New Zealand First Bill to Further Protect Farmers Accepted
New Zealand First is delighted that a member’s bill introduced to the house to provide additional protection for
financially stressed farmers has passed its first reading today.
“Today is a win for provincial New Zealand. Farming is the backbone of our rural communities and they deserve a hand up
during tough times. New Zealand First has a strong focus on the well-being of provincial New Zealand and this bill goes
above and beyond what the Government is already providing.” says Mark Patterson, New Zealand First spokesperson for
Agriculture and Primary Industry.
“The Farm Debt Mediation Bill will require independent debt mediation before a receivership can start. We hope mediation
will bring an agreement on the debt and the financial relationship between farmers and creditors.
“We are facing the biggest biosecurity breach in New Zealand history and now thousands of cows are being culled because
of Mycoplasma bovis. Thirty-nine farms in Southland, Canterbury, Hawkes Bay, Otago and now Waikato are facing massive
financial exposure. This is an incredibly concerning situation.
“This Government has dedicated $100m for Mycoplasma bovis but we are yet to fully comprehend the full scale and impact
of the outbreak. The agriculture sector provides 193,000 jobs and total agriculture debt stands at $60bn. The potential
economic loss is massive, and when the individual farmer faces the spectre of creditors at their door we have to do the
right thing to help alleviate the situation,” Mr Patterson said.
This Bill is another example of New Zealand First’s resolute support for the regions and our nation’s farmers.