NZ First lodges bill to help struggling farmers

By Maiki Sherman

With agricultural debt at $54billion, NZ First has lodged a Bill at parliament to help struggling farmers avoid receivership. List MP Ron Mark says a generation of farmers are at risk of being burned and it was the duty of parliamentarians to ensure that didn’t happen.

“Dairy prices are down with no signs of immediate recovery as the Russia/Ukraine stand-off displaces billions of litres of European milk.  Lamb schedules have tracked down while parts of New Zealand continue to struggle with drought, especially Canterbury,” he said.

The Receiverships (Agricultural Debt Mediation) Amendment Bill places obligations on the Banking Ombudsman Scheme to administer Agricultural Debt Mediation. It will also remove any financial limit for scheme compensation.

“At present many farmers and sharemilkers with watchlist loans are under stress.

“The Reserve Bank’s Financial Stability report reveals that about 1,200 dairy farmers owe nearly $10 billion”.