National’s RMA changes weaken our environment law when we should be strengthening it

At the moment when New Zealand is the focus of international attention over Fonterra’s botulism scare, the National Party seems intent on sabotaging our economy and environment by weakening our environmental laws attacking the Resource Management Act (RMA). National’s changes will make the RMA an economic development act at the expense of nature and local […]

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Invest in sustainability or uddermine our future?

Some straight talking from Michael Coote in an NBR (July 1st) article about the Indian economy. Noting the government’s enthusiasm for a free trade agreement with India,  Coote writes that : “The D-word – dairy – cited by Mr Key in in linking together the wonders of free trade with China and India should give […]

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Scientists respond to Feds’ claim that trout are cause of water decline

Invasive trout blamed for poor water quality — are farmers off the hook? Press Release by Science Media Centre at  6:49 am, 05 Jul 2011 Scientists are questioning claims by a prominent dairy industry representative, suggesting trout are a ‘disastrous species’ — no better than ‘freshwater stoats’ — and that farmers have been unfairly blamed […]

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Love Wild Rivers? Give them your support

Cool. Today a new campaign has been launched for one of New Zealand’s most iconic features – our Wild Rivers. It’s great to see diverse groups – tree-huggers, deer-stalkers, bird-watchers, knobbly-kneed trampers, sharp-edged climbers, risky rafters, kool-kat kayakers, and angelic anglers – representing “over 100,000 New Zealanders” and united in seeking to protect wild rivers […]

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World Bank Goes Green?

Sometimes something really good happens. The World Bank has withdrawn funding for the palm oil sector including the Wilmar company that supplies [PDF] palm kernel to Fonterra. The World Bank is not satisfied that the palm plantations they loaned to in parts of the developing world met acceptable standards for sustainability. Congratulations to the Forest […]

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Recommended Sunday listening

Some great listening and viewing this morning on NZ environmental issues. Podcasts and on-demand TV means those who slept in haven’t missed out – so enjoy. RadioNZ’s Insight doco at 8am was on carbon offsetting. Reporter Ian Telfer narrated a well-rounded look at the benefits and risks inherent in the largely-unregulated voluntary carbon market. Includes […]

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Feds’ selective hearing deafening

Federated Farmers seemed a tad defensive yesterday. Their press release “Environmentalists ‘silence deafening’ on dirty cities” said: Federated Farmers believes the hypocrisy of environmental lobbyists has been revealed by their silence on urban pollution. “Yesterday, farmers learned that raw sewerage and heavy metals are being pumped into Wellington Harbour. But environmentalists like ‘hook and bullet’ […]

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Feds’ selective with the science on water quality

Here’s one that left me speechless with incredulity… Fed Farmers Dairy chairman Lachlan McKenzie addressed the organisation’s AGM  yesterday and made some quite ridiculous and irresponsible comments on the progress that farmers have made in cleaning up waterways. This time last year, Fish and Game New Zealand was calling on the government to regulate production […]

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Organics industry growth in jeopardy

In the 2005 cooperation agreement between the Green Party and the previous Labour-led government, we negotiated funding for an Organics Advisory Service (OAS). It included mentoring support for conversion to organics and peer support for organic farmers. Unfortunately, after three years of successful service to the organics sector, the modest $2.15 million funding has now […]

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Reports a reminder of need for action on freshwater

Two important studies revealing the state of our freshwater came out last week, and the news is disappointing. The first comes from NIWA, and updates water quality trends at the 77 National River Water Quality Network sites, which have been monitored over the last 20 years. The study confirmed that waterways flowing through farmland have […]

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Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Agriculture

Green Party MP Kevin Hague asks the Minister of Agriculture: Has the Dairying and Clean Streams Accord achieved its aim of “clean, healthy water including streams, rivers, lakes, groundwater, and wetlands in dairying areas”; or, does he agree with National MP Nick Smith’s statement of October 2008 that there has been a “deterioration in water […]

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Greenpeace’s activism reminds us about the big issue

Greenpeace activists have this morning temporarily halted a massive conversion of forest land to dairy farming in Tokoroa, locking on to forest logging equipment and using rotary hoes to plough 5m-high letters reading ‘climate crime’ into fresh pasture. The call for a halt to forest conversion for intensive dairy in light of the worsening global […]

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More palm oil for our cows, less rainforest for our future

NZPA noted yesterday that the Port of Napier has reported its first shipment of bulk palm kernel. You may remember Russel exposed the palm cake industry earlier this year. Imports of palm kernel cake have increased a thousand-fold in order to feed NZ’s rapidly expanding industrial dairy industry. To grow palm oil cake Malaysia, Papua […]

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