Farmers Weekly NZ December 9 2019

Page 34

We have to reconnect rural and urban Kiwis. Here’s how. It’s clear that times have changed. The things that used to bind urban and rural Kiwis together – city cousins pitching in over summer, three families to a farm – belong to a different time now. Today, 60% of urban Kiwis have no regular contact with rural New Zealand.* But that doesn’t mean urban Kiwis don’t care about their food, farmers and the land. On the contrary. They desperately want to reconnect with their rural roots. Our problem isn’t an urban-rural divide or social media, it’s the lack of common ground to stand on together. We need a place for honest conversations. A place to reconnect over the things that will always bind town and country Kiwis together – our land, food and families.

That place, our common ground, is Open Farms. We talked to farmers and urban Kiwis. They told us that…


Urban Kiwis

“People are sceptical these days. Talk isn’t enough. They need to see the stream running clear for themselves.”

“Our kids need to know where their food starts, to connect the dots from farmer-to-market-to home.”

David Kidd, Beef + Lamb New Zealand Farmer Councillor, farming on the Kaipara harbour

“The experiences that will change perceptions of farming are behind the gate. Reconnecting with urban Kiwis won’t happen unless we farmers make it happen.”

“I want to step back from the daily grind - the concrete, traffic & social media – and just go back to the source, even for a day.”

Tracy Brown, Sustainability champion, dairy farming in the Waikato

Thank you to our sponsors

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Toitū te Whenua, Toiora te Wai

1 MPI. 2017. ‘New Zealander’s views of the primary sector’. 60% of urban New Zealander’s do not often visit family or close friends that live in rural New Zealand.