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in this is s u e . . .

• Rural Affairs Minister visits Great Barrier

• Golden Bay Bag Ladies challenge

• Future Farming Roadshow

• WIF Wool Handling day

OFFICIAL JOURNAL OF RURAL WOMEN NEW ZEALAND • ISSUE No. 5 December 2006

Golden Days at Macraes


Fish was the last thing mid-Otago RWNZ members expected
to see when they visited the Macraes Oceana gold mine to
mark World Rural Women’s Day on October 16. But those
on the tour learned that ninety percent of the water used at
the mine is recycled and is pure enough to sustain a rainbow
trout hatchery, where trout are raised and later released
throughout Otago.
The group travelled around the mine complex and processing
plant, and were able to see trucks working in the huge open
cast Fraser’s Pit. The mine is New Zealand’s largest gold
producing operation, averaging 180,000 ounces a year or $3
to $5 million dollars worth of gold a week. It employs 300
people, most of whom commute from Dunedin and other
outlying areas each day. Since the current gold mining
operations began in 1990 two million ounces of gold have
been produced from the mine.
The mine now attracts 3,500 tourists a year and this aspect
of its operations will become a source of income for the Otago Fish and Game Officer, Ian Hadland, demonstrates the ‘milking’ of
local community once mining ceases in a few years’ time. trout roe at the hatchery, watched by RWNZ members and friends
The company plans to leave some mining relics to show After the mine tour RWNZ members returned to the warmth of
the difference between mining 100 years ago and today. One the Macraes Flat Hall where they heard from Otago Regional
obvious relic will be Fraser’s Pit, which, unlike other mining Council senior compliance officer, Robin Crawford. The
sites at Macraes, is not being backfilled. Instead it will slowly ORC is charged with auditing the environmental impacts of
transform into a lake as it fills with rainwater, a process that’s the mining operation which are monitored by the company.
expected to take over 100 years. RWNZ members expressed concerns about dust generated
by the operation, and the way the mine has transformed the
Graham Wilson, Oceana’s tourism development manager, told
Otago tussock landscape. “What will happen when mining
members that the open cast mine was now as deep as it can
finishes?” they asked.
go, and the company’s next move is to build a tunnel to begin
underground mining at the bottom of Fraser’s Pit. Mr Crawford told members that the mine operates under
130 active resource consents and the company has paid a
$20 million bond to cover any environmental mitigation
work that is required in the future. Recently sprinkler
systems have been installed to overcome dust problems
caused by high winds drying out one of the holding areas,
and these are working “fantastically well” according to
Graham Wilson.
Mid-Otago Provincial President, Ellen Ramsay, said the
World Rural Women’s Day event at Macraes gold mine was
a great opportunity to demonstrate RWNZ’s awareness of
and concern for the environmental issues associated with
such a large scale mining operation.
And there’s likely to be a few more years of mining yet,
given the high price of gold. The gold bearing area of
Macraes extends over 40 kilometres, of which only 20
kilometres has been explored to date.
Trucks operating at the Fraser’s Pit

Strengthening Rural Communities Page 


editorial Editorial Council matters
The old adage, “if you want something done, ask a busy
The end of the year is fast
person” certainly applies to Rural Women New Zealand’s
approaching. It is once again National Councillors, who spend many hours promoting our
out with the old and in with the organisation and the rural issues it is involved in.
new. These last few months
are always the busiest of all Here’s a look at what four of them have been up to in the last
couple of months:
and seldom do any of us have
time to look back or forward. I Region 3 councillor, Liz Evans took part in a
thought, therefore, that it may two-day seminar on the 10th anniversary of
be appropriate for me to take a pause and reflect on the NZ Landcare Trust. She also attended the
New Horizons Trust Awards presentation,
the year and perhaps briefly anticipate next year.
supporting an organisation that gives second
Has it been a good year? For Rural Women New chance education grants to women. She was
Zealand it has. We have had several notable events kept busy during a trip to Wellington with
a Fonterra presentation, Federated Farmers’
– the Achievement Awards, an excellent Conference
national council meeting, and a consultation meeting with
and the re-launching of the Rural Bulletin. Our the Land Access Panel. Back in her own region, she was
staffing situation, for the first time in several years, guest speaker at Awatere dinner group’s meeting, attended
has remained constant and busy. Now, with Mahakipawa branch’s 80th birthday celebrations along with
the arrival of our new Lillian, Sonya, we begin Sherrill Dackers, and attended the Nelson, Golden Bay and
to prepare for Lillian’s departure later next year Marlborough AGMs.
– something which we do not anticipate with glee National Finance Chair, Jacky Stafford, almost
but one which she regards with pleasure. Undoubtedly, qualifies as an honorary Wellingtonian as she’s
too, Jackie’s journalistic and networking skills have been visiting the capital so often, attending the
contributed greatly towards the significant awareness and Access Homehealth and Honda House board
publicity about RWNZ. Together with Noeline’s talents meetings, a Rural Education Reference Group
with promotion and Jo-Anne’s undoubted knowledge and (RERG) meeting and consultation with the
Ministry of Education on targetted funding
understanding of the ‘Wellington’ scene RWNZ has been
for isolation. She also met with the Charities
well served. We must not forget, either, Linda’s cheerful Commission and attended a workshop on the new charities tax
presence and guardianship of our accounts. regime. She was invited by Farmside to support the company
at the TUANZ Awards evening and her comments were
We have continued to present submissions and comment sought by the media on a range of issues including broadband,
on issues impacting on rural although it is sometimes RERG and The Correspondence School. In her region Jacky
frustrating that what we lobby for is not always attained assisted with the employment of the new Region 4 Regional
- the homecare travel issue still drags on. Here, too, the Development Officer, Wendy McGregor, organised a weekend
strength, enthusiasm and dedication of the incumbent leadership course and attended the RCG planning meeting, a
National Council has come to the fore. All National Link meeting and the World Rural Women’s Day event.
Councillors have at different times during the year assisted Josie Gower has spent several weeks working
me with various commitments and I believe that they have long hours on the selection of the new Region
gained much from these duties. 4 Regional Development Officer, after an
unprecedented interest in the position saw
Throughout New Zealand it has often been a hard year, over 40 women apply for the job. The task
especially for rural. Floods, unseasonal rains and slips, and was made more difficult due to the very high
immense snowfalls have had a huge effect on rural New calibre of many of the applicants, and Josie
Zealand. But, as ever, the enormous heart and strength is delighted with the expertise and experience
of rural communities has shown itself – members have Wendy McGregor brings to the job.
done well. Region six councillor, Sue Saunders, has
been involved in fortnightly meetings
So, what of next year? We will continue to promote with the Rates Reform Coalition, a group
the need for better health services and rural medical put together by Federated Farmers that is
personnel, improved rural representation, learn more lobbying central government for changes to
about climate change and use of water, keep a wary eye on the way local government is funded, away
rural education and generally be the social eyes and ears from a largely rates-based model to one that
of rural women. National Council and the RWNZ staff is increasingly funded by taxpayers. Sue
also attended the Environmental Roadshow
will continue to encourage new membership and better
and represented RWNZ on the Waikato
understanding of the organisation and its interests. There Agriculture Advisory Committee, which is a network of a
is still much to do. wide range of groups including MAF, Environment Waikato,
Fonterra, farm forestry, MPs and Meat & Wool New Zealand.
With these thoughts and reflections it is now appropriate At the end of November she launched the Rural Support
for me to take leave of you for 2006 and send best wishes Network, of which she is a founding trustee, along with three
to all members, friends and family for Christmas and 2007. Federated Farmers members.
May the festive season bring you peace and pleasure.

Page  Strengthening Rural Communities


Rural Affairs Minister’s Future Farming

issues
island update Roadshow, coming to
Living in a rural island ‘paradise’ an A&P show near you!
has its challenges and residents
Imagine going to the supermarket, selecting your cut of
of Great Barrier Island in the
meat or pot of yoghurt, then at a touch of a screen being
Hauraki Gulf took the opportunity
able to view details about where the product came
to raise a raft of issues with Rural from, whether the farmer uses solar panels to produce
Affairs Minister, the Hon Damien electricity or plants trees to earn carbon credits.
O’Connor, when he accepted an
invitation from Rural Women New Region 3 councillor Liz Evans attended the launch of
Zealand to visit in October. the “Future Farming Roadshow” at Parliament last
month on behalf of RWNZ. The high tech bus which is
Mr O’Connor spent a weekend on Great Barrier attending set to tour A&P shows around the country, showcases
a series of meetings. First stop was a visit with the island’s the impact of electronics and advanced biotechnology
health professionals - Mr O’Connor is also Associate Minister on agriculture in the future, and is an initiative of the
of Health - followed by a public forum at RWNZ Awana Ministry of Research, Science and Technology.
Branch’s Barleyman’s Cottage. Representatives of a wide
range of groups talked about issues as diverse as affordable Futuristic it may be, but do we want it, or need it? There
housing, depopulation, lack of employment and benefit were words of warning from Young Farmer of the Year, John
dependency, the high price of fuel, boarding bursaries, the McCaw, who launched the roadshow, saying it was debatable
lack of toll-free calling to Auckland and land values (and how many constraints distant consumers should be able to
impose on farming systems. “The potential for an increasingly
rates) being pushed up by off-island purchasers.
urbanised global population, with limited understanding of
“Almost every issue relating to the island was voiced,” says agriculture, to dictate a farm practice half a world away is
Awana branch secretary, Merle White. alarming,” he said. “How much information do consumers
want or need? Is it really desirable to get to know Daisy before
Mr O’Connor suggested the community get serious about firing up the barbeque? As a farmer, I have concerns about the
putting together a 10 year plan, setting out a vision for where direction we may be headed - who is going to record all this
it wants to go. He empathised with residents’ wishes to stop information? Who will pay for all the extra work in gathering
commercial fishing in inshore waters and suggested that it? I suspect it will be the farmers.”
getting the whole coastline declared a marine reserve would
achieve this. High living costs were a reality for the island,
he said, but he was concerned about the fuel situation and
School Trustees Elections
agreed to look into it. Schools are now busy planning for the 2007 Trustee Elections,
with nominations being called on 1 March and voting closing
Meanwhile Mr O’Connor has written to RWNZ’s national on 29 March.
office expressing his appreciation of the initiative taken by our
members on Great Barrier in inviting him to the island, and More than 13,000 trustees will be needed and members of
the excellent organisation and friendship displayed towards the wider community who could make a contribution are
him and his staff while they were there. being encouraged to put their names forward. You don’t
need to be a parent, or have a child at the school, but do need
“The feedback received has been invaluable in ensuring I have to be committed to children and education and have the
a sound grasp of rural affairs issues, as they vary around the skills to help a school lift student achievement. Boards have
country.” overall responsibility for the governance of the school and set
educational goals and strategic direction, choosing how they
Perhaps other RWNZ groups might wish to follow Awana
want their school to develop. Ongoing training and support is
Branch’s lead? offered to trustees to help them in their role. It is important that
a board reflects its community as the board makes important
Welcome to our new RDO decisions for their school.

You may not know the face, Agrichemical Approved Handler


but you’d probably recognise
the voice of Wendy McGregor,
compliance date looms
our new Region 4 Regional On 1 January 2007 people who store and handle agrichemicals
Development Officer. will need an Agrichemical Approved Handler Certificate to
Wendy has had many years present to their rural retailer, in order to be able to buy a range
experience in broadcasting, of agricultural chemicals and drenches. In other cases the
including working as rural chemicals will be able to be purchased without a certificate, but
chief reporter for Radio New can only be used by someone who has completed the course.
Zealand until a few years ago. FarmSafe Project Manager, Grant Hadfield, says he expects
many rural people are starting to panic as the deadline
She lives in Paraparaumu
looms. But all is not lost - FarmSafe will continue to run their
with her family and will be certification workshops in the new year. If participants
focusing on developing new membership and promoting our have already completed a FarmSafe Awareness course the
organisation throughout the lower North Island . She will work FarmSafe Agrichemicals/Approved Handler workshop is
alongside Region 4 councillor, Josie Gower, who is delighted free. Otherwise the cost is $50 including GST. To register call
to welcome Wendy on board, saying she will be a real asset to 0800 545 747. For a list of the chemicals which will require
Rural Women New Zealand. certification for purchase or use, call 0800 376 234.

Strengthening Rural Communities Page 


feature RERG bends ear of Resthome windfall
education policy makers Waipa-King Country provincial members gave a major
fundraising boost to Freeman Court rest home in Te Awamutu,
When policymakers in Wellington make decisions that when they presented a cheque for $10,000 to the the Eventide
adversely affect rural schools and pupils, who are you Home Trust Board recently.
going to call? The Rural Education Reference Group
The chairman, Te Awamutu mayor Alan Livingston, was
(RERG) would surely be a good starting point. Jacky
thrilled with the donation as it provided the impetus for the
Stafford, one of our national councillors, has just been
Board’s fundraising campaign and demonstrated support from
re-elected as its chairperson for an unprecedented
a community group.
fourth year.
RWNZ provincial members were pleased to support a project
The membership of RERG is a who’s who of educational
that benefited residents’ health and the community, with
organisations, representing early childhood through to
the Freeman Court campaign satisfying both criteria. The
tertiary, and includes teachers, unions, parents and
provincial made the donation out of investment returns.
trustees. In all, 11 groups, including the NZ Principals
Federation, the NZ Area Schools Association, the NZ
School Trustees Association and Rural and Small
Schools Advisors, send along senior representatives
who have the common aim of promoting fairness
and quality in education for rural areas. RERG’s diverse
membership brings a smorgasbord of viewpoints to the table
when it meets in Wellington four times a year.
“We don’t always get a consensus, because we come at things
in different ways, and that’s a good thing often because it
brings out the issues,” says Jacky Stafford. But the over-arching
question for all the groups involved is ‘how is this policy going
to affect rural children?’
The autonomous organisation is increasingly used as a
sounding board by Ministry of Education officials and is also
getting a good hearing from the Minister, Steve Maharey, who Raewyn Marwood (left) and Barbara Burden hand over a cheque to
now meets with them twice a year. Other agencies such as Alan Livingston and Mark Evans of the Eventide Home Trust Board,
the NZ Qualifications Authority and ERO also speak to RERG watched by Freeman Court manager, Elsie Anderson. Photo: Te
members to update them on developments. Awamutu Courier

On RERG’s agenda recently has been the impact of new


regulations on boarding hostels, many of which will require Magical times as snow
upgrading as a result. Unlike other school buildings, the
Ministry of Education doesn’t pay for the maintenance of woes recede
boarding hostels, with upkeep and upgrading costs being There’s nothing like adversity for firing up good old fashioned
borne by schools and parents. community spirit. And if there were any positive results to
RERG has also looked at school housing issues, delivery of come out of the Canterbury snow storms this winter, it was
information technology (ICT), school bus transport, inservice putting people in touch with their neighbours and seeing the
courses, class sizes, distance learning, targeted funding for way people helped each other out.
isolation and, more recently, the tender and contracting review In the aftermath of the snow, Anama Branch RWNZ members
and the provision of early childhood services. seized the opportunity to organise a get-together for families in
There have been some positive results. “ICT has come into its the district. Every family was rung and invited to the local hall
own,” says Jacky Stafford. “A lot of rural schools, if they are for Sunday lunch, a drink and a chat. Sixty residents enjoyed
using what is available, and if they can afford it, are ahead of a relaxed and happy gathering, which provided a welcome
some urban schools. They use video conferencing and a lot break from feeding stock and clearing up. The children were
of the ICT initiatives out there.” entertained by a magician and all agreed that a good old
fashioned district get-together was just the tonic needed to lift
A perennial problem is the recruitment and retention of the spirits and help everyone through the harsh winter.
teachers in rural schools, which Jacky describes as ‘a huge
issue’. “How do you get teachers out there and keep them Visiting Wellington?
there? And sometimes it is not good to have a teacher there for
a long time either. You want to recruit and retain, but you also
Stay at
need change, because often it is the only teacher the children Honda House
will have in the first seven years of school”. Bed and Breakfast
Jacky is upbeat about the RERG’s increasing effectiveness but 32 Hawkestone Street, Thorndon
knows they have plenty of work ahead. “One of the really
positive things in the last few years has been the recognition of
Tel: (04) 473 7670
RERG and what it can offer as far as looking at rural education or go to www.ruralwomen.org
policies and delivery of education. I think there is better
recognition of the issues facing rural that urban don’t have, Meeting facilities, guest kitchen, laundry, lounge,
but there is still a long way to go.” discount for RWNZ members

Page  Strengthening Rural Communities


Golden Bay Bag Ladies’ Jubilation as

our people
RWNZ challenge Seafield turns 75!
In 2005 Pakawau Branch member Nicola Basham and friends Almost 50
launched a campaign in Golden Bay to do away with plastic members, past
shopping bags, encouraging people to use cloth bags instead. and present, along
It’s been a huge success. In nine months, the number of plastic with friends,
bags used in Golden Bay has halved from a million a year to joined together to
500,000 and Collingwood has become the first town in New celebrate 75 years
Zealand to be plastic-shopping-bag-free. The Bag Ladies of Seafield Rural
have been recognised for their efforts, winning the Heritage Women recently.
and Environment section of the Nelson-Tasman TrustPower “We were
Community Awards. privileged to have
the remaining
Nicola Basham two serving
(left) and foundation
Victoria Davis members with us
with their - Gerti Gregory,
Heritage and now in her 102nd
Environment year, who was
TrustPower our first secretary,
Community Gerty Gregory and Mary Taylor and Mary Taylor
A w a r d the second secretary,” says Elizabeth Rankin, the
Certificate branch’s current secretary.
Photo: Lloyd
Blythen, Nelson Following on the theme from conference, “Building the
Mail Dream”, two commemorative scholarships for Ag ITO students
Hamish White and Joanne Thorpe, were announced. And
there were more surprises in store. Years of dedicated service
Earlier this year Nicola Basham attended the RWNZ Region 3 were acknowledged when Louise Clucas was presented with
conference and our members enjoyed an ice-breaker activity, life membership by mid Canterbury vice president, Maureen
hand painting their own recyclable cloth bags while learning Maginness.
about the plastic-bag-free campaign.
“To get started, we had 1,000 cloth bags sponsored by Lonestar
Farms which we gave away, and then had 5,000 bags made,”
Winning Streak
Hazelburn Branch can
explains Nicola, who has also set up a cottage industry lay claim to having
screen printing the bags with individual logos for events or some very talented
organisations. Tasman District Council has also leant its support, and dedicated
purchasing bags to give away to householders and schools, and
members, with five
the bags are sold in stores throughout Golden Bay.
winning the Olive
The Golden Bay Bag Ladies have spurred other plastic- Craig Member of
shopping-bag-free campaigns around the country and there are Excellence Award in
now active groups in Carterton, Napier, South Eden, Greymouth recent years. Pictured
and Wanaka. The group is also lobbying at a national level, here with the trophy
to encourage the government to follow the Irish example of are (back l to r)
establishing a plastic bag levy, aimed at substantially reducing Margaret Chapman
the one billion bags used by New Zealanders each year, and (2004), Ronalda Esler
using the funds on environmental projects. (2006), Marjorie Cross
After a year focusing on plastic bags, Nicola is broadening her (2000), (front l to r)
scope to look at other sustainability issues. “We don’t want to Joan Phiskie (1998)
appear like nags, or bag police, but we are trying to encourage and Ella McKerchar
people to act differently and hoping Golden Bay will embrace (2006).
some of these other issues. We will be working with the
Council to figure out how to become a more sustainable
community. I hope New Zealand can move towards a green A helping hand
and clean actuality. We talk about our clean green image, but
it is just an image. People need to ‘act green’.” A rural village on the banks of Lake Victoria Kenya has
benefited from the assistance of RWNZ’s Glenmark Dinner
Now Nicola is throwing out a challenge to RWNZ members Group, after members organised 11 wheelchairs to be added
around the country: “Write to national office and tell to a community container being sent from North Canterbury
us how you are now “acting green”. The writers of the to the village.
three best letters will receive three sturdy shopping bags
each, courtesy of the Golden Bay Bag Ladies.” For more “It’s been a wonderful project for us,” says Bev Forrester. “The
information on setting up a bag free campaign go to www. container included a tractor, plough and other agricultural
plasticshoppingbagfree.org.nz/ equipment as well as school furniture and much much
more.”

Strengthening Rural Communities Page 


branchline welcome to new members Community support follows
last hurrah for rural bras
Christine Beaton, Patricia Bletchford, Amanda
Barnes, Marie Black, Beverley Forrester, Avrill
Harrison, Mairi Hartnell, Helen Lang, Antje Vink, Otago residents recently decided that the infamous Cardrona
‘bra fence’ was less than uplifting - an eyesore even - and had
Claudia Worth, Lisa Earl, Jan McKone, Judy
to come down. The demise of the local landmark was marked
McMillan, Lyndsay Millar, Ruth Miles, Brenda with a bra decoration competition held as part of Wanakafest.
Murchison, Julia O’Sullivan, Val Norrie, Bridie The event provided hours of entertainment for groups of
women around Central Otago, with funds raised going to
Power, Jenny Rouse, Margaret Ruck, Fi Sidey, Jenny
breast cancer research.
Smith - Glenmark Dinner Group
Cambrians-St Bathans RWNZ group supported the event with
Debbie Anstis, Jean Schoultz, Kaye De Barr, Trisha
several imaginative entries. “We had lots of laughs creating
Waugh - Individual members and naming our masterpieces,” says branch secretary Gill
Cynthia Williams, Bell Perdiga - Kaikohe Naylor. “And it was all for a really good cause too.”
Quentin Furlong, Peri Spence - Poatiri
Debbie Soweby - Otewa
Julie Strange, Kerla Pomeroy, Tyler Langford,
Shanelle Ward, Vanessa McLellan - Bainham
Jillian Service - Doubtless Bay
Noeleen Bolger, Susan Goble, Yvette, Green,
Shevaun Taberner, Jan Hegan, Sue Chartres, Sallie
Allen, Deanna Beckett, Louise Brice, Joy Cavanagh,
Shelley Cavanagh, Carolyn Clegg, Netty Denis,
Kim Halder, Linda Heath, Nanette Lott, Fiona
MacDonald, Linda Pawsey, Annie Roska, Heather
Sinclair, Trish Smith, Jude Woolhouse - Fiordland
Top left “Hey I was sleeping”, top right “Friesian Mystic”, 2nd down,
“The Nipple Tickler”, 3rd down “Ewes 2” and 4th down “Titi Cloak”.
farewell to old friends Pictured are Pip and Harry (3) Gillespie casting their vote for their
favourite bra. Photo Poppy Shallard Central Otago News
Evelyn Murray - Fraser Road
Margaret Lamont - Waimahaka (life member)
Phyllis Fairhall - Blenheim
National Conference 2007
Lillian Macdonald - Brightwater A team of Region Five women are working behind the scenes
busily organising our next national conference to be held
Ella Watkins - Tirau in Rotorua from 14-17 May next year. The theme of the
Margaret Hall (Peggy) - Aoroa conference is “Using the Past to Create the Future”
Janice Busch - Kourawhero
In late January or early February branches and individual
Edie Crawford - Yaldhurst members will receive copies of the Programme and we hope
Lillian Falloon - Masterton many of you will be keen to register.
Sylvia Jones - Thames Valley Provincial
Zada Stirling, Alice Kennedy - Waimahaka Wellington Experience
In February we will again be hosting provincial and branch
   May They Rest in Peace officer holders from around the country at the Wellington
Experience, a personal development skills opportunity for
honours board RWNZ’s future leaders, which is generously sponsored by
Landcorp.

Branch bar of honour The women who are selected will gain first hand experience of
Nancy Macfarlane - Tatuanui RWNZ national office activities, meet Members of Parliament
and visit government departments for briefings on legislation
and policies impacting on rural communities.
Life Membership
Those who come to the Wellington Experience are encouraged
June Pullin, Patricia Williams, Betty Belcher, Phyllis
to have a project in mind that would benefit from the leadership
Wilton, Nancy Rayner - Masterton
skills they gain. Last year’s participant, Dorothy Hay, wrote
Juliana O’Conell, Nancy Somerville - Waimahaka to tell us about her project - a very successful Fashion Parade
Branch she organised in October for Southland Provincial, which was
attended more than 90 women and raised $500 for provincial
funds.

Page  Strengthening Rural Communities


Rural lives in print and pictures Flowers bring cheer to 75th

noticeboard
Two beautiful large format books on New Zealand rural life Albury branch members celebrated their 75th
would make great reading this Christmas for anyone with an anniversary this spring, combining the event with
interest in farming or with the country at heart. their annual flower show. The beautiful flowers
reflected the resilience of members, after a severe
The Farming of New Zealand by winter followed by damaging winds.
Gordon McLauchlan is so much
more than a coffee table book,
though its pictures are certainly
fascinating. Packed with historical
black and white photos as well as
colour images by Ian Baker, the book
tells the story of where rural New
Zealand has come from and where
we are today. It is a celebration of
the hard working men and women
involved in the industry that keeps
our nation economically afloat, and reveals the skills and
entrepreneurship that makes our farmers respected around
the world. It is a history of human endeavour on the land,
from pre-European agriculture through to modern hi-tech
rural enterprises. The book is published by Penguin and
Members Marian Burt, Leanne Fitzpatrick, Mel Guerin
retails at $65.
and Mary Ross, who was the overall winner of the show
Farm - The Spirit of Rural New
Zealand is the work of author
Vaughan Yarwood and leading Plunket and Maternity
landscape photographer, Arno
Gasteiger, whose stunning photos Services survey
capture the pair’s journey as they
Rural Women New Zealand has a strong track record in
travelled through New Zealand
ensuring women and children in rural areas receive the health
to discover the stories behind a
services they are entitled to. There have been increases in
diverse range of farming families
funding for rural health in recent years, but we are keen to
and their properties, from Waikato
know more about the services rural communities actually
dairy farmers to Canterbury
receive and to ensure any gaps are brought to the attention
croppers, iwi-based farmers on
of providers.
the East Coast to Southland sheep farmers. The history of
the nine farms and the families that work them reflect the Plunket is contracted by government to undertake regular
issues that preoccupy New Zealand farmers throughout the Well Child Health Assessments. Currently there are eight of
country - productivity, exports, land access, environmental these checks, scheduled when a child is 2-6 weeks, 7-10 weeks,
issues, innovation and diversification. Farm illustrates how 3 months, 5 months, 9 months, 15 months, 2 years and 3 years.
far farming has come and covers the sweep of farming history, The first two visits are usually in the home, but it is normal
while highlighting concerns for the future. It is published by to be invited to a clinic as baby gets a little older. Problems
Random House New Zealand and retails for $69.99. We have in the delivery of the Plunket service in one area of the South
one copy of this book to give away. To go in the draw please Island have been brought to our attention. We need to know
send an envelope with your name and address on the back, if this is reflected in other rural areas. Are families near you
addressed to “Farm book competition” by 16 January 2007. receiving these checks for their little ones?
It’s hard to imagine New Zealand Meanwhile a growing number of GPs are planning to opt
without sheep. They’ve propped up out of government funding for pregnant patients and set
our economy, enriched our language their own fees instead. Doctors are frustrated at the funding
as well as the table, been the subject of system for maternity care, sometimes referred to as the Section
countless jokes and more recently have 88 Maternity Notice, which is a contract between doctors,
become the stuff of high fashion. Now midwives and the Ministry of Health. GPs who sign up to
you can ruminate on all that sheep the agreement don’t charge their patients a fee, but receive
mean to us with the publication of a $33 from the Government for each visit of a pregnant woman,
pocket-sized book that celebrates our which is only half of the usual consultation fee of around $60.
woolly companions. A Short History of This acts as a disincentive for GPs to look after maternity
patients, and some are opting out of the scheme so that they
Sheep in New Zealand by Richard Wolfe
can charge their usual consultation fees. While urban women
is crammed with everything you ever
may be able to ‘shop around’ to find a GP on the scheme, and
wanted to know about our cloven-footed friends - their origins
thus receive free consultations, rural women don’t always
and how they came to be so important to New Zealanders, have that choice. Again we’d like to know what’s happening
along with sheep trivia and facts, strange but true stories, in your area.
sheep breeds, preserving and exporting meat, shearing and
much more. The book is also published by Random House Please write to Noeline Holt, our EO, with any information
New Zealand and retails for $29.99. you can supply. Or email noeline.holt@ruralwomen.org.nz.

Strengthening Rural Communities Page 


women in farming
Wool handling day provides food for thought - by Phyllis Leigh
Cold wind and sleet didn’t deter a large group of women
from Raetihi to Colyton who visited the farm of Bunny
and Kristin Gorringe on the Kawhatau Valley Road,
south of Taihape recently.

The Manawatu/Rangitikei Women in Farming group


Never too
members rode over the 700 hectare farm which stretches young to
for eight kilometres along the Kawhatau River, and has learn - Mali
been farmed by the Gorringe family since 1904. From Swanney
the top is spectacular scenery, high above the river, with and her son
Rory
views of the Ruahine Ranges. To the north are the hills
of Motukawa, which were covered with a fresh fall of
snow on the day we visited.

Lambing was well underway, with plenty of twins on the


ground, many a good size. Bunny told the WIF group
that the farm had been “assembled” from a number of
160 acre blocks, originally designated as ballot blocks.

With improved fencing and judicious use of wethers to


clean up the country, the Gorringes have improved the
pasture quality and productivity. They now run hardy

ewe hoggets, 160 cows, 215 yearling cattle and 120 two
year cattle, as well as rams and bulls.

Back at the shearers’ quarters, Peter Rix of Wrightsons


spoke to the group about the importance of correct
preparation of the wool clip to maximise returns,
outlining the problems end users meet when wool
handlers fail to remove bellies and pieces, wigs, pizzle
stain, seeds and thistles.
Kristin Gorringe (left) and Pam Peters discuss the wool clip When it comes to shearing time at the Gorringe shed,
Peter instructs the shearers and shed hands on how he
Perendale ewes, which manage to survive well on this
wants the job done. Some have remarked he is the first
country.
person to actually explain what the buyer wants and the
“Their mothering ability is great and they don’t need reasons for doing it.
pampering,” says Kristin Gorringe. Their wool, because
Peter’s talk inspired some vigorous discussion on the
of its bulk, is in demand especially from the carpet
practice of once a year shearing versus second shearing,
industry.
the practice of leaving on bellies, faces and sox, selling
This year the Gorringes were awarded the Peren Cup, at auction versus selling in the shed and the hoped-for
in recognition of their outstanding achievement with increased price for ensuring a properly prepared clip
their Perendales. They now carry a breeding flock of compared with the increased labour costs of doing the
4,000 ewes, 1,300 ewe hoggets, 3-400 cull wether and job properly.

Official Journal of Rural Women New Zealand • PO Box 12021, Wellington • Tel 04 473 5524 • Fax 04 472 8946

Email enquiries@ruralwomen.org.nz • www.ruralwomen.org • ISSN no 1171-4425

Editor: Head Office, PO Box 12021 Wellington • Printer: Precise Print & Design, Paraparaumu

Page  Strengthening Rural Communities