Wednesday, 28 July 2021 09:55

They have a point!

Written by  Staff Reporters
Beef+Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison. Beef+Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison.

Beef+Lamb NZ chair Andrew Morrison says he understands why the Groundswell protest was so big.

He told Rural News it's really good that NZ has got farmers who love their sector so much they want to stand up for it.

"I think that is a strong message," Morrison says. "What I was really pleased with was the fact they conducted the protest in a really respectful way.

"We have been telling Government the same thing, that the pressure on farmers is just too much, and it's really powerful when farmers give them the same message."

Morrison says he's not sure if the Government gets the huge effort the primary industry has put in during Covid to achieve some amazing trade results - such as increasing the value and volume of meat exports.

"I think they look at the figures and that masks over the effort that has gone in to achieve that. People on farm and in the processing plants have lost a lot of sheep making this happen," he says. "All that angst is playing on people's minds."

Morrison believes the Groundswell movement is about the unworkable nature of some of the proposals that have been put to them. He says their concerns about the essential fresh water plans were 100% legitimate. He also believes hat the ute tax was an 'oversight' on the part of the Government.

"If you live in the Maniototo, or down at Nightcaps where I have been in the last few days, these places are miles away from anywhere and are very isolated and the roading networks are compromised," he told Rural News.

"You need a pretty robust vehicle, and if you don't have an option you would obviously be a bit upset if you had to pay more than somebody who has got an option."

Morrison says as a result of the protest he hopes that everyone will work together to achieve quality outcomes.

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