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Environment Minister awards funding for a facility in Napier to turn industrial waste into compost.

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Environment Minister Amy Adams today announced funding of $468,000 for a facility in Napier which turns construction, demolition and industrial waste into compost.

The funding has been awarded to BioRich from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund.

"This money will help BioRich expand its facility to accept waste streams such as bark, wool dust, paper towels, plasterboard and tannery waste," Ms Adams says.

"BioRich currently processes about 30,000 tonnes of organic waste annually. It is estimated the expanded facility will be able to process an additional 6600 tonnes per year at the site.

"The composting facility offers an innovative solution to deal with wastes that are usually difficult to process.

"The material that is being composted would normally go to landfill. Instead, it is being processed into agricultural grade compost which can be used to enrich the soils of Hawke's Bay farms.

"This project is a win-win for the local economy and environment. It will reduce pollution and the amount of material going to landfill, while providing nutrients to make soils more productive and reduce the need for fertilisers.

"Any initiative that reduces material going to landfill is making a difference for our environment."

Several Hawke's Bay companies are already supplying their waste to BioRich for composting.

The $468,000 for the project comes from the Government's Waste Minimisation Fund. The Fund provides financial support to projects which increase resource efficiency and decrease the amount of waste going to landfill.

To date the Government has awarded more than $50 million to 100 projects through the Fund.

Hawkes Bays Gimblett Gravels 2012 Annual Vintage Selection is revealed.

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On concluding a tasting of Gimblett Gravels red wines to select the top twelve wines to represent the 2012 vintage, Andrew Caillard MW applauded the winemakers who rose to the challenge of one of the most difficult vintages ever to produce “fragrant expressive” wines.

The fifth year of this initiative from the Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association (GGWA), the Annual Vintage Selection serves as a unique snapshot of a particular vintage and helps to chart the evolution of Gimblett Gravels wines on a vintage by vintage basis.

Based in Sydney, Andrew Caillard MW has been the independent selector for all five vintages, 2008-2012, inclusive. Highly respected, he is internationally recognized as a leading wine critic.

In making the selections for the 2012 Annual Vintage Selection, Andrew commented that although 2012 was a challenging vintage, “there were many fragrant expressive wines with generous fruit complexity and underlying savoury nuances” and that the very “best wines possessed mid-palate richness and volume”.

Chairman of the GGWA, Tony Bish commented “the ability to pull through quality wines from such a difficult year is a credit to the sub-region. The Gimblett Gravels Winegrowers Association has the opportunity to quieten some critics who have judged the vintage before the wines themselves, further strengthening our sub-region’s unique capabilities and quality reputation”.

The 2012 Annual Vintage Selection will comprise the following wines (in alphabetical order):

Blended reds (Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon dominant):

Alluviale Merlot Cabernet Sauvignon

Babich The Patriarch

Babich Irongate

Unison Selection Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Villa Maria Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot

Syrah:

Craggy Range Gimblett Gravels Vineyard

Mission Estate Reserve

Sacred Hill Deerstalkers

Squawking Magpie Stoned Crow

Trinity Hill Gimblett Gravels

Unison

Villa Maria Reserve

Hawkes Bay wineries shine at the Spiegelau International Wine Awards in Auckland

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Hawke Bay wineries have boosted the regions reputation for producing first class syrahs and chardonnays at the Spiegelau International Wine Awards in Auckland over the weekend.

Elephant Hill won a gold medal for its 2013 syrah and took out Champion Wine of the Show as well as securing the trophy for Champion Shiraz/Syrah.

Not to be outdone, Villa Marias' Reserve Hawke's Bay Chardonnay 2013 followed up its earlier gold medal with the trophy for Champion Chardonnay while Black Barn Vineyards won gold in the voignier variety and took the trophy for Champion Viognier with its Black Barn Single Vineyard Viognier 2013.

Te Awa's Hawke's Bay Cabernet Merlot 2011 took a gold medal in the cabernet sauvignon and cabernet blends class.

Hawkes Bay Regional Council offer soil conservation remedies.

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Now that it's rained, Hawke's Bay farmers may be thinking of pole planting for soil conservation.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council's poplar and willow pole nursery still has stock available for farmers wanting to establish trees to help with soil conservation. Farm soil conservation projects in Hawke's Bay that require 150 poles or more may qualify for grant assistance.

"A relatively dry winter like we've been having often delays farmers' planting plans, but the recent spell of rain may have made some reconsider and we'd like them know we can still help," says HBRC Land management team leader Peter Manson.

Mr Manson says that HBRC can supply poles throughout August until they run out. There is a nice line of Kawa polar poles available and, out of all the poplars, these are the most suitable for timber with the added bonus of a lovely autumn colour.

There are also some willow poles left for farmers interested in gully planting.

HBRC's poplar and willow nursery at Pākōwhai (between Napier and Hastings) produces more than 35,000 poles of different varieties, lengths and diameter each year specifically for soil conservation projects in Hawke's Bay.

Farmers can contact HBRC's nursery manager Jeff Tantrum direct on 027 704 6117 or 06 845 3246 to place their order.

HBRC's land management advisors are also available to help farmers with advice on planting and on whether grants are applicable.

 

Hawkes Bay viticulturist takes his fourth crack at the national title.

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It has taken 6 weeks, in four winegrowing regions, with over 45 budding viticulturists applying and now we are down to our five regional finalists that will compete in the Grand Final of the Young Viticulturist of the Year 2014.

Introducing the Five Finalists:

Paul Robinson from Villa Maria in Hawkes Bay. Paul is a seasoned entrant in this competition. This will be his fourth crack at the national title, having won the Hawkes Bay competition three previous times but being unsuccesul in the national final. Paul is an assistant vineyard manager for one of the largest vineyards in the Gimblett Gravels for Villa Maria Estate

Jeffery Farrell from Craggy Range in Wairarapa. Jeff won the inaugural Wairarapa competition this year. Jeff started his career in Hawkes Bay and has since moved to be the Assitant Vineyard Manager at Craggy Ranges famous Te Muna Vineyard in the Wairarapa.

Dan Manuge from Sea Level Wines in Nelson. Dan is another repeat finalist and this will be his third attempt at taking out the national final, having represented Nelson at the competition in 2012, 2013 and now again in 2014. Dan is the viticulturist for Sea Level Wines in Nelson.

Brenton O'Reilly from Giesen Wines in Marlborough. Brenton has entered the competition several times in his previous home of Hawkes Bay but this year he won the Marlborough competition and will be representing his new home. Brenton recently moved to Marlborough to be the Technical Viticulturist for Giesen Wines.

Mike Winter from Amisfield Wines in Central Otago. Mike is our most southern finalist. A previous contestant this is his first time making it to the national level. Mike is a vineyard manager for Amisfield Wines.

These five hardy men will meet in Blenheim from the 25th – 27th of August to compete in the national final and determine who will be crowned this years New Zealand Young Viticulturist of the Year. The stakes are high for this competition with this years winner receiving a $5000 NZSVO travel prize to travel to anywhere in the world that will give them an insight into the wine industry, a Leadership week travelling around New Zealand meeting the industries established leaders, $2000 cash, and wine glasses supplied by winejobsonline and a brand new Santa Fe 2.2 CRDi A6 7 seater on a 12 month lease! This now brings the prize package for the winner to over $20,000 worth of prizes.

Previous winners of the Young Viticulturist of the Year have proven the ability of the competition to pick out future leaders for the competition, previous winners were;

2006: Marcus Wickham, now Managing Director of Klima NZ
2007: Emma Taylor, now Nursery Viticulturist at Vineyard Plants Ltd
2008: Simon Bishell, now Manager at Caythorpe Estate
2009: Caine Thompson, now Managing Director at Pyramid Valley Wines
2010: Stuart Dudley, now Marlborough Viticulturist of Villa Maria Estate
2011: Nick Paulin, now Viticulturist for Peregrine Wines
2012: Braden Crosby, now Winemaker for Borthwick Estate
2013: Matt Fox, now Vineyard Manager for Glencoe Vineyards.

National Final: Tuesday – Thursday 26 – 28th August Blenheim.

Hawkes Bay fruit grower heads to the finals of the Young Vegetable Grower 2014

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One of New Zealand's top young vegetable growing talents will go head-to-head next month for the title of Young Grower of the Year 2014.

Brett Parker, from Pukekohe, beat six other young vegetable growers from across the country to be crowned the Young Vegetable Grower 2014 in April.

Brett will be looking to impress judges as he goes up against three regional Young Fruit Grower finalists for the national title in the final, run by Horticulture New Zealand in Christchurch on 14 August. The three young fruit growers, from the Nelson, Hawke's Bay and Bay of Plenty regions will also compete for the Young Fruit Grower of the Year 2014 title, at the same time.

"At Horticulture New Zealand we are hugely excited about this year's final. We are delighted that yet again it has attracted some extremely talented young growers from across our industry," said Julian Raine, President of Horticulture New Zealand.

"The Young Grower of the Year competition is now in its sixth year and the standard of the competition we've seen over the years has really been outstanding. No matter the outcome, each finalist has such a promising career ahead of them and they give us huge confidence for the future of the New Zealand horticulture industry. We are looking forward to seeing what they do on the day."

Three regional Young Fruit Grower winners and the national Young Vegetable Grower 2014 will face each other in the final, they are:

- Nelson Young Fruit Grower 2014 - Steve Thomas, Kiwifruit New Variety Manager and Coolstore Manager for Thomas Bros (Riwaka)

- Young Vegetable Grower 2014 - Brett Parker, Assistant Crop Manager for Hinemoa Quality Producers (Pukekawa)

- Hawke's Bay Young Fruit Grower 2014 - Graeme Hodges, Orchard Manager at Rutherglen Orchard (Havelock North)

- Bay of Plenty Young Fruit Grower 2014 - Patrick Malley, contracting manager/director at Onyx Capital kiwifruit and avocado orchard in Maungatapere (Northland).

During the final, contestants will face a series of practical and theoretical challenges, designed to replicate those faced in an orchard or on-farm working environment. The finalists will then deliver a speech in front of the judges at a dinner event, before the winner is announced.

Young Grower of the Year 2013, Ben James, said that the competition is great at encouraging young people to pick-up skills they might not have done otherwise.

"The competition was hugely challenging but also a great learning experience. It put me in the mind set of constantly striving to learn new skills and stretch myself, and I have carried this with me back into my day-to-day work."

"I also really valued meeting the other competitors and having the opportunity to share ideas and experiences with them. I can't wait to see what this years' finalists will show us."

The final of Young Grower of the Year will take place at Rydges Latimer, in Christchurch on 14 August 2014.

From the farmgate to the kitchen table this years Hawkes Bay A&P show is coming soon.

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Hawke's Bay A&P Society events manager Anna Hamilton is hard at work planning this years show for October 22-24.

Ms Hamilton, aged 31, says the planning of A&P shows has it's challenges including how to find a balance between the rural traditions of the past and the demands of the public in the future as well as keeping up with the competition.

Now, while planning this year's show for October 22-24, she will also look at planning for the royal shows in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

She said that at present the show is in the process of rebranding and a focus will be on following the produce chain from the farm gate to the kitchen table.

Lamb and beef precincts are expected to be features of the show, but other sectors will also be tackled as it aims to remove some of the mystique around the rural sector.

Ms Hamilton said that the socitey is aware of the cost and would love to have a show with an open gate but at $16 for an adult, and $35 for a family of two adults and three children she thinks the cost is modest.

 

Napier's John Kirkpatrick is coming up trumps at the Elders Primary Wook UK Tour

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An ancient Northern Ireland castle estate used for filming fantasy drama Game of Thrones has been the unlikely scene of the New Zealand shearing team’s latest victories on the Elders Primary Wool UK Tour.

John Kirkpatrick, of Napier, and David Fagan, of Te Kuiti, beat an Ulster team of Northern Ireland shearer Jack Robinson and Ivan Scott, from the Republic of Ireland, in a test match in a marquee alongside the ruins of Shane’s Castle, near Belfast, on Monday.

Kirkpatrick also won the Northern Irish Sheep Shearing Association event’s first Open final on the castle estate by a narrow margin from England-based New Zealand shearer Matthew Smith, with Fagan in third place.

New Zealanders were also to the fore in the Senior final, with a breakthrough victory for Marton shearer Jacob Moore. South Island-based Masterton shearer Ethan Pankhurst was runner-up.

Kirkpatrick and Fagan have now had two wins and a loss in tests against Scotland, England and Ulster, and their tour ends with a four-test series against Wales, starting at Cothi on Friday and ending at the Royal Welsh Show next week.

The Green Party vision does not include the Hawkes Bay dam.

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The Green Party's environmental election policy, aimed at making every river in New Zealand clean enough to swim in, will look to ban new dams on wild rivers, further drainage of wetlands and tighten rules on irrigation and pollution.

"The Green Party has a vision for New Zealand where families can head down to their local swimming hole or beach and jump right in the water without worrying about getting sick," co-leader Russel Normal said during the the Green's major election policies launch in Hamilton.

"There are over 180,000 kilometres of rivers in New Zealand ... Latest figures show that nearly two-thirds of our monitored river sites are too polluted for swimming, one-third of our lakes are unhealthy, and three quarters of our native freshwater fish are at risk of extinction."

The Greens say they would like to create a network of protected rivers which would restrict irrigation, dams and pollution, while maintaining rights for food gathering and recreation.

Dr Norman said the Government's National Objectives Framework, which comes into force in August, would allow rivers to have as much nitrogen pollution as the Yangtze River in China and would mean that some rivers could become so polluted people would only be able to dip their feet in but would not be able to put their head under.

The Greens say they will look at strengthening the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, and implement a National Environmental Standard for water quality and water flows in rivers which will be enforced by local councils.

Councils would have until 2020 to implement new water quality standards - among them a maximum level for pollutants including nitrate, phosphorous, zinc, and cadmium, and minimum levels for clarity and dissolved oxygen.

A standard for water flows would prohibit all further drainage of wetlands.

Environment Minister Amy Adams said earlier this month that at present there are no requirement for any particular standard for human health and that putting in place a minimum requirement such as making fresh water areas safe for wading and boating is a big step forward.