Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Relief at Last for Debt Distressed Farmers

Mark Patterson

Spokesperson for Primary Industries

11 December 2019

A New Zealand First bill 20 years in the making to help ensure the fair and equitable resolution of farm debt issues passed its final reading in Parliament last night.

Primary Industries Spokesperson Mark Patterson says the passage of the Farm Debt Mediation Bill, which started its life as a New Zealand First Member’s bill in 1999, is an important moment for the future of our rural communities.

“New Zealand First has always understood that a farm isn’t just a business. Oftentimes, it’s a family home and the pride of generations of farmers.

“This bill will ensure all options are explored to turn around a failing farm business, introducing a mediation step to help resolve debt issues before enforcement action is taken.

Mr Patterson says that high levels of debt are threatening many farms’ long-term viability, and that the passage of this bill could not come sooner.

“In 1999 when our legislation was first put forward, total farm debt was at $11.7 billion. Today, that number is $62.8 billion.

“Our farmers are uniquely vulnerable to the volatilities of commodity markets, biosecurity incursions and weather events, and many are having to borrow to manage that volatility.

“The consequences of these pressures on our rural communities are clear. A recent Federated Farmers survey found that the number of farmers feeling pressured by their bank grew from 11% to 16% between November 2018 to May 2019.

“The mediation step this bill provides for will require banks to work with farmers to find a way forward, and ensure they are not simply left in the lurch when the banks come calling.

“It will help farmers avoid the worst-case scenario of not being able to pass their farms down to future generations, or for those with non-viable businesses, exit with dignity,” Mr Patterson says.

Please see a video explaining the Bill from the Leader of New Zealand First, Rt Hon Winston Peters >>>


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Demise Of The Tokyo Olympics

As the Covid vaccines roll out around the world, the Tokyo Olympics are looming as a major test of when (and whether) something akin to global normality can return – to international travel, to global tourism, to professional sport and to mass gatherings of human beings. Currently though, it looks like a forlorn hope that Japan will be able to host the Olympics in late July. Herd immunity on any significant scale seems possible only by December 2021, at the earliest... More>>


Oranga Tamariki: Chief Executive Grainne Moss Steps Down

Controversial Oranga Tamariki chief executive Grainne Moss has decided to step down. More>>


USA: Prime Minister Congratulates President Joe Biden On His Inauguration

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter ... More>>


New Zealand Government: Cook Islanders To Resume Travel To New Zealand

The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such ... More>>


A New Year: No politicians at Rātana in 2021

Annual celebrations at Rātana pā will be different this year, amid a decision to hold an internal hui for church adherents only… More>>


Government: New Public Housing Plan Announced

RT HON JACINDA ARDERN HON DR MEGAN WOODS The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government ... More>>

Government: Pre-Departure Testing Extended To All Passengers To New Zealand

To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. More>>


Covid: Border Exception for 1000 International Students

The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began....More>>





InfoPages News Channels