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Meat Bill passed by Parliament


Meat Bill passed by Parliament

The passing of the Meat Bill was the beginning of a new era for the meat and wool industries, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

Mr Sutton said the Meat Board had asked that it be restructured, and its industry-good activities merged with those of SheepCo, as agreed to by farmers in a referendum last year.

The Meat Bill enacts that merger, and its changes mean that the quota management functions and management of industry reserves are to be retained in a residual board with statutory powers. The Meat Board's industry-good functions have been undertaken by a new company, Meat and Wool New Zealand, funded under the Commodity Levies Act.

Mr Sutton said that the passing of the bill brought about a new era for the meat and wool industries.

"These are significant industries. Together, they earn about $5.7 billion from exports each year. It is important for all New Zealanders that these industries thrive. This new structure is something farmers see as necessary for their futures, and the Government has agreed."

Mr Sutton said the Meat Board restructuring proposal fulfilled the Government's criteria: it was supported by a majority of growers, as shown by the referendum; it was fair to minority interests; and it was in the national interest.

The bill was passed unanimously with support from all parties.

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