The Orchardist - - Election 17 - Pri­mary In­dus­tries spokes­woman, Eu­ge­nie Sage.

Biose­cu­rity was the num­ber one is­sue with food pro­duc­ers in this year’s KPMG Agribusi­ness Agenda, and for good rea­son. Our biose­cu­rity pol­icy is that any strat­egy should be based on a pre­cau­tion­ary ap­proach. As many biose­cu­rity in­cur­sions are ir­re­versible, the low­est prac­ti­cal risk ap­proach is best. In gov­ern­ment, the Green Party will amend the Biose­cu­rity Act to in­clude in its pur­pose the need to pro­tect New Zealand from pests, dis­eases and GE/GM or­gan­isms. We will re­quire re­gional coun­cils to de­velop pest man­age­ment strate­gies that cover both private and public land, and en­cour­age these strate­gies to be area and ecosystems-based as well as species-based. We will in­sti­tute biose­cu­rity ser­vices levies on all freight, pas­sen­gers and ves­sels ar­riv­ing in New Zealand.

We have been cam­paign­ing on safe food since we first ar­rived in Par­lia­ment, through pro­mot­ing or­gan­ics, healthy eat­ing, sugar taxes and en­vi­roschools. We would sup­port any ed­u­ca­tion for our tamariki (chil­dren) and ran­gatahi (young peo­ple) to have ac­cess to fresh and healthy fruit and veg­eta­bles.

The Green Party would amend the RMA (Re­source Man­age­ment Act) to make the pro­tec­tion of ver­sa­tile soils a mat­ter of na­tional im­por­tance to pro­tect them from sub­di­vi­sion and sub­ur­ban sprawl.

The Greens also sup­port moves to en­sure that when those chil­dren grow up, there are jobs with a de­cent, liv­ing wage and good con­di­tions. We will work to en­sure the hor­ti­cul­tural in­dus­try is one place New Zealan­ders can find those jobs. The Green Party is com­mit­ted to fair trade and ex­pand­ing our trading re­la­tion­ships in ways that also pro­tect work­ers and the en­vi­ron­ment and don’t un­der­mine our own sovereignty, in ways like the TPPA (Trans-Pa­cific Part­ner­ship Agree­ment) will.

We share Hort NZ’s belief that New Zealand con­sumers should have a choice in what they buy, and have the right to know where their pro­duce comes from. That’s why we put a Coun­try of Orig­i­nal La­belling Bill into the Mem­bers Bill bal­lot, and cel­e­brated when it was pulled from the bal­lot ear­lier this year. De­part­ing MP St­ef­fan Brown­ing cam­paigned on this for a long time, and the Bill passed its first read­ing in April. We hope to see it passed in the next Par­lia­ment.

Ex­pand­ing mar­ket op­por­tu­ni­ties isn’t the only way to grow our ex­ports. In­no­va­tion is one of the best ways we can add value to our ex­ports. If we want to be a rich coun­try, with an econ­omy that sup­ports well-paid jobs, pro­tects our en­vi­ron­ment, and looks af­ter our most vul­ner­a­ble, we need to ex­port what rich coun­tries ex­port. That means sell­ing high value-added man­u­fac­tured goods and ser­vices, not just low value com­modi­ties.

Un­der Na­tional, our ex­port econ­omy has sim­pli­fied. We are be­com­ing ever more re­liant on ex­port­ing com­modi­ties like milk pow­der, which is rapidly de­stroy­ing our rivers and lakes, and leav­ing our econ­omy in­creas­ingly vul­ner­a­ble to the for­tunes of one mar­ket — China.

The Greens will invest in in­no­va­tion by pro­vid­ing ad­di­tional ac­cess to re­search and de­vel­op­ment tax cred­its for com­pa­nies worth $550 mil­lion over the next three years.

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