Labour: Primary Focus on the Critical Issues

Published: Fri 12 Sep 2014 04:33 PM
Primary Focus on the Critical Issues
A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser.
Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the new roles will bring a fresh focus on primary industries and would advocate on a wide range of rural and provincial issues.
“The National Government has shown it is bereft of new ideas for primary industries and is unable to provide the leadership these sectors so desperately need.
“Labour will re-establish an independent food safety authority and introduce country of origin labelling in response to calls from consumers wanting to make informed decisions about where their food comes from and how it was produced.
“The decision to incorporate food safety into the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has not worked. Along with an independent food agency, Labour would also reinstate a stand-alone biosecurity division.
“The food safety authority would research and develop world best practice for every level of our food production. The independent biosecurity agency would focus on prevention and better control at the border, a top priority for the primary sector.
“Our Forestry and Wood Products Economic Upgrade will help the industry move from focusing on the export of raw logs to an increase in value-added production. Labour will also provide leadership and funding so the red meat industry can be reformed into a sustainable model to deliver more jobs and wealth.
“The primary sector is our largest export earner and contributes around $30 billion per year to the economy. A Labour Government will make the necessary changes to policy and regulation to encourage more research, greater innovation and higher export returns,” Damien O’Connor says.

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