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Rural Women Alive! No. 38 - 23 December 2005

RURAL WOMEN ALIVE!

No. 38 - 23 December 2005

This is the Email newsletter of Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ), compiled by National Office. The format has been kept simple to avoid download problems. If you do not wish to receive this email please let us know by replying to this message.

"MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR READERS"

NEW YEAR - NEW STAFF: At Christmas we farewell Maggie Bayfield, who has been acting Executive Officer during 2005. Maggie has made a very valuable contribution to RWNZ this year, leading the organization as it considers future directions. Maggie will be missed by councillors and office staff alike. We have been a happy team this year and have all enjoyed working together. Maggie and her husband Bill are moving to the Bay of Plenty - lucky them!

Maggie thanks all those who have contributed to the submission process. "RWNZ continues to play an important role in ensuring the rural voice is heard in Wellington, and that is dependent on contribution and participation by members. We hope that our continued lobbying for better internet access for rural people will enable more people to participate via email." Maggie wishes everyone a Merry Xmas and all the best for the future.

In early February 2006 we will be welcoming a new Executive Officer to RWNZ. Jo-Anne Stokes will also be returning to RWNZ in February as a part-time policy analyst, following her year's maternity leave. The policy-analyst role is a newly created one that will fill a gap in our organization and help us to be more effective in lobbying Government on behalf of rural communities. Welcome back Jo-Anne!

Finally early in the new year the administration clerk position will become a full-time role, a job-share position with Lillian McIvor, our wonderful 'fount of all knowledge' in the office.

RURAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS: The winners of the inaugural Rural Achievement Awards, which were established to celebrate our 80th birthday, have been announced. They are: Lorna Anderson of Otautau, Rene Martin of Great Barrier Island, Jocelyn Fannin of Taihape, Amy Jones of Fairlie, June Haultain of Hamilton, Joyce Wyllie of Collingwood and Ngaire Ericksen of Tauranga. These women have all given years of service in many different capacities which has helped strengthen their rural communities. Congratulations to you all, and to all the other nominees - the judges (Mary Bourke and Tom Lambie) were very impressed by the CVs and references of all those whose names were put forward. The Achievement Awards will be presented in style at Government House on 15 March 2006 by our patron the Governor General, Dame Silvia Cartwright. We are grateful to Mainland Minerals, whose generous sponsorship has made these awards possible.

MAINLAND MINERALS: You may like to find out more about this company, with whom we have established a partnership this year, including the sponsorship arrangements for the Achievement Awards. From 2006 Mainland Minerals will be available to provide speakers at regional or national conferences and is also going to be running workshops / learning packages for us, rolling out initially in Canterbury, followed by Southland and Otago. The workshops will be on soil formation, plants, fertilizers and soil acidity. Mainland Minerals is happy to make space available for RWNZ representatives at their A&P show stands and other events. The company has a new-look website - www.mainlandminerals.co.nz . Our first point of contact is Claire Cilliers, the Marketing Manager.

NEW ANIMAL WELFARE CODE: Yesterday the Minister of Agriculture announced new minimum standards and best practice for carrying out painful procedures on farm animals with the release of the new Code of Welfare for Painful Husbandry Procedures. There are some important changes covering castration, dehorning and tail docking of farm animals. The changes have legal effect and can be used in animal welfare court cases. Key points are:

a) Castration: Pain relief must be used when castrating or shortening the scotum of any animal over the age of 6 months (previously 9 months). If high tension bands are used, local anaesthetic must be used AT ANY AGE to provide pain relief.

b) Tail docking on sheep must be performed as young as possible and if the lamb is over six months pain relief must be used. For cattle, tail shortening is limited to the removal of the last two-three vertebrae (the switch), using a rubber ring between the joints and left to drop off of its own accord, or can be severed after 7 days below the ring.

c) Pain relief must be used for dehorning any animal over the age of nine months. (previously 20 months).

ENVIRONMENTAL FARM PLANNING AND REPORTING PACKAGE - AGRESEARCH: AgResearch has just launched a new software package to help NZ farmers, called the "Whole Farm Planning and Reporting Package." It assists farmers document how they are managing their farm's resources including animals, land, water and the environment. It will help farmers prove to regulatory authorities etc how they are practicing good environmental management, compliance etc. The software has been developed for the Project Green Charitable Trust, which sets a voluntary NZ standard for sustainable production on sheep, beef, deer and goat farms. For more information go to http://www.agresearch.co.nz .

CENSUS 2006: Statistics NZ is looking for collectors for the 2006 Census on 7 March. Collectors deliver and collect the census forms personally to every household in NZ. It is a job suited to local people with a practical approach and the ability to communicate with the full range of people living in the area. Hours are not full time and can usually be fitted in around school hours and other commitments. If you want extra cash and to assist your local community you can register by calling 0508 CENSUS or 0508236787 or email censusjobs@stats.govt.nz.

TALK ENVIRONMENT ROADSHOW: This year's roadshow was the biggest ever with the Ministry for the Environment meeting with 2,400 people in 16 locations around the country. The notes from the meetings are on the website: www.mfe.govt.nz/withyou/talkenvironment/roadshow-2005/index.html.

The website will be updated again in 2006 to let people know how what was said influences (or will influence) the MfE work programmes.

REDUCING THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER: Breast Cancer Network NZ has put out a brochure on reducing your breast cancer risk. In NZ women have a one in 10 risk over a lifetime, one of the highest incidences in the world.

Many of the things which increase the risk are environmental. There is firm evidence that the following increase the risk: obesity or weight gain; HRT; drinking alcohol; oral contraceptives for 10 years or more; childless or having children after 30; ionizing radiation (including x-rays); smoking and passive smoking. The risk is decreased for people who have a full term pregnancy before they are 20 and who breast feed for as long as possible.

There is also limited evidence that high fat, high red meat diets and high dairy intake increases the risk, as do oestrogen-disruptor chemicals and toxic chemicals. There is limited evidence that a Mediterranean diet, including olive oil, a low fat, high vegetable/fruit diet, green tea, fish oils and exercise, especially when young decreases the risk.

Check out the Breast Cancer Network website on www.breastcancernetwork.org.nz .

NATIONAL WETLAND SYMPOSIUM: A National Wetland Symposium will be held in Hamilton on February 23-25 2006 at Waikato University. It is targeting people involved in managing and restoring wetlands, including landowners and community groups. For more information see www.wetlandtrust.org.nz .

CHOCOLATE CHEESE - WHATEVER NEXT?! Fonterra is marketing a new chocolate cheese slice across Asia with the aim of encouraging more consumers to eat cheese as part of their daily diet. To date Taiwanese consumers have eaten more than 3 million slices of chocolate flavoured cheese and the product is now making inroads into the Singapore cheese market as well. It is also currently being launched in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.

AGRECOVERY FOUNDATION: This new charitable trust has been set up to establish a nationwide recovery programme for plastic agricultural chemical containers. An estimated five million under-30 litre agrichemical containers are used in NZ each year as well as other on-farm plastics. The product stewardship programme will see brand owners taking responsibility for enabling the collection, recovery and eventual recycling of the mountain of used chemical containers used by farmers and horticulturalists each year. The Foundation's trustees met in Wellington last week to sign the trust deed and progress the contracts and work plan that will see the recovery programme move to implementation.

BROADBAND - COMMERCE COMMISSION RULING: A ruling by the Commerce Commission on high speed internet access is bad news for rural customers according to Telecom. The ruling means Telecom rival, TelstraClear, will have access to wholesale broadband from Telecom up to the maximum technical speed of 7.6 megabits a second at the wholesale rate of $27.87 excluding GST a month. Telecom says that digital subscriber line services will become uneconomic in rural areas as a result. But TelstraClear says if Telecom doesn't want to invest in rural areas then "under the right regulatory conditions" TelstraClear will. The Commerce Commission found there was a risk service could be affected, but said it was outweighed by the benefits of high-speed broadband. Rural Women NZ will continue to keep a close watch on this issue which is a very important one for our members.

INFLUENZA PANDEMIC: We have received a draft Ministry of Health document on Guidance on the Treatment and Care of NZers on a Pandemic. If anyone is interested in finding out more or commenting on this topic, please view the paper on our website: http://ruralwomen.org/documents/PandemicPreparedness.doc. Comments should be sent in to Head Office by mid January 2006, so that we can respond. Email GRSMD@xtra.co.nz.

FUNDRAISING: Seminars on the A to Z of Fundraising are being held in Auckland on 3 February and in Wellington on 17 February. This is a $90+GST one-day course being run by Dwyllis Brown and Heather Newell. It gives a basic introduction including case studies and examples covering: conveying your need for support, who, when and how to ask; eight ways of fundraising; standing out in the crowd; legal issues and ethics; creating a fundraising plan. For enquiries tel (04) 528 0742 or email heather@foresee.co.nz.

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

14 February 2006 - Luncheon to celebrate the nominees for the RWNZ Achievement Award Region 7 - RSA Clubrooms, Warkworth. All financial members are welcome. RSVP by 31 January to Mrs Hazel MacMilan, Utakura Valley, RD1, Okaihau.

25 March 2006 - North Canterbury Group - "Not Just Gumboots and Scones Day" for hands-on learning - practical morning on topics such as puppy training, changing washers and fuses, moving irrigation, civil defence, injury prevention followed in afternoon by guest speakers Lea Stenning on food on the farm and the GI Index and a psychologist talking on suicide. Contact Sue Halse on (03) 310 2277 or email sue.rob.kdowns@xtra.co.nz

30-31 March - Wainaki Regional Conference - Urenui Community Centre. Theme "Looking Ahead and reaching for the future". For further information contact Margaret Vickers on (06) 762 8845 or email r.m.vickers@xtra.co.nz.

Newsletter compiled by Jackie Edkins - Communications Officer (RWNZ) Jackie.Edkins@ruralwomen.org.nz. Would you like to know more about our organisation and how to join? Go to our website: www.ruralwomen.org.


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