Tuesday, 09 July 2019 11:55

Rise and shine — PM

Written by 
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand’s economy is entering a dramatic new era of change with all the primary sector’s challenges ‘lying on the table’ together.

She spoke last week to Federated Farmers’ annual conference, ranging widely over protecting waterways, reducing agricultural emissions, enhancing sustainability, ensuring a workforce to deal with future change, biosecurity, protecting elite food producing soils and securing more free trade agreements (FTA’s). 

“It’s a lot, and you are out in front tackling these issues,” she told the conference. 

“I want you to know and feel and experience that [politicians] too are focused on these issues and equally on supporting you as we navigate them. 

“This transition is not easy but it will be less jarring if we start early,” she said.

Ardern said NZ has traditionally reaped the reward of being a world leader in the primary sector, and we must tackle some of these issues early to ensure NZ stays at the front of the pack. But the changes must be managed well, not done in a way that leaves behind a legacy of hurt. 

The Prime Minister says high quality trade agreements are a top priority for her Government and for NZ as an export nation. 

The Government wants quality, modern, enduring and  progressive FTAs that adhere to the rules based systems of the WTO and open doors into the best premium markets for food and fibre.

“We should settle for no less,” Ardern said, also urging development of new markets, notably the Middle East and China where on her recent visit she found Premier Li Keqiang enthusiastic and knowledgeable about Maori culture.

“Our food and fibre are renowned in China as safe, nutritious and clean, but he sees the story and values of indigenous NZers as really setting us apart. 

“These are the values held by Maori, including the principle of kaitiakitanga -- the idea that we have a guardianship role on behalf of our environment and natural resources.

“Unless we protect these we won’t only lose one of our greatest assets, we will also diminish our narrative,” Ardern said.

The Prime Minister several times urged that NZers protect the country’s unique elite food producing soils from urban sprawl or any upsurge in tree planting.

More like this

Petition aims to spark support for farming

Te Kuiti-based electrician Terry Waite wants to spark support for rural NZ by demanding that the Government apologise to farmers for the way it has treated them – especially over the last couple of years.

Agility and innovation

OPINION: Like her or not, Ardern has gained much reputational capital for NZ and she is now regarded as one of the most highly respected leaders in world politics.

Featured

 

Being a good boss during calving

Despite it being a busy time, being a good boss during calving is absolutely achievable, says DairyNZ’s People Team leader Jane Muir.

SFOTY in hot water over social media posts

Organisers of the NZ Dairy Industry Awards are investigating unsavoury social media comments allegedly made by the newly crowned 2020 Share Farmer of the Year, Nick Bertram.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

A ticking timebomb?

There could be another dairy health scare brewing in China and this one starts in our backyard.

Please explain

Does anyone in the Government understand the essential role St John Ambulance has in our society?

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter