2023 Agriculture Policy

New Zealand First recognises the critical role of a thriving primary sector as the engine room of New Zealand’s economy as the earner of 82% of our country's foreign exchange. 

Emissions reduction plan. 

  • New Zealand First will not support emissions pricing in any form unless adopted by trading partners, especially the European Union.
  • New Zealand First supports the adoption of standardised farm level reporting,
  • New Zealand First will incentivise the uptake of the emissions reduction mitigations – such as low methane genetics, funded by repurposing money funded by the emissions trading scheme revenue and funds earmarked for the purchase of overseas carbon credits.  That with developing science, is commonsense as opposed to consigning from our economy billions of dollars to foreign economies as our response to climate change action.


  • Deliver a freshwater plan that actually works for the productive sector and the environment by replacing the Te Mana O te Wai in RMA planning and reinstate the ‘Four Wellbeing’ provisions.
  • New Zealand First supports Farm Environment Plans administered by Regional Councils and targeted at a catchment by catchment level.
  • Slash red tape and regulatory blocks on irrigation, water storage, managed aquifer recharge and flood protection schemes through the Regional Infrastructure Fund. 

Biodiversity and Special Natural Areas 

  • Put Property Rights into the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act and require full commercial compensation where any right is affected or taken.


  • Right tree, right place on land suited to forestry and protect productive farmland by excluding plantation forestry on LUC class 1, 2 and 3 land while limiting it to no more than 25% of LUC (Land Use Class) Class 4 land. 
  • Amend the National Environmental Standards for Plantation Forestry (NES-PF) to place a duty upon harvesters to contain and remove post-harvest slash. 
  • Amend the ETS to recognise farm forestry and shelter belts. 
  • Manufacturers Tax Rate of 20% will add tremendous value to raw logs. 
  • Amend the Overseas Investment Act to prevent foreign investment for farm forestry conversion on otherwise productive soils. 

Pest plants and animals

  • Enhance animal pest and plant biosecurity investment such as through investment in Jobs for Nature.

Regional Infrastructure

  • Establish a Regional Infrastructure Fund to ensure rural New Zealand has world-class infrastructure. 

Primary Sector Research and Development: 

  • Review the CRI (Crown Research Institute) model to ensure primary scientists have the resources to give New Zealand a productive advantage over peer competitors focussed upon practical farm extension.

Brand New Zealand and Free Trade:

  • Brands are best done by exporters not government and NZ First will massively increase funding to the New Zealand Export Credit Office to secure export success.
  • Provide support for the intellectual protection of inherently New Zealand regions and varieties.  
  • Prioritise a Free Trade Agreement with India as part of New Zealand First’s initiative for a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement.


  • Require government procurement to specify natural fibres over those made from oil.
  • Provide legal support to exporters facing regulatory barriers for the use of natural fibre products from the automotive industry to aviation. 

Live Shipments. 

  • Support the export of live animals for air and by sea via customised vessels and by adopting stringent animal welfare codes of practice. 

Animal Welfare: 

  • Require NAWAC (National Animal Welfare Advisory Committee) to have 50% farmer representation. 

Pathway to farm ownership: 

  • Remove Landcorp SOE and create it as Crown Entity for the purposes share farming, share cropping and sharemilking under New Zealand First Farms. 
  • As a Crown Entity, Landcorp would be required to work with Crown Research Institutes and tertiary education providers.


  • Repeal the most recent changes to New Zealand legislation to temporarily reinstate the RMA before replacing that with a Town and Country Planning Act modelled on legislation used by the Republic of Ireland.
  • Re-establish Catchment Boards focussed on active management of rivers, streams and flood protection.


  • New Zealand First is going to change that by incentivising added value here in New Zealand, before the export of developed products.  We must modernise our economy and again become wealth creators, maximising added value before exporting.  Look at our ports and see logs in their most raw state being sent overseas where their added value will go to other economies and their workers, and not our economy and our workers.