Environment and emissions

Roundup, 1080 not on EPA’s list as it reassess chemicals for possible bans

[16 October/Stuff] The Environmental Protection Agency promised to be strict on commonly used chemicals. However, critics said they should have included glyphosate, which was the active ingredient in Roundup. It would reassess 40 chemicals of the 700 on the priority list. Most were used in agriculture. The chemicals targeted did not include neonicotinoids, which was...

Rotorua children do their bit for the landfill and environment

[11 October/The Country] Eastern Suburbs Preschool students are diverting non-recyclable yoghurt pouches from landfill on behalf of the community as part of a recycling programme. The programme is led by Fonterra and TerraCycle. The preschool has a chance to win lunch bags and pencil cases made from upcycled yoghurt pouches as part of the national...

Over half of Carbon Zero Bill submitters favour all-gases target

[5 October/The Country] Submitters favoured an all gases target for the Government’s Carbon Zero Bill, however were divided on what that should look like. Around 58 percent of submitters supported a target that would include all greenhouse gases. Around 22 percent favoured a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 for long-lived gases. Around 8 percent...

Kiwi company with a conscience at the forefront of the shift away from single-use plastics

[2 October/Stuff] The Ceres Organics’ classic muesli range would now come in Home Compostable Packaging. This would help reduce the amount of single-use plastic in our landfills. Consumers throw out 50 tonnes of household waste every second, and around 15.5 tonnes of waste is generated in New Zealand every year. The talks against plastic have...

Tahr cull postponed, but minister adamant it will go ahead

[28 September/Rural Life] The tahr cull proposed by Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, would not go ahead this weekend. However, she was adamant it would go ahead soon. She wanted more than 17,500 culled by shooters in helicopters as the herd was three times larger than agreed upon. The New Zealand Tahr Foundation appealed the...

Regional Council, Waikato University join forces

[24 September/The Country] A new research role funded by the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council and the University of Waikato would look at the relationship between communities, land and water. The organisations signed a memorandum of agreement. Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management, Ian Maxwell, said the organisations had shared interests in understanding...

Plans for huge tahr cull upset Otago hunters

[21 September/Rural Life] Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage, proposal to cull at least 17,500 Himalayan mountain tahr has outraged some some hunters in Otago. The announcement could be challenged in court. Culling of the tahr would start within two weeks. Ms Sage proposed to kill 10,000 animals in areas in the Southern Alps over the...

Speaker Trevor Mallard lays complaint with police after dead birds left on steps of Parliament

[13 September/The Country] A complaint was laid with police by the Speaker of the House after native birds used in a 1080 protest appeared to be bludgeoned to death. Protesters laid dead birds on the steps of Parliament alongside fake 1080 pellets. The claimed the birds were killed by 1080 poisoning, however Trevor Mallard said...

Daunting report puts trees first

[5 September/Farmers Weekly] A new report from the Productivity Commission detailed a landscape full of challenges for the primary sector as New Zealand aimed to create a zero carbon economy. Agriculture was at the hard end of the policy shifts. It called for major land use change to increase forestry and horticulture. Reduced livestock numbers...

Three of four NZ freshwater fish ‘staring extinction in the face’

[10 September/The Country] According to research by Victoria University, New Zealand’s fresh water fish species are facing extinction. The study compared land use changes and more than 20,000 freshwater fish records since 1970. The data covered fish distribution, abundance trends, and a key measure of water pollution. It showed more than three quarters of the...

Southland Fish and Game says it has ‘a good understanding’ of rural life

[9 September/Stuff] Southland Fish and Game Manager, Zane Moss, said he was not worried about having farmers elected to the organisation’s council as they have a good understanding of rural life. There were fourteen applicants fighting for two positions on the council. Federated Farmers encouraged its members to get elected onto Fish and Game’s regional...

Farmers face pressure under climate change legislation

[30 August/Radio NZ] Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, said to prevent global warming, methane emissions needed to fall by 10 to 22 percent. Farmers who thought they would get an easy ride in the legislation were unhappy. The report followed intense debate about the impact of methane on climate change. Farmers argued it...

Financial incentives no silver bullet for sustainable agriculture – study

[27 August/Radio NZ] According to a Landcare Research study, financial incentives to encourage more sustainable practices on farms are not enough. The study looked at the best incentives to promote changes within the agriculture sector with regards to climate change. Landcare Research Senior Scientist, Nick Cradock-Henry, said he had been working with farmers and found...

Ban of controversial pesticides could cost the country $1.2 billion

[21 August/Radio NZ] The agriculture sector would face a $1.2 billion bill if controversial pesticides, Neonicotinoids, are axed. According to a report, without the pesticides, bugs would savage grain, maize silage, brassica and other plant matter. Neonicotinoids were under threat of being banned as they are linked to deaths of bee colonies. Bees are essential...

On-farm recycling to end as Mid Canterbury firm winds down

[23 August/The Country] Wastebusters is being forced to shut down due to economic conditions. It had been the facilitator, educator and champion of recycling in the Mid Canterbury region. On-farm recycling would end on 31 August. The green waste operation and shop would close on 28 September and the whole operation would shut at the...

Future of hunting statutory body under review

[14 August/Radio NZ] The future of the Game Animal Council was uncertain with the Minster of Conservation putting it under review. It was a statutory body established in 2013 and had been allocated $600,000 from the Department of Conservation. Its goal is to improve the management of deer, chamois, tahr and wild pigs on conservation...

‘F’ rating for Waikato Council in Forest & Bird dairy effluent report – but council says it gave wrong data

[13 August/Stuff] Waikato Regional Council said a Forest & Bird report that criticised its dairy farming effluent compliance was outdated, inaccurate and misleading. Forest and Bird rated councils for their performances and gave Waikato Regional Council an F for failing to prosecute anyone. Forest & Bird Spokesperson, Caitlin Carew, said it was an unfair for...

Toxic algal blooms still flourishing despite the cold

[12 August/Radio NZ] According to the Ministry for Primary Industries, there was an abnormally high number of toxic algal blooms around New Zealand this winter. There were warnings in place against shellfish collection due to algae in many regions. Specialist advisor, Brian Roughan, said it was unclear why the blooms had fired up now. The...

Roundup called into question after US court finding

[12 August/NZ Herald] New Zealand’s Environmental Protection Agency believes Roundup is safe in spite of a U.S. court ruling it contributed to a janitor’s cancer, awarding him $440 million. The lawsuit claimed Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Monsanto insisted hundreds of studies had established the active ingredient was safe and planned to appeal the decision. Associate...

Pamu, Forest & Bird to work together

[6 August/Radio NZ] Pamu, formerly Landcorp, said it will cut down on the number of cows it stocks on each of its Canterbury dairy farms. It declined to put a number on the reduction. It managed six dairy farms in Canterbury. Its Chief Executive, Steven Carden, announced a deal with Forest and Bird to improve...

Anti-coal group protests outside Fonterra’s Auckland office

[26 July/NZ Herald] There was a small protest outside Fonterra’s head office by the Auckland by Coal Action Group over the co-op’s continued use of coal in manufacturing processes. Spokesman, Peter Whitmore, said Fonterra had not done enough to wean itself off coal, despite having joined the Climate Leaders Coalition group. Fonterra was New Zealand’s...

Taranaki iwi speak out against intensive farming

[19 July/Radio NZ] In a new guide developed to help environmental management, Taranaki Iwi have spoken out against intensive farming in the region. The guide was intended to help decision making by Iwi, marae, pa, hapu and whanau, as kaitiaki of the Taranaki rohe. It drew attention to contamination of the land from cropping, intensive...

RMA guidelines concern Federated Farmers

[23 July/Rural Life] Federated Farmers has expressed concerns about new Resource Management Act guidelines. They were intended to assist councils in their monitoring and enforcement duties under the act. Federated Farmers Senior Policy Advisor, Richard Gardner, said it favoured best practice guidelines on how councils exercised their duties. Environment Minister, David Parker, said the enforcement...

Quarter of NZ’s native vegetation found of sheep and beef farms

[6 July/Stuff] A report by the University of Canterbury has shown that a quarter of New Zealand’s native vegetation was found on sheep and beef farms. This was the largest amount outside of conservation land. Beef + Lamb New Zealand Chief Executive, Sam McIvor, said the findings were a great acknowledgement for farmers and the...