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Federation working Positively with the Environment

19 July 2001 PR103/01

Federation working Positively with the Environment

Alistair Polson, President of Federated Farmers New Zealand said today that recent comments made by both Forest and Bird and Fish and Game regarding the impact of dairying on the environment were both scurrilous and economically irresponsible.

"Federated Farmers are committed to working with farmers, local and regional government and environmental agencies to ensure a clean green New Zealand, Mr Polson said. "Ironically I sit on the Landcare Trust with representatives from Forest and Bird and Fish and Game".

Mr Polson chair's the Landcare Trust, which was instigated by the Federation to promote sustainable land management.

"Farmers livelihoods depend on being able to market their product internationally and know the importance of a clean, environmentally friendly image," said Mr Polson. "Clean water is needed for stock and for dairy shed hygiene, it is not just a prerequisite for trout and salmon."

"The dairy industry with the support of Federated Farmers has developed as series of environmental guidelines as well as a farm focussed Environmental Management System (EMS)," Mr Polson said.

Federated Farmers and the dairy industry promote keeping stock out of waterways where practicable and where the costs do not outweigh the environmental benefits.

"The Federation continues to lobby for changes to the Resource Management Act," Mr Polson said. "The Federation are not seeking to water-down the environmental goals of the Act but to overcome its inherent deficiencies, which are constraining economic development."

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"The Federation believes that councils need to face the financial consequences of limiting a landowner's ability to farm viably because of the aesthetic demands of their neighbours."

The Act has allowed poor consultation with landowners and led to alienation of the very people who are integral to obtaining successful environmental outcomes."

If New Zealand is to remain globally competitive we cannot ignore constraints like the RMA. The Federation is working tirelessly on these issues because we know how important they are to our members who compete on a daily basis with other producers around the world

ENDS

For more information: Alistair Polson, PH 025 370 085 Jo McKenzie, PH 04 473 7269 or 025 226 0306

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