MP for Southland Joseph Mooney says discussions need to continue on the wide array of Government regulations set to significantly increase pressure on our farming communities.
Farmers took to the streets in a nationwide protest last month to voice their displeasure with the approach Labour and Greens Ministers have been taking with issues including water supply and services, water quality and biodiversity and vehicle taxation.
Mooney says after having their backs against the wall, the farming community has shown their resilience and renowned practical attitude by getting on with the job during New Zealand’s Level 4 Lockdown.
“The timing of the Level 4 Lockdown was unavoidable, but it couldn’t have been much worse for the farming sector.”
“Right in the middle of calving, it’s a significant hurdle for the Dairy Industry to face during their busiest time of year.”
“In typical style farmers haven’t complained about it, despite widespread worker shortages they have got on with the job at hand.”
“The impacts of lockdown spread right across the farming sector and its support industries”.
“From arable, horticultural and sheep farmers to plant operators and meat workers, there are thousands of farm workers and people in supporting roles that have fronted up to work each day during lockdown.”
“Of course it is the case in other sectors as well, especially in areas like healthcare where our frontline workers are showing incredible dedication.”
“These people are our unsung heroes and their efforts deserve significant acknowledgement.”
Mooney has been a strong voice for farming as the industry battles to have its say on key issues.
The MP has detailed his vision for the sector in a video released today which can be viewed here:
Mooney says it is essential that strong debate continues around the farming sector’s significant concerns with Government proposals.
“With farmers busy on their farms and dealing with the extraordinary circumstances of lockdown, they simply don’t have time to battle the Government.”
“That won’t change as they come out of Level 4 and head into a busy spring.”
“Farmers’ voices need to be heard and the public need to have their say on issues like immigration, land use and biodiversity and water supplies, as well as tax.”
“The farming community agrees that more can be done in areas like water quality, but they need a Government that works with them and builds a regulatory framework in partnership with them.”
“We need strong public discussion on these issues to work towards sensible and practical solutions that allow for local approaches to local problems and encourage innovation – something our farmers are already incredibly good at.”
“We have some of the most resilient, high-performing and innovative farmers in the world.”
“Our free range, grass fed farming systems are the envy of other nations and our farmers are some of the most carbon efficient on the planet.
“I certainly haven’t lost sight of the pressures farmers were facing before lockdown.”
“These discussions must continue.”
Mooney says the Government must find practical and workable solutions for what he describes as a most vital sector.
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