Need for sound land use management

National has recently announced its Local Water Done Well Plan, which aims to replace Labours Three Waters model with a sustainable system that ensures drinking water, stormwater and wastewater remain in local control.

The policy has four key components, including the repeal of Three Waters and scrapping of the four cogoverned mega-entities within 100 days in office, restoration of council ownership and control, setting strict rules for water quality and investment in infrastructure, and ensuring water services are financially sustainable.

Read the full policy document at

Recent flooding events in the North Island have been devastating and yet again brought to the fore the issue of damage during extreme weather events caused by woody debris including forestry slash and sediment to road, water and bridge infrastructure, as well as people’s homes and properties.

It has highlighted the importance of sound land use management and practice, not only in the forestry industry but across other sectors in the agricultural and horticultural industries.

As National’s spokesman for forestry and associate spokesman for agriculture, I am actively engaging with the various sectors to find solutions to the challenges they are facing while exploring the opportunities being presented such as through innovation.

An example of such innovation is my recent visit to the Forest Lodge Orchard, where I had a go at driving New Zealand’s first electric tractor in the world’s first 100% electric carbon-zero orchard in Central Otago.

The tractor was pulling the world’s first electric foliage sprayer, which runs off a standard 230v socket.

The tractor recharges while the sprayer is refilled, meaning it can run continuously.

I also did an aerial tour with the Central Otago Wilding Trust to view its operations in controlling the spread of wilding conifers and met with fruit growers alongside Sam Uffindell MP, National’s horticulture spokesman, to hear how things are going.

It was great to get out for a brief pick, which brought back memories of my youth when I worked a few seasons apple picking.

I had a great time at the Mt Benger A&P Show in Roxburgh, joining the judging panel for a diverse competition with topnotch competitors.

A big thank-you to the organisers and volunteers who made the day possible.

I’m looking forward to riding in the grand parade of the 30th Otago Goldfields Heritage Trust Cavalcade on Saturday in Millers Flat.

More than 500 people are expected to take part, and it will no doubt be an awesome carnival.

Looking ahead, I will be hosting a series of face-to-face catch-ups across the electorate in the coming weeks.

Anyone who would like to share their views and concerns can swing by for a chat.

Dates and venue details at