Wednesday, 09 August 2017 13:45

HortNZ says "let’s not do this"

Written by 
HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman. HortNZ chief executive Mike Chapman.

Reacting to Labour statement on freshwater, and in the absence of any detailed policy to go with that, Horticulture New Zealand says "let’s not do this".

"Extra costs on growers of fresh, healthy fruit and vegetables will make healthy food more expensive," Horticulture New Zealand chief executive Mike Chapman says.

"This seems incongruous with policies around alleviating poverty and the benefits of healthy eating to reduce the economic burden of secondary health issues as a result of obesity.

"Horticulture New Zealand supports sound, consistent water policy to support efficient use of water and we have issued our own such policy.

"But we do not support a blanket tax without due consideration of New Zealand’s water priorities as a nation. These priorities must include water for drinking, sanitation and food production.”

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says her party will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state.

“Clean water is the birth-right of all of us. I want future generations to be able to swim in the local river, just like I did. All our children deserve to inherit swimmable lakes and rivers – and they can, if we commit ourselves as a country to cleaning up our water.

“We can do this. We can restore our rivers and lakes to a truly swimmable standard. If we choose it, and if we all work together. It will mean using our water more carefully, and being smarter about how we manage our pollution.

“Labour will help with the task of protecting our waterways from agricultural pollution. Our Ready for Work programme will employ young people off the dole and give them work improving the environment – including fencing waterways, riparian planting, and other work to improve water quality.

“A royalty on the commercial consumption of water will assist with the cost of keeping our water clean.”

But HortNZ says Ardern’s statement does not provide sufficient detail about Labour’s intentions, which should be made clear prior to the election.

“We don’t feel it is enough to say that if Labour forms the next Government, there will be a conversation about water within the first 100 days,’ says Chapman.

"There is already the Land and Water Forum which has been working on the wider issues of water allocation, rights and use for some time.

"Horticulture is a rapidly growing industry, contributing significantly to the economic wellbeing of New Zealand. Our vision is healthy food for all forever. We do not want to see the cost of fruit and vegetables grown in New Zealand, supporting local economies and providing jobs, pushed up higher than the cost of imported or processed food. We do not believe the long-term outcomes from a blanket water tax would benefit New Zealanders."

 

More like this

Farmers have heads in sand - Labour

The farming sector has its head in the sand if it doesn’t realise water is a huge issue waiting to be tackled, says Labour’s primary industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor.

O’Connor defends proposed water tax

The farming sector has its head in the sand if it doesn’t realise water is a huge issue waiting to be tackled, says Labour’s primary industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor.

 
 

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Blast from the past

Your canine crusader hears that the failed former meat company chief executive Graeme Thompson is about to publish a book …

Bottom line

While the nation waits for the former MP for Northland to decide who the new government will be (don’t you…

 

» Connect with Rural News

 
 

Markets

South Island wool sale eases

South Island wool sale eases

The 4700 bales on offer saw a 74% clearance with mixed results, however all prices paid locally are still above…

Wool continues to ease

Wool continues to ease

The 7250 bales of North Island wool on offer saw a 72% clearance with most types easing further.