Ohariu MP Greg O’Connor is an ex-policemen and long-time President of the New Zealand Police Association, best known in that role for his strong support of armed police. (In 2019-20 New Zealand trialled armed police patrols, and for a while it looked as though armed police visiting private homes for minor offences, or where no offence has been committed, was going to be the norm in New Zealand, see Is New Zealand on the Road to Bolshevism?) O’Connor supported the gun reforms which were fast tracked in the aftermath of the Christchurch shooting, and spoke in favour of the government’s draconian Covid-19 Response Bill. First elected in 2017, O’Connor would be a front-runner for the post of Minister of Police in a future Labour government.
On 29th September 2020, O’Connor sent out an email to subscribers in which he came out with this startling statement:
‘And our economic news is improving as well with small businesses bouncing back and the primary sector continuing to do the heavy lifting by producing what the world needs most; quality food. I’m just one of several of my fellow MPs with a farming background and the value of that sector is well recognised in our caucus.‘
What can have possessed O’Connor to come out with this whopper? Labour has done all in its power, not just to undermine, but to eradicate the farming sector:
“The coalition government […] is implementing a strategy squarely aimed at replacing the farming sector with forestry. The result will be depopulation of the countryside, the destruction of our environment and our way of life, and set us on the road to poverty.” (The NZ Government’s Strategy to Destroy the Farming Sector)
The measures include:
The batty Zero Carbon Act, which
- Is in breach of article 2 of the Paris Agreement, which specifically prohibits countries from restricting food producers;
- Forces little New Zealand to try to compensate for the CO2 emissions of China and India;
- Relies heavily on junk science, including the claim that methane is a major greenhouse gas justifying the policy of a 24 to 47 per cent decrease in methane emissions by 2050. Methane is in fact virtually irrelevant as a greenhouse gas, as its energy absorption is completely within the bandwidths of the far more dominant H2O (when did it ever rain methane?)
One Billion Trees Fund and Overseas Investment Office incentives to all and sundry, at home and abroad, to convert farmland to forestry
The One Billion trees fund pays landowners, including farmers, to plant trees – any trees. At least half of this is expected to be pinus radiata forest plantations – it will probably be much more. According to Forestry Minister Shane Jones, ‘ the commercial forestry sector [is] projected to plant half a billion trees in the next 10 years’.
Selling land into overseas ownership: Despite farm land being defined as ‘sensitive land’ that should not be sold to overseas interests, an exception is made for farmland that is to be converted to forestry. Overseas investment in forestry is actively encouraged: ‘Generally overseas investors buying fewer than 1000 hectares of forestry rights per calendar year are exempted from needing consent.’
Often the parcels of land far exceed 1000 hectares. In 2019 Land Information Minister and Green MP Eugenie Sage gave Pan Pac Forest Products approval (signed off by Assistant Finance Minister David Clark) to bypass the OIO to to make 25 transactions involving 20,000 hectares of land, valid until 2022, for the purposes of forestry conversion. Pasture is a carbon sink, while logged forests impoverish the soil and are net carbon emitters, but hey, it was never about the environment.
‘If sheep and beef farms convert to forestry on a nationwide scale at just half the rate that has occurred in Wairoa this last year, there will be no sheep and beef farms left by 2050’ (Neil Henderson, Gisborne farmer, 2019)
All New Zealanders want clean rivers and clean beaches, but the very language of the Fresh Water proposals makes it clear the the government is targeting farmers and has little interest in our unsanitary urban beaches.
Let them eat pine chips
All these measures are accompanied by the heavy-handed promotion of veganism, including a big push in the child-abusive climate curriculum, which imposes on growing children guilt about eating meat and proposes that they consider (to begin with) meatless Mondays – if schools make this a policy, it will be virtually impossible for children to opt out.
New Zealand’s future – what future?
Government policies to eliminate beef and sheep farming combined with its cancellation of tourism mean that New Zealand is faced with a future that comprises a fire-sale of assets, huge tax hikes, and spiralling debt.