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AMINZ welcomes Farm Debt Mediation Bill

Press Release – Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ

The Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand today welcomed the Governments introduction of a Farm Debt Mediation Bill.
The Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand today welcomed the Government’s introduction of a Farm Debt Mediation Bill.

The bill will require creditors to offer mediation to farmers who default on payments before they take any enforcement action.

AMINZ, which has long lobbied for the proposed changes, believes farm debt mediation is a critically useful mechanism to assist farmers, rural communities and banks.

Executive Director Deborah Hart said the Government’s decision to give the bill a go-­ahead would bring the New Zealand rural sector into line with its Australian counterpart.

“Mediation, or the use of a neutral party, a mediator, to assist parties to explore and find solutions that suit their needs, has been shown to work in the rural sector,” Ms Hart said.

“It’s a highly useful mechanism to ensure all possible avenues can be explored when a farmer gets into debt — and indeed it’s a solution supported by banks and farmers alike.

“But it’s also essential to ensure the professional spirit of the changes is honoured, with suitably trained and credentialed mediators involved in the process.”

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