THE importance of New Zealand’s economic powerhouse is due to go on show once again.
The 55th National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek from June 14-17 is a timely reminder to us all that we are a nation which makes its living by producing food and selling it to the world.
Rural and provincial New Zealand are our greatest earners with some 350,000+ people working in the primary sector.
They feed us and 40 million+ people globally, earning around 80% of NZ’s total export revenue or about $9000 for every New Zealander.
Fieldays is the biggest agricultural event in the Southern Hemisphere for good reason.
It plays a key role in showcasing best practice, education, cutting-edge technology and innovation.
Over the years various themes have been developed, along with concentrated hubs like Education and Health to name but two.
This year, Fieldays organisers are launching a new Sustainability hub under the theme ‘The Time To Act Is Now’ — a fitting addition as we respond to environmental changes in today’s world.
We need to understand our challenges, learn what others are doing, and discover ways where we can be effective.
It’s also great to have Fieldays back in its winter time slot after three years of uncertainty due to COVID, a seasonal change last year, and its cancellation altogether in 2020.
I’ve been attending Fieldays for more than 40 years.
Now as both the local MP for Mystery Creek and an honorary vice-president of the Fieldays Society, I’m looking forward to this one with just as much excitement as my first, possibly even more!
Fieldays is a key social and support event for our rural communities.
We love to reconnect and catch up on what’s been happening in our lives and various parts of the country.
And once we get past talking about families and the weather, no doubt talk will move to the General Election and what’s to come.
Since 2017, the Government has introduced a slew of ideological rules and regulations, as they try to run the primary sector from Wellington.
It has resulted in our economy facing the greatest level of uncertainty in a generation.
Along with a high possibility of pushing our food production offshore.
In reply, National has launched its Getting Back to Farming policy which will make sweeping changes to undo the red tape and get farming out of the capital.
I urge everyone to read the detail of it by visiting the priorities section of the National Party website. It will make for good conversation when catching up with me and my fellow MPs at Fieldays.
I have a favourite quote … “If you ate today, thank a farmer”.
It was true the day it was written and remains even more so today.
But there’s also another by Canadian poet Brett Brian… “Farming is a profession of hope”.
It’s a quote used by many to describe the challenges and rewards of farming.
‘Hope’ may just be a hot topic at Fieldays 2023.
Hope that common sense is returned to government after October 14.
Because common sense isn’t so common in decision-making right now.
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