UNWORKABLE GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS
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
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”.