5 Jun 2024

Committee ponders full probe into rural banking

From Nine To Noon, 9:10 am on 5 June 2024
Harvesting crews gather the last of Doug Nilsson's 2024 crop at his farm on the outskirts of Dargaville.

MPs sitting on the Primary Production Select Committee are weighing up a full-blown inquiry into rural banking. Photo: Peter de Graaf

Parliament's primary production select committee is considering a full inquiry into rural banking - with MPs from all sides concerned over what they've heard in preliminary hearings.

The committee, chaired by Act MP Mark Cameron, and which includes a number of farmers, has heard in recent weeks from farming advocates, individual farmers and banks.

Federated Farmers told MPs farmers believe they are paying unfairly high interest rates, that there is a lack of competition in the rural sector and that banks are generally pulling back from rural lending.

Banks deny this. But Mark Cameron told The Post the banks came across as arrogant, and MPs were dissatisfied by their answers. He's indicated a fuller probe may be on the cards.

Kathryn speaks with National Party MP and deputy chair of the Primary Production Select Committee - Miles Anderson - about to head into a Woolshed meeting with farmers, and Green Party MP and committee member Steve Abel.