Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Manufacturing sector concerned about freshwater proposals

Media Release

16 December 2019

New Zealand’s largest manufacturing sector concerned about Government’s freshwater proposals

The viability of some meat processing plants in New Zealand will be in doubt under the Government’s current freshwater proposals, according to the Meat Industry Association (MIA).

“While we generally support the ambition of the proposals for cleaner freshwater, the planned river quality limits are excessively tight and exceed current limits already consented by regional councils,” says Tim Ritchie, chief executive of MIA.

“These limits are likely to result in substantial economic costs to the meat processing sector without resulting in substantially improving environmental outcomes.

“The meat processing industry is the country’s largest manufacturing sector and employs approximately 25,000 people, the vast majority in regional New Zealand, so these proposals will have a significant impact on rural communities.”

Many processing plants’ wastewater treatment systems have also been significantly upgraded in recent years, often at considerable expense, he says.

The sector is urging the Government to re-assess the proposed dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and dissolved reactive phosphorous (DRP) national bottom lines.

“We generally support setting instream limits for DIN and DRP – clear bottom lines will provide business with greater certainty.

“However, these should be science-based, recognise the diversity of unique ecosystems and natural variation, and reflect the local conditions of that waterway.”

The DRP limits have also not been identified as a level causing adverse environmental impact, says Mr Ritchie.

“The proposed DRP limit is unlikely to achieve better environmental outcomes while imposing significant economic costs.

“We do not believe that most processors will be able to meet the proposed DRP limit. Overall, the national limits need to be reassessed to ensure they are based on a scientific understanding of the environmental impact on waterways and lead to appropriate water quality without inflicting unnecessary damage on New Zealand’s regional economy.”

In a number of cases, the water quality upstream of processing plants already exceeds or is very close to the proposed limits, says Mr Ritchie.

“We are concerned our sector will be paying more than our fair share to fix water quality issues caused by others.”

MIA opposes the moratorium on farm land use change.

“This discriminates against farms which are already operating within environmental limits. Our processors and exporters have an interest in both ensuring supply of livestock is maintained, as well as that livestock is produced in an environmentally sustainable way to meet increasing customer demands for sustainable food.

“One of the cornerstones of New Zealand’s productive world-class farming systems has been flexible land use, as farmers innovate and rapidly shift production according to market signals and regulatory requirements.

“This will prevent farmers from maximising their production within environmental limits. Farms that meet environmental limits should be able to farm flexibly.

“Any decline in farming will have a knock-on effect, with reduced processing and eventually the closure of processing plants in regional towns where meat processors are often the largest employer. The economic and social impacts of the freshwater proposals cannot be underestimated.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Rivals For The Covid Saliva Testing Dollar

If you want a good insight into what the limits of tiny, barely discernible steps to reduce poverty actually look like, delve into the latest Statistics Department figures on poverty in New Zealand Most of the nine measures utilised reveal little or no progress in combatting poverty over the 21 months to March 2020... More>>


Government: Reserve Bank To Take Account Of Housing In Decision Making

The Reserve Bank is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions, Grant Robertson announced today. Changes have been made to the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee’s remit requiring it to take into ... More>>


RNZ: Alert Levels Remain

There are no new community cases of Covid-19 today, the Ministry of Health has confirmed.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says at least half of the Papatoetoe High School community have been tested and the results that have come through so far have all been negative... More>>


Stats NZ: Latest Release Of Child Poverty Statistics

All measures of child poverty were trending downwards, prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, across the two years since year ended June 2018, Stats NZ said today. The COVID-19 lockdown in late March 2020 affected Stats NZ’s ability to collect data from households ... More>>


NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>

Parliament: Kiwi MPs Among The “Most Educated In The World”

New analysis of MP qualifications reveals New Zealand’s Parliament is one of the most educated and highest qualified in the world, and significantly more educated than Australia’s. The research, by Mark Blackham of BlacklandPR and Geoffrey Miller ... More>>

The Dig: An Illogical Ideological Struggle

Dig beneath all the trade wars and the arguments to the effect that the USA should not permit China to achieve economic and technological superiority, or even parity, and you find the real reason behind the conflict... More>>

Travel: Government Eases Visa Restrictions For Visitors In New Zealand

Visitor visa holders will be able to stay in New Zealand a little longer as the Government eases restrictions for those still here, the Minister of Immigration has announced. More>>




InfoPages News Channels