Voting closed on May 31 in the dairy industry's milksolids levy referendum.
Interim voting results from Electionz.com, the company that ran the vote on behalf of industry body DairyNZ, show 60 percent of 14,436 eligible farmers voted and 78 percent voted ‘yes' to continue the levy. Weighted by milksolids, the results lift to 82 percent for voting ‘yes' to the levy, and 68 percent overall voter turnout.
The table below shows how support for the dairy milksolids levy has grown.
|Levy vote year||Yes vote (milksolids weighted)||Overall voter turnout (milksolids weighted)||Yes vote (by number of eligible voters)||Overall voter turnout (by number of eligible voters)|
Farmers currently pay a levy of 3.6c/kilogram of milksolids annually, and this will remain unchanged until at least May 2016.
DairyNZ chairman John Luxton says the results are a record for the once-every-six-years levy vote. The turnout is also well above the average for industry-specific levy referendums (turnout average according to Electionz.com is 40 percent).
"It shows the co-operative nature and forward focus of dairy farming, New Zealand's most important and successful business sector. It also reflects extremely well on the management and staff of DairyNZ for the great work they do.
"It's a fantastic result and all credit goes to those who have voted and taken a proactive stance on driving our industry forward. It's a strong mandate on all the indicators. That's what we wanted from our farmers – and that's what they have delivered," he says.
DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says sharemilkers in particular responded to the call to have their say, and their vote is up 13 percent on last time. "That lift combined with more farm owners voting really made a difference," he says.
"I'd like to thank every farmer who voted and those who helped us win this support. It gives us a mighty platform going forward. While this is a vote of confidence, we know we have to a lot of work ahead of us.
"Farmers have given us some clear messages during this campaign about what we need to achieve in the next six years. We have to meet a number of key strategic targets including delivering farm systems research to help reduce our environmental footprint by 30 percent, while increasing profits.
"Dairy farmers aim to keep the New Zealand dairy industry internationally competitive and to continue to reduce its environmental impact."
Dr Mackle says final results will be determined once the total milksolids produced for the 2013/14 season is known - hopefully by the end of June. "I expect some change but nothing significant. We're still waiting for those final figures from the dairy companies," he says.
SPECIAL MEDIA BRIEFING:
10.30AM TO 11AM
WEDNESDAY JUNE 11
DAIRYNZ'S FIELDAYS STAND
PF16 - Premier Feature area, Main Pavilion, Mystery Creek
CONFESSIONS AND LESSONS OF A LEVY CAMPAIGN
DairyNZ chairman John Luxton and chief executive Tim Mackle will release further statistics and stories behind the success and record result for the milksolids levy.
- Regional breakdown of voter turnout
- What voting method was the most popular?
- Are more farmers voting online?
- Stories from the campaign - overseas voters, last minute decision-makers
- Did mobilising sharemilkers make a difference? How will DairyNZ respond to their stronger turnout?
- What's the next step in getting a new levy order in place with the Minister, given an election is happening in September?