Environment and emissions

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...

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...