Northland National MP Matt King says he has never seen farmer morale so low.
“I will spend time listening. I tend to do that, it’s my style,” he told Rural News.
“I’m very keen to listen first hand to the agribusiness sector and the views of farmers.”
Muller this month took over the role from Nathan Guy, who will retire from politics at the general election next year. Muller promises to advocate fiercely for the agribusiness sector.
The Bay of Plenty MP says if he sees the Government doing something against the interests of agribusiness he will speak out.
“I will be a fierce advocate for the agribusiness sector.”
Muller, a former executive at Zespri and Fonterra, says it’s a huge privilege to be the agriculture spokesman for National.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity to contribute to National and to be a voice for the agribusiness sector.”
Muller says discussions on the primary sector mostly concern its contribution to the national economy – a whopping $45 billion annually.
However, he says other stories also need to be told about farmers doing good work to be more environmentally efficient relative to other countries.
Opposition Leader Simon Bridges announced that Muller will pick up the agriculture, biosecurity and food safety portfolios. He already has forestry.
“Todd is a hard working and high performing MP who deserves promotion. I have no doubt that Todd will hold this Government to account on behalf of rural New Zealand,” Bridges said.
Bridges also paid tribute to Guy.
“Nathan has been a valued colleague and friend. I wish him all the best for his future career and thank him for the service he has given NZ over 15 years.
“Nathan has been a champion for rural NZ. As a farmer and a businessman he understood more than most what the sector needed and he delivered for them.”
Muller’s climate change portfolio has been picked up by Scott Simpson.