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Cautious reponse to Meat NZ levy proposal

An investigation to ensure Commodity Levies Act procedures are as efficient as possible could be worthwhile, Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton said today.

However, Mr Sutton was more cautious about Meat NZ's call to substantially overhaul the Commodity Levies Act.

He said that if Meat NZ had a problem with the administration of the Commodity Levies Act, then the first thing to do would be to look at what caused that problem.

"Is it due to the Government? Is it the necessary checks and balances to preserve the rights of levy payers? Can removing these procedures be done without eroding the proper protection for levy payers?"

Mr Sutton said he was certainly prepared to go through a process of looking at the commodity levy issues raised by Meat NZ.

He said that under the act, levies were set by regulation through an order in council, after votes by levy-payers, not by Parliament.

ENDS

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