Northern News : August 22nd 2012
9 NORTHERN NEWS, AUGUST 22, 2012 NEWS Public Open Day & Prize Giving Exhibits will be on public display. Dates: Thursday 30 August 10:00am--1:30pm. Friday 31 August viewing from 5:30pm and Prize Giving at 6:30pm. Venue: The Plaza at The Turner Centre, 43 Cobham Road, Kerikeri. Entry: FREE (Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult). THE TURNERCENTRE PRESENTS Top Energy 2012 Far North Science & Technology Fair An annual event, sponsored by Top Energy since 2002, the Fair is a hands-on an interest in science and technology for the region's Year 7 through 13 secondary school students. Exhibitors may choose any science or technology subject which challenges their TESF12 www.topenergy.co.nz 4806596AA FREE BBQ!!! 2001 State Highway 10 WAIPAPA / KERIKERI Phone: 0800 343 261 HUGE CLEANUP SALE Here is your chance to get the material cheaply for this job you always wanted to do Everything must go!!! Awesome Savings! Bargins Galore! One Day Only! 25 August 2012 8.00am to 4.00pm CHEAP CHEAP CHEAP There are even some GIVEAWAYS Quality Products! Sheets of Roofing Iron Gutter Flashings Clearlite Sheets Insulated Panels Energy company on top CEO: Top Energy boss Russell Shaw. Top Energy is New Zea- land's lines company of the year The Far North elec- tricity generator and lines network company received the award last week from Minister for Energy and Resources Phil Heatley at the Deloitte Energy Excel- lence Awards in Auck- land. Top Energy was recognised particularly for the marked turn- around in the safety and reliability of its network operation while simultaneously rolling out a develop- ment plan of unpre- cedented scale, and its innovative approach to improving supply to the more isolated rural parts of the region. New party aims at all 'rural people' The Government must make policy changes for farms to become profit- able and for rural New Zealand to prosper, a fledgling political party with roots in the Far North says. NZ Rural Party co- founder Ken Rintoul says the Government's approach to issues sur- rounding farming are hurting the country. "It's not a party as such, it's a represen- tation of all rural people and that includes towns, everyone in a rural com- munity," Mr Rintoul says. "The support indus- tries, the value-added industries, that's all part of it." But he says the party is being formed because a strong rural New Zea- land is necessary for a strong nation as a whole. He says it's easy to underestimate the num- ber of people with rural ties. "New Zealand was built on rural communi- ties and, I suppose, what they stand for," he says. "Rural communities -- they look after them- selves, they're very fam- ily orientated, they know all their neighbours, they'll step in and help their neighbours." Mr Rintoul says he would like candidates to be in place for the next election. And he says despite its roots in Okaihau the party is seeing regis- tration spread evenly across the country. The party he founded with Joe Carr needs to send 500 signatures off to Wellington before they can form as a political party but Mr Rintoul says he's looking for 600 to be sure. "We've got to get a cer- tain number of things done before we register, as we register and then within a month of regis- tering," he says. Membership and a candidate selection pro- gramme might be essen- tials as the party takes shape but Mr Rintoul says it's policy that is driving the work and the enthusiasm for the party in its infancy. Keeping hospitals open in rural areas, mak- ing sure police are based in rural communities are priorities for the party, he says. Because people are leaving rural areas because the services are going to the cities and towns. He's had long con- versations with many that end up in the same place. "The single biggest issue is profitability," he says. What was once a multi-generational prac- tice is losing its youth to different industries and quite often to cities. The average age of farmers, Mr Rintoul says, is 58. He says the average age should be around 40 or 45. "We're actually going to lose a generation of farmers soon and we're going to lose a gener- ation of knowledge passed on," he says. "There's not a lot of farmers out there between 20 and 35 now and that's the scary part, we've got to attract them back before it's too late." The value of the New Zealand dollar and com- pliance costs, are the two main obstacles to farms becoming profitable. And he says that while some of the larger farms are making good money, a farm of 200 hectares would only allow a farmer to break even. "Most farms are lucky to make their interest rates at the moment," Mr Rintoul says. "Everyone seems to think farmers are mak- ing a fortune. They have a lot of income, but that income is all going back out again." Changes are being forced on farmers too quickly, he says. The escalating costs of run- ning a farm is just one form of uncertainty. "No-one owns water," Mr Rintoul says. The party's website (nzrural- .org.nz) devotes the most space to this issue. It reads: "The governance of water management must remain controlled by democratically elected public authorities that are accountable. The Government should provide certainty, Mr Rintoul says. That would be NZ Rural's aim.
August 15th 2012
August 29th 2012