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2014 and a year of change for Federated Farmers

Media Release

1 January 2014

2014 and a year of change for Federated Farmers

New Zealand’s foremost rural lobby will face more than the General Election this year with the term of the Federation’s 28th National President, Bruce Wills, ending in July.

“While this year is my final one as National President there remains some big farming issues on the boil,” says Bruce Wills, Federated Farmers President.

“In 2014 water will continue to be central but there is also reform of New Zealand’s $6 billion red-meat industry, RMA reform, the Trans Pacific Partnership and of course, the 2014 General Election my successor will likely face..

“The vast majority of farmers care about the environment and this was highlighted in the New Year’s Honours List, which included a former National President, Tom Lambie.

“The current national discussion around farming would be enhanced if readers, viewers and listeners better understood what farming is actually like in 2014. A role for the media.

“Water quality and quantity are absolutely vital to the two “E’s” – the economy and the environment. These are not mutually exclusive things but are flipsides of the same coin.

“Water storage is also vital to meet the challenges posed by climate change while enhancing land and water quality.

“Proposals to reform the National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management, by empowering local communities will, we hope, improve the level of discussion and information. It will be an interesting 2014 in this regard.

“This year is also critical to New Zealand’s six-billion dollar red meat industry and our $700 million plus wool industry.

“Federated Farmers has invested in extra red-meat policy resources and has developed our own options paper that members are mulling over right now.

“Wool is definitely on the comeback trail thanks to the Campaign for Wool, the work of Wellington’s The Formary and others. Our economy can marry high-end design with commodities.

“Federated Farmers firmly believes that continued reform of the Resource Management Act is vital and progress must be made to bring this important legislation into the 21st Century.

“We need to stitch all of the above together to take full advantage of the TPP. It speaks volumes that countries like South Korea want in but absolutely no country wants out.

“This brings me to the 2014 General Election that I suspect will be a very close one.

“I do not know who will form the next Government but if political parties treat agriculture as the global opportunity it is, then they will find a willing partner in Federated Farmers,” Mr Wills concluded.


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