Parliament

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

 

Jim Sutton Speech On Farm Monitor Reports

Good Afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

It gives me great pleasure to launch the Farm Monitoring Reports for this year.

Farm monitoring is a process whereby MAF monitors the production, finance, trends, issues and sector concerns on New Zealand farms. The expectations and intentions of farmers, and those servicing the sector are analysed and presented as a model farm.

The reports published today highlight the 1999/2000 season and forecasts the 2000/20001 season.

There are nine farm monitoring reports this year. Five of these are sector specific (deer, sheep and beef, dairying, arable, and horticulture). Four are regional (South, Central South, North and Central North).

The 1999-2000 season is considered by many farmers nationwide to be the best for 20 years.

A low New Zealand dollar and farm input prices, which have not increased, have led to a dramatic improvement in the farm and orchard incomes of most sectors.

Generally, profit levels exceeded farmers' early expectations. Farmer morale and confidence about the short-term future is very high after eight years of "being in the wilderness" suffering from low profits and feeling ignored by Government.

According to these reports, farmers see farming as the one bright spot in an otherwise lacklustre economy, and believe New Zealand should build on its strengths and competitive advantage in the primary production sector.

This is a view shared by the Labour-Alliance government and particularly by me.

For us, agriculture and horticulture is the backbone of the economy. It is a key part of New Zealand export growth ? providing two-thirds of our export earnings and most of the growth in exports in the past three years.

It is also a leading industry in the new knowledge economy.

Farmers and orchardists have long paid for research and development in their sectors. And they are quick to take up new advances in technology. Many of our scientists lead the world in their specialist areas. It is no accident that the Invermay gene link was found here in New Zealand.

Research carried out for MAF shows that rural families are in the forefront of Internet usage. Many use the Internet to buy products and to do their banking. The provision of telecommunications to rural areas is likely to become a hot topic during the next few months and one I am keeping a close eye on as Minister of Rural Affairs.

Of course, all is not rosy down on the farm.

Farmers see the acute lack of young people willing to enter farming as a concern. Farm training institutes are struggling, and agricultural student numbers at universities are well down. This is considered by farmers to be short-sighted of young people, as there are, and will be, more well paid career opportunities managing large farms.

The reports say that farmers and growers are annoyed at Government changes to ACC and the "reactivation" of the Employment Relations Bill which they see as a backward step.

My Government disagrees with that.

The ACC regulator has information that shows that more than 70 per cent of employers are better off under the Government's changes.

Most farmers are self-employed, and adjustments have been made to the scheme to take into account their seasonally fluctuating earnings.

Of farmers who are employers, 90 per cent of crop farmers and 42 per cent of livestock farmers are better off.

As for the ERB, my Government sees this bill as part of building a modern and productive economy. It's about restoring the balance of power in the workforce and brings New Zealand into line with international practice.

Basically, good employers won't notice the difference.

In closing, I would like to commend MAF for these reports. There is much of interest and useful information in them for anyone interested in our rural sector.

I will find them particularly useful to give to visiting ministers of agriculture to explain how we do things in this part of the world.

Thank you.

Office of Hon Jim Sutton

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Government: Northland To Move To Orange, NZ Prepared For Omicron


Northland will move to Orange at 11:59pm tonight, 20 January 2022, while the rest of New Zealand will remain at Orange as the Government prepares for Omicron to enter the community.
“Vaccination rates have continued to increase in Northland and are now at 89 percent first dose. The easing of the Auckland boundary over summer did not drive an increase in cases so we believe it is safe for Northland...
More>>

ALSO:


Gordon Campbell: On Responding To The Need In Tonga


The power of the Tonga eruption (and the size of the aid response being mounted) have been sobering indications of the scale of this disaster. The financial impact is certain to exceed the damage done by Cyclone Harold two years ago, which was estimated at the time to cost $US111 million via its effects on crops, housing and tourism facilities. This time, the tsunami damage, volcanic ash, sulphur dioxide contamination and villager relocation expenses are likely to cost considerably more to meet...
More>>



 
 



Science Media Centre: Omicron Outbreak Would Move The Country To Red - Expert Reaction

The Prime Minister has announced if Omicron cases spread into the community, the country will move to the traffic light system's Red setting within 48 hours. Jacinda Ardern also mentioned there will be changes to the country's testing regime, with more use of Rapid Antigen Tests... More>>


Government: New Zealand Prepared To Send Support To Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence Minister Peeni Henare said today... More>>


Ministry of Health: COVID-19 Immunisation Starts For 5 To 11-year-old Tāmariki

More than 120,000 doses of the child (paediatric) Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to over 500 vaccination sites around New Zealand as health providers prepare to start immunising 5 to 11-year-olds tamariki from today, 17 January... More>>



Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


Financial Services Federation: Open Letter To Government From Non-bank Lenders: The Path Forward On CCCFA Changes
Responsible lenders are not interested in telling the Government “I told you so” when it comes to unintended consequences of changes to lending laws that are now causing grief for everyday Kiwis seeking finance... More>>

CTU: Too Many Kiwi Workers Financially Vulnerable As Omicron Looms
With New Zealand on the precipice of an Omicron outbreak and the economic upheaval that comes with it, the CTU’s annual Mood of the Workforce Survey shows the vast majority of kiwi workers do not have the financial resources to survive a period of unemployment... More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels