NZ Farmer - Water debate crowds out other important primary sector issues

Gerard Hutching writes:

Whether or not Labour becomes government after this election, Victoria University political scientist Jim McAloon believes New Zealand is on the threshold of a generational change.

"The idea of a water price is a symbol of the greening of the Labour Party, and Jacinda Ardern says climate change is her generation's nuclear-free issue. There's a general view that in the next 10 years some things are going to have to be moderated, and I don't perceive farming organisations are lacking in that awareness."

Undoubtedly water has been the hot button issue for the primary sector, and most other policy initiatives have been drowned in a torrent of criticism directed at Labour and the Greens.

But while Labour has said it wants to consult post-election over water pricing, National set in train a similar process at the beginning of this year when it established a Technical Advisory Group to recommend options on water allocation and pricing.

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