Tuesday, 10 November 2020 10:15

The next three years — Editorial

Written by  Staff Reporters
David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio. David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio.

OPINION: The dust from the 2020 general election has settled and Labour has been given the mandate to govern New Zealand for the next three years.

With the Greens roped into a cooperation agreement by Jacinda Ardern and handed two portfolios, including Climate Change for co-leader James Shaw, farmers should be under no illusion that there will be any let-up on the state’s crusade on clean waterways and farm greenhouse gas emissions.

While thankfully the Greens radical ideologies, like reducing cow numbers and phasing out the use of synthetic nitrogen, are off the table, David Parker has retained the Environment portfolio, much to the dismay of many farmers.

Federated Farmers expects there will be little difference to what occurred during the past three years – two major pieces of legislation relating to healthy waterway and Zero Carbon both creating challenges for farmers.

Farmers will be watching closely how Parker uses his party’s absolute majority to make more draconian changes to this legislation.

The Labour Party’s policies on freshwater management are established and some have already come into effect. There are new limits on farm practices deemed higher-risk, such as winter grazing and feed lots, and interim limits on agricultural intensification.

A national cap on the use of synthetic fertiliser will also be imposed, to be reviewed in three years.

Labour also introduced new rules for intensive winter grazing that came into effect in early September. These included not allowing winter grazing on sloped land with more than a 10-degree angle, and limits on the depth of pugged soil. It also gave a deadline of November 1 to farmers for sowing winter crops.

If farmers couldn’t comply, resource consent would be required. The Government then walked back on some parts of the regulations after admitting they were impractical. Pugging around stock troughs became exempt, and the definition was amended.

Farmers would be hoping that the Greens’ influence on Ardern’s Government would be minimal.

The Greens are not expected to let up on their flawed campaign for clean waterways and the environment. Parker has proven that he is happy to sing from the same song sheet as the Greens.

But one would hope that the large number of Labour electorate MPs from rural constituencies would go into bat for farmers. Here’s hoping.

More like this

Who cares?

OPINION: Meanwhile, your canine crusader is left a little bemused about all the crowing and cooing from the media and commentators about the “amazing diversity” of Ardern’s new Cabinet. 

A minister for Europe?

Jacinda Ardern should consider basing one of her senior cabinet ministers in Europe by early next year, says trade commentator Mike Petersen.

The day blue turned red — Editorial

OPINION: The result of the election result was not a surprise, but the extent of National’s demise probably was to many blue MP’s who lost their seats.


New investment in spirulina production

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Sustainable Food & Fibres Futures Fund will invest in a project to assess the viability of larger scale production of spirulina in New Zealand.


Lely offerings for the future

Dutch robotic specialist Lely launched a new farm management application called Horizon at its recent Future Farm Days 2020.


Miraka picks up awards

Taupo-based Maori dairy company Miraka took the top honours at this year’s Biosecurity Awards.

Wyeth ready for new challenge

The chief executive-elect of Yili-owned Westland Milk Products Richard Wyeth says he’s looking forward to the challenge of running the…

Machinery & Products

Mixer makes feeding easy

Coolbreene Trust near Taupo is a large-scale dairy operation farming 1150ha, including run-off blocks, within a 10km radius of its…

More colour to light range

Originally available with amber lenses only, Narva’s ‘Geomax’ Heavy Duty LED Strobe Beacon light range has been upgraded with the…

State funding for recycling

Having declared in July that all farm plastics sold in New Zealand will have to be recycled or reused, the…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

Milking It

Avoiding listeria

OPINION: The company that makes dairy products under “The Collective” brand, and which copped a nearly $500,000 fine for failing…

Greenpeace seeing red

OPINION: Still with Greenpeace, the organisation’s push for a price on agricultural greenhouse gas emissions is gaining momentum since the…

» Connect with Dairy News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter