A strong, healthy and diverse agricultural sector is essential to an economically viable and environmentally sustainable New Zealand.
Our Agriculture and Rural Affairs Policy is about future-proofing our economy by protecting our environment.
The Green Party will prepare for the future by reducing our agricultural dependency on oil, agri-chemicals, and imported feedstock. We will also protect our soils and our water quality.
New Zealand has a clean, green image; our Agricultural and Rural Affairs Policy would keep it real.
- All rural production land must be managed in ecologically sustainable ways
- New Zealand must live up to its reputation as "Clean and Green" and an exporter of high quality products to maintain its export reputation
- Rural communities should be able to provide for the economic, educational, health and social needs of their residents.
- The New Zealand environment must be kept GE free.
Specific Policy Points
Ensuring a Fairer Approach to Trade
- Strongly support mandatory country of origin labelling for all single-ingredient imported agricultural products
- Address "food miles" by supporting farmers to reduce emissions during production and by educating overseas consumers to shift the debate from 'food miles' to 'ecological footprints'
Reducing Dependency on Oil, Agrichemicals and Imported Grains
- Support the development of economically and ecologically viable biofuel production, especially from waste products
- Fund more research, education and support in transition away from industrialised, fossil fuel supported agriculture.
- Increase New Zealand's self-sufficiency in basic foodstuffs, especially grains
Growing the Organic Sector
- Promote the target of half of New Zealand's production becoming certified organic by 2025.
- Short-term loans and guarantees to producers making the switch to organics.
- Redirect funding for research into the development of organic systems, design and practice.
- Promote and encourage the establishment of educational opportunities in organic production.
Further Sustainability on Rural Land
- Limit urban sprawl to prevent loss of prime agricultural land
- Promote and encourage diverse farm forestry and woodlots on agricultural land
- Investigate the benefits of an agrichar/biochar industry.
- Encourage licensed cultivation of industrial hemp in economically depressed rural areas.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farming
- Promote organic agriculture to increase carbon sequestration, nutrient buffering, and healthy animal gut condition.
- Place the liability for any increased emissions over 1990 levels from the dairying and deer farming sectors with the large processing companies rather than with individual farmers.
- Support ways of reducing methane and nitrous oxide production per hectare and per animal
Reducing GE and Biosecurity Threats to Agriculture
- Keep genetic research organisms completely contained in a secure indoor laboratory,
- Prohibit genetically modified and transgenic organisms that are intended for release into the environment or food chain.
- Maintaining "zero" tolerance for all live GE derived imports.
- Develop a Biosecurity Strategy based on a precautionary approach.