Cows rather than cats are the focus for Gareth Morgan’s new ‘abuser pays’ environmental policy – which would sting dairy farmers with penalty charges if they didn’t cut pollution.
The Opportunities Party (TOP) says the current system provides little incentive for farmers and businesses to reduce pollution and New Zealand’s clean and green ‘100% Pure’ image is at stake.
Morgan said the Government had largely left the problem to regional councils.
Those that had tried to tackle the problem had favoured ‘grandparenting’ pollution rights – allocating the right to pollute in the future based on past pollution levels.
That rewarded the dirtiest farmers (with a legacy of pollution) and penalised the best he said – while removing the incentive to cut pollution.
TOP wants to set ‘bottom lines’ of expected environmental performance – including through the National Policy Statement (NPS) for freshwater management and then demand continuous improvement.
Any business that couldn’t meet performance standards would pay for the additional pollution.