Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


NZ Must Brace for 1 Million More Cows

NZ Must Brace for 1 Million More Cows

The future for New Zealand’s already ailing waterways looks murkier as a $435 million irrigation package potentially paves the way for 1 million more cows.

Fish & Game NZ is concerned yesterday’s announcement of the Irrigation Acceleration Fund for farming will lead to further degradation of the country’s waterways and our international image, and loss of tourism and recreational values.

“Increasingly our ‘100% Pure’ brand is coming under fire both here and overseas,” says Fish & Game NZ chief executive Bryce Johnson.

“Contrary to some claims by primary industry groups, our rivers and lakes are not in good shape at all – half of our lakes and 90% of lowland rivers are classed as polluted. That’s fact.

“The science shows our declining water quality is linked to intensive agriculture, and yet yesterday’s pro-irrigation package will potentially mean 1 million more cows, and reduced stream flows to deal with the increased pollution,” says Mr Johnson.

“Further, while the irrigation industry and farming get a huge cash injection, communities across the country will be left to scrap over limited funding to clean up agriculture’s past adverse environmental impacts.

“The irony is that pollution from intensive agriculture is only set to increase in line with the capacity this extra irrigation provides, and yet no environmental standards, targets or limits have been detailed in the announcement to match this massive irrigation expansion.

“The Freshwater Sciences Society states, ‘We cannot continue to disperse the costs of pollution by a small sector across the whole community.’ I think most New Zealanders would agree with that, but that’s exactly what’s happening.”

Of further concern is the National Policy Statement (NPS) on Freshwater Management departs from the Land and Water Forum’s (LAWF) recommendations to have bottom lines for environmental management and a strong strategic direction which puts the environment first. This begs the question, whose interests is the Government serving when all the key players were around the LAWF table?

“Furthermore, the NPS seems to delegate the job down to regions and communities when its purpose should actually be providing greater national guidance on environmental outcomes

“The Government’s package announced yesterday only touches on a small number of LAWF’s recommendations, all of which were produced as a single package not to be cherry-picked,” says Mr Johnson.

Contrary to some detractors, Fish & Game NZ has never been opposed to agriculture per se, but remains strongly opposed to environmentally unsustainable farming, says Mr Johnson.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news