Tuesday, 3 July - Greenpeace says New Zealand’s water regulations need to be updated to prevent dairy expansion and end the intensification of livestock farming across the country.
Yesterday, 12 protesters locked themselves onto diggers and other machinery, disrupting the development of a new mega-dairy farm that plans to put 15,000 cows at Simon’s Pass, right next to Lake Pūkaki.
Environment Minister David Parker is re-writing the regulations around freshwater and agricultural pollution, due to be released later this year.
Greenpeace sustainable agriculture campaigner, Genevieve Toop, said weak rules were precisely the reason why mega-dairy farms like the one planned for Simons Pass could still get legal consent.
"This new mega farm is a shameful example of how the rules to protect our rivers and our environment from industrial dairying are failing," she said.
"The proposed farm is expected to leach tens of thousands of kilograms of nitrate pollution into the Mackenzie’s vulnerable lakes and rivers."
Fish and Game have prepared a proposed National Policy Statement on freshwater, with input from Forest and Bird, Greenpeace, WWF and others.
This proposal includes a demand to make dairy conversions and livestock intensification a prohibited activity, effective immediately, at least until proper freshwater plans have been deployed across all regions.
"If the Government is serious about cleaning up our rivers, they must ban all new dairy conversions and end the intensification of livestock farming across the country."
Greenpeace believes the way forward for farming is through ‘Regenerative Farming’ - working with the environment rather than against it.