“Is it any wonder farmer confidence is so low? Labour has layered the red tape and costs on so thick farmers now must hire outside consultants to explain how they’re incorporating the treaty into their farming practice. ACT says let farmers do what they do best, produce high quality food and fibre which bolsters New Zealand’s economy,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Federated Farmers’ Farm Confidence Survey for July states that 80% of farmers consider current economic conditions to be bad, and 70% expect their profitability to decline further over the next 12 months.

“One only has to look at the Government’s requirements for Freshwater Farm Plans for an example of why. In order to get a certified farm plan one must consider Te Mana o Te Wai and the Treaty of Waitangi. Farmers actually just want to grow food and look after their land, incorporating spiritual concepts or the treaty isn’t necessary for them to do that.

“All it is doing is creating more red tape and regulations for farmers to jump through, costing them more time and money, and generating a new cottage industry of consultants to sign off these plans.  

“Is requiring farmers to comply with a spiritual concept such as Te Mana o Te Wai really going to make them farm better? Of course not. It means they will have to employ a consultant to do it and waste time and money in the process that could instead be spent improving their farming practices.”

“Every new piece of regulation to comply with equals more time and more cost, and often for minimal change to the result. There needs to be a microscope put on what regulation is coming out of Government, whether it is really necessary, or whether actually forcing farmers to comply is going to have a detrimental effect on the industry,” says ACT Party Candidate Andrew Hoggard.

“ACT would address this with a new Minister and Ministry of Regulation. The Minister and Ministry would ensure new and existing regulations meet tough new standards and put red tape on the chopping block.

“A Party Vote for ACT is a vote to end the endless red tape and regulation and to give farmers – not central planners in Wellington – control over how they do things.

“What Labour and the Greens don’t realise is that they’re undermining efforts by the people who care most about the environment. Farmers have the biggest incentive to care about the environment because they make a living from it.

“New Zealand farmers are the best in the world, and they’ve had to confront plenty of challenges recently. But they shouldn’t have to face challenges from their own Government. ACT understands why rural New Zealand is angry with Wellington. We are proud to be the voice for rural New Zealand.”

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