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Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill (No 2)

Introduced on Dec 20. The Bill amends the Dairy Industry Restructuring Act 2001 (the DIRA) to prevent the expiry of some provisions in May 2018. These relate to ensuring efficient dairy markets and monitoring of Fonterra’s farm gate milk price in the absence of sufficient competition. The expiration of some protections were contingent on sufficient competition developing in New Zealand dairy markets, with competitive pressure removing the need for  regulatory provisions. A statutorily required report on the state of competition, prepared by the Commerce Commission, found that competition is not sufficient and regulations should remain in place. First and second reading taken under Urgency on Feb 13, committee stage begun and interrupted with Urgency ended on Feb 13. Bill completed its third reading on Feb 15 with all parties in support. National argued Urgency was not necessary and should have gone to select committee, the also expressed concern that the Govt said it would hold a wide ranging review of dairy legislation and other issues including environmental factors. Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill (No 2).