“ACT will rein in the bloated bureaucratic beast that the Ministry for Primary Industries has become and get it back to basics and focused on supporting farmers to do what they do best”, says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron and ACT Candidate Andrew Hoggard.

ACT can reveal that MPI has 52 per cent – or 1,277 – more staff now than it did in 2017. The average salary at MPI is $101,700, so that’s about $130 million more in salary costs each year.

“MPI has grown by 52 per cent, but have farmers received 52 per cent better service from them? No. It’s feathering its own nest, taking on new and unnecessary functions, none of which make life for farmers any easier.

“The Labour Government’s answer to everything is more bureaucrats in Wellington, and it’s no different in the primary sector.

“ACT would shake up MPI, and other government agencies, going line by line and weeding out unnecessary programmes and wasteful spending.

“ACT’s major priority in Government will be to rein in the red tape and regulations suffocating New Zealand’s farmers.

“The new Minister of Regulation would make red tape in the rural sector their first priority, putting red tape that isn't fit for purpose on the chopping block.

“This Government has dumped an avalanche of red tape and regulation on farmers. The threat of taxes on emissions, freshwater regulations, winter grazing rules, limiting migrant workers, Significant Natural Areas, taxes on utes. These are just the big-ticket items, but every farmer here at Fieldays seems to have a different example of a new compliance course or type of paperwork they’re having to complete to keep the Government happy.

“The impacts of over-regulating the industry reach further than just farmers. Food inflation is a major worry for Kiwi households, the harder it is for people to produce food, the more expensive it is going to be to purchase.

“ACT’s full Primary Industries policy will be released tomorrow at Fieldays, including new detail on our emissions policy and on-farm water storage. But one of the core priorities will be targeting waste and red tape.

“ACT wants to see the rural sector given the respect it deserves. That means pulling back on the heavy-handed regulation and central planning coming out of Wellington and letting farmers get on with what they do best.”

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