Thursday, 21 February 2019 10:46

Where’s the ‘wellness’? — Editorial

Written by 
Exporters are concerned about the year ahead. Exporters are concerned about the year ahead.

A survey of ExportNZ members shows exporters are feeling anything but well about what the Government intends to deliver in 2019.

This is despite the empty rhetoric about the year of ‘delivery’ and ‘wellness’ coming from the Beehive lately.

Similarly, the Federated Farmers January Mid-Season Farm Confidence Survey shows the worst farmer confidence since 2009. In both cases, domestic regulation by the Government was the major concern. (Both surveys were run before China-NZ relations really started to head south).

As National’s agriculture spokesperson Nathan Guy says about soaring costs and taxes on farmers, there’s more to come, as confirmed by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor when he told Rural News last year that farmers need to “get used to it”. 

The ExportNZ survey zeroed in on industrial relations reforms. Over 400 exporters responded, described as “a good mix of small to medium to larger exporters”. When asked what their major barriers to exporting were, the number-one concern was “domestic regulation, e.g. upcoming changes to the industrial relations laws”.

Food and electronic equipment manufacturers said they already pay staff more than the minimum wage because good workers are hard to get. But all workers will want an increase “to maintain their relativity to the minimum wage” adding costs that, as exporters, they were unable to pass on to consumers.

Changes to immigration law could hobble growth in the horticulture sector, which is already desperately short of hands. A large commercial kiwifruit grower said, “We need the right immigration rules to support our industry because if we don’t have the people we can’t grow and our sector has big growth plans”.

The idea that locals could or would fill the labour gap just didn’t stack up. “We do work with WINZ, but out of 120 people sent to us by WINZ, we only gained four people over the course of a year.”

Creeping unionism is also identified by exporters as a concern, not just by manufacturers but also by large scale horticulture operators.

No government can deliver ‘wellness’, whatever that means, with growth in the economy already spluttering and diplomatic relations with our biggest customer, China, in trouble. The concerns of the people who drive our economy – exporters and farmers—should not be dismissed by the Government.

More like this

Back the sector that backs NZ

OPINION: The biggest issue currently facing our industry is environmental policy, writes Beef+Lamb NZ chief executive Sam McIvor.

Meat quota rates remain vital

A jump in the value and volume of New Zealand’s sheepmeat exports to Europe and the UK shows why preserving WTO tariff-rate quotas is so important, claims the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

Quota split a major worry

New Zealand meat exporters want the EU and UK to get serious on reaching a deal on post-Brexit quotas.

Featured

Dairy conversion - Otaki style

Near the Horowhenua town of Otaki, dairy conversion has taken on a whole new meaning. It’s not a case of converting sheep and beef farms to dairy farms, rather it’s a case of just converting old dairy sheds to country style tourist accommodation. Reporter Peter Burke visited two such conversions by two pretty special and creative women.

 

Bringing flat batteries to life

Given the absence of power outlets in many remote buildings on New Zealand farms, there’s every chance of ending up with a flat battery when away from civilisation for an extended period.

Kuhn bolsters mower range

Kuhn has bolstered its mower conditioner range with the addition of two rear mounted/ vertical folding models with a 3.10m working width.

2020 property market closes on a healthy note

Data release by the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) shows there were 175 more farm sales for the three months ending December 2020 than for the same period in 2019.

National

Machinery & Products

Good growth year for Claas

While many sectors of the agricultural machinery were hit by the ravages of Covid-19, the effects of the pandemic did…

Green machine frugal on fuel

According to the industry respected independent DLG PowerMix test, John Deere appears to be the best choice of tractor for…

App takes pressure off

TRS Tyre & Wheel, owned by Trelleborg Wheel Systems, has introduced the TLC Plus App to the New Zealand market.

New MF 5S series arrives

Just before Christmas, Massey Ferguson quietly released details of the successor to its popular MF 5700S range in the shape…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Seriously?

Your old mate reckons the nomination of the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards (NZDIA) management team as a finalists in…

Good riddance!

The Hound reckons 2021 is off to a rollicking start with news that professional whinger and anti-farming drone Martin Taylor…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter