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Environment can’t cope with more dairy farms — Russel Norman

Green leader want to slap dairy farmers with hundreds of millions in new taxes.

Sun, 01 Jun 2014

NZ's environment can’t cope with more dairy production, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman told TV1’s Q+A programme.

Mr Norman said the Green Party wants to shift the focus to adding more value to raw milk rather than increasing the number of cows.

“We're pushing against the limits in the number of cows.  What we need to do is add value to the existing production, rather than just trying to boost production," the Green co-leader said.

“I don’t think capping the cow limit is necessarily the way you do it, but the way that it will impact is in terms of water quality, in terms of greenhouse emissions, we're up against limits.  What we need to do is value add in dairy and across the economy.  I mean it's not just dairy, it's also the Internet economy, manufacturing, right across the sector.  Forestry, we're exporting most of our trees as raw logs now, there's not a lot of money in that."

He also told Q+A, he wasn’t concerned that the Internet Party would be targeting traditional Green voters.

“The Green Party is a pretty established party, we've been polling over 10% now for three years, we're currently 12% over this year, so we're in a pretty strong position, and if you look at the Internet issues, I mean it was the Green Party - I put up the proposal for a second internet cable, and to be the cornerstone investor the government to take a cornerstone investment in that.  If you look at holding the GCSB to account, I mean I personally have led that.  And if you look at digital freedom and digital bill of rights I mean we've led on that issue as well.”

But he said the Greens are opposed to ‘coat-tailing’ into Parliament and want the law changed.

“We've always opposed the coat tailing rule.  The reason we haven't got rid of the coat-tailing rule is that National blocked it, and so we've always said to the National Party you should get rid of this rule. National wanted to keep it because of Craig and all the rest of it.  And so we've always said it's a bad rule,” he said.

Watch the full interview here.

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Environment can’t cope with more dairy farms — Russel Norman