Wednesday, 05 April 2017 12:55

Report misses critical point – Guy

Written by  Pam Tipa
Ballance Environmental farmer of the Year Richard Kidd, with Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy who planted a kauri on Kidd’s farm. Ballance Environmental farmer of the Year Richard Kidd, with Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy who planted a kauri on Kidd’s farm.

An OECD report missed a critical point in claiming NZ is reaching its environmental limits and criticising the government’s primary export targets.

So says Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy.

The critical thing they missed is the government’s target of doubling the value – not the volume -- of primary exports by 2025, Guy says.

“There is no way we can increase our dairy cow numbers from 5 million to 10 million – we can’t do that,” he explained. “There is no way we can catch twice the amount of fish in our oceans. [The aim is] value creation.”

Guy says he met the people writing the report last year, when they visited MPI staff. They then wrote a report challenging the primary sector.

“Yes we do have challenges…. We will work constructively with regional councils on a catchment by catchment basis,” he says. “We will look at the challenges in Waikato, and in the rivers in Canterbury…. we need to get the limits set right.”

Water quality is important foraNZ, hence the government’s policy of making our rivers swimmable by 2040, he says.

“Currently 72% are swimmable; we’ve made a target of 90% and we know that will be a stretch. We will talk to farmers about managing E.coli; that will require fencing about 56,000km alongside waterways.”

Dairy and other farms have come a long way voluntarily. The dairy industry has fenced 24,000km of waterways to exclude livestock. “A lot of those have riparian planting done voluntarily over about a decade.”

Now MPI is talking to red meat, beef, deer and pig farmers, Guy says. This will cost about $370m over the next 13 years, some $200 million of that for water reticulation on farms. Farmers fencing cattle out of rivers and streams will have to tap into streams or springs to supply tanks and troughs.

A recent MPI report on water supply on hill country farms shows the cost of water reticulation is recouped over three years.

“You don’t get good grazing performance on hill country unless you put crops in strategic places and then you have the opportunity to lift your overall productivity,” Guy says.

More like this

Retiring MP’s $2m vote of confidence in dairying

Former Minister for Primary Industries, and retiring MP, Nathan Guy says his plans to invest more than $2 million in a new innovative dairy shed is a vote of confidence in the future of the dairy industry.

China back on track?

Life in China is starting to get back to some semblance of normality, according to MPI’s deputy director general of China Relations.

MPI says it will act

MPI says it takes the claims made by Jane Li seriously and where it has evidence that exporters are not meeting their requirements, it will take action.

Carbon zero milk

Fonterra has joined forces with a supermarket chain to deliver what it claims is NZ’s first carbon zero milk.


Water reforms come at a cost

The government’s new freshwater laws, signed off this week, have the potential to create significant unnecessary costs for ratepayers, farmers and entire communities, Federated Farmers says.

2020 harvest yields up

Final harvest data for wheat, barley and oats (milling/malting and feed) in 2020 show yields were up 17% overall across the six crops.


Difficult but the right call

DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says the joint decision three years ago to eradicate Mycoplamsa bovis was a difficult call.

Milking cluster milks runner-up award

DeLaval has come away with the runner up prize in this year’s Fieldays Online innovation competition with a new milking cluster that eliminates the need for conventional liner changes.

Glow worms to cows

Thomas Lundman's work focus has gone from tracking tiny critters in pitch black caves to looking after considerably larger animals in paddocks near Whakatane.

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Spell check

Your old mutt was not surprised to see the NZ Dairy Industry Awards hastily remove the title of this year’s…

About time!

Your canine crusader has been a long-time critic of NZ governments – of all stripes – who, for the past…

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter