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Red tape won't save environment

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Opinion: It was world environment day on Wednesday and my children were off to help plant a wetland on a local farm.

Events like this take place all over New Zealand, weekly. School children working alongside mums, dads, farmers and townies. People doing the right thing by our environment, because it's the right thing to do.

With each tree, shrub or flax firmed into the soil, little hands remind us that this is something which will serve generations to come.

There is no policy or regulations required, except for the odd health and safety briefing. Just people getting on with the job of trying to improve our environment and instil a sense of guardianship in the next generation.

By contrast there are big changes, backed up by big rules and regulations, on the horizon for how New Zealand farmers run their businesses regarding the environment, and they must feel like they are taking a beating on all sides.

There's the Government's billion trees programme, where farms will be transferred back to forestry, as we aim to plant a billion trees by 2028. Lobby group 50 Shades of Green suggest the plan will destroy provincial New Zealand with between 6000 and 8000 hectares of productive farmland already bought up and planted in the Wairarapa.

There is methane (cow and sheep burp) reduction targets of 10 percent, from 2017 levels, by 2030. And 24-47 per cent by 2050. Farmer groups like Beef and Lamb NZ say they have work........

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