14 Jun 2023

PM Chris Hipkins rules out fertiliser tax, reiterates commitment to He Waka Eke Noa

11:18 am on 14 June 2023
Chris Hipkins speaks at the opening of Fieldays 2023

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins at Fieldays on Wednesday. Photo: RNZ / Angus Dreaver

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has ruled out a fertiliser tax and reiterated Labour's commitment to He Waka Eke Noa.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor recently touted the idea of a fertiliser tax as a backup option to He Waka Eke Noa, the industry-led partnership working to price on-farm emissions.

This was met with anger and frustration by farmers and other political parties who said it showed He Waka Eke Noa was dead in the water.

But at Fieldays at Mystery Creek on Wednesday, Hipkins confirmed a fertiliser tax would not happen and that the government was still working through He Waka Eke Noa.

"Yes we continue to support He Waka Eke Noa. Partnering with the sector has always made a lot of sense to me, we've still got some details to work through but I think we are very close to landing something that will work.

"While there will be disagreements along the way, it's important that we continue to move forward, working on a farm-by-farm basis to measure and to work to reduce emissions, and to create incentives and reward farms that actually do the work to reduce those emissions is so important."

Hipkins said that required a plan and He Waka Eke Noa was the best plan.

"Because it's recognising and responding to a reality that we can't change. This isn't an exercise in ideology - far from it. It's about maintaining and growing our international brand and our export value.

"I think that is a really sensible position for us to have, that's why I don't support a broad-based tax so I can confirm today that the government will not be implementing a fertiliser tax. "

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