Primary Industry

New Zealand’s primary industries sector and the regional communities that support it are vital to the New Zealand economy. Agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture directly or indirectly contribute billions to our export earnings, while also showcasing to the world that our products are some of the finest. New Zealand First recognises our primary industries and our regions are of the upmost importance to our economy. We believe in supporting the sector that lies at the centre of our communities, through policies that foster its growth and advancement.


Agriculture continues to be one of the main pillars of the New Zealand economy. We believe that value, not volume, is the philosophy that will keep our farmers and growers in an innovative, sustainable business environment, working for and not against New Zealand’s economic and environmental future. New Zealand First will continue to support our agriculture sector and ensure that the ‘New Zealand Brand’ remains prestigious on the world stage.


  • Build the New Zealand First Farms initiative to assist qualified new entrants toward farm ownership by leveraging Landcorp’s balance sheet
  • Facilitate water storage and irrigation schemes while working in tandem with local groups and Government to fund and build water storage capacity and capability, so that they meet the needs of modern aquaculture and horticulture
  • Provide government co-funding for primary sector ‘New Zealand Brand’ value add initiatives, such as Beef and Lamb New Zealand’s “Taste Pure Nature” or protecting the term of ‘Manuka Honey’
  • Increase funding and capacity for primary production research
  • Introduce accelerated depreciation for wintering sheds
  • Dedicate funding for riparian planting and fences
  • Update the Sharemilking Act (1937)
  • Investigate stock agent licensing reforms
  • Enable domestic testing of rye grass for methane reduction
  • Explore the feasibility of wool carpets and insulation in all Government funded buildings
  • Consider the total overhaul of strong wool marketing models
  • Support the National Animal Welfare Advisory Council (NAWAC) in formulating animal welfare standards
  • Support research into regenerative farming models
  • Help unify the Manuka Honey industry to add value to our export products
  • Support agricultural training institutions such as Telford in Balclutha


Forestry holds immense future potential and we understand its importance for our regions. Throughout the last three years New Zealand First has championed forestry through establishing Te Uru Rakau Forestry Service and the One Billion Trees programme. New Zealand First will continue with the right tree, right place, right time vision and ensure the forestry sector is supported as we upscale training, professional development, nursery production, planting profiles, ancillary and support industries, processing, manufacturing, and exports.


  • Continue to support and fund the One Billion Trees programme
  • Ensure that New Zealand has the appropriate amount of nurseries to promote the One Billion Trees programme 
  • Increase the use of mapping technology so that low value, low productive land is prioritised in planting efforts
  • Support biodiversity by encouraging native tree planting targets through methods such as native tree nurseries 
  • Properly fund research to counter bio-security threats such as Kauri die-back and Myrtle Rust
  • Investigate the feasibility of a ‘New Zealand Native Tree Seed Bank’ and the greater use of ‘Native Tree Sanctuaries’ 
  • Continue to support Wood First initiatives as a way to further encourage the use of New Zealand wood in government and local government procurement 
  • Further promote training and pathways for careers in forestry through trades training, programmes, and scholarships


Keeping our environment safe means protection at every possible avenue of risk. Unfortunately, we have already seen how devastating pests and invasive species can be for our environment and economy meaning we cannot treat these matters lightly. New Zealand First has and will continue to champion proactive policies that ensure our border and environmental protection agencies are well resourced to weather the storm of possible biosecurity risks.


  • Ensure that Biosecurity NZ and other border protection agencies have adequate resourcing
  • Increase offshore port capacity to prevent Brown Marmorated Stink Bug and similar invasive pests from entering the country
  • Conduct an independent review into the Myco-Plasma Bovis response
  • Ensure that the appropriate agencies are involved before and at the border as well as post-incursion 
  • Facilitate greater international cooperation on matters regarding the control and eradication of animal and plant diseases 
  • Provide the necessary funding and technology needed to combat biological and other threats at our border
  • Require effective coordination between relevant government agencies to ensure appropriate deterrents exist to the poaching and trafficking of protected species
  • Update instant fines and other means of providing effective deterrents against border breaches
  • Establish a New Zealand Border Protection Force combining functions of the New Zealand Defence Force, New Zealand Customs Service and Immigration New Zealand to coordinate the protection of our borders from pandemic and biosecurity incursions.

Aquaculture and Fisheries

New Zealand First regards the fisheries and aquaculture sector as an important part of our regional economy, and a key contributor to export earnings. We favour a smart regulatory approach which recognises the critical role our primary sector will play in our post-COVID recovery. The quota management system is at the core of a robust framework for the ongoing management of this valuable resource.


  • Undertake a review of recreational catch limits and how we can improve our coastal fisheries to ensure we have quality inter-generational fisheries in the future
  • Investigate the establishment of a separate Fisheries and Aquaculture Service to be located in regional New Zealand.
  • Make $100m available to provide capital to Aquacorp as a way to de-risk ocean based marine farming
  • Deliver a fast-track statutory process for aquaculture consents with modest costs
  • Support initiatives to require all vessels fishing in New Zealand territorial and economic zone waters to be New Zealand flagged
  • Encourage maximum achievable crewing rates of fishing vessels through employing New Zealand citizens and permanent residents as a priority
  • Work towards ensuring that all fish caught in New Zealand waters are landed and processed in New Zealand. This includes territorial waters and the EEZ, applying to both local and foreign charter vessels
  • Continue to work towards a respectful and fair agreement with industry leaders and stakeholders such as Te Ohu Kaimoana for the creation of a Kermadec Reserve
  • Work closely with industry to establish a programme for fleet renewal using a mixture of tax depreciation and other fiscal measures
  • Support sectoral vocational training and trades, with preference to training on the job incentives
  • Focus and prioritise our trade advocacy efforts in fisheries and aquaculture
  • Ensure that any customary permits issued are regularly published to improve decision-making processes and promote confidence in the permit system
  • Support more fisheries officers in isolated rural areas
  • Invest $25m toward a Marine Biology Facility located in Tauranga