Farming community at the heart of National’s priorities


New Zealand’s rural communities need a National Government to unlock their full potential and help our farmers and growers handle the heavy lifting of our economic recovery.

National Party Leader Todd Muller, Agriculture spokesman David Bennett and National’s rural MPs and candidates spent the day in Hawke’s Bay today talking to drought-affected farmers and hearing about the issues affecting our primary sector.

Rabobank’s latest farmer confidence survey showed farmers’ confidence has plummeted, with net farmer confidence in the broader agricultural economy falling to -44 per cent in the March quarter, down from -12 per cent previously.

“New Zealand is entering a deep recession and our strong primary sector is proving its worth as the industry left holding our export economy together,” Mr Muller says.

“Farmers have been hit hard by drought at a time when the primary sector is also facing significant challenges around land use, emissions and water.

“Farmers deserve policy that allows them time to absorb and adjust. But all they are getting from the clumsy and incompetent Government in Wellington is excessive regulations and taxation.

“National will give the primary sector the tools it needs to reach its full economic potential, through investment in the strategic infrastructure that the industry wants.

“I have a passionate belief that the primary sector is a huge part of who we are as a country today, and under a National Government, what we will become over the next 20 years.

Mr Bennett says farmers and growers need certainty from central Government so they can make the best commercial decisions possible.

“Farmers deal with uncertainty in world markets and weather every day. They don’t need any more coming at them from the Beehive in Wellington.

“Regulations need to be practical, achievable and based on the best science.

“National is committed to helping our farmers farm their way to better outcomes. We look forward to sharing our agriculture policies in the lead-up to September’s election.”