The Primary Production Committee called for submissions on The Farm Debt Mediation Bill (No 2) (‘the bill’) which would establish a farm debt mediation scheme that would require creditors with security interest in farm property to offer mediation to farmers before taking an enforcement action in relation to that debt and allow farmers to initiate statutory mediation with a secured creditor.
The Ministry for Primary Industries with both the Office of the Minister of Agriculture and the Office of the Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs has been working together to establish the framework behind the Farm Debt Mediation Programme.
We support three key objectives of the bill which aim to support farmers in financial distress.
In our submission to the Primary Production Committee, we highlighted our support for the three-key objective of the Bill which are to:
- Support farmers in financial distress in their involvement with secured creditors
- Make it possible to explore options for turning around a failing farming business, and
- Allow a farmer with an unviable business and for whom few other viable options exist, to “exit with dignity”.
We thank our members operating in the rural sector who contributed and helped us shape our submission to the Bill.