Changing the law to make farming easier

With the budget being announced in May, the economy is a primary focus at this time of year.

For towns like Gore, a strong and vibrant economy is firmly anchored by the performance of the rural sector.

Farming is the backbone of the economy here, so I am pleased to be hosting Minister for Rural Communities and Associate Agriculture Minister, Mark Patterson, for a woolshed meeting at Five Rivers on May 17.

Without dwelling on the past, it’s fair to say the last six years have been some of the toughest for farmers.

Like all sectors, rising costs and inflation are taking huge chunks off the balance sheets of our farms.

The woolshed meeting is an opportunity to come and discuss the issues affecting you most.

As part of our plan to rebuild the economy, we want to relieve the pressure on farmers from the previous Government’s unworkable policies.

An example of how we’re doing this is in the first Resource Management Amendment Bill.

While the National Policy Statement on Freshwater Management is reviewed and replaced, resource consent applicants no longer need to demonstrate their proposed activities follow the Te Mana o te Wai hierarchy of obligations.

It will suspend the National Policy Statement for Indigenous Biodiversity’s requirement for councils to identify new significant natural areas, for three years.

The Bill will also amend stock exclusion regulations for sloped land, and repeal intensive winter grazing regulations.

Regional councils are seeing significant improvements in winter grazing practices, with farmers changing where they plant fodder crops and how they manage winter grazing.

The national requirement for farmers to obtain prescriptive and expensive winter grazing consents is being removed in time for the 2025 season, and instead being managed through good practice and regional council plans.

These common-sense changes are addressing some of the issues facing our farmers, but we want to know what else needs attention.

So come along to the woolshed meeting and have a chat: May 17, 1pm-2.30pm, at the woolshed opposite 874 Five Rivers-Lumsden Highway.