“If the Government wanted to try and lower prices at the checkout, it should reduce the regulatory burden that is rising production costs on farm,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson and Ruawai Dairy Farmer Mark Cameron.
“Rabobank has warned that rising costs on-farm will flow into higher costs for consumers, while slimmer margins for farmers will also mean less spending within rural communities. They have also described farmer confidence as being the lowest on record since the pandemic began.
“Granted, some cost increases are driven by global issues, but the Government’s regulatory onslaught has a compounding effect that is totally unnecessary and makes life tougher for farmers. Not to mention the rampant inflation brought about by Labour’s economic mismanagement.
“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.
“Increased costs for contractors, tradespeople, machinery and parts for operating farm infrastructure and vehicles due to a tight labour market are also increasing costs significantly.
“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.
“ACT has called on the Environment Minister David Parker to extend the November 1st deadline for farm environment plans as there are not enough resources available to farmers to get them done and the tight timeframes simply don’t make sense.
“We would tackle the labour shortage by dumping the labour market test, industry specific wage requirements, and transfer restrictions. Foreign workers should be able to work for accredited employers so long as they are employed consistent with New Zealand law.
“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, or one-size-fits-all health and safety rules that aren’t fit for purpose.
“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.
“The Government needs to remember that the more expensive and tough it is for farmers to produce, the higher prices will be at the checkout.”