Marlborough Express - The Saturday Express, Marlborough

Farming levy would ‘strangle golden goose’


The anger in the farming community about the agricultur­al emissions tax is understand­able, and should extend to all New Zealanders.

Farming of ruminant livestock does not produce half of our country’s greenhouse gas ‘‘pollution’’. Gross emissions, yes. Warming impact, no.

Seventy-six per cent of agricultur­al emissions are shortlived methane, caused by belching ruminants. Ruminants are amazing creatures in that they transform inedible pasture into highly nutritious protein (meat and milk) for us to survive.

They do this by grazing mostly on land which is unsuitable for growing crops or plant-based proteins. During this process, they belch methane which breaks down in the atmosphere over a period of 10-12 years and then cycles back into the pasture, in a natural process called photosynth­esis.

If methane levels are not increasing, then no additional warming is occurring.

Compare this biogenic methane cycle to the carbon in fossil fuels, like the ones burnt to fly James Shaw to the climate conference in Egypt recently, which stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Additional­ly, if we combine this basic science with some basic maths, if we take the 40 million people our red meat sector alone feeds, all of a sudden our agricultur­e emissions profile drops to around 6% of total emissions as opposed to 48%, not to mention the miniscule actual warming effect.

This unscientif­ic emissions tax will, according to government modelling, see a reduction in sheep and beef production in NZ by over 20% and dairy by 5%. The flow-on

OPINION: The proposed agricultur­al emissions levy would cause a lot of pain for farmers with little gain for the environmen­t, says a rural advocate.

effects of this are predicted to be severe on our team of 5 million.

Our economy relies heavily on our primary sector, which contribute­s 20% of GDP, one out of 10 jobs and 75% of merchandis­e exports. Do we really want to kill, or strangle the golden goose? This lost revenue could be used to pay nurses and firemen a better wage, build new hospitals or maybe fix some of our dilapidate­d roads.

A high percentage of this emissions tax revenue would be lost in the bowels of government, whereas farmers could invest the money efficientl­y on farm level improvemen­ts like fencing, improved pastures or trees, with no bureaucrat­ic waste.

In the 2015 Paris agreement Article 2.1, b states: ‘‘Increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate

resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions developmen­t, in a manner that does not threaten food production’’.

Reducing our farming in New Zealand not only reduces our food production and strangles our economy. It also shifts that production to a less efficient country which simply results in ‘‘emissions leakage’’ and increases global emissions.

Call me crazy, but I don’t think breaching the Paris Accord, cutting food production and increasing emissions, all during a climate crisis where we are facing global food shortages is a bright idea!

The reality is that there are no practical methane mitigation technologi­es available for farmers to use at this point in time. Farmers already invest heavily in research and developmen­t in search of such technologi­cal advances through existing levies, meat and dairy companies and of course the government. Farmers would happily implement these technologi­es and further reduce emissions should they exist.

According to the Ministry for the Environmen­t GHG inventory, New Zealand emissions from the energy sector in 2020 were 32 per cent higher than in 1990. Most of this increase came from road transport (an increase in emissions of 76 per cent), and the use of fossil fuels for food, electricit­y and heat production.

Over the same period, sheep and beef farmers have reduced their emissions by 30%, and the emissions’ intensity in sheep, beef and dairy has dropped by over 30% (emission per kg of product).

Due to these efficienci­es, and once these methane inhibitors are available for use, agricultur­e is potentiall­y in the position to cool our planet and offset the fossil fuel emissions from other sectors.

Perhaps the government could issue farmers with carbon credits once this cooling effect takes place? Climate activists and the greens will be able to thank farmers for offsetting the constant belching of fossil fuels from our big cities like the Huntly Power station which burns coal to heat Auckland and power electric vehicles.

If any of the general public would like to see one of these world leading carbon efficient farms, keep an eye out for our ‘‘Open Farm Day’’ next March at The Pyramid, when we open our gates so people can experience the brilliance of NZ farming. And remember, if you ate food today, thank a farmer.


Lions Market: Queen Charlotte Tavern, Linkwater, 9:30am-12:30pm. Stocking fillers, variety stalls, coffee, bacon butties. Stalls avail. $5. Ian 574 2558.

Molesworth Run: 8am-5:30pm, Molesworth Station. $75-$300. All ages. Organisers: Marlboroug­h Harrier Club.

Country Gardens: Sat, 9am-5pm; Sun, 11am-5pm. Fairhall area. Info: Wairau Valley Anglican Church. Eventfinda $25. Food/drinks, BBQ, plant stall.

Gold Coin Day: Edwin Fox Maritime Museum, Dunbar Wharf, Picton, 9am-4pm. All ages.

Crop Swap: Crossroads Cafe, 2-4pm. Fruit, vege, preserves, relishes, herbs, eggs, flowers, seedlings, books & magazines, baking, much more. $2 koha. Positive Birth, Hypnobirth­ing: Sat 9am-4pm, Sun 9am-4:30pm. Springland­s School, $475 per couple. Info: 0212992100/andi@acalmspace.

Vintage in the Vines: Lawson’s Dry Hills Wines, 10am-3pm. All ages. Free entry.

Study of Chaos & Collaborat­ion: Daily, (not Mon), 10:30am-4.30pm, Millennium Public Art Gallery. Free.

All ages. Jim Tannock & Rosa McGregor.

Artisan Craft Market: 9am-2pm, Market Pl, Blenheim. Free entry. All ages. Wooden toys, pottery, bags, doll’s clothes, etc.

Marlb Museum Exhibs: Asian Dolls & Textiles, William AhGee (carver), A Century of Marlb & Pottery by Frank Graham. 10am, daily, 26 Arthur Baker Pl, 5781712. Sat free.

Alcoholics Anon: Salvation Army Rooms, Henry St, Blenheim, 8-9am. 0800AAWORK­S.

Picton Menz Shed: 2 Market St, Picton. 8.30am-12pm. Rex 021469191 or Kerry 021888423. Justice of the Peace: Every Sat, 10am-12pm, Marlboroug­h District Library, Blenheim. Free. All ages. Certify/witness docs.

Salvation Army Toy Library: Today 10am-12pm; Thurs 3-4.30pm, 35 George St, Blenheim.

Narcotics Anon: 7-8pm,

Riversdale Community House, 131 Budge St. 0800 726 786. Redwoodtow­n Market:

Redwood Tavern car park, 8-12. Crafts, flowers, knife/tool sharpening, preserves, honey. Alison 5785109.

Ulysses Club: Branch coffee morn, Runway Cafe´ (formerly Argosy Cafe´), Woodbourne, 10am. Marlboroug­h Civic Orchestra: Rehearsals 4-6pm, Cloudy Bay Funeral Service rooms, Boyce St. marlboroug­hcivicorch­estra@gmail. com

Picton Heritage and Whaling Museum: 11am-3pm daily. 9 London Quay. 5738283.

Vintage Farm Machinery: Daily, 10am-3pm, Brayshaw Vintage farm. John 5777442. ss-5%Brooklyn Croquet Club: Golf croquet at Whitehead Park, 15 Brooklyn Dr. 12.45pm, Sat, Tues, Thur.

Boot Sale: 8am to 12pm, Blenheim Railway Station car park, Grove Rd.


Renwick Founding Families Afternoon Tea: Renwick Museum/Library, 2pm. Bkng essent: Marlb Museum 5781712 or info@marlboroug­ Lego Club: 1-4pm, Marlb Dist Library 5207491 & Picton Library 5207493. Free. All ages. Build a Lego kit.

Summer Sunday Sessions:

1-4pm, Forrest Estate Winery, 19 Blicks Rd, Blenheim. Free entry. Local music. Families, kids, dogs on leads welcome.

Picton Rail & Sail: Picton foreshore, Sun, 11am-3pm, donation: train rides/yacht hire. Marlboroug­h Vintage Car Club Museum: Sun & Wed, 1:30-3:30pm, Brayshaw Park, Arthur Baker Pl, Blenheim. Donation appreciate­d.

Bill 0275784322.

Riverside Railway: Departs

Brayshaw Park Station @ 1.15pm & 3.15pm to Omaka & return. Adult

$8, child $5; and 1.45pm to Beaver Station & return. Adult $13, child $7. Eftpos

Club Day, Blenheim Country Music Club: Redwoodtow­n School Hall, 2-5pm, fortnightl­y. $4 non members, $3 members. Aft tea. John Walding 027-355-5209, Nola Carter 577 9455.

Blenheim Croquet Club: Parker St, next Pollard Park entrance. Golf croquet: Sun, Tues, Thur, 12.45pm, Barb 0274992456. Associatio­n croquet, Wed/Sat, 12.45pm & Ricochet, Fri, 10.30am, Dawn 0210245501­0.

Social Tennis: Sun, 3-5pm, Marlb Tennis Club, Parker St. Nonmembers $2. All welcome. Joanna 027 578 6436. ss-5%Blenheim Family History Group: 1.30-3pm, Brayshaw Park Clubrooms. Family history research & build your family tree. Lauri 5788385.

Model Yacht and Boat Sailing: Brayshaw Park, 1-4pm. Free. Marlboroug­h Farmers’ Market: A&P Showground­s, 9-12. Local, fresh/seasonal produce & products. Rain or shine.

Ulysses: Ride to Saint Arnaud. Meet at the Blenheim Railway Station south end, departs 11am. Community Golf: Sun aft, all day Mon & Tues, Marlboroug­h Golf Club, Fairhall. 9 hole $15, 18 hole $30. Must be a Marlb resident. Blenheim Petanque Club: Sun 10am, Wed 1pm. 65A Weld St. Chris 5787303.

Marlboroug­h Rock and Mineral Club: Brayshaw Park, 10am-4pm, rocks, minerals, crystals, work room, books. Free.

Marlboroug­h Associated Modellers: Miniature train rides, Brayshaw Park, 1-4pm. $2. 1st & 3rd Sun ea month.

Blenheim Model Aero Club: Indevin, Bankhouse, Wairau Valley, 9am. Murray 5789199 or Matt 0274619228.


Foodbank Street Appeal: 6-8pm, Marlboroug­h area. When you hear the sirens & see the collectors please give generously!

Marlb Sports Awards: Marlb Events Centre, 6:30-10pm. All ages, $55 w/site.. Formal attire, no jeans. Speaker: Tom Walsh. Info 0223831507.

Guy Williams I Gotta Move A Car Tour: Boathouse Theatre, 7:30-8:30pm, R16. $15-$45, Eventfinda.

Fashion, Celebratio­ns & Traditions: 1870 – 1970. 6-7:30pm, Marlboroug­h Museum, 26 Arthur Baker Pl. All ages. Curator: Pam Saunders. Bkngs: 03 578 1712 or email info@marlboroug­hmuseum.

Marlb Embroidery Guild: 7-9.30pm. NMIT (room next to hairdressi­ng). Vicki Allen 0210229909­1, vickimadeb­

Stage Lab Singing Lessons: Mon aft, Riversdale Community House, 131 Budge St. Info: Rose


Tai Chi: Mon, 10-11am; Wed, 11.30am12.30pm, Endeavour Park Pavilion, Waikawa Rd, Picton. $10. Manu 0222 387 285. Wear comfy clothes, BYO water.

Little Stars, Sing & Play: 9.15–10.30am, Picton Baptist Church, 293 Waikawa Rd. 0-5yrs with carers. Refrshmts. Free. All welcome. Heather 0212535511. Blenheim Rotary Clubs :Mon& Tues, 5.30pm. Men/women worldwide service club, doing great things in community. Info/meeting venues: Kevin 0211738784, Jon 0272229505.

Zumba: Mon and Wed, 5:30pm, Bohally School. $5. Huia 0210724107.

Alcoholics Anon: Zoom Meeting (see website for code), Blenheim, 7:30-8:30pm. 0800AAWORK­S. Watercolou­r Group: 10am-12pm, Chrissy 021568850; 1-3pm, Janne 0210305639. Art Soc Studio, 204

High St. All welcome.

Blenheim Playcentre: Parent-led Early Childhood Education, Mon-Fri, 9.15-11.45am. 17 Eltham Road, Blenheim. blenheim@playcentre.

Tai Chi with Maree: Mondays, 10.30am & 5.45pm, Redwoodtow­n Hall. All welcome. 027 634 9045. Barbershop Singing: Spring

Creek Hall, 7pm. Brian 5780692 or Johan 5785789.

Trefoil Guild: Ex Girl Guide leaders, Guides and Guide minded ladies. 1.30pm to 3.30pm, Eltham Rd Guide Hall, 36 Eltham Rd. Valerie 5547357.

Weavers Group: 10.30am, Beavertown Hall, Brayshaw Park. Chris 5725083 or Anne 5705547. Bring along lunch.

Blenheim Olympic Taekwondo Club: Adults and children 6-7.30pm Mon, Wed & Fri. Redwoodtow­n School Hall, Cleghorn St. New members/beginners welcome. Bruce 0221408454.

Rummy O Club: 12.30-4pm, Bowls Clubrooms, Weld St. Joy 5776191, Mary 5788747.

Scottish Country Dancing Club: Whitney St School Hall. 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Miriam 0212563057 or Heather 5782177.

Beginner’s Line Dancing :2pm& 6pm, Senior Citizens Hall, High St. 1st lesson free (beginners), then $5 per lesson. Judith 5787554, 0212341095.

Spring Creek Playcentre: Parentled Early Childhood Education, Mon & Wed, 9.30-12.30pm. 46a Ferry Road, Spring Creek. springcree­ Renwick Playcentre: Parent-led Early Childhood Education, Mon & Fri, 9.15-11.45am. 26 Havelock St, Renwick. Linkwater Playcentre Playgroup: Parent-led Early Childhood Education, Mon, 9.30amnoon. Linkwater Hall, 1353 Queen Charlotte Drive.


Dillons Point Playgroup: Today & Wed, 9am to noon, Bright Centre, 2 Dillons Point Rd. Wendy 0210302856.

Marlb Guild of Woodworker­s: Mon & Wed: 9am-12pm; Mon: 7-9pm, Brayshaw Park. Philip 5705188.

Picton Walking Group: 9.20am, Picton RSA car park. Janice 0272866707.

Lacemakers: Meet every Mon. Details: Rosemary 5788865 or Winnie 0273 376931.


KNITTERS & SPINNERS: Tues, 10:30am-3pm, Picton Library &

Svce Cent. Free. All ages. BYO morn tea & project.

SAYGO (Steady As You Go) Balance/Exercise: 11.30am12.30pm, St Christophe­r’s Church Hall, 92 Weld St. Cuppa & chat after. $2. Diana Brooks 0212694198 Eldercare Coord.

Tai Chi with Maree: 10.30am, Senior Citizens Hall. All welcome. 027 634 9045.

Sit and Be Fit: Tue/Thur, 1.15pm, Riversdale Community House, 131 Budge St. $2. 03 5780469, 0223007342.

Drawing Group: 1-3pm, Art

Society Studio, 204 High St. Sydney 0211568398. Newcomers welcome. Al Anon Family Support Group Meeting: Help for families/friends of problem drinkers & addictions. Margaret 5784690, 0210260746­8 or Aley 021434117.

Blenheim Choral: 7pm, Wesley Centre, 3 Henry St. 021 344 575. Marlboroug­

Social Tennis: Summer 8.30am. Marlb Tennis Club, Pollard Park, Parker St. Morn tea prov. Visitors $5 morning. Info: 027 578 6436. Technology Teaching for 50+: Studio on Solway Dr, Witherlea, 9.30am, advanced class. $5/hr pp. Private lessons $20/hr. 0212230160. Awatere Playcentre: Parent-led Early Childhood Education, Tue &

Fri, 9am-noon. 15 Redwood St, Seddon. nz

Picton Table Tennis Club: 10-12. Picton Little Theatre, Dublin St. $3, incl equip & refrsh. All adults welcome. Ernie 0275888453. Renwick Market: Anglican Church Hall, 9am-12pm. Fresh veg, clothing, walnuts, jams, h/hold goods, etc. Sales tables, $5 or comm sales. Donations welcome. Lynne 0274786640.

Golf Croquet: Today, Thursday and Sunday, 1pm, Blenheim Croquet Club, Parker St. Allan 5783747.

Brayshaw Park Spinners: Beavertown Hall, 10am–2pm, BYO lunch. New members welcome. Betty 5794942.


Intro to Social Media: 1:30-2:30pm, Picton Library. Free. Adults only. Using social media websites & apps. BYO device. Bkngs @ library 03 520 7493.

Genealogy Drop-in: Wed, 1-3pm, Marlb Dist Library, Blenheim. Free. All ages. Family history research. No apptmnt reqd.

NIA Dance: Wed, 9:30-10:30am, 207 Oakwood Ln, Blenheim. All ages. Corinne 0273245757, FBNiaBlenh­eim.

Little Critters Play Group: 9:30am-12 noon, Riversdale Community House, 131 Budge St.

$5. Linda 0221099242.

After School Fun: Picton Library/ Svce Cent, 3:30-4:30pm. All ages, incl pre-schoolers. Story/craft. Seniors Stretch & Breathe exercise class: Wed, 10-11am, St Christophe­r’s Church Hall, 92 Weld St, Blenheim. $2, then cuppa/chat. Diana Brooks 0212694198.

Youth Theatre: MySpace, Kinross St, 4-6pm. Visual, graphic, perform arts & music.

Taekwondo: 6-7:30pm, Havelock Town Hall (school term). All ages. 027 6146924.

Justice of the Peace: Wed, 11am1pm, Picton Library, High St. Free.

All ages. Certify/witness docs.

Sit and Be Fit: 10.30-11am. $5 session. Simcox Stadium, 50 Battys Rd.

Pickleball: 1-3pm, Simcox Stadium, Battys Rd. $5. Sport for all ages. Blenheim Lions’ Club: Serving the community 50+ years. Interested in becoming a Lion? Tea mtngs: 2nd & 4th Wed. Delphine 0299425004, Helen 0211458572. Anything Goes: 9.30am-12pm, Art Society Studio, 204 High St. Lyn 0275777100. All welcome. Wetland Warriors: Grovetown Lagoon, Steam Wharf Rd. Help in the lagoon or shadehouse. 9.3011.30am. Rosanne 0210709267. Picton Scottish Country Dance Club: 7.30pm, Picton Little Theatre. Lynda 0212600860.

Blenheim Depression Support Group: 10-11.30am. Friendship and support. Info/meeting place details: Alistair 027 2883032.

Quiz: Picton Club and RSA. Registrati­on 6.30pm, starts 7pm. Sandy 5736114.

Picton Menz Shed: 2 Market St, Picton. 8.30am-2.30pm. Rex 021469191 or Kerry 021888423. Bridge Club: 1pm, Clubs of Marlboroug­h, $4. Ginny 0277560717 or Nancy 5779401.


Eldercare Xmas Lunch: 10am1pm, St Christophe­r’s Church Hall, 92 Weld St. $10pp. RSVP: Final day: Mon, Nov 21. Diana Brooks 0212694198.

Beginning Family History: 10-11am, Marlb Dist Library, Blenheim. Free. Adults only. Trace relatives back from yourself. Bkngs @ library, 03 520 7491.

Wellington Sea Shanty Soc EP Release Party: 7-11pm, 5Tapped Bar, 30 Scott St. R18. Best dressed prizes! Free entry.

Library Book Club: 6:30-8pm, Marlb Dist Library. Free. Adults only. BYO book or try one of ours. Tai Chi & Qigong: Must be double vaxxed/boosted. Beginners: Wairau Valley Hall, 11am & Redwoodtow­n

Hall, 2pm. Advanced:

Redwoodtow­n Hall, 3pm & 5:15pm. Nancy: 572 2884, lasfronter­as@xtra.

Citizens Advice Bureau Drop-In: 10am-2pm, Picton Library & Svce Cent. Free. All ages. Info/advice. Cards R Us: Card making, 9am12pm, Riversdale Community House, 131 Budge St. $7.50. Jenny 5547440.

Social Badminton: Thur, 9am-12 noon, Simcox Stadium, Battys Rd, Blenheim. $5. All adults welcome. Cathy 021 503 348.

Community Choir: Thur, 7-9pm, (school term). St Ninian’s Hall, 1

Riley Cr, Redwoodtow­n (opp church). All abilities, new members welcome. f: CreativeVo­ice@singforfri­endship Knit & Natter: 10am-12pm, Marlb Dist Library. Free. Adults only. Bring your yarn. Tea/coffee avail.

After School Fun: 3:30-4:15pm, Blenheim Children’s Library. Free. All ages. No need to book. Narcotics Anon: 7-8pm,

Riversdale Community House, 131 Budge St. 0800 726 786.

Drinking a Problem? We’re here to help. Zoom Meeting (code: website), Havelock, 7.30-8.30pm. 0800 AA Works.

Ulysses Club: 11am, group rides. Meet Brayshaw Park carpark, members/visitors welcome.

COPD Support and Exercise Group: 2nd & 4th Thur, The Foundry Hall, 3 John St, Blenheim, 1.30pm. Free. Karen 5791609, 0272057244.

Older Person Seminar : St Christophe­r’s Hall, Redwoodtow­n, 10am to 1pm. Morning tea and lunch provided. Donation appreciate­d.

Supporting Families Marlboroug­h: Support, education, advocacy. Call 5775491.

Picton Playcentre: 9.30am-noon, today & Tues, 5 Waitohi Pl, Picton. 5735665, Table Tennis: Endeavour Park, Picton, 10-12, singles/doubles. Fun/ fitness/morn tea. $3, equip provided. Adults only. Ernie 0275888453.

Blenheim Master’s Swimmers: Stadium 2000, today 7-8pm; Saturday, 8.30am. Jude 021485968. Blenheim Menz Shed: Thur & Mon, 1-4pm; Sat, 9am-12pm. Dave 021 2340057, nz or Brian 021550429,

Highland Pipe Band: 7.30pm, The Foundry, Wesley Hall, John St. Noel 5786365.


Picton Newcomers Network: 5-6pm, Cafe´ Cortado, High St. New to town? Cathy 021 045 1799, 573 9111, Drinking a Problem?: We’re here to help. Spring Creek Parish Hall, Ferry Rd, 7.30-8.30pm. 0800 AA Works.

Coffee & Company Chat & Chill: Every Friday, 10am-12pm, 8 Beaver Rd, Blenheim. Free. All welcome. 0273177889.

Bubbles & Bounce: Preschoole­rs music, morn tea, play. Gold coin entry. 10am, Bright Centre, 2 Dillons Point Rd, Blenheim. Alyson 0272612852.

Pastels with Prue: 10am-12pm, Art Society Studio, 204 High St. Prue 021 072 0525.

Tunes for Tots: 9.30am, in term time, Nativity Hall, Alfred St. $3 per child or $5 family.

Marlboroug­h Women’s Club: Speakers, entertainm­ent, outings and afternoon tea. Irene 0212380210.


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 ?? KELLY HODEL/STUFF ?? Farmers turned out around the country last month to protest the proposed agricultur­al emissions levy.
KELLY HODEL/STUFF Farmers turned out around the country last month to protest the proposed agricultur­al emissions levy.
 ?? ??
 ?? ?? Richard Dawkins says ruminants are are amazing creatures in that they transform edible pasture into highly nutritious protein.
Richard Dawkins says ruminants are are amazing creatures in that they transform edible pasture into highly nutritious protein.
 ?? ?? Richard Dawkins is a Marlboroug­h farmer, environmen­talist and rural advocate. He is vice president of Marlboroug­h Federated Farmers.
Richard Dawkins is a Marlboroug­h farmer, environmen­talist and rural advocate. He is vice president of Marlboroug­h Federated Farmers.

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