Mark Patterson - One Year in Government



I’m proud to be part of a Government that is committed to supporting the primary sector and the heartland communities which serve as its foundation. In our first year in Government, we've walked the talk.

The sector faces challenges on multiple fronts. Weather volatility and unprecedented biosecurity challenges are hampering the sector's productive output. Fluctuating commodity prices and high levels of rural debt are making for uncertain times among our rural communities. 

It all starts with recognising the economic necessity that New Zealand’s primary sector, and therefore rural communities, thrive.

During coalition negotiations, New Zealand First secured an increase to MPI and Biosecurity NZ’s resourcing, some of which was delivered through Budget 2018, and a Select Committee Inquiry into our biosecurity performance.

In 2018, we initiated a decisive response to M. bovis, and have ensured that no resource rentals for water would be imposed in this term of Parliament, and that existing Crown irrigation commitments would be honoured.

We also ensured that in the event agriculture is included in the Emissions Trading Scheme, the sector would get free allocation of carbon credits covering 95 per cent of emissions upon entry, and all revenues from this source would be recycled back into agriculture in order to encourage agricultural innovation, mitigation and additional planting of forestry, ensuring a measured transition for our farming businesses.

New Zealand First also secured a commitment to examine agricultural debt mediation as well as receivership fees and charges, recognising the threat that high levels of rural debt pose to the livelihoods of our primary producers. This was realised this year after I introduced the Farm Debt Mediation Bill to the House, which will require independent debt mediation before a receivership can start.

This year, the Government stepped up to the plate for our primary sector, and, for the rest of the term, we’ll there all the way ensuring the Government remains responsive to the concerns of the sector and that common-sense prevails for our rural communities.



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