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NZ Farmers commit to restoring water quality

Category: national

A group of New Zealand farming heavyweights have signed an agreement to improve freshwater quality.

The Farming Leaders’ Pledge, signed on Tuesday by a group representing over 80% per cent of that country’s farmed land, commits farmers to an ambitious goal of working to make New Zealand’s rivers swimmable for their children and grandchildren.

Group spokesperson, Federated Farmers President and West Coast dairy farmer Katie Milne says the intent behind the pledge is clear.“Many of our rivers are not in the condition we all want them to be. We are doing this because we want our kids and their kids to be able to swim in the same rivers that we did as children.  And by swim we mean swim. It’s as simple as that”.

Ms Milne noted that the group hasn’t put a timeline on its commitment; nor has it planned how it will achieve its commitment.  “This goal will be difficult to meet and we don’t have all the answers today on how it’s going to be achieved”, she said.

The Farming Leaders Group is an informal grouping of New Zealand pastoral farming leaders that was established in May 2017 to work on issues of importance to the sector.

The current membership is Mike Petersen (Sheep & Beef Farmer), Michael Spaans (Dairy Farmer and Dairy NZ Chair), James Parsons (Sheep & Beef Farmer and Beef + Lamb NZ Chair), John Loughlin (Meat Industry Association Chair), Katie Milne (Dairy Farmer and Federated Farmers President), Bruce Wills (Sheep & Beef Farmer and Ravensdown Director), and John Wilson (Dairy Farmer and Fonterra Chair).