29 August 2001 PR135/01
Green Party forms Alliance with Fish & Game
Ian Ewen-Steet's support of Fish and Game New Zealand's broad-brush anti-dairying propaganda highlights the Green's disdain for an industry that provides the economic grunt of the economy, said Federated Farmers President Alistair Polson.
"The harsh reality is that all activity including organic farming and the stocking of streams with trout or salmon impact on the environment."
Mr Polson was responding to claims that dairying had degraded waterways in the North Island and the problem was spreading south.
"I assume Mr Ewen-Street in referring to the North Island waterways means the Waikato River. He should know the Waikato shows the most degradation down stream from the city of Hamilton," Mr Polson said.
"Regional New Zealand is experiencing the economic and social benefit of growth and diversification," said Mr Polson. "Alternative land use such as, viticulture, arable or intensive beef farming all have environmental impacts. New farms with their use of modern equipment and techniques are most effective in managing the challenges."
"As an organic farmer Mr Ewen-Street will know that blanket rules do not work. Modern farming like organics looks at the whole farm system. It adjusts techniques according to the soil type, slope, or aspect of the land. Farmers are continually innovating and blanket rules frequently limit innovation."
"New Zealand's environmental record is good. This was demonstrated in the recent OECD report on "Environmental Indicators for Agriculture" which showed that the strict regulatory approach of the Europeans had delivered poor results in comparison to the market focus approach adopted in New Zealand."
"Farmers more than anyone know the value of sustainable farming practices and the majority strive to leave their farms in a better condition than when they found it," said Mr Polson.
"Responsibility for the environment rests with all New Zealanders, not just dairy farmers. Federated Farmers has a proud history of proactive work in the farming community. We challenge newcomer Ian Ewen-Street and the Green Party to demonstrate the same."
Fore more information: Alistair Polson, PH 025 370 085 Catherine Petrey, PH 04 473 7269