NZKGI External Relations Portfolio
The External Relations portfolio is to advocate on the industry’s behalf to lobby change in policy and wider issues while maintaining community, local and central government relationships.
Here are some of the portfolio highlights and achievements from recent years:
In 2019, NZKGI took the lead on the creation of an industry-wide Water Strategy. The strategy identifies the challenges and opportunities for the industry and sets out a plan on how the industry will respond and deliver progress. The strategy is a collaborative effort involving Growers, Maori Kiwifruit Growers Inc, Zespri and Horticulture NZ, with the aim to provide strong leadership and guidance to the industry on the management of water on orchards.
Work within the Water Strategy continues in 2021, with the delivery of a road map that outlines how the industry’s water goals will be achieved. This is supported by a smaller resource for growers that sets out what the water strategy groups are working on and what actions growers can take today to improve water quality.
How the Freshwater Module of a Farm Plan will be delivered continues to be a key focus for NZKGI as well. Along with Zespri and Horticulture NZ, NZKGI continues to advocate in this area.
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) issued Grounds for Reassessment for hydrogen cyanamide in late 2019. It was the first step in the review process, with NZKGI a key contributor in providing information to the EPA, supporting the continued use of the product with appropriate controls in place to manage risks to people and the environment.
NZKGI continues to work in collaboration with Zespri on our response to the reassessment of Hicane by the EPA and working together on the community engagement plan to create community awareness of the industry’s safe use of Hicane spray.
A new community engagement programme was launched in 2020 including the delivery of a safe spraying brochure to all rural households in Kerikeri and the Bay of Plenty and has been strengthened this year. In addition, NZKGI has worked with Horticulture NZ in the review of regional air plans particularly around spray drift, notification and signage.
Health & Safety
In collaboration with Zespri, NZKGI created guidance material to help growers understand their obligations on orchards including a Health & Safety plan. Following on from this guidance material on implications of fatigue, alcohol and drug use was published for growers and workers on orchards and in packhouses.
Local and central government policy consultations continue to be released at a rapid pace and NZKGI continues to advocate hard for growers on policy that has implications for Growers. Meetings with officials and Ministers to influence policy decisions continue to be a key focus.
These can be found on the NZKGI websites’ submissions page of the Environmental and Policy section. Since 2019, NZKGI has submitted over 50 submissions on topics that have implications for growers.
Regional grower advocacy has seen NZKGI become more involved in issues like rural rate increases which has seen strong advocacy on behalf of growers in areas such as Opotiki and Gisborne. NZKGI has recently taken legal proceedings in the High Court against the decision by Gisborne District Council to include the licence in rating valuations for gold kiwifruit orchards.
Other litigation, on behalf of growers, was winning a case in the District Court against Western Bay of Plenty District Council on removing barriers to seasonal accommodation.