Nicola Grigg's news - June 2024

Next month marks my full return to ministerial and parliamentary duties. Over the past 6 months, I've dedicated myself to part-time MP duties and cherished the invaluable time spent with my son, Geordie.

As of 1 July, I will resume my roles as Minister for Women, Minister of State for Trade, and Associate Minister of Agriculture with a focus on Horticulture. Whilst I will be travelling more from next month, I will always set time aside to continue representing Selwyn, seeing constituents, and being in the community. As always, my office is open Monday to Friday, and either my staff or I will be there to help you.

Removal of Agriculture from the ETS

With our ongoing determination to remove unnecessary regulations and red tape, we have announced that we will remove agriculture from the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and collaborate with farmers to develop the best approach to measuring and reducing on-farm emissions.

He Waka Eke Noa will be disbanded immediately, and we’ll begin fresh engagement with farmers and processors to address biogenic methane reduction. I have always advocated for this approach, and I am delighted that our farmers and growers will now have a genuine voice at the table to drive solutions to this global issue.

We are serious about helping farmers and growers, and our Government has already delivered - seven key policies are already in action to rebuild the primary sector, reduce bureaucracy, and improve productivity wherever possible!

Nationwide Drought Response

We know it's been tough out there for many people in the rural sector, especially so for those around the country who have endured months of drought.

This month, I took a trip north to Hurunui to hear some of the concerns directly from farmers on the ground and see what further actions the Government can take to help alleviate some of the pressure that the community is facing.

Drought-affected farmers and growers in the Selwyn district are now eligible for increased financial support to help with essential living costs. Rural Assistance Payments are available until 10 November 2024 to provide relief during this challenging time.

If you're experiencing hardship, don't hesitate to reach out to the Rural Support Trust in Mid Canterbury for guidance on accessing the support available, as well as assistance with applying for a Rural Assistance Payment.

Inquiry requested into Rural Banking

Farmers are dealing with a range of circumstances beyond their control that are making it very difficult for them to run their businesses profitably at the moment.

Commodity prices, inflation, high input costs and weather events have all conspired to make the last couple of seasons really tough – on top of that, particularly strict lending requirements from some banks are worrying many.

We’ve heard the concern loud and clear!

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced at Fieldays that the Finance Minister has instructed the Chairs of the Finance and Expenditure and Primary Production select committees to open an inquiry into banking competition. The Finance and Expenditure Committee will lead the inquiry, in conjunction with the Primary Production Committee, which will focus on rural banking.

Growing the rural economy is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy. With farmers’ satisfaction with banking services dropping in recent years, we must better understand the role of bank competition in that sector.

I hope as many farmers and agribusinesses as possible can make submissions to this inquiry.

Cancer Treatments

We have delivered on our election promise to fund cancer treatments.

Pharmac will receive a funding boost of $604 million to ensure Kiwis have access to life-saving medicines.

This includes delivering up to 26 cancer treatments and 54 new medicines. When we took office, we were shocked to learn that the previous Government had not sustainably allocated funds to Pharmac, leaving us with a fiscal cliff to fix and people without essential medicines.

This has been addressed in this year's budget and will continue to be a priority so that Kiwis can access the treatments they need.

Pharmac estimates that in its first year, around 175,000 people will benefit from additional treatments that will be funded.

I am pleased that our Government can prioritise spending on essential services such as health.

 

Out and About

New Zealand Grain & Seed Trade Association

I delivered the opening address at the Grains & Pulses Forum in Ashburton recently.

We are acutely aware that the primary industry has been hurting over the last six years. As a government, we are laser-focused on reducing unnecessary regulation in this sector.

Work is underway to rewrite the RMA, improve freshwater farm plans, increase market access and liberalise GMO laws.

Thank you to all the grain growers out there - who never fail to remind me they 'feed our food'!

Fieldays

Despite the weather, it was great to be back at Fieldays for 2024!

Our rural sector is the backbone of our economy, and I always enjoy seeing all the innovative farming businesses on display. It’s been so great to talk about all the positive changes our government is making to boost farmers' confidence and power up farming.

Thanks to everyone who popped by the National Party stall for a chat - heaps of support for our Government’s plan to support the sector!

Hon Tama Potaka visits Selwyn

I love being able to show Selwyn off to my colleagues so it was great to take Conservation Minister, Hon Tama Potaka to Tai Tapu domain to see the awesome work the students of Tai Tapu School have done in planting along the Huritini river.

For the past 12 years, students at the school have been planting trees along the river so that there are now over 600 tōtara, kāpuka, horoeka, koromiko, and mingimingi trees along the path! The school has partnered with other Enviroschools, committing to a long-term sustainable journey where students connect with and explore the environment.

Over the years, the Huritini River site has become more than just a tree-planting area. Students have used the site for the annual Garden Bird Survey, harvested harakeke for weaving, and created a QR trail as part of their ICT learning curriculum.

Thanks so much to the students and staff of Tai Tapu School for showing the incredible work you have all done for the community to enjoy.

Here to help

As always, my team and I are here and available to help.

You can get in touch with us by emailing [email protected], phone 03 344 2800, or pop into the office in Rolleston Square between Monday and Fridays, 10:00am - 4:00pm.

Kind regards,

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https://www.national.org.nz/nicolagrigg