Portfolio shuffle seems positive for agriculture

Aside from retaining the steady hand of Banks Peninsula farmer David Carter as the newly-created Minister for Primary Industries, Federated Farmers is supportive of other Cabinet appointments following the General Election which should prove sympathetic to agriculture.

Horowhenua farmer Nathan Guy joins Carter as his new associate minister and also tackles the immigration portfolio.

The rural perspective will be useful when considering issues on migrant workers. Environment and Climate Change Minister Nick Smith has added planning issues to his portfolio by taking on local government.

This could see significant change in this sector as Smith has been involved in the restructuring of Environment Canter- bury during the last three years. Energy and resources is an increasingly important portfolio, particularly for rural communities on several fronts.

Kate Wilkinson keeps conservation and labour. The Federation hopes new Cabinet minister Amy Adams will put her rural background to good use with the communications and information portfolio, especially when working on rural broadband.

The South Island's Gerry Brownlee picks up the transport portfolio.

Brownlee should provide a bit more balance to the nation's transport strategies which have seemed quite Auckland- focussed during the past three years.

Former Transport Minister Steven Joyce picks up the innovation supply chain cluster of portfolios comprising economic development, science and innovation, tertiary education, skills and employment.

Federated Farmers expects Joyce's appointment will lead to further innovation in this area. Maurice Williamson is retaining land information which will give continuity on high country issues.

The Federation is happy Tim Groser, who has proved a very competent minister, is keeping trade and climate change negotiations. A minister to watch will be Jonathan Coleman, who will have his work cut out to carve out a lean and efficient state sector as the State Services Minister.

- Hamilton News

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