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

 

Conclusion from report - dairy conversions need moderating

Thursday November 21 2013 - Wellington       

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

One conclusion from water report - dairy conversions need moderating 

Forest & Bird says a report released this morning by the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, shows that in many areas, limits will need to be set on the conversion of beef and sheep farms to dairy farms.

Forest & Bird says some moderation is essential, if the dramatic decline in the quality of many of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and estuaries is to be stopped.

The report “Water Quality in New Zealand: Land Use and Nutrient Pollution” projects current dairy conversion rates up to 2020. These figures were then combined with the established data on the increases in nitrogen and phosphorous pollution that go hand in hand with a transition from sheep and beef farming to dairying. 

The results show that even if all the available measures to limit nutrient runoff are in place, water quality will continue to plummet, as it has since 1996 - the beginning of the dairy boom.  

“What no one wants to talk about is that the current ‘white gold rush’ is leading New Zealand to a freshwater quality disaster,” says Kevin Hackwell, Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager.

“At a gut level New Zealanders know that the unchecked dairying conversion rates just cannot go on without causing a dramatic reduction in water quality. Now, thanks to this report from the PCE, we know it in our heads as well.



“The government needs to accept that spending $400 million on building irrigation schemes like the one planned for Ruataniwha is only going to make things worse,” Kevin Hackwell says. 

“It’s also plain from the report that in areas where waterways are close to or beyond acceptable pollution limits, a resource consent should be needed to start dairying. Indeed, these sorts of measures were recommended recently by the Land and Water Forum.

“Restrictions on conversions have already been put in place around Taupo, and now the rate of dairying conversions needs to be actively managed around the rest of the country.  

“Understandably, farmers wanting to cash in on the dairy boom won’t like to hear this. But the PCE’s report says that, even if all dairy farmers employ industry best practice, nitrogen levels are going to increase in virtually every region. What that means is that swimming and fishing in many of our lakes, rivers, and estuaries could become a thing of the past – possibly within just seven years,” Kevin Hackwell says.  

“The PCE is being very polite in this report. She makes no recommendations, and doesn’t discuss the impacts of this increase in pollution loads. She also refers several times to the fact that her modelling is conservative.

“But there is only one conclusion that can be drawn. This report must mark a turning point in the rate at which dairy conversions are polluting our waterways. It’s simple - New Zealanders want to have healthy rivers and lakes they can swim and fish in, so we need to act now,” Kevin Hackwell says.  

The report can be downloaded from: www.pce.parliament.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mosque Shooting Response: Ban On Military Style Semi-Automatics And Assault Rifles

Military style semi-automatics and assault rifles will be banned in New Zealand under stronger new gun laws announced today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says... Related parts used to convert these guns into MSSAs are also being banned, along with all high-capacity magazines.

“An amnesty will be put in place for weapons to be handed in, and Cabinet has directed officials to develop a buyback scheme...All semi-automatic weapons used during the terrorist attack on Friday 15 March will be banned." More>>

RNZ Report: No Mention Of Right-Wing Threat In 10 Years Of GCSB/SIS Docs
There is not one specific mention of the threat posed by white supremacists or right-wing nationalism in 10 years of public documents from the Security Intelligence Service or the GCSB. More>>

Two Minute Silence Friday: Auckland Mosques Opening Their Doors To All
Mosques in the four corners of Auckland will open their doors on Friday night for people of all faiths to gather in remembrance of the 50 lives lost in the Christchurch shootings. More>>

SCOOP COVERAGE: CHRISTCHURCH MOSQUES TERROR ATTACK
For the Latest: Scoop Search - Christchurch
 

Gordon Campbell: On The School Climate Strike

Locally, the school strike has won a ton of support for bringing climate change to the fore. Yet the strikers don't want mere expressions of support. They want action. More>>

ALSO:

"Grabbed And Struck In The Face": Greens Co-Leader Attacked While Walking To Work

Green Party co-leader James Shaw was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was walking to work in Wellington. More>>

ALSO:

████████ ████ ███: Latest OIA Statistics Released

The latest statistics cover 110 agencies that collectively completed 18,106 official information requests between July and December 2018, a 16.4% increase on the 15,551 requests for the previous six months. More>>

ALSO:

'Hit And Run' Inquiry: New Legal Action Over Secrecy

The lawyer representing the Afghan villagers in the inquiry into Operation Burnham has launched legal proceedings calling for a judicial review in the investigation. More>>

ALSO:

From Hydro Plan To...: Mokihinui River Land To Join Kahurangi National Park

A total of 64,400 hectares of conservation land in the Mokihinui River catchment on the West Coast north of Westport, including 15 km of riverbed, is being added to Kahurangi National Park. “Adding this area, roughly half the size of Auckland City, to Kahurangi is the largest addition of land to an existing national park in New Zealand’s history,” Eugenie Sage said. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels