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Cut out the Conflict says Feds

12 June 2008

Cut out the Conflict says Feds

Federated Farmers is appealing for more dialogue and less confrontation on environmental issues.

Speaking at the Environmental Defence Society conference in Auckland, the Federation’s spokesperson on the environment, Bruce McNab said that the Environment Court should be the place of last resort and that discussion and mediation are better and more effective tools for resolving problems.

“I think that local councils should consult more with individuals rather than rely solely on submissions from disparate lobby groups, some of whom are not even represented in the region where there is a potential problem. All parties should start to learn to trust each other and engage in a open and solution focused dialogue especially to deal with valuable resources such as water.”

“I also believe that there is a temptation for groups to opt for conflict, rather than resolution because conflict attracts publicity and profile for an organisation. In the end we have to find a solution and surely good news can attract publicity as well Taking pot shots at each other through the media is not a productive exercise.”

“There are huge challenges, but sometimes differences are magnified by the way they are presented in the media. We need to keep our differences in perspective and focus on what we have in common. For example, farmers and their families like to swim and fish in waterways and most do their utmost to keep these free of pollution”, said Mr McNab.

He says the creation of wealth and economic sustainability in local communities doesn’t have to be in conflict with sound environmental stewardship. Bruce McNab said if the emotion and hype could be taken out of the environmental debate, and people stuck to facts, solutions that would benefit everyone would result.


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