Farmers, foresters and fishing folk rejoice – the govt is fixing your wellbeing to a 10-year plan (and film-makers have not been forsaken)

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The government’s economic engineers were hard at work yesterday.  One minister was set on establishing a base for film production in Christchurch while – much more critically for the wellbeing of the nation – a cluster of others led by the PM were unveiling their grand design for reshaping the primary sector.  If they get it wrong (and we should never be sure politicians will get this sort of thing right), our economy will be dealt a greater mischief than ever was done by a pandemic.

Environment Minister David Parker was busy in the planning business, too, announcing appointments to the newly established Freshwater Planning Process and the Expert Consenting Panels for fast-track consenting.

Wearning his Attorney-General hat he also announced a new Judge of the High Court.

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway, meanwhile, was announcing immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised.

This is being done by –

  • Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 by 6 months (16,500 workers)
  • Shifting the stand down by 6 months to February 2021 (600 workers)
  • Ensuring New Zealanders needing work continue to be prioritised.

Williams, as Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, declared she was playing more than a bit part in the film industry by announcing she is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch.

The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act 2016 be used to amend the Christchurch District Plan and the Canterbury Regional Policy Statement.

The Proposal identifies the film industry as an immediate regeneration opportunity and a potential growth area for Christchurch.

Williams says current planning documents do not specifically address the establishment and operation of permanent commercial film or video production facilities in the city.

The Proposal’s intention is to provide a clearer, more certain, and more enabling regulatory environment, encouraging the establishment of such facilities in seven specific zones within Christchurch.

The Proposal can be viewed and written comments made online at:

But the news with the greatest economic, environmental and social implications for the nation was the government’s launch of “a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs”.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, described as a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value for a sector vital to New Zealand’s economic recovery.

It has three key themes:

  • Productivity: adding an additional $44 billion in export earnings over the next decade through a focus on creating value.
  • Inclusiveness: employing 10 per cent more New Zealanders from all walks of life in the food and fibre sector by 2030, and 10,000 more New Zealanders in the primary sector workforce over the next four years.
  • Sustainability: reducing our biogenic methane emissions to 24-47 per cent below 2017 levels by 2050; and 10 per cent below by 2030. Plus restoring New Zealand’s freshwater environments to a healthy state within a generation.

Ardern said:

“To further kick-start delivery of the roadmap we’re accelerating nearly $100 million via the flagship Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures fund and in forestry for innovative and creative projects.

“The Fit for a Better World Roadmap spells out practical ways for the sector to fetch more value, create more jobs and bolster our green reputation in a global pandemic environment to ensure New Zealand builds back better, together.

“The Government is already backing parts of the roadmap with more than $1.5 billion invested in freshwater quality, water storage, supporting exporters, reducing agriculture emissions, assisting farmer catchment groups, the One Billion Trees scheme, getting people into sector jobs, rural sector resilience and developing new high-value crops.”

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor chipped in by releasing the Primary Sector Council’s Vision and Strategic Outline and bringing spiritual beliefs into considerations

“We need to create new billion-dollar, category-leading products services for consumers here and overseas, while respecting Te Taiao – the natural world. “

If you do not work in the primary sector, by the way, you will not be regarded as a partner in contributing  to whatever takes shape.  Not unless you can pass the ethnicity test:

“Over the coming months we’ll be working with the sector on rolling it out. There is huge potential in this Roadmap but it can only be achieved through a close partnership with industry and Māori.”

While you might not be considered a partner when it comes to contributing ideas, you will be a parrner in terms of contributing money.

Existing funding will be redirected to kick-start delivery of the Roadmap in two areas:

  • Bringing forward $84 million to upscale Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures (SFF Futures) to further boost innovation efforts.  This is on top of the $70 million available for the next two years.  SFF Futures supports problem-solving and innovation in New Zealand’s food and fibre sectors by co-investing in initiatives that make a positive and lasting difference, from small grassroots community projects to large-scale industry development.
  • Using $11.6 million from the One Billion Trees Fund to invest in the ‘Transforming Forestry and Wood Processing’ initiative.  This includes:
    • Developing a virtual Centre of Excellence for Timber Design and Specification to help develop and grow new domestic and export markets.
    • Working with industry to improve the profitability and resilience of the sector by developing options to ‘co-locate’ complementary wood processing sites in regional manufacturing clusters.
    • Supporting the development of new uses and markets for wood residues to help New Zealand meet its carbon reduction obligations.
    • Developing an industry transformation plan for Forestry and Wood Processing sector, including industry engagement, market research, economic modelling, and developing a pathway for greater investment in value-added processing of logs in NZ

The Fit for a Better World Roadmap incorporates initiatives the Government is already investing in. To support transformation, the Government has provided:

  • $122 million towards supporting farmer-led solutions as part of Government’s $229 million investment in Productive and Sustainable Land Use
  • $31 million to implement improved monitoring of the fishing catch on commercial fishing vessels, including for monitoring of on-board cameras and support for new protections for Hector’s and Māui dolphins
  • $480 million in forestry, through the One Billion Trees and Crown Forestry Joint Venture Programme.

In Budget 2020, the Government has provided:

  • $1.1 billion has been invested to create 11,000 environment jobs in our regions
  • $111.2 million has been invested to provide support for rural and fishing communities, ensure the supply of food to New Zealanders and address animal welfare issues, address market access issue for horticulture, and attract New Zealanders to employment opportunities in the primary sector, made up of:
    • $5.4 million for critical resources to identify and manage animal welfare issues
    • $15 million to reduce food waste by redirecting food to people in need
    • $20.2 million to help rural and fishing communities recover from COVID-19
    • $25.3 million to attract and train recently unemployed New Zealanders
    • $45.3 million to fund secure containment for new imported plant varieties and breeding material that requires testing for pests, and to enable the introduction of imported plant material for the horticulture sector to develop new and innovative high-value crops and cultivars.

Significant investment has been allocated from the Provincial Growth Fund for water storage initiatives, at $134 million over the last two years, and in fencing waterways, water reticulation and riparian management, at $100 million.


7 JULY 2020

Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work

The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says.

Hon Iain Lees-Galloway



7 JULY 2020

Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed

Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP).

Hon David Parker



7 JULY 2020

Appointment of Judge of the High Court

Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today.

Hon David Parker



7 JULY 2020

Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities

The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch.

Hon Poto Williams

Greater Christchurch Regeneration


7 JULY 2020

Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery

The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs.

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern Hon Stuart Nash Hon Damien O’Connor Hon Shane Jones

Prime Minister





3 thoughts on “Farmers, foresters and fishing folk rejoice – the govt is fixing your wellbeing to a 10-year plan (and film-makers have not been forsaken)

  1. It’s just another line of troughs for the ones that love to spout total garbage to have another overpaid platform to pontificate from.


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