Bronwyn Muir replies to Rachel Stewart

Dear Rachel,

I don't really have the time to write this as busy running some rural businesses but here goes....

You probably don't remember me - I held the Taranaki FFNZ Presidents position for nearly 4 years and sat in the wings biting my tongue while you ran off at the mouth / pen and tried to hold Feds and farmers to ransom time and time again.

Well I don't hold the position anymore and have had enough of your tripe and personal attacks to put it politely - there is too much at stake for all New Zealanders right at this point! 

Well informed, logical votes count - not as you would have it voting purely on emotion.

So I just need to try and correct you on a few things - not for your sake as doubt you will listen and will just come back with more of your rubbish but for all the readers out there who may happen across your newspaper space fillers and may be swayed into thinking that there is any truth to what you rabbit on about.

Firstly - actually, the majority of Farmers don't 'feel sorry for, misunderstood or hard done by' for ourselves or fellow farmers nor do we have a chip on our shoulders about being farmers. 
We are too busy getting on and running our sustainably focussed farming businesses to sit around 'feeling sorry for ourselves' - we can agree on that point. 

But that's where the warm and friendlies finishes, sorry Rachel.

Just want to correct you on most of your other misquotes and mistakes....

The majority of farmers don't see a rural / urban divide and in fact do know that the majority of people who don't farm for commercial purposes just need some more balanced information to really understand the bigger picture around New Zealand's primary production, key economic earners, where their food production does begin and the focus that farmers put into ensuring and complying with the regulations and compliance so we can keep farming, earning a living, and feeding people.

Or on the other hand all these non-farmers that you indicate have 'had enough', in fact are very much 'connected and supportive' of the farming community as they probably have vested interest in some farmed land - historic or current. Lots of hobby farmers and small holders out there who have as equal responsibilities around sustainable land management. 

Most non-farmers (your words) are realists and realise that every person in NZ has to own the environmental state of our nation and play their part in continuing to improve our land and water and all resources.

Feds and National (and many others collaboratively working and researching together ) have worked extremely hard ( and committed financially and in man/ woman hours) over the last nine years to listen and learn as to where the issues are, take ownership of the problems / challenges around all environmental and or industry concerns and educate/ get along side people who don't commercially farm so they can better understand. We haven't been wasting our time writing ridiculous scaremongering media articles and trying to 'side' with the ill informed or the quick to judge. 

We have worked hard at making sure our justification to farm in the future is to ensure the land is left in a much better state than we found it, our operations are sustainable - resourced, environmentally, financially, future proofed and commercially viable. 

Our whole farm business environment has changed dramatically in recent times, largely because of public perception, but also because of scaremongering and sensationalising and pandering to the emotions ( you do it well). 

For most farming operations staying economically viable is very challenging but more importantly the pressure it is having on rural industry well being is very concerning and feeding in cheap falsehoods like you do doesn't help the industry mood or focus. 

This is not a poor-us pity trip, as you will come back with, as non-farming businesses are faced with many of the same challenges. I know from personal experience running a business outside of farming that managing any business in NZ currently is very challenging.

I am very surprised that as you keep pointing out 'being an ex-farmer' yourself and even having held positions in Feds that you cant come up with some balance to your dialogue. 

I applaud the FFNZ Provincial AGM who invited you in as a speaker and did so because they wanted to understand better the angle you repeatedly try to come at us farmers from. 

But I have heard many versions of your supposed turn of events from those who were at the AGM, and there are stark differences to your version, and I wonder who has the chip on the shoulder?? 

You keep bringing this event up so maybe you should have a rethink as to your attitude and approach to helping us get along and working together for more effective future outcomes. 
(By the way 'anti-farming' I have rarely heard that term used in the farming or public circles except by the likes of you and possibly this SAFE campaigners, for all the reasons I have pointed out above. )

Water degradation - nine years of rapid decline - two words from me ....B***sh*t.

You've spent enough time in Taranaki to have the opportunity to do your homework and research and write about some science based facts especially around the good, solid, Taranaki Regional Council work and reliable research (20+ years worth in fact). Year on year our water ways are improving in quality. River environments and habitats are being enhanced every year.

I'm biased and so will say that Taranaki leads the nation in our regional land a water sustainability approach. 

And also if you were to open-mindedly research the facts about NZ's water quality you will in fact note that many rivers running through main urban centres have very pressing and concerning water quality issues - that start on the town boundary not have inherited from surrounding farmland.

The majority of farmers are spending $10,000's of funds to do their bit to improve the water quality that passes through their properties. These facts are freely available from numerous sources and are not jacked up for farmer feel good factors or to pamper to our egos. Could those responsible for water that flows through towns say the same and back it up with similar $$ facts. 

Do some research an come back with some facts to back up your emotionally incorrect info please!

When you say 'the public have had enough' who do you mean exactly?? Again for all the reasons I have pointed out above what in your mind comprises 'the public' - All New Zealanders?, the Urban based? the anti'farmers - who ever they are?

Rachel - I have wasted enough of my time writing this - I just hope some of your followers will take the time to search out some balance to your emotionally based, one-sided articles. when voting next week. I think everyone has to understand you need to be VERY CAREFUL - you may get what you wish for!


Actually what we are doing right now is steadily making progress in the right direction. things are pretty volatile right now but alot of the hard work and steading conversations are already being had. If not being farmed what do we use our land for and what are we, farmers doing that is so wrong?? Don't go for emotional empty open-ended electoral promises. 

Rachel - Why don't you use your pen and 'public' following for good instead of ratings. Oh yeah that's how you keep your day job - Funny that!