NZBeekeeping has launched a consultation for the AFB PMP 10 year review

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NickWallingford

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Under the heading LEVY FUNDING, NZBI states:
Two methods of funding have been tried. Initially this was based on hive numbers and found to be clumsy, leading to incorrect reporting. In 2003 this was changed to an apiary levy as it proved easier to determine correct reporting.
This is not correct.

The hive numbers levy referred to was for the funding of the National Bkprs Assn, and lasted from the middle 1970s until 1996. At that point, the NBA successfully obtained a Commodity Levies Act levy based on apiary numbers. We chose to do that at the time, and for a variety of reasons. Every levying system the bee industry has *ever* developed has faced criticism, remember. For some reason, people don't like to be levied. Go figure...

Toward the end of the hive levy, the NBA recognised the deficiencies in the particular regulations. There could be no concept of "a fine". It was not at all easy to turn any debt collection over to an agency - as that *particular* levy legislation did not "establish" a debt. We often had to resort to legal rather than civil actions.

But remember, too, that the Privacy Act had just come into place - that probably had more impact on the choices and design of a levy system back then. And until the NBA had a Pest Management Plan in place, the 'ownership' of the apiaries database was with the Govt - not the NBA, remember...

When the NBA was unsuccessful in 'renewing' the Comm Levy when it expired, the Minister responded by allowing for a levy (using the Biosecurity Act) - and it was based on apiary numbers, as it had been for more than 5 years prior.
In 2020 the Management Agency went back to the original method.
"Following consulation led by the Management Agency that the Minister considered adequate and appropriate, the Minister agreed to the proposed changes to the levy collection methodology."

There. That says the same thing, but takes away the implication that this was an arbitrary, unilateral decision. Just saying...
 

NickWallingford

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NZBI's discussion document displays a faulty grasp of a critical aspect of the AFB PMP. NZBI says:
The current AFB PMP is based on an industry commitment to eradication of AFB (when the PMP was first proposed prior 1998).
That is not correct. The goal of the AFB PMP is not the eradication AFB. The goal of the AFB PMP is the elimination of AFB in managed colonies (i.e., beehives...)

Eradication and elimination are quite different. Though we sometimes might refer to "eradication" of AFB, that is a somewhat loose use of the words.

Here is what the original application for a Pest Management Strategy (now Plan) had to say about the goal:
GOAL OF THE STRATEGY
The goal of this strategy is to eliminate American foulbrood disease in beehives in New Zealand. Throughout the development of this strategy, the beekeeping industry has strongly supported the goal of “eradication” of American foulbrood in New Zealand. However, the NBA has been advised by veterinary authorities that the term “eradicate” has a meaning in international animal health terms which includes not only the elimination of the animal disease, but also the elimination of the causative organism. This strategy seeks to eliminate the disease American foulbrood in beehives in New Zealand, but does not attempt to totally eliminate thecausative organism (Bacillus larvae) from the New Zealand environment.
Oh, and just for curiousity's sake, the Order in Council for the AFB PMP does not even contain this goal we are talking about. Rather, you would need to refer to the objectives, both primary and secondary, to find the legislative/regulatory expression of the AFB PMP...
 
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Morporks

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It means nothing to beekeepers other than a interesting point of discussion.

As time progress memory fades. I am sure both parties will claim they are correct.
Also Nick has been away from the middle of the scrum for quite a while and things have happened that he will not be aware of

What we should all be concentrating our thoughts on are what do we want from the the AFB PMP in the future.

I am 50/50 on scraping the hole thing because it has been turned into a weapon to be used on each other by many.

It was set up as a tool to be run by the beekeepers for the beekeepers.
It is now run by an elite few. The grass roots beekeeper cannot get anywhere the decision making core
 

NickWallingford

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As time progress memory fades. I am sure both parties will claim they are correct.
I'm guessing that you may likely have a DECA? Ever noticed what the E stands for?

I'm not too concerned if you don't understand the difference between eradication and elimination, and its impact on the NZBI review. I have confidence that the Minister will understand both difference and impact.
 

NickWallingford

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In practical terms what does this misinterpretation mean for beekeepers ?
Realistically, it has little meaning (practical or otherwise!) to most beekeepers. It has meaning if you have a more than a passing interest in the control of AFB and the review of the Pest Mgmt Plan currently underway (the one by the Mgmt Agency!)
 

yesbut

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Can you give an example of any action that could be proposed that would be impacted by the "difference" ?
 
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It is now run by an elite few. The grass roots beekeeper cannot get anywhere the decision making core
Do you mean the board made up of the three hobbyists who don't belong to any beekeeping group, the two commercial who do belong to APINZ,(myself being one and have the only board seat awarded to APINZ, all other seats are up for any beekeeper to apply for)) the two other commercial beekeepers who don't belong to any beekeeping group. Are we the Elite few? Grass roots beekeepers yes, but elite?
 

Alastair

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Just to clarify for people who may be wondering what all the dark and conspiritorial talk is about, it is clear that some folks are way over thinking.

The aim of the AFBPMP (AFB Pest Management Program) is actually very simple.

There is just one aim. To seek out AFB so it can be eliminated, and assist beekeepers to do that.

That's it.

Not sure how it can be a weapon lots of people use against each other, or why somebody would think something like that up.
Because if a person does not have AFB in their hives the AFBPMP has exactly zero interest in their hives, and there is nothing whatsoever that could be weaponised.
If a person does have AFB in their hives then the faster it can be found and eliminated, the better off they are. If the AFBPMP can help them achieve that, then good.

In NZ we have several thousand beekeepers. Out of those thousands it is to be expected there will be some small number who are conspiracy theorists, born rebels, or whatever other issues. And some of those people are also keyboard warriors. Their mission is to make the well run and simple purpose AFBPMP sound like some kind of evil empire.

But it isn't, and it's just not that complicated.
 

Morporks

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Do you mean the board made up of the three hobbyists who don't belong to any beekeeping group, the two commercial who do belong to APINZ,(myself being one and have the only board seat awarded to APINZ, all other seats are up for any beekeeper to apply for)) the two other commercial beekeepers who don't belong to any beekeeping group. Are we the Elite few? Grass roots beekeepers yes, but elite?
As ApiNZ is the management agency it has over all control of the AFB PMP
It appoints the members of the AFB PMP board, can sack them and can direct them to act as it sees fit

ApiNZ board is made up of members of ApiNZ
Not sure of the membership numbers, but it will will only be a small number of the over all beekeeping community

Remember that on the board of ApiNZ we have Comvita, Manuka Health, Dennis, Kings Honey/100 pure
Full details here Our people
Remember that Dennis, who is appointed by ApiNZ to the AFB PMP board, is to report back to ApiNZ

So yes it is controlled by the elite few !

I believe one of the main ideas NZBeekeeping Inc is proposing is a levy payer appointed board

In the last review the government raised concerns of having the NBA (Now ApiNZ) as the management agency

A number of people have raised this with the Management agency but it seems to have been ignored (is this job protection ?)
 

Alastair

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So yes it is controlled by the elite few

These people are elected so again your statement is nonsense.

Your reason for calling them "the elite few" and whatever, is that really you and your other buddy want to be in charge. But you couldn't get the votes.
 

NickWallingford

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I am 50/50 on scraping the hole thing because it has been turned into a weapon to be used on each other by many.
The immediate and unavoidable outcome of "scrapping the whole thing" would be the complete deregulation of AFB. Nothing to require inspections or to destroy AFB hives. Nothing to require control whatsoever.

I do not think that is an appropriate choice for the industry and its sustainability.
 
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The board of the AFB PMP are not elected.
They are selected by an independent body which is appointed by Apinz and one has to assume that they give this body instructions.
It is not democratic.
Having said all that I support what they are doing and believe they do a good job in difficult circumstances.
In the last few years there have been some beekeepers that have been treated in a fairly heavy-handed manner and there is no doubt that if you don't comply with the regulations they can and will come down heavily upon you and they will force you to destroy hives and gear that is a threat to everyone else in the neighbourhood.
Bloody good job too.

Whether the system would run as well with elected board members I don't know but at least it would be democratic.
 
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Alastair

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Guess I used elected in the broad sense, ie they are not elected by all and sundry, but they do have to get the support of the people who matter.

In my view the system as it is probably works better than if the "elite few" were elected by every beekeeper. Because if every beekeeper understood the issues and knew what they were doing, there would not be an AFB problem in the first place.
 

Morporks

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Guess I used elected in the broad sense, ie they are not elected by all and sundry, but they do have to get the support of the people who matter.

In my view the system as it is probably works better than if the "elite few" were elected by every beekeeper. Because if every beekeeper understood the issues and knew what they were doing, there would not be an AFB problem in the first place.
Bit of a nonsensical answer Alastair, but good to see you are beginning to get my point

If all levy payers could vote, an election process would have to occur.
The election process would heighten the profile of the AFB PMP board and the work it does
Those interested would feel some ownership of the process, which increases the possible number of people who would be interested in the governance process, from which would follow a bigger pool of possible board members. Making the AFB PMP function better.

It also makes the board members accountable to the levy payers

Currently the board members have no accountability to the levy payers
 

Alastair

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Bit of a nonsensical answer Alastair

Again, nonsense. My answer makes perfect sense.

good to see you are beginning to get my point

On that you are correct, I get your point. Don't agree with it, but I get it.

It also makes the board members accountable to the levy payers

They already are. As you are well aware they have only recently asked all registered beekeepers for input about how the AFBPMP should be run, and those views will be implemented. Just because your own view is a tiny minority view that likely cannot be implemented in favour of the majority, does not mean it has not been considered.

The old maxim Roger. You can please some of the people some of the time, but you cannot please all of the people all of the time. Much as they would like to.
 
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Guess I used elected in the broad sense, ie they are not elected by all and sundry, but they do have to get the support of the people who matter.
All they have to do is get the support of the people who are paid to judge if they are the most suitable candidates for the job or not.
The problem I have with the system is the criteria for who is most suitable. They are not elected in any sense of the word no matter how broadly you interpret it.
The criteria for selection at the moment is mainly based on how good someone would be in a governance role which is probably why I wasn't selected when I stood for the board a few years ago. I am much more interested in the practical getting rid of AFB side.
When it comes to eliminating AFB you do need a competently run organisation and I think we basically have that but you also need people that understand the science behind it and also the psychology of just why beekeepers won't, don't or can't get rid of their AFB.
Because of the way board members are selected we have a situation which is taxation without representation and that should be an anathema to all of us.
 


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