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Farm Debt Laws Need to Be Overhauled

Richard Prosser MP
Spokesperson for Primary Industries
20 March 2013

Farm Debt Laws Need to Be Overhauled

New Zealand First says the case of a farm receivership in Taranaki, which resulted in a farm debt negotiator and a journalist allegedly being assaulted, highlights the need for Parliament to consider introducing a Farm Debt Mediation Bill.

Primary Industries spokesperson Richard Prosser says there are better ways of resolving difficulties in farm finance than throwing people out of their homes and off the land.

“Evicting farmers from their properties in the middle of a drought crisis is unreasonably harsh and very probably unnecessary.

“Farm Debt Mediation laws exist in South Australia and New South Wales as well as across Canada.

“They work well in allowing farmers and banks to work together to restructure debt so the banks get their money and farmers keep their land.”

Mr Prosser says that in the Taranaki farm case there had been further allegations concerning questions around personal property, the ownership and welfare of stock, and potential food safety concerns, as a result of the receivership process.

“Other allegations concerning possible improper actions by some of those involved in the receivership are potentially very serious and should be investigated separately.”

ENDS

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