OPINION: Your old mate had a bit of a giggle at current Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor's effusive praise of the primary sector, when releasing the latest MPI SOPI report late last year.
The successful recipients will each receive funding of $55,000 over five years, in a bid to help ease the shortage of vets working with production animals in the regions.
"It's well known that there's a real need for vets, especially in rural areas," Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor says.
"Since it began 12 years ago, the Voluntary Bonding Scheme for Veterinarians has made a big difference in attracting and retaining graduate vets to rural communities that can be challenging to recruit staff to.
O'Connor syas the scheme supports New Zealand to maintain its world-class standards in biosecurity, animal welfare and food safety.
"Through this funding, we aim to ensure we have the best care for production animals and working dogs across the country."
Since 2009 when the VBS programme began, 384 graduate vets have been funded to start their careers working with production animals in rural practice.
"The scheme sits alongside other programmes we're investing in to address skills challenges in rural New Zealand," O'Connor adds.