2023 AGM Chair’s Report

Last year we held another successful Winter Seminar Series with presentations on:

  1. An overview of the Australian Hazelnut industry
  2. Follow up on big bud mite spraying – Les McCracken
  3. The Oregon Hazelnut industry – Clive Kaiser
  4. Julio Bolero presented on his PHD results
  5. Murray gave an overview of his 40 years in the industry.

Recordings are available for members to view online.

With the easing of COVID restrictions we were able to hold an in-person field day in November visiting a number of orchards in Canterbury.  This included Clive Kaiser from Lincoln University providing some key thoughts around pruning and light penetration – resulting in a few members taking chainsaws to some trees to “see what happens”.  As part of this field day the committee got together and worked through a business plan for the Association to help push forward the industry over the next few years.

In September a working bee was held at Rose McDermott’s orchard to help her tidy up the trees ahead of selling the property, following the sad parting of her husband, Tim.  A big thank-you to all the members who turned up to help.

A very wet harvest season has made harvesting challenging in many parts of the country.  I feel for the horticultural industries in the Hawkes Bay and the Gisborne area that have really struggled with the impacts of cyclones and many heavy rain events.  My own experience was a very extended harvesting season and much work for the dryer.  However – surprisingly – it might be my second best harvest ever.

Committee – I would like to thank the members of the current committee for the time that they have put in during this year, Paul Rollin, Michael Petherick, Murray Redpath, Deb Whiteside, Grace McGowan, Ross Smith.   Alison Bentley who joined during the year and Sarah Shore for her work on the newsletter.

The full report is available here.

2023 AGM Summary

The AGM was help on Tuesday the 27th June via Zoom.  A total of 17 members attended the meeting and a number of key items were discussed.

2023/24 committee:  The current committee, with the exception of Ross Smith put their hands up to server for another year.  No new members were nominated for the committee.  The members approved the new committee members as follows:

Peter Barrowclough – Chair
Paul Röllin

Alison Bentley
Deb Whiteside
Shane McKenzie
Michael Petherick
Murray Redpath
Grace McGowan

Michael presented the Treasurer’s report, which showed a total income of $4,353.23 for the year ending 31 March 2023.  The Association’s closing balance on the 31 March was $46,398.08.

Full accounts are available here.

Paul presented a summary of the business plan developed by the committee during their face-to-face meeting in November.  The plan is designed to help the Association better achieve its aims of:

  1. Grow the domestic industry: Growers, processors, consumers.
  2. Facilitate, collate, and participate in research to increase profitable supply from existing and new plantings. Key research areas: Growing techniques/methods; Nutrition; Environment; Improvement of plant genetics
  3. Facilitate and promote transfer of knowledge to support members via seminars, field trips and online communication (website, newsletter etc);
  4. Engage in an active liaison with other relevant organisations.

To support these aims the key points of the 2023/2024 strategic plan are:

  1. Improve profitability of growers
  2. Increase local production
  3. Education of growers and support for research to improve the industry
  4. Increase public awareness and perception of NZ grown hazelnuts
  5. Ensure the industry is sustainable and diversified

The committee has proposed employing a part time executive officer to help the committee push forward with this plan.   The aim is for this officer to assist in areas such as event organisation, funding applications and general support for the committee and Association.  The committee is looking to apply for funding to help with studies around pruning and other agronomic areas such as understanding flower induction, irrigation, fertiliser usage and pest management to improve yields.

To help with the funding of this role the committee has suggested increasing the membership fees to $90 for the 2023/24 year on-wards.

This was unanimously accepted by the members at the AGM.

The Association business plan is available here and the Association strategy document is here.

Full meeting minutes are available here

Orchard visit: Steve Thomas & Sonia Olykan, Lincoln

Organic walnut orchard

In 2020 – just before the first Covid lockdown – Steve and Sonia took over this walnut orchard that is approaching maturity. The shelter was planted in 2000 and the walnuts were planted from 2003-2007 using the two main crop varieties preferred in Canterbury: Rex and Meyric.

Continue reading Orchard visit: Steve Thomas & Sonia Olykan, Lincoln