Environment and emissions

New Zealand to become the world’s first zero emission food producer – James Shaw

[18 June/Stuff] Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, has a vision for New Zealand to become the first food producer to be emissions neutral. This could create a powerful brand in the international market for New Zealand’s primary produce. Previously, talks about shifting farming to lower its emissions was seen as too difficult, however Mr Shaw...

Farmers welcome further greenhouse gas discussions

[8 June/Radio NZ] Federated Farmers saw the silver lining in the Government’s latest climate change proposals related to the Zero Carbon Bill which aimed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Of the three alternatives, two give a softer run to livestock-sourced methane than to carbon dioxide which could give farmers an easier life during climate...

Greenpeace want agricultural greenhouse gas emissions in carbon act

[7 June/The Country] Greenpeace questioned why the Government was tabling options for its Zero Carbon Bill that could result in agricultural greenhouse gas emissions being treated more softly than other emissions. Farming groups were happy to see the Government considering its approach to shorter-lived gases differently. Greenpeace Climate Campaigner, Kate Simcock, said as the biggest...

How New Zealand should be getting ready for climate change

[24 May/The Country] Better planning, resourcing and leadership have been called for by a top-level panel tasked with helping New Zealand prepare for a warmer, wetter and wilder future. The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group released 21 major recommendations to adapt to the effects of a transformed atmosphere. Specific recommendations included amending the Local...

Largest boost to DOC since 2002 leaves Green Party smiling

[17 May/Stuff] The Department of Conservation will receive a $181.6 million funding boost over four years. The funds will largely go towards predator control and biodiversity initiatives, and also maintaining parks and paths. $81.6 of the funding is for landscape-predator control which enables DOC to undertake sustained control over 1.8 million hectares. Conservation Minister, Eugenie...

Fert tax coming?

[14 May/Farmers Weekly] Environment Minister, David Parker, appeared to want regional councils to implement plans to improve water quality sooner than is being achieved, according to Local Government New Zealand regional sector chairman, Dough Leeder. Mr Parker indicated he would shorten deadlines. Ecologist and Consultant, Alison Dewes, said given the complexity of the issues on...

Tremendous opportunity for New Zealand farmers to be world leaders

[10 May/NZ Farmer] New Zealand farmers could become global leaders in low emissions agriculture if a solution is found to reduce biological emissions. Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, said countries were looking to New Zealand for leadership in this space. He thought it was an incredible opportunity if we could be the country to work...

Government “out to get farmers”

[7 May/Dairy News] The Government plans to cap dairy herds is ill thought out political grandstanding, according to National Party Leader, Simon Bridges. He said that the plan to regulate the number of cattle farmers were allowed per hectare was another example of the Coalition Government’s assault on the regions. Environment Minister, David Parker, said...

New Govt water plan would curb intensification

[6 May/NZ Herald] Environment Minister, David Parker, introduced new measures that could bring a stop to further dairy farming intensification. The new plan is intended to reduce farming intensity which the Minister blamed for driving pollution in rural waterways. He added that although cow numbers had already peaked and were going down, in some areas...

$55,000 in fines and warning to industry

[27 April/Dairy News] Dairy company Okawa Limited and earthworks company Greener Earthmoving were convicted and fined for carrying out illegal earthworks in the Mangakaeo Stream, near Otorohanga. The earthworks were over a kilometre in length and caused significant environmental damage. They were in breach of the Resource Management Act. Judge Melanie Harland stated that a...

We are growing houses instead of food – Feds

[19 April/Rural News] According a report by the Ministry for the Environment, we are losing our productive land to houses. This was the most significant point Federated Farmers took from the new report. There was a 10 percent increase in urban areas from 2002 to 2012, and a 7 percent reduction in land used for...

Climate change committee members announced

[17 April/Radio NZ] The government announced the expert committee for the Climate Change Commission. They will investigate how New Zealand will transition to a net zero emissions economy by 2025. They will also consider how agriculture can be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme. The commission will be set up next year. Climate Change Minister,...

Minister in no rush to decide on palm oil labelling or ban PKE

[19 April/Stuff] Agriculture and Food Safety Minister, Damien O’Connor, suggested the farming industry might turn away from palm kernel expeller use without government intervention. He indicated he had not decided if mandatory palm oil labelling on food was warranted. Lewis Road Creamery Chief Executive, Peter Culliane, noted that he supported banning palm oil expeller from...

Major report: What we’ve done to NZ’s landscape

[19 April/The Country] Almost 200 million tonnes of soil are lost in New Zealand each year, which could have consequences on our environment and economy according to a new report on New Zealand’s land from the Ministry for the Environment. The quality and quantity of our soil is crucial to the overall health of our...

Farming for climate change to rise on priority list of farmers

[16 April/NZ Farmer] Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Climate Scientist, Alex Pezza, said Wairarapa farmers needed to change their systems to cope with climate warming at a recent seminar in the Wairarapa. KPMG Farm Enterprise Specialist, Julia Jones, added that climate change was not only an inconvenient disruption, but also an opportunity. She challenged Wairarapa land...

Eco-farming can solve hunger, climate crises: experts

[7 April/Rural Life] Asian farmers were growing rice and rearing fish in the same fields to increase income and reduce weeds. Eco-farming techniques could deliver environmentally friendly food for a growing world whilst increasing farmers’ earnings and making farms more resilient to climate change, according to campaigners. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation Regional Programme...

Leading bunch of female students contribute to solving nitrogen leaching problem

[9 April/NZ Farmer] A group of women were helping to find answers on the challenge of reducing nitrate leaching. The PhD students joined a team of scientists from various other organisations to investigate which forages would best reduce nitrate losses. Kirsty Martin had been researching the response of pasture forages to nitrogen. She monitored the...

Scientists call on EPA to ban herbicide

[23 March/Radio NZ] A group of mainly Wellington scientists are calling for a partial ban on the herbicide Glyphosate, and for the Environmental Protection Authority to cancel a report clearing it of serious health risks. They said the methodology was not sufficient to overturn previous findings that Glyphosate was carcinogenic. Scientist from the Centre for...

Federated Farmers seek $100k to fight lake plan

[24 March/The Country] Federated Farmers are seeking $100,000 to fight a plan intended to improve water quality in Lake Rotorua. The plan would introduce rules for rural properties to limit the amount of nitrogen entering the lake. Nitrogen entering the lake would need to be reduced by 320 tonnes by 2032, of which only around...

Climate change policy can work with support

[13 March/The Country] According to Federated Farmers, proposals to address climate change could work as long as there is cross-party support backed by a Climate Commission that has access to informed science. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, explained nine recommendations to ensure New Zealand sets effective carbon budgets, established a credible Climate...

More weight for ag emissions tax

[12 March/Farmers Weekly] Climate Change Minister James Shaw advised agriculture could be included in the Emissions Trading Scheme, and the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, said the policy cannot ignore agricultural emissions. Mr Upton released a report on a Zero Carbon Act with a key goal to get cross-party support for a zero...

Shaw hopes for National’s support on climate change legislation

[9 February/National Business Review] Climate Change Minister James Shaw hoped the National Party would support the government’s climate change legislation, but said it will have to meet National’s worries about its impact on the economy. Mr Shaw added that it will be a complicated decision for National to vote for the Zero Carbon bill. National...

Action urged on illegal farm dumping

[13 February/ Otago Daily Times] Fish and Game have called for an urgent audit to be performed of illegal dumps on farms following media reports suggesting Regional Councils suspect that thousands of tonnes of contaminated waste is being buried on farms every year.  The councils believe that there is little they can do about the...

Businesses should pay for their pollution – poll

[25 January/Radio New Zealand Business] A survey commissioned by Fish and Game indicates that 71% of the people questioned believe that businesses should have to pay for the impact that they have on the environment.  Seventy percent of respondents do not believe that the dairy industry should be treated any more leniently than other commercial...