NZ parties on animal welfare | World Animal Protection New Zealand

This election, make your vote a vote for animals


With the election nearly upon us, here’s where the major parties stand on animal welfare – so you can make sure you’re voting to protect animals

Two years ago, World Animal Protection ranked New Zealand as a world leader in animal welfare. But as other countries make positive progress, the country is now lagging behind.

We believe an Independent Commissioner for Animal Welfare is needed in New Zealand to genuinely protect and enforce animal welfare. At present, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is responsible for increasing our animal product exports to create economic growth, yet at the same time, conflictingly tasked with looking after these animals’ welfare.

An Independent Commissioner would focus exclusively on animal welfare. Several other countries have appointed a similar position, and it is working. New Zealand needs to catch up now, if we genuinely want to commit to protecting the millions of animals in our care.

You can see which parties support an Independent Commissioner below. Where available, parties’ animal welfare policies are linked.

The parties supporting an Independent Commissioner
Party Supports an Independent Commissioner for Animal Welfare?
 Green  Yes
 United Future  No
 Maori  No
 Labour  Supports a Minister for Animals
 New Zealand  First  Supports a separate Directorate within MPI dedicated to animal welfare concerns
 National   No
 Opportunities  Party  No policy
 Mana  No policy
 ACT   No policy

What about rodeo?

We want rodeo in New Zealand banned. No animal should be used for human entertainment.

The Green Party and United Future support the banning of rodeo. The Green Party supported a petition signed by 60,000 people calling for a ban, and was the only party to criticise the select committee for failing to recommend action on rodeo.

The Maori Party does not support a blanket ban, but better regulation to treat animals humanely in rodeo and horse sports. Labour also supports banning the use of cruel tools like flank straps, electric prods and rope burning, and the use of calves under 12 months, but not a blanket ban.

The other parties do not support a rodeo ban, or do not have a policy on it.

And live export?

The export of live animals for slaughter has been banned in New Zealand since 2003. But animals can still be exported for breeding purposes. We want to stop live export for breeding and therefore eventual slaughter. Live export for breeding is live export for slaughter.

The Green Party supports the prohibition on live export for slaughter, and wants to tighten the rules to prevent animals being exported for slaughter under the guise of export for breeding. It wants an end to export for breeding to countries that don’t have acceptable animal welfare regulations.

Labour supports a ban except for breeding purposes under strict conditions including veterinary supervision and air transport. New Zealand First supports a ban, except for race horses. And the Maori Party does not support a ban, but does call for better regulations to protect animal welfare.

Want to know more?

Animal Agenda Aotearoa has more information on each party’s animal welfare policies.

Your vote in this election is your chance to protect New Zealand animals well into the future. 

New Zealand needs to catch up now, if we genuinely want to commit to protecting the millions of animals in our care.

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