Apiculture New Zealand (ApiNZ) are regularly working for the good of beekeepers when it comes to consultation with local councils and authorities, but the misplacing of one of their submissions has led to an incorrect belief they did not submit to consultation, chief executive Karin Kos says.
A claim from Waikato beekeeper and social justice advocate Phil Evans in last month’s Apiarist’s Advocate that ApiNZ needs to “step up and make submissions to any Council that proposes rules that are unfair and unreasonable”, are off the mark the chief executive believes.
Kos says her organisation, the largest beekeeping industry body in New Zealand, did submit a submission to the Waipa District Council regarding urban beekeeping rules.
Evans spent 18 months challenging, and eventually overturning restrictive rules, and Kos says an administration error within the Council means their submission was misplaced and not made publicly available to the likes of Evans. She has been assured by the Council, which covers the towns of Te Awamutu and Cambridge, that it was received and considered though.
Further to that, ApiNZ is regularly consulting on rules and bylaws which will affect beekeepers, Kos says.
“Just in the last two years we have made submissions, mostly on bylaws, to Kaipara District Council, Stratford District Council and the Hauraki District Council. We also assisted the Taranaki Beekeepers Club in submitting on New Plymouth District Council’s bylaw, and responded to Auckland Council’s survey regarding its animal management bylaw review,” Kos says.
“We are also often contacted by local authorities before they go out to the public on beekeeping proposals to get advice on proposals, allowing us to ensure that industry interests are represented early.”
As well as those dealings on local levels, ApiNZ are also regularly submitting to government departments and agencies on issues that could impact beekeeping, such as food safety, organics, new biocontrols and introduction of herbicides. Beekeepers can therefore be assured that ApiNZ is “stepping up” for them in areas that require consultation, Kos says.