Northern News : October 19th 2011
9 NORTHERN NEWS, OCTOBER 19, 2011 NEWS Battle on to beat kauri dieback Recent survey work has con- firmed the importance of removing soil from footwear and equipment before and after entering areas with kauri trees. The survey involved taking soil samples and testing them for kauri dieback disease. Kauri dieback is a fungus- like disease specific to kauri and is killing trees -- young and old. It is believed to be spread by soil movement. Samples were taken from sites where human soil movement was possible and were taken across Northland, Great Barrier and Coroman- del within 12 newly sampled forests and two where kauri dieback was known. The survey was under- taken as part of the pro- gramme to manage kauri die- back disease, implemented jointly by MAF, Department of Conservation, Northland Regional Council, Auckland Council, Waikato Regional Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and Maori. Most of the tests did not detect the disease, however the disease was found to be present in Omahuta, Glen- bervie and Russell forests in areas where there had been previous kauri forestry activity. These join pre- viously identified rural, for- estry and natural bush land sites with the disease in Northland, Auckland and Great Barrier. Kauri Dieback group chair- man John Sanson says: The joint programme partners are working with land managers, tangata whenua and landowners to ensure appro- priate measures are taken to limit further spread of the disease where it has been detected. A range of measures will be considered, including further soil testing, restrictions on access, instal- ling information signage and providing cleaning stations for forest users to clean foot- wear. Landowners and users of the kauri sites where the dis- ease has not been detected are also being encouraged to continue preventative actions of removing soil and staying on tracks to protect these for- est areas from the disease. Mr Sanson says: The soil testing programme is import- ant for us to understand the disease spread and impacts. But we ask all landowners and forest users to take action, because all areas with kauri trees are vulnerable to the disease and we must all do what we can to protect these taonga. Further information on kauri dieback is available at www.kauridieback.co.nz. Farms sell faster as banks look to lend more Spring boost: Sales of farms and lifestyle blocks showing steady rise More farms were bought last quarter than the year before. Real Estate Institute national figures show 93 more sales (+56.7 per- cent) for the three months ended Sept- ember 2011 than for the same period in 2010. Overall, 257 farms were sold in the three months to end of Sept- ember compared with 164 in the three months to September 2010. The median price per hectare for all farms sold in the three months to September 2011 was $17,694 compared to $15,148 in the three months to August 2011 and $17,447 for the three months to September 2010. The number of sales for the year to Sept- ember 2011 was 1053, the largest number of sales in two years. Eight regions recorded increases in sales volume for the three months ended September, with Wellington recording the largest increase (+7 sales), followed by Auck- land and Northland (+4 sales each). Six region recorded lower sales with Southland recording the largest fall (-11 sales) fol- lowed by Otago (-9 sales). The early signs indi- cate higher expectations as market momentum increases, institute spokesman Brian Pea- cocke says. The supply of listings in some areas is becoming short, although overall the vol- ume of properties avail- able is higher than at the same time last year. The excellent early spring conditions, and for many the best grow- ing conditions in years, combined with strong income levels is generat- ing cautious optimism in the rural sector that is being reflected by the banks increased appe- tite for lending to farmers, Mr Peacocke says. Included in sales for the month of September were four dairy farms at an average sale value of $32,334 per hectare. The average farm size was 138 hectares with a range of 96 hectares in the Waikato to 241 hectares in Southland. The average production per hectare across all dairy farms sold in Sept- ember was 565kg of milk solids. Grazing properties accounted for most sales with 56 percent of all sales over the three months. Dairy and horti- culture properties accounted for 7.4 percent each, finishing proper- ties 14 percent and arable properties 5.1 percent. These five prop- erty types accounted for 89.9 percent of all sales during the three months ended September. Mr Peacocke says: The lifestyle property market remains patchy and variable. The level of activity is indicative of the general economic mood, but there is a sense of people holding back waiting to see how the market develops. Join the hunt and be in to win free tickets Hearty pig: Join the Mangamuka hunt and help buy a defibrillator for your community. Calling all pig hunters. There s a competition on up north in Mangamuka you might be interested in. But there s a catch -- a good catch. Your entry could help save a life one day, or even your own. All proceeds from the competition will go toward purchasing a defibrillator for the Mangamuka community. The hunt is from Octo- ber 28 to October 30 based at the Manga- muka Marae. Weigh in starts at 4pm on the Saturday and closes 4pm on Sunday. Competition prizes range from $30 for the heaviest possum to $500 for the heaviest boar. There is also a Sunday lucky draw of $1001 and a Saturday draw for a set of 4X4 Firestone tyres. There will be spot prizes and entertain- ment and a hangi is included in the ticket price -- for non-ticket holders $7. Entry to the compe- tition is $30. Call (09) 401-8957 for tickets or more details. Giveaway The Northern News has two complimentary tickets, worth $30 each, to give away. To go into a draw, write your name, address and phone number on an envelope and send to Pig Hunt, Northern News, PO Box 1, Kaikohe 0440 or email the same details to northern.editor- @snl.co.nz. Entries close Oct 27. Winners notified by phone. Seniors at risk in digital age It s estimated about 133,000 New Zealand- ers a year could be victims of identity fraud, Privacy Com- missioner Marie Shroff says. With increased use of digital technology, it s easier for crim- inals to steal your information. Older people use the internet more and more to communicate with friends and fam- ily, for banking and buying goods, she says. They re putting a lot of personal infor- mation out there. Like everyone else in the community, older people are vul- nerable to scammers and hackers and need to be careful with their personal information, says Ms Shroff. With the assistance of Neighbourhood Support, the Privacy Commissioner s office has produced advice cards on topics ranging from keeping safe online to protect- ing your financial information. We got together a group of seniors to tell us about key problems facing their age group when it comes to con- trolling their personal information, with the help of the Office for Senior Citizens. The group highlighted situations such as being made to divulge their bank PIN number to some- one, often a relative, and then having money taken from them. The loss of power over their own affairs was a strong theme, Ms Shroff says. Dame Cath Tizard, former governor gen- eral and Auckland mayor and one of our most famous and switched-on senior citizens, launched the material. I love being online, and admit to taking the occasional risk. But I am taking more and more care these days as I get more scamming emails and too good to be true offers. I encourage every- one to get hold of this great advice about taking care with your information both on and offline, Dame Cath says. Natalie Lavery of the Office for Senior Citizens says they d like to see people have the confidence to say no if they are con- cerned about handing over their information or agreeing to let someone else have access to their per- sonal details. We hope that the information will spark discussions between older people and their support networks about keeping their information safe and retaining control over their affairs, she says.
October 12th 2011
October 26th 2011