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Dairy Farmers Disappointed by Fish & Game NZ

01 December 2002

Dairy Farmers Disappointed by Fish & Game NZ

Dairy farmers are again disappointed by Fish and Game New Zealand's concerted campaign to create false negative perceptions of the environmental stewardship of the dairy industry.

Fish and Game New Zealand has expressed concern about the Ministry for the Environment's report Dairying Practices in the Buller Catchment.

Dairy Farmers of New Zealand West Coast representative Frank Brenmuhl says there is no evidence of poor effluent disposal as claimed by FGNZ. "The report confirms that the Tasman District Council (TDC) and the West Coast Regional Council (WCRC) are working with farmers and issuing abatement notices if conditions of resource consents have been breached. Just as they do with all other sectors.

"There is no scientific evidence that any of the current practices are affecting the Buller River and its environs to any great extent. FGNZ must replace supposition and claims of maybe with facts.

"Reports of what may be happening do not constitute a breach of good practice. Both TDC and WCRC have increased the number of staff monitoring the effects of farming in the area and act where they have proof of non-compliance.

"The suggestion that dairying in Canterbury and the Waikato is the only activity impacting on the environment is nonsense and ignores the multiplicity of activity including pollution by city sewerage and the multiplication of septic tanks associated with significant lifestyle subdivision.

"Fish and Game makes no mention of the tens of thousands of duck and geese polluting lakes around the country which dump the equivalent of two small cities daily into waterways.

"All land users are responsible for their environmental impacts. Those living in the area all the time are more concerned about their water than those who make occasional recreational visits and then hurry back to their highly modified environments. Due recognition of the immense investment made by dairy farmers to manage and mitigate environmental effects will achieve much more than distorted spin."


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