Mike's Minute: Who needs the Greens when Labour hates farmers this much?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Sep 2019, 9:10AM

Mike's Minute: Who needs the Greens when Labour hates farmers this much?

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 6 Sep 2019, 9:10AM

COMMENT:

Here's the irony of David Parker. Parker was once the Minister of Economic Development and is currently the Minister of Trade and Export Growth - and yet he has done more than anyone these past two weeks to achieve exactly the opposite.

It was Parker who stopped the hydro dam on the West Coast despite every council, three of them, iwi, the Department of Conservation and 90 per cent of Coasters all being for it.

And now he's put out water regulations that may as well come with the headline 'we hate farmers'.

Tim Mackle's piece in the Herald on this subject is excellent. It basically starts with him wistfully remembering a time when farmers were liked. Well I have a message to rural New Zealand: you still are, at least by people like me, realists who understand the energy, effort, and risk required to do what you do.

Parker doesn't - and he doesn't care. The water regulations are tough, arguably too tough, and no one has borne the brunt of the ideology more than the farmer.

And the irony being, as Mackle points out, no one has done more to clean up our water than farmers. Because here's the thing Parker doesn't get: farming is a business. Why would you set out to wreck your business?

How can you champion the economic development and the trade and export success of New Zealand, a farming country, while at the same time keep whacking them on the head with rules regulations, taxes, and general hate?

And here's the really ironic thing - the politics of it. The Greens, of course, will love it. But they shouldn't because, when we've got a Parker on the levers who needs a Green Party?

They should have landed with the environment portfolio. Surely of all the things you want in government as a Green Party, it's environment. That's your calling card, Eugenie Sage should be blocking mines and haranguing farmers.

And yet who is it, who is actually doing it? Labour. When Labour is this green, why do you need the Green Party?

They'll spend next year's election campaign banging on about water and land quality , and Labour can quite rightly say, 'yep, got that covered David is our man'.

All we will remember the Green Party for is nutty feebates, dodgy letters on tunnels in Wellington, and Green Party members quitting because of scraps over transgender comments in their party magazine.

Labour is eating their lunch, Parker is Sage 2.0. How did they let this happen?

Anyway back to Parker and the real world, yes, we all like clean water, but we also like to eat and a lot of our eating money comes from us selling stuff to the world - a decent chunk of which comes off the land.

Our farmers are world-class and we should be proud of them, and encourage them, not shaft them.

Parker is a wrecker. So between the oil in Taranaki, the dam on the coast, and farming all over the country, their message is about cutting and closing.

Given that's what we do, what's the plan when the income dries up?

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