Federated Farmers not surprised at freshwater management strategy

Federated Farmers says the government’s announcement of its determination to encourage the entire community, not just farmers, to continue to clean up waterways came as no surprise.

The report outlined the government’s intention to keep the pressure on all Kiwis to continue to work towards better fresh water systems, Federated Farmers water and environment spokesperson Chris Allen says.

“All we ask is that the government uses an even hand. For example, the commitment to getting tougher on nutrient discharges to waterways needs to be applied fairly to both councils, corporates and farmers.

“Kiwis don’t tolerate inequity. Implementing any changes to water policy will require the government to take the entire community along with it.

“Feds works with plenty of farmers who feel they are doing their fair share right now, when it comes to improving water ways,” Chris says.

It was heartening to hear both the Minister for the Environment David Parker and the Minister of Primary Industries Damien O’Connor acknowledge the significant work farmers have already done, and can do more of.

“And we agree with him, there is still more to do. And as we always say, these improvements need to be sensible, practical and affordable.

“The time frame the government has set itself to do this work is challenging. As far as farmers are concerned, they’ll just keep using good science to make improvements on-farm as they can afford them,” Chris says.