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This is us

The launch of the Primary Sector Council’s vision “Fit for a better world,” where ‘no whanau is left behind’, fills me with confidence that our future is bright. It was very humbling to be invited to the launch and be asked to spread the word.

What struck me the most is the ‘why’ Taiao, meaning ‘If the environment is well, so too are the people.’ A powerful unifying concept – the glue that can connect us with a shared vision that is relevant to everyone. Its very definition is about forging an interconnected relationship with the environment and people based on respect. As Minister Damien O’Connor put it, the vision “Shifts farmers from being the best in the world to being the best for the world.” So that we become the desired and admired source and destination for food, grown from values that connect us. “Then we will really start to hum, and people will start to come to this country because they want to share our values, share our products and share our understating of the land and our food production systems.” There are some who are sceptical about the ‘devil in the detail’, as to-date that has been where farmers have got burnt. I get it, but if we don’t get the vision right first, where everyone can identify and live it, the detail is irrelevant – the why must come first because we need to stand for something. To find our way forward together, I encourage everyone to get behind this, it is a great vision. A note from our Prime Minister. “We are too small to be in different positions when it comes to the brand that we project to the world, when it comes to the promotion of our food and fibre sector and when it comes to the challenges we have to face together. So never underestimate the value of what you are doing here not just as a proposition for consumers but a signal to the rest of the world making it easier for others to do business with us, knowing that we are the most sustainable food producers in the world.” ‘Fit for a better world’ and Taiao gives us a platform to take a leadership role not just at home but on the world stage. From a social licence perspective, it helps us create consistency and build trust. The detail will come, and we will all have a role in what that will look like if the strong references to a ‘catchment led’ approach are anything to go by. The ground-up approach, which I have been harping on about this year is vital to get the buy-in, but also if solutions are going to be enduring and relevant to the localised environmental challenges we face. Authentic values that align with our stakeholders and consumers are a huge part of that is what earns us trust and our social licence. The Council’s values of ‘Integrity · Guardianship · Ingenuity · Respect’ capture the powerful combination of our Maori heritage and pioneering European spirit. The combination of both is vital for removing silos and allowing collaboration. Something we can all be incredibly proud of. You can find out more at

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