DAIRYNZ chief executive Tim Mackle has welcomed the portfolio allocations announced by the incoming Government, saying he looks forward to working with Damien O'Connor, Dr Megan Woods, David Parker and James Shaw on key issues facing the dairy sector.

"The incoming Government is promoting a new direction for the country at a time when our dairy sector also faces a new and exciting future," says Dr Mackle.

"The decade ahead will be transformational for the dairy sector. We have a strong mandate to concentrate on productivity - to produce more from less - and to do so sustainably.

"New Zealand dairy farmers are among the most productive in the world, so we have a good story to tell. But we know there is more work to be done."

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"We have a strong mandate to concentrate on productivity - to produce more from less - and to do so sustainably."

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Dr Mackle says DairyNZ supports initiatives that encourage farmers to use the best environmental practices and is aware agriculture has a role to play in ensuring New Zealand meets its climate change targets.

Under the Paris Agreement, New Zealand has committed to reducing its carbon emissions to 30per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This is just 12 years away, and significant change is required, he says.

"In fact, last week we openly called for the new Government to put in place an economy-wide plan outlining what the emission reduction expectations are for each sector over the longer term. Having this in place will allow New Zealand to transition to a low-carbon economy."

Dr Mackle says Government and dairy need to work together to identify what an emissions reduction pathway looks like before identifying what the right policy is to implement the change.

"We started this work under the National-led Government, and we hope we can do likewise under the Labour-led Government - and that all options are on the table."

Dr Mackle also notes the splitting of the primary industries portfolios, and that Damien O'Connor will be a key minister for the dairy sector, holding the agriculture, biosecurity, and food safety portfolios.

"We are confident that with Mr O'Connor's thorough understanding of the issues facing the dairy sector we will continue the good work already under way with Government to ensure a productive and sustainable primary sector.

"Our focus is to ensure dairy continues to have a balance between being competitive and profitable, while also meeting the expectations of our consumers and communities."
¦ NZME