Wednesday, October 09, 2019

Farmers support dirty rivers

The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:

South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them.

The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one of the 10 worst in the country.


The plan would cost farmers thousands of dollars each year in compliance costs, as well as having to re-fence to enlarge areas around waterways already protected by riparian planting, and lower stock numbers.

They're complaining that complying with water standards would "take all our profit". But if they're only "profiting" by externalising their costs onto the environment, then they're not really profiting at all. Instead, they're making a loss when true costs are considered, and hiding it by stealing from other New Zealanders.

Meanwhile, farmers are complaining that the rest of New Zealand increasingly views them as environmental criminals. On that front, I think they have no-one to blame but themselves.