Northland electorate candidates

Here are the responses from the candidates for the Northland electorate in alphabetical order.

David Clendon, Green Party

Withdrew candidacy.

Matt King, National

No response received.

Craig Nelson, Act

No response received.

Winston Peters, New Zealand First

1. What do you think your roles as an MP or potential MP is in our regions food system?

We will make sure the infrastructure is built and serves producers, and that legislation does not put added compliance costs and pressures on businesses. Northland’s climate and soils, and its innovative people, give it huge potential – our goal is to ease the pathway for businesses to increase productivity. We see Northland as a food bowl of New Zealand. We won’t impose restrictions on small businesses such as stallholders who were caught by the Food Act 2014 which came into force last year. The cost of complying with the new regulations is nearly $2000 and is totally unjustified.

2. Should New Zealand be protecting prime agricultural/horticultural land from urban sprawl? What’s your position on how best to do this?

New Zealand First will ensure district plans will be used to better manage the urban sprawl.  Any growth of these towns will be on unproductive land, though it must be suitable for housing. We would save fertile soils for production.

3. The World Health Organization recommends implanting a 20% tax on sugar-sweetened beverages as a measure of reducing childhood obesity. NZ has the third highest rate of childhood obesity in the OECD. Are you in favour of a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages?  

New Zealand First doesn’t believe in a sugar tax. We believe in removing the GST from healthy foods to make them more affordable for New Zealanders to purchase.  And we believe in education so that children and parents understand the problems of a high sugar intake.

4. Do you support local Council’s having the power through the Resource Management Act to declare Genetically Modified Organisms (GM)/Genetic Engineering (GE) free growing zones in their regions?

New Zealand First has a clear position on GE within our conservation policy as part of our Election manifesto.  We believe GM and GE needs to be approached with extreme caution and only under secure, confined laboratory conditions.  We will also legislate for clear labelling of all genetically modified food products and continue the rationalisation of the administration of food safety through the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI).

5. How will you ensure that food system policy, such as the Food Act is scale-appropriate for small and medium scale farmers, growers and producers (e.g on farm meat processing).

New Zealand First has long stood up for local small producers and SME’s – they are the heart of our regions and our economy and New Zealand First will protect these and ensure provincial costs are the same, as equivalent costs in big cities.

Willow Jean Prime, Labour

No response received.