New Conservative co-leader Ted Johnston says a proposed new levy on farmers for greenhouse gas emissions is Government “throwing both farmers and consumers under the climate bus" and will only benefit New Zealand’s competitors in international markets.

There are good reasons why, as the Prime Minister says, "no other country in the world has yet developed a system for pricing and reducing agricultural emissions." Other countries have prioritised feeding their people over quixotic attempts to control the climate.

New Zealand is a nation built on agricultural exports and this Labour Government’s proposal will only make it harder for our farmers to compete, while driving up grocery prices.

Our farmers are the best in the world. If, as the Government claims, there is a competitive advantage in reducing emissions, our farmers will be the first to move. Imposing yet another tax on farmers while incentivising the conversion of farms to forestry is both unnecessary and dangerous at a time of global food crisis.

The World Food Program estimates that 828 million people go to bed hungry every night and as many as 345 million face starvation.

“Our farmers are part of the solution. Unfortunately our government is part of the problem,” says co-leader Helen Houghton.

Their stated goal is to reduce sheep and beef farming by 24% and dairy farming by 7%, wiping out a large part of our food production for their anti-farmer agenda. By their own admission it might even drive up global CO2 emissions as production is replaced elsewhere.

New Conservative calls on the Government to focus on real solutions to real pollution, and abandon policies driven by climate change hysteria and doomsday modelling scenarios. We would remove New Zealand from the Paris Accord, abandon the ETS, and repeal the Carbon Zero Act.


Ted Johnston

Co-leader, New Conservative.