Labour's plan to reinstate a Minister of Rural Affairs if it wins the election has been welcomed by Rural Women NZ, which says the rural sector has been marginalised without an effective spokesperson.
The position was eliminated three years ago, by National, which Labour spokesman Damien O'Connor said "wiped out a powerful voice for rural communities all around New Zealand".
"Most countries with a strong rural focus understand the need for advocacy at Cabinet level. Labour will re-instate that voice.
Rural Women president Liz Evans said that left many people without a direct voice in Parliament.
“Only 14 percent of the population who identify themselves as rural actually
work in agriculture,” she said.
“We don’t believe the interests of the other 86 percent of the rural population can be realistically and effectively represented by a Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity, who already has a huge and specific workload."
A dedicated minister would provide a direct line of advocacy for the rural community, she said.
“We were assured three years ago that rural community interests would be addressed by other ministries, but often rural concerns seem to be marginalised and wait listed.”
Idealog has been covering the most interesting people, businesses and issues from the fields of innovation, design, technology and urban development for over 12 years. And we're asking for your support so we can keep telling those stories, inspire more entrepreneurs to start their own businesses and keep pushing New Zealand forward. Give over $5 a month and you will not only be supporting New Zealand innovation, but you’ll also receive a print subscription and a copy of the new book by David Downs and Dr. Michelle Dickinson, No. 8 Recharged (while stocks last).
Idealog is part of ICG. We work with clients like Woolworths New Zealand, All Good, Huffer, Liquorland, Resene, Citta Design, TVNZ, Spark and FCB on their event activations, in-store, in-office or out-of-home signage, content creation and vehicle wraps.