EO Corner, June

Posted By Jo Pentreath | June 14, 2020

With the focus now on winter pruning for orchardists, it has been exciting to see some key projects and initiatives that have been endorsed by government.

In September 2019, the Government released a discussion document on a national direction for freshwater called Action for healthy waterways. Contained in this document were proposals for a National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, and Proposed National Environmental Standards for Freshwater.

At the end of May and after months of consultation, an updated National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management has been released. For horticulture, the new regulations recognise the importance of the sector, enabling the industry to expand to diversify, as long as environmental bottom lines are met through audited Farm Environment Plans. A complex document, the plan will come into force later this year.

HBFA also applauds the governments backing of a new $27 million project aimed at boosting sustainable horticulture production.

“A Lighter Touch” project is a research programme that will shift the focus from traditional crop protection, to integrating biological and ecological processes into food production in New Zealand.

It is a collaboration between government and industry across the horticulture, arable and wine sectors which will enhance New Zealand’s reputation as a sustainable food producer by providing growers with methods and tools to manage their crop protection in new and more sustainable ways.

The Ministry for Primary Industries is a key funder contributing $10.8 million to the $27 million project. The rest – $16.2 million over the seven-year life of the project – is coming from New Zealand’s food and wine producers.

At a regional level, submissions on the Karamu Master Plan close on 30th June. This long-term strategic plan will ultimately guide future land use and development of the eastern side of Hastings. AN area rich in history and well known for its productive capacity, extensive engagement and consultation is critical to develop a plan that best represents stakeholders, communities and the long-term land use of the area. You can find more information on the Karamu Master plan on the HDC “my Voice, My Choice” website: https://www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz/hdc/

Last month we reported that HBFA made a submission to Variation 7 of the Hastings District Plan regarding seasonal workers accommodation. Both HortNZ and HBFA are contesting Part A, Issue 6. The Council is rejecting the notion that sites of less than 12ha in the Plains Production Zone should be able to provide RSE Accommodation.  HBFA strongly believes that it should be the landowners right to choose the most suitable site for their business operations.

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