22 Oct 2017

Greens sticking to plan to reduce dairy farming

5:14 pm on 22 October 2017

The Greens intend pushing ahead with their plan to pay dairy farmers to convert to other forms of farming.

James Shaw speaks the day after the election 24 September 2017

James Shaw said dairy farmers would need help to change. Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Green MPs will hold some ministerial jobs outside Cabinet under their supply and confidence agreement with Labour, and although exact portfolios have yet to be announced, the party says it will have responsibilities for cleaning up waterways.

Prior to the election, the Green Party said it would pay more than $136 million for farmers to move to more sustainable practices and if it were in government it would invest in a Sustainable Farming Fund.

Green Party leader James Shaw said a priority would be putting together a package to help farmers make the transition from dairy farming.

He said the Greens wouldn't be pushing for a cap on the number of cows.

But Mr Shaw said dairy farmers would need help to change.

"A lot of dairy farmers are still heavily in debt from the acquisition of the land and also the conversions and also it's a pretty difficult time when the price of milk is still somewhat depressed.

"So you know the thing we're going to be pushing hardest on is making sure that there is a package available for farmers to help them make that transition."

Mr Shaw said dairy farmers needed to make the transition to more sustainable methods of farming.

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