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Dairy Restructuring Bill Progresses

The Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill completed its committee stage despite opposition.

The bill was reported with amendment by 64 to 57 with National, Maori Party, ACT and United Future supporting.

Opposition to the bill centred around concerns that ownership of Fonterra could be transferred offshore due to the bill allowing limited trading of farmers shares in the co-operative.

The Government said the concerns were exaggerated and there was no desire amongst farmers for that to happen, and in addition there were protections.

Labour MP Damien O’Connor said the bill was one of the most significant economic bills to come before the House in some time.

O’Connor said farmers held a second vote on some of the issues before the bill passed into law.

One of these concerned the size of the tradable pool of shares and O’Connor proposed a statutory limit.

Agriculture Minister David Carter said it was up to Fonterra and its farmers to decide the details and they were proposing a more limited pool than O’Connor was proposing

It was now the job of Government to pass the law so Fonterra could get on with their work, even if Labour did not support it.

O’Connor’s amendment was defeated.

Following the vote on the dairy bill MPs began the committee stage of the Social Security (Youth Support and Work Focus) Amendment Bill

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