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Submission on the Dairy Industry Restructuring Amendment Bill

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End date for submissions is 9th October 2019


The government is asking the public for feedback about how the dairy industry is structured. We think it has made a rather large omission:
We are asking the government to reduce dairy herds in order to help keep us in line with our Paris Agreement and to meet the demands of the Zero Carbon Bill. This Bill currently holds no intention to reduce the herd numbers which needs to happen as soon as possible.
We have made a submission and suggest your submission includes these key points. Your submission can be long or short, you can choose to speak about it or not.


Comments:
I cannot see anything in the Bill about reducing dairy herd numbers. There needs to be a systematic change in what New Zealand does. Our waterways are crying out to reduce herd numbers. Cattle have been placed in highly unsuitable areas, such as South Canterbury and Central Otago, both notoriously dry areas and the result is unswimmable rivers and undrinkable water.
No one in New Zealand wants this.
It has been shown that if we actually paid for the environmental cost of our current dairy herd, it would be hard pushed to be showing a profit. Why are we wrecking the only land we have for this? Who is making the money? It is not the farmers, not even Fonterra is. What is the point of this?
New Zealand must act to reduce it's contribution to climate change, currently animal agriculture contributes nearly half of our emissions, thus it is clear that we should tackle this. Dairying is on the out. If NZ doesn't want to get left behind, we must get on the plant protein bandwagon now.
Producers are crying out for New Zealand sourced plant proteins, yet they have to seek overseas, in spite of the fact that NZ grows lots of vegetation that would be suitable for such. Please, let us ditch this arcane industry and embrace the future with open arms.


Recommendations:
For the government to encourage farmers through grants and other incentives to reduce their dairy herds and diversify by growing crops suitable to their environment.
Our waterways must be cleaned up and it is vital that farmers are made to do this. Those who do not do so or are persistent polluters need to be fined. Perhaps their fines can be used for the grants to those reducing their herds?