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


Food prices should be seen in context

16 April 2008
Food prices should be seen in context

"John Key's rhetoric about food price rises does not stand up to scrutiny," Agriculture Minister Jim Anderton says.

"Since Helen Clark and I came into Government in 1999 the food price index has increased by 28% in line with international trends, while inflation has increased by 24.7%. In the same period average wages increased by 33.7% and the minimum wage increased by more than 71%.

In other words, New Zealand households can buy more at the checkout now than they could then.

Between February 2001 and February 2006 fruit and vegetables got cheaper. Meat, poultry and fish prices peaked in June 2002 and then remained at lower prices through until 2006. Only last October did the price of milk, cheese and eggs return to the level they had been five years previously after reaching their lowest point in the second half of 2006 and the last half of 2007."

"Throughout this period many farmers, growers and orchardists were facing increasing costs, including wage increases, but their margins kept being squeezed by retail competition and low world prices. The consumer was the winner throughout this period but it was unsustainable for producers. No prices are starting to reflect the costs of production.

"Food price inflation is a real issue for our poorest households but the solution is not to propose lowering prices for our high quality food producers but to grow incomes faster than the price of groceries, exactly as the Labour-Progressive Government has been doing."

"Is John Key going to tell dairy farmers they are being paid too much for their milk? Is he going to tell sheep farmers that meat prices shouldn't rise to make their production profitable? Or our horticultural producers? I look forward to him telling rural New Zealanders that they should earn less for their production or that the Government should intervene in commodity markets to keep farm gate returns low.

"Increased global commodity prices are actually beneficial for New Zealand overall. The priority is to ensure the benefits are passed to everyone. That way we can make New Zealand both stronger and more caring."


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>




Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>


Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>


Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>


Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>


Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>


(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>






Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election