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Taranaki Shines in Environmental Stewardship

TARANAKI FEDERATED FARMERS 28 May 2003
PR93/2003

Taranaki Shines in Environmental Stewardship

Taranaki Regional Council's (TRC) State of the Environment report illustrates the benefits of a positive approach to environmental stewardship based on education, communication, peer pressure and the ability of regional councils to enforce compliance.

"The report shows that the water quality of Taranaki's streams and rivers has improved significantly over the past 20 years despite a 250% increase of the number of dairy cows, says Federated Farmers' Taranaki President Neville Hagenson.

"Over the last 20 years industry, agriculture and the community have invested over $130 million on protecting water quality. Significant improvements have been made in water quality of lower catchments (farming areas).

"Some of the credit for improved water quality can go to TRC's voluntary farm planning service which takes an educative approach to water quality and provides 'at cost' riparian plants to farmers. 380 riparian plans have been taken up with over 280,000 plants planted, all on a voluntary basis.

"All 2229 dairy farms in Taranaki have effluent treatment and disposal systems and resource consents. Compliance is high at 90-95%.

"To quote Hon. Marian Hobbs TRC's slogan 'working with people, caring for our environment' is indeed an excellent basis on which to undertake proactive environmental management involving the whole community.'

"Given this statement it is curious that the Ministers for the Environment and Agriculture have endorsed Fonterra imposing regulations on dairy farmers without their consent."

ENDS


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