Are regional rates really being used to promote polluted rivers? It seems so when reading a recent story on our rural regional councillors. They’re backing Nick Smith’s unwise proposal allowing our rivers to be so polluted that people can’t swim in them for health reasons. If the proposal goes ahead, it will be yet another lap in a government-sponsored race to the bottom for our regional economy.
I’m all for farming. And farm business viability. So it’s particularly galling to see these councillors’ polluted thinking now, when our local dairy farmers are experiencing exactly what it means to be trapped as bottom price takers in a global commodity market.
To build our rural economy we need to set and achieve standards so New Zealand farming restores and builds on robust credentials as world leading producers of planet-friendly, safe and delicious high-value foods. That will be a climb to the top, exactly where we want to be for our economy, and our rivers. It’s this positive rural economic vision and delivery we expect from our regional council now, to build and hold a competitive advantage for our farmers and our region.
Brent Barrett Palmerston North