Tuesday, 10 November 2020 10:15

The next three years — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters
David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio. David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio.

OPINION: The dust from the 2020 general election has settled and Labour has been given the mandate to govern New Zealand for the next three years.

With the Greens roped into a cooperation agreement by Jacinda Ardern and handed two portfolios, including Climate Change for co-leader James Shaw, farmers should be under no illusion that there will be any let-up on the state’s crusade on clean waterways and farm greenhouse gas emissions.

While thankfully the Greens radical ideologies, like reducing cow numbers and phasing out the use of synthetic nitrogen, are off the table, David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio, much to the dismay of many farmers.

Federated Farmers expects there will be little difference to what occurred during the past three years – two major pieces of legislation relating to healthy waterway and Zero Carbon both creating challenges for farmers.

Farmers will be watching closely how Parker uses his party’s absolute majority to make more draconian changes to this legislation.

The Labour Party’s policies on freshwater management are established and some have already come into effect. There are new limits on farm practices deemed higher-risk, such as winter grazing and feed lots, and interim limits on agricultural intensification.

A national cap on the use of synthetic fertiliser will also be imposed, to be reviewed in three years.

Labour also introduced new rules for intensive winter grazing that came into effect in early September. These included not allowing winter grazing on sloped land with more than a 10-degree angle, and limits on the depth of pugged soil. It also gave a deadline of November 1 to farmers for sowing winter crops.

If farmers couldn’t comply, resource consent would be required. The Government then walked back on some parts of the regulations after admitting they were impractical. Pugging around stock troughs became exempt, and the definition was amended.

Farmers would be hoping that the Greens’ influence on Ardern’s Government would be minimal.

The Greens are not expected to let up on their flawed campaign for clean waterways and the environment. Parker has proven that he is happy to sing from the same song sheet as the Greens.

But one would hope that the large number of Labour electorate MPs from rural constituencies would go into bat for farmers. Here’s hoping.

More like this

Editorial: Sensible pause

OPINION: Finally the Government has made a sensible move to temporarily pause the implementation of the impractical rules that accompany its proposed regulations on winter grazing.

Finally, the RMA is going

It seems like there are few tears being shed around the country about the news that the RMA is to be scrapped and replaced by three new separate Acts.

RMA to be repealed and replaced

The Government says it is delivering on its promise to reform the resource management system based on the review carried out last year.

National

Livestock trading booming

The livestock trading industry in New Zealand is stronger than ever thanks to the innovation and resilience which came to…

Open MIQ spaces for farm workers

Farmers want the Government to open available space in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) to bring in much-needed workers for…

Machinery & Products

Border control without a passport

Cultivation, seeding and fertiliser application specialist Amazone claims its new AutoTS spreading system can increase yields along the borders of…

'Youniverse' fair

New Holland is set to hold a "Youniverse" digital fair, a 10-day online event, next month where farmers and prospective…

Let the good times (un)roll

Mounted bale unrollers are popular on New Zealand farms, with one Kiwi-owned manufacturer claiming to have figured out what works…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Oat dear!

OPINION: Oat 'milk' is facing a crisis of sorts.

Cows to stay home

OPINION: Eleven cows from Auckland's Cornwall Park will no longer be exported to Mongolia to participate in a breeding programme.

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter