[26 February/Rural News]

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor welcomed recent survey results that showed many New Zealanders hold a similar positive view of the primary sector. O’Connor said the key finding was that with very few exceptions, the views of rural and urban New Zealanders are similar across key areas such as water quality and expansion through value-add. Mr O’Connor added that he was pleased to see those surveyed felt very strongly that responding to key issues such as climate change and biosecurity were the responsibility of all New Zealanders. There was overall recognition of the importance of the primary sector to the New Zealand economy based on the survey. O’Connor noted that although respondents considered the primary sector as having good employment opportunities, they did not agree they were good employers. He emphasised the value of understanding values and perceptions of New Zealanders.