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Public Access Meetings Designed to Disadvantage Landowners

Bad weather, low lying snow and seasonal work demands means that farmers are not able to speak out to protect their interests at Tuesday's public meeting in Christchurch to discuss access over private land says Pam Richardson, North Canterbury Provincial President of Federated Farmers of New Zealand (Inc.)

“The organisation of the public meetings has been appalling. Either the Land Access Ministerial Reference Group wants to hear only one side of the story or the organisers are totally out of touch with farming.

“Federated Farmers clearly told MAF that holding meetings at the height of lambing and calving was unrealistic. The current storm means that it is very difficult for many farmers to attend the Christchurch meeting tomorrow night. It is incredibly unfortunate that the areas that have experienced the greatest snowfall are the same areas where is it likely that the pressure for increased access will come.

“Farmers will put animal welfare first. Policy makers must do the same.

“Federated Farmers has asked MAF to reschedule the Christchurch meeting but quite frankly the whole lot should be rescheduled to a more reasonable time of year. This is yet more evidence of the urban bias of the Government” concluded Mrs Richardson.

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