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Fed Farmers message misses some crucial facts

Fed Farmers message to the Government on water quality misses some crucial facts

While Fish & Game New Zealand is pleased to see Federated Farmers Environment Spokesperson Chris Allen say that 'we all want good, fresh water', he conveniently overlooks some key facts.

Federated Farmers - like other intensive agriculture leadership groups - claim that stock are 'being excluded from waterways on 97.5% of dairy farms'. However, Mr Allen fails to explain that this only includes larger waterways.

"A 2017 study by Lincoln University shows that 77 per cent of contaminants come from small streams - which are often exempt from fencing requirements," Fish & Game New Zealand Chief Executive Martin Taylor says.

"The study makes it clear that to reduce pollution getting into waterways, other actions are needed than just fencing and planting trees.

"Anyone who understands the logic that water flows from smaller streams to more significant streams can understand why pollution fron intensive dairying is destroying our waterways.

"It's clear that the riparian planting that has taken place has not stopped the decline of water quality across the country. It's now time to reduce the pollutants as opposed to planting a barrier to hold them back".

"Federated Famers are refusing to accept that land use needs to change to fix water policy in New Zealand.

"For a generation, Federated Farmers have told Kiwis that voluntary approaches will fix water quality despite the reality that water quality has continued to decline.

"We now have significant pollution, which is not just making our rivers unsafe for swimming, but is affecting drinking water for urban and rural populations.

"The Government's plan to halt the decline in water quality and improve rivers, lakes and streams is expected to be announced shortly when a new freshwater National Policy Statement and a new National Environmental Standard will be released for consultation.

"Kiwis expect to be able to swim, fish and gather food from their rivers, lakes and streams. Federated Farmers need to stop defending marginal cost increases for poor performers and instead look at the cost of poor water quality for the community as a whole."


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