“The Government needs to come back to the table for a proper and honest discussion about solutions to rural New Zealand, starting with what are clearly unworkable freshwater rules,” says ACT Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.
“We have a string of examples of how the Labour Government just isn’t getting rural New Zealand, from unworkable winter grazing and cropping rules and an inadequate response to the horticulture sector’s need for workers off the back of Covid-19.
“Now we have a damning indictment of this in the form of the Economic Impact Report on Land and Water Management in the Ashburton District.
“Local Government representatives are putting a brave face on it, but the report makes clear that prescribed restrictive water use will reduce farm profitability in the district by 83 per cent a year.
“As a result farmers won’t be able to invest in their operations, with farm expenditure estimated to decline by $139.9 million a year across the district, perversely making them less effective managers of their land and stock.
“ACT won’t stand idly by and let farmers be driven off the land by well-intentioned but completely impractical rules made in Wellington meeting rooms by officials that clearly don’t understand farming.
“A fresh conversation is required and ACT is prepared to be a constructive party to it.”