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Parker Running Out Of Time To Fix FFPs

“Three weeks to the day since I sent him a letter asking whether he will issue an extension on his deeply flawed Freshwater Farm Plans (FFP), there has been nothing but silence from Environment Minister David Parker,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Farmers are currently stuck in limbo as the November 1st cut-off date fast approaches. More than 40 per cent of farms are expected to not have an FFP in place by then.

“I contacted the Minister after obtaining figures through Official Information Act requests that showed the sheer scale of consents that would need to be processed by councils if an extension is not granted.

“The figures showed approximately 3,200 farms needing consents in Canterbury alone, while only one application had been filed. In Southland there is estimated to be 3,500 farms that will need consents, but only three have been issued in the last five years.

“There are thousands of other farms across other regions that are in the same boat.

“Farmers need some certainty, ACT says the Minister has no logical option other than to issue an extension, and if he won’t do that then he needs to be upfront and explain why.

“The Government has failed to do its job and get freshwater farm plans implemented in time. What does the Minister want farmers to do? Should they plant their crops without any guarantee of consents and risk not being able to graze them next year? Or would he rather they don’t plant their crops and create a massive animal welfare and food production issue just because he doesn’t want to implement an extension?

“ACT is the loudest voice in Parliament when it comes to standing up for the rights of rural New Zealand. As a dairy farmer myself, I know that farmers are best environmentalists around. We kept the economy going through Covid. It’s time the Government gave us a break.”

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