South Cantabrians will have another opportunity to voice their concerns over proposed water reforms at a meeting hosted by MP for Rangitata Andrew Falloon and National’s spokesman for agriculture, Todd Muller.
Mr Falloon said the water reforms proposed by the Government amounted to the most far-reaching regulations ever to hit New Zealand farmers.
“Urban and rural communities have been given only eight weeks to comment on the reforms, but unfortunately there’s been very little clarity on what the effect of the reforms will be.
“In recent days (Agriculture Minister) Damien O’Connor has tried to suggest that the impact on farmers will be minimal, but he’s still refusing to release any economic analysis of the proposed nitrogen limits and the impact on areas like South Canterbury.”
Mr Falloon said improving water quality was an important discussion to have, but it needed to be an informed debate, recognising the efforts that farmers were already making in riparian planting and fencing of waterways, and that the most polluted waterways were in urban centres.
“The meeting isn’t just for farmers; the effects of the reforms will be much wider than that, on our rural communities and flow-on to businesses in town.”