I would imagine the reaction of most New Zealanders would be pretty similar if you said it’s a good idea to allow overseas companies to bottle and sell our fresh water, and that they shouldn’t have to pay for it.Read more
Dairy farming in New Zealand is synonymous with environmental degradation. A lot of the time, the criticism farmers receive is warranted considering the sheer scale of the industry and the impact it has on our environment. However, they are not the only ones who should shoulder the blame. In terms of water quality, the worst damage is often concentrated in urban areas, far away from the pastures that support our biggest export industry. It’s a problem that exists across the board, and it is the tax payer who ends up fronting the bill for the environmental damage resulting from production. It’s now forestry’s turn to put the spot light over this massive gap that exists in our environmental regulation.Read more
One of the biggest frustrations with partisan politics is that very rarely do we see good ideas acknowledged as good ideas. Every now and then we get a policy announcement that simply makes sense. Environment Minister David Parker’s recent comments regarding changes to the RMA, specifically relating to the amount of nutrient that can be lost from a farm is one such policy.Read more
We all want carbon emissions reduced and fast – well all of us apart from the few Neanderthals that have an ideological opposition to the science of human-induced climate change.Read more
ACT and the Green Party’s idea of putting a tax on carbon isn’t the best way to fix our emissions problem. Nor for that matter is a nitrogen tax the best way to solve our fresh water woes. Cap and trade systems are far better, and here’s why.Read more
The future for New Zealand dairy products remains providing ingredients to global markets. Consumer goods and the so-called “high value” those products offer remains a fanciful destination for our dairy industry as it is currently structured. We have long been a high volume producer of pasture-fed milk whose competitive advantage lies in low costs – low enough to outweigh the tyranny of distance from our main markets.Read more
We’ve had a lot of questions about how TOP’s policy on testing would work in practice for National Standards and NCEA.
TOP’s Education Policy is committed to reducing the amount of testing in our primary and secondary education system. Testing has little bearing on student performance and takes up valuable time that could be used for learning. Besides, the most important skills in the 21st Century are soft skills like communication, creativity, collaboration and critical thinking, which are not amenable to traditional testing.Read more
Is The Opportunities Party (TOP) anti-dairying ? As the Rangitata Candidate, I get asked this question often. The answer is NO!
Are we against the current high-volume, low-value model of dairy intensification funded by the taxpayer, which degrades our environment and water quality? The answer is an absolute YES!
The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has approved an application to mine millions of tonnes of iron sand off South Taranaki. It was a split decision and looks like it will be appealed, but nevertheless this shows that the seabed mining could proceed under current rules. The Opportunities Party (TOP) thinks this is wrong – we need to go through a spatial planning process to work out what bits of the ocean we want to protect before we open any area up to mining.Read more
For too long the environment has been seen as a ‘left wing’ issue, but no more. Nature is our #1 asset as a country – alongside our people – as it generates the vast bulk of our exports, including tourism and primary produce. Our landscapes, flora and fauna are literally what make New Zealand special. As other countries destroy their environments in pursuit of economic progress, ours becomes all the more precious. Nature is why people come here, nature is why people stay. This is central to Paul Callaghan’s vision of New Zealand as a place talent wants to live.Read more