[10 September/Radio NZ]

A new bill on farm debt was called weak by a parliamentary select committee, and sent away for more work. The bill provides for mediation between banks and farms before receivership or liquidation action is taken. The proposal was condemned by insolvency specialist, John Fisk. However, New Zealand First MP, Mark Patterson, said it worked in Australia and would work here. A written version of the bill was examined by Parliament’s Primary Production Select Committee, and the Chair, Nationals’ David Bennett, had suggested it be referred to Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, to seek help from the Ministry for Primary Industries. Mr Patterson said he was asked to do more work on the bill. Mr Fisk faulted the bill for causing delays in settling insolvency which would only increase the size of the original debt.