Thursday, 25 March 2021 08:55

Editorial: Sensible pause

Written by  Staff Reporters
Environment Minister David Parker. Environment Minister David Parker.

OPINION: Finally the Government has made a sensible move to temporarily pause the implementation of the impractical rules that accompany its proposed regulations on winter grazing.

Last week Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor announced a temporary delay, until 1 May 2022, of intensive winter grazing (IWG) rules taking effect.

For months farmers, industry groups and councils around the country have highlighted the unworkability of the rules and that numerous issues need to be addressed. Hopefully, this extra time will ensure that both politicians and bureaucrats will now listen to the real concerns of farmers and councils, and implement rules that will actually work to benefit the environment and farming.

It is unbelievable that despite empirical evidence about how the IWG rules, that were part of the Essential Freshwater legislation passed in August last year, had a number of unworkable parts, ministers and bureaucrats took so long to act. This 'we know best' attitude needs to change as it is a huge hindrance to making any real progress in improving the country's water.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor has admitted that "over-reach" by Wellington officials and a desire by the Government to have the rules in place prior to last year's election is an indictment. It shows that it placed far more importance on electioneering and pandering to green-tinged urban voters, than ensuring practical, workable rules would be implemented that actually would improve environmental outcomes.

It has taken the outstanding work of the Southland Winter Grazing Advisory Group, made up of a number of farming and environmental groups to provide a comprehensive report to the ministers outlining a better way forward. Thankfully, the Government has finally listened.

The pause in the IWG rules allows for proper opportunity to ensure that the final regulations and provisions are practical and workable for farmers, councils and regulators to achieve the environmental outcomes everybody wants to see.

More like this

Foot in mouth - again!

OPINION: This old mutt reckons Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor too often suffers from 'foot in mouth' disease.

Foot in mouth

OPINION: A mate of Milking It recently opined that Ag Minister Damien O'Connor is a sitter for the moniker 'Minister of Foot in Mouth Disease' after yet another clumsy public statement.


He has now followed this gaffe in a speech he gave at the CD field days - no doubt trying to pander to his farming audience - by kicking tourism while it's down, Covid-19, he said, has taught the tourism industry "not to be so cocky" after it conceded to dairy as our top export earner.

Towns dependent on tourism are dying and need government assistance, not a kick in the guts.

State backing for plant protein sector development

A company, founded by two agribusiness leaders, is partnering with Government on a $20 million research and development programme that could put New Zealand on the map as a leading leaf protein concentrate producer.

Not so sweet

Your canine crusader picked up on a recent statement from Agriculture O'Connor claiming how wonderfully the country's honey sector is doing.

National

Deer farmer's roaring success

Southland elk farmer Tom May is no stranger to producing top quality velvet and believes that his Mayfield Elk Farm,…

The beginning - not end!

After seven years, the Red Meat Profit Partnership (RMPP) came to an end on 31 March, yet chair Malcolm Bailey…

Machinery & Products

SIAFD wins punters' plaudits

After celebrating its 70th year last month, it looks like the South Island Agricultural Field Days (SIAFD) has hit its…

Opens up blindspots

Traditionally blind spots caused by large buckets or front mounted loads on wheeled loaders have been a major safety concern.

She's one big feeder

Feeder specialists Hustler has released a maxi-sized multi-feeder aimed at large scale farms in New Zealand and further afield.

Roots out problems

Austrian manufacturer Pöttinger has introduced the new Durastar narrow share for its Synkro and Synkro-T, mounted stubble cultivators.

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Blue murder

OPINION: Your old mate recently read an off-the-wall suggestion, by some boffin, that deliberately staining meat blue will lead to…

Foot in mouth - again!

OPINION: This old mutt reckons Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor too often suffers from 'foot in mouth' disease.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter