Northland: ACT: Mark Cameron
1. Kiwifruit is New Zealand’s largest horticultural export with New Zealand supply of kiwifruit forecast to increase from 148 million trays (2019) to nearly 190 million trays in 2027. Do you think the government has a role in preparing for and supporting this growth, if not why?
To answer the first question we as the Act party believe the industry standards should lead industry . Private enterprise is best driven by private enterprise . All to often it is acknowledged that there’s too much government in the lives of all of our farmers.
I caution we acknowledge that the government has a role to play but all too often it’s onerous nature , can further damage the well-being of private enterprise. Often it makes getting things done unnecessarily difficult.
As the Act party we would support any rural business, enterprise export earner. Acts position is that We support competent environmental policy ,free and fair trade with friendly OECD countries primarily .We also would repeal and then replace the RMA ,which is all too often A mitigation of productivity in The rural sector.
2. With labour shortages and the possible continuation of border closures next year how will you support the industry to ensure there is enough labour for harvest?
In regards to question two and labour shortages the current crisis at the border has made labour one of the most sought after commodities. We as the Act party acknowledge we need sensible border Covid mitigation. However the potentiality to open up SmartBoard technology to allow seasonal Packers in under specialised quarantine facilities partnered by the private and public sector Must happen.
To fill labour shortages from places such as the cook islands/Taiwan that are known not to have COVID-19 we will also sure up the border Technology to give some certainty that small businesses that continued lockdowns cannot be the new norm.
3. Given that Māori kiwifruit growers provide jobs and economic stability to their communities, what initiatives or support do you think the government should provide for new kiwifruit development on Māori land?
4. What investment should the government make to increase the participation and capability of Māori in all areas of the kiwifruit industry?
Question three and four candidly we see the best way to proceed is the overall productivity of the industry .
The risk of choosing to invest in one ethnic group over others ultimately creates unpleasant discourse . We believe in equal opportunity for all ,more over the best way to bring fiscal parity is to make the overall well-being of the industry increase . As the Act party we believe this is done through sensible taxation ,sensible policy and reduction in bureaucracy and red tape . There is an old adage that rings true every time ““A rising tide lifts all boats“.
5. Access to water is critical. Would you support government led initiatives for on orchard water storage facilities?
In regards to water storage and government lead initiatives for orchardists.
I would think this would be a better suited question for local council given regional realities i.e. topography ,rainfall ,potential soil erosion and other mitigating concerns.
Councils would be best To offer insights in this regard.
That I say that we as the Act party are acutely aware the best way to expedite a process in terms of construction i.e. getting things done would be expeditiously created by repealing the RMA.
In this way the government’s role would be small and more fluid in fixing the problem.
A one type Umbrella policy for the horticultural industry Would be hugely onerous.
However a less onerous more tailored environmental policy ,spurred on by the replacement of the RMA would certainly give regional body councils better tools to fix regional problems I.e. acknowledging on the ground issues where they occur and and what part of the country.
The Act party would work on a council by a council basis rather than a central narrative out of Wellington that all too often mitigate productivity
6. What drives you to run as a candidate in the general election? What do you hope to achieve?