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Tuesday, 14 December 2021 07:55

Nats boost ag line-up

Written by  Peter Burke
National agriculture spokeswoman Barbara Kuriger jumps to number 10 in the party line-up and on the frontbench. National agriculture spokeswoman Barbara Kuriger jumps to number 10 in the party line-up and on the frontbench.

The National Party's new leader Chris Luxon seems to have placed a bigger emphasis on agriculture with his new shadow cabinet line-up.

Main spokeswoman Barbara Kuriger has hung onto the agriculture post she got during the Judith Collins era.

However, she is now ranked four places higher at number 10 in the line-up and now sits on the front bench.

Meanwhile, Luxon has given severn other members of the National caucus responsibilities for various areas of the primary sector.

Waikato MP Tim van der Molden, a former Young Farmer of the Year winner, has been given an associate role and the horticulture portfolio. Southland MP Joseph Mooney is another associate agriculture spokesman, as is Selwyn MP Nicola Grigg - who also picks up both the rural communities and animal welfare roles. In addition, Stuart Smith picks up viticulture and Ian McKelvie, forestry.

Meanwhile, Todd McClay retains trade and export growth, Todd Muller gets oceans and fisheries and Scott Simpson gets environment and climate change; all three have close links to the primary sector.

The Labour Government currently has Damien O'Connor as Agriculture and Export Trade and Growth Minister, with one assistant - Meka Whatiri as associate agriculture with responsibility for animal welfare.

It has also split out Forestry to Stuart Nash and the Environment and Fisheries to David Parket. The Government has two associates, who are outside Cabinet, for Trade and Export Growth - Phil Twyford and Rino Tirikatene.

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