Road trip to find direction

Politicians are visiting woolsheds across New Zealand to hear about the issues affecting farmers to help the government determine its "direction of travel".

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said the "tough time" for farmers over the past few years had included high domestic inflation rates, high interest rates, adverse weather events and increasing farm input costs.

"The immediate priority for the government is relieving the pressure that farmers have been feeling coming from the unworkable central government policies. That is why we are getting out on the road to hear directly from farmers."

Associate Agriculture Minister Hoggard said addressing unworkable and overly prescriptive regulation was a priority, so farmers could focus on being the most efficient food and fibre producers in the world.

"These meetings will be a great opportunity to talk directly with farmers about issues affecting them the most. I understand the importance of listening and staying connected to rural communities, as it helps [the] government determine the direction of travel," Mr Hoggard said.

For now, the national roadshow includes 19 stops.

The only initial southern stop is near Lumsden next month.

The tour started in Masterton on Monday last week, and visits a woolshed, opposite 874 Five Rivers-Lumsden Highway, between 1pm and 2.30pm on May 17.

The tour concludes in Northland on July 18.

A government spokesman said more dates and locations would be added to the roadshow including at least two meetings in Otago.

Details would be confirmed in due course, he said.