Tuesday, 11 June 2024 12:42

Delighted to see HWEN go - Feds

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford. Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford.

Goodbye and good riddance – that’s the reaction from Federated Farmers after the Government announced that it was disbanding industry group, He Waka Eke Noa.

"The previous Government were too focused on pricing farmers, driving blindly towards unachievable, political, unscientific methane reduction targets," Federated Farmers president Wayne Langford says.

"There was a complete disregard for the significant and unjustifiable costs this would place on hardworking farming families and the wider New Zealand economy."

Langford says Federated Farmers would never accept a plan that would see 20% of sheep and beef farms, and 5% of dairy farmers, priced out of existence.

"From day one Federated Farmers made it clear that we had three firm bottom lines when it comes to climate policy that we were unwilling to compromise on," Langford says.

"As soon as it became clear He Waka Eke Noa wasn’t going to be able to meet those bottom lines, that’s when we walked away from the negotiating table."

Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said today that it was clear that Labour’s He Waka Eke Noa process has failed and is no longer tenable.

“The primary sector worked collaboratively for years, however Labour rejected many of its proposals compromising consensus, relationships, and confidence across rural New Zealand. To restore confidence, Cabinet has decided to formally disestablish He Waka Eke Noa from today.

“It’s time for a fresh start on how we engage with farmers and processors to work on biogenic methane.”

The Government plans to engage directly with levy bodies and sector organisations that represent the pastoral sector - DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb New Zealand, Deer Industry New Zealand, Federated Farmers, Dairy Companies Association of New Zealand, and the Meat Industry Association.

Terms of reference for the Pasture Sector Group will be developed and agreed with the group, McClay says.

Langford says the establishment of a new pastoral sector group presents the opportunity for a fresh start for discussions about climate policy and biogenic methane.

"We look forward to discussing this further with the Government as Terms of Reference are developed."

Federated Farmers will continue to advocate strongly on behalf of grassroots farming families and rural communities for climate policy that is fair, scientific, and affordable, he says.

He Waka Eke Noa is a partnership to reduce primary sector emissions. It involves working to equip farmers to measure, manage and reduce on-farm agriculture greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

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