Very Hot off the Press - Federated Farmers Media Release Ministerial appointments welcomed by farmers

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17 November 2008

Ministerial appointments welcomed by farmers

Federated Farmers president, Don Nicolson, has welcomed confirmation the Hon David Carter MP is New Zealand’s next Minister of Agriculture and Forestry and that Finance Minister, the Hon. Bill English MP, will be taking on the key Infrastructure portfolio.

“David Carter will bring practical farming experience to the portfolio and to the cabinet table. Bill English’s appointment as Minster of Infrastructure perfectly ties up the issues of funding and delivery.

“Both Ministers know how rough things have been for farming, especially for meat and fibre producers suffering their worst returns for five decades. That makes it vitally important we have the infrastructure tools, such as water storage, to ensure we can farm profitability for New Zealand.

“The squeeze on farm profitability is a big issue for our members. We’ll be looking to Mr Carter for initiatives that will help alleviate the compliance burden farmers are shouldering. In this I am certain he will find common ground with Act’s Rodney Hide, as that person is Minister of Local Government and for Regulatory Reform. Two areas of interest for farmers.

“Mr Carter is a very good political operator. I know he is comfortable working with parties on all sides of the spectrum in the MMP environment. These skills are needed to get cross party consensus on the prime driver of the New Zealand economy, agriculture,” Mr Nicolson said.

Federated Farmers felt the current economic climate presented New Zealand with a lot of challenges. The country is in recession facing fiscal, trade and balance of payments deficits. Farming represents New Zealand's best option to lift its economic performance. Farmers looked to the new Minister and the National-led government to facilitate what amounts to an ‘agricultural wave.’

“If I can voice one disappointment that is Mr Carter’s Cabinet rank of ten. I would have hoped agriculture and Mr Carter deserved a much higher ranking to send the important signal that New Zealand needs to farm its way out of recession.”

“Federated Farmers looks forward to sitting down with the new ministerial teams to discuss the review of the emissions trading scheme, RMA reform, property rights, animal identification and tracing as well as the Federation’s other top election issues," Mr Nicolson concluded.

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