Science the key to our decisions

“A set of principles shapes National’s primary sector decision-making,” says agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger.

Fresh from last weekend’s annual conference, she says: “The sector is currently worth $52 billion to New Zealand and growing. It underpins our economy.

“Certainty and confidence are what the sector needs from a government and that is what we intend to provide them,” she says.

“Technology is key to achieving emissions reductions, not taxing or banning things.

“We need to manage emissions while retaining food and fibre production, because it is crucial that we don’t lose our industry in the process.

“Therefore the principles we apply are:

  • taking a science-based approach;
  • focusing on innovation and technology (rather than reducing herd numbers);
  • giving long term economic signals, while considering and managing the wider impacts, and
  • working with our international partners, rather than in isolation.

“Our decisions must focus on economic and social factors, as well as the environment.

We are world class at what we do. Yet our No 8 wired way of operating is being strangled by regulation.

“We now have bureaucratically driven unworkable rules with a ‘one size fits all’ approach, which I can assure you does not fit anyone.

“Farmers, growers and foresters, plan years in advance due to the cycles of nature, so they need surety which National will provide them with.”