Friday, 16 November 2012 16:25

HortNZ backs Carter’s One Plan comments

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Horticulture New Zealand and the Tararua Growers Association welcome the sensible words of Primary Industries Minister David Carter concerned about the estimated cost of a recent Environment Court decision on farmers and growers.

 

The minister has rejected comments from the Horizons Regional Council suggesting research commissioned by the Ministry for Primary Industries is inaccurate.

"In our experience, MPI doesn't make a habit of buying inaccurate research," HortNZ chief executive Peter Silcock (pictured) says.

"If their report says there is the potential for farming profits to drop by up to 43% thanks to the conditions applied by Horizons and the Environment Court, then that's exactly what the potential is.

"The growers HortNZ represents, right up and down New Zealand, are very, very worried by the Horizons One Plan, and we will continue to argue their case as long as we can.

"Thankfully the Minister appears to support our efforts and that will give great heart to all our growers.

"Just yesterday, with the release of the third and final report from the Land and Water Forum, we had many, many groups that don't make a habit of agreeing with each other urging the Government to push on with a ground-breaking opportunity to bring in a new wide-ranging fresh water management approach.

"What a shame this attitude couldn't quite reach to the Horizons region," Silcock says.

As some of the first and worst affected farmers by the Horizons One Plan, the Tararua Growers Association adds its strong support to the Minister's comments.

"The Horizons chairman can tell growers and farmers to remain calm, but it's impossible for us to stay calm when our businesses are under such a threat," says Terry Olsen, potato grower and TGA chairman.

"As the MPI report correctly shows, our growers face up to a 43% drop in profit because of the One Plan. That will mean many growers will go out of business, jobs will be lost throughout the Manawatu, and inevitably people everywhere will be paying a lot more for their vegetables.

"That's nothing to be calm about."

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