Unlike previous years, only a small number of remits and formal discussion items were raised at Federated Farmers 2012 National Conference and AGM.
On the agenda were transmission line buffer zones, animal welfare compliance, foreign ownership of land, rural delivery and the establishment of a primary producers' consultation forum.
Most discussion was centred on the changes to the utilities section of district plans that creates additional buffer zones around transmission lines. It was agreed by delegates that Federated Farmers will continue to moderate Transpower's demands on district plans to ensure landowners retain rights to their property and that buffer zones sought are not excessive or disruptive to farming operations.
Foreign ownership also created some good debate, with an agreement reached that the National Board will keep a watching brief on developments to ensure Federated Farmers' current policy remains valid.
The policy is that overseas investment in New Zealand is beneficial and supported, but concern is expressed with overseas corporations looking to purchase multiple productive farms.
On the animal welfare compliance, rural delivery and development of a consultation forum it was agreed that Federated Farmers' policy team would continue to liaise with targeted groups to ensure our members' views were articulated.
The emphasis remains on the Federation having a strategic vision of policy leadership and advocacy becaus it is important it remains at the forefront of policy development.