EDS Responds To Federated Farmers Boycott
The Environmental Defence Defence Society (EDS) has responded to a media release from Federated Farmers indicating that it will be boycotting the EDS-led Mackenzie Symposium and organising its own one instead.
"This is very disappointing," said EDS Chairman Gary Taylor.
"I'm particularly concerned at the abusive tone of the Federated Farmers statement.
"We have worked very constructively with Federated Farmers in the Land and Water Forum and thought we had developed a new and positive relationship. This statement is an unfortunate set-back.
"We have sought to engage with Federated Farmers on the Symposium and approached a Federated Farmers person early on in the programme evolution with a speaker invitation. He said "leave it with me and I'll see what we can do" which we did.
"In the event he was not able to speak and we then approached Mr Aubrey with an invitation. We have only heard today that he has declined.
"Of course attendance at the Symposium is not compulsory and if Federated Farmers choose to boycott it that's their call. However, we have had high registrations for the event, which indicates the considerable public interest in the future of the Mackenzie Country.
"We also think that it is far better to have an all-party dialogue about the future of the area than continuing to litigate in the Courts.
"People are still able to register for the event at eds.org.nz," Mr Taylor concluded.