Derek Daniel, a Wairarapa farmer, put a brochure headed Sink or Swim? in the latest issue of NZ Farmers Weekly.
It is also on his website and says:
Where is the New Zealand economy headed?
Over the past few years food producers in New Zealand have been subjected to a relentless smear campaign by lobby groups, media and the government. The general public has been brainwashed to think that our food production needs radical change. This Blame Game has focused on GHG emissions, water quality, and biodiversity. It’s time to put the record straight.
Over half of this country is in trees, mountains, natural cover. ALL farming is 39% of total land area. A projection of current trends is shown in the graph on page 3. How is New Zealand going to earn a high standard of living? What happened to “the Switzerland of the Pacific”? Is Auckland really the powerhouse of the economy? How would Auckland get on as a separate nation like Singapore?
New Zealand always had poor biodiversity
At their peak, livestock were grazed over 60% of New Zealand’s land area. That’s down to 37% now. Large areas have reverted to scrub and native bush, and many hectares have been retired by DOC or donated by food producers as QE2 covenants. Some species of native birds have grown in numbers, and some species have self introduced.
Why taxing methane is theft
- It is unjust. It fails to recognise the natural carbon cycle.
- It is unscientific. The method of assessing the levels of methane from ruminants is flawed.
- It is unfair. The assumptions are based on figures that are officially + or – 50%.
- It is unlawful. The Paris Agreement said to exclude food production.
- It is economic madness. Why leg-rope the sector leading the recovery?
The Paris Accord has a goal of stabilising GHG emissions in a way that does not reduce food production. New Zealand agriculture has complied with those requirements since 1990. New Zealand is squandering its land resource, with no planning around food security for a population which is increasing by two percent per year.
Reinventing New Zealand?
With the odd exception, New Zealand is now led by people who have never been hungry, never fought in a war, and never run a business. Will we have the discipline, as our forefathers did, to rebuild at an affordable cost?
The current government is engaged in granting an extra holiday, and five more days of sick leave. “Let’s stop moving”… Meanwhile, new immigrants are fast taking over ownership of the best cashflow businesses, because they work hard, and avoid employment and overtime costs by working within the family. Politicians pander to the bottom 20% of society while imposing more and more cost on businesses. How is New Zealand going to compete on the world stage?
Just like animal feedlots, the feed is trucked in and the waste piped out. New Zealand earns its living from the land, not from the cities.
NZ’s productivity crisis
- The internal cost structure to build houses and roads is well above what our export sector can afford.
- Endless environmental reports. What % of NZ’s 94,000km of roads are an “environmental disaster”?
- 15 years to action an irrigation scheme while costs double and triple.
- Every extra bureaucrat has to justify his/her existence. The regulators are breeding.
- Symbolic gesture: banning exploration for oil and gas will lead to more imported energy.
- Economy held together by productivity increase in the agricultural sector.
- You will pay indirectly for the carbon credits paid to rich people who plant trees. One estimate is $7,000 per household.
- The planet is overstocked with people, the root of all our problems? Cap New Zealand’s population at 5 million.
- New Zealand’s Paris Accord targets: remove ruminant emissions. Remove the government guarantee of carbon credit payments for planting trees.
- Continue oil and gas exploration, target self- sufficiency.
- Impose a significant entry charge on tourists. Increase foreign visitor charges for all tax payer created facilities, e.g. Aotearoa trail. It works in Bhutan.
- New Zealand agriculture is more regenerative of soil fertility than most countries in the world.
- Don’t handicap food production with stupid regulations.
Written by Derek Daniell, farmer in the Wairarapa. “It’s a huge worry to witness the kneejerk, political response to the Paris Accord… blame the animals? There is so much muddled thinking for the short term, not for a sustainable New Zealand.”
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Peter Williams interviewed Derek on Magic Talk: (35:07).
Jamie Mackay interviewed Derek on The Country in which he made some additional points:
. . . The ETA is and earnest attempt to align New Zealand’s GHG emissions with the Paris Accord. But subsidising tree growing is not changing behaviour around the use of fossil fuels.
Consider the actions of much richer countries: Norway has not stopped exploration for oil and gas; Singapore has not reduced air traffic through Changi airport, or shipping through its port.
New Zealand is naive to think that it can be a world leader in reducing man made climate change. Shooting yourself in the foot hurts.
Trees are good?
A thirty year crop is a big risk. Log values over the past thirty years have been low more often than high.
Eighty per cent of our export logs currently go to China, where almost all of them are milled for boxing around concrete, used, then burnt. So much for capturing carbon – it’s a farce!
Is logging sustainable seventeen times in five hundred years?
Pine trees have damaging effects on soils, streams, aquatic life, and inshore fisheries – and logging trash ruins beaches.
It is a very expensive process to reinstate food productions on logged-over areas.
You can’t eat wood. . .
Derek is articulating what many, perhaps most, farmers And growers are thinking.
Agriculture and horticulture kept going through the lockdown, producing food for the local market and earning much-needed export income from international ones.
We cannot possibly get through the Covid-induced economic crisis by handicapping primary production with environmental restraints that ignore, and in some instances go against, the science.