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Act's Mark Cameron on moving from the farm to the Beehive

The Country,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 3:33PM
Act Party agriculture spokesman Mark Cameron. Photo / Supplied

Act's Mark Cameron on moving from the farm to the Beehive

The Country,
Publish Date
Thu, 29 Oct 2020, 3:33PM

Moving from the farm to the Beehive has been a culture shock for Act agriculture spokesman Mark Cameron.

Currently dairy farming in Ruawai, Cameron has lived and farmed around the Northland region for 30 years.

Swapping his gumboots for a suit was "a funny old time," he told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

"The cuffs were too long and the sleeves were too short ... but the greatest oddity for me is I'm not in Red Bands - which I'm deeply aggrieved about."

Cameron was also unhappy with the current Government's freshwater reforms.

"Most of this policy is not tenable and we at the Act party are acutely aware of it," he said.

Specifically, rules which required all paddocks in Otago and Southland to be resown by November 1, were "idiotic," Cameron said.

"They cannot be implemented."

In a recently released statement Cameron said, "local issues must have local solutions, not a one-size-fits-all approach from Wellington".

Cameron told Mackay he also questioned how local councils would be able to police any infringements of the new rules.

"The central Government has an overarching proposal that even Environment Southland - as an example - cannot make sense of, and then you've got the enforcement reality between themselves and their farmers."

"Environment Southland is more than happy to work with farmers and vice versa, but these ... arbitrary rules have left the total networking between Environment Southland and the farmers up in the sky."

Meanwhile, Cameron said he was looking forward to his role as backbench MP, admitting he thought his chance of getting in was "50/50" being number eight on the Act Party candidate list.

"What a privilege, as a dairy farmer for 30 years, finally, I think we can bring - as the Act Party - some real solutions to difficult problems."

Although his new role would "throw a few pennies into the kitty," Cameron said getting in to Parliament was "never about the money".

"It's about fixing a lot of the rot that I saw unfortunately metastasising in rural New Zealand."

Also in today's interview: Cameron gave an update on the dry conditions at his Northland dairy farm.

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