Environment and emissions

Government starts down pathway to net pathway to net zero emissions by 2050

[19 December/NZ Herald] The Labour led collation government has confirmed that a new climate change law will be implemented in 2018 that will bind governments to carbon targets and set New Zealand on a path to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Prime Minister Ardern announced a public consultation process to kick off in...

Genetics, emissions on agenda

[11 December/ Farmers Weekly] Papers with strong recommendations on climate change, water quality and gene technology would be presented by Environment Ministry staff to incoming Environment Minister, David Parker. The papers reflected the views of the ministry, and not necessarily Government policy. The paper noted how the latest developments in genetic technology were unknown when...

Federated Farmers back Fonterra

[16 November/New Zealand Herald] Federated Farmers are supporting Fonterra’s push to achieve zero carbon dioxide emissions both in New Zealand and globally. Federated Farmers Climate Change Spokesperson Andrew Hoggard said that the issue of reducing emissions was not limited to NZ and that he would like to see the government match the additional resources Fonterra...

NZ Farm Environment Trust shows need for balance

[16 November/New Zealand Herald] Newly elected chair of the New Zealand Farm Environment Trust Joanne van Polanen is looking forward to working with the new government on sustainability, environmental and animal protection efforts. Ms van Polanen was appointed at the Trust’s recent annual meeting. She believes the Trust is in a unique position to work...

Taranaki farmers scoop almost half of council’s environmental accolades

[13 November/Stuff] Seven of the sixteen Taranaki Regional Council annual Environment Awards were awarded to farming operations in the Taranaki region. TRC Chairman David MacLeod said extensive monitoring had revealed the environment was stable or improving in numerous key areas, mainly freshwater quality. Mr MacLeod said this shows the region takes the environment seriously, however...

Sectors differ on ETS inclusion

[13 November/Farmers Weekly] The dairy and forestry sectors have offered contrasting views on how they should be treated in emissions trading as the Productivity Commission considers submissions to its low emissions economy inquiry. The inquiry identifies how New Zealand could decrease greenhouse gas emissions and retain economic wellbeing. Fonterra’s submission highlighted the country’s relative carbon...

Genetic way to cut nitrogen

[11 November/Rural News] Canterbury Dairy Farmer John Tanner runs a farm located 20km from Lake Ellesmere. The lake has seen water quality issues in recent years prompted the introduction of set nitrogen targets. The Canterbury Water Management Strategy, introduced in 2012, requires that dairy farms in the catchment reduce their nitrogen limits by 30 percent...

Climate change action a winner in coalition deal

[24 October/New Zealand Herald] A deal just signed between Labour, the Greens and New Zealand First confirm climate change policy will play a role in our government moving forward. The parties have agreed to introduce a new Zero Carbon Act and launch a new independent Climate Commission. There remained a question mark over whether agriculture...

Right time for Patersons’ to enter Ballance Farm awards

[9 October/ New Zealand Herald] The Paterson Family were finalists in the Otago region and won the WaterForce integrated management award and the Massey University innovation award. Entries are open for the 2018 awards. Otago entries close on October 31. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner in Wanaka on April 13. The...

Survey helps scientists learn about waterways

[9 October/ New Zealand Herald] NIWA and DairyNZ have asked anyone who has planted along stream banks to log on at riparian.niwa.co.nz to formally record their work. This online survey will form the foundation of the National Riparian Restoration Database, to help scientists better understand how riparian buffers benefit waterways. The focus is on sites...

Council challenged on carbon incentive support

[5 October/ Farmers Weekly] The Waikato Regional Council has told the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into the opportunities and challenges for New Zealand transitioning to a lower net emissions economy, that farmers should be paid subsidies to ease them into the Emissions Trade Scheme. The inquiry aimed to assess future moves and consequences for NZ in...

Methane, nitrous oxide levels can be reduced

[5 October/ New Zealand Herald] AgResearch Science Impact Leader Robyn Dynes said methane and nitrous oxide levels can be reduced on-farm and discussed mitigation options to reduce greenhouse gases with rural professionals. Dr Dynes mentioned four options currently available to farmers or being worked on. These were low methane feeds, low methane animals, methane inhibitors...

Agriculture’s methane figures solid, scientists say

[4 October/ New Zealand Herald] International researchers published in ‘Carbon Balance and Management’ has estimated that global livestock methane emissions for 2011 were 11 percent higher than guidelines provided by the UN’s 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This included an 8.4 percent increase in methane from digestion in dairy cows and other cattle, and...

New Zealand can lead the world in reducing emissions

[2 October/ New Zealand Herald] International Soil Scientist and Cross Slot No-Tillage Systems CEO, Dr John Baker, said sunshine, crops and pasture hold the key to reversing a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand. At the Paris Climate Change conference, the New Zealand government agreed to reduce the discharge of greenhouse gases....

Awards open for innovative environment ideas

[2 October/ New Zealand Herald] Sustainable land management group Groundtruth has developed a Stop Kauri Dieback app that supports community engagement and management of the kauri dieback disease which is having a devastating effect on Northland’s iconic tree species. The disease has no known cure and creates the threat of kauri becoming extinct in some...

DairyNZ says farmers can take some hot air out of greenhouse gas emissions by managing herds

[19 September/ NZ Farmer] DairyNZ has told farmers they needed to reduce their greenhouse gas production to meet consumer and political demands. The organisation added that consumers wanted a smaller environmental footprint and this was not something farmers could ignore. DairyNZ Analyst, Kara Lok said New Zealand only caused 0.16 percent of global warming, but...

Federated Farmers say moving to ETS will cost primary industry $83m

[8 September/ Stuff] Federated Farmers believe the Labour Party’s proposal to move agricultural emissions into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) could cost New Zealand farmers up to $83 million in its first year. Labour’s plan would see agriculture moved into the ETS in stages, and Federated Farmers believe by the time farmers were paying for...

National’s $70m pest control plan announced

[2 September/ NZ Herald] The National Party has announced it will inject a further $70 million towards pest control. $40 million would go towards supporting community groups to eradicate rats, possums, and stoats. The new funding, allocated over four years, would allow the establishment of Department of Conservation rangers to advise community groups on pest...

Taylor to head Fish and Game

[17 August/Rural News] Long serving CEO of Fish and Game, Bryce Johnson, retires in October after 37 years at the organisation (and its predecessors) and will be replaced by Martin Taylor. Mr Taylor has been CEO of the Aged Care Association and most recently has been doing project work for Capital Coast DHB. Fish and...

Greens in power would revisit RMA, environment laws

[15 August/The Country] The Green Party have announced that they will begin a Royal Commission of Inquiry into New Zealand’s environmental management and planning laws should they be part of the next government. Green Party Environment Spokesperson, Eugenie Sage, made the announcement in a speech to the Environmental Defence Society in Auckland. She noted that...

Less than one quarter of all Waikato dairy farms meet their effluent obligations

[14 August/Stuff: NZ Farmer] Figures released under the Official Information Act show that Waikato Regional Council inspected 1174 in the recently completed season, nearly twice as many of the previous season, and found that only 23% of farms were fully compliant while 9% were significantly non-compliant. A spokesperson for the Regional Council said that the...

Tourism is all take and no give, research finds

[7 August/ Farmers Weekly] Victoria University research has found tourism contributed less than 3.5 percent of the Department of Conservation’s (DOC) budget while DOC spent 34 percent of its budgetary allocations on recreational expenses including tourist facilities and services and managing tourism concessions. Victoria’s School of Government Senior Lecturer Dr Valentina Dinica said DOC is...

New law for climate targets needed – Commissioner

 [27 July/ Radio NZ] Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Jan Wright proposed writing emissions reduction targets into law and is urging cross-party political support for the idea. Ms Wright proposed in a recent report that New Zealand follow the UK and nine other countries and introduce a Climate Change Act. The British legislation included emissions...

Rural recyclers challenge Kiwis to clear more waste

[20 July/NZ Herald] Rural recycling programme, Agrecovery, is encouraging businesses to recycle and this year will recover and recycle over 300 tonnes of plastic that might otherwise be burnt, buried or dumped. Since the programme commenced, Agrecovery has diverted 1800 tonnes of plastic from landfill or harmful disposal practices. Farmers and growers can drop off,...