This week, The Country is catching up with representatives from Labour, National, Act, NZ First and the Greens, to find out what they're offering the rural sector this election.
Here is Jamie Mackay's interview with Labour's agriculture spokesman, Damien O'Connor.
Minister for Agriculture Damien O'Connor says farmers should still vote for Labour this weekend, despite the controversy surrounding his party's environmental policies.
"We need to move ourselves into a sustainable space where we have a social licence to carry on not just general support, but actually enthusiastic support for farmers and for food producers in this country - because we are at the core of the economy - many people don't appreciate that," O'Connor told The Country's Jamie Mackay.
One way Labour aimed to help farmers was with a pledge of $50 million to streamline red tape for farmers and growers. Mackay suggested that perhaps O'Connor could save that money by getting rid of the red tape in the first place.
"That's not quite true actually," O'Connor said.
"We've had compliance costs because the people we trade with want to know that we've got safe food [and] the processing of that has integrity. They have been placing obligations on us that sometimes they don't place on their own farmers - that unfair situation is the one that we're in."
Other ways Labour had helped rural communities was to put $1.9 billion into training and apprenticeships for the agriculture sector, as well as extra funding rural broadband and mental health initiatives, O'Connor said.
Despite this, many New Zealand farmers were unhappy with Environment Minister David Parker's freshwater reforms. O'Connor said this sentiment was "stirred up" by people like Mackay.
Although Parker was a "good mate" of O'Connor's, he said he'd still had "plenty of debates" over the freshwater policy with the Environment Minister.
"We're trying to get it right. It is around, over a generation, getting our water quality back to where it is, reducing the sediment and the runoff and the waste of our soils, appreciating our soils more and all of that plays into the things I'm trying to do with animal welfare, with better practice, and us lifting our products up the value chain."
While O'Connor acknowledged the reforms would be "tough" for some, he insisted they could be achieved by farmers sharing best practice with those that were struggling, along with help from the government.
This sentiment wasn't shared by everyone however, and Mackay mentioned a farmer who told him he was "one of several" to walk out of a recent meeting with Parker.
"Why should you walk out and not stay engaged? This is what happens all too often," O'Connor said.
"And it is easy to walk outside and go and do something on the farm ... I know what it's like - I've done it myself - but actually staying engaged and trying to better understand the rationale of why we're doing this is really important."
"When that opportunity is there - why do you turn your back just because you disagree with someone?"
Also in today's interview: O'Connor said his party wasn't putting a positive spin on farmers' reactions at recent meetings in Southland.