Press Release – Federated Farmers
Following consultation with members of Federated Farmers, the Federation has drafted the ‘Manawatu River People’s Accord’, intended to complement the recently signed ‘Leaders’ Accord’.Federated Farmers floats Manawatu River ‘People’s Accord’
Following consultation with members of Federated Farmers, the Federation has drafted the ‘Manawatu River People’s Accord’, intended to complement the recently signed ‘Leaders’ Accord’.
“By deliberately calling it the People’s Accord, Federated Farmers wants to put the entire community’s focus on the river, given we are part of the community too,” says Gordon McKellar, Federated Farmers Manawatu/Rangitikei provincial president.
“This is not a rival Accord but a complementary one we are putting to our Accord partners today, because we wish to sit around the same table.
“Farmers made it very clear to us that they were unprepared to sign-up to anything that was driven by emotion and not reason. The public deserve nothing less than the scientific truth so they can come to a balanced and informed decision.
“The process we have run through gives me confidence to present this document to Accord partners in order to get their feedback. It’s a document that farmers and we hope, other community groups, will be comfortable joining with as well,” Mr McKellar added.
Crucially, the goals for both Accord’s are identical according to Federated Farmers Tararua provincial president, John Barrow.
“We all want the same thing and that is a River to be proud of because farmers are part of the community and part of the solution,” says Mr Barrow.
“Emotive words that described the River as ‘lacking in life’ are at odds with what we farmers know about it. We knew the River is not biologically dead – far from it.
“That’s why we have deliberately inserted native fish species into the main goal. The focus of farmers is on aiding our native fauna, so it was odd that word was omitted from the ‘Leader’s Accord’.
“As we’ve written into our People’s Accord, for anything to be achieved, the Manawatu River community needs ready access to credible scientific information that identifies the causes, the remedies and the economic costs involved with any solution.
“We’ve said all along that Federated Farmers takes signing a document seriously and by being thorough, we honestly feel this document is something farmers can put their name to,” Mr Barrow concluded.