New Associate Ag Minister speaks on transition from farmer to politician

New Associate Ag Minister speaks on transition from farmer to politician

As Chris Luxon was officially sworn in as New Zealand's new Prime Minister on Monday, a number of Ministerial changes also took place.

Andrew Hoggard, one of three Associate Ministers of Agriculture, shared his insights on his transition from farming to politics with REX host Dom George.

Hoggard, who also holds the Associate Environment portfolio, offered a unique perspective on the intersection of agriculture and legislation. His portfolios focus on farming regulations, bio-security, and food safety. 

Discussing the challenges of transitioning from farming to a new role, Hoggard highlighted the complexities of the MPS for Fresh Water and the coalition agreement's decision to knock down SNAs. 

"The MPS for Fresh Water is driving these plan changes that we've seen happening down in Otago and Northland and also my patch in Horizons, which in many cases are throwing up, you know, crazy numbers that farmers are expected to try and achieve, completely unworkable and practical," he said. 

Hoggard is committed to putting a pause on the rushed plans and advocating for a more sustainable approach. In addition to this, he emphasised the importance of property rights and talked about the absurdity of imposing rules on farmers by declaring certain areas as SNAs. 

Hoggard pointed out that there needs to be a consistent target across all government initiatives to ensure a fully integrated approach to tackling climate change. 

He also highlighted the trials and tribulations that come with embracing a new role and expressed excitement for the new challenges. 

Despite the changes, Hoggard ensured that he still connects to his farming roots.

"I'll always be a farmer at heart and always want to get stints and time on...I'm sure every weekend when I can get back to the farm I'll jump in the tractor, do a bit of stuff or do something out on the farm just to clear the heat, and you know sort of what I enjoy doing." 

He accepted that this new role is certainly going to be a challenge, but told George it is a challenge he is ready to tackle head-on.

Listen to the full chat between Andrew Hoggard and Dominic George above.

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