Potatoes New Zealand responds to NZ "Essential Freshwater" review

Potatoes New Zealand states that the freshwater reforms proposed in New Zealand’s “Essential Freshwater” review are both a serious challenge and an opportunity for the vegetable sector. In a statement, a representative says: "All growers and processors share the vision of healthy, clean freshwater and ecosystems. Growers, processors and Potatoes New Zealand are committed to a new era for freshwater management.

The values of stewardship, food security and food production are the reasons why growers and PNZ are determined to improve environmental practices; conduct actual measurement of discharges and to improve them over time through approved farm plans and conditions of consent.

PNZ’s view is that potato production and other vegetable production is an essential ecosystem service that supports healthy communities. It is an essential human need. Water is essential for growing vegetables and so is the ability to utilize good land.

Vegetable production has climate change benefits, when compared to other activities and food security is a very important consideration for climate change adaptation and response. Growers value stewardship of water, land and food chains. Growers have often succeeded previous generations into vegetable growing.

It is necessary to produce more food in the future than we are producing now. You cannot do that with less land and water, because the Grower community is already highly efficient and resource constrained. The potatoes grown by PNZ mainly feed New Zealanders and other neighboring communities such as Australia and the Pacific Islands.

The Government has signaled it wishes to protect Highly Productive Land to grow food. Growers have long sought this as well. To grow food on highly productive land water, cultivation and fertilizer is required.

The NPS Freshwater and the resulting NES must provide a regulatory framework that allows people to grow vegetables on highly productive land and ensures an appropriate allocation of resources to allow for the utility of this scarce land. Furthermore, it needs to encourage collective management and cooperation to achieve environmental outcomes, and allow for growth in vegetable production to feed communities in the future.

Finally, the regulatory framework must appropriately manage the right to grow and the social license through a consenting framework that encourages better stewardship; and provides greater insight to regulators and the public and require continuing improvement in environmental performance and manage both cumulative and localized impacts on freshwater.”

For more information: 
Potatoes New Zealand
Tel: +64 0800 399 674

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