After months of build-up and an enthralling final election night earlier in the month, National Party Leader Christopher Luxon has been voted in to become New Zealand's Prime Minister for the next four years.
Joining REX host Dominic George, Luxon outlined his steadfast belief in New Zealand's agricultural prowess and told George that while he has the top job, he plans to do his best to continue to support New Zealand's farming sector.
"As I said in the election campaign, we're the best farmers in the world. We've got to stay the best farmers in the world, but we have to hustle," he said.
His sentiment reflects an appreciation for the hard work and innovation inherent in the nation's farming community and a clear desire to support their continued success. In the face of global competition and on-farm inflation, Luxon stressed the need for farmers to stay competitive and ambitious.
Luxon admitted that the current structure around legislation on farming and rural communities needs to change, suggesting that those who are most involved in the day-to-day business have better knowledge and understanding of what is required for each individual industry.
"I want to have a dedicated Minister of hunting and fishing...those ideas of what we should be doing, the common sense, practical things that are needed to happen, come from those conversations - they don't always come from Wellington".
The incoming Prime Minister believes that regulatory burdens should be eased to foster a growth-friendly environment for the agricultural sector.
"We want to take the red tape away. We've got to lower the regulatory burden.
"We want to actually get them behind the sector and make sure it's actually growing and competitively, is incredibly strong."
Luxon further discussed the importance of international trade relationships, notably with India, a country he plans to visit in his first year of office. He noted that despite declining two-way trade with India over the past six years, there is immense potential for growth.
"There is an Indian election going on around about April next year, I think from memory. So that's a big, big focus of mine because, as we talked before, it's the most populous country on earth."
He emphasised that a key part of his strategy is to build New Zealand businesses' understanding of these markets and enhance their ability to operate in these markets effectively.
He expressed the need for businesses to familiarise themselves with these markets to distribute their products successfully and build a robust business presence.
As the new leader at the helm, Luxon is clearly ready to steer New Zealand's agricultural sector towards a prosperous future.
His vision, as outlined in this candid podcast conversation, combines an appreciation for the nation's agricultural strengths with a pragmatic approach to the challenges and opportunities ahead. The agricultural community will undoubtedly watch with interest as these strategies unfold.
Listen to the full chat between Christopher Luxon and Dominic George above.