The National Party has promised to take an axe to the Labour Government’s agricultural policies.
In Gore on Tuesday night as part of a nationwide tour, National Party agriculture spokesman Todd McClay spent an hour outlining plans to scrap rules and regulations introduced by Labour.
In for the chop if National comes to power are ute taxes, winter grazing rules of10% slope, banning foreigners from buying farms to plant forests to put into the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and Three Waters.
He Waka Eke Noa is also gone under National while the agricultural industry introduction into the ETS is delayed.
Mr McClay said it was about letting farmers get on with their jobs and described Labour’s agriculture rules as ‘‘mad’’.
‘‘Farmers are telling me they are spending 20-30% of their time filling out paperwork. Some rules I consider just a bit crazy.’’
Agriculture would meet ETS and climate change obligations under farmer-led initiatives while National would recognise farmers’ on-farm carbon sequestration, he said.
‘‘A tonne of carbon [is] sequestered on farm [and] if it can be measured [National] will recognise it and give credit. Riparian strips are not counted, [farmers] should get credits for that.’’
Inaction on climate change was not an option as trading partners, like England, which were subsidised and protected looked for any excuse to keep New Zealand agricultural products out.
‘‘We will meet our international obligation.
‘‘Any semblance of inaction on our own part they will block us as they do not want to compete.’’
Farmers met the policy announcements with some caution.
Groundswell co-founder Laurie Paterson said farmer morale was low and warned if there were not some changes in the industry, farmers would leave.
‘‘Farmers are telling me another three years of this they are out of here.’’