Duty-free dairy exports
The turn of the year brought a welcome change for New Zealand dairy farmers: all New Zealand dairy products can now enter China duty-free.

Duties on milk powder no longer apply following China’s decision to remove dairy tariffs due to the New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement.

The new arrangement, effective from 1 January 2024, will save the local dairy industry millions of dollars.

According to government estimates, removing tariffs will save Kiwi exporters roughly $350 million annually.

Dairy exports to China have averaged 1.4 million tonnes, or $8 billion, over the past three years, most of that being milk powder.

If your farming business exports dairy to China, learn more about the China Free Trade Agreement here.

Freshwater Farm Plan review
If you have struggled with the Freshwater Farm Plan system, changes are underway to make the regulation more cost-effective and practical.

What do we know so far? Ministers want to simplify the current model, saying it’s ‘too costly and complex, and too broadly applied’.

The coalition is considering whether existing requirements to complete Freshwater Farm Plans should be paused during its review.

Ministers will also consider how existing environmental programmes and industry assurance programmes could be recognised within Freshwater Farm Plans.

Several regions have started implementing Freshwater Farm Plans, including Waikato, Southland, the West Coast, Otago, and Manawatū-Whanganui.

Please contact your local council to find out how you might be affected by the government’s plans.

End of the ‘ute tax’
If you’re planning on buying a new ute for work this year, you’ll benefit from the end of the previous government’s ‘ute tax’ and ‘clean car discount’.

Under the old system, people purchasing high-emissions vehicles like the Ford Ranger were hit with a fee to fund rebates for cleaner electric cars.

The ute tax ended in December, meaning you’ll no longer face these extra charges if you need a new vehicle.

Don’t Forget: Trust Changes
The trustee tax rate has just been increased from 33% to 39% for the 2024–25 and later income years (with exceptions for ‘de minimis’ trusts).

If your farming business has a family trust, please contact us to discuss the implications for your tax planning.

Disclaimer: This blog has been carefully prepared, but it has been written in general terms only. The blog should not be relied upon to provide specific information without also obtaining appropriate professional advice after detailed examination of your particular situation.