Government backtracks on Freshwater Rules
Despite making a commitment to freshwater, the Labour Government has backtracked on its commitments, giving way to agricultural interests.
The Government backdown on rules to control winter grazing, has both water quality and animal welfare implications. New intensive winter grazing rules have been deferred until 1 May next year. In the interim, rules preventing the expansion of the practice apply.
The decision was announced by the Environment Minister David Parker and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor to a DairyNZ function.
“Leaving a bad practice unregulated and thanking industry for their promises to make it slightly better is no substitute for getting rid of it, as the Government should be doing with intensive winter grazing," says Greenpeace Senior Campaigner Steve Abel.
The Government’s decision to hold off on implementation of winter grazing regulations follows similar decisions to renege on regulations proposed to manage freshwater and climate pollution.
This includes the delay on putting a limit on Dissolved Inorganic Nitrogen (DIN) in freshwater, which was due May 2020.
Abel says the agreement to let the dairy sector self-regulate on winter grazing for yet another year echoes the He Waka Eke Noa partnership - a ‘voluntary’ climate agreement between Government and the dairy industry.