Southern North Island Beekeeping Group Ltd

Meeting of the Southern North Island Beekeeping Group

Held at Newbury Hall Palmerston North – 7 August 2018 10:30 am

Present: Mary-Ann and Frank Lindsay, Gary Sinkinson, Neil Farrer, Kate Smith, Gavin Lambert, Peter Meyer, Daniel Mason, Matthew Mason, Maree Docherty, Anne Hulme, Jake Schultz, Michael Brandon, Trevor Gillbanks, Tony Coard, Kevin Gibbs, John Livingston, Jeremy McLaughlin, Keith Rodie, Dave Pauro, Peter McKay, Paul Jenkin, Phillip Holden

Apologies: Stuart Fraser, Chris Valentine, Janice and John Brandon, Jason Prior, Brett Richmond, Sara McMillian Vaughan Kearns

Neil /Jake

Minutes of the Previous Meeting: these have been emailed to everyone and also read out at the meeting. These have been accepted as a true record

Neil /Jake

Matters Arising: The 2nd account has been opened at TSB. This will be used for donations etc for the freezer project. Allan gave an overview about the Pathogens Programme.

Financial Report: Mary-Ann advised the account at TSB our current account has a balance of $300.00

There are a couple of account to be reimbursed members – Neil $102.22 for costs associated with the Incorporation of the Group. And a reimbursement to Lindsay’s for the establishment of the website $148.06


Correspondence in:
20 July 2018 – Email from Trees for Bees requesting assistance with a Project.
20 July 2018 – Email from Michael Killer to Mary- Ann re B- Qual Program
31 July 2018 – Letter from Karin Kos re Commodity Levy and the road show
17 July 2018 – Email from Kylie Whellan re the 2nd savings account at TSB has been opened.
10 July 2018 – Email from MPI Dierdre Haines reply regarding the email addresses on the Beekeepers register

Correspondence Out:
2 August 2018 – Email from Frank to Grant Hays re AFB Levies
9 July 2018 – Email to MPI requesting Beekeepers Email addresses be removed from the register due to excess spam being received.
5 July 2018 – Email from Mary-Ann to Brendan Gould re the Freezer Project.

General Business: Robust discussions held on both the following topics

AFB Levy – Allan recently attended the NZ Beekeeping AGM – they are against the AFB and Commodity Levy. Russell Berry has stood down as President. (his choice) The Executive of this Group have been summoned to the Ministers office. The Minister is concerned about the emails /letters he is receiving against the Levies. Allan felt someone is filling him with incorrect information. The Ministeralso has a GIA proposal from Apiculture NZ sitting on his desk.

Both Allan and Neil stressed we need to submit letters urgently voicing our opinion. Any correspondence should be very clear about your disapproval/approval on these issues.

Allan will send a letter to the Minister on behalf of our group. We are urging Hobby Clubs Manawatu and Wanganui to get a letter off – there is a deadline 10 August.

Any correspondence could request a Cost Benefit Analysis be produced.

He passed around a hard copy of the survey – he felt it was weighted and made recommendations on how to fill in the survey.

There was general agreement in the group that AFB Levy is penalising beekeepers that are compliant, there is no point to this. They should be targeting beekeepers that are non – compliant and put in place penalties.

AFB needs the historical type MAF Apiary inspectors – they were more hands on – they would identify the problem areas then move in to inspect and educate the beekeeper

John felt we should be taking recommended solutions regarding the Levys. He felt we should be taking over the management of AFB in our own areas.

Commodity Levy

Apiculture NZ will be holding a roadshow – the Palmerston North meeting is 23 August 9:00 am. Coachman Hotel

Once again there was general agreement that the proposed levy is not equitable. Keith felt beekeepers bringing in Clover/Bush honey will be subsidizing those who bring in Manuka only. Beekeepers would prefer a level playing field.

There was also concerns about the administration of this. Beekeepers paying the extractors the levy - they may add their administration cost + MPI administration cost…. We have yet to see how this will look.

Pathogen Programme freezer: Allan advised MPI have requested a hold on this until after a meeting 6 September in Wallaceville Upper Hutt. They want to sort out protocols. Both MPI and Landcare will be attending. We have been invited and can have up to 8 members attend this meeting. Those who would like to go. Neil, Gary, Kevin, Frank, Chris, Trevor, Phil, Brett Richmond.

Mary Ann raised an issue at the ApiNZ AGM about a donation from SNI NBA in 2008 to bring out speakers to conferrences. In the financials the balance sheet it is noted this as to be used for funding the proposed Commodities Levy. The Chairman spoke to her about this and queried that it could have been an error put in the wrong column.

Trees for Bees. We have received a request for funding from Trees for Bees. They have a further project Building Bee Capacity To support rural growth.

A letter can be sent to Linda advising we are looking at this favourably but need to place this on hold for 3 months while the group is forming and establishing membership etc.

Jake raised an issue we need to consider all members and ensure we represent the wider group, and think about how we are communicating to the wider group. He is aware of members that did not feel they had a place in this forum. We should be considering how we are communicating to the wider group. Perhaps utilising more technology using UTube as an education tool etc.

Spring Field Day: Beekeepers Awareness Month – to be hosted by Kai Iwi Honey Sunday 14 October 8 Hinau Street Castlecliff Wanganui. $25 member $35 non member. BBQ Lunch Provided.

Allan will put the programme together.

This will be a drive for new membership.

Skills International: Allan advised Skills International are bringing out a beekeeper from Solomon Islands for 45 days. Initially he will be with Lester Bulmer from Taranaki – Allan will have him for a few days going over Queen Rearing. He would like other beekeepers to have him with them for a few days to give him some variety. Gary will have him for a couple of days.

BQual: Letter produced by Frank and Mary-Ann from Michael Killer BQual Program Manager. B-Qual is a food safe and biosecurity programme based on HCAAP principles and also audits against the Australian Biosecurity Code of Practice. They provide administrative and auditing services. They are an accredited business across Australia and NZ providing certification services to the meat and livestock industry, fruit and vegetable industry and many others including beekeeping and processing.

Their costs appear to be a lot cheaper than what we are currently paying through either Assure Quality or MPI.

A motion has been put forward.

For Frank to write to Trevor Weatherhead (Executive Director of Australian Honey Bee Industry Council) to request under CER that B- Qal investigate becoming Auditors for the Bee Industry in NZ


Don’t Forget -Next Thursday 23 August – Apiculture Meeting is at 9:00 am Coachman Hotel. Then MPI regarding Manauka Definition and the Domestic market at 12:30 – 2.

We were looking at a meeting after these meetings to discuss the Commodity Levy etc but cannot get the hall. It has been suggested we may just head to a café/bar to do this

If anyone needs the information about these meetings please let me know

Next Meeting : Tuesday 4 September 2018

Southern North Island Beekeeping Group Ltd