Kiwis ranked agriculture and farming as some of the best characteristics to define New Zealand, outranking rugby and other sports, according to a poll. The Well-being Statistics 2016 survey based its results from gathering input among nearly 9,000 respondents.
It showed that agriculture and farming received a mean rating of 8.2 out of 10.
The survey ranked “freedom, rights and peace” and “environment” as the top two best features that define the country, with a mean score of 9.1.
On the other hand, the respondents gave a rating of 8.5 for “people in New Zealand,” while sports such as rugby and netball only garnered a 7.8 rating, according to the Statistics NZ annual survey.
Federated Farmers President Katie Milne said it is unsurprising that farming ranked high in the poll, given the resilient nature of farmers that somehow reflects the attitudes of most Kiwis. Aside from tourism, agriculture also plays an important role in the economy through export revenues, Milne said.
Agriculture may be a good defining trait for New Zealand, although the sector needs to employ skilled workers.
Whether it is operating a spider cherry picker you can get from firms such as Monitor Lifts or a tractor, most jobs in farming are now in demand particularly for seasonal employment in the fruit and vegetable industry.
For this reason, the government should implement a good immigration system to make sure companies employ the right people.
The emergence of new technology and farming machinery also served as one factor for having a properly working immigration system, which would ensure that farms hire only qualified and skilled individuals to operate equipment.
The inclusion of farming as one defining trait of New Zealand reflects the importance of the industry. As the country continues to attract immigrants, the government should find ways to retain skilled workers for the benefit of the country and the farming industry.