The National Party's new agriculture spokesperson says she'll be working from the grassroots up, rather than the top down, as she tackles her new role.
Leader of the National Party Judith Collins and Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett announced National’s Agriculture policy in Gisborne today.
“New Zealand’s reputation as a producer of quality and sustainable agricultural products is well known around the world,” said Collins.
“When we form the next Government, our pledge is to ensure that our agricultural policy focuses on allowing farmers the opportunity to farm their way to better outcomes, rather than being regulated into oblivion.”
National has committed to:
• Repeal the Resource Management Act (RMA) and replace it with an Environmental Standards Act and Planning and Development Act
• Allow skilled workers and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers to enter New Zealand
• Create a fast-tracked Primary Sector Visa
• Repeal or review the nine new water regulations Labour introduced in August
• Promote water storage options
• Review the treatment of forestry in the Emissions Trading Scheme
• Remove the exemption that streamlines the process for forestry applications in the Overseas Investment Office test
• Remove the review process around introducing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2022
• Pass seven changes to the Zero Carbon Bill, including a review of the methane target
• Pursue an active free trade agenda to open up new markets for New Zealand’s food and fibre products
• Enforce stronger penalties for biosecurity offences
• Build the infrastructure to ensure better connectivity for rural communities
“National’s approach to agriculture is simple - allow the sector to thrive by investing in and encouraging innovation, not constraining the sector with excessive regulations,” said Bennett.
“There will be a demand for more sustainability in our farming practices. Farmers are up for this challenge and this desire for improvement is clear in farmers’ efforts over recent years.
“We’ll address the issues around workforce shortages and ensure that primary sector businesses have every opportunity continue growing and supporting New Zealand’s economy.”