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FFNZ-RWNZ Renew Their Co-operative Approach

22 February 2006

FFNZ-RWNZ Renew Their Co-operative Approach

New Zealand's two main rural lobby and membership services groups have reaffirmed their cooperative approach to effective advocacy on behalf of their rural members. Both organisations want to improve their delivery of value to their members through avoiding duplication of each other's policy work.

"There is no point both organisations expending resources to examine the same policy issues and then to come up with the same conclusions. Rural people will be better served if each organisation is able to be more focused on a smaller number of important policy areas, and examine those areas in a more comprehensive way," said Charlie Pedersen, President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

The two organisations met recently to renew their co-operative approach.

Rural Women New Zealand (RWNZ) aims to strengthen rural communities. It focuses on education, health, social and land issues, particularly where they impact on women and children. RWNZ will take the lead on these issues.

Federated Farmers' mandate is helping farmers in their business of farming. Federated Farmers will take responsibility for those farming business issues.

Where issues relate both to social infrastructure and the business of farming, the organisations will decide whether to work together or lobby independently.

An increasing number of elected officials and decision-makers are urban-based. "It is very important that the rural community seeks to maximise rural representation to overcome this lack of knowledge among central and local government policy makers" said Sherrill Dackers, President of Rural Women New Zealand.

RWNZ and Federated Farmers will continue to meet regularly at Board and staff levels.

ENDS

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