Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

National will restore farmer confidence and pride - Collins and Bennett

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

New Zealand needs a Government that empowers our farmers rather than scapegoats them.

We need practical land use rules, sensible environmental regulation that recognises farmers as stewards of our outdoor environment, and an active trade agenda focused on opening up new markets for New Zealand products.

New Zealand’s farmers and growers are world leaders at producing high quality, low carbon footprint, sustainable food and fibre.

Export earnings from our food and fibre producers will be crucial in helping us grow our way out of the economic crisis.

New Zealand’s farming sector is highly diverse - we produce high-value animal proteins such as beef, lamb and milk, and high-value horticulture products such as kiwifruit, wine, apples, and avocadoes.

Our farmers not only produce the end products sold around the world, but also contribute to the supply chains and value-

added industries that support thousands of jobs here in New Zealand.

We have so much to be proud of in our primary sector; our arable producers that not only export but are vital to providing the seed and feed sources for other export industries; our premium fruit and vegetable exporters; our high quality wool, dairy and meat exporters; and our strong forestry, fishing and racing industries.

The primary sector is our competitive advantage on the world stage.

Labour campaigned in 2017 on a water tax, methane tax and capital gains tax. They spent the first two years of government releasing proposals for methane targets, unworkable bottom lines for water quality, tax proposals that would punish farmers, and endless attacks on the sector.

This sent a strong and clear message to farmers - their contribution was not valued. Unsurprisingly, agricultural sector confidence fell to record lows.

We now have a situation where the border is effectively closed and New Zealand has lost almost a quarter of our foreign earnings in the form of tourism and international education. We face the steepest economic contraction in 160 years, and it is our primary industries keeping the economy afloat.

This pandemic shows why we cannot take our world-leading primary sector for granted.

Our markets and local communities - both urban and rural - will continue to demand more sustainability from farming. New Zealand’s farmers are up for this challenge.

Kiwi farmers know their markets, and understand how to respond to market signals. Farmers have already invested billions over recent decades fencing waterways, upgrading effluent systems, native planting and responding to new council policies. National will take a science-based approach to environmental regulation recognising the great work farmers have already done.

National will be pragmatic and work with farmers and farmer organisations. We will provide the tools and support farmers need to continue to adapt and to prosper. We will make sure that the next generation of farmers can be proud of their hard work, knowing they are valued in this country.

National will:

- Review or repeal nine of Labour’s new water regulations.

- Review the treatment of forestry in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS).

- Pass seven changes to the Zero

Carbon Bill.

- Promote water storage options.

- Build the infrastructure to connect and support our rural communities.

- Allow skilled workers and RSE workers to safely enter New Zealand.

- Repeal the Resource Management Act (RMA) and replace it with an Environmental Standards Act and a Planning and Development Act.

- Pursue an active free trade agenda to open up new markets for New Zealand’s food and fibre products.

Horticulture

Horticulture is an increasingly important part of our primary sector and makes a unique contribution to our economy. Total horticulture exports - including viticulture - exceeded $6.1 billion in 2019.

Thanks to its highly sustainable base and the developing preferences of consumers, the sector clearly has a bright future.

National believes horticulture will be one of the key industries to lead New Zealand’s economic recovery, and in Government we will support the sector’s ambitious plans for growth.

We will work with industry to resolve issues around ownership of plant varieties and the role of Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) audits in setting Farm Environment Plans. We will also maintain a strong focus on biosecurity, which is fundamental to the future of horticulture which faces a wide range of potential risks.

We will commit to the sector’s long-term strategy, which calls for an "Industry-led, Government-enabled" partnership based on trust and mutual understanding. The strategy includes:

- The Plant Food Story - better telling the story of the safe, healthy, sustainable and ethical products produced by horticulture.

- Growth - delivering certainty around access to labour, land and water to enable the sector to grow.

- Labour - delivering the skills the sector needs through a strong vocational and higher education system, supplemented with foreign labour through schemes like the RSE.

- Trade - increasing opportunities to trade, including exporting intellectual property that can generate all-year round returns.

National will:

- Work with the horticulture sector to implement their growth strategy, with a focus on water storage, labour supply and selling the Plant Food Story.

Water storage

Water is one of New Zealand’s key strategic resources but we are not making the most of it.

One reason for this is that the RMA makes it extremely difficult to get water storage proposals off the ground.

Urban communities are finding it more difficult to get sources of water supply. Auckland is a prime example at this time. Many smaller centres, such as Kaikohe, have also struggled.

Rural communities are particularly susceptible to drought and water storage is crucial for building resilience to weather extremes.

High value horticulture and primary production need water to expand, while water storage can enable greater productivity with more consistency in higher production levels.

Water storage can also contribute to enhanced environmental outcomes - ensuring better river flows during dry periods and more effective use of nutrients applied to the land.

National believes the biggest opportunity to grow our horticultural exports over the next two decades will be through investment in water storage. New Zealand needs to grow its way out of the Covid crisis and we need water storage.

We will address water storage as part of our national infrastructure upgrade.

National will:

- Repeal the RMA and replace it with clear environmental standards.

- Promote water storage options.

- Task the National Infrastructure Bank to invest in medium size water storage where rural, urban and environmental goals are met.

- Maintain common ownership of water for all New Zealanders.

Rebuilding agricultural

confidence

National understands the importance of New Zealand’s agricultural sector to our economy and to each and every one of us.

As a small nation at the bottom of the world, we rely on trading for our prosperity. Agriculture is responsible for around 60 per cent of New Zealand’s goods exports. It’s how we pay our way in the world and it enables the rest of New Zealand to enjoy our living standards.

With our border closed, our tourism and international education sectors on hold, and facing the biggest economic contraction in our history, it is vital that our farmers are confident and investing.

Labour campaigned in 2017 on a raft of anti-farming policies. These included a water tax, a methane tax and a capital gains tax. In government, they unloaded a host of complex consultations on farmers including for new methane targets, new bottom lines for water quality, and the Tax Working Group.

They tried to mitigate these policies over the last year through even more working groups and meetings. But farmer confidence has continued to erode, and a recent Dairy NZ survey found that 60 per cent of dairy farmers believed that regulation changes were the biggest mental health challenge they faced.

Farmer’s perceptions about their role in the New Zealand economy under this Government

has declined markedly, placing them under extreme amounts of stress, reducing their confidence to invest, and eroding the future viability of farm careers.

National will rebuild farmer confidence by:

- Reviewing or repealing nine of Labour’s new water regulations.

- Making seven changes to the Zero

Carbon Act.

- Removing the review process around introducing agriculture into the ETS.

- Repeal the RMA and replace it with clear environmental standards.

Water quality

National has had a long commitment to working with farmers to improve waterways. We recognise the importance of farming sustainably. Our markets and consumers, and the New Zealand public require improvements in water quality.

Farmers understand and want to work to improve sustainability. They also recognise the need for freshwater rules, and the importance of working to improve the quality of our freshwater resources.

However, the rules must be practical and feasible. We need to work with farmers, famer organisations, regional councils and other interested parties in setting these rules to balance environmental concerns with the viability of our vital farming sector.

Labour introduced a series of new water quality rules targeted at farmers in the last few days of Parliament. These rules have caused significant concern in farming communities, and will impact negatively on the financial viability of many farms.

With the worst economic contraction in 160 years, now is not the time to be rushing new regulations that impact our largest export sector. The rules have already had to be amended by the Labour-led government to fix issues - something that will likely need to occur multiple times as farmers try to implement them.

National would instead implement a regional approach, giving different parts of the country some autonomy to recognise specific local farming practices. We will encourage local authorities to move towards a catchment approach within their regions.

There are nine rules that are of particular interest. In many cases they don’t take into account the farming practices that have built up in specific regions over generations to recognise their climatic conditions and productive capacity. National will repeal or review the following nine rules to ensure they are workable:

- Standards for intensive winter grazing - The new rules for intensive winter grazing are particularly onerous in regions like Southland where there are extended periods of time, up to 100 days, of no grass growth during the winter. The strict rules around farm area, slope, pugging definitions and percentage of a paddock area make it very difficult for farmers to engage in the established farming practices of the region without a resource consent. Arbitrary rules around replanting dates are also unworkable.

- Establishing a cap on nitrogen fertiliser use for dairy farms - Fertiliser is used to replace nutrients removed from the farming system in the form of milk and meat. Nitrogen fertiliser allows our farmers to grow grass and is a critical input for our country’s economy. Labour’s unscientific and arbitrary fertiliser cap would result in a significant number of dairy farmers having to reduce production when we can least afford it. These unscientific restrictions will have a dramatic affect in some areas of the country, such as mid-Canterbury, seeing incomes and jobs decline.

- Bottom line for nitrogen in water ways - The Government’s proposed bottom line requirement for nitrogen in waterways is excessive, and achieving it would require major reductions in production. Farmers can reduce nitrogen leaching to a degree, but the proposed levels are unachievable

in many cases, and would lead to a loss of productive capacity. This means lower export returns and fewer jobs. Farmers need to be able to see a future in farming, and Labour’s nitrogen bottom lines do not allow this.

- Slope and fencing rules - New rules require sheep and beef farmers to fence waterways up to a gradient of 10 degrees, which is a major new cost. Further, the recent changes to the government maps that determine ‘low slope’ land are highly inaccurate and subject to a lot of contention among the farming community, especially among sheep and beef farmers.

- Land use rules - Farmers need the ability to engage in land use transition to enable the production of more productive and higher value-add exports. The prohibition on land use change will stifle innovation and investment. Land use change still needs to be able to meet the requirements of catchments and regional councils. These rules constrain the ability of farmers to undertake land use change. Farmers need to have the ability to use water storage for the production of higher value products. National will work with regional councils around the best rules for allowing land use change.

- Certified and audited Freshwater Farm Plans - Farmers are generally supportive of the use of farm plans. Farm plans are much more challenging for sheep and beef farmers as they don’t have the support structures of the major dairy companies. There are also concerns about the availability of rural professionals to perform and audit farm plans.

- Winter pads and standoff pads - Many farmers use standoff pads but the Government has imposed strict additional requirements that will render some of them non-compliant. We would prefer a case by case appraisal of these pads rather than a blanket ruling.

- Removal of stock from natural wetlands - The government has set a broad definition for wetlands that captures many areas that would not normally be considered as needing fencing. This has particular impact on places like the West Coast. The rules are particularly onerous with a 0.05 hectares land area definition, effectively the size of a house area, as this is completely impractical for many farmers. We want to tighten up this rule to make sure we are only capturing true wetlands, not just wet paddocks.

- Electronic measuring and reporting on water usage - We recognise in some cases there is a need for water meters. We want to work with regional councils to ensure appropriate rules around where and when water meters are required.

Forestry offsets

Forestry is an integral part of New Zealand’s primary sector. It has an important role to play in our diversified primary sector economic base.

The Government’s unrealistic promise of a billion trees has led to distortions in the market, like the Overseas Investment Office test that provides a streamlined application process to overseas investments in the purchase of land for forestry or the purchase of forestry rights. We believe this distorts the market and we will remove this exemption.

The current policy settings need to be reviewed to ensure that our rules around carbon offsets are fit for purpose, so that we are driving a reduction in emissions through improved performance, rather than biasing land use decisions too heavily towards conversion of productive land to forestry purely for carbon credits.

While this may be the easiest way to offset carbon emissions in the short-term, it doesn’t take into account the long-term need to transition the economy off fossil fuels.

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has recommended taking forestry out of the emissions trading scheme and establishing a separate sustainable land use scheme. National is interested in exploring this idea.

National will:

- Review the treatment of forestry in the ETS in our first term.

- Remove the streamlined process for forestry applications in the Overseas Investment Office test.

- Request the Climate Change Commission to recommend an appropriate long-term use of forestry towards our 2050 zero carbon target.

Review methane target

The 24 to 47 per cent biogenic methane target is not grounded in robust science. While the figure does come from a UN report, the report stated that the figures "Do not represent central estimates, national strategies, and do not indicate requirements".

We would immediately ask the Climate Change Commission to review the methane target.

Include reference to greenhouse gas mitigation not threatening food production

The legislation quotes the aim of the Paris Agreement including the aim of limiting temperature increases to 1.5oC.

The Paris Agreement also aims to achieve low greenhouse gas development "In a manner that does not threaten food production". This part is omitted from the legislation. National would insert this key Paris Agreement element into our climate change legislation.

Review the use of forestry offsets

National would require an immediate review of the use of the level of forestry offsets able to be used to achieve climate change targets.

Strengthen provisions that consider the level of action being taken by other countries

National has concern that the Bill locks in New Zealand’s level of action for 30 years without an ability to adjust our targets to what is occurring in the rest of the world.

National would amend the legislation to require the Climate Change Commission to review the level of action taken by other countries and advise if New Zealand’s action remained in line with other developed countries.

Strengthen the consideration of economic impacts of greenhouse gas mitigation

National would amend the way carbon budgets are set to provide greater consideration of the economic impact of a restrictive carbon budget.

Separate emissions budgets for biogenic methane

The Zero Carbon Act established separate targets for long-lived carbon dioxide and short-lived methane emissions. The carbon budgets in the bill would however be a single budget for all gases.

National would ensure biogenic methane is not included in a single carbon budget.

Greater commitment to research and development

National believes that technology will be the key to achieving future emissions reductions - not taxes and banning things. We want to see a greater emphasis in the legislation on supporting new technologies and investment in research and development.

Zero Carbon Act

The Zero Carbon Act amended existing climate change legislation to establish a Climate Change Commission, new climate change targets for 2050, and a ‘carbon budget’ approach that would limit the amount of greenhouse gas emissions able to occur in the New Zealand economy. The new climate change targets are to achieve net zero long-lived greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and a 24 to 47 per cent decrease in short lived methane emissions.

National supported the Zero Carbon Act but stated we would make the following changes to the legislation when in Government:

Agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in the Emissions Trading Scheme

National has consistently argued that agriculture should only be included in the ETS when scientific and practical solutions are available to farmers.

Our farmers produce the lowest carbon footprint red meat and dairy in the world, and forcing them to reduce production won’t reduce global emissions.

Labour promised at the last election to bring agricultural emissions into the ETS. The agricultural sector developed a programme to reduce agricultural emissions and potentially price agricultural emissions from 2025. This programme is called He Waka Eke Noa.

National will continue this co-design approach. This approach builds on the collaborative approach National took to the Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord in 2013.

Labour also legislated an ability to introduce agriculture into the ETS in 2022 if targets are not met. National does not support this clause - it creates needless uncertainty and signals Labour aren’t 100 per cent committed to the farmer-led programme.

While National will continue to work with the He Waka Eke Noa framework, we would only introduce agricultural emissions pricing if we viewed that farmers had technological solutions available to reduce agricultural emissions and if we viewed trading partners were taking similar action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. At present, no other country prices agricultural emissions.

National will:

- Remove the review process around introducing agriculture into the ETS.

- Continue to work with He Waka Eke Noa.

Farm consents

Farmers have faced the need to gain resource consents for certain activities, such as drawing water, for some time. Increasingly, however, councils are requiring farmers to get a consent simply to farm. The rules in the consents will potentially lead to a reduction in farming activity, and a loss of jobs for our economy.

The use of consents to farm also require a substantial increase in regional council resourcing and staffing. Waikato Regional Council estimates the recent freshwater reforms will require an additional $20 million to enforce and monitor the rules across the country.

National has committed to repealing the RMA and replacing it with an Environmental Standards Act. National also supports more use of catchment groups to allow farmers to work together to achieve local community aims.

National will:

- Repeal the RMA and the need for consents to farm.

- Support catchment groups to develop local approaches to improving water quality.

Tax

Farming is an asset rich but cash flow poor business. That means farmers are especially susceptible to any form of land, wealth or asset tax.

Labour’s tax working group proposed a capital gains tax that would apply to farms. This tax would not be adjusted for inflation and so the full gain would have been taxed regardless of the real profit of farmers.

Having failed to implement a Capital Gains Tax, the Green Party is now proposing a wealth tax of 1 per cent for those with a net-worth over $1 million. Such a tax would be devastating to most farmers.

The Greens are also proposing a new tax on synthetic fertiliser use, which would increase costs for farmers while pushing up the price of fresh fruit and vegetables.

National will not impose any new taxes on you. In fact, National will cut taxes for you, and your staff.

We will implement a 16 month tax stimulus package that would mean someone on an average salary would be over $3000 better off.

We will also allow capital investments of up to $150,000 to be instantly depreciated. This would mean investments in plant, equipment or machinery over $150,000 can be depreciated at double the current rate. These tax changes will lower the tax burden on farmers, encourage businesses to invest, encourage consumers to spend, and help us grow our way out of the economic crisis.

National will:

- Commit to no new taxes.

- Cut personal tax rates for 16 months.

- Make short-term changes to depreciation rates to reduce the tax burden on businesses.

Access to skilled and seasonal workers

Many primary sector businesses are at risk of losing income if they are not able to bring skilled or season workers into New Zealand.

New Zealand currently has space for 7300 people in managed isolation at any one time, and up to a third of this capacity is not being used.

Labour has promised to allow 700 spaces to be used for essential workers.

National believes that New Zealand needs to allow skilled and seasonal workers into New Zealand, utilising our managed isolation system. National will allow any space not used for returning Kiwis or essential workers

to be used for other visa holders, including Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) visas and skilled visas. We will require either the worker or the employer to pay the cost of managed isolation.

National will also increase the capacity of our managed isolation system with demand, to avoid capacity constraints on the ability of people to enter New Zealand.

We will also establish a fast-tracked visa for primary sector workers, to ensure our primary sector businesses can get access to the workers they need in a timely manner. This visa will give certainty to farmers and employees with a focus on those wishing to become part of the New Zealand primary sector.

National will:

- Allow skilled and seasonal workers to safely enter New Zealand via managed isolation.

- Increase the capacity of managed isolation.

- Create a fast-tracked Primary Sector Visa.

Agritech

National recognises the important role the Agritech sector plays in the provision of technology to farmers and the growth potential for this sector in the future to service farmers around the world.

We will work with the sector to support the Agritech Industry Transformation Plan, investigate advancements in digital agriculture, and explore the use of exciting new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and drones in areas such as precision agriculture.

The greater use of traceability to enhance supply chain and provenance stories will become more important in the future and we want to showcase innovation and excellence on the world stage.

We will work with the sector around plans for greater research into robotics especially in the horticulture sector.

National’s NZ Tech 2030 Plan is an ambitious agenda to achieve a doubling of New Zealand’s technology sector by the end of the decade. As one of our major competitive advantages, Agritech will be critical to achieving this goal.

National will:

- Establish a Minister for Technology to provide the sector with a champion in Government, and to implement our plan to double the technology sector in a decade.

- Work with the Agritech sector to implement the Industry Transformation Plan.

New trade agreements

New Zealand is a trading nation. National is unashamedly supportive of free trade. Trade supports 600,000 jobs across the country and is responsible for delivering a higher standard of living and a better quality of life for New Zealand. National is committed to an aggressive pursuit of new trade opportunities for New Zealand businesses.

National will continue its record of showing leadership internationally and domestically on trade policy, seeking new free trade agreements, and improving market access for New Zealanders.

Our consistent and honest voice in the international trading system, and aggressive pursuit of trade opportunities for New Zealand businesses, have opened doors for New Zealanders and helped ensure our economy remains strong.

National will:

- Commit to an ambitious trade agenda to open new markets and reduce barriers for our exports.

- Seek greater access to markets in the South Asia and Southeast Asia.

- Seek a Free Trade Agreement with the United States of America.

- Seek to conclude trade negotiations with the European Union and United Kingdom.

- Seek to progress the Pacific Alliance, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and ASEAN Free Trade Agreement upgrade.

Infrastructure

Recent events have shown the importance of being connected. National will invest in New Zealand’s roads and infrastructure. Our $31 billion plan of investment will have enormous benefits for rural New Zealand. It will increase our connectivity to local markets, labour sources and export services.

National successfully implemented the rural broadband network. There are still many areas without coverage and National is committed to seeing this rollout continue and at pace.

Farmers need the most advanced technology to assist in their businesses but there are still major connectivity issues. The rural broadband programme has built 100 out of the 400 sites planned, but it needs significant investment to fast track the rest of the plan and to add in further sites.

National will:

- Invest $31 billion in upgrading New Zealand’s transport infrastructure.

- Invest $1 billion to improve internet connectivity in small towns and rural areas.

- Improve rural broadband speeds to 100mbs

Health

National supports rural communities and their need to access health services. We want to ensure our rural communities have full access to services and we are looking at the use of mobile health vans, for example, to enable greater access to these services. National will kick off a process to establish a third graduate entry medical school focused on retention of general practitioners (GPs) in rural areas.

National will:

- Start a request for proposal process to establish a third graduate entry medical school focused on retention of GPs in

rural areas.

Wool

New Zealand’s coarse wool prices are currently at historic lows. Farmers are reporting that the cost of sheering sheep is now much higher than the revenue received from wool.

National welcomes the recent government review of the wool industry (Wool Industry Project Action Group). In government, we will work with the wool industry to explore options for enhancing the returns from wool.

Wool is a sustainable and versatile fibre. Long-term, potential remains for higher returns from wool. Investment in research and development can help establish new products. The promotion of New Zealand’s unique sustainable production systems compared to synthetic fibres often used in carpets and insulation is an opportunity to leverage greater value as customers increasingly demand sustainable products.

National will:

- Progress the recommendations of the Wool Industry Project Action Group.

- Support research into alternative products.

- Encourage the promotion of New Zealand wool as a sustainable alternative to synthetic fibre.

Food safety

National supports the New Zealand production of the highest quality and safest food in the world. National is proud of our food provenance. We stand with all our producers, from the small local growers to the large exporters.

National will support work on the New Zealand story to ensure that globally, the quality of our

food and how it is produced is widely known, and carries a premium. We will build on the school curriculum to ensure that New Zealand families have access to information about how our food is produced in a nutritious and safe manner.

National will:

- Continue to maintain the highest standards of food safety regulation so consumers and markets continue to have confidence in the New Zealand brand.

- Promote New Zealand overseas as a source of high-quality, safe and sustainable food.

Organics

National recognises the growing Organic sector and supports moves for legislation to give confidence to the sector over its international standing and approach to Organics.

The current Government has failed to prepare legislation fit for meeting these goals and National would rewrite that legislation to meet the needs of the sector and the international markets.

National will:

- Prepare a new Organics Bill that will meet the need for international certainty over the use of Organics in NZ.

Landcorp

Landcorp is a major landowner and has the resources to support innovation and new products in the primary sector. It can also

have an important role in the pathway to

farm ownership.

National will:

- Evaluate Landcorp to assess its effectiveness and direction for future generations, and its ability to assist new farmers into farm ownership.

- Direct Landcorp to explore land use options with a strong commercial lens and utilise its scale and footprint across the country to test new commercial technologies in action.

Animal welfare

Animal welfare is important to famers, our communities and our customers. National has a proud history of supporting animal welfare and we will continue to work towards best practice on farm and in the community.

National will:

- Continue to work for best practice on animal welfare.

Biosecurity

A strong biosecurity system lies at the heart of our agricultural, economic, and environmental wellbeing. Our geographic isolation affords us many natural advantages, but that must be supported by a continued vigilance to ensure we maintain our unique environment. National will invest in strong border protection, and improve responses to biosecurity incursions.

Prior to the pandemic, 5.5 million passengers arrived in New Zealand each year. Cargo continues to come into New Zealand, and Kiwis are ordering a growing number of parcels from offshore presenting additional risks in how incursions might occur. A changing climate makes it more difficult to eradicate pests that do arrive here, and warmer seas and wind conditions continue to present challenges.

When exotic pests and diseases do arrive in New Zealand, it’s vital that the response to those incursions ensures they are rapidly eliminated.

National believes in an evidence-based approach backed by strong science. This includes developing innovative tools to provide more options at the border, recognising that New Zealanders and other arrivals value efficient airport and port processes, but that passengers remain a vector for incursions.

National supports the use of Government Industry Agreements, and ensuring the costs of a robust biosecurity regime and response are borne by industry, tourists, and government.

National will:

- Give Biosecurity officials the same powers as Immigration officials to deport any visitor if they have knowingly concealed biosecurity risk items.

- Ensure that importers are liable for knowingly signing false documents (including import health statements) that involve biosecurity risk material.

- Increase potential infringement fines from $400 per person to $1000 if a passenger has brought in a biosecurity risk item.

Racing

The racing industry has been greatly affected by the lockdown and economic crisis. Restrictions on activity around New Zealand severely impacted the activities of the TAB, and the lives of the 15,000 people engaged full time in the industry.

National supports the actions to ensure the TAB was able to survive and get the racing industry back on its feet so quickly.

National acknowledges the importance of racing to New Zealand, and recognises the opportunity to grow our horse-breeding industry as we diversify our economy and grow our way out of the economic crisis.

National supported the implementation of the Racing Industry Bill and will work hard to ensure its implementation is a success during the next term of Parliament.

National will:

- Consider ways to assist the racing industry to provide tracks and infrastructure that is internationally competitive.

- Review Bloodstock Taxation with a view to ensuring it is fit for purpose.

- Continue to support the Racing Safety Development Fund.

- Enable the racing industry to access the skills it needs through our Primary Sector Visa.

- Work closely with Racing New Zealand to ensure appropriate appointments are made to the TAB board and to the board of Racing New Zealand.

All articles and comments on Voxy.co.nz have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.