National pledges to ease legislation for farmers

National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ
National Party leader Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ
The National Party is promising to dismantle legislation it says is too much of a burden for farmers, including the new freshwater regulations, the Resource Management Act and the Zero Carbon Act.

The agriculture policy also includes improving access to foreign workers, reviewing treatment of forestry by the Overseas Investment office, reviewing parts of the Emissions Trading Scheme, and pursuing an active free trade agenda.

National is pledging to:

  • Repeal the Resource Management Act (RMA) and replace it with an Environmental Standards Act and Planning and Development Act
  • Allow skilled workers and Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers to enter New Zealand
  • Create a fast-tracked Primary Sector Visa
  • Repeal or review the nine new water regulations Labour introduced in August
  • Promote water storage options
  • Review the treatment of forestry in the Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Remove the exemption that streamlines the process for forestry applications in the Overseas Investment Office test
  • Remove the review process around introducing agriculture into the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2022
  • Pass seven changes to the Zero Carbon Act, including a review of the methane target
  • Pursue an active free trade agenda to open up new markets for New Zealand's food and fibre products.
  • Enforce stronger penalties for biosecurity offences
  • Build the infrastructure to ensure better connectivity for rural communities

Party leader Judith Collins and agriculture spokesperson David Bennett are in Gisborne to announce the policy today.

Collins says the party's pledge is to "ensure that our agricultural policy focuses on allowing farmers the opportunity to farm their way to better outcomes, rather than being regulated into oblivion".

Bennett said: "There will be a demand for more sustainability in our farming practices. Farmers are up for this challenge and this desire for improvement is clear in farmers' efforts over recent years.

"We'll address the issues around workforce shortages and ensure that primary sector businesses have every opportunity to continue growing and supporting New Zealand's economy."


This politicians' pledge carries as much weight as a Sparrow feather. Forget bribes, what we really need to see is the amazing silver bullet idea that deals with the world wide pandemic, our border and keeping the country running safely without using other peoples failed ideas. Watching private security at isolation facilities fail spectacularly, so we don't have the time left for daft ideas. National are very quick to criticise the government for failures in Covid response and have been equally quick at forgetting that two of their own MPs intervention let two women do a runner from Auckland to Wellington during the lockdown; or a former leader that required travelling for over 500km to shake hands with the press corp. National has yet to come up with anything resembling the silver bullet and they are a "major" party supposedly with a strong team, but not necessarily strong minds. It is not business as usual Collins, far from it. Don't bother having a hack at everyone else and not come up with the goods. Don't make promises you can't or won't keep. Now is not the time.

While Labour have made a mess of trying to clean up the agricultural sector at least they are trying. National however are nothing more than environmental hooligans. Collins is no better than Trump or Bolsonaro of Brazil.

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