Reverse sensitivity risks
Good growing areas need protection.
Horticultural growth is going to be massive, and is perhaps where New Zealand’s future lies according to Auckland’s deputy mayor, Bill Cashmore.
“But there are challenges with reverse sensitivity and if we don’t contain those we won’t have a food industry in NZ,” he told teachers on a tour of Pukekohe horticultural industries.
“And if we don’t have that we’re in deep stuk.”
He told of being phoned by a resident at Puni, outside Pukekohe, who was alarmed that what turned to be a topdressing plane spreading fertiliser was on fire with “smoke” billowing out behind it.
“If a plane annoys you maybe
Parnell is where you should be,” he said.
“And farmers have to do things like start their tractors at 3am. You’re welcome to join to rural lifestyle but leave some of your urban ideas behind.”
The Orere Point sheep and beef farmer originally ran for council office after becoming frustrated at delays in receiving planning permission for a commercial building. Now he said a huge amount had been achieved with the council’s unitary plan.
“One thousand pages of inane rules have been taken out and council staff are empowered to make decisions, not form committees,” he said.
Auckland’s population was expected to grow from the present 1.6 million to two million by 2028, with Kiwis returning home as well as migration from inside the country as well as from overseas. “But growth can’t keep spiraling outwards. Our great growing areas need to be protected,” he said.
More people were needed to work in the agricultural industry where there were many opportunities, as seen by his 22-year-old niece running a large scale dairying operation in Hawke’s Bay.
“And she owns a lot of the cows,” he said.
“We can improve the environment with each generation as well as embracing the new technology that’s coming. Think local, rural and NZ.”
◀ Auckland’s deputy mayor, Bill Cashmore, address the teachers while they enjoy lunch Patumahoe’s Secret Garden. In the background is Leeann Morgan, Young Farmers’ teacher liaison manager.
▴ Bill Cashmore with some of the teachers on the tour.