A new partnership between Federated Farmers of NZ and the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association (NZTBA) underlines the commitment of both organisations to helping their members be front-runners in caring for their animals and land.
“Farmers who join the Federation have long recognised we’re stronger together,” Feds CEO Terry Copeland says. “With thoroughbred breeders also joining the fold, we have a bigger pool of resources and greater strength to our voice in our advocacy to politicians, decision-makers and government departments.”
As landowners, there will already be NZTBA members who belong to Federated Farmers and the partnership agreement between the two organisations will strengthen and develop those ties.
“We have a lot in common,” Terry said. “Whether you’re a breeder of champion horses, a dairy or sheep farmer, you’re vitally interested in the welfare of your animals and being a good steward of your land. We’re all interested in ensuring government policies that affect our industries are sensible, practical and affordable.”
NZTBA chief executive Justine Sclater also believes the alliance adds value for the members of both organisations – and to New Zealand.
“Thoroughbred breeding is a primary industry and many of the issues around environment, employment, and immigration legislation that Federated Farmers have been tackling are also faced by breeders. So it makes sense to join forces as a collective,” Justine said.
“The NZTBA is investing in conducting research into the environmental impacts of equine farming to ensure when we are representing our industry and we have scientific evidence to back our claims. We believe this is just one area where the partnership will be mutually beneficial.
“The New Zealand thoroughbred is a world-renowned product and we are a significant contributor to our local communities and the New Zealand economy.”
There are more than nearly 4,000 thoroughbred breeders in New Zealand, directly employing a similar number of staff. Their work underpins the racing industry, which directly employs another 45,000 New Zealanders.
“As a whole, the breeding and racing industry generates around $1.7 billion for the New Zealand economy,” Justine said.
It’s a contribution that the recently appointed Minister for Racing, Kieran McAnulty, noted when his government confirmed the sector continued to deserve its own Minister.
“It’s not an also ran, it’s a prominent front-runner. Racing is a significantly important export industry to this country and provides just as much as the fishing industry to our GDP,” Kieran said.