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Alliance seeks to delay dairy legislation

John Wright MP Thu Sep 2 1999

John Wright
MP 'Most of New Zealand's dairy industry will end up overseas owned within ten years because of the way the government is rushing deregulation through parliament,' Alliance MP John Wright says.

He's predicting the dairy restructuring will end in the same fiasco as last year's electricity changes.

'The last piece of legislation to be rushed through like this was Max Bradford's electricity reforms. He rammed that legislation through in just 41 days. Then the whole package started to fall apart in front of our eyes.'

The Alliance will be seeking to send the legislation back to the select committee.

'The National led government wants to rush through legislation under urgency to de-regulate the dairy industry and create a mega co-op against the wishes of farmers, Dairy Industry leaders, the Commerce Commission and many others.

'Just this week, the message to the government has been clear. New Zealanders don't want to rush this legislation.'

This week the Commerce Commission said 'no' to a dairy mega merger. Also Dairy Board chairman John Storey announced he is to step down as chair after being dumped from his seat on the New Zealand Dairy Group.

He lost his position because of anger over the speed of change and lack of consultation.

'Farmers want more time to understand the implications of these changes, and they want more independent information,' said John Wright.

'Instead Mrs Shipley's government has rushed through the select committee process, and catapulted the bill aback into parliament I just 48 days. The whole process usually takes about six months.

'The dairy board legislation will suffer the same chaotic fate of the electricity reforms if the Government doesn't stop for breath, and heed this advise,' said John Wright.

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