Nov 17, 2023
The new centre-right coalition, led by the National Party, means a probable slow-down in the pace of change for farmers, but not a reverse in the direction of travel, writes Deer Industry NZ (DINZ) chief executive Innes Moffat.
Following the counting of over 600,000 special votes, National lost two seats to Labour and has now started talks with probable coalition partners Act and NZ First. Greens and Te Pati Māori won one and two more seats respectively, and there’s still a by-election to come, in the new 123 seat Parliament.
It’s still early days in the formation of the new coalition but, by late-November, we are hopeful that we will know the identity of the new agriculture/primary production minister.
While we didn’t always agree with former agriculture minister Hon Damien O’Connor, we would like to thank him for the effort that he put in on behalf of the rural sector and also as minister of trade and export growth. We trust that the open and frank relationship we had with him will continue with the new incumbent.
Whoever it is, we recognise New Zealand’s international commitment to its climate obligations and regulatory expectations will slow down, not reverse. The three parties were consistent in their pre-election approach about reducing the burden of regulation on farmers and also in their views on the need for a pause on greenhouse gas reporting and pricing.
We will be advocating for New Zealands 1,200 deer farmers and processing and exporting companies.
We will, however, be firm in expressing our views about the deluge of change, modification of land-use, ongoing uncertainty for our farmers and rising on-farm input costs.
The new minister needs to know that deer are a species that require separate treatment from cattle. They have also proved a useful foil in the farm mix this year as farmgate returns for venison are now reasonably stable, while others have dropped back.
DINZ has prepared a briefing on this sector for the incoming minister. This will place our $340 million deer industry into context, ensuring its positions can be considered in the development of new policy areas to support a thriving deer farming industry in New Zealand.
Our wish list is for a rural policy designed to allow deer farmers to thrive, which celebrates them for producing good stewardship of their land and does not condemn all land users with death by a thousand consents.
DINZ chief executive