Horticulture New Zealand has welcomed the release of Action for healthy waterways - a discussion document on a national direction for freshwater - and will continue its long term engagement with the Government on freshwater.
‘It’s high time New Zealand took greater care of freshwater, which with land, is the backbone of our economy,’ says HortNZ Chief Executive Mike Chapman. ‘Every New Zealander wants clean lakes, rivers and streams, and fruit and vegetable growers are no exception. The horticulture industry is right behind clearer policies for improving freshwater quality and looks forward to greater certainty, particularly where local government is concerned.'
‘At the same time, New Zealand needs to ensure that it can grow enough fresh food - particularly vegetables - to feed itself, and that the prices for this food are reasonable, particularly as climate change begins to bite.'
‘The horticulture industry will do what it needs to do to play its part in further improving freshwater quality. However, we have some concerns, chiefly around how what is proposed would limit the ability of growers to expand in response to our increasing population and replace land lost to urban development.'
‘We need time to work through what is proposed with our growers. That is why we will be holding meetings in addition to the ones that the Government is organising. We will be in touch directly with growers about these meetings.’
HortNZ will make a considered response to the proposal following consultation with growers across the country.