When it comes to Budget handouts, Federated Farmers is promising to make it easy for the government this year.
New president Wayne Langford has released the organisation’s wish list ahead of Budget 2023, saying farmers are asking for “absolutely nothing”.
“Farmers aren’t looking for any sort of handout from the government in the Budget and are happy to stand on our own two feet,” Langford said.
“All we really want is for the government to stop weighing us down with impractical, unpragmatic and unfair regulations so we can get on with doing what we do best – farming.”
With a looming recession, rising interest rates and a cost-of-living crisis, New Zealand needs farmers to be “firing on all cylinders more than ever”, creating jobs, exports and income for the country, he said.
While people are doing it tough at the moment, nobody should be going hungry or without in a country that produces as much high-quality food as NZ, Langford said.
“We don’t just have a cost-of-living crisis in this country, we have a cost-of-farming crisis too. When farmers’ costs increase, we can’t just pass them on, so we end up getting squeezed in the middle and struggle to turn a profit.”
Langford said farmers are being hamstrung by impractical and unfair regulations.
“This Budget we don’t just want the prime minister to focus on the ‘bread and butter’ issues, we want him to focus on making it a little easier for us to produce that bread and butter too.”
Feds wants the government to be investing in things like the cyclone recovery, mental health support, digital connectivity and sorting out the state of pothole-riddled roads, “but we don’t just want that for farmers, we want it for all New Zealanders”.
“Repairing infrastructure and supporting communities impacted by Cyclone Gabrielle must be a top priority,” Langford said.