September 03, 2019
Dairy industry drops Māori from oversight role
Forest and Bird says the dairy industry’s decision to disband an environmental oversight group that includes independent environmental and Māori representatives undermines its credibility.
Forest & Bird’s chief conservation advisor Kevin Hackwell was an independent observer on the Dairy Environment Leaders Group, which also included representatives from the Federation of Māori Authorities, dairy and meat industry bodies and external stakeholders.
The group and its Sustainable Dairying: Water Accord strategy will be replaced by a wider strategy called Dairy Tomorrow, which will be implemented and overseen by an industry group that will exclude independent stakeholders.
Mr Hackwell says the dairy industry is under real pressure over water pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and habitat destruction.
Rather than working more closely with its many community stakeholders, it is turning away from them.
He says the group has reported whether dairy farmers were complying with effluent discharge rules and how regional councils were enforcing those rules, but that reporting and accountability will disappear under the new Dairy Tomorrow structure.
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