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Building Strong Regions & Primary Industry

Regional Development Fund

Labour will:

Click here for our full policy


Support the growth of software businesses in Dunedin

Labour will:

  • Set up a Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) in Dunedin. The Centre will build on existing gaming and digital businesses and the existing academic centres. CODE would cost around $10m over ten years and would have three main elements:
    • set up a new Chair of Computer Gaming at Otago University
    • accelerate existing digital start-ups with an incubator space that includes a motion- capture studio, access to publishing software & mentorship programmes
    • establish a funding pool administered by private industry aimed at attracting young talent to the industry with post-school digital pathways and scholarships. 

Read the fact sheet here


Establishing a clear strategy and vision for our primary sector

Labour will: 

  • Progress the development of a Primary Industry Council and pan-sector strategy to fuel value-added growth for the sector and our economy
  • Re-establish robust, independent authority for food safety and biosecurity
  • Invest in the capability development, attraction and retention of talent for primary industries
  • Set baseline environmental standards that achieve social, environmental and economic outcomes for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Click here to read our full primary sector policy


Abundant, sustainable fisheries in a healthy marine environment

Labour’s primary focus will be on ensuring that our fisheries are sustainable and abundant and that ocean habitats are protected from the impacts of terrestrial and marine activities. Our current fisheries system lacks transparency and accountability – it has too many confusing and conflicting laws, regulations and rules, and not enough clarity about how all those measures are supposed to be achieved.

Read our full fisheries policy here


Growing our forestry sector

Wood and wood products are our third largest export industry. Our wood sector is innovative, from better forestry practices, to new manufactured products.

Recently, however, there has been a trend away from value-added wood processing and manufacturing
towards simply shipping raw logs overseas. 

Since 2008, the wood processing and manufacturing industry has lost 3,000 jobs. Wood processing and manufacturing exporting has fallen in real terms, while raw log exports have tripled. Local wood processers often say they struggle to get the logs they need while raw logs are sent overseas, with the jobs and value-add being captured in other countries.

The shift away from value-added to raw exports has led the chairman of the Wood Council to say the goal of lifting exports to $12b by 2022 isn’t going to be achieved. Government can do its part to help coordinate the needs of foresters with the processing and
manufacturing industry.

Increasing both commercial and native forest area in New Zealand is an important part of doing our bit to
combat climate change.

Labour will: 

  • Establish a New Zealand Forest Service in Rotorua to help coordinate forestry companies and manufacturers by developing a National Forestry Strategy. The Forest Service will also:
    • Plant commercial forests itself on Crown land and other land to provide certainty of supply to businesses investing in processing and manufacturing
    • Provide consultancy services for iwi and private owners to help them establish forests on their land
    • Be co-located with Scion, renamed the Forest Research Institute
    • Establish regional offices where required
  • Support wood manufacturing and processing by favouring wood for new government building projects, including KiwiBuild
  • Allocate up to $20m to help construct a new prefabricated housing plant in Gisborne
  • Help keep forestry in New Zealand hands by requiring the sale of logging rights on land over 50 hectares to be approved by the Overseas Investment Office for overseas purchasers
  • Work with the tertiary education sector to get more young people qualified to work in the forestry sector
  • Employ young unemployed people under the Ready for Work programme to carry out riparian tree planting to block run-off and serve as a carbon-sink.

Click here for our forestry policy


Rural Affairs

Labour will: 

Labour will:

  • Restore a voice for Rural Affairs at the Cabinet table by re-establishing the Rural Affairs ministerial portfolio
  • Reinstate a Rural Proofing policy to proactively assess government initiatives on rural communities
  • Engage with rural health professionals to ensure adequate access to emergency and acute treatment for all rural New Zealanders
  • Engage with rural support trusts to review the increasing level of dependence on these voluntary organisations for the provision of vital social support services in rural areas.

Click here for our rural affairs policy