Investing in our rural communities

Farmers and growers have been the economic backbone for New Zealand throughout COVID-19, and our primary sector will be at the heart of our recovery. This week, as Fieldays gets underway, we’ve outlined the next steps in our work with farmers to secure our recovery.

It has been a busy few days at Fieldays! Our Labour team has been out and about in force – and we’ve been really enjoying meeting with people and hearing perspectives from across the country.

Along with meeting with farmers, growers, and rural businesses, the team has also announced new initiatives to grow jobs, boost productivity, and support the primary sector with its work to reduce emissions.

In case you missed the news, here’s a quick look at what we’ve announced this week.

We’re backing innovation in our food and fibres sector

As part of our Fit for a Better World roadmap, which we launched last year to boost export earnings over the next decade, we’ve targeted investments in primary sector projects that drive innovation, improve sustainability and create jobs.  This includes co-investing in projects like trialling biodegradable nappies made from New Zealand wool, finding sustainable pest management practices to produce food and wine, looking into leaf protein to help lower on-farm emissions, and more.

We’ve also supported more than 5,000 people into jobs in the primary sector, through the Opportunities Grow Here campaign. Read more here

We’re researching new ways to clean up our water

We know that it’s vital we protect our precious streams, rivers, and lakes. To help us do this, we’re partnering with the primary industry to investigate Ecotain, a new plantain cultivar whose use could help improve freshwater quality and protect our waterways. 

Through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund, we’re investing in a programme that will trial using Ecotain as an animal feed on farms. It is believed that when used on a large scale, it has potential to demonstrably reduce nitrate-leaching into rivers and streams. 

This will help to protect precious native species and clean up our waterways, without impacting farm profitability. We’re backing our farmers and growers so, together, we come out of COVID stronger than we went in. Read more here

We’re backing exporters to drive our recovery

Farmers and growers have been the economic backbone for New Zealand throughout COVID-19. Our primary sector has been, and will continue to be, at the heart of our recovery. So it’s encouraging to see that, according to the latest forecasts, Aotearoa’s primary sector and export revenue is on track to hit a record $49.1 billion for the year ending June 2022.

We’re supporting farmers, growers, fishers, and makers to continue this strong growth, with initiatives like Fit for a Better World and Opportunity Grows Here.

While the effects of COVID will be felt for some time, we’re proud of the hard work of our primary sector and confident that, as we continue to work together, we can secure our recovery and lay foundations for the future. Read more here

We’re connecting our rural communities

In today’s world, being online is essential for business, education, and recreation. We’re committed to ensuring that more rural communities enjoy the social and economic benefits of fast, reliable broadband connection. As part of our rural broadband rollout, we’re installing mobile broadband towers around the country to improve connectivity in our regions. 

This week, we celebrated the 250th tower going up, in Waikato’s Wiltsdown. We’ve now improved connectivity for more than 62,000 rural households and businesses – it’s just one way we’re backing our rural communities as we secure our recovery. Read more here

These are just the latest initiatives we’ve put in place to support our primary sector as we continue our COVID recovery. You can read about everything we’re doing to back our farmers, growers and rural communities here.

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