fbpx
Print this page
Tuesday, 18 June 2019 14:00

Nats launch primary sector policies

Written by  David Anderson
National leader Simon Bridges and agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy. National leader Simon Bridges and agriculture spokesman Nathan Guy.

A newly elected National government would offer special work visas for primary sector workers, instantly deport visitors breeching biosecurity laws and set up mobile health clinics for remote rural regions.

Read: Farmers find useful policy ideas in opposition’s discussion document.

These ideas are all part of National’s new primary sector discussion document launched at Fieldays last week.

National leader Simon Bridges says his party understands that farmers and growers are concerned about mounting workforce shortages, employment law reforms, climate change and environmental regulations and increasing taxes.

“National’s team of experienced rural MPs have come up with a series of ideas and proposals that we think can address these issues and we are excited to hear any feedback.”

Bridges says the document highlights are a primary sector visa to address workforce shortages, increased penalties for biosecurity offences and mobile rural health clinics.

“We also address important areas neglected by the coalition Government, such as water storage, biotechnology and food safety.”

Bridges claims the document is part of the biggest policy development process by a parliamentary opposition in over a decade.

“National holds every rural seat in Parliament except one and we’re proud to represent rural New Zealand. We’re working hard to ensure we’re ready to govern in 2020, should we have the opportunity.”

National is proposing a primary sector visa to help provide workforce certainty for employers, says immigration spokesman Michael Woodhouse.

He says it would be an avenue for skilled and experienced migrants seeking residence and a future in NZ.

“It would work alongside other National initiatives such as supporting vocational education and agricultural training, extending the Recognised Seasonal Employer scheme and promoting the sector as an attractive career prospect for young people.”

The proposed mobile rural health clinics would provide ‘WoF’ type health check-ups in remote areas to ensure rural people have easy access to quality healthcare, says rural communities spokesman Matt King.

“National wants to pilot mobile rural health clinics serviced by health practitioners which will regularly travel to remote rural communities where they can provide general health check-ups and mental health support for locals.”

Meanwhile, National is also proposing to increase the penalties for breaching biosecurity rules at the border to protect against incursions of pests and diseases, says biosecurity spokesman Nathan Guy.

“We want to toughen up on people bringing in items which could put our biosecurity at risk. This would mean increasing fines from the current $400 to $1000 for people found to have risk materials, and giving Ministry for Primary Industry officials the power to immediately deport people found to be knowingly concealing risk items.”

• More: www.national.org.nz/discussion_documents 

More like this

Petition aims to spark support for farming

Te Kuiti-based electrician Terry Waite wants to spark support for rural NZ by demanding that the Government apologise to farmers for the way it has treated them – especially over the last couple of years.

Sentencing of MP’s son delayed

The sentencing of Tony Kuriger, the son of National Party Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger, on animal welfare charges has been delayed until June 12 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Proper water strategy vital

A long-term strategy is required for water storage, explains Todd Muller, National’s agriculture spokesman.

National supports COVID-19 response

The opposition is throwing its support behind the Government’s decision to move the country towards Level 4 of the Covid-19 alert system over the next 48 hours.

Featured

ANZCO makes a $30m profit

Meat company ANZCO Foods recorded its best-ever revenue of $1.7b and a net profit before tax of $30.6m for the year ended 31 December 2019.

 

M. bovis – we’re making headway

Ministry for Primary Industries chief science adviser, Dr John Roche on the indications New Zealand is winning the fight against Mycoplasma bovis.

Delays ruled out on water reforms

Delaying the introduction of new water reforms was not an option according to the two cabinet Ministers directly involved – Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor.

$700m for freshwater clean up

The Government has announced a $700 million fund to support the primary sector and other groups in meeting new clean water standards.