Committee Reports, September

Posted By HBFA | September 18, 2020


TANK Plan Change 9

Thanks to everyone who lodged a submission.  The council received 250, which is a tremendous help for the hearings panel to understand the impact the plan change could have on Hawke’s Bay’s horticulture industry. Council is currently summarising the submissions lodged and have indicated they these summarised submissions will be available for making further submissions soon (closing October).

Horticulture New Zealand is currently preparing evidence for the TANK plan change hearings. Case studies will be trialled with horticulture growers who are GAP certified, using the Environmental Management System bolt-on module. If successful, this module will be incorporated  within the existing GAP certification programme and remove the need for growers to provide a Freshwater Farm Plan that is currently proposed under the RMA Amendment Act 2020.

Hawke’s Bay Fruitgrowers’ Association would like to thank Charlotte Dury from Horticulture New Zealand for providing valuable expertise and resources to help to deliver positive outcomes for our region.

Outdoor Burning

A hot topic with the HBRC!

During the winter months (1 May – 31 August) and pursuant to Rules 19a and 19e of the Hawke’s Bay Regional Resource Management Plan (RRMP), the horticultural industry is permitted to burn diseased material and material left over from orchard redevelopment. This is a privilege that was hard fought for by HBFA and Horticulture NZ in 2010.

There has been active campaigning over the past 12 months from some councillors to place a total fire ban on all properties on the Heretaunga Plains.

Five options were presented for consideration by the RPC to address outdoor burning.

Only one option allowed the burning of orchard re-development and diseased material to continue and after lengthy debate, this option was accepted. However, this will be revisited under the Regional Resource Management Plan Review scheduled to commence in 2021. The alternative options would have prohibited all outdoor burning in the shorter-term.

Rural landowners  MUST adhere to the outdoor burning rules. As an industry we are all responsible to take the appropriate steps when it comes to burning dry orchard waste.  Although our industry does not represent all rural land-owners, collectively we must all work with council to develop an acceptable plan for controlled burning.

If unsure of what and when to burn visit  HBRC – When and What to Burn We all want clean, fresh and healthy air in Hawke’s Bay and by following basic good burning practices, this can be achieved. 



The Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins recently announced that one of two Food and Fibre CoVE’s (Centre of Vocational Excellence) will be housed at the Eastern Institute of Technology (EIT).  The purpose of CoVE is to to produce well-trained and work-ready graduates and provide better up-skilling and re-skilling opportunities. The CoVE will also support the development of workplace-based learning models that are better suited to industry needs and consolidate the connection between industry and the education providers to create a better understanding of the industry and employment contexts. This is a major coup for our industry.

Trainee news

To some degree we are still feeling the effects of Covid-19 in our delivery. Whilst we have caught up most classes, there is little leeway, so now that the spraying season has arrived in earnest, I do ask for your indulgence and try to release the trainees on training days. We recognise the importance of chemical applications, and every endeavor will made to catch up those who miss a class.

Our new cohort of trainees enrolled in the Level 3 Operational Skills qualification, who began last month have started well and have just completed the Health a Safety component. Clare has undertaken to catch up anyone who wants to start someone now, so it is not too late to start someone and achieve the ‘apprentice boost’ subsidy.

Yr 1 trainees are well into their course and are now completing some of the more theoretical subjects. We had an excellent class at the end of August looking at weather and soils and how they affect our day to day operations, as well as longer term planning. We have irrigation and pests and diseases to come. This cohort will join with the new cohort from August to complete the Level 3 Fruit Production Qualification in the new year.

Year 2 trainees have completed their two botany classes that were delayed as a result of the lockdown. Trainees should also be working on their weather assessments. Please try to include them in conversations around the use and timing of dormancy breakers.

Year 3 trainees have just completed some lab work which involves using hormones and how they affect plant growth. The assessment involves a report using scientific method to hypothesis the outcomes. This is a really worthwhile project as it has applications to a wide range of plant growth factors.

Level 5 Diploma has just begun the last course for the year which is ‘Labour Management’. Most of the participants in this course are in positions of responsibility on their orchards. Please pave their way by recognising this time commitment and giving some flexibility to their study release. They are working very hard and producing some excellent work which will result in great outcomes for the industry.

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



Planning for the annual Fishing Competition is well underway and we are looking forward to hosting a great day on the 2nd November (weather pending!). A huge thanks to all our new and existing sponsors for coming on board this year- it’s great to see so many businesses support their staff and the industry by being involved in this event. Keep an eye out on our Facebook page for updates. All our sponsors will be listed our website and acknowledged on Facebook so make sure you follow us!

To assist with HBFA’s messaging on Outdoor Burning, a Facebook campaign was run prior to the 1st September, when the burning restrictions were lifted. The campaign supported our message “Check Before You Burn” and was directed to agriculture, horticulture and rural farm owners in Hawke’s Bay. The campaign reached over 2,300 Facebook users and 4,400 impressions over a 5 day period.

As we roll into our sponsorship ‘season’, we look forward to delivering our events and supporting those businesses who support our industry.


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