“Dairy NZ’s View from the Cowshed 2023 survey shows that dairy farmers are suffering from an onslaught of government regulation, hammering New Zealand’s biggest export industry. ACT is committed to getting the Government 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.

“The survey shows that 65 per cent of dairy farmers are seeing their profitability suffer because of government regulatory changes, 72 per cent say the regulations being foisted on them aren’t practical, 69 per cent say there is too much coming at once, and 64 per cent say the speed at which they need to adapt to them is too fast,” says Mr Cameron.

“Most notably, only one per cent reported that they don’t have any concerns with Government regulation. 99 per cent of respondents have an issue with the impact the Government is having on their business.

“As we announced in our Standing up for Rural New Zealand policy document, one of ACT’s major priority in Government will be to rein in the red tape and regulations suffocating New Zealand’s farmers.

“Farmers need real change. ACT has led the way standing up for them in Parliament. ACT was the only party to vote against the Zero Carbon Act. We were the only party willing to oppose He Waka Eke Noa from the beginning. We alone stood up for licensed firearms owners. We’ve consistently opposed the Government’s freshwater rules, Significant Natural Areas, fertiliser tax, the live animal export ban, the ute tax, and more.

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

“The new Minister of Regulation would make red tape in the rural sector a major 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, every farmer we’ve spoken to seems to have a fresh example of a new compliance course or form of paperwork they’re having to complete to keep the Government happy,” says Mr Hoggard.

“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.

“A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to end the endless red tape and regulation, to give farmers certainty they won’t be unfairly taxed, to ensure they can get staff when they need them, and to give them – not central planners in Wellington – control over how they do things.

“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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