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On agreeing with intent but not implementation


Re: Anti-farmer policies ludicrous, July 21 letter.

Well written, I agree with many of the sentiments.

Deanna has identified real-world issues associated with policies where many agree with the intent, but have a different point of view on implementation.

Carbon farming — without controls on how trees are planted and maintained, they could become significant fuel stores for wildland fire in the future. The Ohau and Pukaki fires in wilding pines provide a small taste of what fires in this nature of planting could do without some standards.

ETS — offshore credits have been shown time and again to be falsified or not easily confirmed, so I agree with NZ focusing on offsetting here, including for the work it can provide. However, we should recognise some international schemes, especially where they reforest vulnerable land and create work. Farmers already pay into the ETS for every kW of power or litre of fuel they use.

It is no accident the national policy framework for co-operation is He waka eke noa — We are all in the same boat; especially those in industries and services linked to primary production. Farming often places itself aside from other primary industries such as fishing, extractives, forestry, but the larger issues are connected and common.

In addition to the M.bovis response, border biosecurity, trade access rules, rural roads, water schemes, rural support trusts, CRI research, Callaghan research, AgResearch, university training are all examples of Crown funds being spent that can benefit farmers. Yip, it could be more transparent. We must also not forget the significant investments by previous governments which helped to create the farms now in production.

Alternative proteins are part of the food system and will continue to be. I encourage anyone with an interest to visit the Sustainable Nutrition Initiative webpage. This group of researchers models the ability of the world to feed itself and has a number of articles on “what happens when?” It is great that NZ is leading the world with this modelling.

The world is better served when we start talking and engaging, instead of shouting that the alternatives don’t work. Not one of us can know the future, but we can shape it.

Mathew Bannister