The Country Wide Podcast – Episode 1 – Political Shifts and Farming

In our first podcast, Country-Wide Editor Rebecca Greaves talks to Professor Hugh Campbell, Professor of Sociology at the University of Otago, Brent Paterson from MyEnviro and Hon. Todd McClay, Minister for Primary Industries & Trade.

In Podcasts5 Minutes

Due to popular demand, we present The Country-Wide Podcast series!

Every week, we’ll be interviewing experts, inspiring characters and change-makers to bring you the latest news and trends from the farming industry.

EP 1 - Will a shift to the right politically mean environmental regulations get thrown out?


  • Rebecca Greaves, Editor, Country-Wide
  • Sarah Perriam-Lampp, Managing Director, CountryWide Media

The 2023 New Zealand general election showcased a shift in voting patterns, with a decline in the National Party’s influence and a rise in support for the ACT party, according to Professor Hugh Campbell Professor of Sociology at the University of Otago.

Editor of Country-Wide, Rebecca Greaves, covers the frustration of farming regulations that have led to this swing to the far-right with Hugh, but also the surprising split to the left parties in rural New Zealand.

Farmers are frustrated with the complexity and cost of farming regulations, and Brent Paterson of My Enviro discusses with co-host Sarah Perriam-Lampp (Managing Director of CountryWide Media) that farmers want a value-added proposition around farm planning that helps them protect and promote their environmental position.

The new Minister for Primary Industries & Trade, Hon. Todd McClay, explains to Rebecca how the new government aims to simplify rules and regulations, focused on outcomes rather than processes, and wants to build trust with farmers to allow farmers to get on with farming. Collaboration among associate ministers from the coalition government is important for effective governance and representation of the sector.

He explains how trade and market access are crucial for the success of New Zealand’s primary sector.

Key Chapters of Interest

09:05 – Analysis of Rural New Zealand Voting Trends
12:51 – Rise of ACT Party in Rural New Zealand
26:26 – Decline of National Party’s Influence in Rural New Zealand
32:07 – Value of Farm Planning
37:26 – Supporting Catchment Groups
40:47 – Market Demand for Environmental Information
53:14 – Trade and Market Access
56:34 – Climate Change and Emissions Reduction
01:01:43 – Three Associate Ministers and Collaboration

Word from our Sponsor:

Over time, the regulations and requirements imposed on farmers have undergone a significant transformation, shifting from traditional analogue plans consisting of large printed documents to streamlined digital plans that offer increased efficiency, detail, and adaptability.

By utilising digital solutions like MyEnviro, farmers can now create living documents that evolve with on-farm changes, ensuring that their environmental plans remain accurate, up-to-date, and reflective of the current practices and conditions.

You will be able to find the Country-Wide podcast on all your favourite podcast providers – if it’s not there yet, it will be soon!

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