Greenpeace is grumping at winter grazing decision which gives farmers more time to address environmental challenge

Our Beehive bulletin

Oh dear.  Greenpeace is grumping at the farming sector’s agreement to make immediate improvements to intensive winter grazing practices for the coming season with help from the Government.

The problem for Greenpeace is that – in return for the farming sector’s commitment – the Government has deferred the introduction of intensive winter grazing (IWG) practice regulations until May next year while these improvements are made.

Rules preventing the expansion of IWG will still apply but Greenpeace wants a much earlier halt to the farming practice whereby stock are confined to outdoor feeding areas planted with fodder crops.

The Government’s announcement of its decision on winter grazing was one of several decisions posted on the Beehive website since Point of Order’s previous Beehive report. The others are-

  • Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has opened the latest round of funding of low-emission transport projects through the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund. This trough, designed to encourage innovation and investment to accelerate the uptake of low emission vehicles through 50 per cent funding for projects, so far has  committed $29.4m in government funding to 180 projects, matched by over $62m in applicant funding.
  • Women’s Affairs Minister Jan Tinettio has posted the National Statement to the Commission of the Status of Women.
  • Police Minister Poto Williams announced amendments to the retrospective provisions in the Child Protection (Child Sex Offender Government Agency Registration) Act 2016 will be introduced today. The provisions clarify the intent of Parliament when it passed the Act in 2016 for the Register to apply to all individuals who have committed a qualifying child sex offence, irrespective of when that offence occurred.
  • Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis celebrated the ten-year anniversary of Tai Aroha, a 16-week residential violence-prevention programme with Waikato-Tainui kawa and mātauranga Māori built into the daily operations of the programme, for all residents and staff.

Announcing the decision that upset Greenpeace, Environment Minister David Parker said Intensive Winter Grazing – if done poorly –  has serious negative effects on animal welfare and the environment, particularly freshwater health and estuaries.

Farming leaders accepted that these practices need to improve and they wanted to be part of the solution, he said.

“The one year deferment will enable an IWG farm plan ‘module’ to be rapidly developed, tested and deployed ready for formal incorporation into wider certified freshwater farm plans in 2022,” David Parker said. 

Greenpeace responded by complaining the Government’s delay in implementing already-weak intensive winter grazing regulations

“ … is yet another example of them buckling to New Zealand’s ‘dirtiest industry’.”

Its statement said:

“Leaving a bad practice unregulated and thanking industry for their promises to make it slightly better is no substitute for getting rid of it, as the Government should be doing with intensive winter grazing,” says Greenpeace Senior Campaigner Steve Abel.

 “In the middle of a climate and freshwater emergency, it’s pathetic and depressing to see our Government so captured by industry instead of doing the right thing.”

Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods  said the focus of the Low Emission Vehicles Contestable Fund, over nine rounds, has evolved from growing awareness and uptake of electric vehicles to expanding our public charging network and investing in New Zealand-first, innovative technology.

“Through the Fund, we’ve helped ensure Kiwis can charge their electric vehicles the length of the country and invested in work to develop battery repurposing and recycling. We’ve upskilled the industry, and organisations from small community groups to nationwide transport companies have shown there is a low-emission vehicle solution for just about every need,” Megan Woods said.

Minister Woods said the investment focus for Round 10 of the LEVCF, which has $4.5 million available, is focused on three main areas:

  • electric vehicle charging
  • technology and services
  • and demonstrating light and heavy low emission vehicles.

Applicants for the tenth funding round have until Wednesday, 14 April 2021 to submit their proposals to EECA.

For more information about the Fund, visit https://genless.govt.nz/levcf or email the EECA team on LEVFund@eeca.govt.nz.

For general information about EVs, see www.electricvehicles.govt.nz

Latest from the Beehive

17 MARCH 2021

Government takes action to restore protections for children against child sex offenders

Applications open again for low emission transport projects

National Statement to the Commission of the Status of Women

Government welcomes undertaking to improve intensive winter grazing practices

16 MARCH 2021

Government welcomes undertaking to improve intensive winter grazing practices

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