Hawke's Bay does well at the New Zealand Shearing Championships at Te Kuiti


Photo: Supplied


Shearing: Open final (20 sheep): Rowland Smith (Hastings) 15min 43.4sec, 58.42pts, 1; John Kirkpatrick (Napier) 15min 29.61sec, 58.831pts, 2; Gavin Mutch (Whangamomona and Scotland) 15min 44sec, 60.65pts, 3; David Buick (Pongaroa) 15min 43.83sec, 60.792pts, 4; Mark Grainger (Ye Kuiti) 15min 34.11sec, 61.806pts, 5; Nathan Stratford (Invercargill) 16min 43.7sec, 65.435pts, 6.

Read more: Hawke's Bay does well at the New Zealand Shearing Championships at Te Kuiti

Farmers told beekeeping companies are offering cash to farmers in Hawke's Bay to put hives on their farms


Rurals has been told beekeeping companies from Wellington and the Wairarapa are offering cash to farmers in Hawke's Bay to put hives on their farms, but are not putting them far enough from businesses such as Arataki and Kintail, which have been on the land for many years.

Read more: Farmers told beekeeping companies are offering cash to farmers in Hawke's Bay to put hives on...

Hawke's Bay residents back GM Free campaign


More and more Hastings residents are getting behind a campaign to keep Hastings GMO Free as the fundraising drive hits $40,000.

Lots of people have donated money and given sites for signage as the campaign picks up momentum.

Pure Hawke’s Bay Member and Pastoral Farmer Will MacFarlane says it’s heart warming to see the overwhelming support and passion from Hastings residents to keep their region GMO Free.

"In less than a month we have built some strong support, but we have a long way to go to raise the $150,000 needed to legally fight to keep our region GMO Free."

This weekend the campaign team spent hours banging up billboards around the city.

"We spent the weekend putting up signs around the city and received a really positive response in Hastings. As we are getting the message out there, people are recognising that it’s important to support the fight to keep Hastings GM Free. Hastings people understand that preserving our GM free status will benefit everyone, not just food producers.

Last year, backed by leading Hawke’s Bay food producers, Hastings District Council became the first in New Zealand to secure the territory’s GM Free food producer status under the local plan. While this initiative enjoys overall support from producers and the wider community, Federated Farmers is challenging the Hastings decision in the Environment Court, despite many pastoral farmers, objecting to this move.

Mr MacFarlane has an Angus Bull Stud and says the economic opportunity is significant.

"All business is based on trust and we have to play to our strengths. We have a huge advantage in Hastings because we can now officially say we are GMO Free thanks to the Hastings District Council decision. This adds a lot of value to our products overseas."

Mr MacFarlane supplies Waitrose and says one of the fundamental requirements when he exports meat is being GMO Free.

"Waitrose has GMO Free requirements and we must meet them. We can only get our products into Waitrose if we’re GMO Free so to get certification is big for us.

"As a farmer it’s our point of difference in a very competitive market. We can stand proud and assure consumers that we are breeding and growing our animals naturally in a pure environment."

Mr MacFarlane along with over 100 other growers, pastoral farmers and exporters are on a mission to drum up support to protect the regions high value food exports.

Pure Hawke’s Bay will be backing Hastings District Council in the Environment court and has started a significant fundraising drive to raise the $150,000 needed to put forward a winning legal case.

"The response has been great and we are very humbled by the generosity of the Hawke’s Bay community who believe in a GMO Free region. But we have a long way to go and we are encouraging the people of Hastings to get in behind us."

"We are confident we can secure Hastings’ valuable GM Free status in law, but wider financial support is crucial to building a strong case to win this legal battle."

Mr MacFarlane says Pure Hawke’s Bay is keen to hear from anyone keen to put a GM Free sign on their property or support the campaign financially.

The group has set up a website page where people can become a GM Free Supporter and donate.

Perfect Weather Grows Outstanding Hawke's Bay Apples


Four weeks of perfect apple growing weather and New Zealand’s $700 million record crop is looking spectacular – in fruit size, quality and flavour.

Pipfruit New Zealand chief executive Alan Pollard said New Zealand is growing the best apples in the world. 

“We are already number one for our international competitive edge and this season is going to be exceptional.

“Global demand is for bigger apples and over this past month New Zealand’s apples have been feeding off the perfect growing conditions with plenty of sunshine.

“Our oceanic climate is perfect for apple growing.  We have a coastal sea breeze keeping apples cool during the night and are experiencing day after day of sunny and warm temperatures in the mid to high 20s.”

“In January we forecasted New Zealand would produce a record export crop of $700-million.  We were expecting, given the relatively cool spring conditions that trees would grow slightly smaller apples. 

“But a month of perfect growing conditions has seen fruit really come on, it’s going to be an outstanding season and all our growing regions will prosper,” Mr Pollard said.

“New Zealand’s apple industry is entering an extremely exciting time capturing significant growth, investment and profitability.

“It’s great news for our apple growing regions of Hawke’s Bay, Nelson and Central Otago, Gisborne, Waikato, Wairarapa and South Canterbury.”  

Hawke's Bay shearer gearing up

aarowland smith

Rowland Smith

Budding shearing champions from the Nelson and Marlborough region will have the chance to see the World’s best in action when champion Rowland Smith competes at the Tapawera Shears tomorrow(Saturday).

Smith, who won the World title in Ireland in 2014 and last weekend started a bid to defend it next year by winning the first two rounds of as New Zealand team selection series confirmed earlier this week he planned to shear at Tapawera.

Near invincible over the last two years, with 16 wins in 18 finals dating back to the 2014 Golden Shears win which put him into the World Championships two months later,

The former Northland and now Hawke’s Bay shearer and farmer said he will compete at Tapawera to get starters points to be eligible for the South Island Shearer of the Year final.

Shearers must compete in at least four shows in the South Island to be eligible for SISOY finals at the Southern Shears in Gore next month.

Tapawera, just under 60km south of Nelson on SH6, has hosted World champions or prospective World champions in the past, but they are rare appearances in the region.

Event organiser Kerry Irvine says he hopes the appearance will attract younger hopefuls to both see the champion and compete in their own grades, although the pressure of work as shearing backs-up following recent rain in the region threatens to limit entries to some degree.

About 320 sheep have been prepared for the shears which start at 10am, with competition in all four grades from Junior to Open, along with a Cleanshear. The event will be followed with a speedshear tomorrow night at the Tapawera Hotel, starting at 7pm.

While there are 60 competitions during the season on the Shearing Sports New Zealand calendar during the season, the Tapawera Shears is the only event in the South Island this weekend, while there are three in the North Island, at Warkworth and Tauranga on Saturday, and Levin on Sunday.

Hawke's Bay shearer Rodney Sutton retains his nine year old record


Rodney Sutton 9 yrs ago

Record-breaking shearer Stacey Te Huia was today shearing-on for the sake of the helpers and the fans after his latest attempt on the World solo nine-hour strongwool ewe-shearing record was called-off after less than half-way through.

While conditions on the day in the Mangarata-Taratahi Ag-Training Centre woolshed near Te Ore Ore Masterton were ideal, Te Huia was never able to get onto the pace of over 80 an hour to break the record of 721 set by Hawke’s Bay shearer Rodney Sutton almost nine years ago.

Going into morning smoko after 3hrs 45mins, Te Huia had shorn 281 - 17 shy of the tally at the equivalent stage of Sutton’s record in January 2007.

After a short discussion with the four World Sheep Shearing Records Society judges it was decided to call off the attempt, but Te Huia decided to return the board to shear for the sake of his workers and their big day out.

Experts said a mixture of factors conspired to add to the toughness of the challenge, including on-and-off rain over the previous two days.

Te Huia expects to return to his Australian base within a week and may contemplate another record on merino sheep, as he did when he set a record on Australia’s finewooled finest last February, one of three records he holds.

Another shearing record attempt is being undertaken on Thursday when three shearers will tackle a lambshearing record which was set in 1999. It will take place in a woolshed near Te Kuiti.

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