Snapshot: Legislation Update
The Organic Products Bill 2020 – Committee now recommends review of compliance costs to ensure reasonable to producers.
Once passed the Organic Products Bill (Bill) will provide a framework for the production, labelling and sale of organic products such as food and beverages in New Zealand and will ensure New Zealand can meet domestic and international demand for organic products.
As an update to our December 2020 edition of this newsletter, the Primary Production Committee (Committee) has now reviewed the submissions on the Bill and provided recommendations on how the Bill could be amended to better facilitate business and consumer confidence in the organic product industry.
Defining ‘Organic Products’
The current version of the Bill does not define what an ‘organic product’ is and the Committee has proposed that ‘organic product’ be defined to avoid confusion among organic producers and the wider community.
Organic farmers and producers have expressed concern that the compliance costs of the Act are to be funded by organic producers through fees and levies. For example, the Bill provides that some organic producers may be required to undertake an audit process as part of their compliance with the Act at their own expense.
The Committee has recommended that the Bill be amended to provide guidance on the likely compliance costs that producers will face, and that a system be set up to ensure compliance costs for producers are reasonable, including:
- that auditing entities be established to carry out the auditing process; and
- that a clear system be established for producers to raise concerns about the audit fees with the Minister.
The Committee’s recommendations are now before Parliament and will be reviewed as part of the second reading of the Bill. We will keep you updated on the progress of the Bill as it makes its way through Parliament.
Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Act 2022 – “Ute Tax” expected from 1 April 2022
Introduced as part of the Government’s commitment to reduce vehicle emissions and to make New Zealand carbon neutral by 2050, the Land Transport (Clean Vehicles) Amendment Act 2022 (Act) came into force on 22 February 2022. The Act is intended to reduce the purchase price of imported low emission vehicles to enable New Zealanders to make the switch to environmentally friendly vehicles.
The Act introduces the “Clean Vehicle Discount Scheme” which offers a rebate for owners of low emission vehicles.
From 1 April 2022 rebates will be available for zero to low emission vehicles, while fees will be charged for first time registration of all high emission vehicles. The Act provides an incentive for farmers, companies or households to use vehicles with lower emission outputs moving forward, as the higher the emission value of the vehicle, the greater the tax that will be imposed on registration. This has proven controversial for farmers and tradespeople who rely on high emission vehicles such as utes or vans as work vehicles.
While the Act will offer benefits to New Zealanders by enabling the more affordable purchase of low emission vehicles and takes a step towards reducing carbon emissions, there are concerns that the imposition of the tax will further raise the cost of living for certain groups within New Zealand.
Arms Amendment Regulations 2021 – stricter firearm regulations now in force
Following a period of consultation with the public, the Arms Amendment Regulations 2021 (Regulations) were introduced on 1 February 2022 to provide further guidance around the application and record keeping requirements for firearms dealers and the use, storage and transportation of firearms by licence holders.
The Regulations have been recognised as a more practical approach to the use and possession of firearms by farmers and hunters. The key features of the Regulations for these groups relate primarily to the storage of firearms during transportation, including:
- during transportation firearms must be unloaded, concealed from view and ammunition stored separately in a glovebox or another secure area;
- the above storage requirements will not apply if the licence holder remains in or near the vehicle while using the firearm for farm-related activities, for lawful pest control or hunting activities on public or farmland, or as part of a horticultural business;
- licence holders can leave secure, out of sight ammunition and firearms unattended for a period of 60 minutes during a break on a journey provided that the licence holder remains in the immediate area of the vehicle and, where possible, that key parts of the firearm which would be necessary for its operation be taken with the licence holder during that period; and
- if a vehicle is left unattended for more than 60 minutes, the firearm must be kept in the licence holder’s immediate possession or moved to a secure storage site for that period.
Firearm legislation and regulations are expected to continue to change over the coming years, and the Select Committee is currently reviewing submissions for the Firearm Prohibition Orders Legislation Bill 2021 which is intended to prevent access to firearms for individuals who are or may become a danger to NZ society.
PDF version: here.
This article was included in Edition 5 of our rural newsletter – Rural. which you can read here.