Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


'We Need A Rural Focused Political Party' - Vegfed


'We Need A Rural Focused Political Party'

The election of minority political parties with even informal links to Government, highlights the need for the rural sector to have its own members of Parliament.

Mr Brian Gargiulo, President of Vegfed (New Zealand Vegetable and Potato Growers Federation) said today that some policies which have been put forward recently (such as a call for total organic production) could have serious consequences for mainstream agriculture unless the decision making process can be tempered by a political party representing the rural sector.

"I accept that the election of minority groups to Parliament is a natural consequence of the MMP system and that it does give minority parties the opportunity to take part in the debate. But I only hope that the minorities, Greens, with about 100,000 votes, and ACT with not much more, do not expect to force the coalition into accepting or discarding their plans for the sake of gaining Green support.

I think Jeanette Fitzsimons, from what I have seen and heard of her in the news recently, will have the will and discipline to accept the moral limitations which the very small share of the total vote must impose on her party's approach to participating in the democratic process of government .

"The ability of minority parties to have a voice in Parliament again raises the question:

Why don't we have a party that represents the needs of the rural community ? We constitute nearly 15 percent of the population. We (the primary production sector) produce nearly 60 percent of the country's wealth. But there is no one who really represents our needs. "Yes, we have a Minister of Agriculture, Jim Sutton, but his role is mainly to support the business and production side of the rural sector, not the social and community needs.

"I see, however, that he has said he will try to do more in this respect and we have to welcome that. (Auckland, incidentally, have a Minister all of their own.) But for all Mr Sutton's goodwill he will not have the political clout that a party, in its own right, would have if it was elected by and for, the rural sector of New Zealand. "If the Greens can gain seven seats in Parliament with just over five percent of the vote would not a well organised political party representing the rural sector gain even more?.

Mr Gargiulo said New Zealand had had a country/rural political structure in the past. There were bigger numbers in the rural sector then. The cities had not grown as they have and manufacturing played a considerably smaller role in the production the wealth of the nation. "But as I said, we still produce over half the wealth of the nation and we should not have to put up with any more decline in rural services, cuts to schools, the closure or downgrading of rural based hospitals, higher transport costs, fewer banks, post offices, shops, emergency services and so on.

"The new Government is making encouraging noises and even taking action on some of these issues. But I wonder if a government, for all its goodwill, whose heartland and soul is in the city, will ever be able to understand and deliver what we need.

" How many seats would a rural party take with nearly 15 percent of the population?

"We don't want to run the country. But by golly, we do want a chance to have a share in running the affairs of New Zealand - not just in producing its wealth".


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election