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Ngai Tahu denied giant dairy farm

Ngai Tahu has failed to obtain resource consent to farm 23,000 dairy cows in North Canterbury.

A resource consent panel of Environment Canterbury says the plan to convert 7000ha of forestry land to dairy farms on land next to the Hurunui River poses unacceptable adverse effects.

The resource consent application is one of the first under a water plan introduced under the tenure of the government-appointed Ecan commissioners.

The new water plan allows for a 25% increase in nitrates in the Hurunui River to accommodate more intensive farming expected if a dam is built by irrigators on the Waitohi River, which feeds into the Hurunui.

Ngai Tahu is also a major shareholder in the irrigation project.

The decision may yet be appealed by Ngai Tahu.

A more detailed report will be available in NBR's print edition on Friday

More by Chris Hutching

Comments and questions

A correct decision and one hopes will be upheld if appealed.

Ngai Tahu, of all organisations, should recognise the current level of dairy farming intensification is not sustainable in the long term.

What good is the land and water to their iwi, if it is polluted with nitrates?

The executives that run these organisations appear to be driven by soft term bonuses, and this most stop. Its commonly known as the greed of the few, at the expense of the masses.

Governments need to step in, and regulate this type of unsustainable behaviour. Consider tax breaks for sustainability might be a good start.

Well said.

Can't give Ngai Tahu a tax break as they don't pay one cent of tax in the first place.

You look like an idiot when 5 seconds on Google proves you completely wrong you know....

Am pleased the consent was rejected. Come on Ngai Tahu, don't get caught up in the corporate greed culture typical today, be better than that and put first the whenua, the environment and most of all, tangata whenua.

I don't know that I agree with this decision but what surprises me is that Maori usually bang on about protecting the rivers, etc., and have a history of opposing many reasonable development initiatives by pakeha interests.

Why tax breaks?, should everyone not be responsible for their actions? If you’re a good boy we will give you a tax break, if you propose something bad we just say no. Heck sling them with a big fine for asking to do something that is not sustainable.

Some interesting dynamics here.

Why do we have to put up with all this greed,we have too much dairy now and the tide is turning. When the banks get nervous as they are now then the greed will stop.

Forestry is a sustainable long term use for the land in question and improves water quality. Leave it in trees.

Well actually, there seem to be very few trees left around Balmoral. The forests seem to have been largely cleared in anticipation of a successful result!

Amazed that someone in this country has the cojones to say 'no' to maori interests (albeit only partly).

On the face of it I don't see anything wrong with increasing production capacity if they are willing to invest in such a low added value part of the value chain in a primary industry, I would have thought that there are much better candidates out there in terms of return on capital.

However, increasing production should naturally include the caveat that, like all industrial production processes, they pay a fair market price for the resources utilised and they don't allow the process waste to contaminate the surrounding area and water table - we would not allow a metal producing process to flush its slag heap into a river, so we should treat other industrial processes the same way.

23000 cows is immoral farming, not just from a conservation view but also it is cruel. And was Ngai Tahu thinking of putting them in the disgusting and cruel concrete floored barns?
Profit at all costs must be actively discouraged. This is a good decision.

I don't think you have any idea about good animal management whereby the open shed system is the best for the animals and also controls all the environment issues.

How many of you have ever been on a dairy farm and watched how it is operated?

I just cannot understand how a whole section of society ie.Ngai Tahu and Tainui can operate billion dollar enterprises and remain free from taxation.
As the IRD says its our job to be fair.

Because they comply with the Charities legislation? I thought that was a pretty obvious answer.

Well I would agree with you if they actually did? We could all be a charity under this ruling?

Charities are meant to be making payments for education, hospitals,disabled etc. These tribes are doing no such thing, or just a token amount.

Got evidence to back that up? Any untaxed distributions outside their charitable purposes? Or you just full of it?

Iwi pay NO tax.

Straight out lie, Iwi are not by default tax exempt.

A one billion dollar commercial operation cannot possibly be a charity. Hardly a club or cake stall.

Got read the publically available accounts, see which parts of the structure are charities and which aren't, note that some tax is actually paid, note what assets are held for charitable purposes only.
Any business owned 100% by a charities that provides its profits to meet those charitable objectives does not pay tax. Sanitarium for example.
In fact, following amendments to the donations laws a few years back donations are 100% deductible so any company (charity or not) could donate its profit to a charity of their choice and pay no tax.

Sounds like major anomalies here. You cannot exclude any section at the expense of the other. Same rules for everyone.

Shotover Jet. A charitable operation owned by Ngai Tahu. No Tax.

Something really wrong here.

You dont have to worry about deductions when there is no tax to pay at all. Deduct from what?

The disguise of a charity will never be abused of course. Yeah Right

Got any evidence? No, didn't think so.

I'm sure the local Maori tribe would never stand to have its precious waterways get polluted by a giant dairy farm. Oh, wait...

What an unfortunate combination of opposition interest groups this draws together... Anti dairy, tick. Plant more trees, tick. Save any rivers, tick. Anti Maori, tick. Anti corporate anything, tick. Animal rights, tick. Anti farming, tick.
It would be perhaps easier to do PR work for ISIS or Ukrainian separatists, than deal with that rabble of never compromise ever on anything evangelists.