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Conservation Week 2020 begins this weekend and it’s a great opportunity to reflect on the good being done in our region and think about how we can make things even better.

This year’s theme is: ‘See nature through new eyes’, which I feel is highly appropriate given the events of this year.

The Department of Conservation is encouraging us to take a fresh look at our natural spaces and wildlife.

We’re spoilt in Taranaki with our magnificent mountain and the opportunities we have to access the great outdoors. That’s one of the reasons National were so supportive of the Project Mounga Taranaki project, launched in 2015 as a collaboration between the NEXT Foundation, DOC, Iwi and the Taranaki community. It’s an example of what’s possible when people join forces to work towards a common goal and was again highlighted when we launched Predator Free NZ 2050 in 2016. We said at the time that such an ambitious objective would require a massive team effort across the public, private, Iwi and community sectors, and we’ve seen great signs of that since then.

One of those sectors is farming. The obvious benefits for everyone of pest control and improving the environment are becoming increasingly prominent in their approach to land management.

Unfortunately due to the latest Covid-19 situation I've had to cancel a meeting at the Oaonui Hall tomorrow with Agriculture Spokesperson David Bennett, who would have had some encouraging words for locals.

David knows Farmers are working hard to increase the sustainability of their farms. He says it’s the major goal of our processors as we meet the increasing market demands of our customers. Farmers have undertaken significant activities in fencing off waterways and in greater effluent storage and systems in recent years.

Taranaki Farmers are environmentally savvy, with their riparian planting leading the country and an awareness of issues around land use. They’re under huge pressure and that’s contributing to making a career in agriculture less attractive. Many existing farmers hoping their children will follow them are finding a distinct lack of interest in taking over the farm.

I believe agriculture has a bright future and that our farmers’ proven ability to innovate will continue to yield quality produce while protecting and enhancing our environment.

This week, Judith Collins released National's Conservation Policy. You can read it here https://www.national.org.nz/conservation 

I would welcome your feedback.

 

Jonathan Young
MP for New Plymouth
National Party Spokesperson: Energy & Resources
National Party Spokesperson: Arts, Culture & Heritage

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