Parliament

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

 

Speech: Whaitiri - Animal Law Association on Rodeos

Speech to the New Zealand Animal Law Association on Rodeos

Meka Whaitiri

Embargoed to 6 pm - Please check against Delivery /West Foyer

Executive Wing

Welcome

Tēnā koutou katoa, and thank you to the New Zealand Animal Law Association for the opportunity to speak at this event. I would like to acknowledge all of those in attendance, and the hard work that has gone into this report.

Animal welfare minister

Labour said pre-election that we would appoint a dedicated animal welfare minister. I am very proud to be the Minister responsible for animal welfare in this Coalition Government.

Rodeo position statement

Tonight we are here for the launch of your report into rodeo. This is a thoughtful and considered analysis of the Rodeo Industry which I will read in detail.

I have made my position on rodeos very clear. I will not consider a ban on rodeos.

What I have done, is asked my Ministerial advisory committee – the National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee – to look at rodeos more closely. This will include looking at the use of calves, electric prodders, flank straps, tail twisting, and rope burning.

NAWAC will also report back to me on the animal welfare implications of each rodeo event, such as bronc riding, bull and steer riding, roping events, and steer wrestling.

NAWAC, as I’m sure many of you will know, was set up under the Animal Welfare Act and is separate from the government, which provides advice on animal welfare issues to me.

NAWAC will report back to me by the end of May. I have asked the Ministry for Primary Industries to review your report on rodeos in the context of NAWAC’s work. Any action in relation to rodeos will involve a full public consultation, and I can assure you I would want to hear all voices and opinions. Your report will contribute to that discussion.

I should also tell you that banning the use of electric prodders on cattle under 150kg is part of a set of regulations I will be taking to Cabinet shortly. This will effectively stop the use of electric prodders on calves at rodeos.

I am well aware that rodeo is a contentious issue for the New Zealand public and that there are a range of perspectives.

Two examples that come to mind are, the 67,000 people that signed the anti-rodeo petition presented to Parliament last year. Then there are the 100,000 people, including many families, who attend rodeos each year – who consider them an important social gathering for their community.

This Coalition Government wants free and open access for interest groups and stakeholders across the country. This is a Government that will practise transparency in its decision making.

Animal welfare vision

I want to speak briefly about my vision for the direction of animal welfare in New Zealand. I am committed to improving animal welfare outcomes. I have high expectations that the leaders in the animal welfare sector will continue to drive improvements to managing and preventing harm.

Better outcomes for our animals and to our international reputation for good animal welfare.

In 2015, the global charity World Animal Protection ranked New Zealand first equal alongside the United Kingdom, Austria and Switzerland for our animal welfare regulatory system. But I know we can do more.

I want to find ways of working with all players in the system to drive behaviour change, including working with communities to proactively identify and address animal welfare issues before they cause real harm.

I know when all the players in the system work together we can achieve outstanding results.

For example, following the SAFE and Farmwatch exposé on the treatment of young bobby calves, in 2015, industry and government together, put in a huge effort to reduce calf mortality rates. As a result the mortality rate of bobby calves halved in 2016, and has again halved in 2017.

This result demonstrates the value of a close and productive relationship that I am aiming for in the animal welfare sector.

Industry groups, animal welfare groups and Government all have equally important, but different parts to play.

I know industry groups are not the only players in animal welfare. I expect to have relationships with animal advocacy groups as well.

Turning to the matter for which we are all here today, it is clear that rodeo is a contentious issue for the New Zealand public. There are a wide range of views, from those in this room today, to others that may not be represented in this room.

To have a voice and to have that voice heard is my commitment to you today.

Tonight I am announcing that I will invite animal welfare groups to join me in a workshop, so that their views and priorities can be discussed.

Conclusion

In conclusion, as a Minister five months into the job, my focus is on forming relationships and hearing the wide range of views. Our reality is that we do have to prioritise where we put our limited resources and when. In that respect, your advice would be well received.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Thompson+ Clark, And Russia’s FIFA World Cup

Daily, the coalition government keeps running into examples of the toxic legacy left behind by National – and just as regularly, even the simple fixes are proving stubbornly difficult to enact. Take the case of the security firm Thompson + Clark, which has been employed – time and again - by state agencies over the past decade, to spy on (and provide security against) ordinary New Zealanders engaged in lawful forms of protest. More>>

 

HiveMind: Fair Enough? How Should New Zealanders Be Taxed?

Have Your Say! Scoop and PEP invite you to share your issues, ideas and perspectives on the NZ tax system with other New Zealanders using Scoop’s HiveMind tool. This Tax HiveMind is intended to complement and feed into the review being run by the Government-appointed Tax Working Group (TWG), which is looking at the fairness, balance and structure of the tax system with a 10-year time horizon. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The GCSB’s Security Hang-Up With Russia

So our GCSB has chimed in, alongside its British, Australian and US allies, with warnings about a “fresh wave” of Russian cyber attacks, although the warning has been curiously framed. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Europe Trip: CHOGM & Bilateral Meetings

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in urope for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London and meetings with counterparts in Paris and Berlin. More>>

ALSO:

Hit And Run: AG Gives Approval For Inquiry

Attorney-General David Parker has today announced a Government Inquiry will be held into Operation Burnham and related events. The operation undertaken in Tirgiran Valley, Afghanistan, ... More>>

ALSO:

Addressing Climate Change: No New Offshore Exploration Permits

The Coalition Government is taking an important step to address climate change and create a clean, green and sustainable future for New Zealand, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. More>>

ALSO:

Road Safety Summit: Actions To Improve Identified

The Local Government Road Safety Summit held last week identified actions that will lead to lasting changes to road safety in New Zealand, says Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages