LUXTON PAYS TRIBUTE TO RURAL WOMEN

  • John Luxton
Food, Fibre, Biosecurity and Border Control

Speaking from Waipu today, Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton said that World Rural Women's Day was an opportunity to pay tribute to the importance of women in our primary industries. Mr Luxton was in Waipu with local National Party candidate Phil Heatley to attend a women's dairy discussion group.

"Women play a pivotal role in our rural communities and they make a significant contribution at all levels of farming life. From the farmgate to the boardroom table, women are involved in all aspects of decisionmaking."

Rural women have increased their participation in full-time agriculture and livestock production. The number of women in the rural labour force increased from 39% in 1991 to 43% in 1996 and the numbers continue to rise.

"Women are sharing equal partnerships in the day to day running of New Zealand farms, they are also an integral part of rural organisations such as community boards, school boards and Federated Farmers. In many instances they are the unsung heroes who keep the show on the road."

"Women are leading the way in the development of niche markets such as Merino wool products, farm-stay tourism and orchid growing. From Asparagus to Zantedeshia growers, women are visible from A to Z in the rural world."

"World Rural Womens Day is an opportunity to recognise the vitally important role all rural women continue to play in our food and fibre industries," Mr Luxton concluded.