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Prime Minister Shares Federated Farmers Concern

Federated Farmers has taken heart from comments made by Prime Minister Jenny Shipley about environmental activist Guy Salmon at their National Conference.

The Prime Minister was responding to a question on the threat by Ecological Society Chair Guy Salmon to dispel, at an international level, New Zealand’s ‘clean and green’ image.

Guy Salmon has stated that he will publish internationally the ‘facts’ about the New Zealand environmental situation. His intent appears to be that western consumers stop buying New Zealand dairy products until the environment is restored.

The Prime Minister said that it was “outrageous that a New Zealander who purports to want to promote our country and the well-being of that country would then try to undermine what is in fact a premium industry.”

“We need to be mindful of the challenge (water health) but it is wrong for any New Zealander to go out and damage New Zealand’s reputation abroad,” said the Prime Minister.

Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson disputes Mr Salmon’s description of New Zealand’s river health situation, and said that the Waikato River is cleaner today than for many years.

“Farmers are very mindful of the need to maintain the environment. It is our greatest asset.”

Federated Farmers also heard today from the National Co-ordinator of the Landcare Trust, Mr Don Ross, who reported on the many positive environmental initiatives that farmers are taking.

ENDS

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