Labour to unleash Kyoto police on farmers
4 July 2002
"As Labour continues with its head-long rush into ratifying the Kyoto Protocol farmers face the prospect of having inspectors roaming the countryside counting sheep and cattle," says National's Agriculture spokesman Gavan Herlihy.
Mr Herlihy says this ridiculous proposition is outlined in the recently released Climate Change Response Bill, which sets out the arrangements a Labour-led Government will implement to meet New Zealand's obligations under Kyoto.
"It details draconian laws over powers of entry on to private land, effectively giving Ministry for the Environment inspectors permission to enter a property at will and seize any information they deem pertinent to confirming that farm's emissions levels."
Mr Herlihy says while landowners will have to be given notice of such visits there are no provisions in the bill for farmers to refuse entry to the Government's 'Kyoto Police' because of health and safety reasons or concerns over livestock welfare.
"These inspectors could jeopardise farmers' livelihoods by marching on to a property in the middle of lambing or calving and demanding to do an audit.
"Government giving such unfetted access to its own Kyoto Police, without the farmer's right to refuse entry, will be an absolute anathema to landowners up and down this country.
"It is bad enough that Agriculture Minister Jim Sutton justifies Labour's stance on Kyoto and likely costs it will impose on New Zealand's farmers, but the draconian powers of entry it intends giving to its own Kyoto Police is totally indefensible," Mr Herlihy added.