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Farmers Need Our Support

05 November 2004

Farmers Need Our Support

New Zealand First primary production spokesperson Doug Woolerton is calling for more local government support for farmers.

Mr Woolerton’s call follows a report issued by Commissioner for the Environment Dr Morgan Williams which states that our farming systems must be redesigned in order to protect the soil and the water from irreversible pollution damage.

“Farming remains the backbone of this country. Our living standards depend on the success of our farmers who have faced big challenges in recent years,” said Mr Woolerton.

“Farmers are making great efforts to fence streams, stop erosion and reduce pesticides. They acknowledge the impact of modern fertilisers and in their farm applications are being cautious to minimise its effects on water and soil.

“International product specifications and quality demands have never been greater and in many cases amount to a trade barrier.

“There is no doubt that we need to combat any biological threats to the farming industry, but we also need to ensure that they do not impede the efficiency of our primary producers or add unnecessarily to production costs.

“Plans and procedures to improve waste water systems in rural areas need to be addressed alongside district and regional plans.

“Striking a balance between economic progress and appropriate environmental and conservation goals can only be achieved through a partnership between central and local government, industry and community groups. Farmers should not be made to look like the villains here,” Mr Woolerton concluded.

ENDS


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