Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Incentives needed to stop pollution from dairying

31 May 2006

Incentives needed to stop pollution from dairy run-off

Dairy farmers should be congratulated for performing well above targets when it comes to keeping stock out of waterways, but further action is needed to control damaging nutrient and fertiliser runoff to protect streams and rivers from pollution, the Green Party says.

A report released today details progress to date on the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord, a 2003 agreement between dairy farmers, the Ministries of the Environment and Agriculture, and regional councils to work together to achieve clean, healthy water in dairying areas.

"While I have a few questions about the report - such as why a 2004/2005 report is only now being released in 2006, and why an independent audit of the findings only sampled 110 out of over 10,000 farmers - the finding that farmers have already met and exceeded targets to keep stock out of waterways and provide bridges and culverts at crossing points is positive," Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Sue Bradford says.

"However, it also shows that farmers are lagging seriously behind when it comes to controlling the runoff of nutrients and fertilisers into rivers and streams. This is very concerning, as these substances can severely pollute and jeopardise the quality of our fresh water. Clearly, more needs to be done to encourage farmers to develop nutrient management plans to prevent runoff."

Nutrient management planning, or 'nutrient budgeting' is simple to understand and positive for all concerned, Green Party Environment Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says. "Nutrient budgeting is win-win because it reduces environmental impacts as well as helping farmers to use fertilisers more efficiently, thus reducing their costs. As is often the case, environmental solutions can also increase profitability," Nandor says.

The Green Party has long advocated a solution to the problem of run-off. "We need a levy on fertiliser, matched by the Government, which would go into a fund that could be accessed by farmers to assist with sustainability measures such as stream-bank planting, developing nutrient management plans, and flood protection," Nandor says.

"Farmers are under constant pressure to increase stock numbers, which in turn increases nutrient runoff, so it is understandable that this aspect of the Accord is proving a challenge. Dairy farming is one of the worst contributors to the rapid degradation of our waterways, so it is good that the industry has recognised the need to address the problem.

"The Government should support farmers by providing incentives for them to improve their performance in this area," Nandor says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Also, Loan Interest: Productivity Commission On Tertiary Education

Key recommendations include better quality control; making it easier for students to transfer between courses; abolishing University Entrance; enabling tertiary institutions to own and control their assets; making it easier for new providers to enter the system; and facilitating more and faster innovation by tertiary education providers... More>>


Higher Payments: Wellington Regional Council Becomes A Living Wage Employer

Councillor Sue Kedgley said she was delighted that the Wellington Regional Council unanimously adopted her motion to become a Living Wage employer, making it the first regional council in New Zealand to do so. More>>


Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>


Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>


With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>


Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news