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PCE Report Needs Scrutiny

18 February 2005

PCE Report Needs Scrutiny

Dairy farmers want an independent critique of the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment's (PCE) 'Growing for Good' report on agriculture, said Kevin Wooding, Chairman of Dairy Farmers of New Zealand (DFNZ).

DFNZ representatives from throughout New Zealand passed a remit calling for the independent critique.

"The dairy industry needs some outside expert guidance on the PCE report because as farmers we are not qualified to give a scientific critique," said Mr Wooding.

The commissioner's report released in October called for a redesign of existing farming systems and the establishment of a forum to create a strategy for farming that is environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable.

"Calling for a critique does not mean we are attacking the report. A new report might come up with a big tick for the work of commissioner Dr Morgan Williams and his staff. But we might end up with a big question mark.

"Dairy farmers have some reservations about some of the facts and analysis in the report. These need to be clarified if the report is to influence farmers' decision making."

DFNZ is the dairy industry group of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc).

Mr Wooding said work was already underway to raise funding for the critique. He hoped that other agricultural organisations would support the DFNZ initiative.

The remit was passed in the presence of Dr Williams, who had just completed a one hour presentation to the DFNZ council meeting in Hamilton. Dr Williams said he fully supported DFNZ in its efforts to carry out an independent study on his report.


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