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Farmers Should Not Pay For Asure Nz's Action

Federated Farmers wants the Government, not farmers, to foot the bill for any legal action or compensation resulting from Asure NZ's treatment of its staff.

Asure NZ is a state owned enterprise that has a monopoly on meat inspection services within New Zealand. All meat processed for commercial sale has to be examined by Asure NZ inspectors.

Federated Farmers spokesperson Chris Lester said today that, "As Asure NZ is a monopoly, any costs arising from its own incompetence will be simply recouped from its captive market - farmers."

"Asure NZ's charges should not increase. Instead, the dividend the Government takes from the SOE should reduce."

"There is no contestability in meat inspection services. Meat processors, and ultimately farmers, simply have to pay whatever fee the meat inspection service charges."

"Farmers are already over-exposed to gold-plated public service cost recovery schemes such as the MAF Verification Agency. These agencies should not act as profit makers for the Government."

Mr Lester said that the issue highlighted the dangers of monopoly regulators overcharging simply because its clients have no choice.

The federation wants the Government to review its regulatory bodies and introduce contestability wherever possible, and greater transparency for all agencies.

"Where the law requires regulatory services such as inspection, monitoring, or issuing permits to be down by the Crown, there must be total transparency and incentive pricing, such as CPI-x, to force efficiency gains, and so help keep inflation in check."

"All monopolies are capable of abusing their powers, no matter who the owner is, or the worthiness of its actions," concluded Mr Lester.

ENDS For further information: Chris Lester 025-978-424 Catherine Petrey 04-473-7269

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