Ahead of the upcoming elections, New Zealand’s Green Party has proposed a tax hike on dairy farmers to fund environmental measures. By: Mary Swire
“Unlike the [leading] National Party, we want to stop the causes of water pollution to ensure our rivers are clean, rather than just treat the symptoms. There’s no point spending money cleaning up rivers if you don’t look at what’s making them dirty in the first place,” said Green Party leader James Shaw. “Scientists and environmentalists have told us that we need to reduce the number of cows we farm in this country in order to protect our rivers.”
The Party proposes channeling funding from a nitrate pollution levy into a number of initiatives that would involve work with farmers to reduce the impact of their activities on the environment.
In August, opposition party Labour announced plans to improve water quality in the country with a royalty on the commercial consumption of water.
Labour said the levy would be adjusted on a regional basis according to water scarcity. The royalty would be charged on bottled water and water irrigation, Labour said.
The election is set to take place on September 23.