“As the waka at the heart of Labour’s agricultural emissions proposal loses all of its passengers, ACT has a common sense solution that can actually work for everyone,” says ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Labour claimed that He Waka Eke Noa was the answer. It said that all farming groups were in the same boat and that it would put a line under agricultural emissions policy.

“Instead everyone in the boat found out just how hard it is too work with Labour, and that no matter how hard they tried they were unable to break through Labour’s ideological thinking. The end result was a proposed burp tax that would shrunk our agricultural sector and send production to less efficient countries.

“Farmers are rightfully outraged that Labour is trying to sacrifice them to the climate gods. A petition signed by more than 70,000 farmers up in arms with the proposal was delivered to Parliament today.

“ACT says the fairest and most simple answer is to match our agricultural emission reduction goals with our five closest trading partners. This means there is no risk of reducing production so other countries can pick up the slack.

“This means New Zealand’s agriculture industry remains in step with the rest of the world without taking all the risks. Labour’s approach is only “global leadership” in the sense that it is showing the rest of the world what not to do.

“ACT believes New Zealand must play its part on climate change. But any response must be simple to administer, politically durable, and effective. New Zealand will only prosper if we match our goals with actions which actually benefit the environment.

“It is also untenable to continue with the current unscientific treatment of methane. ACT will amend the Climate Change Response Act in our first 100 days to ensure emissions reporting accurately reflects the actual warming effect of methane emissions.

“New Zealand is an export nation that has been kept afloat by the primary sector and relies on it during turbulent economic times. The Government should have the decency to do its due diligence on proposals that could have a costly, negative effect on the sector as a whole.

“Kiwi farmers are the most emissions-efficient in the world and they’re not praised enough for this, but there’s more work to be done. ACT has a plan that is practical, effective, and politically durable.”

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Mark Cameron