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Media release: Government proposals

October 11, 2022

He Waka Eke Noa sees pros and cons in Government proposals on agricultural emissions pricing

He Waka Eke Noa Primary sector and Māori agribusiness partners acknowledge the Government is proposing to implement their key recommendations for a farm-level, split-gas system for pricing agricultural emissions, but say further discussion is required on areas where the Government has not adopted their recommendations. These changes to the recommended system could have a significant impact on some farmers.

Partners will now be taking the time to assess the proposals in more detail and examine the Government’s modelling of the impacts, which differs from the partnership’s modelling, to fully understand the implications of the proposed changes.

He Waka Eke Noa Programme Director Kelly Forster says partners are pleased the Government has listened to the partnership on the need for a farm-level system rather than including agricultural emissions in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS).

“A farm-level system as recommended by He Waka Eke Noa will enable each farmer and grower to clearly see the direct impact of their on-farm decisions and would give them incentives for using new technologies and practices as they become available. Our modelling shows it will be more effective in achieving emissions reductions than including agriculture in the NZ ETS at the processor level.

“He Waka Eke Noa’s recommendations were however designed as a carefully balanced package that was as equitable as possible across all parts of the primary sector.

“The Government has proposed alternative approaches in some areas, such as how sequestration is recognised, which may fundamentally alter the balance and could have significant implications for sheep, beef and deer farmers.

“Partners will need to carefully work through the detail to understand the impact and it will be important to discuss these with their farmers and growers.

“Partners want to work with the Government to ensure the impact of the levy is manageable for farmers and growers, so that emissions are reduced while the viability of farm businesses is maintained.

“Partners will be assessing the Government proposals against the He Waka Eke Noa criteria of being effective, practical, credible, integrated and equitable.

“It is really important that farmers and growers take the opportunity to have their say during the consultation process.

“New Zealand is the first country to seek to put a price on agricultural emissions. This has significant implications for the viability of the primary sector and the New Zealand economy and it’s vital that we work with the Government to get this right, ” says Kelly Forster.