National promises to stop farmers being 'regulated into oblivion', if elected

Source: 1News

National wants to create a fast-tracked primary sector visa, make changes to the Zero Carbon Act and allow more skilled and seasonal workers to enter the country. 

Leader Judith Collins says farmers already "have enough on their plate with weather, interest rates and international markets", so she will reduce "regulatory burden and give farmers confidence for the future" if voters allow National to take control. 

"Our pledge is to ensure that our agricultural policy focuses on allowing farmers the opportunity to farm their way to better outcomes, rather than being regulated into oblivion," she said. 

Part of National's agricultural plan is to create a fast-tracked primary sector visa and allow skilled workers and "recognised seasonal employer" workers to enter New Zealand.

The recognised seasonal employer scheme allows 14,400 people from Pacific Island countries to work in horticulture and viticulture when there are not enough New Zealanders to employ. 

National also promised to repeal or review new water regulations, make seven changes to the Zero Carbon Act and to repeal the Resource Management Act and replace it with an Environmental Standards Act and Planning and Development Act. 

The Government announced this week  a number of immigration policy changes, including class exceptions for border entry and a new seasonal employment visa, to help fill key labour shortages amid a clampdown on international travel due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The changes include a "supplementary seasonal employment" visa, which will be automatically given to around 11,000 working holiday visa holders in New Zealand with visas expiring between November 1, 2020, and March 31, 2021.

Employers can take on those workers when there are unfilled recognised seasonal employer scheme spaces, or if there are unfilled roles available with an accredited supplementary seasonal employment employer.