Environment and emissions

Double standard: Vege aisle plastic rolls on despite supermarket bag ban

[14 January/NZ Herald] Supermarkets have now dropped the use of single-use plastic checkout bags but other plastic bags are still available, notably those for fruit and vegetables. The Herald has witnessed many shoppers tearing off extra produce bags and placing them in their trolleys, empty. A Foodstuffs spokesperson (New World and Pak ‘N Save),  said...

NZ Emissions Trading Scheme simplified

[10 January/NZ Herald] Following public consultation in August and September, the first of two planned tranches of improvements to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) have been announced. The improvements seek to provide more certainty to scheme participants and create a more effective and fairer ETS. Key announcements were viewed as improvements making the...

Dairy farmers are listening, says DairyNZ

[10 January/The Country] A Colmar Brunton conducted survey that found healthy rivers and lakes were the greatest public concern in New Zealand comes as no surprise to DairyNZ who believe that Kiwis care deeply about waterways.  DairyNZ has established its Clear Vision movement, which looks to all New Zealanders to do their bit to look...

Dairy gold rush is over as nutrient limits put brake on Canterbury dairy conversions

[January 9/ Stuff] The number of dairy farm conversions in Canterbury has decreased due to new rules to prevent deterioration of water and improve community demands. Farms looking to convert from another land use can only do so within the farm’s existing nutrient leaching limit, which makes dairy conversions increasingly difficult to do. These rules...

2018 climate continues ‘alarming trend’ – NIWA

[8 January/Radio NZ] The latest National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Climate summary report released showed 2018 kicked off with the hottest month ever recorded. Temperatures in 2018 continued to hit record highs, with scientists calling the year a continuation of an “alarming trend”. The year as a whole was the second-equal warmest on...

Freshwater pollution top of mind for Kiwis, according to Fish & Game survey

[2 January/NZ Herald] Kiwis are more worried about the levels of pollution in the country’s lakes and rivers than they are about the high cost of living, according to a new opinion poll conducted by Colmar-Brunton on behalf of Fish & Game. Of those surveyed, 82% of those surveyed were ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ concerned about...

Richard Thompson steps down from Landcare Trust

[14 December/NZ Herald] NZ Landcare Trust’s long-time chairman, Richard Thompson, has retired after 22 years on the board. Fiona Gower will replace Thompson as its first woman chair; Ms Gower is also Rural Women New Zealand National President. Mr Thompson started as a board member at Landcare before taking on the chairman role in 2005...

Govt to cap units, bring permanent forestry into ETS

[12 December/NZ Herald] The Coalition Government has announced a raft of changes to the ETS as it strengthens the scheme to utilise it as the country’s main tool to battle climate change.  The changes including putting a cap on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), limiting the number of units that can be traded, and incorporating...

Farming nutrient programme can be ‘manipulated’ – watchdog

[12 December/Rural Life] The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, has released a report where he provides his assessment over whether Overseer should be used to regulate farmers with respect to water quality. Mr Upton said New Zealand has a major water quality problem associated with nutrient losses from farms and it was time...

Avocado growers in Environment Court water fight over wetland’s aquifer source

[10 December/Stuff] The Department of Conservation (DOC) is appealing a resource consent granted by the Northland Regional Council (NRC) allowing 17 avocado growers to take over two million cubic metres of groundwater a year from the Aupouri aquifer in the Environment Court this week. The growers plan to plant over 600 hectares of avocados, and...

How NZ could cut agriculture emissions by to 10 per cent

[6 December/NZ Herald] Findings from two years of research by the Biological Emissions Reference Group suggest that most people in the agriculture sector want to reduce their emissions to fight climate change but nearly half of farmers don’t know how to go about it. The work looked at the costs and barriers of reducing biological...

A coalition of powerful business groups urges a complete overhaul of the resource management system

[19 November/Stuff] The Resource Reform NZ group, comprised of the Employers and Manufacturers Association, Infrastructure New Zealand, Property Council New Zealand, the Environmental Defence Society and BusinessNZ, are calling for a complete overhaul of the resource management system in New Zealand. The Environment Minister David Parker had indicated a wide-ranging review commencing in 2019, which...

Council finds dairy farm using a bathtub for effluent storage in latest inspections

[18 November/Stuff] Almost 30 per cent of Waikato farms inspected for effluent compliance have been found to be significantly non-compliant this season – including one that was using an old bathtub to store its effluent. The Waikato Regional Council’s farm services team has inspected 232 “high risk” farms since July 1 – of these 34...

‘Poisoning for profit’: why Greenpeace wants to get rid of synthetic nitrogen

[15 November/Stuff] Greenpeace wants the New Zealand Government to ban the use of synthetic nitrogen on New Zealand farms, orchards and market gardens. Not all of the nitrogen put on the soil is taken up by plants but instead travels underground and ends up polluting aquifers and rivers. Last year’s report by the Ministry for...

Carbon credit investment fund to bet against rising fuel and power prices

[16 October/Radio NZ] New Zealand’s first carbon credit investment fund was being planned for ordinary investors and the stock market. The investment fund would be developed by Salt Funds Management. The company has spent years creating an investment fund for carbon credits. Greenhouse gas emitters, such as power and fuel companies buy these credits to...

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...