Meat & Livestock News

Agricultural Sector Seeks Government Action on Growing Concerns

Confident analyst explaining data to young businesswoman

New Zealand’s farming community, represented by Federated Farmers, is calling on the newly elected government to take swift action to address a series of regulatory challenges that are impacting farmer confidence and productivity.

The organisation has highlighted a range of issues including stringent wetland regulations, restrictions on fertiliser use, the complexity of freshwater farm plans, and the necessity for winter grazing resource consents. Federated Farmers advocate for prompt legislative amendments to alleviate these concerns.

Rural Contractors NZ (RCNZ), the agricultural contracting sector’s representative body, has already reached out to Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon, urging the incoming government to expedite the removal of job check requirements from visa processes.

These checks, which demand proof that no New Zealander is available to fill a job, are causing significant delays and adding to the stress and financial burden of the industry, according to RCNZ Chief Executive Andrew Olsen.

The RCNZ is hopeful that the removal of this requirement could be actioned in time for the crucial maize season beginning in February.

Additionally, Apples & Pears New Zealand, the national body for the apple and pear industry, is pressing for an urgent review of the Recognised Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme.

Chief Executive Karen Morrish is preparing a briefing for the incoming minister to address key sector issues and suggests that the RSE scheme, while successful, is due for enhancements after 15 years of operation.

She is optimistic that the government’s review could yield significant benefits and is expected to be well-received by the industry.

These industry groups are united in their call for the new government to take decisive steps to support New Zealand’s agricultural sector, which is eager to see improvements in regulatory frameworks to bolster productivity and sustainability.