Sutton's Producer Board Comments "Astounding"

  • Dr Lockwood Smith

Comments by Labour's agriculture spokesperson, Jim Sutton, that the Government has hasty, confused and radical plans to change producer boards are astounding, Agriculture Minister Lockwood Smith said today.

"The Government has asked producer boards to prepare plans which outline how and when reform could take place," Dr Smith said. "Our intention is to avoid any hasty and confused changes by ensuring that boards have detailed and comprehensive plans for reform. These plans will then be available should a New Zealand parliament decide to remove the boards' special powers, something everyone connected with agriculture knows is inevitable at some point in the future.

"It is astounding that Labour's agriculture spokesperson seems to oppose this exercise in prudent planning. Given that he shares the Government's view that hasty, confused change is to be avoided, I would have expected his support."