Parker playing for time on winter grazing

Environment Minister David Parker has had no choice but to defer the implementation of the intensive winter grazing in Southland for one year, National’s Agriculture spokesperson David Bennett says.

“This is the third time there’s been changes to this set of regulations. Minister Parker clearly rushed the process, he didn’t consult properly with the sector, and now he’s having to delay for a year.

“While farmers will welcome the delay, there is still a lot of work to be done to make sure any new regulations can actually be achieved.

“The Minister has developed a policy based on ideological notions and once again he has had to back down after realising it isn’t practical or based in science.

“Farmers showed up in their hundreds to tell Minister Parker his regulations were rushed and unachievable.

“But this playing for time gives no certainty or clarity around what farmers will be expected to have implemented by next year.

“The risk is that the Minister sets unachievable standards, opening up the prospect of the Intensive Water Grazing rules being implemented in Southland.

“National supports having cleaner waterways in New Zealand but we have to back farmers to farm their way to better outcomes. They must see a pathway to improve while being profitable.

“Farmers want practical solutions, and National would work with the regions to make sure the rules are suited to every area.”