Election brings farmers certainty
8 NOVEMBER 2008
Election brings farmers certainty in uncertain times
“The decisive election result gives New Zealand and its farmers certainty in uncertain times,” Don Nicolson, president of Federated Farmers said today.
“For the first time under MMP we know on the night of an election, which party will lead the new government. To get through the biggest challenges our country faces in well over half a century means doing what we do best. That is using water to grow grass and turning that grass into protein, which is then sold to the world to pay the bills here in New Zealand.”
Federated Farmers looked forward to sitting down with the new Government to discuss how the Federation’s Manifesto, launched last week and available at http://www.fedfarm.org.nz/n1046.html, could be incorporated into the new Government’s legislative programme. At the top of the agenda will be reform of the Resource Management Act and the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS). The NZETS in particular poses a huge compliance threat; New Zealand being the only country on earth to include farm animals in an emissions scheme.
“It is fact that New Zealand already does its bit for climate change response by producing food with the lowest carbon footprint of any country. The world needs more food from us not less, so the new government must move quickly to exclude farm animals from the emissions trading scheme. This will give farmers the confidence to invest in the future.
“Farming is the future of New Zealand and we hope the new government understands that from the start. In a world getting hungrier by the day, it is the hard work of New Zealand’s farmers harvesting food and fibre that produces 65% of all our export wealth.
“It is encouraging to hear John Key recognise New Zealand, in producing food, is playing to its natural competitive advantage. The policies in Federated Farmers Manifesto are all about unlocking agriculture’s full potential to transform our economy," Mr Nicolson said.
Federated Farmers wished to acknowledge the contribution of the Labour–Progressive Government over the last nine years. Federated Farmers worked through many issues and while not always in agreement, the Federation enjoyed a good working relationship with Ministers. As an apolitical organisation operating in an MMP environment, Federated Farmers will continue to work with all parties to progress the ideas and policies to enhance the agricultural engine room of the New Zealand economy. The Federation also appreciated the efforts of outgoing Minister, Jim Anderton, who was ranked at number three in Cabinet. The Federation hoped agriculture will be given similar high ranking in the new government.
“While at times we have had robust discussions with the outgoing Labour–Progressive Government, Federated Farmers has always played with a straight bat. This will continue now they are in Opposition.
“New Zealand’s farmers look forward to seeing what the first 100 days of the new government brings. There is huge expectation. I hope the new government recognises immediately that agriculture is for a brighter future,” Mr Nicolson concluded.