The greenhouse gas reduction plan released by the government this morning will rip the guts out of small town New Zealand, putting trees where farms used to be.
The plan aims to reduce sheep and beef farming in New Zealand by 20% and dairy farming by 5% to achieve the unscientific pulled-out-of-a-hat national GHG target
This is the equivalent of the entire wine industry and half of seafood being wiped out.
The government’s rehashed plan to reduce on-farm greenhouse gas emissions throws out the two and a half years of work the industry did to come up with a solution, supposedly all that time in a ‘partnership’ with government to achieve a workable solution which would not reduce food production.
“This is not what we’ve got this morning. What happened to the ‘historic partnership’?
“Federated Farmers is deeply unimpressed with the government’s take on the He Waka Eke Noa proposal and is concerned for our members’ futures,” Federated Farmers National president and climate change spokesperson Andrew Hoggard says.
“We didn’t sign up for this. It’s gut-wrenching to think we now have this proposal from government which rips the heart out of the work we did. Out of the families who farm this land.
“Our plan was to keep farmers farming. Now they’ll be selling up so fast you won’t even hear the dogs barking on the back of the ute as they drive off.
“Some overseas buyer can plant trees and take the carbon cash.”
The scariest impact from the government’s rehash of the He Waka Eke Noa proposal was that its own modelling showed the impact on sheep and beef farming would be as high as 20%.
It also shows that world agricultural emissions would increase, not decrease, under this plan.
“The government’s plan means the small towns, like Wairoa, Pahiatua, Taumarunui – pretty much the whole of the East Coast and central North Island and a good chunk of the top of the South – will be surrounded by pine trees quicker than you can say ‘ETS application’.”
So all the small town cafes, car yards, schools, pubs, rugby clubs, hairdressers and supermarkets can say goodbye to the small town business supported by the agriculture around them.