Tuesday, 21 June 2022 09:55

Is HWEN the answer?

Written by  Peter Burke
Nicky Hyslop says B+LNZ is aware of the challenges that lie ahead for the sheep and beef sector. Nicky Hyslop says B+LNZ is aware of the challenges that lie ahead for the sheep and beef sector.

There is no credible alternative!

That's how Beef + Lamb NZ director Nicky Hyslop, describes the recently announced report by the primary sector climate change action partnership on how the Government should deal with agricultural emissions and sequestering carbon on farms.

Hyslop, who was at the public announcement of the report known as He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN), says farmers were adamant that they didn't want agriculture in the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as proposed by the Government.

HWEN comprises 13 primary sector groups - including Māori agribusiness - and was set up in 2019 in a bid to stop the Government lumping agriculture into the ETS. Since then, it's been developing an alternative approach and says it has consulted widely on this.

The main recommendation of the 80-page report is that a farm-level, split-gas levy - with built-in incentives to reduce emissions and sequester carbon - be adopted from 2025. The farm-level concept is seen as the more forward-looking approach becaus it rewards, by way of a reduced levy, those individual farmers who cut their emissions, while those who don't will be required to pay the full levy.

The other key element in the report is a proposal to set up an Oversight Board and a Māori Advisory Board to ensure that the interests of farmers and Māori are considered during the implementation phase.

Hyslop says B+LNZ is aware of the challenges that lie ahead for the sheep and beef sector, but says her organisation is committed to playing its part in supporting HWEN. She says the report is detailed and complex and she doesn't expect all farmers to necessarily read or fully understand the implications of the report.

"One of the roles of B+LNZ is to digest that information and get it out to our farmers so that they really do understand it," she told Rural News.

B+LNNZ chairman, Andrew Morrison, who was overseas when the report was released, says the farm-level levy system is the best option available.

"It's not perfect but it's significantly better than the ETS for farmers. Let's be really clear about this - this process has been hard and it's a major achievement to have worked collaborativelhy across agriculture and with Māori and government to produce a joint recommendation," he says.

Support for the HWEN proposal has come from the Meat Industry Association. MIA chief executive Sirma Karapeeva says NZ is leading the world in addressing agricultural emissions.

She says this emissions pricing system will demonstrate to New Zealanders and to our global customers that we're committed to producing environmentally sustainable red meat.

And that our story is backed by science and modern farm management practices.

"We believe this option is the only way to ensure the NZ sheep and beef sector can continue to be a global leader in climate action, while remaining profitable and viable," she says.

More like this

European trade deal secured but not everyone happy

As predicted by Rural News, New Zealand and the EU have concluded an historic and long awaited free trade agreement – a deal which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says will save us $100 million in tariffs in the first year the deal takes effect and a further $10 million in the future.

New history of sheep and beef sector launched

A new history of New Zealand’s sheep and beef sector released this week outlines the achievements of the red meat industry over the past 25 years and its contribution to the national economy.


AWDT chair steps down

Agri-Women’s Development Trust (AWDT) chair Linda Cooper has stepped down after three years serving the charitable trust.

Machinery & Products

Making life easier

Many temporary sheep fencing systems can be troublesome, with reels jamming or breaking and the bugbear of silly hooks on…

Valtra's following grows

With the release of its N5 and T5 series of tractors, Valtra continues to expand its presence in the Australia-New…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

No free ride!

OPINION: This old mutt is getting somewhat tired of multi-national, tax-dodging, fund-raising group Greenpeace always given front and centre mainstream…

How come?

OPINION: A mate of yours truly is questioning exactly why the Māori ag sector have been given special budget funding by…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter