Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Farmers applaud suspension of SNA rules

Federated Farmers says the suspension of Significant Natural Areas (SNA) rules are a positive step forward for both farmers and New Zealand’s biodiversity.

“These unworkable rules were universally despised by farmers, and we’re pleased to see the back of them,” says Federated Farmers biodiversity spokesperson, Mark Hooper.

“Farmers opposed these rules because they infringed on our property rights and added endless layers of unnecessary complexity, compliance and cost – for very little environmental gain.

“They risked driving perverse outcomes where farmers actively choose to plant exotic species instead of natives because the Government have just made everything too hard.”

The simplification of SNA provisions was one of Federated Farmers’ top priorities in their 12-point plan for restoring farmer confidence.

“Farmers are New Zealand’s leading conservationists. I can’t think of any group of people who are doing more to protect and enhance our country’s biodiversity,” Mr Hooper said.

“We need to be empowering farmers and supporting them to make further improvements on their properties instead of tying them up in needless red tape.”

Federated Farmers support having a practical national direction for biodiversity provided the rules are clear, pragmatic, and properly define areas of significant native vegetation.

“Biodiversity rules shouldn’t create barriers for people who actually want to protect and enhance native vegetation on their farms. Farmers would be less likely to do this if they fear it will create a rod for their own backs,” says Mr Hooper. 

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