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Hawkes Bays "Ruataniwha - it's Now or Never" event will highlight real world examples.

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Federated Farmers and Irrigation NZ have released more details about the free "Ruataniwha – it's Now or Never" event, taking place from 7pm next Tuesday (4 November), at the Waipawa/Central Hawke's Bay Municipal Theatre.

"It is definitely not going to be a theoretical discussion about economic models, but real world examples of farmers and schemes with costs similar to what the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme proposes," says Will Foley, Federated Farmers Hawke's Bay.

"Instead of talking about an economic model, we're bringing up farmers involved in the comparable cost North Otago Irrigation Company scheme and Mid-Canterbury's BCI scheme.

"We'd like to thank FMG Rural Insurance and Westpac for their help in bringing up people like Peter Mitchell, an arable cropping farmer involved in the North Otago Irrigation Company scheme.

"His story provides a great example of what's possible when you've got reliable water.

"Rab McDowell is, meanwhile, a traditional sheep and beef farmer who now chairs Mid-Canterbury's BCI water scheme. He has used irrigated water to successfully diversify his farming operation into finishing, dairy support and even cropping.

"Both these two farmers provide great examples for how many Hawke's Bay farmers may approach Ruataniwha, assuming of course, farmers give it the investment tick.

"It's about adding irrigation to how you currently farm, instead of chucking it all in and moving to a completely new farm system. Especially with the bullish outlook for beef and lamb.

"Even with charges and pricing comparable to Ruataniwha, BCI saw a 30 percent increase in irrigated area last year and expects another 20 percent next year. Given the nutrient limits we'll be facing, Rab added that his scheme looks after that for its shareholders.

"As these are comparable cost schemes to Ruataniwha, I am more than heartened to see farmers and communities not just getting by, but doing very well. That's what we want here.

"Peter and Rab convince me we are right to say sheep and beef will benefit hugely from reliable water. Not only has it increased incomes but it helps to eliminate low periods too.

"Other speakers will include Hugh Ritchie about how he'll make Ruataniwha water work for his cropping farm and Arthur Rowlands on why Ruataniwha water will work for his diversified traditional sheep, beef and cropping farm.

"To me the economic experts who matter are the farms and farmers who take irrigation water at costs comparable to what we're looking at. There are also plenty of studies showing how good irrigation is,the most recent study was after all released in June on the North Otago Irrigation Company," Mr Foley concluded.

"Ruataniwha – it's Now or Never" is a free event for farmers considering the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme. It takes place next Tuesday (4 November), at the Waipawa/Central Hawke's Bay Municipal Theatre from 7pm. The Waipawa/Central Hawke's Bay Municipal Theatre is located in Kenilworth Street, Waipawa.

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Hawkes Bay seasonal workers may be in for a cash boost incentive.

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News that Social Development Minister Anne Tolley plans to give cash boosts to beneficiaries who get work picking fruit over summer has been welcomely received by Hawkes Bay kiwifuit growers.

The minister said she was aware that places like Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty found it difficult to get people during kiwifruit season and they would be looking at ways to expand the employment scheme.

Mrs Tolley said there's definitely demand, with 633 people taking up the current scheme.

 

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Former World champions retain the Great Raihania Shears titles at the Hawkes Bay Show.

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Former World champions Cam Ferguson and Joel Henare have retained the Great Raihania Shears open shearing and woolhandling titles respectively at the Hawke's Bay Show in Hastings.

Their wins on Friday (October 24) came in front of Rimitiriu Raihania, great-great grandson of Rimitiriu "The Great" Raihania, after whom the event was named when the shearing competition at the Hawke's Bay Show was revived in 2004.

Rimitiriu "The Great" Raihania won a shearing event at the Show in 1902, thought to have been the first machine-shearing competition in the World.

Ferguson, from Waipawa, was for some time seriously challenged for time honours by workmate Tysson Hema, who was in his fourth Open final since winning the Golden Shears and New Zealand senior titles in 2012.

But ultimately Ferguson, 31, had a 1min 19sec margin at the end of the four-man, 20-sheep race, which as it eventuated was just enough to hold-off Te Kuiti legend David Fagan, who, having just turned 52, produced comfortably the best quality points.

Henare celebrated his 23rd birthday with an absolutely commanding performance throughout for his fifth win in a row since premature elimination from defence of the World woolhandling championship in Ireland in May.

Maryanne Baty, of Gisborne, was runner-up, and 2007 Golden Shears champion Huia Whyte-Puna, of Napier, celebrated a second final in a week by beating the fourth finalist, New Zealand trantasman team member Keryn Herbert, of Te Awamutu.

Three of the other five titles were won Ngati Pahauwera competitors from Raupung, including 15-year-old junior shearing winner Hemi Lambert and sister Teresa, 21, who won the junior woolhandling final. Elder brother Willie, 24, was later fourth in the senior shearing final, and mum Rosalie was among the judges.

Carlton Aranui, 19, also of Raupunga, won the intermediate shearing title, while Robert Mudgway won the senior final, and Ana Braddick, of Eketahuna, won the senior woolhandling final.

Results of the Great Raihania Shears at the Hawke's Bay Show in Hastings on Friday, October 24, 2014:

Shearing:

Open final (20 sheep): Cam Ferguson (Waipawa) 18min 56sec, 76.3pts, 1; David Fagan (Te Kuiti) 20min 40sec, 77.5pts, 2; Tysson Hema (Waipukurau) 20min 15sec, 78.65pts, 3; Pete Chilcott (Whananaki) 21min, 79.3pts, 4.

Senior final (8 sheep): Robert Mudgway (Taihape) 15min 5sec, 17.028pts, 1; Michael Rolston (Levin) 12min 54sec, 22.252pts, 2; Mohi Gray (Waipukurau) 12min 31sec, 29.741pts, 3; Willie Lambert (Raupunga) 12min 1sec, 32.855pts, 4.

Intermediate final (5 sheep): Carlton Aranui (Raupunga) 8min 11sec, 43.75pts, 1; Marley Waihape (Mataura) 7min 59sec, 46.75pts, 2; Liam Quinlivan (Waipukurau) 9min 52sec, 48.8pts, 3; Cayzer Wedd (Napier) 9min 22sec, 58.1pts, 4.

Junior final (2 sheep): Hemi Lambert (Raupunga) 4min 53sec, 31.15pts, 1; Laura Bradley (Woodville) 5min 49sec, 38.45pts, 2; Khochyce Forward (Hastings) 5min 39sec, 38.45pts, 3; Carmen Smith (Pongaroa) 5min 29sec, 38.95pts, 4.

Woolhandling:

Open final: Joel Henare (Gisborne) 112pts, 1; Maryanne Baty (Gisborne) 184pts, 2; Huia Whyte-Puna (Napier) 208pts, 3; Keryn Herbert (Te Awamutu) 210pts, 4.

Senior final: Ana Braddick (Eketahuna) 155pts, 1; Rahna Williams (Flaxmere) 207pts, 2; Erana Smith (Flaxmere/Ruatoria) 214pts, 3; Emma Mason (Masterton) 246pts, 4.

Junior final: Teresa Lambert (Raupunga) 189pts, 1; Danielle Fox (Gisborne) 203pts, 2; Bon Horo (Gisborne) 207pts, 3; Sarah Sears (Taihape) 243pts, 4.

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Wool prices trend upwards following Napier sale.

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New Zealand Wool Services International Limited's General Manager, Mr John Dawson reports that at today's South Island wool sale prices stabilised.

On the back of a weaker New Zealand dollar Crossbred wool prices overall took this into account when compared to Napier on the 16th October.

Of the 9,113 bales on offer 77 percent sold (7,000 bales).

While some business has been concluded in China between sales it has been generally at the finer micron range 31 to 34 micron.

When compared to the South Island sale on the 9th October Merino Fleece 17 to 18.5 micron was 1 percent to 2.5 percent cheaper, 19.5 and 20 micron 6.5 percent cheaper, 20.5 to 22.5 micron 1 to 2 percent dearer.

Mid micron wools 24 and 24.5 was 2.5 percent dearer, 25 to 27.5 micron was 3 percent cheaper, 29 and 30 micron firm.

Compared to the North Island 16th October Fine Crossbred Fleece of 34 to 36 micron was 1 percent dearer.

Fine Crossbred Early Shorn and Second Shear 31 to 36 micron 3 to 5 inch was 2 to 2.5 percent dearer. 31 and 32 micron 3 to 4 inch was 1 percent cheaper while 32 to 36 micron 3 to 4 inch and 2 to 4 inch 2 to 2.5 percent dearer.

Coarse Crossbred Early Shorn and Second Shear were 2 percent dearer.

Crossbred Combing Oddments were 2 percent dearer while Clothing Oddments remained firm.

Next sale on 30th October comprises 6,100 bales from the North Island.

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Villa Maria shines at the Hawkes Bay A&P wine awards.

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After securing an impressive six gold's at this year's Hawkes Bay A&P wine awards, Villa Maria continues its run of success by collecting three trophies and Wine of Show at the country's largest regional wine competition, held last night at the beautiful Waikoko Gardens in Hastings.

Among a superb line-up of finalists, Ollie Powrie, Villa Maria's company viticulturist, proudly accepted the Chardonnay, Rose and Viognier trophies and couldn't be more thrilled at the awards received. However, the real winner was being awarded the Champion Wine of Show for our Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay.

This is the third time our Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay has picked up Champion Wine of Show at the Hawkes Bay A&P wine awards. Based on it's astonishing track record of success, Keltern has firmly cemented itself as one of New Zealand's very finest Chardonnay's, something Mr McDonald, the Chairman of judges, put down to a distinct combination of quality and character, which has become synonymous with the vineyard.

"It has moved away from the kind of chardonnay that made Hawke's Bay famous 15 years ago; it has all those characters, but it's driving the style forward in terms of finesse, also precision and layers of complexity."

The evening, hosted by Jeremy Corbett, is the oldest regional wine competition in New Zealand and celebrates excellence in wine making in the Hawke's Bay region. Viticulture has undoubtedly had a huge impact on Hawkes Bay and these awards really epitomise the contribution viticulture has to the economic, cultural and social wellbeing of the area.

Champion Wine of Show

• Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2013

Trophy Winning wines

• Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2013

• VM Private Bin Hawkes Bay Rose 2014

• VM Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Viognier 2014

Gold Winning wines

• Villa Maria Cellar Selection Gimblett Gravels Hawkes Bay Syrah 2012

• Villa Maria Reserve Hawkes Bay Chardonnay 2013

• Villa Maria Single Vineyard Keltern Chardonnay 2013

• Villa Maria Cellar Selection Hawkes Bay Viognier 2014

• Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Organic Gewurztraminer 2014

• Villa Maria Private Bin Hawkes Bay Rosé 2014

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Hawkes Bay growers and farmers urged to commit to the Ruataniwha Dam.

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IrrigationNZ and Federated Farmers will jointly host an interactive evening meeting to discuss uptake of Ruataniwha water on Tuesday, November 4 at the Waipawa Municipal Theatre.

"We have seen how water storage and irrigation investment in other dry parts of the country has benefitted local communities – like in South Canterbury through the Opuha Scheme, and the same could be the case here," says IrrigationNZ chief executive Andrew Curtis.

"Getting on board the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme now will not only future-proof your farming operation, but will also benefit future generations in Hawkes' Bay."

Presenters at the November 4 event includes two farmers from the North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC) scheme, who will detail the transformation of their community following irrigation development, as well as local dam advocates Hugh Ritchie and Richard Dakins.

Curtis says IrrigationNZ and Federated Farmers had come together to host the event because both organisations believe rumours and incorrect perceptions are hampering the project's progress.

Hawkes Bay growers and farmers need to commit to the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme soon because the project's backers need assurances of uptake before Christmas, says IrrigationNZ.

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Clearview Estate punches above its weight in Hawke's Bay

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Clearview Estate Winery took out two of the 13 Gold Trophy awards in this year’s Hawke’s Bay wine awards; with only big player Villa Maria doing better, taking out one more.

For the small winery based on the Cape Kidnapper’s coast of Hawke’s Bay, taking out the Museum Class and the Sauvignon Blanc and/or Semillon came hot on the heels of a strong showing at the International Aromatic Wine competition held earlier this month.

The Reserve Sauvignon Blanc - Barrique Fermented 2013 won its first ever gold at the Hawke’s Bay A&P Bayleys Wine Awards before being announced as the trophy winner at the region’s largest gala dinner held this week.

Clearview’s star performing wine, its Reserve Chardonnay, in this instance the 2009 vintage, took gold then trophy honours in the Museum class, where wines must be over four years old. The winery’s 2009 Enigma, a blend of the winery’s best Merlot, Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon, won a gold medal in the same category.

It was the Clearview Estate 2014 Coastal Gewürztraminer that sparkled at the Aromatic competition held in conjunction with the Canterbury A&P Show, taking its first-ever gold award.

Clearview Estate was one of the first wineries to help pioneer barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc in Hawke’s Bay and in the country, and the honours were testament to the winery’s perseverance with the barrel fermented style, says co-owner Helma van den Berg.

"We planted Sauvignon Blanc vines when we bought the property nearly 30 years ago and have nurtured them ever since. It began in the late 1980s with a vision of coastal plantings and the pioneering initial release of a Fume Blanc style." Fellow co-owner and winemaker, Tim Turvey said he was "proud that after persisting with the barrel fermented style for around 26 years, it’s finally won gold."

"We're pretty excited with the wins," says Mr Turvey. "Looking at the entry list, there was some pretty impressive competition from some great vintages, so to win three golds is gratifying.

"That our 2009 Reserve Chardonnay is still winning gold shows just what a truly special wine it is, so I hope people still have some in their cellars," says Mr Turvey.

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Hawkes Bays Bruce Wills joins board of Guthrie-Smith Tutira

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Bruce Wills, farmer, owner of Trelinnoe Park north of Napier, and former national president of Federated Farmers NZ, has joined the Board of Guthrie-Smith Tutira.

With a strong and active interest in environmental matters, Mr Wills has returned to live in Hawke’s Bay fulltime and says that he is keen to add his expertise to the Board responsible for the 90 hectare Arboretum and education centre at Tutira.

Mr Wills visited the Arboretum, which is open to the public on Sundays until the end of May, this week and was impressed with the work done to date.

"The Arboretum is critically important as a national collection of trees that will become more valuable as they grow and mature," he says, adding that as he was shown around the 20,000 trees and plants, he couldn’t help comment that it reminded him vividly of the early days of his own farm park 30 years ago.

Guthrie-Smith board chair, David Allan believes the depth of relationships Mr Wills has built with many organisations and within government in his former positions will provide useful links for the Trust. "We are delighted to strengthen our board with Bruce’s expertise, passion and connections."

Mr Wills has stepped down from six years on the Board of Federated Farmers NZ, the past three as national president and prior to that, as meat and fibre chair.

In 2008, Trelinnoe Park won the HB Farm Environment Award. Mr Wills is chair of the NZ Popular & Willow Research Trust and chair of the East Coast region Ballance Farm Environmental Awards. He is also on the board of Motu Research and a trustee of Todd Foundation.

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Are Hawkes Bay apples too sweet for their own good?

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New Zealand apples have come under fire recently for being full of sugar and flavourless.

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Read more: Are Hawkes Bay apples too sweet for their own good?