Thursday, 1 July 2021

Farmers need a better environmental law making standards


“A new Bill from the ACT Party drawn today will ensure the baton of environmental regulations is given to regional councils and taken out of the hands of Wellington bureaucrats,” says ACT’s Rural Affairs spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“In recent years farmers have been hammered by regulations put in place by Government that don’t take into account the diverse landscapes across the country.   

“This was evident when the Freshwater Regulations came into effect last year. Otago and Southland farmers face unique challenges that aren’t faced in other parts of the country. The winter grazing regulations meant someone could come on to your farm and prosecute you for a law that's impossible to comply with because the weather in the part of the country was vastly different to other areas.

“My Bill, which was drawn from the Ballot today, the Resource Management (Regional Responsibility for certain Agricultural Matters) Amendment Bill, would mean that regional councils would set the standards which work in each region, rather than blanket regulations set by Government which fail to acknowledge regional activity, on farm methodologies, soil aggregate, rainfall and localised erosion. 

“Regional councils are best positioned to understand local conditions, this will allow direct relationship with stakeholders farmers and industry and their regulators.

“This Bill will ultimately be a more transparent type of law making that reflects the need to work collaboratively, to ensure better outcomes for farmers, the environment and the local community.

“As a farmer I know first-hand what a difference this Bill would make. We have an opportunity to do the right thing by our famers and I encourage all of my Parliamentary colleagues to support our farming communities.”