28 Nov 2015

Farmers need to step up, minister says

3:12 pm on 28 November 2015

Calls for livestock to be excluded from most waterways has prompted the Minister for Primary Industries to ask farmers to do more to protect the environment.

Looking up stream of the wide and still Manawatū river.

Looking up stream of the wide and still Manawatū river. Photo: 123rf

The group tasked with advising the government on fresh water management is recommending large livestock be excluded from the country's rivers and streams.

The Land and Water Forum wants all cattle, deer and pigs excluded from most waterways by 2025.

While many dairy farmers have fenced off their waterways, it was now time other farmers did the same, Nathan Guy said.

"Ultimately, it's about our consumers both here and overseas are demanding more from our farmers, and our growers in this space...and that's where good management comes in....so farmers have to step up."

The proposal wouldn't surprise farmers, Mr Guy said.

Forum chairman Alastair Bisley gave Mr Guy and Environment Minister Nick Smith a serve at the report's launch this week, saying the government needed to do a better job of implementing its recommendations.

"Now ministers, you haven't yet implemented all, or even most, of the 153 recommendations which we've already made," Mr Bisley said.

"Unless our recommendations are substantially implemented our consensus is unlikely to last."

The Land and Water Forum compiles of 67 organisations and has made several hundred recommendations to the government.

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