Not Just Dairy Farmers Responsible for Clean Water

NEW ZEALAND - Federated Farmers welcomes the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s (PCE) report, Water quality in New Zealand: Understanding the science, which puts the responsibility for cleaning up our rivers and lakes on all New Zealanders, not just dairy farmers.
calendar icon 21 March 2012
clock icon 2 minute read

“The Federation knows water quality is an issue for all land use, whether urban or rural. Our industry should not shy away from our responsibilities,” Ian Mackenzie, Federated Farmers national board water spokesperson said.

“Water quality is a very complex issue and often difficult to understand, but all New Zealanders need to shoulder their portion of responsibility for cleaning up our waterways.

“Hopefully this report will encourage more discussion on some of the difficult decisions ahead of us on what needs to be done to remediate waterways and what costs some suggested actions, such as limiting activities and development, would have on the wider economy. Pragmatic discussions on reasonable timeframe expectations are also needed.

“Federated Farmers has called for scientific approaches to cleaning up our rivers and environment for a long time now and the report is along the lines of our own thinking.

“We have to understand the causes and sources to find effective solutions. All New Zealanders can start with the simple cost effective mitigation steps which we can be put in place expediently.

“We say science holds the key to improving New Zealand’s water quality, without placing undue restraints on our national agricultural production capacity.

“The PCE’s intent is in keeping with the Federation’s, as laid out our water quality policy in our 2011 Manifesto launched during last year’s general election. In that we called for “excellent science” to inform decisions about effective, cost-effective actions to take.

“We are encouraged by the report’s emphasis on building a whole picture understanding of the issues. It supports the agricultural sector’s, including Federated Farmers, proactive, scientifically based stance on cleaning up waterways where needed,” concluded Mr Mackenzie.

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