Farmers are flabbergasted to learn that Fonterra borrowed money to pay dividends over the last few years.
But Milne says the Government should show “a sign of good faith” by granting a bigger extension.
“It would be a good sign of good faith if it was substantially lengthened – six months would be optimal, but three months would at least be more reasonable,” she told Rural News online.
Milne says there’s been “a loud response” from farmers calling for more time. Milne wrote to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week calling for an extension.
Late on Friday, Environment Minister David Parker issued a statement saying submissions will be accepted up to two weeks after the official October 17 deadline.
“In response to requests, I confirm that the Government will accept submissions up to 5pm on October 31,” Parker said.
DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle welcomed the announcement - but is also calling on Parker to go further.
“A two-week extension is a step in the right direction, but our concerns remain the same. Farmers still need more time to consider the Government’s proposal and to carefully weigh up the impact it may have on their farms, families, and communities,” Mackle said.
“It’s great that the Minister has listened to farming representatives like DairyNZ and Federated Farmers, but we are calling on the Government to go further and extend consultation out to 12 weeks.”