Farmers begging for real change

Tue, 02 Aug, 2022

“The results of Federated Farmers latest farmer confidence survey shows that farmers have had enough and election day can’t come soon enough so we can have real change,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson and Ruawai Dairy Farmer Mark Cameron.

“The survey reported the lowest confidence amongst farmers since its inception in 2009. The Labour Government has been a non-stop shop of on-farm compliance, they’ve introduced an excess of shoddy rules and regulations that has only made it harder for farmers to produce the food that grows our economy and feeds our families.

“Freshwater reforms, winter grazing rules, Zero Carbon Act, limiting migrant workers, other ideological climate policies, Significant Natural Areas, taxes on utes… The list goes on. Farmers have taken a hammering from this government.

“This is reflected by the top concerns in the survey being climate change policy and the ETS, regulation and compliance costs, input costs, debt and interest rates, and biosecurity amidst concerns about foot-and-mouth disease.

“It is also the first time in history the survey has recorded a negative score for production expectations, Kiwi farmers expect they’re not going to be able to produce as much over the next year as they have in the past. This means less export receipts and higher food prices for everyone.

“ACT wants to see farmers given the respect they deserve. That’s why we were the only party in parliament to stand up and vote against ideological nonsense like the Zero Carbon Act.

“We’re also committed to cutting the red tape that increases costs on farmers whether its the RMA, workplace relations changes like the scrapping of 90-day trials, an overcomplicated and underdelivering immigration system, or one-size-fits-all health and safety rules that aren’t fit for purpose.

“And we’re the only party calling on the Government to be upfront and clear with its plan for Foot-and-Mouth Disease.

“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 best environmentalists around. We kept the economy going through COVID. It’s time the Government gave us a break.”