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Too important to rush says Federated Farmers






22 August 2008


Too important to rush says Federated Farmers

Federated Farmers president Don Nicolson said today, “We are a small pacific agricultural nation, looking to play our part in trying to solve a global issue which some say has been brewing for over 1000 years.  

“New Zealand is sometimes described as a ’cork at the bottom of the Pacific ocean’. Rushing into ill thought through proposals over the next few days is a very high risk thing to do for our economy, New Zealanders and it may not achieve the global environmental outcomes sought, Mr Nicolson said.

“Our simple message to those MPs considering their options is ‘don’t rush’. As a nation we have more to loose than to gain by getting this wrong.

“It’s been suggested that ‘something is better than nothing’. This isn’t the right approach. It’s better to have a considered, safe, nuclear reactor than rush and have a faulty one. It is true it’s something, but it certainly isn’t better than nothing.

“This ETS proposal is the most significant economic reform since the 1980s. We know though that since that time New Zealand farmers have been able to produce more food for the world off less land and have improved their overall efficiency significantly. We are recognised as the world’s best farmers. It doesn’t make sense to have a regime that would mean production was shifted to countries with less efficient farmers.

“Farmers naturally are environmentalist as every day they work the out in the elements and care for their land for future generations. We need time to get the science that tells us what we can actually do differently that may assist to make a difference to climate change.

“No other country on the globe currently has agriculture in an ETS type scheme, nor are they likely to include it. Logic therefore says their political leaders believe that including agriculture won’t make a difference to climate change.

“Our farmers produce food and sell it to feed a growing world where food is becoming scarce. New Zealand has something to contribute. We are good at it.”

Mr Nicolson said it was heartening that the Green party realised the significance of this issue.

“We should not rush this decision. We should take the time to use our collective intelligence to get it right,” Mr Nicolson concluded.  


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