Rural issues debate a great success

// Industry

The Rural Issues Debate, held last week at the Mystery Creek Events Centre near Hamilton, generated a lot of robust discussion and feedback.

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Click here to access a recording of the debate on the NZ Herald website.

The debate featured politicians from all the main parties outlining their primary sector policies, ahead of the General Election, and how they’ll address the significant issues facing our sector. 

The panel featured Damien O’Connor (Labour), Eugenie Sage (Green Party), Todd McClay (National), Andrew Hoggard (Act), and Mark Patterson (New Zealand First). The debate focused on rural issues and the topics that affect the vast percentage of the New Zealand population that does not live in a major city centre – that’s around 2.5 million New Zealanders living outside of a major centre. 

Held in front of a live audience of nearly 300 people, over 35,000 more followed the livestream. 

The inaugural rural issues debate was organised by B+LNZ, DairyNZ and Federated Farmers. It was hosted and moderated by Newstalk ZB host Heather du Plessis-Allan. 

Speaking ahead of the debate, Beef + Lamb chair Kate Acland says it’s tough right now in rural New Zealand, profitability is under pressure and farmer confidence is low. 

“The Kiwis who depend on the primary sector for their livelihoods are feeling it too. We need politicians who are prepared to stand up for rural New Zealand and fight for sensible, workable and practical policy.” 

The purpose of the event was also to shine a light on rural issues to a wider New Zealand audience, and this was achieved as the event generated a lot of mainstream media coverage.  

It’s your opportunity to hear what the major political parties’ plans are for rural New Zealand.