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RECENT NEWS

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback on the draft Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko (DT|HM) curriculum.

Rural Women New Zealand’s (RWNZ) submission supports the curriculum and its intent to prepare New Zealand’s students for the increasingly digital world. However, RWNZ is concerned about the curriculum being applied in rural areas, where there is not equitable access to digital technologies.

The three core issues with implementing the DT|HM curriculum that RWNZ has focused on in the submission are the lack of sufficient funding for rural schools, training for teachers, and access to reliable internet connectivity. RWNZ noted that although access to reliable broadband has improved in rural schools, not all rural homes and communities are sufficiently equipped. Therefore, rural students that do not have access to reliable internet would be unable to complete the required coursework outside of school hours.

“It is vital that all students in New Zealand have access to all learning opportunities,” says RWNZ National President, Fiona Gower. “They shouldn't be missing these opportunities because of funding or training restrictions or because of where they live. There needs to be equity for all, so no children are left behind in the learning of what is now considered an important part of the curriculum.”

In the submission, RWNZ has requested that the curriculum include a strategic plan that will ensure all schools are provided with adequate resources so that learning outcomes can be consistent across the country. This plan should include a training budget to be used for professional learning and development in the use of digital technologies for teachers; ensuring access to reliable internet connectivity both at school and in homes; and providing all schools and students with the same technology and other resources needed to implement the curriculum.

Click here to download the Submission.

 

Equity of access, funding and training concerns for draft Digital Technologies curriculum

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback on the draft Digital Technologies | Hangarau Matihiko (DT|HM) curriculum.  Read More

In March 2017, the Productivity Commission released a report recommending a number of changes to the way the Government funds and delivers Tertiary Education in New Zealand. RWNZ asked members for their feedback on the Productivity Commission’s Report, to inform on our submission to the Commission.
It was disappointing to see that the otherwise excellent report of the Productivity Commission largely bypassed the rural sector, as it is a unique sector with its own challenges.
Without these issues being specifically highlighted in the report, it is unlikely they will be directly addressed in any actions taken by government as a result of the report. Not only are the challenges faced by rural people of all ages seeking tertiary education likely to not be improved, their ability to access tertiary education could be reduced due to unforeseen consequences of changes made, albeit with the best intentions, that have not been rural-proofed. It was largely evident from the outset, and in the wording of the Scope, that the rural sector was not identified as a “priority group.” Where the report provided graphical and statistical information, the categories were either gender based, age based or with Māori/Pasifika, and in some cases Asian, identified as unique categories. Again, it has been identified that the rural sector is not being recognised.
Also concerning, is the perception that in general access to affordable, fast, reliable broadband has been assumed to be available to all learners. If so, then those on the wrong side of the “digital divide” will be further disadvantaged. The 527-page report from the Commission focused heavily on the way education is funded and the constraints and barriers resulting from that. The
benefits of access to quality tertiary education and the wide range of courses, included ACE funded courses, which categorised tertiary education, were also well covered in the report.

RWNZ’s submission with respect to the low number of students graduating with degrees in agricultural based subjects and the mismatch with the demand for skilled workers in primary production,
was also commented on in the report. The recommendations generally were ones that should have a positive impact on access to education, although how much, if at all, the rural sector would
benefit is unknown. This information needs to be specially addressed. In conclusion, RWNZ welcomes the report, and believes some very sensible recommendations were made. It is hoped that some of the proposals that are being considered will first be rural proofed so that impact can be measured. RWNZ would be happy to input into this process.

The Productivity Commission report is here: New models of tertiary education – the final report on the Commission’s tertiary education inquiry.

Background: 

In November 2015, the Government asked the Productivity Commission to examine how well New Zealand’s tertiary education system is set up to respond to, and take advantage of, trends in technology, internationalisation, demographics, tuition costs and demand for skills. We were also asked to identify potential barriers to innovation. 

The Commission’s report and its package of recommendations seek to give providers the scope to innovate in the delivery of tertiary education, and incentives to do so.
Key recommendations include:

  • better quality control and self-accreditation for strong performers;
  • strengthening the role of student demand in allocating funding to providers;
  • making it easier for students to transfer between courses;
  • abolishing University Entrance;
  • better careers education for young people;
  • enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets;
  • making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and
  • facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers.

Rural Women New Zealand published a submission for the Commission to consider in November 2016. Click here to download the Submission

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has issued a submission to the Government expressing concerns about the impact of the Education (Update) Amendment Bill for rural schools.

The Bill proposes some significant changes to the Act, including allowing for the accreditation of private online charter schools. Under this proposal children as young as five years old will have the ability to elect to receive some or all of their education online. “The risk of online charter schools diverting both students and much needed government funding away from rural schools is something we are concerned about.” says former National President, Wendy McGowan. “Rural schools perform a vital role in their communities, yet many are struggling to cope with the unique challenges of providing education in isolated areas. The Government’s first priority should be in further supporting these schools, rather than seeking out alternative providers, which could challenge their viability” says Wendy McGowan.

In its submission RWNZ says that it doesn’t think that online schools are an acceptable substitute to traditional schools. “In general, we think most children benefit from being able to learn within a traditional school setting where they have the opportunity to socialize and interact with their peers. This is particularly true in rural communities where isolation is a major concern” says Wendy McGowan. “A further limiting factor of online schools is their reliance on a decent level of internet connectivity, something that is lacking in many remote parts of the country” says Wendy McGowan. RWNZ’s submission also outlines concerns that taking children out of the school environment could increase their vulnerability to abuse, neglect in the home and missing out on important primary health interventions, like vaccinations. Research from the United States showing that the academic performance of students at online charter schools is lagging behind those in traditional schools is also referenced in its submission.

RWNZ’S submission also addresses the Bill’s proposal to shift Career Services into the Tertiary Education Commission. “We support the Government in wanting to improve career services to students, but we’re not sure how creating another unit within government will achieve this”, says Wendy McGowan. Changes which RWNZ do support include the introduction of a Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities and changes in the Bill to clarify government expectations around boards of trustees. “These changes will hopefully provide more certainty for schools, as well as consistency for students,” says Wendy McGowan.

Click here to download the submission


Submission on the Education (Update) Amendment Bill

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) has issued a submission to the Government expressing concerns about the impact of the Education (Update) Amendment Bill for rural schools. Read More

A $3000 education scholarship is available for health professionals with an interest in the rural sector. 

The Rural Women New Zealand and Access Scholarship is aimed at applicants who are working in the health field with rural connections, and wish to further their studies in health or disability studies. Preference will be given to applicants who are studying at post-graduate level.

“Access is proud to support ongoing professional development for health professionals working in the rural community, and we are pleased to continue to offer the scholarship alongside Rural Women New Zealand,” says Simon Lipscombe, Chief Executive of Access.

Wendy McGowan, National President of Rural Women New Zealand says the organisation is committed to offering the scholarship to rural health professionals. “We advocate for equity in health services in rural communities on a par with urban areas. That includes upskilling our health professionals to offer quality information and advice to rural patients,” says Wendy McGowan.

Last year the scholarship was awarded to Heather Leong, a Community Registered Nurse based in Waikato. Heather intended to use the scholarship to fund her studies to complete an International Integrative Nurse Coach Certificate in the United States.

Heather planned to apply the skills gained from her studies in her nursing work in the Waikato rural community.

Applications close on 1 July 2016.

Click here for application information and form.

 

Applications closing soon for health education scholarship

Friday, April 22, 2016

A $3000 education scholarship is available for health professionals with an interest in the rural sector.  Read More

It's time for Rural Women New Zealand members to organise some great events for Adult Learners' Week in September.

Adult Learners’ Week (7-13 September) is a celebration of all lifelong learning. It is a chance to promote the many benefits of adult learning especially in the community.
Government funding is currently available to ACE providers who offer programmes for learners whose initial learning was unsuccessful or need to improve foundation skills such as literacy (including digital) and numeracy, and for strengthening social cohesion. However all event ideas will be considered for Adult Learners’ Week funding.

Two levels of funding are available in 2015: $300 for one off events & $750 for full programmes of events such as a week of taster courses, programme expo, festival or whanau fun day.

Download an application form here.

Closing date for applications is 29 May 2015

For more information go to: www.adultlearnersweek.org.nz

 



Adult Learners' Week events 2015

Monday, May 18, 2015

It's time for Rural Women New Zealand members to organise some great events for Adult Learners' Week in September. Read More

Gardening in schools is proving as popular as ever with over 50 entries received for the 2014 Rural Women NZ/Farmlands Garden Grants. Entries have now closed.


The eleven successful schools will be announced before the Christmas break, and they will each receive a cheque for $2000 from the proceeds of the popular Farmlands Ladies Nights.

Winners will also receive a copy of A Good Harvest - Recipes from the Gardens of Rural Women New Zealand, and 20 litres of AgriSea Foliar and Soil Nutrition.


"The money can be used by rural schools to buy equipment, seeds, trees or plants,” says Wendy McGowan, Rural Women NZ national president.


"Over the past three years we have seen more than 40 wonderful projects come to fruition, including composting systems, potting sheds and tunnel houses, orchards and vegetable gardens. One creative school even used recycled plastic bottles to build a greenhouse.”


2014 Rural Primary Schools Garden Grants 10-Dec-2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Gardening in schools is proving as popular as ever with over 50 entries received for the 2014 Rural Women NZ/Farmlands Garden Grants. Entries have now closed. Read More

Recently, Toko Rural Women visited Toko School to see what they've been doing with the money received from the Farmlands and Rural Women Fruit and Vegetable Garden Grant in 2012.


"The school has been very busy," says Helen Jones, President of the Central Taranaki Dinner Group and member of the Toko Rural Women group. "They have used the funds to plant a heritage orchard, have learned about planting and looking after the trees as well as how to graft. It was really great to see so much done."


The school has also planted feijoa trees as shelter for their orchard, and will sell the fruit to help fund their future ventures, including investing in chickens to be able to sell the eggs.


The school has just finished building a greenhouse out of recycled plastic bottles that will serve two purposes. The first is to grow seedlings for the orchard and vegetable garden inside, while the second is for the children to design a watering system using the runoff from the greenhouse.


"We were invited along by Toko School's principal, Kim Waite, to have a look at everything done to date. All in all the ladies from Toko Rural Women were very impressed with how the school's used its funds from the Farmlands and us, and their Principal was most grateful for the opportunity the students have been given."


You can visit their school website to see the progress the Heritage Orchard has made, www.toko.school.nz.

More great images from the visit to Toko School.

This photo gallery has no pictures.

Toko School is Growing 08-Oct-2014

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Recently, Toko Rural Women visited Toko School to see what they've been doing with the money received from the Farmlands and Rural Women Fruit and Vegetable Garden Grant in 2012.  Read More

ParliamentAs the election draws near and the debates have taken place, Rural Women encourages all to think on what are the big concerns affecting your community? What are your local candidates' or political party's stance on the issues? Can candidates ensure your concerns will be addressed through positive legislative changes?


To find out the answers, we need to ask hard questions on big issues.


To start the ball rolling we have produced a Manifesto that tackles the big issues that are impacting on our communities.


Please contact your local Rural Women New Zealand National Councillor if you would like any advice/support on issues of concern to you. This is your opportunity to ensure candidates know the issues and have some answers.

Sample 'hard questions'

  1. Victims of family violence will stay in a relationship for up to 22 years (though the average is two years) because of a well-founded fear that their animals will be maimed or killed. Most states in America include protection of animals in protection orders. The Animal Welfare Act does not cover this unique and urgent circumstance. One of the conditions in NZ Domestic Protection Orders is that the person committing the violence "… must not damage or threaten to damage the applicant's property…"

    Question: If you are the Government will you amend the Domestic Violence Act that allows for the applicants property to include pets and stock to be immediately protected on the issuing of an order by the court?

  2. Many rural areas face uncertainty about the continuance of power supply after 2015. Presently there are roads where lines are being downgraded causing random failures to the power supply. We are told that consumers ‘reasonable’ electricity needs will be met. We note affordability is missing.

    Question: If you are the Government how will you give greater certainty after 2015 than is presently being offered? How do you define "reasonable" in terms of policy? Can you guarantee that affordability is an integral part to your government’s policy? How will that be defined?

  3. According to Professor Jacqueline Rowarth in 2012, of 20,000 annual degree graduates just 80 were in agriculture. This is at odds when New Zealand’s wealth is significantly from our primary industries.

    Question: How will your Government address this anomaly?

  4. Caring Counts 2012 produced by the Human Rights Commission offered 10 recommendations to improve the wellbeing of the aged care workforce. The current Government rejected all of them. They included basic recommendations such as fair pay, and pay for travel for home care workers. (See what the 10 recommendations are here)

    Question: Will you enact the 10 recommendations in Caring Counts?

  5. Women over the age of 70 have an increased chance of breast cancer and yet the free mammogram service and access to the mobile service ceases at 69. This has a greater impact on rural women, while cost being an issue it is further exacerbated for rural women by the need to travel long distances to get their regular mammogram. Due to this it is documented that rural women are less likely than urban women to have regular breast health checks.

    Question: Will your Government consider a private/public mobile breast screening service where women over 70 years can use the mobile service and pay on visit? And would you consider making breast screening services free to women over the age of 70?

  6. The Freshwater Accord gives a level of water safety to a walk through level. Most submissions wanted safe swimming as the bottom line. For rural families lake or river may be the only place where they can swim and dive as they have done since families settled in rural areas.

    Question: Will you amend the Accord to have a percentage of rivers and lakes safe for swimming as the bottom line? What percentage do you think that should be?

  7. A Nurse Practitioners role is unique and takes several years of training. They would be a valued asset to our rural communities, if we could get enough of them. One of the barriers is that the Voluntary Bonding Scheme excludes Nurse Practitioners because they are not seen as new graduates. While a career in nursing is a prior requisite, the NP role is a whole other discipline.

    Question: As the Government, will you review the 2012 recommendation that Nurse Practitioners are rightly noted as new graduates and qualify for participation in the voluntary bonding scheme in hard to staff rural areas?

  8. Hard to staff areas are defined by District Health Board catchments which have strong urban areas that are not difficult to staff. This has resulted in the scheme failing in rural areas where there is the greatest need. There are also DHBs with hard to staff rural areas that are not part of the voluntary bonding scheme.

    Question: Would you, as the Government, direct the DHBs to meet the needs of genuine hard to staff areas within their catchment? Would you n consider using a more targeted method of defining hard to staff areas across all DHBs?

Download the 10 Caring Counts recommendations


To learn more on Rural Women New Zealand and what we're working for change on in rural communities, read our Manifesto.

2014 Election: Hard Questions 03-Sep-2014

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

ParliamentAs the election draws near and the debates have taken place, Rural Women encourages all to think on what are the big concerns affecting your community? What are your local candidates' or political party's stance on the issues? Can candidates ensure your concerns will be addressed through positive legislative changes? Read More

Doubtless Bay Branch has undertaken a fantastic project helping Peria School in 2014 to help achieve its vision of expanding its sustainable culture to generating its own electricity. This will hopefully free up funds to expand its curriculum to include more science equipment, formal music and art tuition, and heating its pool so it can be used by the whole community year round.

 

On Monday, 23rd June, Peria School in the far north became the very first North Island school to be solar powered. The switch on was officiated by Dr Russell Norman who was most impressed by the communities can-do attitude that facilitated this achievement without government assistance. 

 

Featured in the photo above are Doubtless Bay Branch members Joan Petherick, Pat Shephard, Lois Garton and Gail Garton with Dr. Russell Norman. Featured below right is Dr. Russell Norman addressing the students, staff and guests at the 1872 Peria school with the new solar panels.

 

You can read more on the project from the NZ Herald here.

Doubtless Bay local project 2014 02-Jul-2014

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Doubtless Bay Branch has undertaken a fantastic project helping Peria School in 2014 to help achieve its vision of expanding its sustainable culture to generating its own electricity. This will hopefully free up funds to expand its curriculum to include more science equipment, formal music and art tuition, and heating its pool so it can be used by the whole community year round. Read More

You will have heard plenty of commentary in the media yesterday and today around Budget 2014, with some good news for families.


We've put together a snapshot of some of the key issues highlighted in the Budget. You can download that file here.


Some items that will be of interest to rural include:

  • Higher subsidies for tuition fees for agriculture and science courses ($8.5 million for agriculture and $68 million for science)
  • $96 million extra funding for home-based support services
  • $8.9 million for rural general practices
  • Extra $16 million for the repair and rebuild of rural housing
  • Extra funding for irrigation schemes for Crown Irrigation; and
  • $3 million for community-based freshwater improvement initiatives

Links to the full Budget document are included at the bottom of this downloadable document.

Report: Government Budget 2014 16-May-2014

Friday, May 16, 2014

You will have heard plenty of commentary in the media yesterday and today around Budget 2014, with some good news for families. 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