Media release

Feds calls for stable and responsible government negotiations

October 6, 2017
Next week promises to be a defining period for negotiations to form a new government and Federated Farmers is asking that whoever governs is pragmatic about future actions.
"Federated Farmers is ready to work with any government. We are an advocacy organisation for farmers, it is our job to work with all government, and opposition, representatives," Federated Farmers president Katie Milne says.
"We anticipate that an incoming government is ready to ‘walk their talk’ when it comes to formulating and implementing policy.
"And we will be there to remind them of their ‘talk’, and help them with their ‘walk’ if required," Katie says.
Obviously New Zealand First holds a strong hand in negotiations and during the election campaign the party strongly rejected the prospect of both a water and livestock emissions tax.
Federated Farmers wants these two taxes to be off the table given the majority of New Zealanders voted for parties that were opposed to them.
"We would expect Winston Peters to stand by the pre-election pledge he made in Ashburton. No water tax and no livestock emissions (methane and nitrous oxide) into the ETS.
"This was a bold statement and it gave farmers throughout the country a semblance of comfort and certainty after a tumultuous election campaign where they felt unfairly targeted."
Whoever does form the government will have to hit the ground running on a number of issues including free trade agreement progress, Resource Management Act reform and increased awareness of biosecurity preparedness.
Feds encourages continued work on the TPP11 (the Trans Pacific Partnership without the USA). It has taken years to get to this point and it’s vital to New Zealand’s national interests as it will improve our global competitiveness and market access.
"We recommend the incoming government recognises the importance of getting this free trade agreement over the line," Katie says.
Reform of the Resource Management Act has stalled and needs to be reignited.
Federated Farmers is not opposed to the high level principles of the RMA but the manner in which it is being implement is of major concern
"Planning rules have a significant impact on farmers and urban dwellers alike. The RMA remains a major brake on regional economic development and the prosperity of regional communities hangs in the balance until there is fundamental reform of the RMA."
As a primary sector leader, Feds is challenging the future powerbrokers to commit to increasing funding and support for biosecurity.
"We have a good  biosecurity system but to make it the best in the world,  further investment is required. Any incursions into this country have the potential to decimate our primary sector, the backbone of the New Zealand economy.
"And, that is a scenario no future government will want to be dealing with."
And what else is on our wish list?
"We’d like to see the next Government make a genuine commitment to better quality regulation, and less regulation.
"They should be working towards implementing a number of key recommendations of the Productivity Commission on this," says Katie.
These recommendations included strengthening Parliamentary processes for testing proposed new regulations and requiring government departments to concentrate efforts ensuring regulations concentrate on achieving, and are formulated to achieve, maximum net benefits for New Zealand.
"For farmers, what we require of Government is that they apply a rural lens to all that they do," says Katie.
Further Details: Refer to Federated Farmers 2017 General Election Manifesto