Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 

Conclusion from report - dairy conversions need moderating

Thursday November 21 2013 - Wellington       

Forest & Bird media release for immediate use

One conclusion from water report - dairy conversions need moderating 

Forest & Bird says a report released this morning by the independent Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Dr Jan Wright, shows that in many areas, limits will need to be set on the conversion of beef and sheep farms to dairy farms.

Forest & Bird says some moderation is essential, if the dramatic decline in the quality of many of New Zealand’s lakes, rivers and estuaries is to be stopped.

The report “Water Quality in New Zealand: Land Use and Nutrient Pollution” projects current dairy conversion rates up to 2020. These figures were then combined with the established data on the increases in nitrogen and phosphorous pollution that go hand in hand with a transition from sheep and beef farming to dairying. 

The results show that even if all the available measures to limit nutrient runoff are in place, water quality will continue to plummet, as it has since 1996 - the beginning of the dairy boom.  

“What no one wants to talk about is that the current ‘white gold rush’ is leading New Zealand to a freshwater quality disaster,” says Kevin Hackwell, Forest & Bird Advocacy Manager.

“At a gut level New Zealanders know that the unchecked dairying conversion rates just cannot go on without causing a dramatic reduction in water quality. Now, thanks to this report from the PCE, we know it in our heads as well.

“The government needs to accept that spending $400 million on building irrigation schemes like the one planned for Ruataniwha is only going to make things worse,” Kevin Hackwell says. 

“It’s also plain from the report that in areas where waterways are close to or beyond acceptable pollution limits, a resource consent should be needed to start dairying. Indeed, these sorts of measures were recommended recently by the Land and Water Forum.

“Restrictions on conversions have already been put in place around Taupo, and now the rate of dairying conversions needs to be actively managed around the rest of the country.  

“Understandably, farmers wanting to cash in on the dairy boom won’t like to hear this. But the PCE’s report says that, even if all dairy farmers employ industry best practice, nitrogen levels are going to increase in virtually every region. What that means is that swimming and fishing in many of our lakes, rivers, and estuaries could become a thing of the past – possibly within just seven years,” Kevin Hackwell says.  

“The PCE is being very polite in this report. She makes no recommendations, and doesn’t discuss the impacts of this increase in pollution loads. She also refers several times to the fact that her modelling is conservative.

“But there is only one conclusion that can be drawn. This report must mark a turning point in the rate at which dairy conversions are polluting our waterways. It’s simple - New Zealanders want to have healthy rivers and lakes they can swim and fish in, so we need to act now,” Kevin Hackwell says.  

The report can be downloaded from: www.pce.parliament.nz

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On What Triggered The Carnage In Gaza

At last count, 195 Palestinians have reportedly died in the latest round of violence, 55 of them children. Roughly ten times that number have been wounded, and thousands made homeless. On the Israeli side, 8 people have died from rockets fired from Gaza. The imbalance in casualties reflects the vast gap in weaponry between the two sides. The Israelis are carrying out air strikes with impunity on densely populated civilian neighbourhoods... More>>

 

Budget 2021: Boosts Carbon Neutral Government Commitment

· Budget 2021 delivers $67.4 million to support the transition to a carbon neutral public sector by 2025 · State Sector Decarbonisation Fund receives significant boost to support more schools, hospitals and other government organisations to replace ... More>>

Government: To Rev Up Reductions In Transport Emissions

The Government is calling for feedback on a range of potential policies to eliminate emissions in the transport sector. Transport Minister Michael Wood today released Hīkina te Kohupara – Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to ... More>>

KiwiSaver: Default Provider Scheme Improvements Slash Fees, Boosts Savings

Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders will be significantly better off in retirement following changes to the default KiwiSaver scheme, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark said today. More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty: Reports Highlight Need For Ongoing Action

The Government has released the first Annual Report for the Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy and the second Child Poverty Related Indicators (CPRI) Report, both of which highlight improvements in the lives of children as a result of actions of the Government, ... More>>

ALSO:

PM: Statement On The Speaker And Annual Review Debate

“The serious issue of alleged sexual assault and harassment at Parliament was poorly managed and inappropriately politicised last night. The tone of the debate did not reflect well on Parliament as a whole,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. ... More>>

Parliament: Mallard Fails To Give Taxpayers A Straight Answer

Trevor Mallard has confirmed he is unfit to be Parliament’s Speaker by failing to answer several important questions relating to the false rape accusation saga that cost taxpayers more than $330,000, Shadow Leader of the House Chris Bishop says. ... More>>

Local Government: Independent Review To Explore Future

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta says an independent review of local government will explore how councils can maintain and improve the wellbeing of New Zealanders in the communities they serve long into the future. More>>

ALSO:


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels