“The ACT Party is today commending the Government for taking our suggestion and extending the consultation for period He Waka Eke Noa, but it should go further,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“I wrote to Damien O’Connor and James Shaw last month asking for the consultation period to be extended.

“All New Zealanders deserve a chance to have their voices heard on the inclusion of agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme or other emissions pricing scheme which will have a profound and lasting impact.

“Rural New Zealand is at a crossroads and while the ACT Party does not support the inclusion of agriculture into any emissions pricing scheme, we believe it is in the interest of everyone that consultation is carried out in the broadest possible terms to ensure good public policy and that all New Zealanders get their say.

“Although we welcome the one-month extension, with Omicron now in the community and set to disrupt New Zealanders for months to come, one month is not long enough.

“Public meetings should be an important part of the consultation process. These are unable to talk place under the current Red restrictions we currently face.

“This is a good start from Government, but in the interest of fairness the consultation should be extended until we’re well into the Orange setting and proper meetings and consultation can take place.”