Federated Farmers is urging Parliament to send Members’ Bills from MPs Mark Cameron and Maureen Pugh to select committee for debate.
“The two bills, drawn from the ballot and due to come before the House today, address issues important to many New Zealanders – best management of environmental impacts, and freedom camping,” Federated Farmers President Andrew Hoggard says.
“As Labour holds the majority, these bills will go nowhere without their support. As the self-proclaimed ‘government of the people’ we call on them, in the spirit of democracy and sound governance, to send these proposals to select committee for cross-party scrutiny and submissions from the public.”
ACT MP Mark Cameron’s Resource Management (Regional Responsibility for Certain Agricultural Matters) Amendment Bill proposes that certain agricultural activities should not be subject to national, blanket regulations (National Environmental Standards), including stock exclusion from water bodies, managing environmental effects of winter grazing, application of synthetic nitrogen fertiliser and sediment control measures.
The bill says these activities should instead be controlled by regional councils in their plans and regulations, as regional councils are best placed to understand local conditions, and have a more direct relationship with their communities, their farmers and their industries.
National MP Maureen Pugh’s bill proposes legislation changes that would confine freedom camping for other than self-contained vehicles to within 200 metres of toilet facilities, and would also beef up fines for poor behaviour by freedom campers.
“Both of these bills are of considerable interest to farmers, and no doubt many other New Zealanders,” Andrew said.
“They should be put to the rigours of the select committee process and public input.”