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National steals Greens policy, calls it ‘turbo-charged’

The National Party has the Greens to thank for what it’s calling a ‘turbo-charged’ policy – putting more money into sustainable farming practices - but it won’t be enough to take the step change we need to clean up our rivers, the Green Party said today.

The comments come on the back of an announcement that the Sustainable Farming Fund will get another $20 million a year under a National government, which is just a small part of an initiative that the Green Party announced in a plan to clean up water ways, just last week.

“What we need is a real change in the way we farm, to reduce environmental impacts like greenhouse gas emissions and nitrogen leaching. Our Clean Water, Great Farming policy will go a lot further towards that than National is prepared to do,” said Green Party leader James Shaw.

“We will invest around $136 million in initiatives to move to better farming. We’ll invest in the Sustainable Farming Fund, create a Transformational Farming Partnership Fund, support organic farming and growing, and establish a ‘Good Food Aotearoa NZ’ national sustainability accreditation scheme.  

“Revenue for those ventures will come from a nitrate pollution levy charged on dairy farmers who continue to pollute our soils and water.

“We’ll also accelerate depreciation on the infrastructure that has left so many dairy farmers up to their eyeballs in debt, so that they have breathing room to pay down debt and free up capital to move away from intensive farming,” said Mr Shaw.