March 2021 Edition
A trek to tranquillity
Girls on the grid
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2 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
The Waikato Farming Lifestyles is published with pride by
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Phone: 0800 466 793
General Manager: Deb Wright | email@example.com | 021 639 696
Dairy farmers at the Dairy Environment Leaders Forum heard
first-hand what will be required of all New Zealanders to meet our
climate change obligations.
Editorial: Ann van Engelen, Paul Campbell, Andy Bryenton
Advertising: Teresa Steed 027 525 8223
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Dr Rodd Carr, Climate Change Commission chair
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The Wellington forum’s first day
opened with keynote speaker Climate
Change Commission chair Dr Rodd Carr,
followed by Climate Change Minister
James Shaw and speakers from
Dr Carr told the group of around 40
Dairy Environment Leaders that all New
Zealanders have a responsibility to
begin reducing emissions if we are to
rise to the climate challenge.
“Human beings have a carbon
footprint, no matter what we do, so it’s
about containing it, and how we contain
it,” he said.
“The climate waits for no one. As a
nation, we can choose what we do but we
can’t choose not to reduce emissions. It
is about our share of the responsibility.
The science is now so clear that we
have to act because greenhouse gases
are causing the climate to change. The
needle on the dial is moving toward
doing what we can, when we can.
“There is technical feasibility,
economic effects and social acceptance
we need to address. I think the journey
is underway; we just have to configure
how we do it. Long-term, we will need a
Climate Change Minister James
Shaw echoed that view, saying there
are diverse tools farmers can use in
different farm conditions across New
Zealand, and there is time to achieve
the changes. “We can get to where we
need to, over the next 30 years, with
the options we have now,” said Mr
Shaw. “Fortunately, we are not starting
from scratch. There has been a lot of
good work done in the last five years,
including through the He Waka Eke
Dairy Environment Leaders chair
Melissa Slattery said farmers are
committed to playing their part to
solve environmental challenges and
have a lot of great work underway
already. She said regulations need to
be practical behind the farm gate and
have pragmatic timeframes.
“Dairy Environment Leaders Forum
is an opportunity for environmentallyminded
farmers to get together and
discuss the opportunities we see, the
challenges we face and the support that
we will need to succeed.”
DairyNZ strategy and investment
leader Dr David Burger said the forum
is a valuable opportunity for farmers
to hear first-hand the factors being
considered for New Zealand’s future and
to ensure decision-makers understand
the challenges and practicalities
“It is one way our Dairy Environment
Leaders can meet and hear from
decision-makers, discuss the sector’s
future and solutions farmers are rolling
out for climate change and water quality.
“Our farmers lead the world in the
production of sustainable and low
emission milk, and we want to ensure
we protect that position.”
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Ahuwhenua competition finalists
Anahera Hale, Ben Purua and Quinn Morgan are the finalists in the 2021 Ahuwhenua Young Maori
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 3
The award is designed to recognise
up-and-coming young Maori in the
dairy, sheep and beef and horticulture
industries, with this year’s competition
focussing on the dairy industry.
Judge Aaron Hunt says the standard
of entrants in the competition was very
high and reflects the number of young
Maori who are making successful
careers in the dairy sector.
“The sector has natural appeal
to young Maori because it offers an
outdoor lifestyle and a significant career
path,” says Judge Hunt.
“It is also good for those with young
families and allows them to have a
supportive environment in which to
work. The judging panel found all
the entrants passionate about the
industry and enthusiastic about their
The Ahuwhenua Trophy management
committee chairman, Kingi Smiler, says
it is great to see another cohort of young
Maori from the dairy industry entering
“The Young Maori Farmer competition
is very important both for Maori and the
dairy sector because it helps foster a
Ben Purua, from Tokoroa, is a 2021 Ahuwhenua Young Maori Dairy Award finalist
new group of potential leaders and role
models for the future.
“Since the award was inaugurated, it
has proven to be very popular and has
attracted high-quality entrants, many of
whom have gone on to take leadership
roles in the wider agri sector.”
Twenty-five-year-old Anahera is the
2IC farm assistant on Rod and Jacquie
McPherson’s dairy farm near Whakatane.
They run between 340/345 cows and
winter about 360 cows. Anahera says
she loves her dairy farming career —
especially the fact that she can work
outdoors and with animals.
Ben Purua is 26 years old and
currently working as the 2IC for a
contract milker at Trinity Lands farm
near Tokoroa, which runs 900 cows.
He recognises that the dairy industry
has helped turn around his life. Quinn
Morgan, also 26, is very new to the dairy
industry and is in his first season of
farming, working as a farm assistant for
Sam and Kate Moore on their 155ha
farm in Otakiri near Whakatane.
The winner of both the senior and
junior competition will be announced
on Friday May 14. More details are
available at ahuwhenuatrophy.maori.nz.
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4 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
by Ann van Engelen
The Nash family are big stock car supporters with
Ange, Craig and daughters, 12-year-old Charli and
eight-year-old Milla, all members of the
Dargaville Production Stock Car Club.
I was born, my dad
Warren Beachen was a
top Northland saloon
driver, and I was introduced to the sport
from a very young age,” says Ange.
“I grew up in Dargaville and have fond
memories of going to the track with
mum and dad when I was very little.
Dad gave up for many years but is back
racing at Waikaraka Park. He is one of
the big boys and drives a limited saloon.
He pops up to our meets when he can.”
Ange travelled overseas in 2000, and
when she returned, she met Craig, who
had started racing cars himself in 2003.
“We met through a mutual friend. I
started going as a passenger with him,
and he eventually talked me into driving,
and I got the bug. I started driving myself
in 2006 and then he built his own car
and gave me his old one.
“Craig is so talented he can build
a car from scratch. People talk to me
about motors, and I laugh and say Craig
does everything. I just hop in and drive.
When I got Craig’s old car, we painted it
pink, white and black. We are a Honda
family when it comes to racing. I have a
Prelude. Craig drives a Civic, and he and
Charli rebuilt an Integra for her.
“Getting out on the track is a huge
adrenalin rush. It may look slow to the
spectators, but when you are out there
— it is all go. You are reading what
the other drivers are doing and what is
“There is a competitive side, but it
is more about fun. If you are not having
Ange Nash enjoys every aspect of racing at the Dargaville Speedway and says
the sport is fun and helps to build confidence in young drivers
fun, you shouldn’t be out there. People
are there for a good time. No one wants
to put their car on a trailer pranged up
“Drivers have to meet the Circle
Track Racing Association of New
Zealand standards and rules for their
vehicles. New cars go through a rigorous
scrutineering process. We have the roll
cage, five-point harness and safety gear.”
Drivers and passengers wear overalls,
boots, a neck brace, helmets and gloves.
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WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 5
Three generations of speedway drivers — Ange, her dad Warren Beachen
and Ange’s 12-year-old daughter Charli with their race vehicles
“You have to be tight in your belts
because you don’t want to be moving
around in your seat. To begin a race,
we go to the grid for starting. We do a
slow lap in preparation, and then the
flag drops, and the race is on.
“You can have a plan on the day, but
it depends on who is in front of you and
how they drive. The track conditions
come into account. Some people like
wet tracks, and some prefer dry.”
Craig had been asking Charli if she
would like to try racing for years.
“Last year, she was keen, and his
brother had the Honda Integra sitting on
his back lawn. He gave it to her to turn
into a race car. Charli and Craig worked
on it together. They dismantled it, built
the roll cage and put it back together.
Now she knows how it is done, and she
helps tie the cars on to the trailer for
race days. Charli and Milla also wash
“Charli is in the novice grade, which
is young learning drivers, and she will
stay there for a few years. I go as her
passenger as I freak out too much as a
spectator. I am then a mentor helping
her to learn the gears, watch the flags
and everything else going on.
“Being involved in racing early teaches
children resilience and how to win and
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lose. It is good for her to not be great at
it. Racing helps build confidence.
“I cried the first time she was on the
track, purely out of being proud of what
she accomplished. Milla thinks when
her dad wins Lotto, he can buy her a
“There are so many talented drivers
in our club. People come from Taipa,
Kaikohe, Whangarei, Auckland and
beyond at times. I race with the men
because there are not many lady drivers.
I really enjoy the challenge.
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“Dad and Craig are both proud of
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“We wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t
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“As a family, we also enjoy things
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6 March 2021 WAIKATO FARMING LIFESTYLES
A TREK TO
by Andy Bryenton
Deep in the central Waikato, Nicole Singh has created a thriving
tourism business alongside the productive farm she and
her husband Shaan live and work on. Balancing equestrian
adventures with innovations in livestock, Stone Hill is a place of
natural beauty and surprises.
Growing up in rural Germany,
Nicole lived in a town that has
more in common with her current
Waikato address than the cities one
often associates with the heart of
“I came from a small village where
everyone knew everybody else,” she
says. “It was a remote location but
perfect for owning and riding horses.
Before I came to New Zealand, I was
living in Berlin for my career, but I always
wanted to go back to the countryside,
and I wanted to have horses again.”
A backpacking tour, working in Kiwi
cafes provided one of those unexpected
twists which make life interesting.
Meeting and marrying Kiwi Shaan,
Nicole moved to the Waikato, to a place
near the green forests of Sanctuary
Mountain in Pukeatua. Half a world away
from the centre of Europe, this was a
place of similar rural tranquillity to her
hometown. It was also a place with a
rich equine history.
Shaan and Nicole represent the third
generation of Singhs to farm Stone Hill’s
rugged and rolling pastureland, where
weathered remnants of old volcanoes
thrust through the turf to create walls,
pinnacles and a unique landscape.
“We’ve had visitors comment that it
looks like Lord of the Rings country,”
However, the reality of farming there
is far from the fantasy of moviemaking.
To patrol the 1,500 acres of Stone Hill,
Shaan’s father and grandfather took to
horseback, eschewing the quad bike
and motorcycle for sure-footed transport
Stone Hill offers terrain and scenery like nowhere
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WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 7
Riders set off on the trail from Stone Hill’s
farm base to the picturesque hinterland
Picking horses with the right temperament
and personality is all part of creating the perfect team
and a bit of company while mustering
Soon Nicole began to offer horse
trek adventures through the interesting
scenery of Stone Hill. She found that
people were very interested in coming
and exploring the landscape. Some were
also there to explore the very concept of
horse riding itself; people from big cities
and foreign lands where getting in the
saddle was never a day-to-day option.
“Before Covid, when our lives were
‘normal’, about 70 per cent of our
guests were from overseas, places
like Australia, France, England and
Germany,” says Nicole.
“About 30 per cent were Kiwis. Now,
of course, it’s 100 per cent locals
enjoying the experience, but we have
not slowed down on the weekends due
to Kiwis exploring their own country.”
Those numbers mean it’s necessary
to keep a large stable of horses onsite.
Nicole has a herd of 10 currently
living at Stone Hill, each with their own
personality and temperament.
“I think I have a good sense of
choosing the right horse for my team,”
says Nicole. “They also get a lot of
care, training and attention here. They
live together as a herd, which is very
natural for them, and meet new people
all the time.
“Sometimes we have people returning
who ask to ride the same horse as the
last time because they have made a
bond over the few hours of the trek, and
that’s a wonderful thing.”
Some treks take only a couple of
hours, while others can last up to five.
A favourite route allows riders to stop
on a hilltop, drink from a natural spring
of clear, clean water, and enjoy a picnic
before riding back to base. Sometimes
the working farm is as fascinating as
the ride or the landscape, says Nicole.
“We love educating people from the
city about the real New Zealand farming
experience. We get compliments,
some of surprise, as to how clean and
ecologically friendly everything is, from
our clear streams to our happy livestock.”
Building a functioning tourism
enterprise next to and around a working
farm with one-third in dairy and the
rest in sheep and beef has been hard
work, but good work. Nicole always
has time for the next innovation; she’s
thinking about glamping opportunities,
and how to create a cabin or campsite
for overnight trek-and-stay adventures.
This is one of the few places where
you can come on holiday with your own
horse, and that’s an avenue of possible
Meanwhile, Shaan has brought
45 water buffalo to Stone Hill, an
experiment in cheesemaking with an
Auckland mozzarella maestro.
“The best part is that some of our
visitors have absolutely loved the horse
ride here. They’ve gone on to have riding
lessons, and they’ve come back, and
tackled the more challenging treks,
and have gotten into having horses
themselves,” says Nicole.
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8 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
BY DENISE GUNN
The late Sir Geoffrey Peren played a leading role in the
development of the Perendale sheep breed, in addition
to the establishment of Massey Agricultural College.
PHOTOS: MASSEY UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES
Born in Surrey, England, in 1892,
Sir Geoffrey took a keen interest
in nature from a young age. He
was just 14 when he chose to leave
England to go farming in Canada,
moving to a small mixed farm in
southern Ontario. Two years later, he
took up work as a teamster in British
Columbia and also gained orcharding
experience. On winning a scholarship to
the Ontario Agricultural College in 1911,
Sir Geoffrey’s agricultural academic
studies began. Four years later, after
graduating with a Bachelor of Science
in agriculture, Sir Geoffrey enlisted in
the Canadian Field Artillery, serving in
France during the first world war. He rose
to the rank of major and was awarded
the Croix de Guerre.
At the end of the war, Sir Geoffrey
worked at the Ministry of Agriculture
and Fisheries (MAF) research station in
Kent, England as an assistant then as
a MAF inspector. From 1920 to 1924,
he lectured at the University of Bristol’s
agricultural and horticultural research
station. Sir Geoffrey, and his wife
Violet, moved to New Zealand in 1924
following his appointment as the new
chair of agriculture at Victoria University
With much ongoing discussion about
the need for an agricultural training
institution in the North Island, Sir
Geoffrey joined forces with the professor
of agriculture at Auckland University
College, Professor William Riddet. The
two professors travelled to assess
potential sites, settling on land near
Massey Agricultural College, named
after former prime minister William
Ferguson Massey, was officially opened
in March 1928. Sir Geoffrey was
appointed principal of the agricultural
college, and Professor Riddet became
the chair in agriculture. On returning to
Massey after serving in the second world
war, where Sir Geoffrey commanded
the Manawatu Mounted Rifles and
other units, he furthered his interest in
research and teaching.
The areas of sheep husbandry and
wool, and the development of fleece
testing, particularly interested him.
Sir Geoffrey began looking at the
development of a sheep breed that
would particularly suit the North Island’s
steep hill country. It followed on from
earlier attempts by a handful of North
Island sheep farmers crossing Romneys
The Perendale, named after Sir
Geoffrey, was produced from the
offspring of a Romney ewe and a Cheviot
ram. In 1959, he was also a key figure
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WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 9
Sir Geoffrey Peren and Professor William Riddet check
out a possible site for the new Massey Agricultural College in 1926
in the formation of the Perendale Sheep
Society of New Zealand.
Horowhenua sheep farmer, Gilbert
Timms, is a former president of both the
Cheviot and Perendale Sheep Societies.
His involvement with Perendales
stretches back more than half a century.
It was while working for sheep farmer
David Law as a teenager that he met
“He was a very enthusiastic man with
sheep and did a great job for Massey,
the Perendale breed, and every breed
really,” said Gilbert.
“He had a saying ‘keep the water
dripping on the stone’. Just keep
improving all the time.”
Gilbert said Sir Geoffrey was very
encouraging, particularly towards
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“Romneys and Southdowns were
the main sheep breeds 60 years ago.
Sir Geoffrey encouraged and helped
people to get started and ensure they
registered with the breed society. He
would tell them what to do to improve.
“The Perendales are really good
dual-purpose sheep, really hardy
“When things get tough, they don’t
die. They might lose condition, but
they hang in there and bounce back
“They are a good breed, and the
Perendale Society has worked hard to
keep the standard up, right through
Perendale Sheep Society of New
Zealand president Warren Ayers said
Sir Geoffrey was the father of the breed.
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The 1928 offi cial opening of Massey Agricultural College with
Professor Geoffrey Peren on the left in the front row
Photographer JH Daroux, Palmerston North — taken March 20 1928
“He was very forward-thinking for his
time, not only with Perendales but with
other genetics as well.”
Sir Geoffrey was awarded a CBE in
1953 and a KBE in 1959. In 1977,
Massey University awarded him an
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TE AROHA Te Aroha Tractors & Garden Machinery 07 884 9901
TE AWAMUTU Lawnmower & Chainsaw Centre 07 871 8838
New life for
old police jerseys
Police are supporting a repurposing initiative with a New
Zealand-owned woollen mill to turn old jerseys into unspun fibre
and then into blankets for official police use only.
The blankets are initially due to
be trialled with Wellington’s maritime
policing unit and in patrol cars.
The current uniform policy states
that all obsolete or faulty items of
police uniform must be returned to be
destroyed and disposed of at a landfill.
Since June 2019, 17 tonnes of uniform
items have been returned for disposal
in this way.
“Working in partnership with other
groups to explore ways to achieve
broader positive outcomes is important
to us, be they environmental, social,
economic or cultural,” said manager
procurement and contract management
“We’re hoping that this initiative
to recycle what would have been
destroyed and sent to landfill can be
a springboard into other recycling or
In July 2020, a call went out for old
jerseys that could be used for the first
test run. Procurement worked with
Response and Operations Group (R&O)
to ensure this went smoothly.
Staff answered the call, and 145
old jerseys were returned to Lockheed
Martin, who manage police uniform
supplies. The jerseys were sent on to a
team at The Information Management
Group (TIMG), who manage police secure
document blue bins. They removed and
destroyed the police coat of arms and
anything else on the jerseys that was
These leftover jersey pieces were
then sent to Woolyarns, a 74-year-old
Lower Hutt- based mill that’s usually in
the business of turning natural fibres
like wool and possum fur into yarn.
“This is certainly a different project
for us, and we’re literally breaking down
the jerseys and turning them back into
woollen fibre that can be repurposed
into a new product,” said Woolyarns
general manager Andy May.
Old police jerseys are being repurposed and
turned into blankets for official police use
“The test run was a success, and we
have proved police jerseys can become
yarn once again.”
In collaboration with police R&O
Group, a prototype hand-knitted beanie
was initially produced, and consideration
was then given to other types of woollen
products before deciding on a blanket.
Staff at Police National Headquarters
were canvassed for a name for the
blanket. The winner was Ahurutanga,
meaning warmth, comfort and security.
Staff are encouraged to hand their old
jerseys in to be recycled.
IF YOU ARE
HARVEST OF ANY:
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 11
Is your body hot, cold or lukewarm? I am not talking about
your actual body temperature but the degree to which
unwanted inflammation is affecting your body.
Some inflammation we can feel and
see. There is also silent inflammation
that has no symptoms but can
Inflammation is an amazing part of
our body’s healing systems. It is an
essential part of how we fight infections
and heal against damage caused
by injuries. It is always associated
with fighting infection. Without
infl ammation, our fi rst infection or
injury would have probably ended
our lives. The signs of infl ammation
are heat, swelling, redness and pain,
including loss of function.
Inflammation is a process where our
immune (white blood) cells produce
a wide range of chemicals that
coordinate the process of removing
the cause of the problem and then
clean up the mess to complete the
healing process. These processes
are incredibly complex and involve a
wide range of cell types and a variety
of messenger compounds. Many
infl ammatory problems are caused
by overactive messengers triggering
The infl ammatory process is like
your kitchen tap. When working well,
you get cold water when you turn the
cold tap and hot water when the hot
is on. Unwanted inflammation is like
turning the cold tap and getting warm
or even hot water instead.
A common cause of unwanted
inflammation is when our body tries
to repair a problem that it cannot
fix. That is typical of osteoarthritis.
The problem is caused by cartilage
erosion. However, most of the pain
is caused by immune cells inflaming
joint tissue in an attempt to repair it.
All this does is cause unnecessary
pain, swelling and loss of function.
If you are affected by arthritis
or any infl ammation, I recommend
following an anti-infl ammatory diet
with supplements that can help reduce
Feel free to contact me if you
John Arts (B.Soc.Sci, Dip Tch, Adv.
Dip.Nut.Med) is a nutritional medicine
practitioner and founder of Abundant
Health Ltd. For personalized advice,
contact John on 0800 423 559 or
email firstname.lastname@example.org. Join his
full weekly newsletter at abundant.
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12 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
is our Pleasure
Phone Angie on
0800 697 697
Dr Alani DelaRey Bartle
Dr Henk Eksteen
Dairy women finalists
A sharemilker, a Dairy Business of the Year recipient, and a
contract milker and farm consultant have been named as this
year’s finalists for the Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year award.
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 13
Belinda Price, a sharemilker based in
Whanganui, joins Ashburton dairy farmer
Rebecca Miller and Chevon Horsford, a
contract milker, farm consultant and
Maori farm adviser in Whangarei, in the
running for the respected industry award
managed by Dairy Women’s Network.
Already a celebration of leadership
inside and outside the farm gate, this
year’s award shows a strong focus on
people and highlights the work of the
three finalists in leading and mentoring
others through their farming journeys.
Dairy Women’s Network trustee and
award judge Sophie Stanley said the
three finalists were recognised by the
judging panel as representing a wide
range of diversity in leadership within
the industry and for their commitment
to supporting people as well as dairying
as a whole.
“Belinda showed strong focus and
determination to not only improve
her own farming business through
continuous learning but to nurture
and mentor others in the industry and
contribute back to a wide range of
industry organisations,” she said.
“Chevon’s passion, purpose and
vision for encouraging and supporting
Maori farmers and other wahine toa in
On Rural Roads
the industry are inspiring. Rebecca’s
positivity, enthusiasm and holistic
approach to farming and family life
shine through her nomination, which has
enabled her to give back to the industry
in a number of varied roles.”
The finalists were selected by a
judging panel comprised of Sophie,
2019 Fonterra Dairy Woman of the Year
Trish Rankin and representatives from
Fonterra, Global Women and Ballance
Sophie said the award and the judging
process shine a light on the work these
women do for the industry behind
the scenes to encourage the next
generation of dairy women to follow in
“What excites me the most is being in
the presence of incredibly hard-working,
passionate and inspiring women who
every day wake up to make the dairy
industry a better place for their families,
peers, the environment and New Zealand
as a whole.”
The recipient will be announced at a
gala dinner in Taupo on April 3. Miles
Hurrell, chief executive of Fonterra, will
be presenting the award. Registrations
are still open to join in and celebrate
Chevon Horsford, a contract milker, farm consultant and Maori farm adviser in Whangarei
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14 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
TO BUILD OR RENOVATE
by Andy Bryenton
Gas axed in proposed plan
The plan is in from the central government; no new natural gas connections to the network or bottled LPG connections after 2025.
Ailing gas heating and hot water systems may have to switch to electricity or biomass when replaced, and existing natural gas
supplies might be phased out as early as 2050.
The story of natural gas begins
millions of years ago, with the mass
extinctions that ushered out the
dinosaurs. The end of that story looks
likely to be written by government
legislation, starting in the present day.
Proponents are in favour, for green
reasons, preventing what is being
called the Anthropocene extinction,
the climate shift that could wipe out
life as we know it. Detractors point to
the almost universal use of natural gas
for barbecues, restaurants, welding
The end of gas is part of the Climate
Change Commission’s report on how
New Zealand could go carbon neutral
While many of the suggestions made
in the report are focussed on agriculture
and transport, the gas phase-out came
as a shock to small businesses in the
hospitality industry, where 95 per cent
of restaurants are gas-powered. It’s also
prompted a rethink by building firms
looking at future-proofing their designs,
and consumers considering the end of
califonts, gas hot water heaters and gas
fires, gas ovens and hobs.
“We can’t continue to postpone what
we need to do to reach our goals,”
said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
“The government will not hold back,”
she reiterated, saying that future
generations should not foot the bill for
The cost of this is estimated at one
per cent of our national gross domestic
product each year, or roughly $2 to
However, those in the gasfitting
industry, those who supply gas to
homes and restaurants, and those who
sell heating, cooking and water heating
appliances will feel a much bigger shake
Already gas products have seen a dip
in sales, based only on the revelation
Government proposals to reduce carbon emissions include the recommendation that gas could be
turned off for good, starting with no new installs in just four years’ time.
that there’s 29 years to go before the
tap is turned off. That, to some, is a
price being paid today for blue sky (or
green) promises tomorrow.
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TO BUILD OR RENOVATE
Apprentice stars sought
New Zealand’s building industry is searching for its top rising stars, as the 2021 Registered
Master Builders Apprentice of the Year competition gets underway. Applications are open now for
young builders to have their chance in the spotlight.
‘As an apprentice, you are
the sector’s future leaders,’
states the invitation to get
involved. ‘The competition
will test your project
management, business and
presentation skills as well as
The competition tests
not just the skills of young
tradespeople on the tools,
but all those other aspects
that make for a top builder.
Fostering this kind of talent
is vital to producing the
leaders of tomorrow in an
industry tasked with tackling a
nationwide housing shortage.
Applications are open from April 1 and
run all month. Every entrant receives a
complimentary pack of clothing and gear
from Carters, the hardware and timber
company, to help get them started. The
middle of the year will see practical
tests laid down and judging taking place
region by region.
Thomas O’Brien, 20 from the
Northern region, employed by Beacon
Construction and trained with BCITO,
took the title of 2020 Master Builders
New Zealand’s Master Builders, BCITO and Carters are proud to
team up to foster young talent with the apprentice of the year awards
Carters Apprentice of the Year. The
competition runner-up went to Matthew
Van Boheman, 23 from Bay of Plenty-
Central Plateau who is employed by
Beck Building, with Mark Lovelock, 27
from the Upper South Island, employed
by Timbercraft Construction, being
awarded third place.
As well as bragging rights and a
fantastic boost for their CV, each
regional winner in 2021 will receive a
place at a specially designed Outward
Bound course, top-flight tools
and products from Carters’
suppliers, and a business
tools grant from Carters to the
value of $2,000. Then there’s
the honour of representing
the north at the national
competition in Auckland
There’s an extensive
application to be part of
this competition, as young
apprentices will need their
employer and training advisor’s
support to get involved.
However, it’s a great way of
advancing young careers, and
an opportunity to celebrate not
just the young people who have decided
to train up and become future builders,
but also the companies passing on
their skills and experience to make
If you know an apprentice who is
dedicated and talented enough to
deserve a shot at the top honour in
their profession, tell them to visit
apprenticeoftheyear.co.nz and get
prepared now to apply in just under a
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 15
(07) 873 9104
027 290 8776
Wear a helmet.
A helmet is a must while riding
a quad bike around the farm.
This 3 Bedroom, 2 Bedroom, 108m2 simplistic
yet functional home design will work for a small
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It utilizes space extremely well has everything
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Pre-built in our factory ready to be delivered to
$285,000 incl. GST Ex-Factory (exclusions apply)
Contact us for an information pack on email@example.com or
call to arrange a viewing of our display home on
0800 836 466 or visit www.PerryModular.co.nz
16 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
New Zealand Made Greenhouses
Designed and Manufactured right here in New Zealand, our greenhouses are built to last.
vents provide adequate
ventilation and temperature
control. Triggered by a wax
mechanism, they open and
close based on temperature.
Unique gutter system for
collecting rain water.
Unique rubber bead sealing
system designed to hold
the glazing panels firmly
in place while adding
significant strength to the
Heavy duty aluminium frame
to provide years of trouble
free service with minimal
All Winter Gardenz Greenhouses
come with a strong aluminium
base and have foundation
mounting options to suit most
From Thin Tanks to shade
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Long lasting, powder coated
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For over a decade, Winter Gardenz has been manufacturing
the highest-quality residential and commercial Greenhouses,
right here in New Zealand. We create stunning greenhouses
that are built to last and easy to assemble, using high-quality
polycarbonate glazing and Toughened Safety Glass. This,
combined with strong and sturdy aluminium profiles that are 2-3
times the weight and thickness of most of other greenhouses,
gives Winter Gardenz Greenhouses maximum durability.
We have New Zealand’s largest range of greenhouse sizes, from
6ft x 6ft structures for the hobby gardener at only $1,995, to
12ftx24ft structures that are perfect for entertaining, all the way
up to large-scale commercial and architectural greenhouses. We
also offer a range of customisation options and accessories to
help create the perfect greenhouse space for you.
While we have always strived to stay competitive on price, we
refuse to compromise on quality, and that’s why even our decadeold
structures still look great. Cheap imported greenhouses
often become a disappointment to their owners within a year
or two, with panel blowouts, discolouration, broken glass, and
even structures that completely blow over and twist up into a
hazardous heap. With our strong and sturdy aluminium framing,
our highest standard glazing materials, and our innovative design,
you can rest assured that your Winter Gardenz greenhouse
purchase will stand the test of time.
Please visit our website for more details. We would love to help
you get started with your backyard greenhouse today!
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of Innovative, Award Winning Residential,
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Greenhouses & Accessories
www.WinterGardenz.co.nz 0800 946 837
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 17
TO BUILD OR RENOVATE
A home with a view
Chris and Caroline Lewis don’t do things by halves. In one year, they demolished their house,
renovated their farm cottage, excavated a section and built their 310sqm, four-bedroom dream
home on a four-acre section. If that wasn’t enough, moving day was in the middle of calving season.
DRIVE PHONE FREE!
The family’s dream home is on
their Pukeatua farm, at the base of
Maungatautari Mountain. Although
architecturally designed, the couple
worked with the Urban Homes team on a
number of suggestions that significantly
reduced the cost of their build without
losing any of the design elements.
Central to the build was capturing the
view of the mountain and creating an
outdoor entertaining area, complete with
a pool. It’s not just the mountain that’s
a feature of Lewisridge Farm; there’s
plenty to admire within, from feature
barn doors and oversized windows
to boldly painted statement walls. An
increased 2.55m stud height creates a
feeling of space and openness, while the
polished concrete floor gives a stunning
salt and pepper look in keeping with
the modern style of the home, allowing
Chris’s collection of 8,000 recycled
Canterbury bricks to take centre stage
behind the fireplace.
Caroline says they wanted a beautiful
home but something that wasn’t too
show-home-like. “It was important for
us that the house complemented the
environment it was to be built in. We
have a lot of established trees on our
property, plus Maungatautari Mountain
nearby, so the home had to hold its
own. It’s all come together really well
and looks amazing.”
Having gone through the build
process twice, Caroline’s advice for
others building a home is to spend time
on research. “Time is essential,” she
says. “We had the time to look into
renovation options first, then go down
the build track.”
She admits they asked many a
question of the Urban Homes team, but
nothing was ever too much trouble. “They
are always so genuine and very honest
about cost,” she says. “The service from
the Urban team has been amazing!”
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18 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
TO BUILD OR RENOVATE
by Andy Bryenton
Home of the year sets trends
They’re the Academy Awards of tradespeople, the builders’ Golden Globes; the New Zealand Master Builders Home of the Year
Awards has been handing out coveted titles for many years. Each of those years is reflecting in the styles, materials and designs
utilised in the winning homes.
This year 359 entries contested
awards across many price-bracket
categories, reflecting the ways in which
graceful execution of architectural
principles could be achieved with
modest budgets and small spaces, as
well as with grander designs. There were
also awards for specific rooms, such
as bathrooms and kitchens, awards for
outdoor spaces and landscaping, and a
special award for sustainability.
“House of the Year continues
to showcase what is possible in
home building each year, across
all price brackets,” said David
Kelly, chief executive of the Master
“We are delighted to play our part,
supporting homeowners by protecting
their investment during the build and
for the next 10 years.
“Building guarantees are an essential
part of the build process, and we are
proud to have the most comprehensive
product on the market.
“Our guarantee has protected more
than 140,000 homes through all
economic cycles of the past 30 years.
Congratulations to all of this year’s
winners — you’ve done our sector
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The New Zealand Master Builders Home of the Year
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Think think think.
Think about what you’re carrying. Think
about where you’re going.
proud.” Longevity, functionality, energy
efficiency and clever use of space were
all core factors in deciding winners
across the country, from a 90 square
metre modern bach-style home in
Flaxmill Bay, Cooks Beach, through to
the long, low, glass-fronted supreme
renovation winner, brought to life by
Haimes Building in Taupo.
The supreme winner was constructed
in Queenstown by Triple Star
Management, but it’s not the views
or location that cinched the top spot.
Blending modern techniques and light,
airy glazed areas with traditional stone
created a visual impact. While it was
the small details that impressed;
this home also took out the supreme
“This home is an outstanding example
of the builder’s attention to detail.
Clever use of natural materials creates
an intriguing home that has visual
warmth and a harmonious balance,”
said the judges’ panel. “The geometry
stirs the imagination with a dramatic
use of steeply pitched roofs, sculptured
shapes, and five interconnecting
pavilions. It’s clear that this incredible
home has been designed and built
to successfully offer comfortable
living. The flawless implementation of
these details proves this build was no
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• Ability to work in between milkings.
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WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 19
AG CONTRACTORS & SUPPLIERS
Technology offers a helping hand
The days when a farmer needed to walk the paddocks to check on pasture growth and see where a renewal programme was needed
are still valid and a part of normal farm operation. Technology is also at hand, which makes the job quicker and less tiring perhaps.
Technology is opening up handsfree
pasture assessment. DairyNZ has
established that in the past few years
some 50 per cent of farmers are using
this for pasture measurement, with
the balance surveyed still using visual
examination on the land.
There are improvements on the
old favourites: plate meters, sward
sticks, and tow-behinds with Bluetooth
connectivity and apps to automatically
upload paddock data to software.
Some of these tools come with global
positioning systems (GPS), so you can
link paddock pasture data to your
Also, emerging recently has been
pasture measurement by satellite or
using a robotic tow-behind to populate
your feed wedge or farm map with
the data without slipping on the
gumboots. Drones have also been
found increasingly effective in remote
assessment of far-distant paddocks.
Of course, that doesn’t mean getting
into the paddocks to check pre-grazing
covers and post-grazing residuals are
any less important.
Pasture management software is
getting simpler to use, DairyNZ says.
With a growing number of options, from
simple to advanced, it’s easier than
ever to find something that fits with
your decision making. Using tactical
tools like a Feed Wedge and DairyNZ’s
Drones are providing a farm overview
Spring Rotation Planner will help keep
you on track when pasture growth
rates and covers fluctuate. Comparing
whole-season paddock dry matter
(DM) performance will lead to paddock
improvements, including pasture
renewal rates, drainage and soil fertility.
The value of closing the gap between
current annual pasture harvest and the
farm’s potential, around $300 extra
profit for every extra tonne of DM
harvested/year, can be quite an eyeopener.
Find out more about pasture
management at dairynz.co.nz.
& SEED DRESSING
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20 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
AG CONTRACTORS & SUPPLIERS
The importance of renewal
Pasture renewal is important for increasing productivity and long-term farm profitability, particularly in the dairy sector.
While grasses can grow indefinitely,
factors such as drought, pests,
and pugging damage will cause
deterioration. Total DM production
drops, weeds increase and feed value
is therefore reduced.
Renewal can see increased total
pasture yield (one–eight tonnes DM/ha/
yr) and gives control over seasonality
of production. It makes pasture
management easier by using late
heading varieties to minimise the drop
in pasture quality as seed heads appear
in late spring.
New pastures produce, on average,
0.5–0.9 MJME/kg DM more. Reasons
for this include higher proportion of
desirable species, later and more
uniform flowering, leafier sward, with
fewer seed heads produced and less
dead leaf material.
Most new perennial ryegrass cultivars
are available with new endophytes
developed to solve particular problems
in different regions.
Thus animals are fed better. Cows
on new pasture graze more grass, and
that grass is leafier, higher in ME and
That will be reflected in more milk
solids production, faster live-weight
gains, higher stocking rates, and
at the end of the day, much more
contented cows. Replacing poorproducing
pasture is profitable. It is
one of the simplest ways to invest
on-farm for a significant and relatively
predictable rate of return.
Although the rate of pasture renewal
is often set by historical practices or
the budgeted levels, the most profitable
rate of renewal for an individual
dairy farm is best determined by an
analysis of paddock performance, and
from this, the cost/benefit for gains
Analysis of your pasture growth data
will help you plan the most profitable
renewal programme. While you may
instinctively know your best and
worst paddocks, without measuring or
assessing pasture growth, paddocks
cannot be accurately ranked to identify
The best paddocks to renew are the
poorest producers as these have the
potential for the greatest improvement.
For example, where the yield can
be increased by two tonnes of DM/
ha, the return is around 130kg MS/
ha. The return will be greater if the
extra growth occurs at a time of the
season when animal demand exceeds
Renewed pasture has benefits
The highest producing paddocks on
a farm indicate the property’s overall
potential. Under-producing paddocks
highlight the opportunity for extra
Use grazing and yield records to
identify your best and worst paddocks.
The more measures and assessments
you have to compare, the better (and
easier) the decision will be.
If records are unavailable, use the
Pasture Condition Score Tool and walk
your farm at least six months before the
Successful farmers understand …
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AG CONTRACTORS & SUPPLIERS
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 21
Farmers need competent spreaders
Drive through rural New Zealand anywhere from North Cape to Bluff, and you will soon see fertiliser spreading, by land or air, as
farmers boost the productivity of soils often deficient in nutrients.
The work is almost always carried
out by contractors, specialists in the
business of getting the best spread for
the farm they are engaged on.
Today, contractors must be skilled in
many facets of their operation, abiding
by increasingly tight regulations in
several areas of their business, so it is
incumbent on their employers to make
sure they are fully accredited.
WorkSafe New Zealand provides
the ground spreading industry with
guidelines in a specific manual aimed
at doing the job well. It says that
when working with fertiliser, you can
be exposed to a number of potentially
Farmers, contractors and workers
need to be aware of the risks when using
fertilisers and know how to use them
safely. This material can be dangerous
to work with, especially in adverse
weather or if it isn’t stored properly.
“With the Groundspread Fertiliser
Association, we have produced guidance
for farmers, contractors and workers on
how to safely use fertiliser on the farm,”
a Workplace Safety spokesman says.
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“This covers general health and safety,
job planning, storage and maintenance,
pre-start checklist, dealing with hazards
and emergency planning.”
Another area where contractors need
updated qualification is in following the
government’s vision to see a noticeable
improvement in freshwater quality. New
regulations to effect this came into force
These are aimed at reducing the
amount of pollution — nitrogen,
phosphorus, sediment, E coli and other
contaminants — entering waterways
from our cities and our farms.
These contaminants can be
harmful to human health and
damaging to freshwater fish and other
Higher nitrogen levels contribute
to the growth of slime and other
The government is committed
to supporting farmers to make the
further changes needed to stop
water quality from getting worse and
starting the process of reversing past
damage. MPI says it will continue to
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work with the primary sector through
the transition to more sustainable land
and water use.
Many farmers are already following
good practice and taking action to
reduce their impact on freshwater. It
also sounds a warning on excessive
nitrogen loss into water catchments
for fertiliser contractors to be aware
of, saying other options to address
excessive nitrogen loss is a cap on
fertiliser use or requiring nitrogen to be
managed under farm environment plans
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Riley Rye Grass 7kg • Harvey Rye Grass 8kg
Huia White Clover 3kg • Strawberry Clover 1kg
Timothy 2kg • Chicory 1kg • Red Clover 2kg
Cocksfoot 3kg • Plantain 3kg
30kg per hectare
$360 GST and freight included
$280 x store plus freight and gst
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Phone 03 324 3951 or 022 083 3579 www.cridgeseeds.co.nz
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22 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
AG CONTRACTORS & SUPPLIERS
Bax Contractors is a well established tree removal business
working throughout the greater Waikato and Bay of Plenty region
for the past 35 years. From land clearing to logging we offer a
solution for even the most difficult sites.
GIVE PETE A CALL 027 495 3108
Solis Tractors have come a long way since 1969,
manufactures in India, ranks 6th globally, the
company has been constantly making use of advanced
technology and committed to providing high quality
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19/10/2020 6:47:57 AM
AG CONTRACTORS & SUPPLIERS
WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES March 2021 23
Winter is time for stock care
New Zealand’s codes of animal welfare generally require that livestock have access to areas that are free of surface water and
mud, have protection from adverse weather and are able to lie down and rest comfortably for sufficient periods to meet their
Of course, it goes without saying
that stock requires feeding. As winter
approaches, farming thoughts are
concentrating on good feed sources.
Two main risks with winter cropping are
that animals can get sick from changing
their diet from pasture to crops too
quickly, and paddocks can quickly get
muddy during long, wet periods. These
problems can quickly become welfare
concerns. Mud happens. However, it can
be managed; some resources to help
are available online.
The Winter Grazing Action Group,
established in early 2020, is made up
of 15 representatives from industry
organisations, government, vets, farmers
and other rural professionals. It’s tasked
with implementing recommendations
to improve animal welfare in winter
The group has put together guidance
for farmers. Short-term expected
outcomes for animal welfare will help
farmers understand what they’re doing
well, highlights where improvements can
be made, offer advice around planning
during the year and has some important
winter grazing management practices.
Following the guidance will be good
for the animals’ welfare. The group says
the practice changes are realistically
achievable by spring 2021.
Action group chair Dr Lindsay Burton
said it’s important everyone worked
together to ensure farmers had the
right tools to get through winter on
“Ensuring you follow a gradual
transition plan when moving your
animals from pasture to crop and back
again will help prevent issues. This is
particularly important for cattle wintered
on fodder beet.
“For farmers, the focus heading into
winter should be on providing the right
feed at the right time, as well as shelter
and easy access to drinking water. Doing
this should have the flow-on effect of
limiting stock movement and help
reduce damage to crop and soil.”
Farmers and rural professionals
should refer to the levy organisations
websites — Beef+LambNZ, DairyNZ and
Deer Industry NZ. They have advice on
good winter grazing practices and specific
recommendations for transitioning stock
on to crop and balancing the diet, which
differs between the species.
During the lockdown period, Dr Burton
says the action group has remained
committed to progressing its work to
improve wintering practices, meeting
virtually to keep up the momentum.
“We recognise the good work that
has already been done by farmers
throughout New Zealand.”
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24 March 2021 WAIKATO FarMING LIFESTYLES
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