New Zealand levy to continue following referendum

By Aaron McDonald

- Last updated on GMT

Over 84% of farmers voted to keep the lamb and beef levy
Over 84% of farmers voted to keep the lamb and beef levy

Related tags Lamb new zealand Beef Lamb Livestock

Beef + Lamb New Zealand, the country’s industry levy board, has received overwhelming support to continue operations following a referendum. 

The nation’s farmers received the opportunity to vote on whether or not the organisation should carry on or if it should dissolve.

The Declaration of Result, which was provided by returning officer Warwick Lampp of Electionz.com, revealed that 84.56%, on a one farmer one vote basis, voted in favour of keeping the sheepmeat levy, while 84.66% voted yes on the beef levy.

2009 was the last time that Beef + Lamb NZ went through a referendum, although the results were dramatically different. Both the sheepmeat and beef levy narrowly passed the vote six years ago.

“Since 2009 the board and staff have worked incredibly hard to reconnect with farmers. Consequently, Beef + Lamb New Zealand has become much more farmer-facing, partnered far better with like-minded organisations and has been a stronger voice for farmers in key areas,”​ explained chairman of the organisation James Parsons.

Parsons also expressed his relief at the positive result of the referendum. “Naturally we are delighted with the strong endorsement from farmers, but the challenges the sector faces are as great as ever. Feedback from farmers who attended the 53 referendum meetings around the country was that they want and need a farmer organisation now as much as ever.”

As a result, Parsons admitted that the organisation needed to work hard over the next six years. However, they will endeavour safe in the knowledge that they have the support of the farmers of New Zealand, he said.

“The result is a strong indication that our work over the past six years has been on the right track, and that we should continue to evolve and improve it over time. Without question, Beef + Lamb New Zealand in another six years’ time will be vastly different to what we see today. Farmers can expect a lot more initiatives already in the pipeline to surface in the next couple of years.”

Additionally, Parsons said he had informed the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy, of the outcome of the vote. Furthermore, the body will be applying to the minister’s office for the new levy orders that will run through until 2022.

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