A Massey University report reveals New Zealand can triple its earnings from agricultural exports by focusing on the importance of protecting our environment.
Green Party Co-leader Dr Russell Norman says the party welcomes the report, ‘A Call to Arms’, by Massey University’s Riddet National Centre of Research Excellence, which states by adopting four transformational strategies – all of which are consistent with the Green Party’s smart, green economics approach – the country can triple agri-export earnings.
“This report acknowledges that agri-food exports rely on New Zealand’s clean and green reputation which is associated with safe food in consumers’ minds. This gives
us a huge advantage in international markets, an advantage that will be lost if we don’t improve our environmental performance,” says Dr Norman.
He says smart green economics begins with understanding that the economy relies on the environment and further degradation to it will affect economic prospects.
The report, which states the full cost of environmental services must be incorporated in economic strategies in order for long term success, sits in direct contrast to the government’s economic growth agenda, he says.
“[The government’s] economic growth agenda subsidises pollution and water use and has a focus on polluting industries such as coal mining.”
The party also consider the report useful in bolstering the argument for a ‘whole of New Zealand approach’ to encouraging the sector, “as opposed to the current government’s
laissez faire approach.”
“It would be great to see a further emphasis on organics in the report as this is a sector that has led in sustainable agriculture.
“Genetically modified pastures and foods do not feature in a clean green 100 per cent Pure Aotearoa New Zealand,” says Dr Norman.