Sheep on the farm


The New Zealand farming sector has borne the brunt of top-down, costly, and unworkable government regulations.

Some areas in which this has been most apparent are regulations concerning land deemed to be Significant Natural Areas (or SNAs), centralisation and co-governance of stormwater, drinking water, and wastewater (the so-called “Three Waters” legislation), and, most recently, the proposal to tax farmers for emissions on food products (“the emissions tax”).


The emissions tax won’t improve environmental outcomes, in fact it will increase global emissions because food production will be undertaken by other countries with less sustainable farming practices. The Government even acknowledges this in its own document.

This emissions tax will lead to food scarcity, increased food prices, and more land put into pine trees. This in turn leads to negative outcomes for rural communities and rural businesses. Again this is acknowledged by the Government in its proposal document. 

Finally, the emissions tax breaches the Paris Agreement in which New Zealand committed to emissions reductions, which states that emissions reductions should be pursued “in a manner that does not threaten food production”.

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In a Nutshell

VFF’s Tane Webster walks us through some of the most concerning issues with the proposed legislation. (1 min 30 sec)

Watch and share with your friends and family.

Ex Fed Farmers President Speaks Out

Watch the Replay

Jaspreet Boparai catches up with former national president of Federated Farmers NZ, Don Nicholson, to chat about the proposed emissions tax on farmers.

Don has been an outspoken critic of the raft of unworkable government regulations which have been directed against farmers in recent times.

Five Reasons You Need To Care

1. The Government’s own “Pricing Agricultural Emissions Consultation Document” concludes that the new emissions tax will have potential negative effects including but not limited to:

  • a significant change in spending across rural communities;

  • reduction in jobs or hours worked;

  • further de-population and accompanying decline in community services;

  • reduction in quality of living;

  • increased stress and mental health issues.

Ministry Of The Environment, October 2022,, Section 4.4 (pg 66)

2. Any reduction in New Zealand farming production made as a result of the emissions tax will be replaced by less efficient countries, effectively worsening the situation.

3. New Zealand’s share of worldwide emissions is negligible. New Zealand is said to contribute 0.2% of the world’s total emissions of which approximately 50% of these are said to be due to agriculture. This means that at most our agriculture contributes about 0.1% of the world’s total emissions.

Worldwide emmissions

4. New Zealand farmers and farming systems are already the most sustainable in the world as verified by independent research. We raise world-class grass-fed protein and milk products with the lowest carbon footprint while maintaining stringent animal welfare standards. Taxing our primary sector makes no sense.

5. Food and fibre make up 81.4% of our exports for the year to 30 June 2022. Crippling this sector will have a massive flow-on effect for all New Zealanders.

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VFF Supports NZ’s Farming Community

Voices For Freedom (VFF) is a not-for-profit grassroots advocacy organisation founded in December 2020 with a focus on protecting New Zealanders’ fundamental human rights: particularly freedom of speech, health, and medical freedom, and all freedoms under attack from an overzealous and oppressive government.

VFF has been advocating on behalf of farmers since our very first get-togethers in January 2021. We have always been very conscious that what affects Kiwi farmers affects all New Zealanders.

We take a comprehensive approach to defending freedom and the Kiwi way of life. 

VFF supporters participate in the Groundswell 'Howl of a Protest' in July 2021
VFF supporters participate in the Groundswell 'Howl of a Protest' in July 2021
VFF supporters standing up for farmers in the recent 'We're Not Going To Take It' protest in October 2022
VFF supporters standing up for farmers in the recent 'We're Not Going To Take It' protest in October 2022