Federated farmers provincial president Will Foley writes that the Ruataniwha water Storage Project will provide a future for our children and our children’s children.
If we focus on what we are good at, producing high quality food and beverages, then our future is strong because the global demand for quality primary goods is strong. Our climate and landscape makes the Hawke’s Bay a brilliant destination for tourists for the same reasons I live here. I farm on the plains, I tramp in the Ruahines and I fish out at sea. I have a vested interest in enhancing all aspects of the Hawke’s Bay economy and its environment; we can have the best of both worlds.
But we now stand at a cross-road. Shutting down farming won’t get us a pristine environment because we humans have been modifying it for over a thousand years. How bad things would get without the jobs, wealth and infrastructure the primary industries brings in, is as clear as the nose on my face. Those left would be bombarded by more burglaries, more home invasions and a worse environment. Alternatively, we can have farming taken to a new level where farms are highly productive, adaptive to new technologies and a changing climate, as well as being environmentally responsible stewards of the land. That’s the progressive Hawke’s Bay I want for my children and my children’s children.
Everything we do impacts on the environment.
Leaving it all to nature doesn’t necessarily help as successive droughts have shown and all the impacts from human endeavour aren’t negative.
The solution to those that are isn’t to stop progress but to encourage it in a sustainable way,
That will provide economic development, create more jobs and do so in a way that protects and enhances the environment.