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Chairman to put the case for national leadership

Chairman to put the case for national leadership

Environment Southland Chairman Ali Timms is meeting with the Minister for Primary Industries today to discuss the real risks to New Zealand’s environmental and economic future if the issues of the sheep meat industry are not resolved.

Chairman Timms said there was widespread and growing concern in the community about the dire situation of the sheep meat industry.

“The minister needs to recognise that if the issues facing the sheep meat industry are not addressed the Government will face barriers in meeting its economic growth agenda, and regional councils will struggle to meet the water quality goals of the National Policy Statement on freshwater,” she said.

Regional councils seek to balance environmental and economic gains. Southland and many other regions around the country are facing water quality issues as a result of elevated nitrogen (N) levels. Recent estimates put the average losses of N/per hectare/per year in the Southland area at approximately:

dairy platform 30
intensive sheep/beef/deer farms 12
extensive sheep/beef/deer farms 6
dairy support (intensive winter grazing) 55

“It is clear that the generally less extensive nature of red meat farming really helps to lower the overall environmental footprint in rural Southland,” said Chairman Timms.

Chairman Timms said that when she meets with the minister this afternoon she won’t be asking the Government to directly intervene, but will push the case for national leadership because it will be difficult to meet the targets of the NPS without the sheep meat industry having long-term viability.

Ends

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