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NZQA needs to front up to concern that has been created by questions in their exams painting a one-sided picture of New Zealand’s farmers, National’s Agriculture spokesperson Todd Muller says.

“Students who sat their NCEA level three English exam were tasked with a question that described waterways as being ravaged by farmers and spoke of a ‘town vs country’ divide.

“There needs to be some balance in how our education system portrays farmers. We have the most sustainable farmers in the world but this rarely gets mentioned.

“Coupled with our national museum Te Papa advising our children they should be giving up meat and dairy for the sake of the environment, there is a concern our kids are being convinced that farming drives environmental degradation.

“Farmers’ confidence is at all-time lows, and this just adds to the pressure that is being heaped onto them by Government policy. They feel that anti-farming sentiment is becoming insidious in this country.

“We should be encouraging young Kiwis to be New Zealand’s next sustainable food producers, rather than pushing them away from the industry. 

“New Zealand farmers have made massive gains over recent decades and continue to stay ahead of the pack in terms of efficiency and sustainability. Over the last five years dairy farmers have fenced off over 98 per cent of waterways and spent over $1 billion in environmental investment.

“NZQA need to ensure they’re teaching this side of the story as well.”

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