National promise to help young families purchase state-owned farmland

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1 NEWS

National has promised to help young families into their first farms by allowing farmers to buy state-owned farms after they've worked the land for five to 10 years if they are re-elected.

National has promised to help young families into their first farms by allowing farmers to buy state-owned farms.
Source: 1 NEWS

National Primary Industries spokesperson Nathan Guy says his party's policy would direct Landcorp to lease farms owned by the Crown to young farmers, and give them the opportunity to buy them at market rates.

"We think that some of these farms are better off in the hands of hard working young farming families who are committed to modern farming and environmental best practice," he said.

"Many farming families got their start through the old Land and Survey ballot process and we want to give that opportunity to more New Zealanders.

"This is a win-win policy that will help more young Kiwis into farming, and put taxpayer money from the sales towards things they care about."

The farms would be awarded on a lease-to-buy arrangement with the leases awarded via a panel and a ballot who would prioritise towards young farmers with experience running a farm that have not already had sole ownership of one before.

Mr Guy says the policy also targets the ongoing environmental issues currently present rurally.

"National is committed to working with our farmers to tackle environmental challenges and to encourage sustainable farming practices to mitigate the impacts of farming on the environment.

"We are making real progress, much of that driven by a new generation of young farmers. To build on that, farmers wanting to buy these Landcorp farms will have to demonstrate a commitment to sustainable farming methods, and outline their plans to continue to do so."

A chosen leasee would be required to work the farm continuously themselves for at least five years before being able to purchase it, or longer if they need more time to build up capital.

Mr Guy says while not all approximately 140 Landcorp farms would be sold due to Treaty of Waitangi claims, he expects around 100 young farming families to benefit from the programme.

Revenue generated by the sales would be reinvested in public services.

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