[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 work they were doing. Satellite imagery was used to assess the amount of native vegetation. Forest and Bird Chief Conservation Adviser, Kevin Hackwell, said it was promising that Beef + Lamb NZ had commissions the research as part of its environment strategy. Mr McIvor noted the report was also relevant to the Government’s proposed zero carbon legislation. While further research was needed, the native forest would be isolating and storing carbon, most of which was unlikely to be counted under the current Emissions Trading Scheme. Further research was being undertaken.