Farming in northern Hawke’s Bay, Shiralee Seerden is worried about the impact of pine trees being planted on neighbouring farmland.

With good reason I didn’t stay up to hear the election results as it might be my last chance to have a peaceful sleep over the next three years, still in desperate hope I woke up; but alas it couldn’t get any worse with Labour’s close ally also doing well. A sentiment shared with not all but a few local farmers – despair and disheartenment!

I remember in my early 20s meeting a young male of similar age who upon learning of my parents’ farm, distastefully said “you rich farmers”. I was taken aback and hurt with his further vehement remarks.

Accusations aside it was far from the truth, my childhood saw me ridiculed at school for wearing hand-me-downs already a decade old, no bach, no boat, a couple of holidays in winter – at the beach brrrr! While I certainly grew up with “rich farm kids” they didn’t outnumber the “rich town kids”. Perception really is where you are standing. Like Jacinda I grew up around Morrinsville in heartland Waikato – dairy country. We obviously wore different shades of glasses; as a teenager I was proud that this small town was thriving and growing, building industries and creating jobs based around the local farming community, and like that young man it seems the Prime Minister did not share the same sentiment as myself.

Am I a conspiracy nut? Most likely, but everyone has their agendas, and when two and two don’t make four, I want to know why. Why is it we are being heavily controlled with policies of “one size fits all”? Should I expect anything different from a socialist party which quotes ’fairness’, when golf courses, rugby stadiums and recreational grass areas can throw as much nitrogen on when they want and aren’t answerable to where and what it runs into.

A few years ago I was told first hand how much N was going on to Eden Park just to make it look green, the amount blew my mind! And the icing on the cake was the runoff goes straight into the Auckland water system, it nearly made me cry with the injustice of it all.

What could possibly top all this off? Well, the Greens winning Auckland Central. It just makes me believe our city cousins are so far removed from us country folk with a divide so wide we are banging our heads on a brick wall trying to make them understand we all need to clean up our own backyards – together.

Not likely though while our Government is comparative to the best magicians; distraction (farmers polluting waterways), deception (1 billion trees by 2028) followed by in your face deceit (major areas of land planted with pines for carbon credits) a weed and major problem already in our native bush; 500 million natives to be planted which we already know through local projects a large number of them don’t survive, compared to 500 million pines which have a fantastic survival rate and self-seed quickly.

With farmland in our neck of the woods (excuse the pun) being snapped up by home and foreign forestry investors who are paying well over the price of viability for farming the land, I predict there will more likely be a billion pines by 2028 and I don’t think it will be a surprise to the governing authorities.

I wonder if Kiwis have a picture in their head, when every time they hear about the planting of trees and emission schemes, they are naive in thinking the land will be going back to native bush.

Maybe a reality check is needed, with New Zealand in 20 years covered in radiata pines and our grandchildren fighting to save our native bushland from this invader! Not to mention most of our food imported! Worry not, our carbon credits will offset any footprint!