by Steffan Browning
Holly Walker’s press release this week outlined why urban sprawl doesn’t solve our housing crisis and doesn’t work for people looking for affordable housing.
It also doesn’t work for our farming communities.
As this article outlines, with residential dwellings stretching ever outward into food producing areas we see farming practices coming into conflict with their new neighbours.
I am not in any way wanting to condone spray drifts and their like, but I am concerned about the impact that residential neighbours have on the ability of farmers to make a good living and run their businesses efficiently. Worrying about your neighbours’ sleep is one of the last things you want to be doing when you are getting up at dawn to tend to your animals and crops.
Agricultural production is integral to our economy and so allowing urban sprawl to be taking up more and more of New Zealand’s productive land is just irresponsible. This is also a global problem affecting important local food production, and farmers in Victoria, Australia are experiencing this deeply.
I know this first hand as the very productive land next to my last horticultural unit in Marlborough, is now a big box retail development.