22 Nov 2010

Farmers plan to boycott Mackenzie Country conference

6:38 am on 22 November 2010

Farmers say they are going to boycott a conference to talk about the future of the Mackenzie Country.

The Environmental Defence Society and Forest and Bird have organised the two-day conference which begins in Twizel on Friday.

Organisers say they want to bring key stakeholders together to consider the South Island area's future and find a common way forward.

The Environmental Defence Society says it has no preconceived ideas and is keen to have a broad discussion.

But Federated Farmers says the society has its own agenda.

It says it is also reluctant to take part because of an appeal pending in the Environment Court challenging a proposed plan change by the Mackenzie District Council, which farmers believe would restrict their activities.

The Environmental Defence Society says it does not have an agenda.