There is a disconnect between our government’s lobbying for a trade agreement with the UK and the EU and failing to foster an environment in New Zealand for increased commerce and trade post-Covid, so that we have the products and services available to sell in these markets.

A freeze on skilled immigrants vital for the farming and horticulture sector has been a sticking point between the government and the primary industry. We are an agricultural nation and can’t afford to lose income in the dairying and horticultural sectors, which are a crucial part of our economy, as tourism and export education take a back seat for the near future.

The government has set its sights on high level skilled migrants to improve productivity; a worthy goal, but not achievable right away. To this end our cruel, not kind, government is ignoring the cries for desperately needed lower skilled immigrant workers for farming and horticulture (not to forget hospitality, infrastructure and other sectors screaming out for workers).

The problem with the left’s ideology is, it’s devoid of nuance. The government is like a toddler with its instant gratification demands.

As the rock group, Queen, so succinctly put it “I want it now and I want it all”.

Articulate advocate for the dairy sector Dr Ian Mackle, CEO of Dairy NZ, recently sounded pathetically thankful for a measly 200 workers agreed to by (tone deaf, arrogant) Chris Fa’afoi. In reality they need well over 1,000.

The government’s loose as a goose and badly managed MIQ has much to answer for. They could be bringing in hundreds more workers every week, reimagining quarantining, as more returning vaccinated people could free up more beds. But their lack of agility and pivoting ability (which poor unemployed kiwis are supposed to be expert at) stymies us moving forward, as does their vaccine rollout debacle.

The government’s propensity for handing out money to people who don’t want to work, coupled with their refusal to put any pressure on job seekers to take some of these jobs, has the situation at a stalemate.

Kiwis do not want to work on dairy farms. It’s dirty, tough work and they can’t face it.

President Roosevelt once said, referring to dealing with hard times:

“You can choose to do what you can with what you have where you are

We are moving out of hard times, so need to follow that adage. Pick up from where we were, don’t try and reimagine everything from your fanciful ideology (which could be badly flawed). Nurture our well-established industries and people, take care of their needs, whilst looking ahead at other possibilities; rather than putting paralysing regulations on businesses which make up our economy and create trade.

The government’s vision should be one of taking New Zealanders with them as we move into uncertain times, discovering our new reality.

Instead, we have a government who, to add insult to injury, have now introduced the SNA – Significant Natural Areas caveats, essentially a land grab on farmers, excluding Maori land, to add more pressure and anxiety on our farmers. And, to put the cherry on the top, throw in a ‘race baiting’ public insult of Westland farmers, courtesy of James Shaw.

Earlier this year Grant Robertson said in Parliament ‘pick a side’. It truly is us and them. We know which one you are on, mate.

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Trade Talks in London as Friction with Farmers Simmers
Wendy Geus

Wendy Geus

I did my writing apprenticeship as a communications advisor. Like all writers, I am highly opinionated, so freelance writing is best for me. I abhor moral posturing, particularly by NZ politicians. I avoid...