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Beef and Lamb NZ Welcomes Third Land And Water Forum Report

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Welcomes Third Land And Water Forum Report

The final report from the Land and Water Forum strikes a balance between preservation and production, says Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

As a member of the forum we sought recognition for sheep and beef farmers as stewards of our rural land, while preserving opportunities for those who manage water sustainably.

It has been a long and complex process, says Beef + Lamb New Zealand Western North Island Farmer Director, Kirsten Bryant. “But, ultimately, one in which the voices of water users of all different types have been heard and in which we have all worked together for the good of all of New Zealand.”

She welcomed the emphasis throughout the process on local people making local decisions, within a national framework.

“Every catchment is unique in its physical, economic and cultural characteristics and is best understood by the people who live in it. Local people determining what water values are most important to them as a community allows for long-term thinking and long-lasting solutions.”

Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chairman, Mike Petersen, raised water issues in his speech at the Beef + Lamb New Zealand annual meeting this year.

“At that time I encouraged my fellow farmers to make the changes necessary to improve our environmental footprint, while enhancing farm productivity and profitability. The emphasis on good management practice within this report provides an excellent opportunity for us to shape the process.”

Beef + Lamb New Zealand has been and will continue to promote land and environment plans (LEPs) as our industry good management practice. Our LEP toolkit recognises that every drystock farm is different and that there is no single good management practice for our sector. Instead, it enables land managers to identify the environmental risks and hazards on their own property and provides the tools and information to develop a remedy.

We will be spending some time this year promoting LEPs to our stakeholders to place the sector in a strong position regarding the changes proposed within this Land and Water Forum report.

Ms Bryant concluded: “Overall, we think that this report strikes the right balance between protecting the environment and letting the drivers of the rural and New Zealand’s economy go about their business of producing the world’s finest sheep and beef products.”

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