Waikato AgriBusiness News September 2020

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The publication profiling the best in agribusiness in Waikato. NZ businesses are helping Waikato farmers thrive through research, development and innovation – from identifying farmers’ needs to designing, developing and commercialising unique solutions to help them.


Dairy herd

on remote control


An agritech venture is poised for New

Zealand expansion following extensive

testing on Waikato farms. P3

Craig Piggot

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Dairy herd on remote control

An agritech venture is poised for New

Zealand expansion following extensive

testing on Waikato farms


collar that allows dairy

farmers to remotely

move their herd, while

also detecting health issues

such as lameness, is being

rolled out in the Waikato after

three years of testing on a

Morrinsville farm.

The Halter system, in

which cows are trained to

respond to a single pitch

sound cue and vibration from

a GPS-enabled collar, has the

potential to make farming

“drastically” different, says

founder Craig Pigott.

“A huge amount of effort

has gone into making sure

it works all the time and it's

super reliable,” says Pigott,

formerly of Rocket Lab.

The system allows each

cow in a herd to be moved

independently via a smartphone


“Farming hasn't seen massive

innovation in a long time

and farmers are in desperate

need for it - you look at the

hours they work and the difficulty

they have in finding

staff,” says Pigott, a mechanical

engineer who grew up on

a Waikato farm.

The newest addition means

farmers can also monitor feed

intake using data from the

solar-powered collars which

have been designed with

multiple possible future uses

in mind.

That potentially allows

more efficient grass growth

and grazing with virtual break

fencing and cows managed in

“herdlets”, or even individually

if needed.

“The way you farm can

be drastically different - it

doesn't need to be but it can

be,” Pigott says.

Ultimately, that could

include the removal of fences

to optimise animal movement,

potentially leaving only a

boundary fence in place.

“If you don't have fences,

you've got way more flexibility,

but we work with the

infrastructure that's there to

ensure that we can still do our


One of the learning points

along the way has been how

intelligent cows are, Pigott


“They learn as you learn.

So over the past few years

we've had to continually

improve and get better, as the

cows that we work with get

smarter and get better.”

Data collection is constant,

allowing a profile to be built

of each individual cow.

That assists when it comes

to guiding a cow to the milking

shed or keeping it in its

break, but also helps from

a health perspective, Pigott

says. With an individual’s

baseline established, deviations,

such as being on heat or

moving less because of lameness,

can be picked up early.

In the past few months, the

firm has begun running the

system on other operational

Waikato farms. Pigott says

they have selected carefully the farms they work with.

“We're constantly looking

for new farms, and the most

important thing for us is they

have to be a top quality farmer.

They are pretty critical to our

development and helping to

shape the future of the product

- the way they use it, the things

they ask for, the new features,

it's critical information for us.”

Cows are trained using

a mild electric pulse, and

farmers pay a monthly fee

to use the service, with the

collars remaining the

Halter collar

property of Halter.

The company’s focus is on

pasture-grazed dairy cows,

which is where they see the

greatest value, and Pigott

has secured big name investors

including The Icehouse’s

Tuhua Ventures, Peter Beck

and Stephen Tindall in New

Zealand, and offshore investors

Promus Ventures and

Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

In terms of competition,

Pigott says they haven’t yet

come across anything close

to what Halter can do. “From

our perspective, there's nothing

else out there that has the

same level of kind of understanding

of a cow or value to a

dairy farmer.”

That sees them eyeing a

global market, potentially

as early as next year. “New

Zealand is the best place in

the world to develop it, and

we definitely want to take

it to the world.”

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Hill Laboratories sees continuing growth


A flurry of activity has seen Hill Laboratories

make three acquisitions in the space of a

month as the Hamilton testing lab develops

on several fronts.

The timing is largely coincidental

but the moves

are a signal of intent as

the company eyes continuing


It has bought assets in environmental

water, viticulture

and drug testing while also

achieving accreditation for

Covid-19 testing.

The first completed acquisition,

on 31 August, was Hilltop

Software, which operates in

the increasingly crowded environmental

water sector.

Chief executive Jonno Hill

says it was a strategic move

that was 18 months in the making,

and combines hydrology

- the measurement of water

volume and movement - with

water quality.

“We're pretty plugged into

the water quality side because

we do all of that testing for

most of the regional councils in

the country, but the hydrology

is going to be new to us.”

They will work with the

major power generation companies,

whose hydrologists use

Hilltop to manage their data in

order to manage their dams.

Hilltop harvests an enormous

amount of data, including

from the proliferating number

of infield sensors being

used in waterways, particularly

by territorial authorities, to

measure water quality.

Hill says there will continue

to be a place for the “gold standard”

testing Hill Laboratories

does alongside the infield.

“We're not in

the business of

hardware design

or manufacturing,

we don't

want to be. But

data management

feels a lot

more comfortable

to us,” Hill


“If we stay

pretty agnostic

around the platforms

for doing

field measurements,

but aspire

to do more with

managing the

data, making

sure that quality

assurance is

being applied,

then it's a better

fit for us.

“We hope to

create additional tools to help

the users of the data do their

jobs more effectively and efficiently.

“If we can be working with

the scientists at the regional

councils, bringing great data

science solutions into play,

empowering them to do what

they need to do to help clean

up the country's water and

manage the water well, that

feels good.”

The acquisition, which sees

them take on the assets and

two staff, is set to open up new

revenue streams and extend

the relationship with territorial

authorities, which almost all

currently use the Hilltop service,

he says.

“We're looking forward

to exploring in time how we

may be able to

broaden the customer













The other

two acquisitions

were more


The first, which

settled the day

after the Hilltop

deal, was

for a viticulture

pathogen testing

lab, VTL. It was

an arrangement

made during

lockdown when


Ormond Nurseries


manager Marcus

Wickham got in

touch to say they

were acquiring

Villa Maria’s

nurseries in a

deal that included the associated

pathology lab, which

Ormond didn’t want to retain.

Hill Laboratories already

had a presence in Blenheim,

and within a week the deal

was done. As with the Hilltop

acquisition, it was for the

Jonno Hill

assets and customer contracts.

“We've got a small lab

in Blenheim that is really

focused on the wine and viticulture

industries,” Hill says.

“So we're really committed to

that footprint and to continue

servicing those industries into

the future. And this is a nice

growth of scope of services

and speaks positively about

our intentions in the future

down there.”

The final acquisition is in

the area of drug testing. It is

for the laboratory drug analysis

business of TDDA Omega

Laboratories. The sale encompasses

processes, technologies

and equipment, as The Drug

Detection Agency, which is a

major player in the New Zealand

market, sheds the lab to

focus on its core competencies

such as providing mobile drug

and alcohol testing, policy

design, and drug and alcohol


Hill Laboratories have

secured a multi-year service

agreement with TDDA and

Hill says the two firms have a

mutual desire to work to work

well together into the future.

“TDDA are the first and

probably most important customer

of hopefully many for


Hill Laboratories employs

400 staff after more than three

decades of growth. They consolidated

from four Hamilton

sites three years ago into the

former NZ Post parcel sorting

building in Frankton, which

they were able to completely

refit internally for their own


Hill says they are the leading

independent commercial

lab for environmental and agriculture

testing in the country,

and well positioned to assist

farmers with environmental

stewardship on their land.

“Primary industries are

absolutely central to our reason

for being and we would

expect, like all Kiwis, that they

remain a really important part

of the national economy for the

foreseeable future,” Hill says.

“So we look forward to

being in there recognising or

responding to new opportunities

and growing with our


Farmers asked to keep eye out for destructive pest

Landowners are being

asked to report rook

sightings for targeted

pest control to prevent the

invasive, big black bird from

becoming a problem on farms.

It’s a good time of the

year to start seeing rooks as

it’s breeding season, which is

when they congregate together.

In the Waikato, rook populations

are found in Te Poi/Matamata,


and Mangakino to Taupō, with

rooks generally building nests

in pine or eucalyptus trees.

Waikato Regional Council

biosecurity officer Andrew

McConnell says rooks are one

of the most destructive farm

production pest birds in the


“They feed on newly sown

crops and destroy paddocks by

tearing them up in search for

grubs. A large rook population

can completely destroy entire

paddocks. It’s definitely not

something we want to be seeing

here in our region.”

Rooks were introduced to

New Zealand in the 1860s to

control insect pests. The largest

colony found in New Zealand

was nearly 1000 nests but,

thanks to control, such groupings

are a thing of the past.

The regional council has

been managing rooks since

2002 and the Waikato population

is now estimated at less

than 50 birds.

“It’s a bit like looking for a

needle in a haystack for them,

which is why we need landowners

to give us a call when

they see rooks,” says McConnell.

“They’re also very wary so

it’s important that landowners

contact us if they see them

rather than try get rid of them

themselves. We don’t want to

scare them; it becomes tricky

locating rooks once they have

been spooked.”

Last year, five rookeries

were found and controlled:

three in Mangakino and two in

Matamata. A rookery in Hamilton

was destroyed by a storm

and abandoned.




Email: branderson.homes@xtra.co.nz ------------------- Web: www.brandersonhomes.co.nz

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Please mail to: Branderson Homes Ltd, PO Box 434, Cambridge, 3450



Check the height before moving

loads around power lines

Trips with the boat? Getting ready for

haymaking? WEL Networks says check the

height of your load before making a move

around power lines.

“If you're travelling to

and from the water, especially

on unfamiliar roads,

always check the height of

your boat mast,” WEL Networks

chief executive Garth

Dibley says.

“The same applies for our

farming community moving

machinery around the farm,

getting ready for haymaking

season or working in the

orchard. You need to know

where the power lines are

before raising the platforms of

cherry pickers and dump truck

beds. If your load connects

with an overhead power line it

can be fatal.

“It’s also the perfect time

for landscaping around the

section. But before you dig,

make sure you check where

the underground cables might









be hiding. It’s critical to locate

cables before you start any

excavation work like digging

trenches, laying a driveway or

erecting a fence.

“Cables are buried within

the ground for good reason. If

they’re disturbed by crushing,

bending or splitting they can

cause fires, explosions, fatal

electric shocks and of course,

power outages.

“While digging safety is

your responsibility, we’re

more than happy to help you

locate cables, provide advice

on excavation and if necessary,

oversee any work for your own

personal safety and that of the

wider community.”

“Before you start call us on

0800 800 935 or visit our website

wel.co.nz. We want everyone

to enjoy their activities and

to make it home safely, every


- Supplied copy


Keeping you and your community safe

Trees and branches falling onto lines are the major

cause of power outages in the Waikato region,

particularly in storms.

Overgrown trees can also prevent our crews from

repairing equipment quickly and often delay the

process of restoring power.

Managing vegetation within the WEL network area

is a shared responsibility and by working together

we can continue to deliver a safe and reliable power

supply to our communities.

Visit wel.co.nz/every-day-home-safe for more




Working near power lines?

Always check the height of your

machinery before you start.



Live streaming carries stock

auctions to new level

As Covid-19 pivots go, a Hamilton agritech

firm’s was one of the swiftest.

Online stock auction

company bidr.co.nz

moved fast to add to its

offering during lockdown. The

result, livestreaming with bidding,

has helped it quadruple

the number of registered users,

says general manager Tania


The Hamilton firm deals in

both commercial and genetics

sales and so far has had

most success in the latter, with

“great pickup” over the Covid-

19 period, Smith says.

Bidr could see a need, with

farmers concerned as they

headed into lockdown. “These

genetic bull sales, the twoyear-old

bull sales, are a real

landmark for them, and they

are big events in a farmer's

calendar. Some of these guys,

it's their main income, so they

were very concerned, and our

phone ran red hot as it became

apparent we were going into


That saw the bidr team

spend three hours with a PGG

Wrightson auctioneer to co-design

a new product.

“My board signed it off and

we got building it and delivered

a livestream product into

the market for those first bull

sales in June,” Smith says.

“That's been stunning, I

think we did 49 bull sales over

Covid, 31 of them were in the

Tania Smith

live stream format.”

Bidr, a subsidiary of PGG

Wrightson, was based initially

on sequential auctions where

all bidding is by remote online

buyers and live time slots are

controlled by a computer. It

provided an alternative channel

for farm to farm sales of

commercial stocks, and with

animals moved directly from

farm to farm there was less

stress on livestock, potentially

improving animal welfare and

performance. It also meant

vendors could reach a national


Bidr, using cloud-based

video streaming and collaboration

tool Amazon Chime

from Amazon Web Services,

launched at last year’s Fieldays

and its offering before Covid-

19 was fully online.

“Whereas now you can

be on farm, bidding on farm,

and that will mean those bids

are relayed into the system, or

you can sit at home and watch

the live stream and bid from

home,” Smith says.

She says they carried out a

lot of testing to get the product

to enterprise level, ensuring

it is robust and secure. The

system features sub-second

Live streaming at an auction.

latency, making the experience

“very seamless” with virtually

no delay, she says.

They have almost 4000 registered

users on the platform.

“So it's a decent set of eyes that

can be looking at stock.

“We've got a lot of traction

in some quite niche areas like

Jersey genetics and deer. We've

had some really successful

deer sales. That's quite a traditional

industry, but they seem

to be really embracing us.”

She says they are also getting

bookings for ram sales,

following the spring bull sales,

while they have also had good

commercial sales of premium


Eight agencies are accredited

to the platform, and about

300 agents are signed up to utilise

bidr. “They're the ones that

are potentially on the ground

talking to their clients about

bidr as an option.”

They are looking to grow

commercial sales. “This is a

very new technology to a very

traditional industry. So we are

very much in the early stages

of getting that adoption.”

GST on ‘private’ homes

By Hayden farrow

Over the past 18 months

Inland Revenue (IRD)

has issued a number

of technical statements

setting out its view on how

income tax and GST applies

to residential houses that are

used to derive income, such

as from use as an Airbnb. The

most recent IRD statement

raised a few eyebrows and in

this article we explain why.

To provide some context,

at one end of the spectrum if

one private individual sells

their family home to another,

GST is unlikely to apply. At

the other end of the spectrum,

if a GST registered business

sells a hotel to another the

transaction is likely to be

subject to GST (although at

0 percent). However, as you

encounter different scenarios

and move along the spectrum

you end up in a grey

area where it can be unclear

whether GST applies or not.

GST applies to the sale and

use of commercial dwellings

- those in which the occupant

does not have ’quiet enjoyment’,

for example, hotels,

motels, homestays, farmstays,

hostels, and other short-stay

accommodation providers.

But, what about a private

family bach that is also used

to derive Airbnb income.

Technically, accommodation

in an Airbnb is caught for

GST purposes. However, in

most cases the income does

not exceed the compulsory

GST registration threshold

of $60,000 per year, so the

owners can choose not to

register and stay outside the

‘GST net’.

On 26 June, IRD released

interpretation statement (IS)

20/05 which describes how

GST applies to the sale of

a dwelling that is included

within a wider supply of land.

A classic example is the

family farm comprised of

farmland and a farmhouse.

For decades, the standard

GST treatment applying to

the sale of a farm has been to

split it into two components:

1. The working farmland

is treated as the sale of

an asset that is subject to


2. The farmhouse is treated

as a separate supply that is

exempt from GST, because

it has been used as the

farmer’s private ‘family

home’ (or as the supply

of an exempt residential

rental property if it was

used by a farm worker).

The above approach is considered

by IRD to be an

‘oversimplification’. Instead,

IRD is of the view that GST

should apply if the house

has been used as part of the

farming activity. IRD’s view

lies in a long-standing tradition

in which farmers could

claim income tax deductions

in relation to a portion of

farmhouse expenditure. This

was formalised in IS 17/02,

where an automatic deduction

for 20 percent of the

expenditure related to the

farmhouse is allowed as it

effectively acts as the ’farm

office’ from which the farming

operation is managed.

By claiming the deduction,

IRD consider that the

farmhouse has been used

to make taxable supplies.

Therefore, the sale of the

farmhouse is also subject to

GST. As the farmhouse is

treated as a separate supply

and is typically used as a residence

by the purchaser it does

not qualify for zero-rating and

GST becomes payable at 15


So to recap, IRD have

asserted that GST will apply

to the full value of the farmer’s

home at 15 percent. Logic

would suggest that even if this

conclusion is correct, which

we do not think it is, then GST

should only apply to the portion

of the house that has been

used for the farming activity…

but IRD’s view is that

this is not how the rules currently


To illustrate IRD’s

view, consider the following


• Rob is retiring after 30

years of dairy farming.

• He is GST registered and

has agreed to sell the family

farm for $15m, including

a substantial farmhouse

valued at $1.5m.

• When Rob purchased the

farm the farmhouse was

valued at $500k.

In line with IRD’s guidance

from IS 17/02, Rob

claimed income tax deductions

for 20 percent of the

expenses relating to the

farmhouse. As a result, IRD

are of the view that the farmhouse

has been used to make

taxable supplies and Rob is

required to pay GST on its

sale. On Rob’s GST return he

discloses the $1.5m sale and

the applicable GST amount of

$195,652 (3/23rds of $1.5m).

Rob is able to claim an offsetting

deduction tied to his 80

percent proportion of private

use, but the amount is limited

to the original cost of the

house, i.e. $65,217 (3/23rd of

$500k). A net GST liability of

$130,435 arises, being GST

on the full $1m increase in the

value of the farmhouse.

Not only does this

approach differ markedly to

current practice and could

PwC Partner based in the Waikato office.

Email: hayden.d.farrow@pwc.com

give rise to pricing disputes,

but we also disagree with

IRD’s view. We hope that in

time, reason will prevail, but

in the meantime we are left in a

position of uncertainty.

The comments in this article

of a general nature and should

not be relied on for specific

cases. Taxpayers should seek

specific advice.



Training course opens gate for townies


A Cambridge firm has come up with

an innovative response to the looming

shortfall of workers confronting agricultural


With harvesting season

close and borders

largely closed

to the migrant workforce,

Ag Drive has started a training

programme for Waikato

people wanting a start in the


They are taking on trainees

who have lost jobs or been

disrupted by Covid-19, with

the students funded on short

courses by the Social Development


Ag Drive is also offering

private training courses after

contractors expressed a high

level of interest in the scheme,

which may be a first for New


In the past, the industry has

largely brought in migrants,

particularly from Ireland,

Europe and Australia, to deal

with seasonal harvesting, but

with Covid-19 border disruptions

Ag Drive’s offering is


“There's a massive gap in

that industry at the moment,”

business development manager

Vinette Wilken says.

“All the contractors we go

and speak to say this should

have been out there a long

time ago.”

It also represents an elegant

solution for Ag Technology

Group, which established

Ag Drive during lockdown

when its supply of work from

German manufacturer Claas


Ag Technology tests and

does R&D on Claas agricultural

machinery including

tractors, in both New Zealand

and Germany on a seasonal


Then “Covid happened”,

Wilken says. “We had all these

staff, and normally they would

travel abroad and they couldn't

because they couldn't fly out.

So that's where the idea came

up to start the training side.”

Staff started working as Ag

Drive tutors while waiting to

head to Germany for the new

season, and the company is

recruiting replacement tutors,

including newly appointed Ag

Drive manager Gareth Wild,

who will be the main classroom


The company has also

moved into new Hautapu

premises, which include a

classroom and space for tractors

where trainees get their

first sight of the machines

before putting theory into

practice on a Matangi paddock.

Sponsorship means

they have the latest tractors to

train on.

The trainees come from

diverse backgrounds and have

included a pilot and a builder

along with some from office

jobs. They are taken through

everything from safety and

health to road rules and using

attachments, trailers, and the

power take-off shaft. Once

they’re out on the paddock,

they have different farm-related

tasks to complete, as

well as an obstacle course to

manoeuvre the tractor through.

The Ministry-funded

course has been boosted from

one week to two as the company

continues to adapt with

a view to a long-term offering

that goes beyond the demands

of Covid-19.

Intakes so far have varied

between eight and 10 students,

with five tutors. Southern

Institute of Technology has

introduced a similar six-week

course, but Ag Drive general

manager Janine Peters says

they went for a shorter sharper

course because they couldn't

accommodate huge numbers

for six weeks. “And we didn't

really have six weeks to get a

number of people out into the

contracting season starting

very soon.”

The courses represent a

foot in the door for graduates

who can then expect further

on-the-job training from the


“They're not going to be

experts by any stretch of the

imagination,” Peters says.

“They're going to be still at

entry level. But at least they

are aware of all the health and

safety aspects, they know how

to put the implements on and

take them off, they can drive a

tractor, and then the rest of the

learning is going to have to be

on the job.

“We've given them [the

Ministry] some good selection

criteria, because it's a tricky

industry to be in. It's long

hours, seasonal. It's not for


Peters says Ag Drive,

because they know the contractors,

are actively working

to get graduates placed, with

Wilken saying many are finding


“We're also trying to engage

with the horticultural industry

because they're going to be

running into the same sorts of

problems,” Peters says. “So

we're pivoting as we go.”

AgDrive is not yet NZQA

accredited but has worked

closely with Wintec in setting

up the course.

“They were very helpful,

and they're still mentoring us

all the way through the process

as well,” Peters says.

She says the Rural Contractors

Association recently

said the coming harvest season

would be short of about 3000

workers, and many of those

will need to be experienced


“So there's still going to be

a gap. But we're hoping that

at least we can help, and perhaps

encourage a whole lot of

New Zealanders into a different

field they've never thought

about before.”

It is also possible, she

says, that the course could

become a useful introduction

to New Zealand conditions,

including road rules, once

contractors start arriving from

overseas again.

Business development

manager Vinette Wilken.

Reputation built

over 50-plus years

Honesty, accuracy, and

professionalism: three

of the attributes for

which Fergusson Lockwood

& Associates Ltd is renowned

and which have seen the

Waikato business continue to

develop throughout its impressive

50 plus year history.

Fergusson Lockwood &

Associates Ltd (FLA) has

been an integral part of the

growth of Hamilton and the

greater Waikato region since

the 1970s. The independent

property specialists have provided

valuations and professional

advice for all types of

property, including residential,

rural, lifestyle blocks, commercial

and industrial, as well

as compensation and insurance

valuations to the region for

over 50 years. Having started

life as Ashworth & Associates,

then Ashworth Lockwood, the

business was the first private

farm consultancy business

established in the Waikato.

Russell Fergusson and his

team of experienced valuers

has seen the business go from

strength to strength including

our rural focus remaining an

important part of business,

and takes pride in its comprehensive

knowledge of local

property markets, market

conditions and trends. While

maintaining the core beliefs

of total customer driven

service values.

Members of the New Zealand

Institute of Valuers and

the Property Institute of New

Zealand, Fergusson Lockwood

& Associates Ltd strive to provide

the highest possible level

of service and expertise to its

clients on a confidential and

impartial basis.

Fergusson Lockwood and

Associates Ltd has a solid

reputation and is enjoying the

benefits of repeat business

operating from the main hub

of Hamilton which focuses

on Hamilton, including Morrinsville,

Te Awamutu and

surrounding Waikato Region

and covering some parts of the

Central North Island.

“As one of the leading

Waikato property valuation

firms, we assist clients

throughout the Waikato to

make sound property decisions

which will not only benefit

them now, but also in the longer

term,” says business owner

Russell Fergusson.

“Clients may be facing the

challenges of arranging financing,

or trying to determine the

value of their property and/or

land for sale or purchase, and

we are able to assist in this.

We also value buildings for

insurance or rental and we

actively manage farm properties

for national and international


“Developing strong client

relationships and offering

impartial independent advice

is at the core of all our work”.

- Supplied copy



Talk to us today and speak with one of the most experienced

professional teams in the business. After 30 years locally and

nationwide we have what it takes to get the job done.

0800 922 122 www.fla.co.nz hamilton.fla.co.nz

Hamilton Office 5 Hill Street, Suite 4, Hamilton Lake Hamilton 07 838 3248


Map of Agriculture

acquires Rezare Systems

Map of Agriculture Group has acquired

Hamilton-based Rezare Systems, a

specialist agri-software development house.

Map of Ag is a

UK-based agri data

business with a mission

to connect farmers and

the supply chain through its

proprietary data platform and

associated technologies.

In adding Rezare Systems’

IP and specialist skills, Map

of Ag will broaden its ability

to service a growing array of

clients in the agri-supply chain

and help them benefit from

Rezare’s 16 years of operational


“We are delighted to be

bringing Rezare into the Map

of Ag family,” said CEO

Richard Vecqueray. “With

its exceptional capabilities in

data solutions in a range of

agri and environmental sectors

we are creating a powerful IT

services unit within the group

which will help us accelerate

our growth.”

The acquisition comes at

a time when Map of Ag is

increasingly supporting its

customers with data-driven

solutions across the agri

sectors for net-zero carbon

commitments, sustainability

metrics, animal welfare, responsible

use of antimicrobials and

farm assurance.

Rezare System group managing

director Andrew Cooke

said the fit is right. “We bring

a set of skills, know-how and

experience where Map of Ag

had a gap, and culturally we

are natural partners owing

to our joint Anglo-NZ heritages.

I’m delighted we will be

part of Map of Ag’s exciting

growth journey.”

Rezare Systems was

formed in 2004 since when it

has been delivering bespoke

solutions for its customers.

These include smart biological

models, web and mobile

development, predictive analytics

and algorithm-driven

solutions, genetics and performance

recording technologies,

and industry leadership in farm

data exchange and standards.

The business has more than 40

staff of whom 30 are developers

and technologists.

Andrew Cooke

The acquisition includes

Rezare’s UK and Australia

subsidiaries. Cooke will join

the Map of Ag board and will

become chief technical officer.

Rezare UK managing director

Julian Gairdner will join the

business as chief commercial


The Rezare brand will be

retained and it will continue to

service its existing clients and

deliver new bespoke solutions

and business.

The deal grows Map of

Ag’s client base to more than

120, and adds around £2m of

annualised revenues.

AG-WORX keeping quality water flowing for

over 50 years

Two generations of dairy

industry expertise, plus

innovation is what

makes Matamata based family

company Ag-Worx the thriving

business it is today.

Founded by the late Jim

Jobe in 1967, known as J.S.(-

Jim) Jobe & Co Ltd. Ag-Worx

as it is known today, is a legacy,

passed down from Jim,

to his daughter and son in law

Terry and Sylvia Hawes, and is

managed by his eldest grandson

Craig Hawes.

Over the past 53 years,

Ag-Worx had predominantly

concentrated on milking

machines and were well known

for the quality of workmanship

of their installations, but

in recent years, saw trends in

milking systems changing and

with growing competition in

the market, they decided to

concentrate more on the water

side of the business. These

changes sparked the next direction

for the company. Ag-Worx

is growing an experienced team

of fitters to service all the needs

of the local area for all water

pumping and reticulation systems

needs for farms, lifestyle

blocks and residential properties.

“We are the only water filtration

experts in Matamata.

We specialize in the removal

of all contaminates in water

supplies using the FORSI

Aquafier IM filtration systems,”

says Craig.

“A lot of farmers are finding

their water supply to the dairy

shed is not up to standard and

are facing water exclusion penalties.

With our vast knowledge

and expertise in this field we

have been able to successfully

filter iron and manganese from

farm water supplies all over

New Zealand.”

But it doesn’t end there.

Ag-Worx also specialises

in swimming and spa

pool equipment.

“We are Matamata’s only

pool & spa shop and have been

for over 45 years, so we have

expertise and knowledge to

make repairs easily and efficiently,”

says Craig.

They deal with everything

from pumps, filters, chlorination

systems and automation,

through to robotic pool cleaners,

pool toys, accessories and

chemicals. They offer a free

pool water testing service and

give expert advice on pool care

and maintenance, even offering

a comprehensive valet service.

Craig says being a family

business has helped assist the

company to grow over the last

53 years. “Because a lot of

farms are passed down from

generation to generation, we

have been working with some

families for many years. Our

company’s longevity in the

business, gives customers confidence

that Ag-Worx will be

around to service their needs

both now, and well into the


- Supplied Copy



Water is important to all of us and the lifeline

to all farms. Now is the time to get your water

system up to speed before the dry weather of

summer hits.

We are Matamata’s specialists for all things

water, from water pump sales and service to

water filtration and everything in between.

Call today to book in to have your water system

checked over and ready for the dryer weather.


Specialists in all form of water treatment

• House water Treatment

• Farm water Treatment

• Rainwater Filtration

• pH Correction

• Effluent Filtration & recycling.

• Water testing

All Water issues solved, just give us a call to have a chat

about how we can help.

Authorized dealer for FORSI Filtration and Platinum

Puretec Dealer


• We service all brands of water pumps

• Authorised Grundfos dealer

• Full range of water fittings instore

• Deep well and submersible pump lifting.

• We also sell and service fountain, pond, pool & spa pumps

Cnr Tui & Tainui Streets


Ph: 07 888 7524


E: admin@ag-worx.co.nz



Raising awareness

around mental health

PressGo is a social enterprise creating

mentally healthy workplaces by delivering

educational workshops teaching staff and

employers about the various areas and tips

around mental health at work.

Mental Health Awareness

week runs from

21-27 September and

World Mental Health Day is on

10 October 2020.

PressGo is hosting an event

on 6 October at the FMG Stadium,

Hamilton, raising funds

for Progress to Health and the

Mental Health Foundation - two

charities that we support.

Poor mental health is one

of the biggest issues in the

workplace today - like physical

health problems, mental health

problems are very common.

PressGo’s event will not only

raise awareness around mental

health in the workplace but also

raise funds for two charities in

the mental health sector doing

great work. Speaking at this

event are three amazing guests

who are sharing their take on

how to increase wellbeing at

work, the challenges they have

faced and tips for a better workplace

culture. Alongside this, we

are providing the chance to network

with other businesses who

care about mental wellbeing as

much as you do.


• Create awareness of mental

health in the workplace

• Raise funds for mental health


• Networking

Event overview:

The fabulous Shelly Davies -

Will MC for the event.

Bernard Powell – Founder of

Premier Group Int, winners of

best workplace NZ 2016 &

2017. Bernard will be talking

about the secrets to help you

build an epic workplace culture

and more.

Jonathan Nabbs and Eve

Macfarlane – Authors of ‘How

we got happy’. A book, developed

from talking with other

young Kiwis who have also built

happy lives after depression and

the lessons they have learnt.

Jaime Lomas – Director at DTI

Lawyers, Jamie is an experienced,

specialised employment

and resource management lawyer

who will be sharing tips for

managers on what they can do in

the area of workplace wellbeing.

Charities Supported:

• Mental Health Foundation

- https://www.mentalhealth.


• Progress to Health - https://



This event will bring together

employers, business leaders and

managers who want to hear

from industry leaders in the area

of wellbeing, learn the secrets

of workplace culture, tips and

advice on what you can do and

network with a common passion

of how you can make your

workplace ‘healthy and vibrant’.







Buy tickets on Eventbrite:



- Supplied copy

Business growth drives appointment

of inaugural Chief Executive

Business growth has

driven the appointment

of an inaugural

chief executive at engineering,

surveying and planning

firm, Cheal.

Rebecca (Beck) Hawke

has been appointed to

take on the leadership role

after 14 years with the


Starting out as a small

Taupō-based consultancy in

1940, Cheal now has six offices

across the central North Island

and more than 80 employees.

Company director Phil Rielly

says there are no signs of business

slowing down.

“We have seen steady

growth in our business over

the past year and are confident

about the next 12 months

despite the current economic

climate. Land development,

particularly with residential

sub-divisions, continues to

provide us with a steady stream

of business, as does the energy


“As Cheal continues to

grow, the creation of a chief

executive role means our

directors can focus more on

governance and technical service

to staff and clients rather

than day-to-day business operations.

“For a long time Cheal has

been at the cutting edge of the

industry in terms of its technical

capabilities. It is now time

for us to change our company

structure to support our business’

increasing scale and


Beck has spent the last 14

years as Cheal’s business manager

and principal. Phil says

she was a clear choice for the

new position.

“During her tenure with

the company, Beck has gained

an in-depth knowledge of

our industry, company, staff,

clients, and markets. She is

greatly respected both internally

and externally, and continues

to show a high level of

commitment to the ongoing

success of Cheal.

“The Cheal board of directors

is delighted that Beck has

agreed to take on the challenge

of leading our company in this

new role and we look forward

to working closely with her.”

Hawke immigrated to New

Zealand from the UK 22 years

ago. Her career spans 30 years

across the business administration

and professional services

consultancy sectors.

She has also served six years

on the board of the Taupō

Chamber of Commerce and

Industry (now Taupō Business

Chamber). She thrives on her

relationships with people and

brings a personable leadership

style to Cheal.

“My vision is to have a

cohesive leadership team that

together can grow and nurture

tomorrow’s Cheal. We’ve

been in this business for 80

years and we are well placed to

do another 80!”

Beck says Cheal has the

business acumen, systems and

technology to compete with

larger consulting firms, but is

small enough to maintain close

relationships with its clients.

“We’re not a big city

consulting firm. We want to

maintain our regional feel and

support the local communities

in which we operate.

“As chief executive, I still

want to know all our staff by

name and have frequent conversations

with them. Our

smaller team means I’ll be able

to make this happen.”

Beck took up the position

of chief executive at the

beginning of September. She

is based in Taupō where she

lives with her husband and two


- Supplied copy






Rebecca Hawke


If you are wedded to your farm,

it’s time to get engaged

If you didn’t already know: Every province

of Federated Farmers is fully involved with

voicing members’ concerns around the

Essential Fresh Water Rules and Council

Policy guidance.

For every province the

impacts will differ. When

it comes to cropping (a

practice taken out by farmers

to keep stock off most of the

farm to protect soil on the rest

of the farm and supply a plentiful

feed source so animals are


Having animals on flat

areas in my district are prone

to flooding and pugging, which

the regulations hope to avoid;

whereas using some slope

avoids that and there are other

ways to mitigate other risks.

But now the majority are going

to need to apply for consents

next October to prove it.

If you have always done

what you are doing, you do

have a short-term existing use

right (six months) in the meantime.

If your farm is mapped as

low sloped (that does not mean

By Jacqueline Hahn

President Waikato Federated Farmers

it is) but stock exclusion rules

apply to that mapped area, this

map cannot be used as evidence

for suitable cropping


Make sense? No, I don’t

think so either, and that is just

two examples, trust me there

are many more.

The Regional Council is

particularly concerned about

the mapping of and proof

every culvert meets regulations

on a farm. How do any of

us deal with it?

They are also concerned

about the rules that affect how

monitoring data will have to

change to real-time because,

as determined in the Collaborative

Stakeholders Group, our

monitoring system is not fit for

that purpose. And the cost…

ouch and that effects every

single water user in our region,

town or country.

The upgrades required to

the three waters is a huge bill

facing urban communities. As

natural systems have now a

clear priority, human needs and

economics is not an excuse.

We have had some success

with Ministers Parker and

O’Connor agreeing to improve

the maps and some definition

changes. Feds are literally the

experts in sorting practical

issues in regulation - the legal

battles and hearings we get

involved with are eyewatering.

That’s why having us in

the room is of value and that’s

what a membership helps pay


Protesting 20 years ago

is what got us in the current

pickle. Providing sound logical

evidence and solutions are

more appreciated. Building

good working relationships is

what works. No one wants to

work for someone who yells

at every misstep, why would

those who govern us be any


But we are persistent. Like

a pen being clicked we are

hard to ignore, we see issues

that need addressing for the

whole community, others will

join us, our industry groups

are now also aiding this post

regulation discussion, and it’s


Yesterday I was at a Fire

and Emergency meeting in

Rotorua, where the threat of

carbon farming on fire hazards

was brought up; this too is ripe

for some proactive regulations

to avoid a future disaster. Most

risk comes from outside the

properties that burn, so this fire

season remember - it’s a spark

that starts a fire.

Another current issue is

TB infections. The current

infection stems from vector

sources. We have pigs on our

farm in a place they have never

been seen in living memory,

someone is assisting their

spread, that’s a sure way to get

TB spreading and bring back

a certain toxin hunters hate. If

you are in an area that is having

to resort to toxin baits. Be a

responsible owner of animals,

keep them well away and dogs

muzzled until significant rain

has fallen.

Innovation-led LIC

launches investment


Agritech and herd

improvement cooperative

LIC has

launched a new fund to support

innovations with the

potential to positively impact

New Zealand’s valuable dairy


LIC has launched an early-stage

investment fund,

named the LIC AgCelerator

Fund, for individuals and

entities seeking to develop

innovations that will deliver

value to the dairy industry

from generating higher

yields, improving animal

health, diagnostic tools

and improved traceability

to sustainability, advancements

in breeding techniques

and leveraging big data

for improvements to farm


LIC chief executive

Wayne McNee says annual

investment in upstream agritech

companies grew 44 percent

year-on-year from 2012

to 2018 and a further 1.3 percent

from 2018-2019, highlighting

both the opportunities

and need for expansion.

“It’s important New Zealand

retains its leading dairy

reputation at this critical

time and investing in new







innovations and technology is

central to ensuring that.”

LIC’s AgCelerator Fund

is designed to help innovators

and entrepreneurs kick-start

their early-stage concepts and

get them launched to market.

McNee says the fund is

also open to established businesses

where there is alignment

with the cooperative’s

innovation-led growth strategy

and ongoing focus on

the core New Zealand dairy


“LIC has extensive

knowledge of the New Zealand

pasture-based dairy

farming market and can offer

successful applicants to the

fund collaboration benefits

such as R&D support,

mentoring, market and customer

research facilities and

distribution capability.”

LIC corporate development

manager Eleshea

D’Souza manages the

AgCelerator fund.

“LIC has been a corporate

partner of Sprout, a New

Zealand accelerator for agritech

and future food startups,

for five years,” she says.

“We have been impressed

with the level of innovation

and creativity being


“Our new fund is separate

to this association but

similar in principle in that

we’re looking to fund those

at the pre-seed and seed


Those interested in

applying to LIC’s AgCelerator

Fund can find an application

form on LIC’s website.

Tractor & farm machinery

sold & serviced across the

Waikato & Bay of Plenty


183 Victoria Road

07 827 7159


1 Progress Drive

07 873 4004


22 Fairy Springs Road

07 343 1915 www.gaz.co.nz

Seller beware - only promise

what you can deliver

By Barbara McDermott

Norris Ward McKinnon partner

When buying or selling land, the basic rule

of ”buyer beware” (sometimes referred to

as “caveat emptor”) applies.

about farming matters such

as fertiliser application, RMA

and Fonterra compliance, good

husbandry, grass cover and

plant and equipment condition.

The wording of these promises

is commonly given scant

attention. It is not uncommon

for these promises to come

back and bite the seller if they

are not given the attention they


Seller beware and a new




The basic rule means the

buyer takes the property

“as is” and cannot claim

against the seller if they discover

a defect in the property

after they sign the agreement.

The seller has no duty to disclose

defects in the property

except for hidden defects in

the seller’s “title” which the

buyer is unable to discover on

a physical inspection of the

property. (The seller’s “title”

is the term used for the seller’s

legal rights to ownership of the


Exceptions to buyer beware

There are exceptions to the

basic rule – for example, there

are clauses in the standard

agreement for sale and purchase

which have been developed

for the buyer’s benefit

relating to defects which may

not be easily discovered by the

buyer before committing to

purchase the property. There

are also some statutory provisions

that make in-roads into

the buyer beware rule.

The clauses in the agreement

for the buyer’s benefit

are called “vendor warranties”.

Vendor warranties are promises

or undertakings given by

the seller about the property.

If a vendor warranty turns out

to be untrue the buyer may

be able to claim damages. If

the broken promise is serious

enough, the buyer may be able

to cancel the agreement. The

standard vendor warranties

cover such things as the condition

of chattels, plant and

equipment on the settlement

date, unpermitted building

work and outstanding legal

requirements and claims.

Farm transactions

In addition to the standard

vendor warranties, farm transactions

usually contain warranties

for the buyer’s benefit

Sellers now need to consider

a new warranty that has been

included in the latest version

of the standard agreement.

This warranty places a significant

onus on the seller to

disclose information about the

property. Under this warranty

the seller is liable to the buyer

if the seller doesn’t disclose

“knowledge or notice of any

fact which might result in proceedings

being instituted by or

against the vendor or the purchaser

in respect of the property”.

Proceedings are defined

widely to include court, tribunal,

arbitration, mediation

and other dispute resolution

procedures. The new warranty

could therefore have very

wide application, particularly

if the property being sold is a

farm property where there are

numerous practical and legal

matters to consider – title documents,

District and Regional

plan requirements, fencing,

water supply, fertiliser application,

resource consents, RMA,

Health and Safety and Fonterra

compliance and the state of the

buildings, chattels, plant and


The new warranty is given

by the seller as at the date of

the agreement. Sellers will

need to think carefully before

they sign an agreement about

whether there is anything that

could be caught by this warranty.

It will be interesting to see

how courts interpret the seller’s

“knowledge” in the context

of this warranty. Must the

vendor have “actual knowledge”?

Or will it be sufficient

to show wilful blindness on

the part of the vendor, or that

the vendor wilfully and recklessly

failed to make enquiries

that an honest and reasonable

person would make?

The warranty extends

not only to legal proceedings

which might be brought

against the seller, but also to

legal proceedings which might

be brought by the seller or

by the buyer. The seller will

therefore need to disclose any

potential claims they might

have against another party in

respect of the property.

Experienced sellers could

be caught out because the

warranty extends their potential

liability from what has

been the situation in the past.

A buyer might now be able to

claim against the seller in situations

the seller knew about

when they signed the agreement

where the buyer had no

remedy under the previous

version of the agreement - for

example, if the buyer becomes

embroiled in a dispute or claim

after settlement for a fence

which is not on the boundary,

or a water supply or right of

way easement that is not in the

correct place; or if the buyer

receives notice of a requisition

from the Council for a building

without a permit (which was

not built by the seller), or for a

non-compliant effluent system.

Caution advised before

signing agreement

Sellers should err on the side

of caution and make disclosure

about anything they are

aware of that could give rise

to a dispute or claim in respect

of the property. It goes without

saying that they should

take advice from a lawyer

who has experience with farm


A U G U S T / S E P T E M B E R V O L U M E 2 8 : I S S U E 8 2 0 2 0 W W W . W B N . C O . N Z F A C E B O O K . C O M / W A I K AT O B U S I N E S S N E W S

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Reeling in

the viewers

it central

to the rescue

Waikato tech firms scoop

major awards Pages 6, 8

Hamilton teen with a lifeline

for YouTubers Page 10

Ten years after two young cousins with a good

idea and no TV experience started knocking on

doors, they have a top-rating fishing show and

are looking to the future. Page 4

We spend time in the town of trees,

and find small business operators going

full steam ahead, while the bigger picture

is also promising. Page 17

Mig Rumney, left, and Scott Parry celebrate another catch.

Pictured: Ag Drive’s Vinette Wilken and Gareth Wild.


Publishers of Waikato Business News, Waikato AgriBusiness News and Showcase Magazine





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Lemkin dealer for Waikato,

Coromandel, Hauraki



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Lawn Equipment



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ADMIN@TATRACTORS.CO.NZ | 07 884 9901 | SALES 021 884 909


Positive outcomes in

technical environments

As we continue to navigate the ever-changing face of business in

the Covid environment, Cheal’s Chief Executive Rebecca Hawke

comments on the importance of a water-tight business continuity

plan, the benefits of technology and how when disaster strikes,

the capacity to deliver to your clients and retain your highly valued

team becomes your one focus.



Rapid Response

Reflecting on what feels like

a distant memory, Rebecca

recounts the speed at which

Cheal responded to full lockdown

and how within 24

hours, 80 engineers, surveyors,

planners and support crew

were working from home.

“We already had a Business

Continuity Plan in

place,” says Rebecca, “and

whilst we reviewed its fitness

for purpose in this unique

Boat scan

environment, it was already

working for us.” A stable

remote access platform, up to

date equipment and centrally-located

technical software

licensing ensured that engineers

and surveyors were able

to continue converting field

data into survey plans, model

designs for civil infrastructure

projects, and resource management

planners were able

to write and upload resource

consent applications to Councils

who continued to process

and make decisions. Whilst

fieldwork was out, everything

else was well and truly in! It

also provided a timely opportunity

for research and developing


Planning for Interruptions

“When organisations are

investigating and pricing new

hardware, software and operating

systems, it’s often difficult

to visualize the ROI,”

says Rebecca. “But by not

planning for the effects of an

event such as a pandemic, an

organisation’s ability to operate

is decreased significantly,

often with drastic outcomes

for the owners, and ultimately

their most important asset,

their team.”

But aren’t Surveyors and

Engineers old school?

“Not at all!” says Rebecca

– “they use some of the

most advanced technology

available in the industry and

the capabilities of software

are increasing by the day”.

Whether it’s in the office

modelling a design to manage

stormwater catchments or

in the guts of a power station

with a Metrology Grade Laser

Scanner, the capabilities of

the technology Cheal uses are

second to none. The key is

planning for continued investment

and being ahead of the

game, whatever might come

your way.

Rebecca Hawke is Chief

Executive and a Principal

of Cheal Consultants Ltd.

Established in 1940, Cheal

has offices in Hamilton,

Taupo, Taumarunui, Ohakune,

Rotorua and Napier and

provides expertise in Civil,

Structural and Geotechnical

Engineering, Surveying

and Resource Management


- Supplied copy

TRUST LAW IS CHANGING - Are you ready?

Kiwis love trusts

There are somewhere between

300,000 and 500,000 family trusts

in New Zealand, the highest

number of trusts per capita in the

world. Trusts are one of the most

flexible asset ownership vehicles

we have. While there may still

be good reasons to have a trust,

changes to Trust law may mean

a trust is no longer relevant or


know what the assets and

debts of the Trust are, and fully

understand what the Trust

Deed says. The Act goes further

than simply knowing about

the Trust Deed and the Trustee

role however, with greater

expectations that trustees will

keep accurate records, formally

document decisions and hold

regular trustee meetings.

Implications for Beneficiaries

The Trusts Act 2019

The new Trusts Act 2019 is the

most significant change to trust

law since the passing of the

Trustee Act in 1956. The new

Act was passed in July last year

and comes into force in January

2021. A substantial number

of New Zealanders are going

to be affected by the new Act,

particularly those who are a

trustee and/or a beneficiary of

a trust and those who provide

advice about a trust.

Implications for Trustees

One of the aims of the new Act

is to make trust law easier to

understand. Many trustees

in New Zealand do not fully

understand their role and the

obligations that go along with

it. The new Act addresses this by

imposing greater responsibilities

on Trustees to understand their

role, and the terms of the Trust

Deed. It is important therefore

that people acting as a Trustee

have a copy of the Trust Deed,

The new Act also introduces a

presumption that beneficiaries

of a trust will be provided with

certain basic information about

the trust, including being told that

they are a beneficiary, who the

trustees are, and being provided

with a copy of the Trust Deed.

The beneficiaries are also entitled

to request other more detailed

trust information, which could

include among other things,

financial statements, valuations

of trust assets and

trustee resolutions.

In many Trust Deeds, the

definition of “beneficiaries”

is very wide – this could be

problematic when the new Act

carries with it a presumption that

beneficiaries are entitled to a lot

of information about the Trust

and its assets.

Where trustees intend to refuse

to provide information to a

beneficiary, it will be important

that they seek legal advice.

Otherwise, the beneficiary may

bring a claim against the trustees

which will include the cost of that

beneficiary having to bring that

claim to court.

What next?

In many cases, the more stringent

rules and requirements under

the new Act will require a careful

consideration of whether it is still

worthwhile to have the Trust in

place. This is particularly the case

where decisions of the Courts

and changes to government

policies have eroded many of the

original reasons for setting up

a Trust. In some cases having a

Trust can be counterproductive

to the reason for which the Trust

was settled.

For example, having the family

home in a Trust may make it less

likely that the settlers of that

Trust qualify for residential care

subsidies. As the new Act doesn’t

come into force until January

2021, there is still time to get

prepared and seek advice.

Some of the things you will

want to consider will be; do you

still need your trust or should it

be wound up? Does the class of

beneficiaries include

people you never intended to

benefit from the trust?

Does the trust deed need to be

updated? And, what will be the

best way to deal with a request

for information by beneficiaries?

If you have any questions about

the new Act and what your

options are, contact Shelley

Greer at Gallie Miles.

_ Hamilton/Te Awamutu/Otorohanga _

0800 872 0560

E: office@gallie.co.nz


We speak your language


Deidre Morris

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 228 8442

Email: deidre@dpmedia.co.nz


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Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: 027 814 2914

Email: richard@dpmedia.co.nz


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Ph: (07) 838 1333

Email: kelly@dpmedia.co.nz

Graphic designer

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Ph: (07) 838 1333

Email: olivia@dpmedia.co.nz


Please contact:



Joanne Poole

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: (021) 507 991

Email: joanne@dpmedia.co.nz

Carolyn Jonson

Ph: (07) 838 1333

Mob: (027) 821 5777

Email: carolyn@dpmedia.co.nz



News releases/Photos/Letters:







25 Ward Street, Hamilton

PO Box 1425, Hamilton, 3240.

Ph: (07) 838 1333 | Fax: (07) 838 2807


Greenhouse gases – what are

they and how can we mitigate?

Climate change affects all of us and

reducing greenhouse gas emissions must

be a priority.

Carbon dioxide (CO2),

methane (CH4) and

nitrous oxide (N2O)

are the three main greenhouse

gases, affecting the climate by

warming the planet.

Carbon dioxide and nitrous

oxide are considered longlived

gases, remaining in the

atmosphere for centuries. Carbon

dioxide causes sustained

warming for thousands of


Methane is a relatively

short-lived gas that breaks

down within a few decades.

However, once emitted into the

atmosphere it causes a lingering

warming effect for a long

time after the methane itself

has gone. One tonne of biological

methane traps approximately

33 times more heat than

a tonne of carbon dioxide over

a 100-year period.

Globally, agriculture is the

largest source of anthropogenic

nitrous oxide emissions,

accounting for between 56 percent

and 81 percent of the total.

In New Zealand, agriculture

accounts for an estimated 94

percent of the anthropogenic

nitrous oxide emissions.

Each molecule of nitrous

oxide is about 300 times more

powerful than one molecule

of carbon dioxide in terms

of greenhouse potentiality.

Nitrous oxide is both potent,

like methane, and persistent,

like carbon dioxide.

About 80 percent of our

country’s total nitrous oxide

emissions come from urine

patches on paddocks. One

recent Government report indicated

that the nitrous oxide

emissions have increased by

almost half since 1990.

Increases in emissions

from dairy cattle and road

transport remain the largest

contributors to the growth in

emissions since 1990. Over

the past 20 years, our farmers

have improved the emissions

efficiency of production by

about one percent a year.

Agricultural emissions are

linked to intensive farming.

In 2018, New Zealand’s

greenhouse gas emissions

comprised 44 percent carbon

dioxide, 43 percent methane,

10 percent nitrous oxide and 2

percent fluorinated gases. The

agriculture and energy sectors

were the two largest contributors

to New Zealand’s greenhouse

gas emissions, at 48

percent and 41 percent respectively.

Methane emissions are

higher on farms with higher

stocking rates and higher

dry-matter consumption. Some

of the options to reduce methane

are lowering replacement

rates, reducing the dry matter

feed per cow, and lowering

stocking rates.

Nitrous oxide gas generally

comes from the conversions

in the soil by microbes

of nitrogen in fertilisers, urine

and dung. When soils become

anoxic, nitrate can be sequentially

reduced to nitrous oxide

and inert nitrogen. This is

called de-nitrification.

Minimising human induced

erosion and maintaining good

By Bala Tikkisetty

Sustainable agriculture advisor at

Waikato Regional Council

soil quality are essential for

maintaining soil ecosystem

services such as nutrient and

water buffering, productive

capacity, assimilating waste

and minimising impacts of

sediment and other contaminants

on water bodies.

Other good practices

include optimum cultivation,

avoiding over grazing

and heavy grazing under wet

weather leading to compaction,

avoiding under or over-fertilisation,

practising appropriate

use of pesticides and other

agrochemicals, managing

pasture to maintain complete

soil cover and careful application

of farm dairy effluent to

avoid saturation and optimise

organic matter.

The options for reducing

nitrous oxide could be reducing

nitrogen inputs through

judicious use of fertilisers,

using low nitrogen feeds and

improving pasture quality.

• Bala Tikkisetty is a sustainable

agriculture advisor

(technical) at Waikato

Regional Council. Contact

him on 0800 800 401 or


Dairy Women’s Network latest recipient of

IDEXX community support








Dairy farmers throughout

New Zealand will

benefit from specialist

animal health knowledge,

as Dairy Women’s Network

enters into a new partnership

with global veterinary diagnostics

and leading research

and development organisation


The partnership is the

latest in a series of IDEXX

community support initiatives

worldwide, and sees a

team of in-house specialists

and vets become available to

the Network for national and

regional events, said Dairy

Women’s Network CEO

Jules Benton.

As well as contributing

knowledge to Dairy Women’s

Network members, a

percentage of each dairy test

completed with IDEXX technology

will be set aside in a

fund for Dairy Women’s Network.

“Women in the dairy industry

are the heart of Dairy

Women’s Network. As an

organisation we are dedicated

to providing women with the

knowledge and skills they need

to go further in the industry,”

said Benton.

“This partnership not only

means extra monetary funding

for the Network, but an invaluable

set of knowledge that our

members can draw on and

implement in their communities.”

IDEXX chose Dairy

Women’s Network to receive

funding because both

Dairy Women’s Network CEO Jules Benton with IDEXX New Zealand general manager Carl Eden and Dairy

Women’s Network marketing and communications manager Zellara Holden. Photo: Dairy Women’s Network

organisations share a passion

for their communities

and for enabling people to

make informed decisions

and do the right thing, said

IDEXX New Zealand general

manager Carl Eden.

“I see such synergies in

what we’re looking to do in the

future as New Zealand looks

to maintain our productivity

but doing it in a manner that

is socially responsible, looking

after the health and wellbeing

of all those involved in the rural




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