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

 


Guy: Speech to GIA signing with NZ Pork

Nathan Guy

22 JULY, 2014

Speech to GIA signing with NZ Pork

It’s great to be here today to witness the signing of the Government Industry Agreement Deed by the New Zealand Pork Industry.

This is a historic day. It’s the result of the hard work over several years of both industry and government to realise the benefits of working in partnership.

There is a simple but important principle behind the GIA: by working together, we are stronger.

This agreement means we can share our expertise, experience and knowledge to make joint decisions on biosecurity readiness and response.

Those with a direct stake in biosecurity can now be directly involved in decision making and funding.

In May this year, the Kiwifruit industry became the first signatory to the GIA Deed. I’m very pleased to have the pork industry onboard as the first animal sector industry into GIA.

Biosecurity is the responsibility of everyone – including industry, government and the wider community. We all have skin in the game.

So thank you for coming onboard and I look forward to building a stronger relationship, and a stronger biosecurity system.

The next step forward in the GIA process is an Operational Agreement that will detail the readiness and response activities we will jointly focus our efforts on.

I’ve always said that biosecurity is my number one priority as Minister and that won’t be changing.

MPI is beefing up border protection with 125 new quarantine inspectors trained over the last 18 months, and 12 new x-ray machines at our international airports. We also have five new dog detector teams.

This year the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Budget has increased by over $17 million with a focus on strengthening biosecurity and food safety systems.

Last month I also announced a new $65 million biocontainment laboratory will be built at Wallaceville in Wellington. It will replace the existing facility, and play a key role in responding to disease outbreaks, protecting public health and providing international trade assurances about New Zealand’s animal disease status.

Animal Welfare issues

Since I’m here at your annual conference, its worth saying a few words about another important issue that’s been in the news lately.

Like most of you, I was disappointed at the living conditions of pigs shown recently on TVNZ’s Sunday programme.

This was well below the standards that New Zealanders expect, and my office has received many letters on this issue.

As a farmer myself, I know that the farms and practices shown are not typical of the New Zealand pig industry. I know that the vast majority of farmers care for their animals and do a good job of looking after them.

Sadly, in any field there will occasionally be isolated examples that impact on the rest of the industry.

But we should never underestimate the importance of animal welfare, not just to ourselves and our animals, but to markets and consumers.

Clearly there is work to be done. The public needs to be reassured that your industry takes this seriously, is pulling your socks up and acting on any concerns.

I’ve met with MPI and New Zealand Pork soon after this issue arose, and I’m pleased they have agreed to look at how they can work together more effectively on farm inspections.

I’m also pleased to hear you have set aside some time in your conference to discuss animal welfare issues.

Government policies on animal welfare

The Government decided in 2010 that sow stalls may no longer be used from 3 December 2015, and your industry is making good progress toward removing sow stalls.

The writing is on the wall for farrowing crates as well. The Pigs Code of Welfare sends a strong signal that alternatives to farrowing crates need to be found and adopted in the near future.

Research is now underway into alternative methods, looked at by Massey University and funded through the Sustainable Farming Fund.

I believe we need to move quicker on this. I have requested the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee (NAWAC) to investigate what options are available and make recommendations to me next year.

As part of this work, I expect they will come back with a firm date for when traditional farrowing crates will need to be banned.

I encourage you to see this as an opportunity as well as a challenge, and a chance to position ourselves as world leaders in pig farming.

NAWAC will be consulting with your industry during this process and any decision will need to provide enough of a transition period. Otherwise it could mean farms go out of business and we end up importing more pork from countries where we have no control over animal welfare standards.

Overall, I’m proud of our track record as a Government on animal welfare.

Penalties and sentences in the Animal Welfare Act have increased. The penalty for willful ill-treatment was increased from three to five years imprisonment with a maximum fine of $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for a body corporate.

We also have allocated an additional $8.2 million to double the number of animal welfare inspectors. This enabled MPI to double the number of animal welfare inspectors, and to also provide funding to the SPCA for its enforcement work.

This year we’ve banned the use of blunt force to euthanize bobby calves, except in emergencies, and a shark finning ban is likely to come into effect later this year.

We also have the Animal Welfare Amendment Bill before Parliament, which will make the 1999 Act clearer, more transparent and easier to enforce.

The Bill enables regulations to be made that enable a tiered enforcement scheme of offences, penalties, and infringements

The Bill which was reported back to the House by the Primary Production Select Committee in June 2014 and is awaiting it’s second reading in the House.

I understand that MPI intends to work closely with the pork industry to develop the new regulations following the passing of the Bill.

Closing comments

I want to finish by stressing that while your industry faces challenges, it also has opportunites and a positive future ahead.

With the GIA signing, today is the beginning of a new partnership between your industry and MPI to build a stronger, more effective biosecurity system.

It’s also a key step in building a better relationship between the pork industry and the government.

Thank you again to everyone for their hard work in getting us to this point, and I look forward to the journey ahead.


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sits at 10.30am today before MPs are summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber.

The speech delivered by the Governor-General on the Government’s behalf outlines its priorities for this Parliament.

After this MPs will return to the House for the presentation of petitions and papers and the introduction of any bills.

The Government has five notices of motion on the Order Paper which can be debated. These relate to relating to the appointment of the Deputy Speaker, Assistant Speakers, the reinstatement of business in a carryover motion and one on “Entities to be deemed public organisations”. More>>

 

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Review Team Named, Leadership Campaign Starts

Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban.

ALSO:


Roy Morgan Poll: National Slips, Labour Hits Lows

The first New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll since the NZ Election shows National 43.5% (down 3.54% since the September 20 Election). This isn’t unusual, National support has dropped after each of John Key’s Election victories... However, support for the main opposition Labour Party has crashed to 22.5% (down 2.63% and the lowest support for Labour since the 1914 NZ Election as United Labour). More>>

ALSO:

In On First Round: New Zealand Wins Security Council Seat

Prime Minister John Key has welcomed New Zealand securing a place on the United Nations Security Council for the 2015-16 term. More>>

ALSO:

TPP Leak: Intellectual Property Text Confirms Risk - Jane Kelsey

The US is continuing its assault on generic medicines through numerous proposed changes to patent laws. ‘These are bound to impact on Pharmac if they are accepted’, according to Professor Kelsey... Copyright is another area of ongoing sensitivity... More>>

ALSO:

RMA: Smith Plans Reform To Ease Urban Development

Newly appointed Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced Resource Management Act reform to foster urban development, where high land prices and expensive resource consents are blocking efforts to provide affordable housing. More>>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On New Zealand getting involved (again) in other people's wars

Apparently, the Key government is still pondering how New Zealand will contribute to the fight against Islamic State. Long may it ponder, given the lack of consensus among our allies as to how to fight IS, where to fight it (Syria, Iraq, or both?) and with whose ground troops, pray tell? More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On child poverty, and David Shearer’s latest outburst

The politicisation of (a) the public service and (b) the operations of the Official Information Act have been highlighted by the policy advice package on child poverty that RNZ’s resolute political editor Brent Edwards has finally prised out of the Ministry of Social Development. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On the government’s review of security laws

So the Key government is about to launch a four week review of the ability of our existing legislation to deal with “suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters, and other violent extremists.”

According to its terms of reference, the review will consider whether the SIS, GCSB and Police are sufficiently able right now to (a) investigate and monitor suspected and returning foreign terrorist fighters… More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news