Labour calls for bipartisan support for dairy industry

Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party

The Government is being urged to go back to the drawing board over its controversial Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill and commit to maintaining the decades-old bipartisan consensus over dairy industry legislation, says Labour’s Primary Industries …Damien
O’Connor
Spokesperson for Primary Industries
29 March 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Labour calls for bipartisan support for dairy industry

The Government is being urged to go back to the drawing board over its controversial Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill and commit to maintaining the decades-old bipartisan consensus over dairy industry legislation, says Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor.

The move follows today’s announcement by the Fonterra Shareholders’ Council, which represents Fonterra’s 10,500 farmer-shareholders, that it cannot support the legislation in its current form because of the Government’s disregard for its submissions around milk price regulation.

Damien O’Connor has noted that one of his major concerns would be that without further recourse to Parliament this legislation would allow all cooperative shares to be traded on the bond market with the possible destruction of New Zealand’s most successful co-operative.

He says that Labour has always had a policy that dairy-industry changes should be farmer-led and that it is in everyone’s best interests to work together to achieve political consensus and stability for the country’s most important export industry.

“Labour is not seeking to play politics over National’s dealings with dairy farmers. We have always sought bipartisan support from National and will continue to do so.

“We also understand the importance of the industry to New Zealanders and of the need to be guided by farmers and not to impose reform on them,” Damien O’Connor said.

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