Another successful planting day for Napier Forest and Bird.


The Napier Forest & Bird had another successful planting day last week when a team of volunteers planted 650 native plants in less than 2 hours.

The plants were added to the existing enhancement planting on the Old Tutaekuri River Bed, between the new Ford Road Bridge and the rail bridge (behind Mitre10).

Second Hastings sheep mauling raises concerns for farmers.


A second dog attack on sheep in Hastings is causing frustration for farmers and police.

Yesterday afternoon it is believed two or more dogs killed at least four sheep at a farm on Portsmouth Road in Flaxmere.

Although police and animal control were called to the farm they were unable to find the dogs.

Last June a similar incident occurred and more than 40 sheep were lost following the mauling.

Police believe the same dogs could have been involved in the recent incident.


Hawke's Bay 2013 Syrah shone through at the Spiegelau International Wine Competition


6.5% of all wines entered were awarded a gold medal at last week’s Spiegelau International Wine Competition, resulting in 83 wines receiving a score of 18.5 or more out of 20. There were 248 silver medals and 519 bronze also awarded.

Commenting on the results, Chair of Judges, Mike DeGaris concluded, “Judging in varietal-specific glasses, which is unique to this show, tends to give a stronger result.” He continued, “The terrific 2013 vintage really shone through – especially for Hawkes Bay Syrah, while the Pinot Noirs offered ripe fruit and good structure. The Chardonnays were really well put together and overall, were better balanced.”

Guest International Judge, writer and author Tyson Stelzer of Australia said, “Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were standout classes. The Pinot Noirs that my panel tasted were strong and the top wines showed finesse and grace”. He continued, “Of the chardonnays, the highlights displayed finesse and character. The sparkling wines displayed a wide disparity of calibre, with the top wines defined by elegance, freshness and bottle-aged complexity”.

The three day event ended with a public auction to sell bottles that had not been required during the judging process. Proceeds, in excess of some $20,000, will be made available through the Cresswell Jackson New Zealand Wine Trust in the form of grants and scholarships designed to enhance the success of the New Zealand wine industry.

Trophies will be announced and presented along with the gold medals at the awards dinner being held in Auckland on Friday 7 August.

Join the Living Legends Hawke's Bay Planting Day


The Department of Conservation (DOC) is shouting out for help at a regional planting day this Sunday (July 26). Take your favourite spade, warm clothes and lunch for the Living Legends Planting day at the Ahuriri Estuary. You need to be on time though, as they will take you to the inaccessible spot by vehicle. Meet at the corner of Seafield and Holt Rds, behind Bayview, at 9am. Late comers will not be able to get through. For more info phone 834 3111.

Self described Hawke's Bay vigneron wins a prestigious scholarship.



Twelve senior executives and business owners have been given the opportunity to attend the world’s most prestigious business schools after receiving Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships.

Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce says the scholarships will allow our smartest executives to expand their international expertise, and are designed to grow business skills to help make New Zealand firms more internationally competitive.

"The scholarships offer recipients the chance to study at the world’s best business schools. They provide an opportunity to learn international best practices in management and leadership.

"The knowledge gained from the world’s top business schools by our senior executives will benefit the companies they return to."

This is the sixth year the scholarships have been awarded. Recipients will study at a range of top international institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD (The Business School for the World), and the London Business School.

The study programmes range from 4 weeks to 20 months and funding covers up to 50 percent of course-related costs.

"Our distance from overseas markets and the size of our economy can be a challenge to firms wanting to enter international markets," Mr Joyce says.

"The scholarships will help to develop valuable networks and the global mindset of our business leaders. Ultimately, this will help to grow our economy and make New Zealand businesses more internationally competitive."

The Hawke's Bay recipient of the 2015 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships is Stephen Smith of Hastings, Wine and Viticulture Director at Craggy Range Vineyards Limited.

Steve is a big man, both in stature and personality. ‘Towering and gregarious Smith, a polar bear of a man’ is how New York novelist and wine writer for the Wall Street Journal, Jay McInerney describes him.

'I was conceived in the middle of the great Bordeaux vintage of 1961,' is how Steve prefers to introduce himself.

'When you're born in 62, you look for any reason to link something to do with your creation to a better vintage!'

Steve’s presentations on the international wine circuit are illuminating and enormously popular. Time spent in his company is both inspiring and entertaining. His are the sort of engagingly earthy events where you might learn the kiwi interpretation of the word ‘bugger’ or rethink your attitude to humble fencing wire.

‘There are a few names people have called me, but I would describe myself as a vigneron,’ he says. ‘Somebody who has a piece of land and farms a piece of land and makes wine. My greatest personal ambition is to make truly great wines from vines that I’ve planted.’

International volunteers help enhance the Hawke's Bay landscape.


Conservation Volunteers from Germany, Austria, and USA were warmly welcomed to Houngarea Marae this week.

Before starting their work planting NZ natives with Carl Munroe on a frosty HB morning, they enjoyed a Pakipaki walking tour and “inspirational” ‘Introduction to enhancement planting’ from well-known local Marina Mohi.

The Conservation Volunteer Guidelines include a requirement to: Preserve, protect and restore the natural environment, indigenous or historical cultural heritage and encourage a sense of community ownership.

Thanks to the team for their support of the Pakipaki community and the Te Karamu Enhancement project and thank you to Nga Whenua Rahui (DoC) who kindly supplied the plants.

Timber by EMSIEN-3 LTD