Monday, 13 December 2021 16:25

Luxon hits the cow capital

Written by  Mark Daniel
New National Party leader Christopher Luxon speaking to a crowd of 350 people in Morrinsville last week. New National Party leader Christopher Luxon speaking to a crowd of 350 people in Morrinsville last week.

With just 10 days under his belt as the National Party leader, Christopher Luxon last week rolled into Morrinsville, unofficial dairy capital of New Zealand, to let the party faithful and undecided in on what plans he had for the future.

Shadowed by a host of National MPs including agriculture spokesperson, Barbara Kuriger, and local MPs Tim van der Molen and David Bennett, Luxon spoke beneath the Mega Cow on Thames Street to a crowd of around 350 people.

In a sign of the times, a white picket fence separated the double vaccinated, Covid-passport wielding public – who received seats, shade and sustenance – from those who did not comply and had to stand on the pavement.

Warmly welcomed by the crowd, Luxon delivered a potted history of his family and working life to date, letting slip the fact that he liked Minis – the iconic car that is, not the ridiculously short skirts of the 1960s.

Speaking confidently, often in a self-effacing manner, he talked about his time at Johnson & Johnson and Air New Zealand. In the case of the former, he questioned the price he paid to acquire some haircare companies, given his now largely pink hairstyle.

He then moved to the politics of the day, in what was his first public presentation to New Zealanders. “It’s time to put the past behind us and move forward, talking about the people of NZ and not ourselves.”

Luxon suggested that National’s job was to oppose and propose solutions to the problems of the day and beyond.

“Having travelled the world, I can assure you that NZ is the best country on planet Earth, but under the current administration we have become inwards-looking and fearful,” said Luxon. “But the reality is we need to back people who want to make things happen and go out and do business with the world with confidence.”

He said that the current Government doesn’t understand farming and rural New Zealand, noting that 80% of the country’s exports are from agriculture, the industry employs around 350,000 people and generates around $9,000 income for every individual in the country.

“The industry needs to be respected, so I urge you never to apologise for being a farmer or rural person.”

Looking at the sector in more detail, he said that addressing climate change by reducing the size of the national dairy herd was not the way forward, suggesting that this would just export the problem to other countries with less efficient dairy farming.

“Current government policy is about caution and stopping things happening; something akin to trying to return 10 tennis balls served at once, in the shape of multiple dysfunctional regulations being heaped on farmers from the corridors of Wellington,” he said.

He said the National Party will propose solutions in a pragmatic manner, using science-based data, including looking at freshwater reforms on a catchment-by-catchment basis rather than “robbing” infrastructure developed and funded by local councils over many years.

He also noted that water storage would be prominent on the agenda, alongside addressing the immigration log jam that stopped the right people with the right skills being allowed to fill many job opportunities.

“This is a great day for baldies,” he said. “We have a great country that currently suffers from unrealised potential. We want New Zealand to get its mojo back, with aspiration and confidence, so we need a government who sets up the rail tracks and then gets out of the way.”

More like this

Searching for problems

Christopher Luxon says the present government has spent much of its time running around with problems in search of solutions.

National leader woos farmers

The Leader of the National Party is accusing Labour of painting farmers as villains and effectively the enemy, which he says is certainly not the case.

High jump for the high country!

"An end to generations of thoughtful stewardship of the South Island's high country" is how the newly-enacted Crown Pastoral Land Reform Bill has been labelled.

Mindset change needed on rural sector

National Party leader Christopher Luxon says a fresh look is needed at the primary sector to ask what problems the country is trying to solve and what sort of regulation is needed to solve such problems.

Live export experts ignored

National's animal welfare spokesperson Nicola Grigg claims the Government completely ignored compelling evidence from cattle breeders, vets and export industry experts in its push to ban live animal shipments.


Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter