ongoing injury-related needs of New Zealanders,” says Mr Guy.
Levy reductions by account
Work Account levies - $69.6 million
Motor Vehicle Account levies - $56.6 million
View Cabinet Paper 2017-18 and 2018-19 ACC Levies here
View Cabinet Minute 2017-18 and 2018-19 ACC Levies here
View Regulatory Impact Statement ACC levies for 2017/18 and 2018/19 here
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has welcomed an investment of $165,000 from Crown Irrigation Investments to scope irrigation scheme options in Northland.
“This is great news for a region that has suffered numerous droughts over the years,” says Mr Guy.
“Storing water means we can use it in dry spells, giving farmers and growers certainty and a real boost to the local economy.”
Northland Regional Council are also investing in the study which will focus on potential irrigation options in the mid North and Kaipara areas.
“Agriculture and horticulture play a major part in Northland’s economy. Last year the Ministry for Primary Industries contributed $75,000 towards a report examining the potential of irrigation in Northland and this is another important step forward.
“The report identified that with a reliable water supply, Northland has a natural advantage for high-value horticulture as the climate allows the growth of sub-tropical fruit.
“We know that any increase in horticulture generates a major increase in employment because of the high amount of labour per hectare required.”
The potential of irrigation and water storage is highlighted in the Tai Tokerau Northland Economic Action Plan which was launched in February this year.
“So far there has only been limited irrigation development in the region. As a Government we are strong supporters of irrigation and water storage because it can be a major boost to regional development, creating jobs and exports.
“A recent report by NZIER found that irrigation contributes $2.2 billion to the national economy and this has the potential to grow even further.
“Modern irrigation infrastructure also has the potential to improve the environmental, social and recreational outcomes from the use and management of our water, within a strong regulatory framework.”
Crown Irrigation Investments provides both development funding and construction capital to irrigation schemes across New Zealand.
A long-term plan for the future management of New Zealand’s most valuable snapper fishery has been accepted by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy today.
“The Snapper 1 Management Plan is the result of more than two years hard work by the SNA1 Strategy Group, which is made up of members from the customary, recreational and commercial fishing sectors,” says Mr Guy.
“This fishery includes Bay of Plenty, the Hauraki Gulf and the eastern coast of Northland and is one of our most iconic inshore fisheries. It’s pleasing to have a range of perspectives sitting around the table and coming up with a long term plan for maximising the benefits for everyone.”
A draft plan was released in September this year and went out for public discussion, including public meetings and hui.
The final report has a strong focus on improving fishing practices, minimising waste and gathering accurate information. The recommendations include:Aiming to achieve a biomass target of 40 per cent of the unfished state by 2040, with an aim of 30 per cent by 2025 A review conducted by 2021 with updated stock information Educate all fishers on ways to avoid juvenile fish and increase survival rates of snapper released Close monitoring including analysis of catch levels by all sectors.
“I want to thank the members of this group for working constructively on this plan. It is the first time a joint approach like this has been taken by the users of this important fishery.”
The group was chaired by Sir Ian Barker QC with three members each from the commercial, recreational and customary sectors. Officials from MPI and NIWA scientists also supported the group.
“Establishing this SNA1 Strategy Group was an important part of the changes I announced in 2013 to continue the rebuild of the Snapper 1 stock for future generations.
“The aim is for this report to be a living document so that people can continue to input and give feedback. An advisory group with representatives from all sectors will continue the group’s work.”
A full copy of the report is available at http://www.mpi.govt.nz/document-vault/13801
The release of a proposed new spatial plan for the Hauraki Gulf Marine Park has been welcomed by Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy and Conservation Minister Maggie Barry.
The Sea Change/Tai Timu Tai Pari marine spatial plan, designed to secure a healthy, productive and sustainable future for the Hauraki Gulf, is the result of three years’ work by the Sea Change group, representing mana whenua, councils, local conservationists, businesses, recreational fishers and the Government.
Dr Smith says the Government will establish a process to formally consider the plan, before developing and consulting on recommendations on how to implement it.
“We are keen to work with all those with interests in the Hauraki Gulf and intend to talk to them early in the New Year about how they will be involved to ensure the ongoing success of the Sea Change process.”
Mr Guy says the plan is an aspirational, non-binding and non-statutory document and, as such, will need to be carefully considered.
“It will be particularly important to weigh up recommendations that could impact the rights and interests of stakeholders and industry. This is a shared fishery of great importance to recreational, commercial and customary fishers.
“I want to acknowledge the Sea Change group for their passion for the Hauraki Gulf.”
Ms Barry says the plan is a significant first step toward restoring a healthy and abundant Hauraki Gulf, and is a comprehensive response to the environmental challenges it faces.
“I’m pleased the plan proposes to enhance the biodiversity of the Gulf by restoring and protecting habitats, including through 14 new proposed marine protected areas.
“The plan sets a platform for positive change in the marine environment and the Government will give it full consideration.”
The Government has welcomed news that milk tankers and other essential freight will be given priority access in and out of Kaikoura on the inland road (route 70) from next week.
The NZ Transport Agency established a schedule of controlled access this week after control of the road was formally transferred to the Transport Agency by the Canterbury Civil Defence Emergency Management Group.
Weather depending, the first trip by full milk tankers will take place next Monday.
“While the inland road between Kaikoura and Mt Lyford is still a very fragile and hazardous route, crews have been working hard to clear the road of more than 50 slips to get it to a state where it can now be used safely, with vehicles travelling in supervised convoys,” Transport Minister Simon Bridges says.
“From the day of the earthquake our key priority has been re-establishing access to Kaikoura. We remain committed to re-connecting these communities and getting the region back on its feet – this is another step in that process,” Mr Bridges says.
Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy says the continuing progress to secure the inland route and open up access was especially important for the region’s farmers.
“The Transport Agency has been working closely with primary industries including Fonterra to make sure that vehicles such as milk tankers are able to get into Kaikoura to collect milk from farms along the route and bring it out to market.
“The NZTA is rightly treating these trips as an essential service for Kaikoura, providing access in what is a restricted environment, which is great news for everyone in the region.
“This has been a difficult time for farmers who have had to discharge milk onto their land in a controlled way. I want to thank them for their patience.”
Mr Bridges says work is also continuing at pace to clear slips on State Highway 1 south of Kaikoura.
“We are making much better progress than expected at this point in the recovery and as a result it is anticipated the road will be opened much sooner,” Mr Bridges says.
“The Transport Agency is aiming to restore controlled, single lane access for residents and essential services on the road by mid-December, dependent on weather and any further earthquakes,” Mr Bridges says.
Details of the daily travel schedule for the inland road (route 70) and information on how to register are available here: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic-and-travel-information/travel-information-for-canterbury-and-marlborough-regions/