Dairy Legislation Time Frame Very Tight
DFNZ chairman Charlie Pedersen said today that the time for responding to the new Dairy Industry Restructuring Bill was so tight as to be formidable but not impossible to adequately consult stakeholders and respond to the select committee.
Submissions will be due four weeks from today to enable the bill to be back before Parliament before it rises. A specially formed select committee is going to examine the bill.
"Our members are already nervous at the pace of change and their lack of inclusion in the process. However, we agree that the industry has had to find agreement on some complex and linked issues before consulting the stakeholders in a way that is meaningful, bearing in mind that this is the busiest time of the year on a dairy farm.
Mr Pedersen said that he had confidence in the ability of the DFNZ Executive and DFNZ Council to respond on behalf of their members.
"We must accept the criticism that to this point, farmer inclusion has been less than ideal. However, now is the critical time, with all parts of the jigsaw in place and the picture at last complete."
"Industry leaders and DFNZ must now make sure all farmers understand the options the legislation will allow them, and are sufficiently briefed to make the decision that has such huge implications for the future viability of New Zealand dairy farming and the New Zealand economy," Mr Pedersen said.