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DairyNZ welcomes the Farm Debt Mediation Bill as an example of an initiative that will mean a lot to farmers who may be feeling financial pressure, says chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.

If passed into law, the Bill will require secured creditors to offer mediation to farmers if they default on payments, before taking enforcement action.

The legislation will apply to loans that are secured against farmland, farm machinery, livestock and harvested crops and wool.


The Bill "will certainly mean a lot to farmers who may be feeling financial pressure" and will "create conditions for deeper discussions between the farmer and their ... bankers to take place" Mackle told Rowena Duncum on The Country Early Edition.

Listen below:

"For most farmers the farm is more than just a business. It's a home, it's their lifestyle or an asset ... to pass on to the next generation, and that in itself really brings its own unique pressures on people. So this is a positive thing just to lighten that up a bit".

The Farm Debt Mediation Bill would not only be helpful for the dairy sector and those associated with it, it could also have an impact on other small businesses, said Mackle.

"The rules that they're introducing to this bill more broadly - it would be nice to think they could help other small businesses too, not just farming - because they're all faced with the same challenges at times".

Also in today's interview: Mackle looks forward to the South Island Dairy Event (SIDE) in Invercargill next week.