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Luxton Hails Bright Future For Dairy Industry

MEDIA RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
4 SEPTEMBER 1999

LUXTON HAILS BRIGHT FUTURE FOR DAIRY INDUSTRY

Food and Fibre Minister John Luxton today said he was delighted that the Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill as agreed between the dairy industry and the Government had been passed despite opposition from the Labour Party, New Zealand First and the Alliance.

"The Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill provides a clear vision for the future and gives farmers the flexibility to achieve control over their own destiny. This legislation was prompted from a strategic change of direction by the New Zealand dairy industry and now gives New Zealand dairy farmers the critical mass to take the world head-on."

"This Bill provides an enabling structure for farmers to improve their lot by allowing shareholders in the Dairy Board to exercise the normal rights and powers of shareholders in a conventional company. It also allows those shareholders who do not want to participate, to withdraw the fair value of their investment and to move away from the single-seller concept of the past."

"For the dairy industry to compete long term in a globalising world, it needs to change direction. Recognising that requires leadership and vision and I commend the leadership of the New Zealand Dairy Board for their hard work and foresight."

"Sadly the same cannot be said about the opposition who would rather hark back to the restrictive legislation of the1930's and prevent farmers from taking control of their own industry. While the opposition would like it if time stood still, that is certainly not an option for the dairy industry."

They opposed the legislation and proposed many amendments including one requiring dairy company shareholders to pay compensation to Maori landowners for the dairy industry charges proposed in the Act.

"This legislation provides a clear strategy for the growth for the dairy industry. It will raise the value of farmer wealth and farmer returns over time," Mr Luxton concluded.

ENDS

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