Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Farm environment awards the way of the future


Farm environment awards the way of the future

For immediate release: Friday 24 November 2006

New Zealand farmers must pick up the challenge to farm more sustainably so they can promote themselves to global customers as “the finest in the world”.

The Ballance Farm Environment Awards, which have just closed for entries in the Bay of Plenty, support and encourage the use of sustainable farming practices. However, while some people are doing great work, the industry in general is not moving forward fast enough, says John Bourke, chairman of the regional awards trust.

For example, a suggestion for a 10% annual improvement in the amount of nutrient lost from dairy farms “does not go far enough”, Mr Bourke says. “I’m sure that with a sound nutrient management policy and scientific help from fertiliser advisors, farmers can do much better than that.”

Mr Bourke urges land-based businesses to create positive policies and “lead the agenda” so they do not receive negative criticism from global customers and the consumers of export produce. “Adverse publicity reacts extremely rapidly, as demonstrated by the food miles exposure,” Mr Bourke says.

The Ballance Farm Environment awards encourage sustainability of land-based businesses. Sustainability includes profitability, good stock health, protection of waterways by fencing off water sources and preventing stock crossing through water. Other factors taken into account are the management of erosion prone land, shelter for stock from sun and wind, and community or district involvement.”

Awards are a good way for people to learn how to improve farming practices. “You learn from your peers, which is easy and painless. It’s a very positive experience.”

Now in their fifth year, the regional awards received 13 entries this year. They will be assessed over the next three months, with an awards ceremony in April. Assessment coordinator Ian Pirani would like to have seen more entrants. “What seems to be happening is that people think we are looking for perfection. They don’t want to enter until they have everything right. But that’s not the case. These awards are about the journey – about people trying to do better.”

Environment Bay of Plenty coordinates the awards in the Bay of Plenty. Regional council chairman John Cronin says the regional council totally endorses the awards programme. It has pledged its support for the next decade in its Ten Year Plan. “We wholeheartedly support the efforts of the farming community to farm more sustainably.”

The awards, which showcase the work of farmers and orchardists, are now run in eight regions of New Zealand. They are supported by principal sponsor Ballance Agri-Nutrients, along with Livestock Improvement, PPCS, PPG Wrightson, Gallagher and Hill Laboratories. Environment Bay of Plenty is the regional partner. Environment Bay of Plenty’s Sheree Phillips, who has coordinated the awards since the beginning, will be handing the job over to colleague Heidi Wana this year.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On How America’s Middle East Allies Are Poisoning The Ground Joe Biden Will Inherit

As even the US mainstream media has been reporting, the prime motive for the murder of Iran’s top nuclear scientist Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (by Israeli or Saudi operatives, or both) has been to poison the situation that the next US president will inherit. At best, there was only an outside chance that the incoming Biden administration and the outgoing liberal regime of Iranian PM Hassan Rouhani could have revived the Iran anti-nuclear deal that Rouhani had negotiated in 2015 with Barack Obama. Deliberately though, America’s allies have now made it impossible for Biden to pursue that option... More>>


Pay Gap: Progress On Pay Equity For DHB Staff

Today’s initial agreement between DHBs and the PSA on pay equity for clerical and administration staff is an important step toward better, fairer pay for this crucial and largely female workforce, Health Minister Andrew Little says. More>>


New Zealand Government: Speech From The Throne

It is my privilege to exercise the prerogative of Her Majesty the Queen and open the 53rd Parliament.
In the October election, New Zealanders elected a majority Government for the first time under our Mixed Member Proportional electoral system... More>>

Grant Robertson: Government To Review Housing Settings

New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus More>>


Media: Stuff Holds Itself Accountable For Wrongs To Māori

Stuff has today published the results of an investigation into itself, and issued a public apology, for the way the media organisation has portrayed Māori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand, from its first editions to now. Tā Mātou Pono | More>>

New Zealand Government: To Declare A Climate Emergency

The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today. “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every aspect of our lives and the type of planet our children will inherit ... More>>


Economy: Crown Accounts Reflect Govt’s Careful Economic Management

The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels