DairyNZ agrees with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Simon Upton’s call for the Government to rethink how environmental research is funded in New Zealand.
“We urge the Government to accept the PCE’s advice and reconsider our national strategy and funding allocation for environmental research,” said DairyNZ chief executive Dr Tim Mackle.
“As a country we face some significant challenges to reduce our environmental footprint, reduce emissions and improve water quality. To be successful we will need substantial, long-term research investment based on a shared strategy.
“The current research system is not having the impact it could. It’s costly, cumbersome and doesn’t always direct funding to the areas that will really make a difference on the ground. Misplaced incentives around certain priorities can result in piecemeal projects at the expense of long-term vision and co-ordinated effort.
“The result is a splintered system driving mostly short-term and disconnected projects, with low accountability for impact.
“The projects must bring together the expertise of our best researchers to achieve our collective economic, social and environmental aspirations. The amount for research and development needs to be commensurate to the challenges and the opportunities for New Zealand,” said Dr Mackle.
“The dairy sector wants to be part of the solution and we are keen to see environmental research investment which delivers the desired outcomes for New Zealand’s environment.
“We want to see the Government continuing to invest in the dairy sector and other primary sector solutions and innovation.”
The dairy sector is committed to playing its part in addressing the environmental challenges facing New Zealand, and has substantial work, including research, underway to improve water quality and reduce emissions.
This includes a commitment under sector strategy Dairy Tomorrow to protect and nurture the environment for future generations.
The primary sector has joined forces with government and Māori in a world-first climate change partnership, He Waka Eke Noa, which will support farmers and growers to measure, manage and reduce emissions.
This includes rolling out Farm Environment Plans for all farms by 2025 to ensure every farmer knows their emissions footprint and how to manage them.