• John Luxton

Acting Agriculture Minister John Luxton, today introduced the Dairy Board Amendment Bill to Parliament.

The bill provides for the repeal of Section 27 of the Dairy Board Act 1961, a provision which enables the New Zealand Dairy Board to operate domestic price equalisation schemes for dairy products.

Mr Luxton said the original rationale for the section was to ensure adequate supplies of dairy products for the domestic market during times of high international prices. The New Zealand Dairy Board still makes use of the section to operate price domestic price equalisation schemes for butter and most cheeses.

"We no longer believe it is desirable for the Board, an export organisation, to have powers to influence the domestic market for dairy products," he said. "We believe the domestic dairy market should operate under normal competition rules, governed by the Commerce Act."

The dairy industry supports the reform.