Wednesday, 12 September 2018 10:43

A jolly fine read — Editorial

Written by 

No one could ever accuse the Productivity Commission of not being productive.

A 624-page report is a serious piece of work and if its 78 recommendations were adopted by the Government it would set New Zealand on the road to being a net zero emissions nation by 2050 -- an admirable goal.

So the report should not be seen as another lump of legislation in the making, but rather as suggesting policies and actions that hopefully would benefit the economy, in particular the goal of selling more value add primary products to discerning consumers.

Food provenance is growing in importance for NZ, making it necessary -- not optional -- that we develop and adopt genuinely sustainable means of producing our agricultural products. NZ embracing a credible emissions trading scheme will be another part of the story our marketers must be able to tell consumers; this message will resonate with many of them.

Reading the report is not for the faint-hearted, the scientifically illiterate or people with a limited attention span. Even turning over 624 pages, plus some summary documents and a media release, is a challenge in itself.

The report is well laid out, has lots of graphics and its content is clearly expressed. Scientists and policy wonks will be as excited in reading this as are the folks who can’t wait to get their hands on daily newspapers and weekly magazines. And here is real substance that will lead to positive action.

The report could do with a laypersons’ guide to its content; that would help get its message out to farmers and others. As it is, there’s a risk that different groups or individuals will produce their own synopses, with potential for misinterpretation and error.

Never mind; scientists and policy wonks and all those folks in the street (and insomniacs) – should get their copy now.     


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