Tuesday, 02 June 2020 10:07

Feds frozen out of water reform talks

Written by  Staff Reporters

Federated Farmers continues to be snubbed in regard to the Government’s freshwater reforms.

Late last week, Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor – along with ministry officials – unveiled the long-awaited reforms before invited media at Parliament.

Rural News understands that Federated Farmers has been on the outer and completely frozen out of the process since May last year, when it was accused of leaking confidential briefing material about the reforms – something that the farmer lobby has fiercely denied and Ministry for the Environment (MfE) officials have never proven.

MfE blamed Feds for the leak and refused to work with or share any further information on the water reforms with the farmer lobby.

This was despite the Feds strenuous denials of any leak in a letter to Parker’s office.

“The documents were not provided to our elected water spokesman and definitely not to any farmers,” the letter said.

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to clarify that Federated Farmers weren't the only organisation missng from the launch; all industry stakeholders watched the launch online due to Covid-19 restrictions.Only journalists were invited to the launch in Wellington.

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