Wanganui Chronicle

Columns
Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Lately there has been plenty of work for the Primary Production select committee, of which I am chair.

In fact, the committee is well represented in this region with Whanganui MP Chester Borrows and Taranaki-King Country MP Barbara Kuriger both members.

We have had three bills to consider recently, including the Agricultural Chemicals and Veterinary Medicines (ACVM) bill, the Geographical Indicators (Wines and Spirits) bill and the New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Amendment bill 2015.

The ACVM bill controls the use of protective measures for data supplied when either registering new, or changing the use of chemical products used in agriculture. It also extends the period of protection from five to eight years for confidential information given in support of an application to register an innovative trade name product.

The Geographical Indicators (Wines and Spirits) bill amends the Geographical Indications (Wine and Spirits) Registration Act 2006 and, in particular, it addresses some issues identified with the principal act.

The New Zealand Horticulture Export Authority Act established a framework to promote the effective export marketing of horticultural commodities, and the amendment does not substantively alter this framework. Rather it seeks to provide more flexibility for product groups in developing their export strategies, and additional clarity around processes.

On Thursday, the select committee met with representatives from the Deer Farmers Association in Parliament who briefed us on their industry.

Chair Andy McFarlane and chief executive Dan Coup were able to share the industry's encouraging success story. Both velvet and Cervena (their meat brand) are performing very well, and I have no doubt that much of this success can be attributed to the association which provides effective leadership and representation while inspiring growth and supporting sustainability.

The Law and Order select committee is doing some work around the use of firearms in crime in New Zealand which will be very interesting. Rest assured it is not about revisiting the ownership of firearms by law-abiding New Zealand citizens.

On another note, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the many Wanganui athletes who represented their school and competed in rowing's National Secondary Schools' Championship regatta in Twizel last week.

There were a number of podium finishes with Whanganui High School crews qualifying for four A finals and winning a gold and a bronze medal. Wanganui Collegiate enjoyed their most successful regatta in recent years with 11 A finals and a medal tally including a gold, silver and two bronzes.

This city has a proud history of rowing and, of course, the Whanganui River provides the perfect training ground.