Shaking up Agriculture: NZ First Ag Spokesperson reveals key policies ahead of election

Shaking up Agriculture: NZ First Ag Spokesperson reveals key policies ahead of election

As the General Election draws ever closer, policies around the future of farming and agriculture in New Zealand remain a hot topic for rural Kiwis.

The contentious He Waka Eke Noa - the Primary Sector Climate Action Partnership remains an ongoing topic of debate amongst politicians and industry experts alike, particularly following the extreme weather events Aotearoa has faced this year.

Speaking on this, New Zealand First Ag Spokesperson Mark Patterson pointed out to REX host Dominic George the seeming impossibility of finding a price that is equitable for everything from high country sheep and beef stations to white shadow dairy farms.

"When the modelling came out, it showed it's impossible to get a price that's fair for such a broad range of farming models," he said.

However, Patterson didn't just lay out the problems - he also offered potential solutions. 

From farm-level reporting of greenhouse gases to encouraging the adoption of low-methane genetics programs, Patterson outlined a number of innovative measures that could change the face of farming in the country.

And what about the consumer expectations? According to Patterson, "no successful industry completely ignores its buyers". 

He believes that the industry must pay attention to the clear trend towards reducing emissions and that it must respond with measured and strategic actions.

The discussion also shed light on the party's views on property rights and tree planting.

The Billion Trees policy, which was once a big part of New Zealand First's platform, seems to have evolved. Patterson stated that there are "pretty severe restrictions on class one through three" and a "watching brief" on the deeper country.

Party policies and beliefs play a predominant role in swinging voters in or out of their favour and in their conversation, Patterson revealed NZ First's intention to open it up to share farming options, allowing qualifying young farmers to get a start on the land.

"One of our core values is we want to see more young farmers get a start," he explained.

This bold initiative, aimed at breathing new life into the farming sector, shows that the New Zealand First Party isn't afraid to shake things up. And in a world where the agricultural landscape is changing faster than ever, such fresh thinking may be just what the sector needs.

Listen to the full chat between New Zealand First Ag Spokesperson Mark Patterson and Dominic George above.

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