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RURAL

Rural Women NZ says time to bring back Minister of Rural Affairs

Monday 14 November 2011, 8:51AM
By Rural Women New Zealand
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Rural Women New Zealand welcomes news that the re-appointment of a Minister of Rural Affairs is back on the political agenda.

The position was axed three years ago, leaving many rural people without a direct voice in Parliament.

“Only 14% of the population who identify themselves as rural actually work in agriculture,” says Rural Women New Zealand National President, Liz Evans.

“We don’t believe the interests of the other 86% of the rural population can be realistically and effectively represented by a Minister of Agriculture and Biosecurity, who already has a huge and specific workload.

“We were assured three years ago that rural community interests would be addressed by other Ministries, but often rural concerns seem to be marginalised and wait listed. As a result, Rural Women New Zealand still sees the need for the reinstatement of a Minister of Rural Affairs.”

Our brief to the Minister would be to safeguard the wider rural perspective in all legislation and to champion rural issues to the whole of government by encouraging rural impact assessments on all legislation and policy.