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Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective
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March 2016 
Dear <<First Name>>
You will note it is a brief e-news this month as everyone's time and energy is focused on preparing the Collective's submission on the proposed nutrient rules. We urge you all to submit your own individual submissions on how the rules will affect your business. Please come to the next farmer meeting on Monday 4 April where we can support you through this process. 

Happy reading! Remember, everything you read here is on our website - www.rotoruafarmers.org.nz
Once again meetings are dominating my life but there has been one in particular I'd like to talk about. Members of the Collective met with representatives from the District Health Board, the Rural Health Alliance, Rural Support Trust and BOP Regional Council to understand the support mechanisms available to any person/farmer in the Rotorua area that is in need of support in these difficult times.
There was great learning for all parties and it was agreed that the first point of contact for a distressed person should be their own GP who can put you in touch with a range of counseling and support services. 
The Rural Support Trust has partnered with Dairy NZ & Federated Farmers to provide support services to farmers. Debbie Oakley plus other local facilitators will be attending the next Collective meeting at Ngongotaha Hall on Monday 4th April at 7 pm to explain this initiative. Debbie is very approachable and understands farming, having worked in rural banking for many years. She is happy to be an independent advisor for any farmer in financial distress to assist with negotiating a solution with their bank.
If you'd like to know more about the Rural Support Trust or how to make contact, click here

From Neil Heather, Co-Chair of the Lake Rotorua Primary Producers Collective
Collective's approach to submissions on the Proposed Rules
Around 50 landowners attended the meeting at the Ngongotaha Hall on Monday 7 March to discuss submissions on the Proposed Nutrient Rules. Council representatives started off the meeting with brief presentations summarising key aspects of the rules followed by a question and answer session. After Council reps left the meeting, there was a lively farmer discussion. The Collective Exec are now busy collating the issues that will be in our submission. Members will be updated directly via email outlining our position next week. The next farmer meeting will be held at 7pm Ngongotaha Hall Monday  4 April, 7pm. We strongly encourage you to GET INVOLVED! Submissions close Friday15 April.

Looking for a brief summary of the Proposed Rules?
Trying to read through and understand the Proposed Rules is a daunting task. The 34 page document known as "Plan Change 10" outlines the policies, rules and methods intended to meet the 435 tonne nitrogen target by 2032.  If you're after a short table summary of the rules, click here.  

Still need more info about the rules?
You can find info on our website: www.rotoruafarmers.org.nz/draft-nutrient-rules or on the Rotorua Te Arawa Lakes website: www.rotorualakes.co.nz/draft-rotorua-rules. There is also a really useful guide on how to make a submission on the MFE website here.

 

                               Collective Farmer Meeting held at Ngongotaha Hall on 7 March
Open Information Sessions at BOPPRC
Come along and talk to Regional Council staff about what the proposed rules might mean for you and what you do on your land. No appointments are necessary, simply pop into Bay of Plenty Regional Council office, 1125 Arawa Street, Rotorua on these days. Sessions will be held between 11 am - 7 pm on: 
• Tuesday, 22 March
• Tuesday, 19 April 
• Tuesday, 17 May 
If you are unable to attend any of these sessions phone 07 921 3377 to set up an appointment to talk to one of our Land Management Officers.

Want to know what your provisional Nitrogen Discharge Allowance (pNDA) is?
Come in and show us the boundary fence lines of your farm and we can get started on calculating your pNDA.

Land Use Advice and Support 
This is a free service to support landowners in the Lake Rotorua catchment. You can work with an independent Land Use Advisor to find out what your current nitrogen discharge is and to develop a Nitrogen Management Plan (Farm Nutrient Plan) that shows how you can meet your Nitrogen Discharge Allowance by 2032.

Quick online guide for landowners
A quick guide to see how the proposed rules might affect you can be found here. You can check if you need a resource consent (and by when), information you may need to provide, if you need a Nitrogen Management Plan, and what support is available. If you would like a staff member to talk you through it, phone 07 921 3377. Please note that this is a guide only and you will need to know what the size of your property is and what you use your property for. Click here to get started.
Fulbright Scholar, Christina Walker reflects on her time in Rotorua  
“Educational exchange can turn nations into people.” – U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright

On a warm autumn afternoon, hundreds of cows came marching towards the milking shed. It was a regular occurrence for the animals, for the workers, but not for me. After an hour of carefully placing suction pumps and dodging urine, my definition of “hard-earned” took on a deeper understanding.

New Zealand is currently a world leader in sustainable agriculture. During my year researching this field as a U.S. Fulbright scholar, the people brought this fact to life. The late-night trip to see thousands of glowworms nestled in native bush on the Dibley’s farm; feeding newborn calves along with Chris Paterson, her daughter-in-law, and grandson; meetings with the Collective, Council and stakeholders to discuss the future of their city. All of these moments and more allowed me to see that agricultural production is more than just a business, but a way of life.

As each community faces the debate between economic and environmental sustainability, the success of these debates will hinge upon the educational exchange of one person to another. It is my hope and expectation that Rotorua can be a beacon to the many communities that have already or will soon embark upon this discussion. And it is my honor to be welcomed by those who were willing to share their stories along this journey in “The Milkman’s Paradox”.
Click the image to watch the full documentary - The Milkman's Paradox (34 mins) 
Rotorua farmers recognized at the 2016 Bay of Plenty BFEA Winners  
Congratulations to Rotorua farmers Shane and June Birchall, Daniel Birchall and Megan Schutt, from Waionehu Farm for winning the Soil Management Award. You can read more about Waionehu Farm and the judges comments here.
Collective Executive Meeting 
Date: Tuesday 29 March, 7pm
Location: Barclay House A&P Showgrounds

All members welcome
 
Collective Public Meeting - Have your say on the Proposed Nutrient Rules!
Help us to represent your views in the submission process.
Date: Monday 4 April, 7pm
Location: Ngongotaha Hall

 
Hill Country Symposium - Rotorua
Setting a profitable and resilient future for NZ Hill Country farming. Registration is now open for the joint special symposium. Register here
Date: Tuesday 12 April, 7.30am
Location: Millenium Hotel Rotorua

 
Submissions Close - Proposed Plan Change 10 
Submissions close on the Proposed Plan Change 10 (Lake Rotorua Nutrient Management). 
Date: Friday 15 April, 4pm
 
Engaging women as critical farming partners
Understanding Your Farming Business (UYFB) engages women as critical farming partners through  building business knowledge, skills and confidence.
Dates: 31 Aug; 12 Sept; 12 Oct; 2 Nov. (4 full-day workshops)
Location: Rotorua (TBC)  Cost: FREE

 

Would you like to become a member of the Collective?
Three reasons to get involved!


 1. Influence policy that will affect your farm business
 2. Learn about on-farm nutrient management solutions
 3. Get support from fellow farmers and industry bodies
  

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