ANZ New Zealand, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with dairy industry organisation Dairy NZ to work together to boost the financial performance of dairy farms. The memorandum – which runs for five years - is the first between a bank and Dairy
The MoU will enable ANZ economists and Agri Managers to use information from Dairy NZ’s business performance analysis tool, Dairy Base. Dairy Base brings together the financial results from over 1800 farmers, and provides a basis for someone to compare their
farm against other similar farms. ANZ will have access to the same data farmers and farm accountants use to analyse and compare farm performance, and will use these to work with its dairy farming clients.
ANZ New Zealand, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with dairy industry organisation Dairy NZ to work together to boost the financial performance of dairy farms. The memorandum – which runs for five years - is the first between a bank and Dairy
NZ. Read More
Following the introduction of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband initiatives, the Commerce Commission looked at what factors may affect uptake of high speed broadband services by consumers and businesses.
The needs of rural users were highlighted in the report. The report says rural users have the same appetite for fast broadband as urban users, but have a more fundamental need, which is to be connected to basic broadband. They are concerned that they could be left behind as NZ moves forward with high speed broadband services.
The study also identified two main areas as being important to consumers from all sectors – costs relating to connecting and using high speed broadband, and the availability of video-on-demand services:
the expense of connecting to the UFB network and using high speed broadband services is critical for many people, and the current high costs are likely to slow down the uptake for both consumers and SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises); and
video content is likely to be what mostly drives consumers’ uptake of high speed broadband services over the next few years, and UFB uptake is likely to be higher if there is a good range of video-on-demand options available to consumers (currently, however, there are limited online video on demand services in NZ compared with many other countries).
Following the introduction of the Ultra Fast Broadband (UFB) and Rural Broadband initiatives, the Commerce Commission looked at what factors may affect uptake of high speed broadband services by consumers and businesses. Read More
Two years ago the Southland Life Education Community Trust approached our four Southland Provincials, asking for assistance to replace their educator’s car, as the current one needed major repairs.
The Provincials were pleased to help and recently presented the Trust with a much newer model, complete with the Rural Women New Zealand logo.
The money came from the proceeds of timber milling at the Dipton forest, which was planted by the RWNZ Southland Provincials in the 1950s and has recently started to make a good return from timber.
The RWNZ groups in the area have been strong supporters of the Southland Life Education Community Trust since 1989, including members serving as trustees. The Southland Life Education Trust will be celebrating its 20th anniversary at St John’s Girls School in Invercargill in May.
Two years ago the Southland Life Education Community Trust approached our four Southland Provincials, asking for assistance to replace their educator’s car, as the current one needed major repairs. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand recently highlighted the devastating impacts on families of leptospirosis, a disease that can be passed from infected animals to humans, at the New Zealand Veterinary Association conference in Hamilton last week.
Fiona Gower, an RWNZ member from Port Waikato, put the human face on leptospirosis, which is a key health concern for rural people, as New Zealand has one of the highest rates of infection in the world.
Liz Evans, RWNZ national president, says if farm animals are affected it can lead to severe stress for farmers dealing with poor animal health, a drop in milk production, poor reproduction and loss of stock.
“But when a family member or members contract the disease the impacts are huge,” she says.
“Depending on the severity of the case, it will mean a long illness and recovery time, and at worst, death. Emotionally the stress on the family of having a sick spouse, parent or child is incredible – not knowing when or if they will get better.”
Rural Women New Zealand has collected heart-rending stories from people who’ve caught the disease - the months and even years taken from people’s lives, and the long term impacts on their health and financial situations.
One said, “After I contracted lepto my husband was so terrified of the disease he sold the farm.” Another said “In the first week I thought I would die; then I wished that I had.”
Mrs Evans says strengthening links between the research and medical sectors and the rural community is key to eradicating lepto.
“Working collaboratively we can raise awareness of leptospirosis and how to prevent it through vaccination of stock and good hygiene practices.
“In people, early diagnosis and treatment are also important in minimising its severity and long-term effects.
“We strongly suggest that rural people and farmers presenting at their GP with non-specific symptoms should always request that a test for leptospirosis be included in the blood test line-up, although antibodies will not be present for two to three weeks.”
In people the mild form of lepto is a minor flu-like sickness, but without the respiratory symptoms. The severe form may include extreme headaches, high fever, nausea, muscle pain, breathing and vision problems and diarrhoea. About half of people with severe lepto are hospitalised, and there can be permanent complications from kidney or liver damage.
Rural Women New Zealand is the chair of the Farmers Leptospirosis Action Group, which is conducting SFF-funded research into leptospirosis at Massey University, looking at the cost-benefits of vaccinating sheep and cattle.
RWNZ has been involved in the fight to stamp out leptospirosis since the 1970s. At that time, members raised over $150,000 to fund research that led to the development of vaccines for dairy cattle and pigs.
With the death of a meat worker at a sheep-only plant in 2006, Rural Women NZ members mobilised once more, raising $107,000 for further research at Massey into transmission pathways from animals to farmers and meat workers.
Rural Women New Zealand recently highlighted the devastating impacts on families of leptospirosis, a disease that can be passed from infected animals to humans, at the New Zealand Veterinary Association conference in Hamilton last week. Read More
A Good Harvest is proving to be another winning recipe from members of Rural Women New Zealand! Around 6,000 copies have been sold, and the new cookbook sat at number three on Nielsen’s Bestsellers List for non-fiction for several weeks following the launch in March.
We’ve received huge publicity for the book in such high-flying publications as Air New Zealand’s Kia Ora magazine, as well as many reviews in community, regional and national newspapers.
Our publicist at Random House, Jennifer Balle, says “As to be expected, heartland media have absolutely loved the new book. But so too have some of the glamour pusses like NZ House & Garden, The Dish, Next and NZ Gardener.”
“This is a slice of rural New Zealand you’ll turn to time and time again” - The Dish
“Knowledge born of experience emanates from the pages of this compendium…..” - NZ House & Garden.
One online gardening magazine received 1,000 entries for a competition to win a copy of the book!
Our members, have also been out there doing a tremendous job in celebrating its publication, selling the book and sharing your ‘knowledge born of experience’.
The Harvest Festival in Riverton, the Rai Valley Show, and Kaipara Provincial’s Garden Party are just a few of the launch events you’ve told us about.
At Riverton members made a selection of recipes – jams, relishes and pickles - and put them in shiny new jars purchased from national office. They also had tastings.
“People wanted to purchase the products in the jars but our response was that they would have to buy the book, which 22 did!” says Ann Irving.
“We had the books on display and had a draw for the book. As a result of the competition we have 68 names to follow up and one new member. The result of our work this weekend has been very exciting and I would encourage all branches to have a go as it’s a lot of fun.”
A Good Harvest is proving to be another winning recipe from members of Rural Women New Zealand! Around 6,000 copies have been sold, and the new cookbook sat at number three on Nielsen’s Bestsellers List for non-fiction for several weeks following the launch in March. Read More
The forward thinking of Southland members from the 1940s who bought land and planted a forest at Castledowns near Dipton is finally reaping financial rewards - and accolades.
The Rural Women New Zealand Forest Committee Southland Inc was recently named as the winner of this year’s NZ Landcare Trust Award for Innovation in Sustainable Farm Forestry.
And after many years of poor economic returns the 2010 harvest saw a welcome financial turnaround, producing a $328,000 revenue cheque. The logging profits are shared amongst the four Southland Provincials to distribute for charitable purposes in Southland, meaning the benefits flow back into the community.
In presenting the award, Ian Jackson, President of the NZ Farm Forestry Association, said “This project has influenced many generations to plant trees on their own farms, and as such made a huge contribution to education and sustainable land management in Southland.”
Photo: Ann Irving, Patsy Gordon and Rhonda Riddle at the award-winning Castledowns forest
Our Enterprising Rural Women Award will be returning in 2013! Keep checking back here to find out more information. Read More
The first colouring competition entries have arrived at Rural Women NZ national office! We have three $50 Whitcoulls vouchers to give away to the most creative and original colouring creation. Entries close 31 August 2012.
The national speed limit for any vehicle passing a stationary school bus is 20km/h. The purpose of this competition is to raise awareness of this road rule.
The shocking statistics speak for themselves: In the 23 years since 1987, 23 children have been killed when crossing the road to or from school buses. A further 47 have been seriously injured and 92 have received minor injuries. By comparison, six children were killed while actually on a school bus.
The first colouring competition entries have arrived at Rural Women NZ national office! We have three $50 Whitcoulls vouchers to give away to the most creative and original colouring creation. Entries close 31 August 2012. Read More
New Zealand Post recently presented at our National Conference in Hawera on how declining mail volumes and increasing fixed costs are affecting their ability to sustain their current business model.
They have made a commitment to closely engage with Rural Women New Zealand to ensure the rural community is kept informed, with the aim of ensuring there is a viable, sustainable network for the future.
Below is an update from New Zealand Post on the current situation.
• In the past decade the volume of mail carried by New Zealand Post has fallen by 20%. That drop in volume is continuing, with nearly 40 million fewer mail items posted in the past year alone. We estimate that mail volumes will halve by 2018.
• The costs of maintaining a postal delivery network have increased in the past decade with a 20% growth in the number of addresses New Zealand Post is required to deliver to at least five or six days per week.
Those two trends – declining volumes and increasing fixed costs - will continue as people increasingly choose to share information and documents electronically through using email, TXT, Twitter, Facebook, and Skype, to name a few. The planned rollout of high-speed broadband will further advance these trends, as a growing number of people take advantage of the convenience of digital messaging channels.
New Zealand Post has various initiatives underway to ensure a sustainable postal services network in the future. These include redesigning our mail processing and delivery networks, developing digital options through which our customers can choose how they receive their items, and we’re planning for a network that is flexible so we can quickly adapt to meet the rapidly changing needs of people.
We’re designing and planning this work now to make sure we do what’s right for customers and the business from two to three years and beyond. However, we believe the lead–in times to achieve the change are years rather than months.
To help achieve these necessary changes we are seeking amendments to the Deed of Understanding with the Crown, which hasn’t had any substantial updates since 1998. We expect the Government to call for public submissions on a discussion document on the Deed this year.
As part of amending the Deed, we are seeking flexibility around delivery frequency and the shape of the postal outlet network. We know we have to adapt the delivery network to match the way people are using physical mail, and the current six-day delivery to more than 95 percent of delivery points simply won’t work in the years to come without both significant and frequent price increases – or seeking a subsidy from the Government. Neither option would be sustainable and would merely stave off the inevitable for a short period.
We need to be ready to adjust delivery frequency which we know has a significant lead-in time. We need the flexibility in our agreement with the Government now, so we can change in the future. Waiting and doing nothing means we would lack the ability to provide certainty around price and service.
The 1998 Deed also requires New Zealand Post to maintain a retail network of at least 880 postal outlets, of which 240 must include ‘agency services’. While valid at the time, the reality these days is that there is a multitude of other ways to access ‘agency services’ outside of a ‘shop’ environment with technology enabling a wide range of retail outlets to provide agency services. It might also be appropriate to examine the presumption (in the 1998 Deed) that New Zealand Post should be tied to the provision of agency services – which are increasingly able to be met efficiently using digital means and through the private sector. New Zealand Post wants to provide services through a wider range of points of presence rather than be locked into a set number of ‘bricks and mortar’ locations.
An important point to note here – and one which will become an issue as the media is bound to speculate on possible scenarios – we’re not talking about sudden or impulsive changes. We’re looking to ensure sustainability for the next decade and this year needs to see our “first steps” in establishing the policy framework so we can make necessary steps in the future. There will be no ‘sudden moves’ and we are committed to keeping you informed.
If you have any questions or feedback please contact either Noeline Holt, RWNZ EO or John Tulloch, NZ Post External Communications Manager, 04 496 4924 (landline); 027 429 9249 (mobile) or email@example.com
New Zealand Post recently presented at our National Conference in Hawera on how declining mail volumes and increasing fixed costs are affecting their ability to sustain their current business model. Read More
Thank you to everyone who visited our stand at National Fieldays. The event was a great success and we were thrilled with the number of enquiries from potential new members. Liz Evans, National President delivered some fantastic presentations at various events throughout the Fieldays programme and brought the spot light onto our organisation in a professional and welcoming manner.
A very successful week for all involved, thanks to those to popped in to say hi!
Thank you to everyone who visited our stand at National Fieldays. The event was a great success and we were thrilled with the number of enquiries from potential new members. Liz Evans, National President delivered some fantastic presentations at various events throughout the Fieldays programme and brought the spot light onto our organisation in a professional and welcoming manner. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand is delighted to announce the winners of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013, following an award ceremony at the opening of the Rural Women NZ national conference in Christchurch yesterday evening.
Liz Evans says “These awards, now in their fifth year, offer an opportunity for rural businesswomen to shine. Our aim is to showcase and celebrate rural enterprise, and this year the judges had 20 strong entries to choose from.”
The Supreme Winner of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013 is Diane Coleman of Treeline Native Nursery, based at Ngongotaha, near Rotorua. Diane also won the Love of the Land category, sponsored by Agrisea Limited. (www.treelinenursery.co.nz).
Treeline Native Nursery, which Diane started 17 years ago, grows and supplies NZ native trees, shrubs and grasses for revegetation and ornamental purposes, growing 300,000 plants a year that are sold to councils, farmers, landscapers, developers and the home gardener.
Rural Women NZ national president, Liz Evans, said Diane Coleman was chosen as the Supreme Winner out of a strong field of contenders, saying she displayed “skill, calm confidence in the progress of her business and a clear awareness of her market.”
“When demand for products slowed with the 2010 economic downturn, Diane adapted to conditions, made some innovative decisions and was able to maintain production levels.
“Added to this, the business is rural-based, employs several rural women and gives back to the community with fund-raising support.”
Other winners on the night were Jan Harper, of Bluespur Butchery in Lawrence, who won the Telecom-sponsored Help! I Need Somebody category.
As one of New Zealand’s first female butchers, Jan, who’s been in the industry since 1977, said it was a ‘dream come true’ when she opened her own business, Bluespur Butchery, in 2009. As well as selling meat to the public, a big part of the business is processing for farmers and hunters.
A very successful exporter of animal by-products from Waipukurau took away the Making it in Rural category, sponsored by Fly Buys Ltd. Angela Payne runs Agri-lab Co-Products Ltd (www.agri-lab.com). Utilising animal parts that previously may have ended up in the offal-pit, the company specialises in placenta, glands, membranes, tendons and glandulars, with 90 percent of the product exported. This is shipped all over the world as raw products for the pharmaceutical and dietary supplements markets.
Kylie Stewart of Rangitikei Farmstay was announced as the winner of the Stay, Play, Rural Award, sponsored by Access Homehealth Ltd. Her 1500 acre farm has been in the family since 1901 and Kylie has breathed new life into many of the old buildings to create attractive accommodation for up to 19 guests at a time who come from all over the world to get a taste of New Zealand rural life with farm tours, horse treks, clay bird shooting and shearing and mustering demonstrations on offer. (www.rangitikeifarmstay.co.nz).
The judging panel also decided this year to give a special Rural Women NZ Encourgement Award. This went to Lee Lamb, a young farming woman who lives in Waikaia, Southland.
As her children grew, and unable to find New Zealand farm-themed books to read to them, Lee decided to write and illustrate her own. A self-taught writer and painter, Lee was also determined to have her books printed in New Zealand. She now has four titles: On the Farm Shearing, On the Farm Autumn Muster, On the Farm Milking Time and On the Farm Harvest.
In congratulating all the winners, Liz Evans said, “Running a successful business anywhere in today’s competitive economy is not easy. It takes time, commitment, money and a passion to succeed. And, of course, you have to have the initial idea to get started.
“And, in the rural context, the start-up and ability to keep going can produce even more challenges. The logisitics of running a business away from a centralised urban area can throw up hurdles such as access to prompt transport and communication – not to mention extra costs of freight and postage. All our winners have jumped those hurdles.”
Watch: Diane speak about being the Supreme Winner. Video produced by
Rural Women New Zealand is delighted to announce the winners of the RWNZ Enterprising Rural Women Award 2013, following an award ceremony at the opening of the Rural Women NZ national conference in Christchurch yesterday evening. Read More
Applications close 1 July for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship
Health professionals with an interest in the rural sector have just three weeks to apply for this year’s the Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship, with a closing date of 1 July.
“This $3000 scholarship will be awarded to a health professional to help further his or her studies,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Liz Evans.
“Given our rural focus, we are particularly keen to support someone who has an interest in providing health or disability services in rural communities.”
Preference will be given to applicants who are studying at post-graduate level.
Last year the scholarship went to a rural practice nurse, Lynette Downie (pictured above) from Murupara, for post graduate study in Women’s Health through Otago University.
Applications close 1 July for Rural Women NZ & Access Homehealth scholarship Read More
Rural Women NZ members are being encouraged to stand for local government and District Health Boards in the local body elections being held in September.
We ran a workshop on this at our national conference in Christchurch in May, with presenters Geoff Evans, who is a Marlborough District Councillor, and John Ayling, the chair of Access Homehealth Ltd.
Nominations for the elections open in July and run for a month (exact dates dependent on legislation currently before Parliament -for details call 0800 922 822).
One of those who is going to put her hand up is Dr Olive Webb (pictured left).
A long standing member of Rural Women New Zealand, Dr Webb (ONZM) is contesting the mayoralty of Selwyn.
Dr Webb comes from farming stock. She grew up in the King Country and Waikato and has lived in Selwyn for 40 years. Dr Webb has had thirteen years on the Canterbury District Health Board, coupled with six years on the board of Rural Women NZ’s Access Homehealth Ltd.
Key issues for Dr Webb include community engagement, fiscal responsibility, water quality, and enhancing the smaller towns of the Selwyn district.
Dr Webb is a registered clinical psychologist and director of the Institute of Applied Human Services where she consults and coaches various organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the United States. She specialises in developing strategies and interventions that enable people with disabilities and people who are vulnerable to live ordinary lives. She has a proven track record in business success and is no stranger to implementing change in a large scale organisations.
Rural Women NZ members are being encouraged to stand for local government and District Health Boards in the local body elections being held in September. Read More
Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’ this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light.
We have been advocating for safer speeds around rural schools for several years, and are thrilled that variable speed limits are to be extended to 23 rural schools, following the success of a trial at seven rural schools in 2012, says Rural Women New Zealand national president, Liz Evans.
“We’re also delighted that a trial of active, flashing, 20km/h signage is to go ahead on a fleet of school buses in Ashburton early this year, with funding approved just before Christmas.
“Our rural children are often placed in very vulnerable situations getting to and from school, and we welcome both these initiatives to raise driver awareness and slow down traffic,” says Mrs Evans. “We will be actively promoting both these to our nationwide network of members.”
In the first trial, the NZ Transport Agency says the variable speed limits have resulted in an improvement in driver behaviour and reduction in speeds around the rural schools that took part, and the trial will be extended to 23 sites by the end of 2013.
The variable speed limit is set at 70km/h past schools in 100km/h zones, and 60km/h for schools in 80km/h areas.
The speeds are displayed on electronic signs, which allow the speed limit to be changed locally at agreed times.
Mrs Evans says it’s encouraging to see innovative technological solutions being used to solve safety concerns.
“Technology is also the answer when it comes to reminding drivers about the 20km/h speed limit past school buses, and it’s exciting that the Road Safety Trust has approved funding for a trial of active signage on school buses.”
The four stage trial with a bus company in Ashburton is expected to get underway in the next few weeks.
Bright 20km/h signs with flashing lights will be illuminated to alert drivers to the speed limit in both directions when passing a school bus that has stopped for children to get on and off.
The additional schools are:
• Amisfield School, Waikato
• Ararimu School, Papakura
• Dairy Flat School, Dairy Flat
• Elstow-Waihou Combined School, Matamata Piako
• Kaimai School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Loburn School, Waimakariri
• Newstead School, Waikato
• Opoutere School, Thames Coromandel
• Pahoia School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Puni School, Waiuku
• Pyes Pa Road School, Western Bay of Plenty
• Swannanoa School, Waimakariri
• Te Wharekura o Te Rau Aroha School, Matamata Piako
• Tirohia School, Hauraki
• Waikuka School, Waimakariri
• Westmere School, Wanganui
Rural Women New Zealand has cause to celebrate ‘Back to School’ this year as two rural safety initiatives it’s been promoting get the green light. Read More
The deadline to have your say on the NZ Constitutional Review has been extended to 31 July due to growing interest in this topic.
Rural Women New Zealand is encouraging its members to get involved in the current review of how the country is run and what’s important for our future.
In the first half of 2013, the Constitutional Advisory Panel, which is an independent advisory group to the Government, is seeking submissions on New Zealand’s constitution.
Specific topics for discussion include:
the pros and cons of having our constitution written down in a single document,
the role of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution, and
electoral issues such as the length of the Parliamentary term.
Panel Co-Chair Emeritus Professor John Burrows spoke at our national conference in Christchurch recently, and encouraged people to become informed and take the opportunity to make a submission.
There was a concern that interest groups could flood the panel with submissions and overtake the process, so Prof Burrows said it was essential for individuals to get involved and to have their say.
This is an opportunity for people to tell the panel how they see New Zealand and its future.
The Panel is due to report back to the Government by the end of 2013. Its recommendations will be based on submissions received.
Public submissions are due by 31 July 2013 and can be made online at www.ourconstitution.org.nz by email or post. People can find a wealth of information and meeting resources on the website or by phoning 0508 411 411.
The deadline to have your say on the NZ Constitutional Review has been extended to 31 July due to growing interest in this topic. Read More
Crime Survey Results: Drink driving and speeding a serious concern
Drink driving and speeding are key areas of concern for rural people according to an online rural crime survey conducted by Rural Women New Zealand.
“Over 80 percent of people told us that speeding was a problem in their community and 75 percent said drink driving was also a problem,” says Liz Evans, Rural Women New Zealand’s national president.
While urban people are getting the message not to drink and drive, in rural communities there are persistent offenders who are still ignoring the law, with serious consequences.
At the Rural Women New Zealand national conference in Christchurch last weekend, John Perham of Crimestoppers and Asst Commissioner: Road Policing, Dave Cliff ONZM, (pictured above) said rural people need to move from being by-standers in the crime prevention process to being active participants in helping police in every way we can to make our rural communities safe.
Often rural people will know who is regularly driving drunk, but there is a reluctance to dob in friends and neighbours.
John Perham said people can give information about offenders to Crimestoppers anonymously, by calling 0800 555 111. Police can then act on the tip off and ensure these people are apprehended and prosecuted.
John Perham said in most years 80 people are killed drink driving. But the numbers of people whose lives are affected is much higher: For every 100 drink drivers killed, 50 passengers and 20 others are killed, and 1,000 are seriously injured.
Seventy percent of the Rural Women NZ rural crime survey respondents also said that theft of fuel was a problem, while just over half saw theft of vehicles or of items from a vehicle as an issue.
Asst Commissioner Dave Cliff said in terms of machinery theft, such as quad bikes, it raises the question 'where were the keys?' "Let's engage in a little bit of self-protection."
Dave Cliff also told Rural Women NZ members that police now see family violence as ‘incredibly important and the most important area when it comes to crime prevention’ because when children are exposed to violence in the home on an ongoing basis, boys in particular become less likely to be empathetic and more likely to become offenders themselves. Whereas when girls are exposed to ongoing domestic violence they come to believe it is perfectly normal, and later, thathaving a partner who is violent is normal.
Stock theft is also a problem, but police will only be able to get to the bottom of it when they start to get evidential material. Dave Cliff urged people in rural communities to report stock theft.
"John Perham, Crimestoppers chairman, assured us that rural people should have no worries about confidentiality when using the 0800 number. The call centre is in the UK so even those of us who think we have distinctive and identifiable voices will remain anonymous," Liz Evans said.