Tuesday, 05 March 2019 10:38

A nice little earner

Written by 
Landcorp chief executive Steve Carden. Landcorp chief executive Steve Carden.

Landcorp is paying members of its contentious environmental reference group (ERG) $1500 a day each – far more than other government body payments.

This has been revealed in answers to an Official Information Act (OIA) request by Rural News to the Government-owned farmer (trading as Pāmu Farms).

“Each ERG member and the chairman is paid a flat fee of $1500 per day they attend the ERG meeting,” Landcorp’s OIA response says. “In addition, the chair is paid an hourly rate for meeting preparation.”

During the 2017-2018 year, the state farmer also paid $2740.11 in travel costs and another $2451.43 in accommodating out-of-town ERG members for the four meetings it held in Wellington.

Landcorp set up the ERG in 2015 after protests about the state-owned farmer’s Wairakei Estates forestry-to-dairy farm conversions north of Taupo. 

Its members over the years have included several high-profile farming critics, including two controversial environmentalists – freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy, farming critic and now Landcorp’s head of environmental; and former Fish and Game chief executive Bryce Johnson.

Current members of ERG include outspoken freshwater campaigner Marnie Prickett who also chairs the committee, Forest and Bird campaigner Anna-Beth Cohen, earth systems scientist and Māori specialist Dr Daniel Hikuroa, well-known ecologist Guy Salmon and the ubiquitous Mike Joy.

Meanwhile, it looks like members of Landcorp’s ERG are on a pretty good wicket at $1500-a-day, compared with other Government-paid bodies. Members of the Primary Sector Council are paid $500 a day, with chair Lain Jager earning $800 a day. The Tax Working Group members earned $800 a day and chair Sir Michael Cullen earned $1000 a day.

 

» Connect with Rural News

More like this

Butt out! — Editorial

Politician Shane Jones says his position as Associate Minister of SOEs, including Landcorp (Pāmu), gives him the right to have a crack at the quality of Fonterra’s farmer governance.

Loud un-Kiwi critic

How can the state-owned Pamu Farms (formerly Landcorp) justify keeping the loudmouth freshwater ecologist Dr Mike Joy, of Victoria University, on its environment reference group?

Landcorp hides details of promotion

State-owned farmer Landcorp – rebranded as Pāmu – refused to release most of the details and costs of a self promotion campaign running on a political and news website.

» The RNG Weather Report

Featured

New hort science scholarships 

A scholarship for up to five students each year, studying Massey University’s Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree has been launched by kiwifruit exporter Zezpri.

 

Taking farmers together on climate change

How we take the farming community with us and what trajectory we are on for climate change response is all open for discussion, says Dr Rod Carr, the new chair-designate of the Climate Change Commission.

High alert for stink bugs

Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way.

 

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Chipping in

The Hound was intrigued to read an article recently, on the Newsroom website, that shows that Education Minister Chris ‘Chippy’…

I'm alright

This old mutt has been contacted by many concerned individuals about the role the former Synlait boss John Penno is…

» Connect with Rural News