(ACT media release)

“Trust Labour and the Greens to escalate their war on farmers with new bureaucracy and new taxes at a time when meat and dairy prices have fallen steeply. ACT will end the war on farmers and give them the respect they deserve,” say ACT’s Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron and ACT candidate Andrew Hoggard.

“In 57 days, farmers can have certainty that He Waka Eke Noa will be gone and they can carry on farming without the threat of emissions taxes hanging over their business. They need not only to remove a Government committed to sacrificing them to the climate gods, but also need a strong ACT in Government”, says Mr Cameron.

“Farmers in countries who are our biggest trading partners are not paying a price for their methane emissions. Under ACT, New Zealand farmers wouldn’t either.

“ACT has led the way standing up for farmers in Parliament. ACT was the only party to vote against the Zero Carbon Act. We were the only party willing to oppose He Waka Eke Noa from the beginning. We alone stood up for licensed firearms owners. We’ve consistently opposed the Government’s freshwater rules, Significant Natural Areas, fertiliser tax, the live animal export ban, the ute tax, and more.

“The stakes are high, the risk of shooting ourselves in the foot is very real. If we set more aggressive targets than other countries, it will not only harm the economy but also force activity to less efficient jurisdictions, increasing global emissions. That is why it is such a high priority for ACT to ensure New Zealand farmers aren’t sacrificed to the climate gods as Labour wants them to be.ACT would:

  • Scrap the Zero Carbon Act and tie any emissions price to that of our five main trading partners with the caveat that if farmers in countries who are our biggest trading partners are not paying a price for their methane emissions, neither should New Zealand farmers.
  • Implement a genuine split gas approach, acknowledging the fundamental difference between methane from livestock (a short-lived greenhouse gas) and carbon dioxide (a near permanent greenhouse gas).
  • Remove barriers stalling the uptake of emissions reducing technologies and ensure farmers can offset all on-farm sequestration from their emissions liability.

“That is what Real Change looks like. Only ACT opposed the Zero Carbon Act. We’ve said from the start that the legislation is cumbersome and bureaucratic and will allow Governments to micromanage the economy at great cost,” says Mr Hoggard.

“ACT’s policy 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.

“Overseas customers are demanding that products have lower emissions intensity. Luckily New Zealand farmers have the world’s best emissions intensity for dairy and meat products. There will be ongoing pressure to improve that performance, but improvements are occurring constantly and will speed up as technology is made available.

“New Zealand farmers are the best in the world, and they’ve had to confront plenty of challenges recently. But they shouldn’t have to face challenges from their own Government, too. Bureaucracy and regulation are crushing the rural sector. ACT understands why rural New Zealand is angry with Wellington. We are proud to be the voice for rural New Zealand.”