“A positive proposal from the ACT Party to ensure environmental regulations are managed by regional councils and taken out of the hands of Wellington bureaucrats will today be voted down by the Government,” says ACT’s Rural Affairs spokesperson and Ruawai Dairy Farmer Mark Cameron.
“As the only person in Parliament who is still actively farming, I understand more than anyone the pressure and stress that is being put on rural New Zealand by this Government.
“This was evident when the Freshwater Regulations came into effect last year. Otago and Southland farmers face unique challenges that aren’t faced in other parts of the country. The winter grazing regulations meant someone could come on to your farm and prosecute you for a law that's impossible to comply with because the weather in the part of the country was vastly different to other areas.
“That’s why I drafted the Bill - the Resource Management (Regional Responsibility for certain Agricultural Matters) Amendment Bill. It would mean that regional councils would set the standards which work in each region, rather than blanket regulations set by Government which fail to acknowledge regional activity, on farm methodologies, soil aggregate, rainfall and localised erosion.
“When it has its first reading in Parliament this evening it will be voted down by Labour and the Greens.
“It’s no wonder we saw huge protests around the country from farmers recently – they feel let down and beaten up by this Government.
“It’s not just winter grazing. Rural New Zealanders are worries about the threat of Significant Natural Areas, the ute tax, three waters, a ban on live exports or indigenous biodiversity.
“I came to Parliament to fight for our farmers and rural New Zealand. Farmers kept the economy going through COVID. I will stand up for rural New Zealand every day that I’m an MP and ACT will continue to propose positive ideas and solutions.”