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Ashburton Courier: September 19, 2019

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Page 2, <strong>Ashburton</strong>’s The <strong>Courier</strong>, Thursday <strong>19</strong> <strong>September</strong> 20<strong>19</strong><br />

Local news at www.starnews.co.nz<br />

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2185391<br />

Urgent report proposed<br />

<strong>Ashburton</strong> council is<br />

preparing an urgent<br />

submission to the Government’s<br />

Essential<br />

Freshwater proposals<br />

and is worried by the<br />

tight deadline for submissions<br />

­ October 17<br />

(now extended to October<br />

31).<br />

Chief executive<br />

officer Hamish Riach<br />

said responding within<br />

the timeframe was<br />

going to be difficult,<br />

and even extending the<br />

deadline to the end of<br />

October would be of<br />

little value.<br />

Local body elections<br />

are on October 12, further<br />

complicating the<br />

situation.<br />

Mayor Donna Favel,<br />

who was at a Ministry<br />

for the Environment<br />

meeting in <strong>Ashburton</strong><br />

attended by 350 farmers<br />

­many from other areas<br />

­ said the proposals<br />

announced by Environment<br />

Minister David<br />

Parker and Agriculture<br />

Minister Damien<br />

O’Connor concerned<br />

many.<br />

The Canterbury<br />

Mayoral Forum was<br />

also concerned at the<br />

tight deadline and<br />

Local Government New<br />

Zealand was ‘‘rallying<br />

the troops’’.<br />

She had contacted<br />

Members of Parliament<br />

<strong>Ashburton</strong> couple milk sheep to make cheese<br />

From Page 1<br />

‘‘There is a real art to<br />

keeping sheep calm and<br />

trained for milking. It’s<br />

not really something that<br />

someone who struggles<br />

with traditional cow dairy<br />

farming would enjoy,’’<br />

Jacy says.<br />

‘‘The cost of feed is not<br />

cheap, we feed about a<br />

cup of maize per sheep<br />

per day which makes<br />

them easier to handle.’’<br />

But she admits working<br />

with the sheep is fun,<br />

even if ‘‘perfecting our<br />

cheese is becoming an<br />

obsession’’.<br />

The milking plant,<br />

which takes six at atime,<br />

has the same basic<br />

features as a<strong>19</strong>60s cow<br />

Hamish Riach Donna Favel Dr Tim Mackle<br />

on the proposals.<br />

The regional council,<br />

Environment Canterbury,<br />

was also preparing<br />

a report which the<br />

<strong>Ashburton</strong> council was<br />

likely to back.<br />

Mrs Favel said the<br />

only report she could<br />

find onhow the Essential<br />

Freshwater reform<br />

might impact the district<br />

was a report prepared<br />

for the Selwyn Te<br />

Waihora zone on the<br />

implications of meeting<br />

the National Policy<br />

Statement for Freshwater<br />

Management.<br />

It said that to meet<br />

those requirements,<br />

operating surplus<br />

returns (for that area)<br />

would be cut 80 per<br />

cent, from $348m to<br />

$45m ayear.<br />

shed with some 20<strong>19</strong><br />

features, such as a vacuum<br />

pump and modern<br />

pulsators, Allan jokes.<br />

Milking takes around<br />

half an hour, averaging<br />

around 30litres of milk,<br />

followed by intense<br />

hygiene cleaning time.<br />

Then the milk is<br />

pasteurised ready for<br />

cheese­making.<br />

‘‘We think this is the<br />

best way to capture the<br />

freshness from the pasture<br />

the sheep are eating.<br />

‘‘When our sheep have<br />

a change in pasture it’s<br />

reflected in the cheese,<br />

the changes can be from<br />

different herbs in the<br />

pasture or season and<br />

growth stage,’’ she said.<br />

‘‘We process every day<br />

in what we think is the<br />

smallest cheese processing<br />

room in NZ.’’<br />

It then goes into the<br />

‘‘cheese cave’’ for maturation<br />

for four to 24<br />

months getting turned<br />

regularly.<br />

The hard cheese is<br />

then sold at Farmers’<br />

Markets in <strong>Ashburton</strong>,<br />

Geraldine and Oxford or<br />

through Facebook.<br />

‘‘Our cheese production<br />

islimited tohard<br />

cheese as it is accepted<br />

this is the safest cheese to<br />

produce for sale,’’ Jacy<br />

says.<br />

‘‘Getting everything up<br />

to risk management programme<br />

standard for<br />

The land use change<br />

analysis projected a<br />

substantial change in<br />

land use, with virtually<br />

no intensive land uses<br />

and the catchment<br />

dominated by dryland<br />

beef and sheep grazing<br />

and by forestry and<br />

other extensive land<br />

uses.<br />

Mrs Favel said she<br />

supported <strong>Ashburton</strong><br />

council producing its<br />

own submission.<br />

At the council’s final<br />

meeting this term of its<br />

Finance and Business<br />

Support Committee, Cr<br />

Stuart Wilson said it<br />

was idiotic and the Government<br />

was trying to<br />

‘‘ram it through’’.<br />

Mr Riach said the<br />

council did not have the<br />

time orability to question<br />

the science in the<br />

proposals and would<br />

focus on the potential<br />

economic impacts of<br />

the proposal and<br />

‘‘express our concern’’.<br />

Committee chairman<br />

Russell Ellis said the<br />

submission had ‘‘high<br />

level importance’’.<br />

Mr Riach said the<br />

council understood the<br />

importance and<br />

urgency.<br />

Meanwhile, Rangitata<br />

MP Andrew Falloon<br />

said the reform<br />

Ministry for Primary<br />

Industries is a big challenge<br />

and a big investment.<br />

The process is<br />

really robust and when<br />

you go through the process<br />

you start to realise<br />

that it is so important that<br />

we produce safe food.’’<br />

It would cost too much<br />

to consider expanding<br />

their operation to all<br />

cheese types or raw milk.<br />

They have only started<br />

selling this year at the<br />

<strong>Ashburton</strong> Farmers Market,<br />

but can sell five times<br />

more in Geraldine, due<br />

to the tourist markets.<br />

‘‘Having a chat with<br />

our customers is apart we<br />

really enjoy. They come<br />

from all walks of life and<br />

could fundamentally<br />

change farming and our<br />

economy, but incredibly,<br />

the Government<br />

was refusing to release<br />

the full economic<br />

modelling of the<br />

impacts ofthe reforms<br />

until after the consultation<br />

process.<br />

The primary sector<br />

accounted for more<br />

than half of exports and<br />

employed thousands of<br />

people in Mid Canterbury.<br />

‘‘Auckland has the<br />

most polluted waterways<br />

in New Zealand,<br />

but is only mentioned<br />

three times in the<br />

103­page report; farmers<br />

are mentioned<br />

more than 250 times.<br />

‘‘In recentyears we’ve<br />

seen dairy farmers<br />

achieve 98 per cent of<br />

waterways fenced from<br />

stock, and more than $1b<br />

environmental investment<br />

in things like<br />

riparian planting.’’<br />

Meanwhile, DairyNZ<br />

chief executive Dr Tim<br />

Mackle said farmers<br />

needed time to consider<br />

the Government’s proposal<br />

and to carefully<br />

weigh up the impact it<br />

may have on their farms,<br />

families and communities.<br />

“Spring isabusy time<br />

for farmers with calving,<br />

lambing and mating.<br />

They have alot on their<br />

plate at the moment and<br />

this isadding toit.<br />

“We are seeing public<br />

meetings where the Ministry<br />

for the Environment<br />

has set up 200 chairs and<br />

had more than double<br />

that number show up.’’<br />

can see that our producing<br />

animals have a<br />

good life style,’’ Jacy says.<br />

European travellers<br />

were particularly fond of<br />

the sheep product but<br />

Kiwi’s have been a bit<br />

reserved to try it, but<br />

those who have were<br />

pleasantly surprised.<br />

The Ramsays have<br />

perfected their cheese<br />

product, and are now<br />

hopeful Mid Cantabrians<br />

will jump atthe chance<br />

to lay claim to having<br />

their own ‘‘artisan style<br />

cheese maker’’ in the<br />

district.<br />

‘‘We need to make<br />

work of this, make it<br />

work at this level for our<br />

animals,’’ Allan says.<br />

28-32 MooreSt, <strong>Ashburton</strong> l Phone 03 550 7000<br />

2206121

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