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The Peoples Choice Party 2011 Campaign

The Peoples Choice Party 2011 Campaign.

The People's Choice Party, is a political party lobby group ( Ginger Group) based in New Plymouth who advocate a political voice on behalf of small groups and individuals to central and local government.

The focus for The People's Choice Party and its leader Rusty Kane for it's 2011 campaign, will be to promote Sustainable Dairy Farming Practices and ask why the government and regional councils are not doing more to encourage sustainable dairy farming in New Zealand. By promoting natural fertilizer use for higher levels of biodiversity in soils near and around waterways to further reduce phosphate and nitrate leaching from farm runoff.

When was The Peoples Choice established and why?

The People's Choice Party was conceived in 1997 when Doug Wilson began a protest walk from New Plymouth to Wellington collecting 52,000 signatures for a petition calling for the then Governor-General Sir Michael Hardie Boys to impose a snap election. It was a historical event in that it was the first ever people's petition to have been presented to a Governor-General in New Zealand. The People's Choice Party was officially registered on 14 May 1999 after declaring 1172 financial members.

Who is the Leader of The Peoples Choice.

Rusty Kane is the Leader of the People's Choice Party.

The problems caused by nitrate leaching.

Nitrate leaching from farm runoff is New Zealand's number one fresh water environmental problem. Nutrient enriched nitrate is leaching into and polluting our fresh water lakes and water ways suffocating the natural ecosystem of life, It is also leaching down through the ground into underground fresh water tables making them unusable for irrigation let alone for fresh drinking water.

What is causing this problem?

The increased growth of intensive conventional farming and the high use of chemical fertilizers.

What are the short term/long term impacts of this problem for the farmer?

In the short term nitrate grass burn courses loss of feed production and ads high costs to animal health bills.

In the long term it destroys the living humus in the soil the biology micro-organisms and minerals critical for plant health and performance. Without this living humus working the soil naturally, the soil becomes lifeless and hard. All that is put on to it simply runs off and pollutes our water ways in the form of nitrogen and phosphorus leaching. Which is not only a waste of money to the farmer, but a huge environmental problem that the farmer will find very costly in the form of restrictive environment regulations placed upon them. Without a natural living humus working the soil into a healthy thick top soil to hold water soil and nutrients naturally. Added man made chemical fertilizers that artificially only boost grass growth on top of the soil, while at the same time it destroy the soils natural life cycle and micro- organisms underneath in the soil itself, can only become unsustainable and foolish in the long term. Without this layer of natural living humus in place, all added nitrate and phosphates will not only leach into our waterways, but it will also eventually find it's way down through the thin dead subsoil left behind, down into the earths underground fresh water tables. If conventional farmers don't effectively “ put a line in the sand” now to stop further increases of nitrogen and phosphorus leaching from their on farm activities. They will find the industry will be totally unsustainable in the future. New Zealand's biggest primary export industry.

What are the short/term impacts of this problem for the environment?

In the short term earth worms start to disappear and the soils micro-organisms start to stop working, Natures own recyclers and soil conditioners, who's function is to build humus decompose organic matter breakdown man made toxins attract natural free nitrogen from the air make nutrients available to plants produce growth hormones fight pests and diseases protect plants and promote good soil structure. Without this the environment suffers. because the soil erodes and can't sustain life.

In the long term we and the environment all suffer because as we destroy the natural recycling system, life as we know it will begin to diminish, as the soil becomes worthless to all forms of natural production. Fresh water supplies become limited.

How can farmers alleviate this problem?

Farmers simply need to change.

Three decades of concentrated use of chemical nutrient and salt based fertilizers are now leaching and threatening our waterways. Farmers could prevent leaching by simply using alternative farming practices that not only maintain production but look after our environment as well. Farmers only need to change the way they treat their soil. By applying natural fertilizers that encourage healthier levels of microbial activity in the soil. This will capture and digests nitrates and phosphates naturally, holding them in the soil and preventing them from being leached. A thick living humus top soil works like a sponge. By simply changing the type of fertilizer being applied farmers will quickly revitalize the soil and begin to stop the flow of toxic nutrient runoff into our waterways. Natural farming systems on farmland surrounding waterways can stop farm nitrates and phosphate leaching at its source. Massey University tests showed that leaching into waterways was reduced 58 percent through the adoption of organic practices. Riparian zone planting although good is merely a filter at the end of the system, Much like an ambulance at the bottom off the cliff. And like a car filter will eventually clogs up and will need to be replaced over time. But combining both riparian planting with natural fertilizer use on the land itself will bring back the soil to life and revitalize the waterways much more efficiently.

Nitrate leaching into New Zealand's lakes and waterways from intensive conventional farming is New Zealand's biggest water polluter.

The People's Choice Party will be approaching regional councils to implement a sponge before their riparian zones.

The People's Choice will be lobbying Regional Councils and some community boards on better ways and methods to reduce nitrate leaching from farm runoff. By putting a sponge before the filter.

The People's Choice will be lobbying the council to enhance their riparian zone planting by further encouraging farmers to also use more environmentally friendlier farm practices when applying fertilizers and nutrients to land, near or close to our waterways. This combined with Regional Councils riparian zoning will improve soil quality and further reduce nitrate leaching into our waterways.

Environment BOP have already gone as far as applying Rule 11 on properties around their lakes. I suggest that other Regional Councils do much the same without imposing a rule, by simply encourage farmers and property owners adjacent too our waterways to use better on farm practices that do not harm the wider environment.

The People's Choice will be lobbying government Ministers to legislate to allow dairy farmers to harvest carbon credits from their pastoral land, as they do in Australia. Providing carbon credit incentives to farmers to increase the amount of carbon that can be stored in the soil organic matter. This will encourage farmers to think and manage their farms in a more effective and environmentally friendly way. In order for them to gain maximum profit potential. Farmers will then have two sources of income. One in the form off milk production and the other from the health of their pastures biomass. By maximizing this potential combined with other environmentally friendly options, dairy farmers could well become carbon natural while still maintaining good milk solids.

This will encourage farmers to think very carefully on what they put on their pasture to maximize profit without the need to regulate. A win win win ... a win for the farmer... a win for the New Zealand's clean green image... and a win for the environment.

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