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Royal Show a big drawcard

Royal Show a big drawcard

Every politician in Parliament should visit the Royal Show, Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton said today.

Jim Anderton officially opened the 77th Royal New Zealand Show at the Canterbury Agricultural Pack in Christchurch this afternoon.

He said that at the Paris agricultural fair, which he visited two years ago, every French politician was expected to be there, “kissing cows and shaking sheep”.

“There’s an irony in that - because as a country, we are far more dependent than the French on our agriculture. Yet we let our politicians off the hook from coming here.

“It’s vital to New Zealand because no other developed country in the world earns as much of their national income overseas from agriculture as we do.
So this show is a celebration of the lifeblood of our economy. It’s a celebration of the farmers I see around this region who are innovating and growing their productivity faster than the rest of the economy.”

Jim Anderton said agriculture was vitally important to all New Zealanders. “If we want to keep buying cars ands ipods, clothes and travel from overseas…then we have to earn overseas income; and our agriculture earns two thirds of it.

“This show is highlighting some of the examples of the high-value production and innovation that’s helping to keep our primary sector strong.”

Jim Anderton congratulated exhibitors, and encouraged people to enjoy the show.

Opening of the Christchurch Royal Show

It’s a pleasure to be here for the 77th Royal New Zealand Show.

I’ve been to a few of these shows over the years.

Wherever they are held, agriculture shows are a big deal.

Wherever and whenever they are, they always take us back to the fundamentals of the land.

I went to an agricultural fair in Paris when I was there two years ago - the world’s biggest ag show.

It’s a gigantic festival that it would take days to get around in its entirety. Every politician in the land has to be photographed there kissing cows and shaking sheep with their high heels in the dung.

There’s an irony in that - because as a country, we are far more dependent than the French on our agriculture.

Yet we let our politicians off the hook from coming here.

You would think they would all want to be photographed here – there’s so much fertiliser around, it reminds me of Parliament.
It’s vital to New Zealand because no other developed country in the world earns as much of their national income overseas from agriculture as we do.
So this show is a celebration of the lifeblood of our economy.

It’s a celebration of the farmers I see around this region who are innovating and growing their productivity faster than the rest of the economy.

People who thought agriculture would be a sunset industry in New Zealand don’t realise that it’s actually been growing faster than the rest of the economy.

And that’s why it’s vitally important to all New Zealanders.

If we want to keep buying cars ands ipods, clothes and travel from overseas…then we have to earn overseas income; and our agriculture earns two thirds of it.

Why do I care about cows and sheep? Why do I care about wool and beef and dairy? Why do I care about our horticulturalists? It’s because I care about New Zealanders.

If we care for New Zealanders, we need a strong New Zealand. A strong New Zealand needs a strong primary sector. It needs strong farms and strong primary production.

This show is highlighting some of the examples of the high-value production and innovation that’s helping to keep our primary sector strong.

The food and wine pavilion is an example of how these days, the Canterbury economy consists of much more than exports of frozen carcasses of good Canterbury lamb.

Today it might be chilled cutlets, perhaps served with a side dish of olives and washed down with a fine pinot noir.

So congratulations to exhibitors.

I hope every one enjoys the entertainment on offer and that this show helps to inspire more New Zealanders with the contribution our agricultural sector is making to our national strength.

ENDS

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