Saturday August 15, 2020

A lesson for Ireland as NZ’s farmers thrive in adversity

Predictions of the destruction of rural life in New Zealand after the removal of farm subsidies in 1984 proved highly exaggerated. There is a lot we can learn from what happened in the decades since then

7th January, 2018
‘Ninety-nine per cent of New Zealand farms stayed in business after the end of the subsidies. Export volumes exploded’ Picture: PA

‘What do they do in New Zealand?” is a common question asked by Irish civil servants. It doesn’t matter what the policy problem is - healthcare, early childhood education, climate change, you name it - if Ireland is thinking about changing something, it looks at New Zealand and how it is getting the job done first.

It’s not hard to see why. New Zealand is a small open economy beside a...

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