It’s been two-and-a-half years since Todd Muller last held the agriculture role for National. He tells political editor Jo Moir the hopelessness and anger in the rural sector right now is palpable in a way he’s never seen before
National’s recently reappointed agriculture spokesperson is determined to find a way to strategically manage water as an asset in a way he says successive governments have failed to do.
“If you had coal in the 19th Century you were rich, if you had oil and gas in the 20th Century you were rich and if you have water then you’re rich in the 21st Century.
“It gives you options and frankly successive governments haven’t been able to appropriately resolve the tension that has existed in the community around how to manage water,” Muller says. . .
Wairoa uprising over farm emission plans – Peter Burke :
The battle lines are being drawn between the small, isolated northern Hawke’s Bay farming town of Wairoa, pop. 8000, against the big guns of Jacinda Ardern and what they see as her anti-farming government and its plans to unfairly tax agricultural emissions. Peter Burke reports…
So furious were the locals that the mayor, and farmer, Craig Little hastily arranged a meeting of the local community so they could voice their concerns to Labour ministers Stuart Nash and Meka Whaitiri and representatives of MPI and Beef+Lamb NZ.
Helping him do this was Nukuhia Hadfield, a prominent, influential and award-winning local Māori farmer who also heads the committee which organises the prestigious Ahuwhenua trophy for excellence in Māori Farming.
This David and Goliath battle is one that could see other districts in heartland NZ now join the army of protest at what some commentators are saying is one of the worst decisions to be foisted on rural NZ for many decades. . .
Political leaders missing from the frontlines – Neal Wallace :
The lasting memory is of anger laced with fear.
I began my journalism career in 1983, just in time to cover the heartache of farmers as they weathered the economic reforms unleashed by the David Lange-led Labour government.
Such was the pace and scale of change as subsidies and support payments were axed overnight, many farmers were financially hurting, they were angry, frightened and felt betrayed.
In my subsequent 38 years as a journalist I never again saw that level of sustained anger and frustration – until now. . .
Some foresters could be millions of dollars out of pocket due to a poorly communicated change in application deadlines, National’s Forestry spokesperson Ian McKelvie says.
“Last month, the Ministry of Primary Industries sent an email to foresters announcing that they were moving the effective deadline to register forests for the Emissions Trading Scheme from the last day of the year to 25 October 2022, simply due to long processing times in their office.
“This left forest owners just three working days to submit their applications. After that date has passed, their applications will not be processed until 2023. This change will prevent some forest owners from claiming five years’ worth of backdated credits to 2018.
“Some forest owners stand to lose millions of dollars as a result of this poorly communicated change. An owner of a large native forest in the South Island claims he will lose $6–$8 million. This is more than just incompetence, it is theft. . .
New Zealand’s agribusiness sector is an economic powerhouse for the country, contributing billions of dollars to GDP. And right now, the industry is undergoing rapid change as it pivots to more sustainable practices and reduces its carbon footprint.
Within this context, business partnerships with banking providers are increasingly important. Banks are supporting the sector with financial products that reflect the industry’s changing needs. Canstar recognises the value of this support with its coveted Agribusiness Bank of the Year Award.
This year, the Canstar assessment panel considered five providers to come up with the winner, which we’re proud to announce is ANZ!
Jose George, Canstar New Zealand General Manager, said given agribusiness’ value to the country, it was important to recognise banks that underpin its growth. “Our farmers are hugely valuable to our country, as are our ambitions for the sector to innovate and show global leadership for a sustainable future. . .
Grazing is a crucial part of nature – Peter McCann:
In the first part of a three-week series, Peter McCann looks at the basic principles of regenerative agriculture. . .