January 26, 2010

Paparoa 134th Annual show Rides Again on 6th February


The 134th annual show to be held at Paparoa Show Grounds is your chance to take part (or just watch!) in the following events.

Calf & Steers rides, Young Farmers’ Comp, Calf Club, Shearing, Side Shows.

A new attraction:- Pleasure Pony/Horse Riders Ring - for those who just want to have fun - any age rider – enter on the day!!

Talent Quest- for singers and musicians!! To enter – ring 09 4316640 before Feb 5th or if you have your backing organized enter at the show in the morning– good prizes!!

Try out your cooking, photography, vegetable growing or craft skills in the indoor section – enter on Thurs. night or Fri. morning.

Come and see Wood Chopping, Miniature Horses and Driving ponies, Show horses, Show cattle, Vintage vehicles, Classic cars, Trade Sites, Bullock Rides, Agility Dogs and Kaipara Food.

For schedules and more info go to www.paparoanz.com or phone 09 4316326 or 09 4392557. Schedules available at Skeleton’s Drapery Paparoa or Noel Radd’s Maungaturoto

Fonterra’s $271 million capital ideal

26 January 2009


Fonterra’s $271 million capital ideal


Federated Farmers is applauding the $271 million, which Fonterra’s farmer-shareholders have invested into the Cooperative to share-up.


“In less than stellar economic times, around one-third of Fonterra Cooperative Group’s shareholders have ‘shared-up’,” says Lachlan McKenzie, Federated Farmers Dairy chairperson.


“The $271 million raised will become udders containing over half a billion dollars when bank facilities are leveraged off it. That’s a sizeable amount from which to look at acquisitions that will add value to the Cooperative’s financial performance.


“The Federation now wants to see the Cooperative develop a retentions policy that will build on this war chest. While there’s been much uninformed comment on Fonterra’s debt, the Cooperative’s debt-to-debt plus equity ratio trajectory is tracking back to board guidelines of 45-55 percent.


“This ratio means debt is not the issue but having equity to seize opportunities is.


“Late last year, Fonterra injected $53 million into its joint venture with the world's largest dairy cooperative, Royal FrieslandCampina, to acquire FrieslandCampina Domo-Pharma - a pharmaceutical grade lactose manufacturer.


“That sort of sound high frontier acquisition gives a hint to what’s possible going forward.


“Our estimate is that at least 50 percent of farmers do not have the ability to buy shares. The banks have tightened lending criteria while farmers are prioritising debt repayment. In both islands, farmers have a wary eye on increasingly dry conditions that affect farm budgets and their ability to buy dry shares.


“When you tote these things up it’s prudent but understandable that many are acting conservatively. Yet I also detect a strong wait and see attitude, given the internal trading mechanism is yet to be revealed.


“If you put this into a New Zealand sharemarket context, the amount raised would have been second only to the 2009 $450 million dual float of retailer Kathmandu on the NZX and ASX. $271 million is a sizeable amount.


“As this is all part of the Cooperative’s evolution going forward, it’s a very positive start and the shareholding will only grow as farmers increasingly get the financial means and confidence in Fonterra’s performance to invest,” Mr McKenzie concluded.


January 24, 2010

Maungaturoto Simply Art

Maungaturoto's Simply Art's new website are looking for artists in and around the Maungaturoto area who are interested in becoming a part of our Artist List show-casing their work here on Simply ART. If this sounds like you then we want you!

SO! Don't miss out on this wonderful opportunity and the best thing about it is it's free. Contact Maryanne today on 027 337 9599 or simply EMAIL or contact Anne Shanks on 09 431 6229 for more information on Maungaturoto's Art Group.

January 20, 2010

LEADING PROJECT A NEW ZEALAND FIRST

A triumphant open day celebrating the opening of Mangawhai’s new and innovative wastewater scheme, EcoCare, was hosted by Kaipara District Council on Saturday 16 January 2010. Over 300 people attended the event with guests including leading representatives from Northland Regional Council, Whangarei District Council and members of the Mangawhai community.

Kaipara District Mayor, Neil Tiller, is delighted with the successful delivery of the project. “Council together with contractors, Water Infrastructure Group Limited, has delivered to the Mangawhai Community a system that provides an effective solution to the waste water problem at Mangawhai. The EcoCare project, which has been in development in one form or another for the past 15 years, represents a proactive and positive approach by the community and Council towards curtailing the incremental degradation of Mangawhai’s estuary and water ways that was obvious in the early 1990s.”

The scheme has received the wholehearted support of Northland Regional Council. This support was clearly demonstrated at the opening with NRC Chairman, Mark Farnsworth, cutting the ribbon together with Mayor Tiller. Mr Farnsworth, as a Mangawhai resident, said his council was totally supportive of the scheme and that it was development that was excellent for the community. Mr Farnsworth also commented on the success of the opening day saying he had never seen support for an event like it. “It’s been an absolutely brilliant day.”

The project was undertaken on a public-private contractual model that provides for Water Infrastructure Group Limited to design, build and operate the scheme for up to 15 years. This model ensures the contractor has a vested interest in the scheme and develops a scheme that performs as required. This approach, together with the private sector funding model adopted by Council has proved to be a model for success.

EcoCare’s Project Manager, Peter Elliot, commended Kaipara District Council on its approach to the project, saying the crucial issue from his side was the development of a contract which created a public-private model which provided for the delivery of a viable and sustainable asset. “The real key to success in any such contract is Council, and in particular its CEO, understanding the concepts of the project and the contract. Kaipara District Council did this very quickly and effectively. The support from Kaipara District Council and its CEO has been vital to the successful delivery of this innovative project”.

A critical issue for the community was the final disposal option adopted for the project. The community was committed to an effective and sustainable land based disposal option. The end result has been that the wastewater will now be reclaimed and reused for sustainable farming which will meet United States quality standards, a first in New Zealand. A newly developed, controlled irrigation system has been installed at the Council owned dairy farm where the 11,000million cubic metre reclaimed water dam is situated. This system will allow Council the opportunity to undertake experiments with dairy pasture, crops and irrigation controls working in conjunction with leading initiatives in those fields.

Like many large undertakings, the project has not been without its complications. Two significant issues occurred during the course of the project which delayed practical commencement from 2003 to 2005.

Firstly, the Local Government Act was introduced in December 2002. This act introduced changes to Local Government which required Council to give consideration to the options on how to proceed with the project. In particular the Local Government Act specified that Council must own its water and wastewater assets. This requirement resulted in Council re-evaluating the delivery of the project and renegotiating the contract with the contractors.

Secondly, following the completion of a comprehensive tender process Council selected Simons Engineering as preferred contractor for the project. However during the early stages of the project Simons Engineering’s parent company struck financial difficulties. Simons Engineering was eventually placed into administration resulting in Simons’ preferred contractor status being withdrawn. At that time Council entered into discussions with the two remaining bidders from the tender process, NorthPower & EarthTec. Following those discussions, contract negotiations were entered into and signed off with Earth Tec, now Water Infrastructure Group in late October 2005.

In spite of these hurdles Council was delighted to celebrate the connection of the first household to the EcoCare on Wednesday 15 July 2009, just 18 months after the first ‘breaking of the ground’.

In spite of the above delays the project works are, with some minor exceptions caused by specific circumstances, completed on time and under budget. Those few remaining delayed connections are as a result of issues with developers and these are in the process of being resolved. The monies available due to the project being delivered under budget have been used to extend the coverage of the scheme.

Maungaturoto Touch Rugby Update

MAUNGATUROTO TOUCH RUGBY

RECOMMENCING ON

THURSDAY 11TH FEBRUARY 2010


JUNIORS START TIME: 3.30 PM

SENIORS START TIME: 4.30 PM

ADULTS START TIME 6.30 PM

Enquiries Phone Linda 431 9133

Federated Farmers drought line reactivated

20 January 2010

Federated Farmers drought line reactivated

Federated Farmers welcomes the Government’s rapid response today to declare the Northland region to be in a medium scale adverse event. The Federation has responded by reactivating its 0800 drought line (0800 376 844).

“Federated Farmers had hoped that rain would come but things have now come to a head. Farmers will be really appreciative of the Minister’s action,” says Denis Anderson, Federated Farmers Northland provincial president.

“Anyone who has been through the province would have noticed how dry it is. Just over a week ago our soil moisture deficit was 130mm, which is well over double what we expect at this time of the year.

“The main benefit of this declaration is that it provides access to relief measures such as giving Inland Revenue flexibility in treating farmers’ taxation commitments. The Ministry of Social Development further helps families whose income and essential living needs have been badly affected.

“This declaration also offers grants to the Northland Rural Support Trust so that it can offer practical support such as financial advice and welfare support. At times like this, there is a fair degree of psychological and social stress so counselling services would be very welcome.

“Federated Farmers is making its drought line, 0800 DROUGHT (0800 376 844), available to all farmers. At this time, we need to pull together.

“0800 DROUGHT is primarily a feed line that matches farmers with surplus feed to those in need. I’m also contacting Federated Farmers Grain and Seed industry group to ascertain feed stock availability. This provides a further touch point with the Northland Rural Support Trust.

“I will send an advisory out to the Federation’s Northland members shortly to alert them to the drought line and feed list.

“It would be great to see water storage come to the top of the Government’s infrastructure list as climate variation will likely cause an erratic weather pattern. Storing the ample rainfall we normally get would future proof our region and the wider economy,” Mr Anderson concluded.

Draft animal transport welfare code needs a diet

20 January 2010

Draft animal transport welfare code needs a diet


In its submission late last year on the draft Animal Welfare (Transport within New Zealand) Code of Welfare, Federated Farmers has called on the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to focus on a slimmed-down code for commercial transport.

“The draft code as it was written, would apply equally to a pet moggy being taken to a cattery as it would to sheep being transported around the country,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers animal welfare co-spokesperson.

“The code should focus on the commercial transport of animals as that’s what we believe NAWAC intended.

“NAWAC has proposed so-called ‘example values’ bloating the code out to hefty 50-pages. Instead of delivering clarity it becomes a costly but prescriptive fudge. The focus is all about process and not the safe and humane commercial transport of livestock.

“As long as these meet NAWAC’s minimum standards, Federated Farmers has suggested it accredit the standards and schemes being operated by commercial transporters and processors.

“By accrediting things that work in the real world we avoid the cost of reinventing the wheel.

“It’s clear we’ve got to have standards, our reputation depends on it, but the code as it is drafted is too complex to work. I’m certain commonsense proposals will improve it before it is gazetted,” Mr Wills concluded.