Duncan Garner: National scaremongering over water policy

Opinion 06/09/2019

No wonder the farmers distrust the Labour Party.

At its worst, this plan to protect and improve New Zealand's water supply will mean no new farms, no more cows, and National's Todd Muller claims farmers will be forced to walk off their land because the goal is too ambitious.

According to the Nats it's environment first, second, third, fourth and fifth, and us humans and cows last alongside eating and staying alive.

All this so we can: Make New Zealand rivers great and swimmable again, and put our heads under without the fear of getting violently ill.

Of course, under National's water plan we somehow had to accept that unsellable goal of New Zealand rivers being "wadeable" again - 'hey let's head down to the river for a wade' never caught on, did it?

It's in National's interest to whip this up into a fear and loathing campaign because Labour's policy wants Kiwis to swim in our rivers, and National's policy wants us to wade.

But life and business aren't as simple as that.

Farmers are already doing great work, we're told most farms are fully fenced. The truth probably lies in the middle.

There is no need to ban cows, ban dairy conversions - heck, Fonterra welcomed the report because it knows what its farmers are already doing.

I tend to say this report will be watered down in time and the industry will work with the Government and the sky won't fall in.

It won't fall in because we rely on Fonterra to export to the world and failure is not an option. Stay calm, Labour be flexible and less punitive in your approach, and Todd Muller, come on mate - do you actually believe yourself?

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.