Alliance releases Agriculture Policy
16 July 2002
Alliance releases Agriculture Policy
Alliance leader Laila Harré released the Alliance’s Agriculture policy today with a focus on protecting and maintaining New Zealand’s agricultural industry
“The Alliance recognises the huge importance agriculture has on New Zealand’s economic and social well-being, ” Laila Harré said.
“We want to see issues such as land ownership, pest and border control and rural infrastructures improved to protect the agriculture and horticulture industries of this country”
Laila Harré says the Alliance want to ensure that the ownership of productive land remain in the hands of the individuals and families who work it, as well as reduce the amount of foreign ownership of land.
“The Alliance is committed to reversing the growing trend of foreign ownership of our farmland. Purchase of New Zealand land will be restricted to New Zealanders and those holding permanent residence, and companies with over 50% kiwi ownership”.
Ms Harré says other key elements in the Alliance’ s policy include the party’s ongoing support of a moratorium on GMO’s.
“We will support the moratorium, until there is solid evidence that they do not pose any environmental risk. We will also study and take into account the effect of their release on the marketability of other products, in particular organics.
“The Alliance is concerned about multi-national science companies, gaining control of our agriculture through their patented genetic products and we will monitor their actions closely.”
Alliance will also look at tightening pest and border controls to ensure that the most up to date strategies and techniques are used to protect New Zealand from economically devastating pests and disease.
Laila Harré said the Alliance would work closely with agricultural and horticultural land users to protect, maintain and restore land and climate stability, soil fertility and water in our streams and rivers.
Alliance Leader Laila Harré says research is a key part of the Alliance policy and the party would make sure New Zealand maintains it’s lead as an international exporter through increasing the funding for research.
“We will ensure that publicly funded research will be directed towards new products, production and distribution methods. These objectives will be further promoted through incentives to the private sector, to ensure New Zealand keeps its place as a leader in the exporting marketplace.”
Agriculture Policy 2002
The central role of agriculture in New Zealand.
Control of the industry.
Land use practice.
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Pest, weed and border control.
Research and development.
The Alliance recognises that New Zealand is dependent on agriculture for its economic and social well-being. Alliance policies will maintain the social, educational and economic infrastructure required for successful rural communities and will promote strong, self-reliant agricultural and horticultural sectors.
The Alliance believes the ownership of productive land should remain in the hands of the individuals and families who work it, and they should be New Zealand citizens or permanent residents in New Zealand. The Alliance will reverse the trend to greater foreign ownership of our farmland. Purchase of New Zealand land will be restricted to New Zealanders and those holding permanent residence, and companies with over 50% New Zealand ownership.
The Reserve Bank’s inflation control process has often overvalued the exchange rate to the detriment of agricultural exporters. The Alliance will amend the Reserve Bank Act to broaden its present narrow focus. This will lead to a stable exchange rate, which will benefit exporters.
The Alliance will continue to oppose the World Trade Organisation’s push to impose the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) which would allow open-slather multinational corporate control in the provision of all services and infrastructure.
The Alliance will monitor health, education, communications, fuel and power differentials and rural communities will be assured of accessibility and reasonable parity with the urban sector. The Alliance will keep public control of infrastructure such as roads and of services such as New Zealand Post and Kiwibank. Provision will not be on the basis of user pays but of universality. The Alliance will use the Kiwishare in Telecom to force it to meet its obligations to provide high speed internet access to rural communities.
The Alliance supports farmers controlling their industries through cooperatives based on one farmer one vote. The Alliance notes with concern the corporate takeover of ENZA after the previous government deregulated the Producer Boards. The Alliance does not believe that corporations marketing New Zealand farmers produce in competition with each other in the same overseas markets will in the long term improve farmer’s profits. If needs be the Alliance will re-impose single desk cooperative Producer Boards that are accountable to the producer base.
The Alliance believes that there are sound economic reasons for encouraging a change in some of our land use practice. Agricultural and horticultural land users must protect, restore and maintain land and climate stability, soil fertility and water in our streams and rivers. The principle of consultation and implementation at the local level is essential for successful resource management.
The Alliance supports continuing the moratorium on the commercial release of GMOs until there is solid evidence that they are environmentally safe. Also taken into account must be the effect of their release on the marketability of other products. The Alliance is also concerned about multi-national ‘life sciences’ companies indirectly gaining control of our agriculture through their patented genetic products.
As pests such as the possum reach plague proportions there has been a flurry of activity to address the problem but this has suffered from a lack of integration or long term planning. The Alliance believes a broad-based approach incorporating a mix of strategies is needed which treats introduced species as both a threat and a potential resource. Border controls will be continually reassessed to ensure the most effective and up to date techniques are being used to protect New Zealand from the introduction of economically devastating pests and diseases such as fruit fly and foot and mouth disease. Should such organisms be introduced, the Alliance will take all necessary steps including declaring a state of emergency to eradicate them.
New Zealand has always depended on research to maintain its lead as an international exporter. The Alliance will ensure that publicly funded research will be directed towards new products, production and distribution methods and these objectives will be further promoted through incentives to the private sector for research and development.