Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Labour True Champions Of Rural People

17 July 2002

Labour Now The True Champion Of Rural Communities - Minister

Outgoing Federated Farmers president Alistair Polson seems to be trying to use his last moments in the public eye to restore the Federation to its former role as the National Party in gumboots, Rural Affairs Minister Jim Sutton said today.

But, Mr Sutton said, the record of the Clark Government in office demonstrated that Labour had now displaced National as the true champion of rural communities.

"We have addressed difficulties rural areas have in recruiting and retaining doctors, with an extra $32 million to be spent on a rural premium, as well as introducing the Rural Locum Support Scheme and the Rural Practice Support Scheme to help GPs in isolated areas. We have funded mobile surgical units to provide services in rural areas.

"The Government has also established Heartland Service Centres to restore face to face access to government services and providing support to local voluntary groups. More of these will be opened in other centres.

"We have also increased police presence in rural areas.

"More Government funding is going into research and development. The Sustainable Farming Fund has been established to help rural communities to improve their economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

"Provincial economies have been revitalised and employment boosted through the Regional Partnership Programme, launched in 2000."

Mr Sutton said that the Government had worked energetically to increase international trade opportunities for New Zealand farmers, both through improving market access and promoting the reduction of agricultural export subsidies.

"The Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations will be worth as much, if not more, to New Zealand farmers as the Uruguay Round ? and that puts $11,000 per year extra in the average farmer's pocket."

He said the Government was also seizing opportunities to get bilateral trade agreements with other countries as well.

Mr Sutton said Labour had implemented the toughest biosecurity and border controls in the world. "We brought in the $200 instant fine for biosecurity breaches ? which the previous Government had refused to do - and significantly increased biosecurity funding. New Zealand is now the only country in the world to screen 100 per cent of all mail, passenger, and aircrew baggage. "

Mr Sutton said the Government was charting a sensible, prudent course through the GE issue, as recommended by the Royal Commission.

He said the tender process for rolling out broadband telecommunication access was starting next week, and the Government was well on the way to announcing the Land Transport Strategy which would improve transport for all New Zealanders.

"As for the Kyoto Protocol, even the National Party's new whizkid Guy Salmon recognises that refusing to ratify the protocol until Australia does is not tenable, given New Zealand's extreme vulnerability to the impact of climate change.

"The Government will preserve the competitiveness of New Zealand farming by exempting it from taxes in respect of methane from ruminant animals, while assisting research to reduce those emissions."

Mr Sutton said the Government recognised that rural businesses had valid complaints about the Resource Management Act, and was working with industry and local government to help them streamline the administration of it and to make environmental management more user-friendly.

An important example of this was the team working to improve dairy industry environmental standards.

Mr Sutton said that smart, active government had been critical in helping establish Fonterra, and to progress farmer-supported reform of producer boards.

"This is an area where National was an abject failure. If they dwere still in power, farmers would still be waiting in vain for any real progress," Mr Sutton said.

Office of Hon Jim Sutton

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news