Amy Adams

Government proposals short-sighted

by Amy Adams, MP for Selwyn

Water is both a critical strategic asset and a source of recreation in New Zealand, and we all know it must be abundant, clean and healthy.

While I agree that we must strive for improvement in the health of our waterways, the recent proposals from the government on freshwater are short-sighted, and destined to have perverse effects on our primary sector and wider economy.

These wide-ranging proposals will limit the flexibility of New Zealand farmers to adjust to market conditions and change their land use.

Furthermore, the proposed regulations will add to the pressures on a sector that is already facing historically low levels of confidence.

Despite the mounting pressures on our rural businesses, the government has failed to even analyse how much these regulations will cost farmers and the wider economy. The new proposals are provoking more uncertainty amongst the rural sector and many will be struggling to see a way forward.

When I was the Environment Minister in 2014 I announced the establishment of new National Standards for Freshwater.

These standards were about government, local and regional councils and urban dwellers working alongside our primary sector to clean up our waterways.

The previous government signed an accord with the dairy industry that has seen farmers fence off 98 percent of their waterways, and spend $1 billion in environmental improvements over the last five years.

If you are interested to have your say or hear more about the implications of the government’s freshwater proposals, Todd Mueller, MP for the Bay of Plenty and Opposition Spokesperson for Agriculture, will be holding a meeting on this topic here in Selwyn on October 31st.

The venue for the meeting is the Darfield High School Hall and the meeting starts at 7pm. No RSVP is required.