NZKGI’s manifesto document is used for discussion with government and political parties. The document outlines the key concerns of kiwifruit Growers and can be read here.
Questions to Political Parties
In preparation for the upcoming General Election, NZKGI has taken the initiative to provide growers with the necessary information to make informed voting decisions by sharing the positions of various political parties. We are presenting questions that address the primary concerns of our industry, with the request that the political parties provide their viewpoints on these issues and how they intend to address them.
The answers to the questions will be posted to the bottom this page as they are received.
1. The cost of growing kiwifruit is increasing significantly. A major driver of these costs are regulations from local and national Government which are putting Growers under increased financial stress. What will your party do to reduce these costs for growers?
2. Labour: Access to People. Despite investment into automation, a lack of access to seasonal workers means that can’t achieve the sustainable growth that our industry needs in areas where automation is currently unavailable. The increasing costs and immigration processes for seasonal workers are causing uncertainty and negatively impacting business confidence. What will your party do to increase access to good people?
3. The RSE Policy has been vital in addressing labour shortages in the horticulture and viticulture sectors, but like any policy, there is always room for improvement. How does your party plan to further progress the RSE policy review to ensure it remains relevant, robust, and adaptable to changing dynamics in the labour market, global trends, and industry requirements? Can you highlight specific areas that your party will focus on in terms of amendments or refinements to the existing policy to cater to both the welfare of the seasonal workers as well as the needs of the growers?
4. In recent times, the availability of proper accommodation for the seasonal workforce (e.g. WHV and New Zealanders relocating for seasonal work) has emerged as a pressing issue, with direct implications on the welfare of the workers as well as the operational capabilities of the growers. How does your party plan to improve access to affordable, safe, and decent accommodation for the seasonal workforce, and consequently, foster a more stable and sustainable working environment in the industry?
5. Significant changes for growers are underway with regional councils working hard to update their freshwater policy and notify their regional policy statements and regional plans by the end of 2024, along with the phased rollout of the freshwater farms. Would your party make any changes to the legislation that is driving these requirements? If so, what would those changes look like?
6. Can you please share your party’s views around the potential to use precision breeding or gene editing to reduce the time taken to find new cultivars?
7. What is your parties’ stance on the RMA reform?
8. What support will your party offer to growers affected (past, present and future) by severe weather events?
9. How will your party support New Zealand Kiwifruit Growers?
10. Does your party support the Single Point of Entry?
11. Any final comments.