“The Government might not control the Chinese economy and global milk price, but it can control the regulations and red tape it is imposing on farmers. ACT says it is now more urgent than ever to remove these needless costs,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron and ACT candidate Andrew Hoggard.
“Instead the Government has piled on red tape and regulatory pressure for little practical gain. Freshwater Farm Plans have been a costly flop, winter grazing rules have created a massive consenting headache, immigration policy makes it hard to find workers, changes to workplace relations laws have increased wage bills by around 30-40 per cent. Add on top of this the RMA, SNAs, Ute Tax, uncertainty around emissions pricing… The list goes on,” says Mr Cameron.
"ACT would, at a minimum, cancel the national policy statements on freshwater and biodiversity (including SNAs), giving the job of local policy back to local government. ACT would cancel the Natural and Built Environments Act and Spatial Planning Act, temporarily reinstating the RMA before carrying out property rights-based Resource Management reform, The Ute Tax would be gone, and so would the Zero Carbon Act. These are just the beginning of rolling back the avalanche of regulation Labour has put on farmers.
“We would also scrap the Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) that is so restrictive, replacing it with demand-based pricing, to let employers decide if their need is worth the price instead of clunky bureaucracy.
“The chickens have come home to roost on the Government’s barrage of red tape and regulations. the 7.4 per cent drop in GDT adds to existing issues that have dramatically pushed up costs on-farm, while wiping a billion and a half dollars off the much-needed export revenue generated by dairy.
“When prices drop the costs that Labour has inflicted on the sector are laid bare. Before this drop in prices on-farm inflation was already at a 40 year high and two and a half times the Consumer Price Inflation index. Input costs are steadily increasing while commodity prices are going downwards.
“This is the reality for New Zealand’s dairy farmers, their break-even point is generally considered to be about $8.00 a kg, now many will be getting $7.00 a kg if they’re lucky. If there was ever a time for a government to take the pressure off an industry it is now,” says Mr Hoggard.
“Every new piece of regulation to comply with equals more time and more cost, and often for minimal change to 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.
“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.
“ACT is the loudest voice in Parliament when it comes to standing up for the rights of rural New Zealand. As a dairy farmer myself, I know that farmers are the best environmentalists around.
“Labour’s illogical policies have made life harder for farmers and in 59 days voters can put them out to pasture.”