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National releases Agriculture discussion paper

David Carter National Agriculture Spokesman

19 November 2003

National releases Agriculture discussion paper

Agriculture remains the backbone of the country's economy, says National's Agriculture spokesman David Carter on releasing the Party's agriculture discussion paper.

"A thriving agricultural economy is an essential part of ensuring a better standard of living for all New Zealanders.

"Over the past four years Labour has constantly treated agriculture as a sunset industry, burdening it with ever-increasing costs without thought for the long term impacts on our largest industry," says Mr Carter.

The discussion paper targets key areas that are crucial for an innovative, competitive, and prosperous rural sector.

They include:

- reducing the cost and increasing the user-friendliness of the RMA

- improving border control and biosecurity policies

- protecting farmers private property rights

- reintroducing competition into the accident compensation market

- a strong focus on improved trade opportunities, including a specific focus on better access to the American market

- policies that will help rural schools self management based on rolls, educational needs and costs of isolation

- promotion of employment opportunities in primary production

"The prosperity New Zealanders have enjoyed over the last five years has been underwritten by agriculture's strong performance.

"And Labour's anti-farming policies threatens this prosperity.

"National says agriculture is our economy's wealth creator, and we recognise the frustrations farmers are suffering. Our policies will focus on making it easier for farmers to do business," says Mr Carter.

Mr Carter says the paper, which calls for feedback, will serve as the foundation for the National Party's agriculture policy.

Ends


View the Agriculture Discussion Paper on www.national.org.nz in the Policy section


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