The Minister of Primary Industries needs to explain how the failure of its biosecurity systems led to the Pea Weevil incursion in the Wairarapa, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says
“The decision to ban the growing of peas in the region has huge implications for farmers. While the ambition to eradicate the pest is right, Labour has little faith the Ministry for Primary Industries can achieve this.
The slump in dairy prices that has seen farm prices drop to their lowest level since 2012 and down a third from their peak in 2014 will be of concern to farmers, banks and our overall financial stability, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.
“Two years of below break-even pay-outs have been tough for dairy farmers, and the impact is now spreading to the value of their farms. Dairy farm prices have dropped to their lowest level since July 2012, and are down 33 per cent from their peak in October 2014.
The Government must widen its inquiry into the Ministry for Primary Industries to include its awarding of a company owned by Sanford and Moana Pacific Fisheries to monitor commercial fishing vessels, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene says.
The Ministry for Primary Industries announced earlier this month it would appoint a lawyer to conduct an inquiry into claims it didn't prosecute skippers for dumping fish despite having video footage.
Labour’s Forestry spokesperson Stuart Nash will ask the Auditor-General to investigate a Malaysian forestry company’s failure to deliver on 20 years’ worth of promises to build a processing facility that has never appeared.
“Hikurangi Forest Farms’ 1996 purchase of over 33,000 hectares of Gisborne land was approved in a large part by the Overseas Investment Office on the basis it promised to build a ‘state of the art’ processing facility.
The confirmation of widespread Velvetleaf infestation in crops throughout New Zealand is a major risk to New Zealand’s arable and wider farming sectors, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says.
“The Ministry for Primary Industries’ admission that it has been focusing more on responding to incursions rather than border protection has allowed the importation of this dangerous weed.
Fonterra’s profit announcement will be small consolation for dairy farmers facing an extended period of low milk returns, says Labour’s Primary Industry spokesperson Damien O’Connor.
“The capital restructure of Fonterra which established Trading Among Farmers created an inevitable tension between the milk price and dividend payout. Outside investors have been demanding a better return on their unit investments.
The Minister of Māori Development is out of his depth if he thinks Māori rights currently being ripped away by the Government’s arrogance over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary will be settled by a select committee, says Labour's Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene.
“Te Ururoa Flavell is telling Māori media that the proposed Kermadec Sanctuary is good for everyone and Māori concerns can be addressed at select committee.
Jo Goodhew needs to come up with new ideas to back local forestry companies, instead of siding with overseas forest owners who simply send unprocessed logs overseas, says Labour’s Forestry spokesman Stuart Nash.
“Overseas companies are buying up forests and selling the logs directly offshore, cutting local sawmills out of the process, even though local sawmills are prepared to pay export-equivalent log prices. That’s not good enough. In Gisborne one sawmill can’t get guaranteed logs, despite being based on the doorstep of a large forest owned by an overseas consortium.