Associate Ag Minister Explains Govt Plans to Address Freshwater Farm Plans

Associate Ag Minister Explains Govt Plans to Address Freshwater Farm Plans

Following the Government's announcement last week to revamp freshwater farm plans,  ACT MP and Associate Ag Minister Andrew Hoggard provides valuable insights into how these sustainable farming practices and national safety concerns are going to be addressed. 

Hoggard emphasises the need for these plans to be more risk-based and tailored to individual farms and catchments. He highlights that the aim is to move away from checkbox exercises towards practical actions that farmers can take to mitigate environmental impacts. 

"If no one's happy, then I've probably got it about right," Hoggard quips, acknowledging the differing views between environmentalists and farmers, while also noting the progress already made by farmers towards environmental stewardship. 

Another significant talking point is the impact of budget cuts on biosecurity in New Zealand. Despite economic constraints, Hoggard stresses the importance of maintaining frontline capabilities. He discusses the potential threat posed by bird flu in the United States and its migratory patterns that could affect New Zealand, assuring that there are measures in place to monitor and respond to such threats. 

"The main thing we can do is keep watching, and that is very definitely happening," he assures, indicating proactive monitoring and response plans. 

Lastly, he addresses the cultural impact of the cancellation of the Canterbury A&P show, an event deeply ingrained in the region's culture. Hoggard expresses surprise at the cancellation, reflecting on its historical significance and financial challenges. However, he ends on a positive note by celebrating the success of the Cup and Show Week, likening it to Christmas for Cantabrians, and its contribution to the community's positive atmosphere. 

The conversation sheds light on New Zealand's efforts to balance environmental concerns with agricultural productivity, addressing biosecurity challenges, and preserving cultural traditions in the face of economic pressures. 

Andrew Hoggard provides a pragmatic view, advocating for sensible regulations that empower farmers and protect the country's agricultural legacy and biosecurity without being bogged down by unnecessary bureaucracy.

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

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