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Taxpayer Awards the Polluter

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

4 September 2014

Taxpayer Awards the Polluter

The National party announced it will spend $200 million of taxpayers and ratepayers money to buy stream side land on dirty dairy farms. The New Zealand Institute of Forestry has consistently demanded the Government stop paying the polluters to pollute however they continue to do so.

President of the NZ Institute of Forestry, James Treadwell said "We have achieved the utmost perversity if this policy comes into place. This National government has allocated taxpayer funds through the irrigation accelerated fund to promote irrigation schemes to intensify dairying. Then in a ridiculous attempt to ameliorate the damage caused by uncontrolled dairy intensification, now propose to use taxpayer and ratepayer funds to buy back stream margins to reduce the totally predictable pollution"

The President continued his criticism of the policy stating "this National government has endlessly used taxpayer money to alleviate the pollution of farming and now adds a further $200 million of taxpayer and ratepayer money to preserve the tax free capital gains of dairy farmers."

Foresters voluntarily agreed to set back from rivers to ensure protection of water and aquatic environments many years ago. There has been no taxpayer funding to help with this. Forestry’s long run baseline nitrogen emissions are close to natural levels, sediment levels are well below pastoral levels, bacterial contamination is at natural levels and streams within forests harbour much native biodiversity. "The NZ Institute of Forestry is interested to know if the taxpayer will pay foresters if we choose to reverse our decision to set back from stream sides, and if not why not" asks Mr Treadwell.

Mr Treadwell stated "subsidies paid to farming by ignoring their pollution along with this $200 million far exceeds the value paid to farmers of old in the form of Supplementary Minimum Prices and Marginal Land’s Board grants."

Do Foresters, who are just another land user like farming, operate in a parallel universe to farming - one a land of rules, consents, regulation and costs (regardless of justification), and the other a wonderful regulation free world where nothing can be allowed to impact the bottom line!

Mr Treadwell called this policy "A National Party disgrace"

ENDS

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