The Press - Farmers take proposed water tax concerns to PM

The Press - Farmers take proposed water tax concerns to PM

Strong, productive farming and high environmental standards can go hand in hand, Prime Minister Bill English told Mid Canterbury farmers at a meeting in Ashburton on Tuesday.

English, along with ministers Simon Bridges, Amy Adams and Toddy McClay, Rangitata's outgoing MP Jo Goodhew and candidate Andrew Falloon, were the guests of honour at a meeting hosted by Irrigation New Zealand (INZ) and Federated Farmers in Ashburton, in response to the water tax being proposed by the Labour Party as part of its freshwater policy.

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NewsTalk ZB - Labour's water tax could put farmers out of business - Irrigation NZ

NewsTalk ZB - Labour's water tax could put farmers out of business - Irrigation NZ

Irrigation NZ believe Labour's water tax proposal needs to go back to the drawing board. CE Andrew Curtis said over 80 percent of farmers are already carrying out environmental improvement work

They've carried out a survey of 124 farmers from around the country on how they'd be affected by the tax.

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NZ Farmer - Irrigation brings Environmental Improvements Greenpeace wants

NZ Farmer - Irrigation brings Environmental Improvements Greenpeace wants

The chief executive of Irrigation NZ, ANDREW CURTIS, responds to Greenpeace activists who locked themselves inside an irrigation pipe in Canterbury.

I am sure Greenpeace felt very proud of themselves when they locked themselves inside a Central Plains Water irrigation pipe to "protest dairy intensification". 

They shouldn't be. Quite apart from putting themselves at risk on a dangerous construction site, breaking the law and tying up police time, they were wrong on a number of counts.

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Dairy News - Federated Farmers says water tax will suck cash from irrigating regions

Dairy News - Federated Farmers says water tax will suck cash from irrigating regions

Echoing an IrrigationNZ analysis, which shows the bulk of the proposed water tax would be gathered in regions where the rivers were already cleanest, Federated Farmers rep Chris Allen said the most polluted rivers are nowhere near where irrigation is happening.

Ashburton-based Chris Allen, is the Federated Farmers board member with policy responsibility for the environment (water and biodiversity).

“The tax is not going to fix any river that’s not being worked on already,” he said.

"Dairying has been the red herring in the debate but represents less than half of Mid-Canterbury’s irrigation. With Mid-Canterbury providing much of the world’s carrot seed, much of the irrigation goes to very specialised cropping and it would be “a worry” if that were made uneconomic.

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Scoop - Labour changes its mind on water tax yet again says Irrigation NZ

Scoop - Labour changes its mind on water tax yet again says Irrigation NZ

Supporters of Labour's proposed water tax may be changing their minds when they hear the money raised won't all be spent on cleaning up rivers.

Labour introduced the water tax proposal with the stated aim to 'restore our rivers and lakes to a truly swimmable state within a generation'. They even called it a 'Clean Rivers' announcement.

They also said the money would be spent cleaning up rivers in the regions where the money would be raised, from irrigators and water bottlers.

But speaking on RadioLive at the weekend, Labour's spokesperson on Primary Industries Damien O’Connor backtracked.

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