Word from the Mayor
I trust that as we work our way through January 2021 and settle into the new year you have taken some time to appreciate the district that we all call home.
No matter our location, politics, profession or personal situation there is no doubt that we have been effected by what we naively considered 12 months ago, would be the short term effect of Covid-19 but now with hindsight we have a much greater understanding of the long lingering impact of the virus and that there is likely to be fundamental changes to the way we live.
While many of us have been head down and focusing on getting our jobs done while dealing with the constraints to keep our families and colleagues safe. We have also been learning about the drastic impacts the virus is having on our markets, access to labour, supply chains and even the basis of our economy.
Consumers have become more concerned about the impact of production on the environment and is driving the need for producers to deliver a provenance story underpinned by authenticated data.
Our country is becoming heavily regulated despite being able to produce 10 times more food than we require ourselves we are facing down the barrel of this food becoming less accessible and more expensive due to escalating costs right at a time when we should be encouraging sustainability.
Why do we let over 98% of our alpine fed rivers go straight out to sea? We need to be promoting sustainable water storage and ultilization not prohibiting it??
It begs the question do you really want to import all your food from countries that have a significantly lower environmental standard than our own, a higher carbon footprint and non existent labour laws simply because of the regulatory costs we have burdened upon our producing sector.
New Zealand produces enough food to feed 50 million people yet thousands of kiwi children go without proper nutrition each and everyday.
Our primary producers are currently facing new laws within the freshwater framework – don’t get me wrong I agree with the fact that we want to preserve our fresh water status but I am concerned that the target will be met by farmers and farmers alone – we all play a part in maintaining this standard so we all should be part of the solution and not place the economic burden on the primary sector in isolation.