Focused on doing our part

Confidence and resilience. Two traits Southlanders have in spades and this government wants to grow.

Farming is the backbone of New Zealand’s economy and our region, and this government backs farmers.

We’re committed to meeting our climate change obligations without sending production offshore.

It makes no sense to send jobs and production overseas, while less carbon-efficient countries produce the food the world needs.

So we’re removing agriculture, animal processors and fertiliser companies from the ETS by year’s end.

For these organisations, emissions from non-farm activities will still be covered by the NZ ETS.

I visited Mataura’s Alliance plant last week and got a good overview of how the local meat processing industry is tracking.

We are focused on doing our part to give our hard-working farmers, processors and rural suppliers certainty for the future.

We are amending stock exclusion regulations on sloped land, repealing intensive winter grazing regulations and suspending Significant Natural Area (SNA) requirements.

Rural banking is a focus of our services review.

Our whole community will benefit from more funding for pothole prevention on Southland roads, increasing 40% to more than $72million.

Southland Rural Support Trust will get more, as the 14 regional trusts funding is jumping from $250,000 to $767,000 annually.

The new Regional Infrastructure Fund is providing $200m for flood resilience infrastructure.

While we want farming well-placed to lead the economic rebuild, we also want the next generation of Southlanders to have access to a world-class education.

That’s why we’re introducing consistent assessment tools so all Kiwi parents and teachers will know more about how our young people are learning.

At the earliest opportunity, parents deserve to know how their children are progressing at school.

Progression monitoring for reading, writing and maths will also be introduced for children in years 3-8 to inform teachers about the next steps needed for a child’s learning.