Wednesday, 05 June 2019 08:57

Call for no more trees

Written by  Peter Burke

A new lobby group is calling for an immediate halt to the government’s plans to plant a billon trees, saying it will damage the environment and harm New Zealand’s rural economy.

Mike Butterick, speaking for 50 Shades of Green, told Rural News it wants the government to stop planting trees on good farmland immediately and fully assess the long term effect of the policy. 

It also wants the government to halt all Overseas Investment Office (OIO) applications for forestry until an assessment is made.

“The government changed the rules to make it relatively easy for overseas investors to buy up productive farmland and plant it in trees,” he explains

“We are not beating up forestry. It is really the environment being created by the policy settings which we believe... are creating something that wasn’t intended.

“The other worrying thing is the great speed at which this is happening.” 

Butterick does not know how many productive farms have already been converted to forestry. However, he says in Wairarapa alone up to 8000ha on seven farms have moved from productive farmland to forest. 

Rural News has also been told of at least two farms near Gisborne recently planted in pine trees.

“It doesn’t feel good and it isn’t right,” Butterick said.

He says polices sometimes don’t deliver the intended outcome and in that case policy makers should “stop and go back to the drawing board”. 

So it is when pine trees are planted on highly productive farmland, he says.

 “You can’t eat wood. Taking those farms out of production will have a devastating effect economically, socially and environmentally on the local community.  Instead of revitalising the provinces, tree planting will destroy them.” 

More like this

Country’s backbone performs

New Zealand's primary sector has added steel to the country’s economy in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recently released report.

Carbon zero milk

Fonterra has joined forces with a supermarket chain to deliver what it claims is NZ’s first carbon zero milk.

Featured

 

Fonterra back in the black

Fonterra chief executive Miles Hurrell says 2019/20 was a good year for the co-op, with profit up, debt down and a strong milk price.

Strategy to reduce heifer mastitis

First calvers are more prone to mastitis than older cows. According to DairyNZ, farmers must choose a strategy that best suits their herd, farm team, and budget.

National

Helping grow farming’s future

John Jackson’s ability for future and critical thinking saw him deeply involved in the development of an agribusiness programme that…

Nothing sustainable without profit

Chair of Dairy Environment Leaders programme Melissa Slattery believes that sustainable farming is highly important to young farmers.

Machinery & Products

JD updates header line-up

John Deere has updated its entire header line-up for combines to include the new HDR Rigid Cutterbar Drapers, RDF HydraFlex…

Hybrid harvesters launched

New Holland has entered the world of hybrid headers, launching a new machine that blends its conventional threshing drum and…

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Burn!

OPINION: This old mutt had to have a giggle at the dig Feds recently made at the Green Party in the…

Why?

OPINION: Your canine crusader was aghast to read that the prices of zucchini and cucumbers rose more than 30% in…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter