Author: Admin

Ute seized in fisheries bust

Three men had their utility vehicle seized by the Ministry for Primary Industries last week after being caught with 1500 shellfish at a beach in Blockhouse Bay, West Auckland. Two Honorary Fisheries Officers (HFOs) were patrolling at Waikowhai Reserve and saw a group of three men gathering shellfish from the rocks with their vehicle parked on the beach nearby. The men loaded bags of shellfish into the vehicle and drove off the beach where they were stopped by the officers. The men denied there were any shellfish in the vehicle. The officers conducted an inspection of the vehicle and located 1541 whelks and cats eyes in three bags in the vehicle. The daily combined limit for whelks and cats eyes is 50 per gatherer per day. Due to...

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Millions for pasture growth

The Government will invest $7.3 million over five years in an agricultural research partnership to improve pasture grasses and lift the performance of livestock farming, Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy announced today. Pastoral Genomics is an industry-led research partnership between DairyNZ, Beef+Lamb NZ, Grasslands Innovation, NZ Agriseeds, DEEResearch, AgResearch, and Dairy Australia whose objective is to provide pastoral farmers with better forage cultivars that will increase productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability of New Zealand’s pastoral farming systems. Government funding is provided through the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s research partnerships programme and will be matched by industry funding. “This industry-led research is strategically important to New Zealand because it aims to increase productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability of pastoral farming, which is a large part of our agricultural sector,” says Mr Joyce. “New Zealand has a strong primary sector. Just over half of our total exports of goods and services by value are primary products. We need to build on this strength with constant innovation, and by taking full advantage of our strength in agricultural technologies. The investment in this partnership is expected to boost sustainability of New Zealand’s pastoral farms and increase the value of exports by the sector, contributing to the Business Growth Agenda goal of increasing the ratio of exports to GDP for the benefit of all New...

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Meat and dairy tax ‘lunacy’

An Auckland University report which has advocated additional taxes on some of the most commonly-farmed items has been labelled as ‘ridiculous’ and ‘lunacy’ by industry groups. The report calls for a 20% flat rate tax on bread; breakfast cereals; processed meat; fresh beef, lamb, hogget, and poultry; all take-away foods; butter; cakes; biscuits; cheese; cream; pies; pizza; sauces and condiments; milk; ice cream; yoghurt; and eggs. The University’s press statement says that “Maori and low-income New Zealanders are most likely to benefit from these policies”. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says “We are dumfounded that ivory tower academics could think that taxing staple foods will help the poor. “We had to call Auckland University to check that this wasn’t a hoax. They even want to tax fresh milk, eggs, and meat.” “Ramping up taxes on basic staples under an arrogant guise of helping the poor is surely a cruel joke. Pulling numbers from secret computer model and boldly claiming that it will be the amount of ‘lives saved’ is political advocacy, not academic research.” The report has been labelled lunacy by NZ Food and Grocery Council Chief Executive Katherine Rich. “Over the past two years, the Universities of Otago and Auckland have called for new food taxes on salt, fizzy, sugar generally, fat and saturated fat. “But what’s new in today’s announcement, and buried in the small print, is a 20% extra tax on the staple foods that New Zealand families rely on – bread, breakfast cereals, eggs, cheese, milk, beef and lamb. “These foods are an important...

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New online mapping system for Waikato residents

Waikato District Council has launched its external map viewer. The new software which went live on Council’s website yesterday, allows customers to view and search for a property, property and road boundaries, property and rating information, District Plan information, utilities information (water, wastewater and stormwater) and aerial photography. Tony Whittaker, General Manager Strategy and Support, is excited about what the new map viewer offers to customers, “Maps Online gives our customers access to an incredible wealth of information. Our aim is to have all the information we collect about Waikato district available to our customers through the website. “Council has been using mapping tools internally to manage assets and deliver services for some time but this is the first time interactive maps are being made available to the public. “Users can add text and shapes to maps, measure distances and mark areas to say for example, ‘this is where the new shed will be,’” explained Mr Whittaker. “We’re experiencing high development and growth in certain areas. The information available in Maps Online will be updated regularly to reflect changes in our...

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Chinese buyers issue labelled ‘dumbing down’

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy says blaming ethnic groups for complex economic problems is neither new nor unique to New Zealand. She was commenting over suggestions by the Labour Party’s Phil Twyford that a study of house purchasers with Chinesesounding names suggested massive offshore investment and property speculation in the Auckland market. “Dumbing down complex economic woes and blaming them on an ethnic community whose members are already feeling under pressure is neither new nor unique but it’s always disappointing,” said Dame Susan. “Economists have voiced real concerns with the legitimacy of the half baked data that’s been released this weekend, if we are going to address Auckland’s inflationary housing market then expert data, evidence and analysis is crucial.” “Chinese New Zealanders deserve better than this and so does anyone keen on actually solving this issue.” Her comments were backed up by Affordable Auckland’s Mayoral and Albany candidate Stephen Berry, who said Phil Twyford should be embarrassed and ashamed over his comments. “We are reaching a very sad point in New Zealand politics when the use of ethnic surnames becomes a tool for a political party to try to win votes,” Berry said. “Phil Twyford should be embarrassed and ashamed to be fronting a televised scapegoat of the Wangs of New Zealand for blame over Auckland’s hyper-inflated housing sector. It is racist, it is disgusting and this sort of political discord has no place in liberal New Zealand.” Dame Susan Devoy said “When the global oil crisis hit New Zealand in the seventies, Pacific people – whether they were citizens or not – were wrongly blamed by many for the...

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Waikato sales rocket as Auckland effect moves further south

The Waikato region recorded a massive rise in property sales volumes in June compared to the same time last year, up 74% as it appears more and more Aucklanders are looking at most costeffective homes in the region. REINZ, the most up to date source of real estate data in New Zealand, announced last week that there were 7,426 dwelling sales in June 2015, up 29.2% on June 2014 but down 7.0% compared to May. The national median price was $450,000 for June, an increase of $23,000 over June 2014. Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) Chief Executive Colleen Milne says, “There is increasing evidence that Aucklanders are looking out of the region for properties, both as owner-occupiers and for investment properties. Regions such as Northland and Waikato/Bay of Plenty have recorded significant drops in the volume of properties for sale over the past six months, with Aucklanders increasingly being identified as a significant buying group in these regions. Further afield, there is increasing evidence that Aucklanders are making up a larger portion of total buyers. “Prices are continuing to rise within Auckland and the inventory situation is very tight, with less than 10 weeks of stock available. “A reduction in the number of offshore buyers due to requirements to have a New Zealand bank account and an IRD number may be having some impact at the top end of the market, but for the bulk of the market the trends over the past 12 months show no signs of abating.” Four regions recorded...

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