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Feedback sought on dairy industry regulations

Hon David Carter
Minister of Agriculture

14 December 2009
Media Statement

Feedback sought on dairy industry regulations

Agriculture Minister David Carter has today released a consultation document on the upcoming expiry of the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (DIRA).

Mr Carter says that unlike previous dairy related consultations, which concentrated solely on the Raw Milk Regulations, this consultation process focuses on the entire DIRA pro-competition regulations.

“The Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 was never intended to be permanent in nature. But before it is allowed to expire, it is necessary to take stock and consider the likelihood of the New Zealand dairy markets operating efficiently after the time the pro-competition provisions of the Act end.

"I encourage all interested parties to have their say on this important piece of legislation that affects one of our largest export earning industries.”

Mr Carter says that the fast approaching expiry of the current pro-competition provisions of the DIRA, and the need to provide the dairy industry with certainty, mean that public consultation will start now.

It will not include issues relating to stage three of Fonterra’s proposed capital restructuring process, as the outcome of stage three will not be known for some time.

“Fonterra’s capital restructuring proposal will require amendments to the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 and the Government will ensure that, whatever the regulations are, farmers will retain their ability to freely enter and exit the Fonterra co-operative,” Mr Carter says.

Submissions close on 12 February 2010 and a report back from the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry is expected in the first quarter of next year.

The consultation document is available here.


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