The passing last night of the Farm Debt Mediation and NAIT laws shows the Government’s commitment to working alongside
and helping farmers, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor.
“These new laws are necessary to address the previous Government’s nine years of neglecting the big issues facing the
“By passing these pieces of legislation the Coalition Government has helped ensure the future sustainability of the
“The Farm Debt Mediation Act supports the mental, emotional and financial wellbeing of farmers and farming families who
find themselves in financial strife.
“Total farm debt in New Zealand is $62.8 billion – up 270 per cent on 20 years ago.
“The failure of a farm business can lead to the farmer and their family losing both their business and their home. For
many rural communities the failure of one farm can have a ripple effect through those communities and the regional
“Farmers who operate a family business often don’t have the resources to negotiate their own protections when dealing
“This scheme will help to provide certainty for those facing the hard challenge of paying back debt. It’ll provide a way
to help them get through, so they can get on with running their businesses and supporting their families.”
Mr O’Connor said the ongoing efforts to eradicate Mycoplasma bovis highlighted flaws in the NAIT scheme.
“The previous government set up the scheme and then let it languish, with little to no oversight and no consequences for
lack of compliance. We’ve addressed their inaction and created the animal tracing scheme New Zealand needs to keep our
primary sectors and economy safe.
“We’ve done our best to make compliance easier for farmers, including transition periods where possible to help farmers
adjust. Combined, these steps will see real changes for the industry and improvements to our biosecurity system.”
“We had great cooperation from industry to help improve the Act quickly and efficiently, and now we have a NAIT system
that’s fit for the future.”