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Greens congratulate Bay of Plenty farmers

17 December 2007

Greens congratulate Bay of Plenty farmers

The Green Party welcomes the announcement today by Environment Bay of Plenty that 91 percent of dairy farms checked in annual monitoring are meeting their resource consent conditions.

The number of people with serious system failures dropped from eight percent last year to two percent this year. The remaining seven percent are classed as high risk.

"This is a major achievement and one to be proud of," Green Environment Spokesperson Nandor Tanczos says.

"There is real and growing concern about the environmental impacts of dairy expansion and this result shows that substantial progress can be made.

"High dairy payout forecasts of up to $6.90 are fuelling a massive expansion and intensification of dairy farming in areas.

"However the heavy reliance on irrigation by intensive dairy farming has both strained water reserves in places like Canterbury and has impacted significantly on water quality through contamination. In particular nitrogen has caused significant loss of water quality even while 'point source' discharges - such as from factories - are being increasingly cleaned up.

"When results from places like Canterbury are showing that over 60 percent of farmers are in breach of their consents, the results from Bay of Plenty are particularly welcome."

The Green Party also welcomes the announcement by EBOP that they will continue with random audits outside of the normal monitoring season.

"Unannounced random checks are the only way to provide confidence that these excellent figures reflect reality."

ENDS


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