A Federated Farmers poll shows 83% satisfaction with the performance of the National-led government among the country’s farmers.
Over 1,100 members were surveyed in the run up to Christmas, with only 17% dissatisfied with the performance of the Key government in 2015.
“Farmers generally look for governments to manage the economy well, drive positive change on international trade and make pragmatic decisions in other areas, and that’s exactly what we’ve seen this year from Prime Minister Key and his government,” says Federated Farmers President Dr William Rolleston.
“83% satisfaction looks spot on when you look at the level of interest rates and key international wins such as TPP, the Paris Climate Change Talks and the WTO’s recent abolition of export tariffs. These are all good outcomes for farmers and stand to enhance New Zealand’s export earnings for many years to come.”
This begs the question – what do the 17% who aren’t satisfied want?
Some will think the government hasn’t done enough and some won’t like what it has done.
Contrary to popular criticism, Federated Farmers and the National Party are two separate organisations. Members of both share similar views on several issues including the benefits of free trade and the importance of property rights.
But Feds is not politically aligned. It has no more influence on the government than any other lobby group and not all farmers are members of either or both Feds and the party.
While the new emissions reduction targets and weight of developing country support grabbed the headlines around the Paris Agreement, the signing of COP21 was also a significant outcome for farming with recognition that emissions reductions must be weighed up against the food supply required to feed a rapidly growing global population.
“This is recognition we and farming organisations around the world have worked long and hard to achieve, and one the government also put its weight behind. Farmers are appreciative of those efforts – and also the $20 million the government has invested to fund research into scientific solutions for reducing agricultural emissions,” says Dr Rolleston.
“Federated Farmers believes this is absolutely the right approach and our own team of science experts will look to assist the government to help ensure this investment leads to the breakthrough we are all looking for.” . . .
Science not politics must drive policy if it is to be effective.