Primary Sector Growth Vital For Economic Recovery

National understands the importance of investment and growth in the primary sector as part of a plan to rebuild New Zealand’s economy after six years of Labour’s mismanagement, National Leader Christopher Luxon says.

“Farming is how New Zealand pays its way in the world, with the primary sector earning more than three-quarters of export revenue from goods.

“However, Labour has attacked the primary sector relentlessly for six years, and now the economy is in recession, the cost-of-living is rising faster than wages, and New Zealand has the largest current account deficit in the OECD.

“The opening of the Government’s books this week highlighted New Zealand’s economic plight. The return to surplus has been delayed for the third time, meaning seven straight years of deficits, inflation and interest rates will stay higher for longer and government debt has blown out by $13 billion, and will soar above $100 billion next year.

“Labour has made an economic mess that a National government will clean up. National will rebuild the economy to bring down the cost of living so all New Zealanders can get ahead.

“We will provide tax relief because New Zealanders deserve it, and we have a fully-costed plan to pay for it. Our tax relief plan will see an average income family with young kids in childcare up to $250 a fortnight better off, and a single person on the median wage will get $50 a fortnight in their backpocket.

“Part of growing the economy is giving more support to the primary sector and getting Wellington out of farming. Building on previous announcements, we’re today releasing our Primary Sector Growth Plan which includes unleashing investment in water storage and food production to lift productivity and take pressure off food prices.

National will eliminate resource consents for building water storage on farmland – although because water is a precious resource, consent will still be required to take water.

We’ll also remove the requirement for consents for most commercial fruit and vegetable production and increase penalties for breaking biosecurity rules that protect primary industries.

“National will also cut red tape that is stopping the creation of wetlands on farms, which deliver a range of environmental benefits.

“National’s goal is a growing primary sector that protects the environment and is subject only to smart and useful regulations, not to burdensome compliance costs that serve no purpose.

“New Zealand needs a strong primary sector and that is what National will support, as part of our plan to rebuild the economy to get New Zealand back on track.