Media Release

Cabinet sorted, let the work begin

October 25, 2017

Confirmation of the new coalition government’s ministerial portfolios will provide greater clarity for farmers and the wider primary sector, says Federated Farmers.
The Labour-led coalition today unveiled some names familiar to farmers and some new to be acquaintances. Farmers would have noted the dismantling of The Ministry for Primary Industries, which was anticipated, with the splitting away of Forestry and Fisheries. 
“The Federation is enthusiastic about building on those key relationships with government,” says Katie Milne, Federated Farmers National President.
“Being a primary sector leader our immediate focus is on making sure those in power are up to speed with what is going on in agriculture and the potential issues for our members.
“New Agriculture & Biosecurity Minister Damien [O’ Connor] is obviously well-versed in agriculture, which I’m sure many of our members and farmers in general will appreciate.”
“This is significant in terms of the range of portfolios. Overseeing food safety and being a Minister for Rural Communities are areas which directly affect our members and we’re looking forward to working with Damien to get the best possible outcomes,” says Katie.
Federated Farmers believes the primary sector holds the key to the future resilience of the New Zealand economy and shares the new government’s vision for strong regional economies and a healthier environment.
“It’s great to see the focus on rural economic development and the new ministerial position created. Shane Jones has a pivotal role in revitalising our rural communities, which are in dire need of long-term investment.
Katie says farmers, like all New Zealanders, want the best for the environment and are committed to finding solutions that are science-based, cost-effective and community-driven.
“Those farming and working within the wider primary industries have been actively making a difference for the past 20 years, investing money and energy into making this aspiration a reality. 
“QEII covenants covering more than 167,000 hectares, much of it on farmland, is testament to that as well as the other voluntary work undertaken by farmers.
“We welcome the opportunity to assist the new government with planning for these goals and to make them achievable. This will ultimately require tailored solutions that will be fit for purpose for both rural and provincial New Zealand and the primary sector,” says Katie.
The Federation acknowledges that there will be settling in time as ministers get familiar with the issues. 
“It is our intention to start talking with those ministers who have been allocated roles that affect our members as soon as possible," says Katie.