Rural communities and families are at the core of National's Rural Issues discussion paper launched today, says National Party Leader John Key.
The paper was launched today at Fieldays at Mystery Creek, Hamilton, which Mr Key officially opened.
"National's connection with rural New Zealand has never been stronger, and we recognise the important role that vibrant rural communities play in New Zealand's economy and way of life in this paper," he says.
"The role of governments must be to support - not hinder - rural communities.
"The emerging international threat to the competitiveness of our rural industries is compounded by the continued rise in the cost burden on agriculture being imposed by the Labour Government.
"Compliance costs and red tape have risen dramatically over the past seven years. This kind of over-regulation leads to crippling costs on rural communities and families.
"Another major issue facing the agricultural sector is sustainability. The future of our primary products demands that we show to the world our agricultural goods are sustainably produced.
"We must tackle the Food Miles bullies who are using branding to label us as carbon wasteful when we are not."
Other proposals in the paper include:
· Supporting Research and Development
· Clearly defining and defending property rights
· Supporting a skilled and flexible labour market
· Encouraging the forestry sector, which will help meet our Kyoto commitments
· Investing in infrastructure, including roading, communications and energy
· Ensuring the Resource Management Act is more efficient and user-friendly
· Reintroducing competition to the accident compensation market
"National is committed to developing an effective and innovative rural policy. The feedback we receive on the paper will help us address key issues facing rural communities," says Mr Key.
The paper is available electronically at national.org.nz/ruralissues.Tweet