Barbara's Beat No.8


I welcome Christopher Luxon as the new Leader of the National Caucus.
Chris has had a long and successful career in the corporate world and brings a great strategic view to the governance of our country.

While Chris is relatively new to Parliament, he brings leaderships skills and a team approach to the role. He will work to accomplish the best from each portfolio holders.

Nicola Willis will bring skills to the Deputy Leader’s role and her background having worked in Fonterra amongst other experience gives confidence of her understanding of the rural scene.

I have worked well with Chris in finding rural and urban connections. I know we will continue to do so as well as work on policy for 2023.

The next step is to ensure Chris becomes the next Prime Minister of New Zealand. 

Chris Luxon and I at this year’s National Fieldays, Mystery Creek, Hamilton.

Chris Luxon and I at this year’s National Fieldays, Mystery Creek, Hamilton. 


Ehara taku toa i te toa takitahi, engari, he toa takitini
Success is not the work of one, but the work of many.


Firstly, my warm greetings and congratulations to Ngāti Maniapoto on the signing of their Deed of Settlement with the Crown on November 11. It was such a shame this monumental historical milestone wasn’t able to be celebrated in style due to COVID-19 restrictions. But I’m sure you will mark the end of a journey, which spans decades, in the not-to-distant future. I want to acknowledge the many generations who have gone before the success of today’s negotiators. As we look to the future, I’m excited about the opportunities the settlement will bring and send my best wishes to you all.

Ko te mutunga oranga, he timatanga kaha!
Winning starts with beginning!



Starting my day in Canterbury with Selwyn MP and Trade and Export Growth spokesperson Nicola Grigg.



I love my job’ … I really do.

As both Agriculture and Energy & Resources spokesperson for National, I get to visit great communities and speak with amazing people. In November, I had the pleasure of visiting rural communities in Canterbury and the West Coast.

Normally a month full of A&P shows across the country which were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions, I was in Canterbury on November 11 with fellow Primary Industry MPs, Nicola Grigg (Selwyn) and Stuart Smith (Kaikoura).

I toured parts of Nicola’s electorate and met some up with some of her supporters for morning tea. In the afternoon we hosted a Rural Leaders Forum with invited key stakeholders due to COVID restrictions.
The next day I spent time making visits on the West Coast with local MP Maureen Pugh. We had such a good day there and I’ve been invited back — an invitation I intend to take up.

On November 19, I spent time with Rangitikei MP Ian McKelvie in Feilding as guest speaker at a lunch club meeting The next day, with his wife Sue and my husband Louis, we attended a fundraiser with National supporters at the Awapuni Racecourse for the Bulls Country Cup.

All these trips are an important part of the work I do. The feedback we receive, from the people we speak with, helps with our ongoing policy work.

Attendees at these events gave us a lot to consider and confirmed much of what we are already working on as we lobby the Government daily.


Racing this time! With Mangaweka farmers James and Shirley Russell at the Awapuni Racecourse as part of my visit to the Rangitikei electorate.




My key message to our rural communities when out and about this year has been one of gratitude. We know our primary sector has kept this country running by holding up our trade sector.
We know it will continue to do so because Kiwi farmers and growers are world leaders. We have the reports, studies and research to prove it.

But saying ‘thank you’ to those who work within it, isn’t forthcoming by our current government, as it continues to introduce regulation after regulation without any consultation. In fact, it turns a deaf ear to any constructive comment or discussion.

This has resulted in the formation of Groundswell NZ and its organisation of national protests on July 16 and November 21 — events which drew thousands of not only farmers and growers, but Kiwis who understand the vital role they play in our economy.

So I really want people to remember these important facts:

  • 350,000 people are employed in the primary sector;
  • we feed 40 million people globally;
  • we make up 80% of New Zealand’s export revenue;
  • that’s $9000 of export revenue for every New Zealander.

As a farmer and Primary Industry MP, I know there are many issues for us to tackle thanks to Labour. We also have our own industry priorities. if you haven't read them they can be found here.

It was great to meet with the Groundswell NZ team on the steps of Parliament on November 25 to receive thousands of letters addressed to Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor. 



Te Awamutu College year 12 student Brylee Gibbes (pictured) is going to do a great job as my Youth MP for 2022. This able young woman, who sent me a fantastic application, has an amazing array of talents. So I am very much looking forward to working with her!



As the year draws to a close and I look back on 2021, I know we have all missed the freedom of doing things we like to do as well as being together, when and where, we’ve felt like it.
So let’s catch our breath and go into summer with respect and tolerance.
2022 will bring a new set of challenges for us to tackle so take time to rest … enjoy the company of loved ones and remember … they are what’s most important.



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