“Today I have put my Member’s Bill into the ballot to repeal the ban on live animal exports,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Latest forecasts show that live animal exports are expected to generate $500 million for the New Zealand economy this year. Is New Zealand really wealthy enough to just flush away a half a billion dollar industry? Especially in the midst of a cost of living crisis and a natural disaster recovery?

“The Government was advised not to proceed with the ban because it would hammer rural New Zealand, but they forged ahead anyway. The Regulatory Impact Statement said: “Live animal exports provide a boost to New Zealand's economy, rural communities...Any move to prohibit the export of livestock would cause an economic loss to these groups and make recovery from COVID-19 more difficult in the rural communities where livestock exports provide an additional source of income. For some individual businesses that impact is likely to be significant.”

“Farmers kept the economy going through COVID, Labour’s response is to take away one of its ways of making money.

“Recent surveys show that farmer confidence is at historic lows, with Government regulation a major contributor. Combined with prices for fuel, fertiliser, and vehicular repairs and maintenance increasing by 54.3 per cent, 23 per cent, and 10.4 per cent respectively in the last financial year, the industry just can’t afford to be turning its back on live exports.

“My Member’s Bill can overturn Labour’s decision and ensure New Zealand doesn’t wave goodbye to a crucial source of revenue. If Labour wanted to do the right thing I would encourage them to not wait for my bill and just repeal it immediately.

“This why rural New Zealand needs ACT, we would export Labour’s ideas from government and put rural communities first by overturning this costly and ideological policy.”

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Mark Cameron