Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Well Child Telephone Advice Service change

From 1 July, people seeking telephone advice on parenting and related issues for

children under five are being asked to call PlunketLine only.
Ring PlunketLine on 0800 933 922 if you have child health and parenting
questions or queries. For example, if you have questions about such issues
as parenting, crying, sleeping, your child’s growth, development, behaviour,
immunisation, breastfeeding, nutrition, oral health, safety or want to know
more about the Well Child/Tamariki Ora programme.
Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 if you need advice about a child of any age
who is unwell or hurt, or has any symptoms of sickness. Healthline also
provides a full range of telephone triage and health advice for children over
five and adults.
Both services are available 24 hours and are free to callers, including from a
mobile phone.

Monday, July 5, 2010

NZ 2020 Smokefree vision - NZ Youth Parliament

Young people lead the way

The Cancer Society of New Zealand congratulates members of the New Zealand Youth Parliament for

their active and open approach to tobacco control, and commitment to New Zealand’s 2020 Smokefree


New Zealand Youth Parliament, which is co-ordinated by the Ministry of Youth Development every three

years, gives young people, who are selected by members of Parliament, an opportunity to take part in

debates held in Chamber and hold youth select committee meetings. The select committees conduct

inquiries on issues that affect young people in New Zealand.

The Health Select Committee of this year’s Youth Parliament (6 and 7 July) is going to debate smoking

and address an inquiry into creating a Smokefree generation of young New Zealanders by 2020.

Today young people are definitely at the forefront of the battle against smoking and recognising this, the

Cancer Society of New Zealand started working with young people back in 2006/07. The Smokefree Youth

Ambassador project empowers young people to take action and raise awareness, especially in regard to

tobacco displays which are a potent promotional tool for tobacco companies. The Smokefree Youth

Ambassador project is still going strong and young people are aware, more than ever, of the harms of


And the best news is - the rates of smoking among young people are lower than at any other time in

recent history. The New Zealand Youth 2000 and Youth 2007 studies (Adolescent Health Research Group

2003 - 2008) of over 8,000 secondary students identified that 92% were smoke-free and only 8% of

students reported smoking cigarettes weekly, or more often, in 2007, compared to 16% in 2001. Fewer

students had tried smoking cigarettes - down from 52% in 2001, to 32% in 2007.

Last week a group of young people presented very strongly and passionately to the Māori Affairs Select

Committee inquiry into the tobacco industry in Aotearoa and the consequences of tobacco use for Māori.

They talked about the personal impact their parents and grandparents’ smoking had on their whanau.

The young people said that non-smoking has become the norm in their schools and they want our

politicians and communities to hear their voices and take strong action against this deadly poison.

It is certain our young people have taken this battle very seriously and with their awareness and actions a

Smokefree New Zealand, in the near future, doesn’t seems out of reach anymore.

For further information: Lynne St.Clair Chapman

National Communications Manager 04 4947195 or mob 027 4444 150

Friday, July 2, 2010

New Zealand first to wipe out the ‘Aussie mozzie’

Health Minister Tony Ryall and Biosecurity Minister David Carter say officials have today declared New Zealand free of the Southern Saltmarsh Mosquito, the first country in the world to wipe out the ‘Aussie mozzie’.
The mosquito, a vicious day-time biter capable of carrying Ross River Virus, has been successfully eradicated following an 11-year programme. The last mosquito larvae were found in December 2008.
“Ross River Virus can be very debilitating and it is a huge achievement for New Zealand to be the first country in the world, we are advised, to successfully wipe out this saltmarsh mosquito,” says Mr Ryall.
Responsibility for the eradication programme was handed over by the Ministry of Health to MAF Biosecurity New Zealand in 2006.
“The economic impact of this mosquito establishing permanently was estimated at around $120 million for direct health costs alone, let alone lost productivity, the likely impacts on tourism and the costs of mosquito control” says Mr Carter.
From today MAF takes over responsibility from the Ministry of Health for the surveillance of mosquitoes that may be found in salt marshes around New Zealand. Health will continue mosquito surveillance at the country’s ports and airports.

NIWA's National Climate Centre has just released its latest seasonal outlook.

* Temperatures are likely to be above average for the rest of winter and into early spring across much of the country. However, short-term cold snaps and frosty periods typical of winter will still occur.

* The equatorial Pacific is now in a neutral state, but is bordering on a La Niña. La Niña conditions are expected to develop fully by early spring.

* Normal or below normal rainfalls are likely in the North Island, with near-normal rainfalls expected over much of the South Island. The west and south of the South Island is likely to experience normal or above normal rainfalls.

* Soil moisture levels and stream flows are predicted to be normal or below normal in the north and east of the North Island, normal or above normal in the western South Island, and near normal in other regions.

* Mean sea level pressures are likely to be above normal over the North Island and to the north of the country, with stronger than average westerly wind flow over the South Island and south of the country, for July-September as a whole.

Animal welfare bill passes into law

Agriculture Minister David Carter has welcomed the unanimous passing today of legislation that significantly raises penalties for cruelty to animals.
The Animal Welfare Amendment Act will increase the maximum sentences and fines for animal ill-treatment and neglect, and redefine the way some offences are described.
“This legislation sends a clear message that serious offending against animals will not be tolerated,” says Mr Carter.
“The unanimous support it received in Parliament reflects the fact that New Zealanders want strong laws to protect animals from harm.”
The Act expands the threshold for the offence of wilful ill-treatment – the most serious animal welfare offence – and it adds a new offence of reckless ill-treatment.
The maximum sentence for wilful ill-treatment of an animal increases from three to five years and the maximum fine will double to $100,000 for an individual and $500,000 for a body corporate.
Penalties also increase for a range of other neglect and ill-treatment offences and the Act expands the law relating to forfeiture of animals and disqualification from having custody of animals.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Wellington vet gets international honour

Wellington vet gets international honourA Wellington vet has received a top international honour from the World Veterinary Association (WVA) in recognition of his work for the global veterinary profession.
Earlier this year, Dr Jim Edwards was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to the veterinary profession and the community.
He has now been made an honorary member of the WVA. People who hold this position are ‘distinguished persons’ who are recognised for their outstanding service to the profession internationally. This new honour was announced at the WVA’s extra-ordinary presidents' assembly in Paris in late May.
It has been 10 years since the WVA last elected someone an honorary member. One of the previous appointees to this position is Dr Peter Doherty who won the Nobel Prize.
The WVA was formed in 1863 and represents the veterinary associations worldwide.
It promotes standards and competence and animal and human health and wellbeing through the sustainable and humane use and management of animals.
Dr Edwards served as president of the WVA for three years. He has also served as president of the New Zealand Veterinary Association and president of the Federation of Asian Veterinary Associations.
He is now the communications director for the WVA, working from his home in Manakau, just north of Wellington.
His wife, Pam, was the instigator of World Veterinary Day, which was first celebrated in 2001.

Bee industry conference starts Sundat

Over 200 beekeepers, specialty vendors and industry delegates from New Zealand and Australia will attend the National Beekeepers’ Association (NBA) Conference which starts on Sunday in Nelson.

Delegates will gather to learn more about leading edge beekeeping science, find out what’s happening within the industry and maintain key networks.

During the four day conference, participants will attend workshops by overseas experts, local researchers and fellow beekeepers, including a presentation by the Minister of agriculture and biosecurity.

Hon. David Carter will inform delegates on government industry agreements and address the need for the beekeeping industry to work together for the benefit of the industry.

Speaker topics include setting standards for the manuka industry, organic products for varroa control, disease preparedness and surveillance activities.

“The conference is a great way for delegates to share important information and ideas on how to best manage pests and diseases, which could threaten our economy, and to enjoy the collegiality that is part of a career in beekeeping,” says NBA president Frans Laas.

A national honey competition will also be held during the conference which will showcase an assortment of some of New Zealand’s best honey.
“This is the only honey competition of its kind in New Zealand. The competition is split into 17 classes and will include everything from liquid and comb honey, to bees wax and products made from the hive.”

The NBA honey and photography competition winners and other awards will be presented at a gala dinner on Tuesday night.

The NBA Annual General Meeting will be held during the conference which is being held at the Rutherford Hotel in Nelson and finishes on Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Horticulture statistics

New Zealand's horticulture industry has continued to grow, recording its highest ever annual returns last year. New figures show fruit, vegetables, wine and flowers were worth more than $6 billion exports and domestic spend in the year to 30 June 2009, up around $470m on 2008.

'Fresh Facts in New Zealand Horticulture - 2009', published by Plant & Food Research and industry analysts Martech Consulting, found export returns for the year to June 2009 topped $3.4b (free-on-board value), up from $2.94b in 2008, and nearly doubling those of a decade ago, when in 1999 NZ horticultural exports were $1.74 billion.

Two crops clearly stand out over the past ten years; kiwifruit exports have increased from less than half a billion ($478m) in 1999 to over one billion ($1.07bn); and wine exports have increased from $126m in 1999 to close to $1 billion ($985m). The past year alone has seen kiwifruit and wine exports increased by 23.1% and 24.0% respectively.

Fresh fruit remains New Zealand’s largest horticultural export sector, with revenues of $1.58b (up 18.2% on 2008), mostly from kiwifruit ($1.07b) and apples ($396m).

Fresh vegetable exports fell slightly against 2008, primarily due to the reduction in fresh onion exports following the big increase experienced the previous year. Processed vegetables increased by $19.3m (6.1%) overall in 2009, with frozen potato exports up $17.3m (27.2%) and dried vegetables up $16.0m (37.5%) offsetting decreases in other processed vegetables.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Mental Health Foundation seed kits

The Mental Health Foundation and The Warehouse want you to go potty and sow the seeds of good mental health during the month of June.

From 2 June The Warehouse will be selling miniature plant kits at checkouts nationwide in a fundraising partnership with the Mental Health Foundation. The kits, which come in four varieties – chilli, urban grass, sunflower & tomato – will be sold for $2 and are a fantastic way to support the Mental Health Foundation.
Gardening is something that everyone can do and is an activity that includes all five winning ways to wellbeing.
“Research tells us that if you actively incorporate the winning ways – connect, learn, give, be active and take notice – into your daily life, you will flourish,” Hugh Norriss, Acting Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, says.
Gardens can take many forms, including pot plants in the office that are proven to relieve work stress, balcony gardens in apartments, school and community gardens, and full-on vegetable and flower gardens that hark back to the days of our parents or grandparents.
“We are grateful to The Warehouse for this opportunity to promote positive messages of wellbeing and we are equally pleased to be offering a product for sale that supports those messages,” Hugh Norriss says.
All proceeds raised from the Go Potty campaign will go towards helping the Mental Health Foundation provide free nationwide information, resources and support to all those who need it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rural Good Keen Girl Competition - National Fieldays

National Fieldays - Mystery Creek.

Due to the popularity of the ladies afternoon with the bachelors in 2009, the Rural Good Keen Girl Competition has emerged, making it one of the hottest additions at Fieldays. Eight rural single girls will compete on Friday the 18th of June for the title of the Rural Good Keen Girl and an array of superb prizes. The heats will test their rural proficiency and good keen girl character while contesting alongside the Rural Bachelors.

New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays will be held 16 to 19 June, 2010 at Mystery Creek Events Centre, ten minutes South of Hamilton. Fieldays is proudly supported by strategic partners; The National Bank and the University of Waikato.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Farmers Market NZ Conference 6-8 June 2010

REGISTER FOR FMNZ CONFERENCE 6-7-8 JUNE 2010 With over 50 Farmers' Markets now operating around NZ, this conference will celebrate the success of your hard work, both regionally and nationally. Stallholders, market managers and market organisers, committees and new market organisers are invited to Hamilton to be inspired, to learn, to network and most of all share market experiences so that we can all benefit in the future. Hamilton will bring it on in June 2010 and we look forward to seeing you all there with a program that will be aimed at both established long running markets and new markets. Key note speakers and local food experiences from both the Hamilton and Cambridge Markets. For information please e-mail

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chainsaw safety week - offer

Chainsaw Safety week, a joint venture between STIHL and ACC starts on the 17th of May. The initiative is run through the STIHL Dealer Network and the key element is that you are able to buy a set of safety gear (chaps, hearing protection and eye protection) at a reduced price. Normally the gear sells for $230.00 but during the promotion it will be $145.00. You do not need to buy, or even own a STIHL chainsaw to take part, but the offer is only open to owners of domestic chainsaws.
To gain publicity for the event STIHL will get Jason Wynyard, Timbersports world champion, to make an attempt on breaking a chainsaw record.

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Lesley Pearse Women of Courage Award comes to New Zealand for the first time in 2010.

Bestselling author Lesley Pearse joined forces with Penguin in the UK to launch this annual award in 2006. Their vision was to recognise the heroines among us who often go unnoticed — ordinary women who show extraordinary strength and dedication in their everyday lives.

This year, Lesley Pearse, New Zealand Women's Weekly and Penguin Group (NZ) are inviting the New Zealand public to nominate a woman who they feel deserves to be called a Woman of Courage. She doesn’t need to have scaled mountains or leaped tall buildings in a single bound — we’re looking for someone who inspires others in the way she lives her everyday life. She might be a woman who has suffered hard knocks and battled on with a smile on her face. Or perhaps she has dedicated all her time and resources to making things better for others.

Five finalists will be chosen from your entries in May 2010, and Lesley herself will select the inaugural New Zealand Woman of Courage. The winner and a friend will be flown to London for five nights in June to enjoy a lunch event where Lesley will present the winner with a framed certificate and $500 worth of Penguin books. Penguin will also donate $500 to a charity of the winner’s choice. The four runners-up will each receive a framed certificate and $200 worth of Penguin books.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Economics scholarship

Flower Doctoral Fellowship in Economics

Waikato Management School

University of Waikato

Hamilton, New Zealand
Economics PhD candidates with research interests in New Zealand’s agricultural future are invited to submit applications for the $30,000 Flower Doctoral Fellowship in Economics at the University of Waikato.
Candidates will have completed an honours or masters degree and demonstrate a genuine interest in the agricultural sector and the potential of economic analysis to transform practice and policy to achieve better outcomes and more effectively address future opportunities and challenges.
Applications close April 30, 2010 for a July 1, 2010 start date. For more information:
For further details, contact Professor Riccardo Scarpa + 647 838 4848, or Professor John Gibson, +647 838 4289,

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Benefit and Superannuation payments increase 1 April

Benefits and Superannuation payments will increase from tomorrow, says Social Development Minister Paula Bennett.

The increase of 1.96% means benefits and pension rates keep pace with increases to the cost of living.

"National is the first Government to enshrine in law, an automatic increase in benefits in line with CPI adjustments. This ensures fairness and certainty for those reliant on Government support," says Ms Bennett.
For further information click Title above.

New minimum wage rates come into effect 1 April

The minimum wage will increase from $12.50 to $12.75 an hour before tax.

This applies to all employees aged 16 and over, who are not new entrants or trainees. The training and new entrants' minimum wages will increase from $10.00 to $10.20 an hour before tax.
Click Title above for more information

Proposal to remove tobacco from public view - consultation

Associate Health Minister Tariana Turia announced today that the Ministry of Health is seeking feedback on a proposal to have all tobacco displays and products stored out of public view. Mrs Turia says it is vital that we do more to help people quit smoking and stop young people from being tempted to take up the habit.  Click title above for full story.

Foundation for Arable Research dates for your diary

For FAR March event dates, click on the Title above.

TotalSpan Bus Shelter applications due 30 April

The TotalSpan Undercover Kids Bus Shelter Programme 2010 is underway after extemely successful campaigns in 2008/09 which took the total number of Undercover Kids bus shelters around NZ to date to 194.
This year there will be one round of applications with the aim of approving 100 shelters.
Applications close on Friday 30 April 201 with successful applicants being announced in mid June.
For more information or to download an application form, go to


Simon Woolf, one of New Zealand’s leading professional photographers is hosting a photographic retreat at the Bay of Many Coves Resort in the Marlborough Sounds. The retreat takes place from Friday 2 to Sunday 4 July.
The retreat offers recreational photographers the chance to develop their skills and create stunning images amongst marine life, unique flora and fauna and exceptional landscapes. When each day is over, participants can relax in luxury and enjoy some of the finest cuisine in the Sounds.
Spaces on the retreat are limited. To find out more see

Dairy Women's Network Conference

New Plymouth on May 12 and 13th.

This year the Dairy Women's Network has formed a partnership with the Breast Cancer Research Trust and has Ambassador Carol Hirschfeld and Dr John Harmon speaking at a specially hosted breakfast about their goal of curing breast cancer by 2018. Tickets are available to purchase as a stand alone event and proceeds of this breakfast will be donated back to the trust.

Details of the Dairy Women's Network national conference are available on the DWN website: - as are online registrations. A conference programme may be downloaded online. Enquiries to Office Manager, 07 838 5238.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A bra request for The Girl Guides and Breast Cancer NZ

This year the Breast Cancer Foundation has asked Girl Guiding NZ to help raise awareness for breast cancer. This opportunity is also a fantastic way for the Guides to achieve their community action and help them realise they have a voice that will be heard. The topic for Thinking Day this year is "World Poverty". This will help the girls become aware of the countries that are far less fortunate than ours. Whether you have 1 bra or 100 it doesn't matter because it all helps!
Any bras can be sent to:
Robyn Martinovich, 550 Mahuta Rd, RD1, Dargaville

Agriculture Minister leads agritech mission to China

Agriculture Minister David Carter is leading a delegation of New Zealand agricultural technology companies to China this week.
The trade mission will visit Beijing, Inner Mongolia and Heilongjiang in Northern China. These are leading dairy producing provinces with links to New Zealand through the Yili and Mengniu dairy companies and the Heilongjiang Dairy Project.
While in Beijing Mr Carter will hold a range of meetings with senior Chinese Ministers and business leaders, and sign a dairy cooperation agreement with the Chinese Government. He will also visit Fonterra’s operations outside of Beijing.
“China is our second-largest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $10 billion in 2009, and export growth has continued to soar despite the global downturn,” says Mr Carter.
“The governments of both our countries are working closely together in the areas of agriculture and food safety. The trade mission will build on this growing cooperation and bring to China expertise and innovation from some of New Zealand’s leading agritech companies.
“New Zealand is one of the world’s most efficient producers of food, and our expertise in pasture management, animal husbandry, genetic improvement, dairy production, testing and processing are sought-after internationally," Mr Carter says.
A total of 12 companies are taking part in the trade mission, including Fonterra, PGG Wrightson, AgResearch, AsureQuality and Massey and Lincoln Universities.

The Asthma Foundation: "Flu vaccine is important"

The Asthma Foundation strongly recommends that people with asthma and other respiratory illnesses are immunised with the combined swine flu/seasonal flu vaccine, now available through GP's surgeries. Influenza vaccination is one of the few preventive measures known to save lives in people with chronic lung diseases.

Charities Commission Board Seeking Nominations

The Department of Internal Affairs, on behalf of the Minister for the Communities and Voluntary Sector, is seeking nominations for three upcoming vacancies on the Charities Commission Board. A Memorandum to this effect is attached. Also attached is an information sheet for potential candidates. Please note that the deadline for nominations is Wednesday 31 March 2010.  Click Title for further information.