DairyNZ chair Jim van der Poel says while the proposal has adopted many key recommendations from the He Waka Eke Noa Partnership, that were informed by farmer feedback, the Government has made significant changes that will be a focus for the sector during the six-week consultation.

“The Government has accepted a lot of what farmers told us was important to them during our sector consultation earlier this year,” said Mr van der Poel.

“This includes a farm level levy and a split-gas approach that prices biogenic methane separately – recognising that its warming impact differs from that of long-lived gases, such as carbon dioxide.

“It is still proposed that any revenue generated through emissions pricing will be reinvested back into the sector to

support R&D and incentivise action on-farm, that will reduce emissions – this is significant for farmers too.”

However, DairyNZ strongly disagrees with some of the changes made to limit the recognition and reward farmers will get for their on-farm planting, by removing classes of sequestration like shelterbelts, woodlots and scattered trees.

DairyNZ is also disappointed the Government has removed the ability for farmers to form collectives to work together to report, reduce or offset their emissions – a key mechanism that would drive the change that is needed.

“These are material changes that will be of real concern to most farmers, and we will be raising them directly with the Government on farmers behalf over the coming weeks,” said Mr van der Poel.

“The Partnership’s recommendations to Government were finely balanced so they would work for all sectors, and we stand behind the whole-farm system approach we and our partners put forward.

“We know how important it is for New Zealand to move on climate change, but we also know the importance of moving at a pace that doesn’t leave our farmers, families and rural communities behind.

“Emissions pricing needs to be practical, pragmatic and fair for farmers, and there is still a lot that needs to be improved to make what the Government have announced today workable for farmers,” said Mr van der Poel.

Government consultation is now open and will run for six weeks, with the final decision to be announced in December.

DairyNZ will be making a detailed submission on behalf of dairy farmers but are encouraging dairy farmers to engage with the process too. It’s important that the Government hears from farmers and understands what’s important to the sector.

This is the consultation doc:

https://environment.govt.nz/assets/publications/ Pricing-agricultural-emissions-consultation-document. pdf

This is DairyNZ’s view on the whole proposal. It clearly sets out the differences for He Waka and what the issues are with each.

https://www.dairynz.co.nz/environment/agricultural-greenhouse-gases/pricing-agricultural-emissions/ governments-proposal-to-price-agricultural-emissions/