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Anderton targets farmers with communication

12 June 2006

Anderton targets farmers with communication

A newsletter called the Primary News – from the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Biosecurity, is being delivered to all farms and rural properties over the next few days. The newsletter from Jim Anderton is the first in a series being planned to communicate directly to the Minister's new primary industries' constituency.

"It is important that I am talking directly to the farming community and that they know where to find me. I am continuing to meet representatives of the primary sector and industry organizations, in my office in Wellington and on my weekly regional and sector visits meeting people on their own turf. The Primary News is another way of keeping everyone in the loop," Jim Anderton said in Wellington today.

"A partnership approach is the way to get things done. I am committed to lifting the game of the land-based industries, both in terms of economic productivity and environmental performance. There are some tough issues facing the primary industries sector and we need to be working on them together, as co-operatively as possible, to build a sustainable economy with science and innovation as key shapers.

"As Associate Minister of Tertiary Education I am working to ensure that all parts of the primary sectors have access to the skills workforce they need. This is not easy after several decades of neglect by previous governments who thought industries would miraculously provide for their own training needs. But I am optimistic we will be able, over time, to rebuild our workforce capacity in our most crucial sectors.

"There are many challenges on the horizon, particularly in areas of competition and trade barriers. We also face some major environmental challenges around water, soil and climate change which threaten the long-term viability of some of our production systems. On my watch, the Labour-Progressive government stands ready to work in partnership to find solutions that help our most important industries do what they do best.

"I remain incredibly optimistic about the New Zealand economy, largely because of our world-class primary industries. New Zealand needs the primary industries to be successful in order to continue our first world economic status – but there are challenges – no question - and these are the issues we need to keep in touch on," Jim Anderton said today.

ENDS

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