New Zealand dairy companies say their policy priorities for the incoming government are the same as they were for the previous Labour administration.
Currently the Pro Vice Chancellor at Waikato University, Bolger took over the new role from Malcolm Bailey last week.
Speaking to Dairy News, Bolger said that the industry has taken the great natural advantage that the country has and applied innovation, technology and a lot of hard work while at the same time reaching out to the world and developing some excellent relationships.
“When you look at how different sectors have come through the last couple of years with Covid and the supply chain disruptions, I think they have gone really well,” he says.
“There are still a lot of challenges out there but in general I have been pretty impressed at the way they have continued on.”
Bolger says there are real geopolitical challenges in a world, especially when you are dealing with a perishable product that has to be transported over long distances.
He says in such difficult times, people often become protectionist and that can lead to trade, supply chain and physical disruptions.
“These challenges highlight the importance of a lot of good, genuine relationships spread over a lot of different places,” he says.
According to Bolger, one of the reasons DCANZ has been so successful is that it has fostered strong collaboration and relationships among its members.
He says it’s created a forum where discussions can take place and common ground found, especially on issues such as international trade.
Bolger says when things start to get difficult, people get anxious, suspicious of one another and retreat from the world. He says this is quite the wrong thing to do but points out you can’t force your ideas on someone else.
“All industries, not just dairy, and the NZ government have generally worked very well together and have been open and positive in their approach to trade.
“This needs to continue over the long haul because trade agreements don’t happen overnight. They are built on a lot of things and take a helluva long time,” he says.
In a statement, DCANZ says Bolger will bring an important independent perspective and deep knowledge of the New Zealand and global dairy industry to the role.