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Farmers looking for positive engagement on freshwater

Federated Farmers has lodged its 184-page submission on the government’s Essential Freshwater proposals, and believes, as it did on the day they were announced, that the future for pastoral farming in some parts of New Zealand is now under serious threat.

"We urge the government to positively engage with Federated Farmers on all the points we raise in our submission," Federated Farmers environment and water spokesperson Chris Allen says.

"Our members have told us they buy in to the need to improve freshwater where it has degraded, but this must be done through a practical rural lens.

"We are confident we could continue to find sensible, sustainable solutions to satisfy both government, and our communities, and continue to improve freshwater."

Federated Farmers has been clear with its members since the day of the release of the discussion document, plus three draft regulatory documents (the draft National Policy Statement for Freshwater, the proposed National Environmental Standard for Freshwater, and draft stock exclusion regulations) that these are enormously significant changes, on which it has been given very limited time to comment and contribute.

Even so, we have worked very hard to prepare a submission that is as constructive as it is challenging, Chris says.

"We’ve spent the last eight weeks consulting with thousands of our members, working with our industry body colleagues and relying on a huge commitment from our policy team and elected representatives, to reach the findings we’ve made in our submission.

"Our over-arching concern is that these soon-to-be regulations impose a ‘one size fits all’ approach that simply does not recognise the wide and varied conditions existing in the natural environment around New Zealand.

"We’d also like to say a very big thank you to all the elected reps, the farmers, their staff and business people who came to the meetings, plus the ones who took the time to help us with our submission, and then took the time to do their own submissions."

A copy of the Federated Farmers submission is available on our website here:


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