Meat & Livestock News

Farmers Express Optimism with New Government’s Potential for Positive Change

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Farmers and agricultural lobbying groups in New Zealand have expressed their optimism that the incoming government will support the primary industry by reducing regulations. This sentiment comes amidst challenges such as increasing bureaucratic hurdles, dwindling commodity prices, and rising on-farm inflation.

David Acland, the president of Mid Canterbury Federated Farmers, believes that the recent election results will foster a more constructive relationship between lobbying groups and the government.

Reflecting on the past six years, Acland mentioned, “We have been in defence mode. However, with the representation from the National party, Act, and New Zealand First, we now have a strong rural voice.” He further added that this change is likely to uplift the spirits of the rural community, which has been facing various challenges.

While the final composition of the government cabinet remains uncertain due to pending special votes, Acland suggests that Todd McClay could be an ideal choice for the Minister of Agriculture.

Despite McClay’s relative inexperience in the primary sector, Acland views this as an advantage. He believes McClay would approach the sector holistically, without any bias towards specific farm types or systems, describing him as a “clean slate.”

Jane Smith, a North Otago sheep and beef farmer and co-chairperson of the Methane Science Accord, sees the election outcome as a reflection of the silent majority’s voice. She hopes the new government will prioritise rebuilding the healthcare system, education, and restoring law and order.

Smith emphasised the importance of New Zealand taking pride in its farmers and fostering an environment that encourages innovation. She voiced concerns over the excessive expenditure on methane emissions research, stressing the need for science-backed policies and fiscal accountability.

Groundswell NZ, known for its ‘Drive for Change’ tractor tour advocating for a change in government, also welcomed the election results. Jamie McFadden, the group’s environmental spokesperson, stated, “The impact of the new government on farmers is significant. It offers relief from recent stringent regulations and potential future challenges.”

Angie Mason, a North Canterbury farmer, shared a personal perspective, revealing that four of her children moved overseas this year in search of a better lifestyle.

She remains hopeful that the change in leadership will make New Zealand more attractive to the younger generation, concluding, “The election results have instilled a renewed sense of hope and optimism for the future.”