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FarmGeek » Ask Nick Smith to call-in MacKenzie Applications

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Ask Nick Smith to call-in MacKenzie Applications

UPDATE: Cabinet meets on Tuesday January 19 to consider calling in these applications – please send Nick Smith an e-card now! (see below for details)

From the Greens website:

Three companies have applied to Environment Canterbury for consent to establish massive factory farms in the Mackenzie Country, housing 18,000 dairy cows in cubicle stables.

This proposal is bad news for animal welfare, biodiversity, water quality, our iconic high country landscapes and our clean, green image.

Thousands of people made submissions to Environment Canterbury to oppose these applications. Environment Minister Nick Smith has the power to “call in” resource consent applications of national significance, and refer them to an independent board of inquiry or the Environment Court.

The last date for the Government to intervene is 2 February 2010.

Show Nick Smith just how widespread public concern about factory farms in the Mackenzie Country really is.

Send him an e-card asking him to make the right call and call it in.

To send Nick Smith an e-card just go to the Greens website. You can add your own comments if you feel inclined – here are mine (feel free to copy them)

Dear Minister

I am concerned about the negative impact on our international reputation if New Zealand allows the establishment intensive indoor dairy farming in the MacKenzie Basin. As you well know, New Zealand produce is marketed all over the world on the back of our clean, green image – pastoral farming based on grass and sunshine.

Our agricultural and horticultural trade (and to a similar extent, our tourism) relies on the cultivation of our clean, green image in the eyes of the rest of the world. Whether it’s for the sake of ethics, or to protect local producers, many of our overseas markets will not hesitate to marginalise NZ imports given the opportunity. Once we introduce factory dairy farming (or any factory farming) our products will have to compete on price alone as our unique point of difference vanishes.

Just last week, UK supermarket chain Waitrose has declared it will boycott NZ dairy products that are produced using non-pastoral practices. Waitrose has more than 200 branches throughout the UK and is known for its high-quality retailing and its high ethical standards – arguably the perfect outlet for our high-value products. A spokesperson said “Waitrose would not source own-label dairy products from farmers in New Zealand that did not allow their cows to roam freely outside, or to have the best welfare standards.”

Our international market has voiced their concerns – I urge you to call-in these applications as a matter of national concern.


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