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

 


Factory dairy farming arrives in New Zealand

7 December 2009

Factory dairy farming arrives in New Zealand

New Zealand is on the brink of introducing factory farming of dairy cows, the Green Party said today.

Consent applications were recently lodged with Environment Canterbury for factory-style dairy farms in the Mackenzie Basin.

Three companies plan to establish 16 new farms with nearly 18,000 cows in the area. According to the applications, all 18,000 cows will be housed in ‘cubicle stables’ 24 hours a day for eight months of the year, and 12 hours a day for the remaining four months.

“This is factory farming, pure and simple,” Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman said.

“Proposals to keep cows in cubicles that they don't leave for eight months of the year are a radical departure from our tradition of farming stock outside and on pasture, and could do immense harm to our clean, green international brand.

“Once word gets out to overseas consumers that New Zealand butter comes from factory farms, there goes our competitive advantage.

“Fonterra counters ‘food-miles’ arguments from our European competitors by saying that our milk products are more environmentally friendly than factory-farmed milk. This proposal flies in the face of that strategy.

“It’s also a chilling prospect from an animal welfare perspective.”

Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons said most of the farmers she had visited this year and featured on her ‘Good Farm Stories’ website would be appalled at this move.

“Those innovative farmers have shown that it’s possible to be profitable and sustainable, and to treat animals well, without repeating the mistakes of the rest of the world,” Ms Fitzsimons said.

Dr Norman also expressed concern at the environmental impact of the proposals.

“These proposals could put the majestic Upper Waitaki River and pristine high country lakes such as Lakes Tekapo, Pukaki, and Ohau at risk from effluent run off and algal blooms. It will produce the effluent equivalent to a city of 270,000 people in the Mackenzie basin."

The consent applications include effluent ponds with 414 million litres of storage capacity and plans to put as much as1.7 million litres of diluted effluent onto the land every day.


“These factory farms in the Mackenzie Basin will produce the same amount of effluent as a city of 270,000 people and it is especially worrying that the director of one of these companies has a history of effluent discharge breaches,” Dr Norman said.

Cornelius Zeestraten, the director of Five Rivers Ltd, is also the sole director and shareholder of Union Station Dairies, which was fined in 2009 and 2005 for effluent discharge consent breaches.

“The Mackenzie Basin is an iconic dry tussockland ecosystem and the gateway to the jewel of our tourism industry, Aoraki / Mt Cook National Park. Putting it at risk like this is madness,” Dr Norman said.

Submissions on the consents are open until Friday 18 December.

References:

The applications for resource consents can be found on the ECan website:

Williamson Holdings Ltd: http://ecan.govt.nz/news-and-notices/notices/pages/WilliamsonHoldingsLimitedCRC100227CRC100475CRC100478CRC100479CRC101541.aspx

Southdown Holdings Ltd: http://ecan.govt.nz/news-and-notices/notices/pages/SouthdownHoldingsLimitedCRC100224CRC100480CRC100481CRC100482CRC101542.aspx

Five Rivers Ltd: http://ecan.govt.nz/news-and-notices/notices/pages/FiveRiversLimitedCRC100787CRC100788CRC100824CRC100827CRC101540.aspx

Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier counters ‘food mile’ allegations in NZ Herald article from 2007:
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=10437288

Jeanette Fitzsimons’ ‘Good Farms Stories’ website:
http://www.goodfarmstories.org.nz

Union Station Dairies fined for effluent discharge consent breaches:
http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/court/2819556/Dairy-effluent-discharges-cop-hefty-fines

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Urban Planning Report: Momentum Grows To Replace The RMA

A major new report from the Productivity Commission lays the foundation for action on the growing political consensus that the Resource Management Act and associated laws are failing both cities and the natural environment and need a complete rewrite.

Published this morning, the final “Better Urban Planning” report is the culmination of eight years of investigations ordered by the government into the causes of unaffordable housing and urban planning. More>>

 

Vaping: Quitline Supports Decision To Legalise Nicotine E-Cigarettes

Today Associate Minister of Health, Hon Nicky Wagner has announced that Government are taking the proactive step of legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, a move which Quitline is pleased to hear and support wholeheartedly. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Labour/Greens Deal (And The NZDF)

If Labour and the Greens were hoping their Budget Responsibility Rules (BRR) agreement would foster an unlikely alliance then hey… mission accomplished! Because it isn’t every day that Sue Bradford, the CTU and Matthew Hooton speak with one voice, as happened yesterday. More>>

ALSO:

Until After The Election: Extension Of Report-Back Date For Havelock North Inquiry

Attorney-General Christopher Finlayson announced today that the report-back date for the independent Inquiry into Havelock North Drinking-Water has been extended at the request of the Inquiry’s Panel. More>>

ALSO:

Little Heading For Court: Apology Over Donation/Hotel Contract Claims Not Accepted

Today I want to publicly apologise unreservedly to Mr Hagaman for any hurt, embarrassment or adverse reflection on his reputation which may have resulted from my various media statements. I have offered that apology to the Hagamans. More>>

ALSO:

Biscuit Tin Of Democracy: World Heritage Site Protection, Ombudsman and Equal Pay Bills Drawn

On Thursday, 23 March 2017 three places are available on the Order Paper for the first reading of a Member’s bill. The ballot was held, and resulted in the following bills being drawn... More>>

ALSO:

Emissions Plan: NZ Needs More Science, More Trees, Fewer Beasts

A combination of technology breakthroughs, much more plantation forestry, and a big switch away from pastoral, particularly dairy farming, are identified as the key elements of any approach New Zealand takes to reducing its carbon emissions to a net zero level, according to a new report sponsored by the New Zealand chapter of GLOBE, a multi-party, global parliamentary grouping. More>>

ALSO:

"Backed To Win Seats": Labour Māori Seat MPs Won't Stand On List

The Labour Party is backing a request from its Māori seat MPs to stand as electorate MPs only, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. More>>

OutsKey: John Key's Valedictory Speech

I rise to address this House for the very last time. It has been a huge privilege to have served the people of Helensville as their member of Parliament, and, of course, the people of New Zealand as their Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news