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It is time to just vote

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It is now time to make this the biggest commodity levy vote in NZ history. Right now there is nothing else I can add to the arguments and ApiNZ has gone quiet on answers.

 

Right now it does not matter weather you intend to vote NO or YES, but you must vote.

Make sure everyone you know is going to vote and then double check they have.

 

This industry needs a massive turnout (70%+) to generate a clear industry mandate for change or protest, and while not voting is your democratic right, it just demonstrates you really don't care and deserve anything thrown at you latter.

 

Between 2002 and 2012 of the 28 commodity levies being voted on in NZ the voting turnout average was 37%, and the best turnout of a major levy was 52%.

 

If this level of voting is all we can achieve, then IMO we have all failed.

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So does that mean an abstention is a yes vote ?

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51 minutes ago, jamesc said:

So does that mean an abstention is a yes vote ?

 

I have no idea. To me an abstention in this situation is just a wasted opportunity. 

If we got a 70% voter turnout and result was 35.1 to 34.9 I would be much happier than if we only had a 35% voter turnout and only 17.6% was determining the future.

 

I know my numbers are extra complicated with hive number portion of vote, but you get the picture.

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I don’t know if this has been posted before so apologies if it has.

 

From NZ beekeeping inc

 

As an aside it’s nice to see some type of acknowledgment from a beekeeping organisation that there’s been hive losses and also very real problems for beekeepers arising from the fires in Nelson.

 

Havent heard a thing from Apinz but maybe you have to be a paid member to get any kind of mention.

 

Anyhoo

 

To keep Beekeepers communication with Govt,  Vote NO

I know bees, I don’t know politics, and I realise it’s becoming a prerequisite of this industry to be an expert in both fields.  My journey started in 1996 when I was 16 years old.  Falling for the beekeeper’s daughter led me into a career that I enjoy immensely.  Our company has been around since 1976 but we still face the same challenges as any new company.

I've given this levy proposal some serious thought and I'd love to share some of my musings.

My business is, except for my health, my biggest asset, and at the moment we are most certainly feeling the pinch.  In my shed at present there is over 90 tons of bush honey and not one buyer to be seen.
  
The buyers fall over themselves to buy anything that is decent Manuka, however as the last few years have proven, it's impossible to find one beekeeper who can truly rely on a crop of Manuka each year to pay the bills.  The pressure for Manuka sites is so tough that just getting access is sometimes the biggest hurdle to getting a crop.

My costs are increasing, with compliance, fuel, staff and site payments all going up and it’s definitely been another challenging year for the bees to boot. I'd hate to see the state of some hives out there that are only going to get half of their varroa treatments this autumn because that's all the beekeeper can afford – trust me, I've heard of it going on.

Increasing costs are what is hitting my business the hardest.  Recently I've been asked to submit on an increased AFB PMP levy - in the middle of my season might I add - and to attend consultation meetings, consider and vote on a levy proposed by Apiculture NZ.  It almost appears that Apiculture NZ haven't considered that I might have hives to care for.

I am struggling to see how this levy will improve my industry.  How will $2 million per year fix the problems that most of us are facing?   Nowhere on the list of proposed spending categories does it mention finding a buyer for the beautiful bush honey I've produced these last two years.  That's the biggest threat to my business; not AFB, varroa or overcrowding.

A top heavy organization such as Apiculture NZ, taking its costs and dividing up what's left to some project or another, will not benefit this industry or make businesses such as mine more profitable.  Apiculture NZ wishes to be the “only voice” of beekeeping in New Zealand, this would not be safe, democratic or productive.

If the large corporate companies all vote Yes and we end up with this levy the grassroots beekeepers may very well lose their voice.  MPI and the government will only listen to Apiculture NZ, the government consistently tell us “we will only talk with one industry body", if this occurs we have a real problem.

Therefore I must say the following:

We need to be supported by a body that has its grassroots beekeepers’ best interests at heart.

We need a body that knows the weight of trying to keep the hives in top condition, the landowners happy and the bills paid.

The President and Executive of NZ Beekeeping Inc. feel these challenges every day and we all wish to see this levy defeated.   NZ Beekeeping Inc. want to offer a voice to the people with a hive tool in the door pocket and a veil in the glove box of every vehicle they own.

It is for these reasons:

I urge you to vote "NO" to this levy and give your support to NZ Beekeeping Inc.

JAMES JEFFERY, EXECUTIVE MEMBER
Supported by JANE LORIMER, PRESIDENT
 
To Our Nelson Friends - We are all thinking of you. 
 
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ApiNZ agrees that it is time to vote and we urge all eligible voters to do so.

 

We do not have to secure a 70% turnout to demonstrate a mandate for this levy. Whether or not we have mandate or not is a decision solely for the Minister for Agriculture.  We have talked extensively with other commodity levy organisations, they inform us that a 30% turn out is deemed a "good" result.  That said, regardless of the result, we do want a strong turn out and urge all beekeepers to vote.

 

It is also untrue that ApiNZ is no longer answering questions.  We have a dedicated levy e-mail levy@apinz.org.nz We have had a lot of traffic to this e-mail address this week and have enjoyed the direct engagement with beekeepers interested in the levy vote.  This forum is not the only means of discussing the levy.  We welcome all questions.

 

The fires in Nelson were certainly covered in ApiNZ's update last week.  Karin has also been busy on the phone talking to many beekeepers in the area. 

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10 minutes ago, ApiNZ Levy Proposal said:

ApiNZ agrees that it is time to vote and we urge all eligible voters to do so.

 

We do not have to secure a 70% turnout to demonstrate a mandate for this levy.  We have talked extensively with other commodity levy organisations, they inform us that a 30% turn out is deemed a "good" result.  

 

It is also untrue that ApiNZ is no longer answering questions.  We have a dedicated levy e-mail levy@apinz.org.nz We have had a lot of traffic to this e-mail address this week and have enjoyed the direct engagement with beekeepers interested in the levy vote.  This forum is not the only means of discussing the levy.  We welcome all questions.

 

The fires in Nelson were certainly covered in ApiNZ's update last week.  Karin has also been busy on the phone talking to many beekeepers in the area. 

 

It would have been nice to know about the email address before now.

i would have thought this forum would have been the number one go too for answering questions and releasing info. 

Email is all very well but that info is passed on to a limited audience.

but I’m sure you already know that and are using it as an excuse for not answering some very important questions which you still up to this very minute refuse to do.

 

one can only come to the conclusion that you don’t want to confirm what we already suspect.

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The e-mail address  has been published regularly on this site.  Including here: 

In addition, it has been on each and every publication relating to the levy.  Including regularly in the NZ Beekeeper magazine.

 

As we have outlined already, we are happy to answer questions on the levy.  

 

Everyone likes to engage differently.  Some enjoyed the road show meetings, many have called to discuss the levy and many more have e-mailed.  We have worked hard to ensure that there are multiple communication channels available.  These include this forum, which has always had a link to our website, which includes a levy feedback form.  Always happy to help! 

 

 

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Just one question I need an answer for. @ApiNZ Levy Proposal@ApiNZ Science & Research@Dennis Crowley

 

Imagine I have 100 hives and my neighbour has 1000 hives.

Suppose the levy passes and we are voting on how the levy is spent.

 

With the amount of hive numbers mentioned above will me and my neighbour get the same number of votes or does my neighbour have a higher number of votes?

 

I just want a clear cut answer. Something like my neighbour will get more say or more votes or something like both of us will have the same say and equal voting rights.

 

Please give an answer to this.

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10 hours ago, jamesc said:

So does that mean an abstention is a yes vote ?

depends entirely on what you would vote if you didn't abstain... if you don't vote then your action is a vote for the other side, whatever that side is

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6 hours ago, ApiNZ Levy Proposal said:

Always happy to help! 

Well come on then @ApiNZ Levy Proposal whats the answer to the levy spend voting weighting???? This has been asked quite a few times without a full and honest answer from you.

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Dont shoot the messenger but is Beekeeping NZ Inc up to the task of dealing with this lot.

If this is  real then it's a real issue and Im not saying that they arn't up to it, just asking the question 

 

"Anyone who wants to be selling honey or wine in China 12 months from now needs to be closely networked into their respective industry and to the New Zealand regulatory authority." 

https://exportertoday.co.nz/article/are-days-wine-honey-china-about-buzz

there are layers to this, just like an Onion 

Edited by Philbee

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8 hours ago, Philbee said:

Dont shoot the messenger but is Beekeeping NZ Inc up to the task of dealing with this lot.

If this is  real then it's a real issue and Im not saying that they arn't up to it, just asking the question 

 

"Anyone who wants to be selling honey or wine in China 12 months from now needs to be closely networked into their respective industry and to the New Zealand regulatory authority." 

https://exportertoday.co.nz/article/are-days-wine-honey-china-about-buzz

there are layers to this, just like an Onion 

People of the calibre of the executive of NZ Beekeeping NZ are not going to be sucked into debating something published in August 2016 - they are all very experienced at managing solid businesses and intend to continue to do so, not chasing red herrings. Most of them have already held very senior positions in the NBA, and all are real beekeepers, no jar fillers or gear suppliers with mixed agendas.  Same with SNI Beekeeping.

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@AliBee You will find the answer to this on our FAQ's on this site:  https://apinz.org.nz/levy/

 

This has been there for some months now.  Votes on levy investment are weighted based on levy paid.  Not sure how to put it more simply or honestly than that.  Again I repeat, this is very common across other commodity levy organisations.  If you don't understand this and have any other genuine questions about the levy you are always welcome to call the office.  I have really enjoyed engaging with beekeepers over the levy.  Our details are also all on line!

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@ApiNZ Levy Proposal

What will be your process to elect commercial beekeeper reps to the board?

will it be open nominations followed by election or will apinz  choose.  I’ve read through the website but can’t find the Answer. 

Thanks

 

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@nikki watts It will be the same process as now.  Nominations will be called for, followed by election.  ApiNZ will not be choosing who goes up for election.  Levy payers can nominate representatives.  Only levy payers can vote for the election of levy paying representatives.  

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The thing is ......  All this voting and stuff is a microcosm of NZ politics. Each party trying to shoot the opposition down, but in all honesty, no one coming up with the answers to our "problems".

We have a West Coast beekeeper and a Sawmill operator saying they are voting NO , and we have Jimmy here saying he is voting YES.  

APINZ, for better or for worse took over the running of the Bee industry after the NBA folded and we split into The Feds and something else.  I remember going to the Wanganui conference and listing for hours to the debate for and against a common , unified body to look after the industries affairs.

 John Hartnell  put forward a very good case as to why we needed unity. The essence of it was about survival.

 The way I see it if we vote NO , then we end up with a disjointed industry of North Island Beekeepers, South Island Beekeepers, and APINZ members, all with a low subscription take and trying to raise funds to buy the Tea and biscuits for the meetings, and little or nothing left over for anything else.

 

Ladies and gentlemen ..... we are talking about survival here. We are talking about the survival of small Bee business's that are the backbone of the industry and part of  rural New Zealand. We are talking about the survival of my tinpot little  operation that employs half a dozen people at the busy times and where people come for real honey.

 

We need a unified front that can come up with answers to our low price and honey mountain problem. We need a strong body that has money to fund structured research on varroa control , And we need a body that has credence and Mana with Government when we hit the wall and are, to quote John Berry, in the "Do Do's".

 

I don't think a hotchpotch amalgamation of SI Beekeepers, Southern North Island Bee keepers and who ever else cares to form an organisation  will have the Ooomph to do that.

 

So, as  I have said before, I may not like the idea of a levy, but for the sake of survival I need to vote YES for the survival of a governing body that , correct me if I am wrong here, the Bee industry  gave the thumbs up to a few years ago.

 

If the NO vote wins ..... can someone  role out the new agenda and better plan, but it needs to be done quickly ....

 

And that Ladies and Gentlemen is my 50c worth.

 

Edited by jamesc
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I would think that anyone who considered a 30% turnout on the levy vote as good would have to be an egg.

 

 

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Talks of unity in the beekeeping industry are a pipe dream. It wasn't there in the past when I used to get on well with almost every beekeeper I knew and the most I could say was there were one or two that I disliked but now words like hate, loathe and despise come readily to mind for quite a number of individuals and corporate's. I have no wish to help people like that and they have no wish to help me

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18 minutes ago, john berry said:

Talks of unity in the beekeeping industry are a pipe dream. It wasn't there in the past when I used to get on well with almost every beekeeper I knew and the most I could say was there were one or two that I disliked but now words like hate, loathe and despise come readily to mind for quite a number of individuals and corporate's. I have no wish to help people like that and they have no wish to help me

You starting to sound like a curmudgeonly old b********* who needs to retire

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@olbe it is not uncommon to have voter turnouts as low as 30%, many other levies have experienced this and now operate very successful organisations.  Far from being "eggs".  That said, we are expecting a higher turnout for this vote.  As an aside, eggs in New Zealand are supported by a levy, it is rated on a per-chick basis.  

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3 hours ago, john berry said:

Talks of unity in the beekeeping industry are a pipe dream. It wasn't there in the past when I used to get on well with almost every beekeeper I knew and the most I could say was there were one or two that I disliked but now words like hate, loathe and despise come readily to mind for quite a number of individuals and corporate's. I have no wish to help people like that and they have no wish to help me

Crikey John I think you've struck the nail on the head relevant to a good deal of the comments I read in the forums against the Levy

 

Yes there BK's individuals and Corporates that certainly aren't on my Christmas card list but hey I'll talk to them and indeed anyone in regard to the future of the Industry!

 

The strength in Beekeeping moving forward in my opinion will be alliances (that's why I involve myself in a loose commercial collective)  and the structure I see of APINZ following a YES vote lends itself to influence from voting blocks.

 

Organisations / collectives such as SNI Group and NZ Beekeeping Inc. could and should wield weighted voting strength in the renewed organisation (APINZ) moving forward; there's no way I would encourage them to lose or give away their independence (this is their strength)!

 

A YES vote shouldn't be seen as weakening the influences of small to medium beekeepers but enhancing it by way of voting blocks (organised on not).

 

I'm sure there's a good many aspects of the current consultation/situation that could have been handled better by APINZ however look in the mirror and see if you see perfection looking back! They're trying to be everything to everyone and but once the dust settles following a YES vote we'll see the blossoming of an outstanding commercial dominated organisation!

 

There are no alternatives either on the table or muted in the back rooms (such as an SNI Group / NZ Beekeepers Inc. takeover).

 

Get positive, overlook the hate and loathing (I'm not suggesting you forget) and turn this levy vote and the rebirth of APINZ as a commercial dominated organisation into a positive and vote YES but above all else VOTE!

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Heating, loathing and despising is not my normal disposition and not something that I am at all comfortable with. It is a kind of thing that gives you ulcers and high blood pressure. I have tried to be caring ,sharing and Supportive but there are people out there that make it really hard. Fortunately there are more than enough nice people out there who I can bond with without having to try to make friends with those who are (choose your own word here). There are one or two people in the beekeeping industry who If they went bankrupt would make my day . I don't want them dead but then I am an old peaceloving hippy. I do believe that tensions are so high between certain beekeepers that I would be surprised if there's not a murder within the next few years and that is a very sad state of affairs.

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1 minute ago, john berry said:

Heating, loathing and despising is not my normal disposition and not something that I am at all comfortable with. It is a kind of thing that gives you ulcers and high blood pressure. I have tried to be caring ,sharing and Supportive but there are people out there that make it really hard. Fortunately there are more than enough nice people out there who I can bond with without having to try to make friends with those who are (choose your own word here). There are one or two people in the beekeeping industry who If they went bankrupt would make my day . I don't want them dead but then I am an old peaceloving hippy. I do believe that tensions are so high between certain beekeepers that I would be surprised if there's not a murder within the next few years and that is a very sad state of affairs.

No doubt about it John things are certainly a bit more prickly these days and hey no amount of YES or NO voting going to change a lot of that (pity)

However I'm keen to see a combined (unified might be to extreme a term) commercial sector under a re-tweaked APINZ after a YES vote!

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