By refusing to back a practical change that would lessen the regulatory load on farmers, Labour have shown they remain completely out of touch with rural New Zealand, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Barbara Kuriger and Local Government spokesperson Christopher Luxon say.
“Labour had the opportunity to support National’s sensible amendment to the Water Services Bill which would have exempted water suppliers with 30 or fewer endpoint users,” Mr Luxon says.
“This would have prevented rural water schemes from being exposed to massive, burdensome compliance and costs.
“Instead, Labour’s bill will now require at least 70,000 small farm supply arrangements to meet onerous, disproportionate duties like producing drinking water safety plans and establishing consumer complaints processes. On top of that, Taumata Arowai will need to track down these tens of thousands of schemes and register them.
“The perverse outcome of this bill will be time and money being wasted when there is little evidence rural water schemes put human health at risk,” Mr Luxon says.
“Farmers and rural communities are sick of Labour putting them up to their eyeballs in costs, rules and regulations,” Ms Kuriger says.
“Labour’s rejection of our SOP shows they have ignored the more than 15,000 people who asked for it to be supported, and who have called on the Government to stop overwhelming rural New Zealand with new regulations.
“It’s no wonder farmers and their families are feeling hit from every angle. Their lives and livelihoods are impacted by decisions from the Beehive which are being made with no understanding of the problems they create.
“The Government needs to recognise and value our rural heartland – not throw obstacle after obstacle in their path.
“National is the party for rural New Zealand. We will continue to defend our rural communities from Labour’s ill-conceived rules and regulations,” Ms Kuriger says.
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