Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Industrial dairying violates crown leases

In Parliament today, Green co-leader Russel Norman asked:

How many hectares of land does the Government own in the Mackenzie Country, and has the Government given consent for any of this land to be converted to irrigated dairy farming?
It seems that much of the land which dairy polluters want to convert and irrigate for industrial dairying is held under a crown pastoral lease. Such leases require permission for any activity disturbing the soil or for any increase in stock numbers. The dairy polluters have apparently not applied for such permission. Permission is in the discretion of the Commissioner of Crown Lands, who must consult the Director-General of Conservation and consider
The desirability of protecting the inherent values of the land concerned (other than attributes and characteristics of a recreational value only), and in particular the inherent values of indigenous plants and animals, and natural ecosystems and landscapes
It is difficult to see how converting the MacKenzie country to an irrigated dairy farm could be consistent with that.

The upshot: this isn't just about resource consent, the government has a veto. And it will be on their shoulders if they refuse to exercise it to protect our environment.