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Record Number Of Labour MPs And Ministers At Fieldays 2021

A record number of Labour Party MPs and ministers will attend this year’s Fieldays event at Mystery Creek, in a show of support for the sector, the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today.

“Twenty six members of our team will be on the ground during Fieldays, as part of our commitment to partnering with and supporting New Zealand’s rural communities,” Jacinda Ardern said.

Along with various MPs, Ministers Grant Robertson, Stuart Nash, David Parker, Michael Wood, Ayesha Verrall, Meka Whaitiri, David Clark and the Prime Minister will attend events and make announcements at Fieldays over the next three days.

The Prime Minister will be attending events on Wednesday and Friday.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is overseas progressing free trade agreements with the UK and EU in the first international ministerial trip since COVID-19.

“We’re really grateful for the role the primary sector has played in New Zealand’s COVID recovery, and is continuing to play as we look to further strengthen and accelerate that recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“I want to acknowledge the efforts of our primary industries in keeping New Zealand’s export revenues flowing in. Their hard work has helped us all hugely in hard times.

“We’ve had a strong performance in the headwinds of the past 12 months and the outlook is positive, but we recognise that significant challenges lie ahead.

“The Government has always said we’ll work in partnership with farmers. That’s what we’ve been doing to date, and it’s what we’ll continue to do,” said Jacinda Ardern.

“This Fieldays we’ll be highlighting the work we’re doing with the food and fibre sector to drive New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19, including working with sector groups to attract Kiwis into jobs through our Opportunity Grows Here campaign and free training programmes, and doing what we can to grant border exceptions for workers to address labour needs,” said Meka Whaitiri.

“Announcements will include co-funding for a new project aimed at helping farmers improve freshwater quality, an update on our great work together as part of the Fit for a Better World Roadmap, a rural connectivity milestone, and the release of the Situation Outlook for Primary Industries, which I expect will show the sector is in a strong position to drive prosperity for all Kiwis over the next few years.”

The Prime Minister listed as examples of work to date with the sector:

• Co-investing in innovative projects through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund (MPI is providing $111m of a total $250m invested)

• He Waka Eke Noa to support farmers and growers manage on-farm emissions

• Funding catchment groups to improve on-farm practices

• Supporting Rural Support Trusts and community hubs to help rural communities

• Developing an integrated farm planning framework with the sector, supported by $37 million in Budget 2021

• Agricultural greenhouse gas mitigation research and development, supported by $24 million in Budget 2021

• Pursuing free trade agreements with the United Kingdom and Europe, and signing our FTA upgrade with China

• Backing sector training programmes, such as GoDairy, and attracting more than 5200 Kiwis to sector jobs through initiatives like the Opportunity Grows Here campaign

• The mycoplasma bovis eradication programme

• Providing spaces for RSE, dairy workers and vets to enter NZ while border restrictions are in place for COVID-19

• Significant investments in rural schools and health

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