Brash keen to act for farmers’ sake
The political campaign trail led ACT Party leader Don Brash into Matamata last week to discuss his way forward for New Zealand with talks revolving around the economy and government spending.
Dr Brash singled out Matamata for the talk after delivering a similar message to a Federated Farmers conference in Rotorua last Thursday to get the farmers’ ear on the importance he believed they made to the New Zealand economy. ‘‘ Farm exports generated $ 23 billion last year,’’ he said.
Dr Brash addressed an audience at the Matamata Club about the three main objectives to assist the farming sector his ACT party would implement if elected.
Firstly Dr Brash spoke of reforming the Resource Management Act, in which he believed people should be able to do what they want on their own property without seeking building consent and if a regional council did disadvantage a property owner, that they should be compensated.
Dr Brash also spoke about abandoning the Emissions Trading Scheme, in which he argued global warming to be a good thing for agriculture.
‘‘Plant life thrives on high carbon-dioxide, which is why gardeners pump it into their green houses,’’ he said.
‘‘The main effect of the policy though is that farmers are incurring on-farm costs of up to $4000 annually which is due to increase to around $10,000 by 2015, so they don’t need to incur any other costs.’’
Dr Brash said the high exchange rate had benefited farmers in the short term with the $ 300 million a week in government borrowing, which had been good for export prices but said in the long run the extent of that borrowing had blunted the incentives of export.
‘‘ The sector needs to do extremely well on its own, by producing more meat, milk and wool.’’
Although Dr Brash was in support of John Key’s decision in securing rights to The Hobbit film being shot in New Zealand, he said: ‘‘the foreign exchange from exporting movies is tiny in comparison to the exports of farming.’’