farmers

If National can adapt to change, why can't Labour? 

Once upon a time National was a party dominated by farmers and their rural base. Its first townie leader, Sid Holland, had to have a farm bought for him in the 1940s, to maintain his status in the party. It was such a country party that there was a view in the 1960s that as New Zealand urbanised National would lose voter share because Labour was so much stronger in the cities.

Dealing to dirty dairying is an issue that the three major parties fundamentally agree on. Is a parliamentary accord on protecting our waterways next?

I have said in the past that for the Green Party to broaden their appeal, they would need to engage with the real economy, including a better appreciation of the importance dairy farming to the New Zealand economy. With their recent announcements about protecting rivers and streams, it is clear that the Greens have done just that. I imagine the Greens plan has been sometime in the making.

The ETS is bigger than politics and begs true leadership. National and its farmer lobby are failng to step up, so can we expect more from the Maori Party and iwi?

As far as the public's concerned, Hone Harawira is the Maori Party's biggest political management problem at the moment. But the party's facing a bigger, more important decision at the moment than whether the MP for Te Tai Tokerau should stay or go.