I know I’m not voting for Labour next election, and that I’ve never voted National. But now I have an even better reason for continuing my “never-vote-for-National” stance. I was appalled to read their latest farming policy. My comments are in brackets:
‘Getting back to farming’ – This morning National announced its 2023 Election policy on farming¹, which would:
- double the Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) scheme to 38,000 per year within five years;
- eliminate the median wage requirement for temporary work visas for farm workers, as well as create paths to residency for such workers; [ keep those peasants poor and dependant]
- issue multi-year visas for workers who have worked one season prior to applying for the multi-year visa;
- keep working holiday makers out of the Employer Accredited Scheme and give working holiday makers another year on their visa if they work in horticulture or viticulture for at least six months in their first year; [Preferably people who expect less money]
- allow storage ponds, sheds and off-farm dairy factories in the National Policy Statement on highly productive land; [This environmental “stuff” is getting in the way of profits]
- suspend or replace stock exclusion and winter grazing rules that stop farmers from allowing stock close to water bodies or to gather together on hilly and puggy ground in winter; [This environmental “stuff” is getting in the way of profits]
- change rules on culverts and wetlands to only include existing ‘actual wetlands, rather than areas of limited environmental value’; and, [If you’ve managed to avoid the nosey, intrusive, environmental nazis then good on you. We’re right behind you]
- introducing a Rural Regulation Review Panel to vet any new regulation, and to repeal two regulations for each new one introduced. [Especially if they protect the environment]
This policy is a serious disgrace.
If National is serious about being the next Government and this is the best it can offer to its natural constituents in our rural sector then they should sack their policy team. They need to be reminded that it’s now the 21st Century.
Where is the leadership? Where is the vision? Where is Climate Change?
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