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Hawkes Bay winery announces it's star studded line up.

Trinity Hill Winery Hawkes Bay

Trinity Hill have announced they will be holding a series of culinary events at the winery throughout the summer, showcasing their wines with locally and nationally acclaimed Chefs.

Beginning Friday 12th December, the ‘Summer Supper Club series” will run once a month for the duration of summer. Local Chef Paolo Pancotti and his Molto Italian Kitchen will “pop up” at the Trinity Hill Cellar door for a relaxed supper club style dinner where diners will have the opportunity to mix and match Trinity Hill wines at cellar door prices. Paolo is excited to be able to offer his authentic Italian inspired feasts to the people of Hawke’s Bay saying “I have always felt that a good meal shared with friends over a great glass of wine is one of the simpler pleasures of life and I am really looking forward to bringing that to Trinity Hill.”

In addition to the Supper Clubs Trinity Hill have confirmed their annual “Trinity Hill Garden party” will be on 7th February 2015 and will feature the owner and chefs of the much awarded Grove Restaurant in Auckland to Hawke’s Bay . Owner Michael Dearth and Executive Chef Benjamin Bayly will bring down their award winning team to cater a sumptuous three course lunch party in the gardens of Trinity Hill Winery. Benjamin Bayly is well known to New Zealander’s through his role as a judge on My Kitchen Rules, New Zealand and was also awarded the coveted title of Cuisine Chef of the Year 2014’

The Grove Restaurant also recently received a rating of 10/10 from the New Zealand Herald Other accolades for the restaurant include Cuisine Best Metropolitan Restaurant 2014 and runner up in Metros Best Fine Dining section 2014. Owner of The Grove Restaurant Michael Dearth said he was really looking forward to partnering with Trinity Hill for the Garden Party. “I’m a big fan of their wines and love how well they match with our style of cuisine. I love Hawke’s Bay and all your wonderful produce and can’t wait to showcase some fantastic food and wine at such an iconic winery “

Michael Henley Trinity Hill CEO says “We are so excited to host The Grove Restaurant to Hawke’s Bay. This is an amazing opportunity to taste some world class cuisine from some of New Zealand’s hottest culinary talent, as well as be one of the first people to taste our much anticipated 2013 Gimblett Gravels wines which we are releasing that weekend. This will be a very special occasion that food and wine lovers will not want to miss”

Trinity Hill’s summer of food and wine aims to highlight the ability of their wines to match with food. Tickets for the three course meal Supper Club are just $50 per person and tickets to the Trinity Hill Garden party are $150 per person and include canapés, a two-course lunch matched to wine and entertainment. Tickets can be booked direct via Trinity Hill on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 06 879 7778

Hawkes Bay benefits from $6m conservation project.

‘Te Matau a Māui’ project

A major partnership of local and national agencies will see more than $6 million invested in conservation in Hawke’s Bay over the next 5 years.

The ‘Te Matau a Māui’ project will be a win-win for both farmers and those working to protect native species, by coordinating pest control and conservation work across wide areas of land, from conservation areas through to actively farmed land.

The project will kick off early in 2015, focusing on 26,000 hectares of Cape to City land between Waimarama and Havelock North. It is being jointly funded by the Aotearoa Foundation, the Department of Conservation, Hawke’s Bay Regional Council, Landcare Research and Cape Sanctuary.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has agreed to commit $1.5M to the project including $300,000 of staff time over the next five years.

A core project funder, Aotearoa Foundation, is also committing $2.3M to Te Matau a Maui over the next five years. The Department of Conservation has committed $1.6M including sustaining the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne work and Landcare Research $0.7M towards monitoring and research for the wider project. Cape Sanctuary is a key partner already investing around $600,000 annually.

The proposal has evolved over the past two years, building on successful pest control techniques used in the Poutiri Ao ō Tāne project - also initiated with the support of the Aotearoa Foundation - which is already restoring sea birds and other native species to an area in the Maungaharuru Ranges, near Tūtira.

"Success long term for New Zealand’s unique biodiversity substantially rests on our ability to integrate public and private biodiversity efforts across New Zealand. For that to succeed it must be a win - win for our farming community. This is one of the cornerstones of the Hawke’s Bay regional biodiversity strategy," says Fenton Wilson, Chairman of Hawke’s Bay Regional Council.

"We’ve recorded declining possum numbers on farmed land and urban areas thanks to supportive landowners and residents. That provides the opportunity to target other predator pests in our farmland as a pathway to large scale predator control similar to the success of the regional council’s Possum Control Area programme," he says.

"This bold initiative not only joins up Cape Sanctuary with other sanctuaries but it brings together communities, local and central government, all of us united to achieve our shared conservation goals. The generous contributions of funds and staff time are being matched by the efforts of rural and urban communities from across the Hawke’s Bay region," says Conservation Minister Maggie Barry.

Lou Sanson, Director-General of the Department of Conservation, believes that the Te Matau a Maui project is at the cutting edge of New Zealand conservation efforts using strategic partnerships.

"The chance to have Government, Local Government, Landcare Research and Hawke’s Bay landowners come together with the help of the Aotearoa Foundation, chaired by Julian Robertson, Andy Lowe and others to bring back our birds is a once in a lifetime opportunity," says Mr Sanson.

"Hawke’s Bay can proudly lead the way in how New Zealand communities are coming together to halt the loss of our precious native wildlife and unique plants that we all love."

Andy Lowe who, with Julian Robertson, is a driving force behind the Cape Sanctuary project believes that long term environmental success for New Zealand needs threatened species conservation and biodiversity work to co-exist with human habitation, recreation and food production. "When we embrace that vision we will have a real chance to reduce the current decline in the unique biodiversity across our country" he says.

Crown Research Institute, Landcare Research, will contribute $700,000 worth of science and research to the Te Matau a Maui project.

Chief Executive, Dr Richard Gordon, says, "This project is exciting to us because of its scale, vision and the range of benefits for all parties. Our role is to contribute innovative tools and decades of experience in predator science at large scales. This publicly funded science will drive adaptive management within the project."

Throughout the Te Matau a Maui project there will be a strong focus on community involvement - in farmed and urban areas, on Māori partnerships, on learning opportunities for school children and the wider agencies that engage regularly with the project partners.

More Hawkes Bay dairy farmers earn gold awards.


In the second year of the Dairy Compliance Recognition Awards, 21 dairy farms from across Hawke's Bay have been recognised. This includes six more farms which achieved 5 years full compliance with their resource consents this year.

Hawke's Bay Regional Council established the awards in 2013 to help achieve the goal set by the Hawke's Bay Dairy Liaison Group to have all of the region's farms achieving 100% compliance with their consents.

Dairy farmers and their staff were at the Green Shed in Hastings last week for an informal presentation of the awards and a barbecue lunch.

"The awards are now a special occasion each year where we recognise the achievement of hardworking dairy farmers and their teams who are managing their farm environment with care," says HBRC Chairman Fenton Wilson who presented the award certificates.

To achieve or hold a Gold tier award, farmers must maintain 100% compliance with their consent conditions for five years. Compliance includes a wide range of activity on the farm, from waste and water management procedures through to providing accurate records.

All but one of last year's Gold recipients have successfully continued with 100% compliance:

Brylee Farm Limited, Tūtira

Cooper Del Este Limited, Takapau

PC Franklin, Ongaonga

Great Glen Farms Limited – Glenelg, Patoka

Hayward Standring Trust, Wairoa

Ingleton Farms Limited, Tikokino

JD Jones, Otane

IJ & S M Knauf, Mangatahi

Lyon Family Trust, Takapau

Newman Family Trust, Otane

Perthshire Farms Land Company Limited, Waipukurau

Plantation Road Dairies Limited, Waipawa

Te Kura Family Trust, Otane

Tuki Dairies Limited, Waipukurau

Tuki Tuki Awa Limited, Takapau.

Moving up into 5 years compliance Gold status are:

Bel Group- Ellingham, Ashley Clinton

Cesped Lands Limited & Riordan JJ VP, Takapau

Flat Hill Trust, Putorino

Seven Oaks Partnership, Tutira

Te Repo Farms Limited, Takapau

Watts & Son Limited, Tūtira.

Supporting sponsors of the awards are Farmlands, Ravensdown and Fonterra and Dannevirke Dairy Supplies. Each dairy farmer also received an ARL farm environmental monitoring testing voucher valued at $70 from Ravensdown, a $200 voucher from Dannevirke Dairy Supplies, a $50 voucher from Farmlands, while three farmers won the Fonterra draw for RD1 vouchers.

"We're proud to be supporters of the awards as Farmlands also takes compliance very seriously," says Rhys Hellyer, Regional Manager, Farmlands Cooperative Society Ltd.

"Ravensdown is proud to be involved in these awards as a major Hawke's Bay manufacturer whose qualified nutrient advisors work closely with dairy farmers to get the best result," says Jamie Thompson, Ravensdown Regional Manager.

"Hawke's Bay dairy industry is leading the way in fencing off waterways and we've had a great response in getting those nitrogen records in. There is plenty of positive change happening on farm regarding effluent management. The farms represented here are leading the way," says Tony Haslett, Fonterra's regional manager.

Media contact
Cr Fenton Wilson, Chairman | P 027 498 4483
Simon Moffitt, HBRC Compliance officer | P 06 833 8074
Susan Wylie, Senior Communications Coordinator | P 06 835 9208, 027 256 854

National figures show dairy cattle farming is slowly recovering in Hawkes Bay.


National figures show an increase of 4% in dairy cattle over the past year reaching an all time high of 6.7 million.  

However beef cattle, sheep, deer and pig numbers have all declined, with the sheep population dropping to 29.6m.

Although the figures were based on Statistic NZ provisional figures to the end of June 2014 it does show that dairy cattle numbers have bounced back from the 2012-13 drought which affected births in the Waikato and Hawke's Bay in particular and forced farmers to destock.

Since June 2013 better pastoral conditions are thought to have contributed to the increase.

In recent years sheep numbers peaked at 40m in 2006 but have continued to slide to the current 29.6m with total lambs born to the end of June at 24.8m, down from 33.8m in 2006.

At 3.63m the numbers of beef cattle have fallen from a high of 4.6m in 2003 although the country's herd has remained quite stable since 2010, falling by about 300,000 over that time.

New Zealand deer numbers dropped, by this June there were 949,400 deer, a significant decrease from the peak of 1.75m in 2004.

The pig population continued its downward slide to 285,000, a trend that started in 2004 when numbers were 388,000.


Demand 'Rockit's' for Hawkes Bay award winning apple brand


Havelock North Fruit Company has announced new investment and a major facility expansion and to meet global demand for its award winning Rockit apple brand.

Havelock North Fruit Company (HNFC) managing director Phil Alison today announced a new major facility in Havelock North, set to open in March 2015 as well as further investment into growing and globally supplying the miniature apple.

Already over $14 million has been invested in the production and marketing of Rockit, with a further $10m projected in the next three years.

Mr Alison says the new facility in Cooper Street Havelock North will be at the leading edge of food innovation and a showcase for Rockit.

It will employ 20 fulltime staff and up to 90 seasonal staff. A recruitment process will be announced in early January with open days planned for late January.

The facility will includes a 2500 m2 packhouse, coolstore, computerized grading equipment and administration offices.

Environmental considerations include low volume waste management, a state of the art filteration system and smart sensor LED lighting. It has future capacity of up to one million cartons.

HNFC reports revenue growth in excess of 700 per cent year on year, which is “a win for Hawke’s Bay” as the company expands and creates new jobs.

“We have had exponential growth and this is projected to continue for the next five years.

“At current trends Rockit has the potential to become one of the largest value creators in the New Zealand’s horticultural sector.

Rockit is exported to the US, Canada, Italy, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the UK and sold domestically. HNFC also has marketing and grower licensee agreements in many world territories, with more planned in 2015.

79 hectares of Rockit are under cultivation with a further 55ha planned.

Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule welcomed the positive economic news saying that it’s great to see local business announce expansion plans and creating new employment opportunities.

“Rockit is proving that you can create an added value product from the land and generate world-wide demand.

“This is an excellent example of a innovation leader and it will be exciting to see the ongoing growth of this business.

Mr Alison said a priority of the business is to create career opportunities within the horticulture food sector for locals.

He says Rockit has a major strategic plan centering around its investments and creating value for NZ.

Accordingly a number of innovative solutions will be incorporated into its ongoing Hawkes Bay investments.

“We are all HB and are about HB.”

“We want to develop a unique culture based around our innovative approach and part of this is rejuvenating career opportunities locally in the food sector.

Tukituki MP Hon. Craig Foss, the Minister of Small Business, said “it is fantastic to see Rockit and Hawke's Bay harvesting the benefits of our trade agreements such as Taiwan.”

In the first nine months of the agreement New Zealand exports increased by 20 percent and in the last month the government announced the conclusion of Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the Republic of Korea.

"This is exactly the opportunity available to other exporters".

"The hardwork, innovation, risk taking and perseverance by Phil [Alison] and the Rockit team should be celebrated," Mr Foss said.

Will Hawkes Bays Origin Earth's Chocolate Milk be the new craze to hit supermarket shelves.


Origin Earth's Chocolate Milk combines the popular Hawke's Bay sourced Origin Earth cow's milk with organic and fair trade chocolate and cocoa powder from Hawke's Bay chocolatier La Petite Chocolat, then adds a dash of Hawke's Bay honey and a drop of Heilala vanilla extract and that's it. Just like our milk it is not homogenised, just pasteurised, and there are no thickeners, emulsifiers, milk powders, additives or stabilisers.

Chocolate and flavoured milks have long been Kiwi favourites and it was in response to requests from customers wanting a product made using Origin Earth milk that got Origin Earth director, Joanie Williams, into the testing room and trying out different combinations/recipes.

Right from the beginning she knew she wanted to create a product in line with Origin Earth's core values and one that parents would be happy to feed their children. The resulting product not only tastes great and is loved by young and old alike, but with just 5.24g fat and 5.74g sugar per 100mL is also low in both these components.

Having been thoroughly taste tested, mainly by shoppers at the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market, the Origin Earth Chocolate Milk is now ready to join other Origin Earth products and to become a favourite in Hawke's Bay and beyond.

Established in 2010, by Joanie and Richard Williams, Origin Earth is a Hawke's Bay owned and operated dairy company which currently produces fresh cow and sheep milk, pot set yoghurt and a range of cheeses.

All Origin Earth products come from animals which are sustainably farmed on biologically managed soils and have complete traceability.

Origin Earth Chocolate Milk is currently available from The Origin Earth Shop at 393 Te Mata Rd, Havelock North, and each Sunday from the Origin Earth stall at the Hawke's Bay Farmers' Market at the A&P Showgrounds, Kenilworth Rd, Hastings. However, expect to start seeing it soon wherever you usually buy your Origin Earth milk.

To find out more about Origin Earth please visit - or to find out more about the other products used in Origin Earth's Chocolate Milk please go to La Petite Chocolat and Heilala Vanilla