Improving resource base key to sustainable growth

  • Nathan Guy
  • Steven Joyce
Primary Industries Economic Development

Improving the quality of our natural resources is the key to sustaining economic growth in our primary sectors right across regional New Zealand, says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce and Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

Ministers Joyce and Guy today launched the updated Building Natural Resources chapter of the Business Growth Agenda with an emphasis on lifting primary sector productivity while improving our environmental outcomes at the same time.

“Our natural resources are central to achieving growth and more jobs in New Zealand’s economy, especially our regional economies.  We are committed to using new scientific techniques and innovations, alongside infrastructure developments in information technology and water storage, to achieve both productivity gains and environmental gains,” says Mr Joyce.

The revised chapter sets out 39 active projects including new projects to promote farm systems change, develop regional aquaculture opportunities, and develop ways to speed up the delivery of a predator-free New Zealand. 

“Good environmental outcomes go hand in hand with sustained productivity in the primary sector,” Mr Guy says.

“Developments in technology mean farmers can be much more precise and effective in their application of farming techniques.” 

“This report lays out how the Government will help New Zealand’s farms become more economically and environmentally sustainable through identifying and sharing best practice approaches.”

“The projects outlined in the Building Natural Resources chapter are interconnected, Mr Joyce says. “For example, precision use of water for irrigation contributes to our broader approach to improving freshwater management, as we seek to use water more efficiently and improve its quality.

“As well as impacting on land productivity, erosion also has a major impact on water quality and the biodiversity of our waterways. The government is investing $20 million for new erosion control works and $22.5 million in planting forests.  New forests also contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Over the past few years we have completed 35 projects in the Natural Resources workstream, from commissioning detailed economic growth studies for selected regions, to reducing nitrogen discharge into Lake Taupo by 20 per cent, three years ahead of schedule,” says Mr Guy.  “The Building Resources Chapter of the BGA is a great way to bring key economic and environmental ministers and agencies together to work on projects that deliver real win-win results for New Zealand.”

The two Ministers launched the Building Natural Resources Chapter at the Canterbury A&P show.  A copy of the chapter is available here.