Great potential in meat and wool sectors together
Gavan Herlihy National Agriculture Spokesperson
31 October 2000
Great potential in meat and wool sectors working together
"Political advocacy for the Meat and Wool sectors would need to be a high priority for any potential new Statutory Board", National's Agriculture Spokesperson Gavan Herlihy told the Wool Board AGM in Dunedin today. Mr Herlihy made the comment during a joint presentation by the Chairmen of the Wool Board and the Meat Board on a proposal for a single Statutory Board to cover sheep and beef farmers. "The rapidly decreasing share of the science budget captured by the meat and wool sectors is evidence that the current arrangement has not enjoyed great success in advocating their needs to Central Government. "Through biotechnology the meat and wool sectors are poised to be a major player in the "knowledge economy". Yet many politicians, on both sides of the house have a perception that the meat and wool sectors are sunset industries. "Only by strong advocacy will this totally misinformed perception be turned around" Mr Herlihy told the 300 delegates. "Last week's Government business forum in Auckland showed the Government's lack of understanding of both the current contribution and the future opportunities of our livestock industry - as a basis for pharmaceuticals, neutraceuticals and specialised health enhancing food. "Not one businessman from the meat, wool or stock and station industry was included in the 85 attendees. Either the Government was misinformed about the potential of the meat and wool sectors or recent statements by Ms Clark about the importance of the rural sector are just hollow political rhetoric," Mr Herlihy said.