National’s Getting back to Farming

National’s Getting back to Farming package will cut the mountain of red tape that has buried farmers since 2017, National Leader Christopher Luxon says.

“Labour has used regulation to declare war on farmers. National will end that war by cutting red tape.

“New Zealand has the worst current account deficit in the developed world. If we don’t earn more from overseas, there will be consequences – like lower wages and less money to spend on the public services we all want and need. 

“Farming is the backbone of our economy. Last year agriculture exports totalled $41 billion or 63 per cent of our goods exports. When farmers succeed, New Zealand succeeds.

“But since it was elected, Labour has introduced or changed more than 20 laws and regulations for farmers, adding extra costs on them often without any environmental gain. For example, wetlands are so poorly defined that farmers are having to go to court to determine whether land is a paddock that can be farmed, or a protected wetland that can’t.

“National’s Getting back to Farming package will make regulation fit for purpose.

“I want world-class regulation for our world-class farmers. Regulation has a role to play, but rules should avoid prescription, target outcomes, minimise compliance, and be clear to provide certainty.”

National’s Getting back to Farming package contains 19 changes including:

Deliver smarter rules for the future

  • Introduce a  2-for-1 rule – for every new agriculture regulation, two must be   removed.
  • Establish a Rural Regulation Review Panel to consider all regulations affecting farmers.
  • Require new rules to be assessed for their costs to farmers with findings published.

Supercharge the rural economy

  • Double the RSE worker cap from 19,000 to 38,000 and create a path to residency through the Accredited Employer Work Visa.
  • Ban foreign farm-to-forest conversions for carbon farming
  • Allow normal rural activities on Highly Productive Land.

Get Wellington out of farming

  • Replace one-size-fits-all rules with local decision-making.
  • Focus environmental protection on areas of high environmental value.
  • Improve stock exclusion rules.

“This is only the start. This country does not need more rules. It needs better regulation.  

“New Zealand is an agricultural nation. National will boost our economy while protecting our environment. National is proud to back New Zealand’s world-leading farmers.”


Read our full policy here.