Committee Reports, November

Posted By HBFA | November 12, 2020


The ‘Pick the Bay’ employment expo was a huge success with over 500 people pouring through the doors at Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre, eager to find out more about job opportunities in the horticulture.
Hastings District Council partnered with New Zealand Apples and Pears Inc, local government colleagues, MSD, MPI, MBIE, industry trainers and representative groups and in excess of 20 growers, to help support the sectors with the current shortage of workers for this harvest season. The stands at the event had information about summer work opportunities in the industry – from picking to forklift driving and working in the packhouse – to longer-term career opportunities. It is likely another expo will be held before harvest commences for the pipfruit industry early in 2021.

Rain, rain go away!
The recent 237mm of rain that fell in Napier was the 2nd wettest day on record (since records began in 1870). The region had 423% of the November normal in a single day, with the wettest hour on record (since 1995) being 54 mm between 5-6pm!
The recent flooding is a timely reminder for growers to check drainage systems, clean out tile drains, check and clear culverts. Please contact the respective councils bodies if their drains need to be improved, cleared or dug out:

Hawkes Bay Regional Council, info@hbrc.govt.nz, 06 835 9200
Hastings District Council, customerservice@hdc.govt.nz, 06 871 5000
Alternatively, contact HBFA  at executiveofficer@hbfa.co.nz and we will compile a list and provide this to the appropriate Councils.

Industry websites providing employment opportunities

Horticulture New Zealand has recently compiled a list of industry websites to assist job seekers and employers to connect and engage potential job opportunities:

Connected is a MSD site established post-Covid and is a one-stop-shop for job-seekers to find work, employers to find support or staff, and information about post-Covid government initiatives.

A free job board listing permanent horticulture positions from entry level to senior roles. The GoHort website promotes career pathway opportunities in horticulture and is supported by a job platform, offering insights to the variety of positions and internships available.

Work the Seasons is free for employers to list seasonal roles such as harvest, packhouse or thinning work. Work the Seasons is the ‘go-to’ site for listing seasonal horticultural roles, and is backed by industry and government, to help fill seasonal vacancies.

A new initiative targeted at students, Pick Tiki sets out to encourage more students to complete seasonal work this summer through new targeted marketing channels. GAP registered employers can sign-up to the program for free.



The team at HBFA are busy working towards our annual Industry Awards Night on the 28th January. We are really looking forward to this event and celebrating the achievements of our valued industry personal and students.

On Tuesday 10th November our fruit industry partnered with the Hastings District Council to have our first ever employment expo – ‘Pick The Bay’. A tremendous turn-out with people from all demographics looking at employment opportunities. Many saying they were keen to help our industry get through our high season workload, predominantly thinning and harvesting our local produce. All sectors were represented – pipfruit, stonefruit, berries, labour contracting companies and education providers such as EIT and of course HBFA.  It was fantastic to see so many people unite together for the collective goal of seeing our industry and region prosper.

Training programmes are starting to wind up as we get closer to Christmas. We have some outstanding young talent coming through our sector, in what has been a record year for enrollments.

Trainee News

I write this as Napier is recovering from the flood on Monday. Even though some of my colleagues have been affected, the damage appears to be very localised and EIT is open for business as usual.  This year has been challenging to say the least and the weather is not helping the trainees to complete their work because of the demands of spraying. We will do our best to accommodate this, but please be aware that we also have institutional deadlines that need to be met.

The year 1 trainees have one class left for the year and that is thinning. I know Clare has been busy making visits and attendance at the tutorials has been good. Most still have the irrigation assessment to complete. The cohort who started in July on the Apprentice Boost scheme have just completed their First Aid course. I looked in and they were having a fun learning experience.

The year 2 trainees have had the most disruptions to their timetable with Covid-19 and staff illness. To this end there is a rescheduled class this Friday that is not on the original timetable. Last week I spent some time with those in class making sure they know exactly what they need to do. If they have not been giving their workbooks for sign-off, please check with them. Pruning and thinning practicals are areas that should be able to be attested.

The year 3 trainees also only have the one class left. Most of them are in a good position to complete their Level 4 Certificates. One of subjects they should be asking about is your irrigation scheduling methods and understanding the printouts to make important decisions. The next class is the Growing Environment class on the 27th of November.

Fruit Production Diploma classes are all but complete and the first intake should graduate in January. The last piece of work for them is occurring on the 26th of November when they report back to the class on their research projects. Having marked the written reports I believe there have been significant improvements to the industry body of knowledge. For that reason I am very pleased with the outcomes of this course.

Cameron Taylor from TaylorCorp , recently won Horticulturalist of the Year 2020 at the Napier Port HB Primary Sector Awards. In conjunction with EIT Hawke’s Bay and Horticentre , Taylor Corp are hosting a field day on the 19th November. A great opportunity to check out their technology, packhouse and orchard operations. There will be two site visits-  TaylorCorp’s new plantings at 574 Valley Road at 12pm and then a visit to their very modern packhouse at 38 Franklin Rd at 2pm.

For further information, please contact EIT Tutor Gordon Reid on greid@eit.ac.nz or 06 8301851.



2020 Fishing Competition

We had amazing weather and another fantastic turnout for this years HBFA Fishing Competition on the 2nd of November!

Many thanks to all of our fishing competition contestants and our incredible sponsors and supporters.  Your participation and contribution in this annual competition, is what makes the event so successful!

Prize winners for the heaviest catches of the day:
Snapper: James Barclay
Kingfish: Sharon Island
Gurnard: Ryan Downing
Groper/bass: Liam Sykes
Kahawhai: Dave Craft
Tarakihi: John Agnew
Blue Cod: Sam Franklin
Red Cod: Matt Waterworth
Barracouta/Gemfish: Alex Wilson
Mackeral: Johnny Swinbanks
Trevally: Mark Vesty
Skate/Ray: Danie Henderson

Industry Awards Night

We are now focusing on our annual Industry Awards Night, which will take place on the 28th of January at the Toitoi Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events Centre. This event recognises individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the horticultural industry, along with celebrating the horticulture student graduating from both EIT Hawke’s Bay and Primary ITO.

We are seeking nominations for the Joe Bell Trophy for outstanding service to the industry, as well as the Fourneau Trophy, for innovation in the hort sector. If you know someone deserving of recognition in our industry and fits the criteria, for either of these trophies, please contact executiveofficer@hbfa.co.nz for a nomination form or visit our website for more information.

Attention Horticulture Students –  HBFA Horticulture Scholarships Closing Soon!

If you are currently studying L3-4 horticulture, or pursuing your Diploma or Degree in horticulture at the EIT or Primary ITO, APPLY NOW for your chance to receive one of the HBFA Horticulture Scholarships. We have made it easy for you to do so via our on-line application form. For further details and to complete the on-line application form, visit https://hbfa.co.nz/hbfa-charitable-trust/. Applications close 5pm 26th of November.

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