Tuesday, 31 October 2017 08:55

Chat soon, Feds tell O’Connor

Written by  Peter Burke
Katie Milne. Katie Milne.

Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says the new Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is obviously well versed in agriculture, which many Feds members and all farmers will appreciate.

She knows O’Connor reasonably well and says he has been a farmer, has brothers farming and is well connected with the industry, making it easy to talk to him about the issues that affect farmers.

“He speaks about rural-proofing things that go through government and that sits quite close to what our role is as we see it. This involves making sure that a rural lens gets properly applied to everything. We are looking forward to working with him and his team to get the best possible outcomes.”

Milne says farmers, like all New Zealanders, want the best for the environment and are committed to finding solutions that are science-based, cost-effective and community-driven. She says people in farming and working in the wider primary industries have been actively making a difference for the last 20 years, investing money and energy in making this aspiration a reality.

“What farmers need from the new government in the climate change space is that any new regulation still enables growth, innovation and productivity as it seeks to lower emissions. As the Paris Agreement says, it should not compromise food production in the process.

“It’s a big challenge and with science already working hard to find animal mitigations, regulation needs to avoid unintended consequences.”

Milne says the Federation welcomes the opportunity to assist the new government with planning for these goals and to make them achievable.

“This will ultimately require tailored solutions that will be fit for purpose for both rural and provincial NZ and the primary sector,” says Milne.

The Federation hopes to start talking soon with ministers allocated the new roles that affect its members.

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