Tuesday, 27 August 2019 09:55

Plan to protect land

Written by  Sudesh Kissun
The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land proposes a nationwide approach to protecting highly productive land. The National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land proposes a nationwide approach to protecting highly productive land.

Farmer groups are backing Government proposals to prevent productive land from falling to housing development.

Horticultural land is especially in view.

The Government’s draft National Policy Statement for Highly Productive Land (NPS-HPL) proposes a nationwide approach to protecting highly productive land for future generations. 

A two month consultation is underway.

Stats NZ says urban expansion threatens all forms of land based primary production. 

But horticulture is especially at risk. The scale and value of horticulture hubs, on typically flat, well serviced land at urban fringes, makes that sector more vulnerable to urban expansion than other types of farming. 

From 2002 to 2016, NZ’s land area used for vegetable growing decreased 29% — from 100,000ha to 70,000ha.

HortNZ’s natural resources and environment manager, Michelle Sands, says the Government’s proposal is to help retain vegetable and fruit growing in NZ.

“NZ needs its best soils for domestic food production,” said Sands. “Once you build houses on the best soils you cannot get the soils back.” 

HortNZ says poor rules in Auckland are preventing new vegetable gardens being set up to replace land lost to housing.

Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor says NZ’s most fertile and versatile land will get new protection.

“Our land is a precious taonga – an irreplaceable treasure and a source of life and wellness,” said O’Connor.

More like this

Bonkers!

The Hound reckons news that an Austrian billionaire has been granted consent to purchase an $8m Hill Country farm, is living proof that the NZ First’s billion tree policy is a disaster for farming in this country.

Fewer farms changing hands

Just two dairy farms have changed hands in Canterbury/North Otago in the current season, according to the just-released Colliers Dairy Property Market Review for 2020.

Farm sales start to look up

Farm sales were down 21.6% for the three months ended December 2019 versus the year prior ­— but sales look to be lifting.

Apple industry housing workers

Hawke's Bay's apple industry will spend $30 million on building accommodation totalling 1500 beds for RSE (recognised seasonal employment) workers.

Featured

Feds call for pause on regulations

The Government has been warned that it needs to back off some of its signalled regulations if it wants farming to help the NZ economy recover from the COVID-19 hit.

 

Tough time on farm for many

Under pressure from drought and COVID-19, Woodville dairy farmer Ben Allomes says: ‘we can’t shut our doors and just walk away’.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Deafening silence

Your old mate reckons it’s incredible how people’s attitudes have changed since the COVID-19 crisis hit us.

Celibate times

A mate of the Hound’s reckons the COVID lockdown must be getting serious when we are being told not to…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

Popular Reads

Rules driving farmers out

New farming rules around sustainability are driving elderly farmers out of the dairy industry, says agri-economist Phil Journeaux.