Home' Hastings Mail : July 19th 2011 Contents 18 HASTINGS MAIL, JULY 20, 2011
The best in local news and information
however you want to receive it
Win a $2,500 Website
To celebrate the offcial launch of the
you could win a new or revamp
of an existing website to the
value of $2,500 from
• Read the complete latest edition online
• Read back issues online
• Get regular news updates during the week
• Interact with us via Facebook
• Enter competitions and promotions
Simply book your advertising
with the Hastings Mail for July, August and September
and activate the weblink to enter. Contact one of our
sales representatives for further details on 878 8848
Showroom located at 51 Latham Street, Napier (opp McLean Park)
06 835 1997 or Freephone 0508 348 454
Rutherford Fitness Hire & Sales.
4 EXTRA weeks
• Hire or Buy
• New or used
• Try before you buy
• Delivered to your
• Rowing machines
Taradale Rd, Napier (next to Palmers)
Phone: 842 0971
FIREWOOD FOR SALE
By the cubic metre
available or use
our courtesy trailer
for movie times & information
CALL MOVIE HOT LINE
Napier: 831 0600 Hast: 0832 92808
or hit the web www.readingcinemas.co.nz
Wills prefers collaborative process
Bruce Wills: ''I've seen Federated Farmers become a bit isolated in advocacy, perhaps
because we've lacked a deeper appreciation of how our rural towns and our urban centres
have viewed how we do things on the farms.''
The election of Federated Farmers' new leader -- Hawke's Bay's
Bruce Wills -- marks a momentous shift from table-thumping
aggression to soft-talking advocacy.
CONTINUED Page 19
Bruce Wills has the creased features of
an outdoorsman and the dirty fingernails
of a farmer who just a few hours before
was dagging lambs in the Te Pohue hills.
But seated in the Wellington head
office of Federated Farmers he looks at
home in a suit and tie.
He is a model of the modern farmer --
university educated, highly numerate,
literate, articulate and computerate, and
an agricultural jack-of-all-trades, handy
with hammer, fencing pliers, shearer s
handpiece, drenching gun and team of
Now he wants to add political lobbying
to his skillset -- the tramping of corridors,
handshaking, backslapping, joshing,
hard talk, soft persuasion and smiling
through clenched teeth.
It s what the president of Federated
Farmers has to do.
But no table-thumping, angry threats
or all-or-nothing ultimatums.
That s not my style, says the 50-year-
old former rural banker who has been
farming for only seven years.
His election against three dyed-in-the-
wool farmers marks a momentous shift in
emphasis for the organisation.
He stood on a platform of collaboration,
saying he preferred to discuss conten-
tious issues rationally than to charge in
aggressively. I had become uncomfort-
able with some of the agitation, which
has been less than productive. My
approach is more moderate than some
others, he says.
As chairman of the meat and fibre sec-
tion for the past three years he has built
a reputation as an efficient manager with
a keen ana-
sheep and beef
he is most well
achieve $150 a
lamb, a figure
even doubled --
at stock sales
price rise is
shortage of supply at a time of increased
worldwide demand but is not above
taking a crumb of credit. Somewhere
around the edges in some small minute
way we might have had an influence, one
would hope, he ventures.
His environmental credentials are also
strong -- he is a former winner and cur-
rent chairman of the Hawke s Bay farm
environment awards and is chairman of
the national Willow and Poplar Research
Trust -- and his election has been
welcomed by Federated Farmers spar-
ring partners, Fish and Game and the
Environmental Defence Society.
And welcomed, he says, also by many
farmers who want urban people to know
they care for the environment.
Helping in this, he is sure, though he
has yet to sit down with them, are the
other new members of his executive, the
vice-president, the new leaders of the
three main sections -- meat and fibre,
dairy and grains and seeds -- and two at
Like him, a couple have extensive off-
farm experience. Vice- president William
Rolleston is a medical doctor and
biotechnologist who runs a business on
his South Canterbury farm collecting
sheep blood sera for medical research. At-
large member Anders Crofoot is a former
New York investment funds analyst who
is now the owner, with wife Emily, of
Wairarapa s Castlepoint Station.
He sees this as a strength. I ve seen
Federated Farmers become a bit isolated
in advocacy, perhaps because we ve
lacked a deeper appreciation of how our
rural towns and our urban centres have
viewed how we do things on the farms,
He describes the 45,000 commercial
farmers as small in number but large in
significance, bringing in $23 billion, 60
per cent of foreign earnings. We can t do
it in isolation. We re reliant on our small
towns and our urban centres providing
services and infrastructure -- it s very
much a two-way street.
He wants city people to understand
agriculture is New Zealand s competitive
advantage. If it doesn t succeed we re
going to have a problem educating our
kids, running our hospitals, getting on
top of our debt problems and rebuilding
our second-largest city.
That s on one side, but on the other --
and I put blame on farmers here too --
some of us don t appreciate the urban
population has an important part to play.
We ve got to respect each other s role.
From this could come a better quality
of compliance regime. Someone sitting
on the seventh floor of a Lambton Quay
office is drawing up legislation and in the
back of their mind they re saying Hey,
agriculture s got to succeed in New Zea-
land. If it doesn t, we re in trouble as an
This is at the heart of Federated
Farmers policy, he says. We ve got to let
farmers run sustainably profitable busi-
Urban people have an absolute right
to expectations of environmental stan-
dards but they can t restrain farmers
from making a living.
Links Archive July 12th 2011 July 26th 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page