Dec 19, 2023
DINZ is looking forward to working with the new coalition Government now its work programme has been announced.
Industry’s wish for rural policy that will, as Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Innes Moffat said last issue, “allow deer farmers to thrive, be celebrated for good land stewardship and not be condemned to death by a thousand consents,” seems to have been answered with a stronger voice for farmers.
The new coalition deal was hammered out by National, Act and NZ First in late November, with ministerial responsibilities assigned soon afterwards and the announcement of the new Government’s 100-day plan.
DINZ has already spoken with several of the new ministers with responsibility for rural communities and agriculture and is providing briefings on issues of concern to the deer sector.
Among them are the new minister for agriculture, trade, hunting, and fishing Todd McLay, in for his second round as trade minister and now sitting at number 12 on the National Party list.
The farming voice has been strengthened with three associate agriculture ministers, though all are outside cabinet: Act's Andrew Hoggard (animal welfare and skills, also minister for biosecurity/food safety and associate minister for the environment); NZ First’s Mark Patterson (also minister for rural communities); and National’s Nicola Grigg (horticulture and also minister of state for trade). Both Hoggard and Patterson are former Federated Farmers leaders.
Deer farmers’ morale will be boosted by the new Government’s “extensive and ambitious” work-plan which includes repealing some of the more onerous legislation, along with promising assistance with greenhouse gas mitigation, farm environment plans, irrigation and water storage and review of the Arms Act.
While the direction of travel will remain the same, a slower pace of change will be welcomed – though there will still be a lot of work needed as existing policy is reshaped.
The DINZ board and executive will work with the incoming government as it introduces the changes to advocate for industry, making sure deer farmers' and processors’ needs are considered and protected, says DINZ chief executive Innes Moffat.
“We will engage Government on policy development in collaboration with the primary sector,” he says.