A positive finish to a tough year

Hard to believe another year is about to wrap up, and plenty won’t be sad to see the end of 2023. But at least we’re ending on a few positives. The spring has treated us pretty well really. We’ve been able to get seeds in the ground at sensible times. And so far, a mix of sun and rain has resulted in plenty of growth. Even though prices are rubbish, at least having feed gives us options.

The other big plus is news out of the new coalition government that they’ve agreed to implement the vast majority of the Feds’ pre-election wishlist. That is a huge relief. While we can’t kid ourselves this will be instant, it certainly is reassuring to know we are now represented in the government.

We’ve felt ignored and unrepresented for a long time now – not helped at all when those who were supposed to represent us in the government spent most of their time talking at us and telling us we were wrong, rather than listening to us. But they got a message from the voting booth and hopefully things will change. We won’t get it all our own way. The promise that the government will get out of our way and let us get back to farming is very welcome.

The strong message issued by Ag Minister Todd McClay that freshwater policy is set for a big change is also a relief. Environment Southland currently seem determined to push on regardless. We acknowledge that there are improvements that can and should be made. But we will be working very hard to ensure that the province isn’t dragged down a path towards unrealistic targets that deny the realities of economics and human impact.

The Feds team, both those employed and us "electeds" (who do this for fun in our spare time!), will be enjoying a much-needed break while all the local and national politicians, and all those who work for them, go quiet. We hope you can enjoy some downtime as well. Thanks for your support during 2023 and we look forward to a much more positive and productive 2024.


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