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From the top of the south

Hi all, the year seems to be racing along flat out and plenty of rain to boot. Ground conditions are very unstable in a
lot of places, so you need to take extra care of where you are working and stay safe.

The Mycoplasma Bovis in stock is another thing to be aware of, a lot more double fencing around boundaries is taking place. I’m picking that when lifestyle blocks get tested it will open up another can of worms. I’ve stopped people using my yards because I have a closed herd and don’t need extra things to deal with. Contractors working on farms where there are problems, need to be extra careful going from farm to farm, but most of those farms have protocols in place of what you have to do. It will be interesting to see the end result and the costs that go with it, financially and mentally. There is help out there so make sure you point people in the right direction. Help Line phone or text is 1737.

We have just had an awesome FCANZ Conference and AGM in Tauranga with some outstanding speakers/presenters. I must say a big thank you to all our partners and sponsors for the conference because without all of you on board we wouldn’t be where we are today and having conferences with the calibre of speakers we had at this year’s conference.

The cruise around the Tauranga port was awesome on Thursday night. Seeing container and log ships being loaded while having refreshments with an amazing plate of food to nibble on. A great way to mingle with our members and partners.

Health and Safety, we all need to embrace it. Set your mind to safety, record everything, have toolbox meetings with your staff, if things change during the day, record it, including near misses. Eliminate areas of concern. There is risk in fencing and dynamic risk where things can go totally wrong that you don’t have any control over. Debbie Robertson from Rural Safe makes it as easy as it can be. By explaining things clearly and sets procedures in place to make it easy for everyone to follow. If you need help give Debbie and her team a call at Rural Safe, they are there to help you and your staff get home safe every day. Thanks for your input at the conference. Learning and sharing.
Stephen Caunter, an ANZ Business Training Manager, talked about sustaining financial health and making a profit, how to run your business more successfully and he was pleased to hear back about debt recovery that he talked about at last years conference. Stephen is an outstanding and very professional speaker in all situations. A very big thank you from FCANZ for your contribution at the conference and look forward to your continued support.

Dr Tom Mulholland, what can I say, totally relaxed and laid back professional. Emergency Department Doctor and GP with 25 years experience in New Zealand. He has worked from Kaitaia in the north to Southland and subantarctic islands. He travels in his retro Chevy Ambulance converted into a mobile medical unit. Tom’s passion is to see wellness, managing stress, managing your lifestyle and safety at work. Dr Tom has bought a talented diverse team of people together to develop the ‘Know Your Numbers Digital’ (KYND) app, to measure and improve life wellness. To have FCANZ members totally focused for one and a half hours in the afternoon takes some doing and that is what Dr Tom did. Think we will see more of him. And by the way, it wasn’t a set up when one of our members was a bit faint, it was real and handled in a very professional way.

Saturday we went on a bus tour to the Western BOP looking at a kiwifruit orchard and covered in structures. For some of us, this was challenging and very different from every day fencing, having the right gear to do the job safely at a height. Managing bees for pollination was also very interesting. They are an amazing insect and without them, we are buggered. Back on the fence line, we held a bit of a competition, The Gallagher Fastest Fencer. With 4 members in each team, they had to stay a strainer, a breast block, footings, new Gallagher end insulators and posts.
The competition got fired up or was it the great coffee on site? We went over all the fence lines at the end of
it and discussed all the different techniques and tested different footing strategies. This process created plenty of discussion and learning and sharing experiences in different soil structures.
Waratah demonstrated fencing structures and installing netting fit for purpose in different situations.
Greg Burton, Board Member, demonstrated rail installation, neat as a pin with bugle screws and bolts sunk into the timber, a true artist. Tony White showed how he rounded the ends off the timber in another installation technique.
Stihl had their latest gear to try out with the latest battery power at the forefront, especially when it comes to rail work. The chainsaws are outstanding with plenty of grunt. Stockades 400 Staple Gun got put through its paces and from what I heard there were a few orders taken. Farmlands did an excellent job of cooking a BBQ lunch and kept everyone well feed. Health and Safety was set to a high standard and everyone signed into the work site, thanks to Debbie Robertson and the FCANZ team. The day overall was a great success with plenty of discussion and new things being learnt. A big thanks to our sponsors and partners for getting behind the day. Also to Waratah and Stockade for supplying all the coffees, we really appreciated it. Thanks to Darryn for organising the venues and setup.
A welcome Happy Hour followed with The Farmlands Gala Dinner and Guest Speaker, Mr Doug Avery Resilient Farmer, speaking about his life from droughts and dark places to where he is today, public speaking, entertaining and enjoying life. Doug spoke about resilience, and looking on the bright side, it was an outstanding presentation.
Sunday morning started with a presentation from Barbara Kelly from Xalt. I must say, what an outstanding lady with 25 years of experience in the following – a sports therapist, sports event management, reactive muscle kinesiology and kinergetics (big words I know had to look some of them up on google). She has helped people who have been told they need surgery or need to have their backs fused. Barbara has helped them to change their health and wellbeing around a great life managed, exercised, manipulated and understanding their body and how it works. Elite sports people making it happen, what we do every day, competition fencing etc. I am looking forward to being restructured.
Thanks for your great presentation Barbara, you certainly hit a cord with the FCANZ community. Melanie Weir ran a workshop on employment and introduced a new service to members to support best practice employment. Debbie Robertson also ran workshops on Sunday relating to Site Specific Safety Plans, both excellent and very well received.
We also held feedback forums, on building industrial and security fencing sector, training and growth in the industry. Any member feedback is welcome and can be submitted via the feedback section on our website. We do need feedback from all of you.

Thanks to Debbie Furness and Melanie Weir for the huge amount of work put in to pull the conference together,
it certainly made my job a lot easier. This year saw the highest number of delegates attending at a North Island Conference event.
From myself and the rest of the Board, we would like to say another big thank you to Mike Billinghurst, retiring President. All the best in your new venture with Stockade.
Thanks once again to all our partners and sponsors for your ongoing great support it is much appreciated.

We have South Island Association Days coming up
in October:
Motueka Tuesday 23rd
Ashburton Wednesday 24th
Alexandra Friday 26th.
Shane Bouskill is coming down to do the road trip with me, so keep these dates free. I’m sure you will get a
lot out of these days, sharing ideas and networking. More information to follow soon.
Stay safe out there, look after your team and mates.
Step back from the coal face, have some time out, its good for health and wellbeing.
Cheers, Noksee.
John Noakes