Wednesday, 10 July 2019 08:55

Engage with Māori – O’Connor

Written by 
Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

The primary sector has not been good at engaging, connecting and understanding Māori, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

He told Federated Farmers annual conference last week that Māori agribusiness will be a big part of New Zealand’s future. Māori have huge land holdings and huge potential, they don’t sell their land and will be here forever, he said.

So NZ must do better at connecting with Māori and their aspirations and appreciating and utilising their values such as kaitiakitanga (guardianship, wise utilisation not preservation), and manaakitanga (sharing the goods we have with others). 

“These are the things that will drive us into the future because the new consumers -- our children -- have values different from those we grew up with. They are not bad, they are just different, and they are looking for different things. 

“In my view and experience those underlying values of sustainability and sharing and caring are what drive decisionmaking at the consumer level.”

 O’Connor says more people are looking for sustainability in our products. They want to know we care about our environment and are engaged in climate change initiatives.

“This is the new world in which we are selling our products. We have to be the Swiss watch producers of protein products – the very very best, worthy of the highest possible prices and selling to people less concerned about price and more concerned about value.”

NZ must ensure all its primary industry is seen in a positive light. The dairy industry has been challenged on this and so has tourism, O’Connor said. This must be worked through.

Primary sector growth has been spectacular in the past year -- 7% growth and $45 billion in export earnings. 

“But we need better health and education. [We struggle] to attract and retain passionate young enthusiastic people to our sector. Every sector is complaining they can’t get enough of these people.”

 

More like this

Hypocrites

The Hound can’t believe how full of hot air this Government is in demanding the ag sector reduce its carbon footprint – no matter what the cost – while it fails to do anything itself.

Yet another committee

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor is setting up a ‘taskforce’ on the animal welfare issues of winter grazing.

How strong is the goodwill?

The primary sector is sceptical about whether the Government’s plans to move on climate change issues will actually incentivise farmers to make changes on farm to reduce gas emissions. Peter Burke reports.

 
 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Beating the desert heat

Three times daily in summer the Holstein cows on a dairy farm north of Doha, Qatar, placidly step onto a…

Unreliable case

A Scottish couple has had a compensation claim rejected after arguing one of their pedigree Highland cows got pregnant to their neighbour’s…

» Connect with Dairy News