[4 July/Radio NZ]

Dunedin businessman, Murray Valentine, was behind the planned mega dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Basin. He was rejecting criticism from Fonterra about further intensification of the vulnerable landscape. He was originally granted consent for 15,000 cows but planned to put 2,000 on it by next year. Greenpeace campaigners chained themselves to heavy machinery in a bid to stop the work. Fonterra Chief Operator, Miles Hurrell, said the company had said for a while that its strong preference was for no further expansion in the Mackenzie Basin. He added they were concerned it would have a negative impact on the sensitive environment. Pilot, Gavin Wills, noted it was a shame they did not speak up 10 or 15 years ago as that may have resulted in no dairy development in the area at all. He emphasised it was easy for Fonterra to say that now, but it needed to back up its claims with active discouragement.