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RECENT NEWS

The 5th New Zealand Future Farms Conference was held on Tuesday, 12 – Wednesday, 13 March last week in Palmerston North. The event focused on the direction of farming in New Zealand with insights on the Digital Farmer; developing and diversifying on farm practice; farming’s role in high value food; farm health and strategy, and navigating change.

Board Member, Janet Williams presented on the Future of Farming – Navigating Change and Developing Strategy, focusing on developing rural communities to support the future farmer.

Janet talked about needing a significant increase of skilled people to double the exports by 2025, and emphasised the need to work smarter as primary industries uses 50% of New Zealand land and there is no more room for expansion.

Her examples of strengthening rural communities included Farmlands giving free rugby tickets for a Friday afternoon in Te Kuiti where majority of the small towns population had come to watch.

The game between the Blues and Chiefs was enjoyed by all and the Farmlands Rural Legends Shield was taken home by the Blues (Te Kuiti is the home town of the late Sir Colin Meads). Another example she gave was a local rural school, that planned their swimming sports where unfortunately a plumbing fault led to the pool having no water. Te Awamutu Fonterra filled their tankers with town supply water that they paid for to fill the school pool so the swimming sports could go ahead, and was an enjoyable family day.

She spoke of members who helped after the Kaikoura earthquake, and the Aftersocks campaign which sought to help those who had been affected by the repercussions of the earthquake and contributed to a fund for future adverse events relief. She encouraged people to purchase Aftersocks through the website and at the Central District Fieldays.

RWNZ has provided support (through donations and Aftersocks sales) to people in the Kaikoura area following the 2016 earthquake and those affected by the flooding in Edgecumbe, South Auckland and the Waikato.

Janet emphasised the importance of children being the involved in rural community events and activities such as the Rural Games which were held in Palmerston North prior to Future Farms, with a section – ‘KidsnCountry’. With competitive events such as rolling bales of hay, sack races and tree climbing, all children were able to have fun.

She spoke of St Pauls Collegiate School in Hamilton who are teaching years 12 and 13 Agribusiness, and the rural industries and businesses who are supporting these classes. December last year saw this course was accredited as a NZQA subject. Last year there were 37 agribusiness students in year 13, and around 30 went into tertiary agribusiness study. This year saw 93 students at St Pauls College in years 12 and 13 taking Agribusiness; they are part of the 500 students in 35 schools across New Zealand studying the subject. It is expected that 1500 students will study Agribusiness in 2019, these students are the future of the rural sector where they will bring modern approaches, become leaders, and market our value through adding export products.

Janet talked of boarding allowances, bursaries and sponsorship available to those from rural communities and/or wishing to pursue tertiary study in Agriculture or similar fields, including 16 of these from RWNZ. She gave light to alternate study or apprenticeship options for school leavers and those perhaps wanting a career change or gain new skills. Reliable and accessible internet is crucial for talented young people to collect the data necessary for precise farming decisions.

She concluded with emphasising the importance of education and technology, along with having resilient strong vibrant rural people to ensure the farming future can grow from strength to strength.

Dame Margaret Millard was at the conference, and her presence was widely appreciated by other delegates. The conference also provided great networking opportunities.

Although smaller than last years, the Future Farms Conference was more interactive, particularly when Minister for Agriculture and Rural Communities, Hon Damien O’Connor dropped by. It was great to see him take a seat on stage and join in on a panel discussion.

 

Future Farms Conference 2018

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

 Read More

The official drought period was due to expire on February 15 and has been extended to June because of widespread dry conditions.

Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy announced extra funding of up to $150,000 would go to local Rural Support Trusts, with $40,000 set aside for the North Canterbury trust.

The extra $150,000 means about $350,000 has gone towards supporting the work of the Rural Support Trusts. Farmers also have access to IRD flexibility for tax payments during the drought.

Rural support trust leaders have been working closely with farmers to monitor their well being and directing them to relief assistance as well as organising community events and one-on-one mentoring.

Farmers needing more support are being urged to call their local rural support trust on 0800 787 254, and Federated Farmers is operating a drought feedline on 0800 376 844.

According to the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) weather forecasters are predicting that the El Nino conditions will continue through Summer and into Autumn 2016.  El Nino 2015-2016 could rank among the four strongest El Nino events recorded.

Listen to an audio clip of Andy Fox a North Canterbury farmer giving tips on dealing with El Nino. Click here to hear the audio from the Farming Show.


About El Niño

  • El Niño is an underlying climate pattern that can make weather extreme and variable
  • El Niño is affecting different parts of the country in different ways over the summer
  • El Niño is exacerbating drought conditions in the South Island
  • It is here now, close to its peak, and will continue to have knock-on effects. 

 

What to do about El Niño


 

Managing El Nino weather pattern

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The official drought period was due to expire on February 15 and has been extended to June because of widespread dry conditions. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand is inviting people to get creative by writing short stories and taking photos and videos to showcase New Zealand farming life today.


“We are running the competition in conjunction with the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) to tell the stories behind the primary products we grow on our farms,” says Rural Women national president, Wendy McGowan.


MPI will use some of the photos, videos and stories to promote the New Zealand primary industry brand and our rural values.


“We encourage people to get their creative juices flowing to share the challenges and triumphs of farming and today's sustainable business practices," says Wendy McGowan.


"We hope to see entries that reflect our care of the land and our animals, and the skills and ingenuity of the people that make New Zealand's primary industries so successful.


Rural Women NZ also hopes the competition will highlight the opportunities for great careers that are available in the sector.


The competition is being run as part of Rural Women NZ’s celebrations to mark the 2014 International Year of Family Farming.


“Stories are powerful, and we have some great farming stories to tell,” says Wendy McGowan. There are five entry categories:

  1. Women and men at work on the farm;
  2. Farm machinery and farm innovation;
  3. Animals;
  4. Children;
  5. Rural communities.

Entries close 1 November 2014 and the competition is open to everyone.


Entry forms and further information can be found here.

Share your farming or rural life story 16-Jul-2014

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Rural Women New Zealand is inviting people to get creative by writing short stories and taking photos and videos to showcase New Zealand farming life today. Read More

What better excuse do we need to celebrate our rural roots and futures than a United Nations proclamation of an international year in honour of family farming?


Family farms are the backbone of our rural communities built up over a century and a half. And family farms are just as important to the economy now as ever.


And being an international event, we’re also recognising the importance of family farms worldwide, with over two billion of the world’s human beings depending on family farms for their survival. Watch this great piece from Food Tank.


The UN International Year of Family Farming has some worthy goals, focusing on sustainability, food security, the eradication of hunger and malnutrition, and helping people step up out of poverty.


Rural Women NZ is excited to be leading celebrations in this country. Roadshows have already been held in Oamaru, Rangiora and Rai Valley.  Coming up is Carterton (6 April) and Stratford (9 April). 


Marlborough dry lands farmer Doug Avery, a passionate advocate for family farming and Landcorp Communicator of the Year in 2013, is launching celebrations at each venue, giving an inspirational talk on the Peaks and Valleys of rural life.


The Landcare Trust talks about sustainability on the farm, Coach Approach is walking us through the tricky steps involved in succession planning and transitioning to the next generation, while WorkSafe is conducting workshops on how to keep visitors safe on the farm.


At the road shows you'll be able to  browse market stalls featuring local produce, crafts and displays.


We are celebrating New Zealand farming past, present and future, and embracing all aspects of farming from the farmer and family to the rural communities and hubs.


Each roadshow ends on a high, with a hilarious romp around the dog kennels courtesy of Kiwi performers The Bitches Box and Mel Parsons, hot from their stellar season at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.


Tickets: www.ruralwomen.org.nz/shop See you there! 

ERWA entrantKylie StewartKylie Stewart was announced the Stay, Play, Rural (sponsored by Access) category winner at this year's Enterprising Rural Women Awards ceremony at the Rural Women New Zealand National Conference in Christchurch. Her business, Rangitikei Farmstay, offers accommodation for up to 19 guests and a range of activities on and off the 1560 acre sheep and beef farm at Marton.


Kylie and her husband Andrew moved on to the farm in 2005, surrounded by beautiful landscape and scattered, largely unused buildings filled with ‘treasures’ – saws, stencils, pack saddles, and a push mower to name a few, used by the Stewart family on the farm for the past three generations. The couple began renovating the old buildings and first opened up a bunkhouse and farm museum. They have since converted three other buildings and have developed their farmstay business with farm tours, shearing and mustering demonstrations, horse riding, farm walks, clay bird shooting and hole in one golf.


They now see a range of guests from school groups, birthday parties, and overseas travellers. Continuing to develop, the couple are presently building a lake to begin water activities on the property. To set up your visit to Rangitikei Farmstay, find them online.


Check back here often to see the latest news posted about our Stay, Play, Rural winner.


The Wanganui Chronicle, All creature comforts on hand

Rural TV (NZ) produced a video of Kylie's acceptance speech. View it on YouTube.

ERWA entry Rangitikei Farmstay 29-May-2013

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

ERWA entrantKylie StewartKylie Stewart was announced the Stay, Play, Rural (sponsored by Access) category winner at this year's Enterprising Rural Women Awards ceremony at the Rural Women New Zealand National Conference in Christchurch. Her business, Rangitikei Farmstay, offers accommodation for up to 19 guests and a range of activities on and off the 1560 acre sheep and beef farm at Marton. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand, in partnership with Meridian has two Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to two South Island primary schools.


Grant Includes:

Find out how to apply here... www.ruralwomen.org.nz/SthIslandSchoolGrants


South Island School Garden Grants 28-Aug-2012

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rural Women New Zealand, in partnership with Meridian has two Fruit and Vege Garden Grants to give away to two South Island primary schools. Read More

A study by Massey University researchers has found that vaccinating working dogs is likely to be beneficial in protecting them from the Hardjo strain of Leptospirosis. 

Leptospirosis is a severe and sometimes fatal disease in dogs. Dogs may also have no symptoms, but can be a source of infection for humans and other animals.

The Massey study sampled 655 dogs, which were screened for four Leptospirosis strains: Copenhageni, Pomona, Harjo and Ballum. 10.3% of all types of dogs tested positive to serovar Copenhageni, while serovar Harjo was predominantly found in breeds of dogs used as farm working dogs.

The full scientific article ‘A Serological Survey of Leptospiral Antibodies in Dogs in New Zealand” AL Harland, NJ Cave, BR Jones, J Benschop, JJ Donald, AC Midwinter, RA Squires & JM Collins-Emerson, was published in the New Zealand Veterinary Journal – 8 August 2012, and can be purchased by going to www.tandfonline.com/loi/tnzv20

Call to vaccinate working dogs for lepto 21-Aug-2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A study by Massey University researchers has found that vaccinating working dogs is likely to be beneficial in protecting them from the Hardjo strain of Leptospirosis.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has been at the heart of several projects to manage the effects of land use in order to protect our waterways, through our involvement with the NZ Landcare Trust.
These projects have highlighted the importance of working with communities to find local solutions to local problems. 

So a new publication just out from the Trust – Rural Catchment Management: A guide for partners - will be a welcome new tool in the box.

The guide covers common themes that run through successful catchment management projects, with a focus on effective community consultation. 

For more information go to www.landcare.org.nz/catchmentguide

Community role in Rural Catchment Management 16-Aug-2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rural Women New Zealand has been at the heart of several projects to manage the effects of land use in order to protect our waterways, through our involvement with the NZ Landcare Trust.
These projects have highlighted the importance of working with communities to find local solutions to local problems.  Read More

“Fast, Fresh & Tasty”  is an award-winning New Zealand recipe app. It’s full of local ingredients and is designed to help you find something simply delicious to make for dinner tonight. It’s updated seasonally and currently has over 160 recipes to choose from. 

The app also has handy things like a shopping list which you can send on to someone else; you can share what you’re cooking via social media; and you can mark your favourite recipes for easy access. It was recently #1 in Apple’s iTunes store Food and Drink category.

The recipes aim to give people using the app new ideas with familiar ingredients, as well as the inspiration to try some new things out. You can choose what you’re making based on a whole range of main ingredients, or based on different cooking styles: “I feel like soup tonight”, for instance.

The app has the potential to help local food producers too. Food partners pay to be in some of the app’s recipes. For example, in New Zealand Silver Fern Farms, Campbell’s Real Stocks, George Weston Foods, the Seafood Industry Council, Hansells, and Rangitikei Corn Fed Free Range Chickens are all partners with Fast, Fresh & Tasty.

The app developers say that for local artisan producers, Fast, Fresh & Tasty is an opportunity for them to get exposure to new consumers at a lower cost than compared to making an app themselves, or even other forms of advertising.

“Fast Fresh & Tasty” is a Universal app; optimised for both the iPhone and iPad. It costs $5.29 to download from the Apple store.

Fast, Fresh & Tasty: NZ Food App 15-Aug-2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

“Fast, Fresh & Tasty”  is an award-winning New Zealand recipe app. It’s full of local ingredients and is designed to help you find something simply delicious to make for dinner tonight. It’s updated seasonally and currently has over 160 recipes to choose from.  Read More

Administered by the NZ Farm Environment Trust (NZFE) and operating in nine regions, this annual competition promotes sustainable land management by showcasing the work of people farming in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable way.

There are several award categories:

• a Supreme Winner will be selected from each of the 9 regions (supreme Winners will be chosen from the group of finalists – $3000 cash prize);

• National Award – Gordon Stephenson Trophy (the winner will be selected from the 9 regional Supreme Winners – Prize package TBA)

• Ballance Nutrient Management Award (focuses on the wise use of nutrients for productivity while demonstrating excellent care for the environment around them – $1000 cash/product);

• Beef + Lamb New Zealand Livestock Farm Award (recognises the livestock farmer (other than dairy) who demonstrates in a practical way the choices that have been made to farm for the long term – $1000 cash/services);

• Hill Laboratories Harvest Award (recognises the farmer who is predominantly involved in growing crops but also encompasses livestock farmers who demonstrate excellent pasture and soil management – $1000 cash/product);
• LIC Dairy Farm Award (recognises the dairy farmer who demonstrates in a practical way the choices that have been made to farm for the long term – $1000 cash/product);
• Massey University Discovery Award (given in recognition of new discovery and implementation of economically and environmentally sustainable farming systems – $1000 cash/services);

• PGG Wrightson Land and Life Award (focused more on the all important “people” side of the farming business – $1000 cash/product);

• WaterForce Integrated Management Award (recognises the farmer who has developed and implemented integrated water management systems and processes for water used within their farming system – $1000 cash/product);

• Donaghys Farm Stewardship Award (for the creation of special places on farm and may include protection and/or enhancement of cultural, historic, or unique natural or manmade features - $1000 cash/product);

• Meridian Energy Excellence Award (excellence in utilising on-farm opportunities to generate or maximise energy efficiently - $1000 cash/product); and 

• regional awards (Northland Regional Council Water Quality Enhancement Award, Bay of Plenty Regional Council Environmental Award, Waikato Regional Council Water Protection Award, The East Coast Farming for the Future Award, Horizons Regional Council Award [for the integration of trees], Akura Conservation Centre Lifestyle Farm/Small Block Award, Environment Canterbury Regional Council Water Efficiency Award, and Otago Regional Council Sustainable Resource Management Award).

All entries opened on 1 August 2012. Entry forms for the 2013 competition, and contact details for regional coordinators, are available from the NZFE website at www.nzfeatrust.org.nz


2013 Ballance Farm Environment Awards Open 12-Aug-2012

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Administered by the NZ Farm Environment Trust (NZFE) and operating in nine regions, this annual competition promotes sustainable land management by showcasing the work of people farming in an environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable way. Read More

Read All NewsRecent news


(Pictured above: Minister Damien O'Çonnor meeting with RWNZ Chief Executive Officer Penelope England, National President Fiona Gower, National Chair Penny Mudford and Manager of Government, Public Sector and Academic Relationships Angela McLeod.)

 

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release supporting the recent announcement to reintegrate rural proofing into policy development. Please read the media release below. 

 

RURAL PROOFING IS BACK ON THE TABLE

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) is pleased to see rural proofing is back on the table and being included in the Government’s policy work.

“Understanding the impact that Government policies, service delivery and business behaviour have on our rural communities is not only vital to the success of the rural economy, it builds and maintains our rural social fabric,” says RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower.

“RWNZ has been calling for rural impact analyses to be carried out in both the public and private sector because decisions have, and are being made that have a detrimental effect on rural communities.

“As a member of the advisory group that supported the development of the Government’s new Rural Proofing Guide for Policy Development and Service Delivery Planning, RWNZ is encouraged by the final document.

“RWNZ will continue to work alongside the Government, its agencies and entities to ensure successful implementation of the Rural Proofing Guide.

“The Government’s new rural proofing policy guidelines will go a long way to alleviating poor policy development and service delivery, and RWNZ is looking forward to seeing better outcomes for rural communities,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

For further information, please contact National Office:

[email protected]

 

 

 

 

Rural Proofing Back On the Table

Thursday, June 14, 2018


 Read More

 

Rural Women New Zealand would like to congratulate Alison Van Wyk for her appointment as CEO of Access Community Health. 

 


 

Alison has a background in nursing and possesses sales, marketing and management experience within the pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare supply chain markets both within New Zealand and internationally. Instrumental in establishing professional programmes of clinical care and advice in pharmacy and the reclassification of medicines for Green Cross Health, Alison has taken a leadership role in advocacy for pharmacy and government relations within the health industry.

Alison commenced her new role effective 18 June 2018.


 

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release following the announcement this morning that the Government are giving a funding boost to help improve child and family wellbeing. 

 

Read the relevant media here.

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND BACKS GOVERNMENT SUPPORTING FAMILIES

The announcement this morning that the Government will be giving family violence services a boost of $76.2 million is a step in the right direction for our women and families, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“New Zealand’s rate of violence against women and children is unacceptable – it is great to see the Government increasing support services for women, families, and communities in need," says RWNZ National Chair, Penny Mudford.

The Government also announced that additional funding in 2019/2020 would enable services to expand into areas where there is currently no support.

“Women and children living in rural New Zealand have particular challenges and can be vulnerable to physical and psychological abuse due to their geographic and social isolation.

“For some, living rurally means they are some distance from their families and whānau and do not have the support that the wider family can provide.

“Family violence victims in rural New Zealand do not have the same level of access to psychological and legal support as urban women and children do, due to living rurally.

“RWNZ hope that this boost announced by the Government will be used to empower our rural communities by giving women and children who are victims of violence the help and support they so badly need,” says Ms Mudford.

Ends

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.

Please read the media release below.

CENSUS DATA COLLECTION INTEGRITY QUESTIONED

This year’s census is in danger of not providing the data needed to make good decisions, says Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ).

“Whilst we understand and support the excitement of capturing our census data online, our concern is that many people still do not have access to internet while others might not have the capability or capacity to do so,” says National President, Fiona Gower.

“The timing of the delivery of access code letters, which indicate that New Zealanders can opt for paper forms presents challenges for our rural communities, given that delivery of mail is taking longer and might only be delivered three days a week.

“The chances of a rural household without internet or with unreliable internet, receiving census paper forms in time for Tuesday, 6 March is slim, and that is concerning.

“RWNZ is doing everything possible to ensure our networks are aware of the new way of doing the Census although surely more thought should have gone in to how the valuable information about the lives and status of New Zealanders would be collected.

“Maybe this year, there could have been a concerted effort to use both electronic collection and paper collection to ensure integrity of the data,” says Ms Gower.

Ends

 

Please contact the National Office for more information.

 

 

National Office

Rural Women New Zealand

 

[email protected]

04 473 5524


 

 

(image source: www.census.govt.nz)

Census Data Collection Integrity Questioned

Monday, February 26, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand have released a media release raising our concerns for how data is being collected in this year's census.  Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding.

Read the announcement here.  

 

 

ANOTHER SET BACK FOR THE HEALTH AND WELLBEING OF RURAL COMMUNITIES

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) are saddened to see that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will cease operating if it does not receive government funding next week.

 

“RWNZ supports the work already done by RHAANZ in bringing together various rural groups and rural health providers to develop initiatives for rural communities,” says RWNZ Board Member and Health Portfolio Convenor, Margaret Pittaway.

“Remarkable work has been done to deliver the Rural Health Road Map which sets out a plan and priorities for achieving healthily rural communities.

“Being geographically isolated, often with significant distance to the nearest town or health centre means that rural communities have an immediate need of affordable and reliable access to all health services.

“The Government has committed to rural proofing government policy, and RHAANZ has a vital part to play in this development – without the continuation of RHAANZ, and the work it does, rural communities will go backwards.

“There is no other place where issues impacting the health and wellbeing of rural communities are considered concurrently, and the loss of achievements met and efforts made by RHAANZ will be detrimental for our rural people.

RWNZ urges the Government to recognise the good work that has been done by RHAANZ and to support its continuation," says Mrs Pittaway.

Ends

 

 

Another setback for health and wellbeing of rural communities.

Friday, April 06, 2018

Rural Women New Zealand has today released a media release following the announcement that the Rural Health Alliance Aotearoa New Zealand (RHAANZ) will move to shut down if it does not receive funding. Read More

Rural Women New Zealand has released a media release regarding our involvement to help support communities affected by the M.bovis outbreak. With 38 farms currently infected, and others under movement control, we encourage farmers to contact their local Rural Support Trust and visit MPI’s website for advice and support.

 

Read more about this here.

Read the media release below.

 

RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND OFFERS FULL SUPPORT TO GOVERNMENT

 

  Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has offered their full support to the Government for communities that are affected by the Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) outbreak. This announcement was made in a meeting earlier this week with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity Damien O’Connor, and Waikato dairy farmers, then reiterated with industry leaders.

 

“Our rural communities are really hurting in this unprecedented biosecurity outbreak – it is vital they are supported throughout this response, no matter what future plan is decided next week,” says RWNZ National President Fiona Gower.

“From what I saw on Monday and what we are hearing from our members and others in the industry, it is clear that the response to M. bovis is upsetting and we are pleased to have been able to offer our support.

“Since 1925, RWNZ members have been the glue that holds rural communities together and nearly 100 years later we continue by working with Rural Support Trusts, visiting farming families, and offering funding for adverse events.

“The decision to offer our full support comes from recent meetings with industry leaders and the Minister, and from our many years’ experience supporting rural communities.

“We are pleased that RWNZ can continue our tradition of charitable giving and we look forward to working with the Government and industry to ensure rural communities are fully supported through the M. bovis outbreak,” says Ms Gower.

Ends