Wednesday, 16 September 2020 11:02

What’s going on in southland? — Editorial

Written by  Peter Burke
Federated Farmers are clearly mistrusting of Environment Minister David Parker. Federated Farmers are clearly mistrusting of Environment Minister David Parker.

OPINION: It is hard to fathom exactly what’s going to happen in Southland in light of the impact of the Government’s new freshwater regulations.

There is clearly great mistrust on the part of Federated Farmers of Environment Minister David Parker, with Feds provincial vice president Bernadette Hunt saying they can’t get through to him on the issue of winter grazing.

It is no secret that Labour has an equal mistrust of Feds, frequently referring to them as the National Party in gumboots.

Feds see some aspects of the new freshwater regulations as unworkable and in this they are right. Furthermore, they question why such a law was passed with basic errors of fact.

We are also hearing graziers are calling it a day, thanks to draconian measures introduced by the Government.

The legislation might work on the site of ministerial house in Wellington, but in farming terms is downright dumb. The minister’s answer appears to be, ‘yes there are a few mistakes but what’s the fuss, these can be fixed’, to which the Feds seem to be saying – ‘oh really!’

The problem is that farmers are constantly being presented with new rules and regulations which appear to come out of a text book, or the manifesto of a particular political party or NGO, and lack credibility in the eyes of rural people.

Philosophically both sides seem to be on the same page, but many of the rules as written are not implementable on a farm.

What is disappointing is that on the one hand Jacinda Ardern is telling the country that government is relying on the primary sector to bail NZ out of the economic crisis caused by Covid, but at the same time the environmental wing of government seems to be stressing out the farming sector. Is this really being kind? And to whom?

On the face of it, the PM and her minister don’t seem to be on the same page, and by some farmers’ accounts, probably not in the same book.

Prescriptive rules and regulations may satisfy the environmental zealots of society, but government has to get above that, put aside its dislike of Feds and try and win over farmer hearts and minds. Maybe a qualified marriage guidance counsellor should be added to team of people trying to work out a solution to this unfortunate and destructive impasse.

More like this

New Feds man keen to build

New Feds board member, William Beetham wants the organisation recognised for its significant contributions to NZ farming and society as a whole.

Council tasked with making unworkable work

Following a meeting between farmer representatives and environment and ag ministers, Environment Southland will be setting up a local advisory group for freshwater rules.

Farmers try to rectify mistakes

After hearing about problems with the Government’s new freshwater regulations, Tony Cleland organised a meeting between farmer representatives and the Ministers for the Environment and Agriculture.

New water rules muddy waters

More revelations about the impracticality of the Governments’ new freshwater regulations debacle have emerged.

Featured

Longest running ag field days all go

The South Island Agricultural Field Days, held in Kirwee on the outskirts of Christchurch, will celebrate its 70th year in March 2021 with a bigger demonstration area.

 

New Feds man keen to build

New Feds board member, William Beetham wants the organisation recognised for its significant contributions to NZ farming and society as a whole.

National

Global movers and shakers

Dairy companies around the world are facing a dilemma – whether to expand or divest assets, says Rabobank’s Mary Ledman.

Live cattle exports in limbo

The fate of 28,000 cows in quarantine in New Zealand and supposedly destined for China in the coming weeks hangs…

Machinery & Products

Mowers get a makeover

Well known throughout New Zealand over the past 18 years, Pottinger has redesigned its rear-mounted Novadisc mowers to incorporate a…

Hardy spotlight

High quality, reliable lighting is essential for anyone involved in agriculture or the great outdoors.

Simmm twin water blasters

Italian made Simmm Power Cleaner 100/11 and Power Gun 100/11 single-phase (230 volt) electric water blasters are proving popular in…

OPD argument raging on

A stoush is brewing with the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) heavily criticising Farmsafe Australia’s recent Safer Farm Report.

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Cows and earthquakes

OPINION: It has long been suggested that animals have senses that humans don’t, and often behave differently than usual shortly…

Battle is on

OPINION: One of Australia’s biggest dairy businesses is back on the market after the Federal Government knocked back a bid…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter