Taranaki is set to be hammered by the Government’s Freshwater proposals, New Plymouth’s MP Jonathan Young says.
“Economic modelling from Dairy NZ has shown an average cost of $38,000 per Kiwi household by 2050, but this is expected to more than triple for Taranaki, with $120,000 projected.
“The Government’s plans will be devastating for regional employment, with a projected 1000 Taranaki households left jobless, not just from dairy farms, but many service companies that support the industry.
“Dairy farming is the backbone of our regional economy and these proposals will decimate it. Farmers have already made big environmental strides with over 5.6 million plants in the ground and 13,000 kilometres of fencing protecting rivers, streams and wetlands established at farmers’ expense.
“The Waingongoro Catchment Group recently wrote to the Minister for the Environment to express their concerns, stating that the proposals ‘will cause significant grief and unnecessary turmoil to our rural community, for little or no achievable or measurable gain in water quality’ and requesting the Government makes significant amendments.
“The rivers that run off Taranaki’s Mounga are not compliant with the Government’s stringent phosphorus levels anyway, so we have no way of meeting their targets no matter what we do.
“The ‘one-size fits all approach’ is simply a Wellington desktop exercise that has little relevancy in the unique Taranaki region.
“Following on from the ill-thought-out oil and gas ban the Government is continuing to hurt Taranaki and still refuses to listen to regional New Zealand.
“This Government is making significant parts of the Taranaki regional economy unsustainable through ill-conceived bans and oppressive, uninformed regulations. A National-led Government would do things differently.”