Rural sector key to strong growth
Last week was Fieldays, the largest agricultural showcase in the Southern Hemisphere.
It provides a great opportunity to look at the contribution of New Zealand’s rural sector.
We know farming is the backbone of our economy.
The rural sector is a key part of National’s plan to build a stronger economy, create more jobs and raise incomes.
We are working hard to support our primary sector and rural families and communities.
We have more vets, doctors and midwives in our rural areas through our voluntary bonding scheme.
Our rural broadband initiative will deliver much faster broadband to rural New Zealand.
National is encouraging research and innovation in agriculture through the Primary Growth Partnership.
This governmentindustry initiative is showing great results so far, with projects under way across a range of sectors.
We have allocated $35 million to the Irrigation Acceleration Fund to help get irrigation projects under way and proposed future investment of up to $400 million of equity in regional irrigation projects.
We’ve also invested in rural infrastructure and roading to improve connections and services for our rural communities.
And to enable our Kiwi exporters to successfully compete in the global marketplace we are building a more competitive and productive economy and pursuing an aggressive trade agenda.
These initiatives are being supported by moves to break down barriers to growth. We’ve cut the company tax rate to 28 per cent, implemented acrossthe-board personal tax cuts and reduced ACC levies for farmers.
We’ve also been making changes to the Resource Management Act to make it easier to do business.
To ensure we have the most efficient dairy industry in New Zealand, we are introducing changes to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act.
Our bill enables Fonterra to set up the Trading Among Farmers (TAF) scheme and creates transparency around the setting of farm-gate milk prices.
This will promote a competitive and innovative dairy industry.
This bill is crucial to ensure the continuing growth of an efficient and innovative New Zealand dairy sector.
National and rural New Zealand share a proud history. We will continue to support and invest in our rural sector, to grow our economy, create jobs and deliver a brighter future for all New Zealanders.