National would introduce a new work visa, the primary sector visa, to help attract migrants fill chronic labour shortages which was leading to food rotting after it had been produced.

The party is also proposing a mobile health clinic pilot for rural communities to provide "warrant of fitness" stile health check.

And it would increase penalties for passengers breaching biosecurity rules at the border from $400 to $1000.

They are among the 26 proposals in a draft policy document released by leader Simon Bridges at Fieldays in Hamilton today.


It is the third of a series of policy documents the party has released this year.

In a speech at Fieldays, Bridges said the primary sector contributed $45 billion in export revenue and employed over 350,000 people.

"We understand that farmers and growers are concerned about mounting workforce shortages, employment law reforms, climate change and environmental regulations and increasing taxes.

"Farmers and growers are crying out for skilled labour but there isn't enough workers to meet demand," Bridges said.

"Many are experiencing serious implications of food rotting because of a lack of labour stifling growth and will have to downsize. A solution is needed now."

The primary sector visa would act as an avenue for skilled and experienced migrants to help get residence and build their futures here, he said.

"We know we cant rely in immigration solely. We need to train New Zealanders to work in the rural sector."

But last year the Government had announced the closure of Taratahi, the leading vocational training establishment.


Bridge also spoke about methane targets in the Zero Carbon legislation and the Government's aim to plant one billion trees in 10 years.

"Well-meaning incentives are driving perverse outcomes," he said.

"The Government is proposing an onerous methane target with no scientific backing, and farmers are not going to be able to meet it."

He said hill country farmers were also concerned about the impact of the one billion tree programme on rural communities.

"The arbitrary target is overriding best land use resulting in trees being planted in the wrong place.

"Government needs to be cautious of subsidising forest plantings and skewing the overseas investment rules against pastoral farming."

"We will not let rural New Zealand fade into a sea of trees."