A MEETING WITH IRELAND’S MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE, THE MINISTER OF DEFENCE AND ONE OTHER GOVT MEMBER OF THE IRISH DELEGATION VISITING NEW ZEALAND:  Tuesday 14th March I had the opportunity to meet the Irelands Minister Of Agriculture -Charlie McConalogue & Ireland’s Defence Minister and also one of the Minister Of Agricultures close colleagues from the Irish government. Knowing I was going to meet the Irish delegation the following day I decided to do a bit of Research. The Fianna Fail political party which they are members of are in alliance with the Social Democrats and Labour Party. The main aim of the party is to unite North and South Ireland. The Minister has a background in farming, was living in Australia for a short while then returned too the family farm in Donegal when his father died. He is married with 2 children.

THE COW SCRAPPAGE SCHEME: Individually I spoke with 3 members of the Irish Govt delegation, they  each said ‘the cow scrappage scheme is not legislation yet, its voluntary. Dept Agriculture calculated in Oct 2022 that Farmers could lose between 1,770 -2910 pounds (monetary) for every cow culled  I was told by each member of the Irish delegation “this legislation does not exist” its voluntary

AGRI-BUSINESSES:  I questioned the Minister Of Agriculture if the govt was pushing large Agri-business, and how would owners of small holder farms cope with the cost of setting that up, and would it be viable?  He responded “the farms in Ireland are mostly large farms, not smallholder farms, so there was no problem.”  Later in my research I found the Minister not to be entirely honest that Irish agriculture is dominated by family owned farms- approx. 140,000 farms with the average land holding of 32.5 hectares.

DAIRY FARMERS EXIT SCHEME: The EDairy News 5/3/2023 confirmed the Dairy Farmers Exist Scheme. Farmers are to cut emissions by 25% by 2030.  Nationally across the whole of Ireland 51%  cut in emissions, that’s includes transport buildings etc by 2030.

LAND GRABBING: I also mentioned Land and Water Grabbing in Ireland, there was no denial it was happening. There was no denial that large Agribusinesses are threatening small holder farms, when I said that farmers could not compete with them hence they become backed into a corner with nowhere to go but to walk away or sell out. There is a pressure to make profits is tearing farm families apart, farmers that are debt ridden. A high court decision was made that farmers cannot be forced to sell their land to clear debts.

IRELANDS LANDSCAPE: Ireland has fertile soils, abundant rainfall, is suited for growing ryegrass an excellent inexpensive feed for livestock. There is a rich tradition of stockman-ship and crop husbandry with farming skills down through at least 200 generations. There are the remains of a 5,000 yr old Stone Age Farming landscape of stone walled fields, and a preserved blanket of bog growing beneath the soil. Farmers are known for their highly organized communities, they work together on clearing hundreds of acres of forestry thus dividing their land into fields for cattle rearing. Beef and milk production are the two most important farming sectors accounting for 66% of Irelands exports (€1bn per month in 2018) an estimated annual 13.6 bn that year..

2.BEEF FARMING: Ireland is the largest beef exporter in Europe, one of the largest in the world. 85% of dairy output is exported. Irish agriculture is dominated by family owned farms,. Ireland has rich green grass 9-10 months per year

ENVIRONMENT FACTS: Agriculture GHG emission 2020 31.7%. Transport Sector represents 17.9%. Emissions from Irish power generation and industrial companies has increased by 15% (2 million tonnes in 2021.  Ireland is one of 187 parties to have ratified the Paris Agreement, committing to limit global warming to well below 2.oC, pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5Oc

EU LEGISLATION: In September 2022 the Commission also called on Ireland and ten other Member States to introduce national legislation to prevent and reduce the impact of certain plastic products, as required by the EU Single-Use Plastics Directive

FUNDING IRELAND’S TRANSITION: To become the first Climate Neutral continent by 2050, means significant investment from both public and private. The EU Green Deal Investment Plan creates a framework to facilitate sustainable investments of at least one trillion pounds (money) over the next decade. A European Commission assessment of Ireland’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) states that potential funding from EU sources to Ireland between 2021 and 2027 amounts up to €13.3 billion, much of which can help with the country’s transition to a low-carbon economy.. Ireland will be using €989 million for ‘Recovery and Resilience Plan for responding to the Covid pandemic crisis to fund other Carbon reduction initiatives.

IRELAND’S SMART CITIES: EU is supporting Ireland Green Transition to ‘Mission Cities’. A 100 Climate Neutral Smart Cities by 2030. Cities of Cork and Dublin are two of these. Mission Cities receive  €360 from Horizon Europe funding covering the period 2022/23 to start innovation paths towards climate neutrality.


THE AGRI-CLIMATE RURAL ENVIRONMENT SCHEMES (ACRES): The Agri-Climate Rural Environment Scheme (ACRES) will deliver significant long-term environmental improvement through participation by a significant number of farmers on the most appropriate land, with each making a strong improvement on their farm. Using a habitats-based approach, delivered through both prescription and results-based actions, ACRES will contribute significantly to achieving improved biodiversity, climate, air and water quality outcomes.

THE ECO-SCHEME: A new initiative this CAP funded by funding 25% of the direct payments ceiling – is to reward farmers for undertaking actions beneficial to the climate, environment, water quality and biodiversity, and will be implemented annually, with farmers having the opportunity to opt in or out on an annual basis. The Eco-scheme will be open to all active farmers in the country, or groups of active farmers. Farmers must deliver at least two of the following agricultural practices::-

(1) Space for Nature (Non-productive areas and landscape features). GAEC 8 and Space for Nature calculation.

(2). Extensive livestock production

(3). Limiting chemical nitrogen usage

(4) Planting of native trees/hedgerows.

(5). Use of GPS controlled spreader and/or sprayer

(6).Soil sampling and appropriate liming. (7). Planting a break crop (8) Sowing a multi-species sward.

ORGANIC FARMING SCHEME: The Organic Farming Scheme will support farmers who want to convert from conventional farming systems to organic farming systems, as well as to support its continuation after the initial period of conversion – a maximum of two years. It will increase the area of land farmed organically in Ireland, as well as increase the number of sustainable farming systems to deliver enhanced environmental and animal welfare benefits and help respond to the increasing demand for organically produced food.

THE SHEEP IMPROVEMENT SCHEME: Provides financial support for actions that improve animal health and welfare in the sheep sector. The Sheep Improvement Scheme will contribute to improved welfare through targeted interventions in lameness control, parasite control, genetic improvement, flystrike, and appropriate supplementation. Farmers in the scheme get €12 per breeding ewe for completing flock welfare measures.

THE STRAW INCORPORATION MEASURE (SIM):Is a payment for chopping straw and incorporating it into the soil.

AREAS OF NATURAL CONSTRAINTS: This scheme provides payments to people farming land in designated areas face significant hardships from factors such as remoteness, difficult topography, climatic problems and poor soil conditions.

TARGETED AGRICULTURE MODERNISATION SCHEMES (TAMS) Provides grant aid to farmers to build and/or improve a specified range of farm buildings and equipment on their holding. Details of the new €370m five year scheme, including eligible items, grant aid levels

CAP FUNDED ECO SCHEME: A new initiative in Ireland is the CAP funded Eco Scheme by funding 25% of the direct payments ceiling thus rewarding farmers for undertaking actions beneficial to the climate, environment, water quality and biodiversity, and will be implemented annually, with farmers having the opportunity to opt in or out on an annual basis.

THE EU COMMISSION AND IRELAND’S GREEN DEAL: The European Commission is promoting investment into cutting edge research to tackle Climate Change

IRELAND’S CAP STRATEGY PLAN 2023-2027: Equates to enhancing market orientation short and long term by including greater focus on research and technology.EU are working with Ireland’s Govt encouraging them to protect bogs- (the bog restoration projects

IRISH FARMERS FEAR BANKRUPTCY: Small holder farmers are now leaning towards the political right, many believe they will go bankrupt. It’s obvious a lot of pressure is being put on Ireland Government to comply to Legislations. Ireland is a EU Member Country. EU Commission has huge powers.

A LAND GRAB TIDAL WAVE WAS LARGELY HIDDEN FROM PUBLIC VIEW: In Ireland the  wider EU. This land grabbing is a serious threat for the food sovereignty of our peoples by large scale industrial agriculture. 

IRISH HILL FARMERS: A plan to rewet over 200,000 hectares. This land grabbing is a serious threat for the food sovereignty of our peoples … by large scale industrial agriculture, of farmed peatland in Ireland by 2050 has been blasted as a land grab (12 Oct 2022 The Farmers Journal). Shannon Land Gab having a huge effect on the economy in west of Ireland,

THE EU COMMISSION HAS A LOT OF POWER: In September 2022, the European Commission called on Ireland to take action to stop the cutting of peat within Special Areas of Conservation (SACs). If Ireland fails to respond to the call, the Commission could decide to refer Ireland to the Court of Justice of the European Union. The Commission previously sent Ireland a formal notice and a reasoned opinion on protecting raised bogs back in 2011.

EU LEGISLATION APPLIED TO EACH MEMBER STATE: The European Commission is responsible for ensuring EU legislation is applied in each Member State and has previously launched infringement procedures against Ireland over breaches of environmental law. For example, a landslide during excavation work for Derrybrien Wind Farm caused extensive environmental damage, resulting in the Commission taking Ireland to court in 2008. The EU’s Court of Justice found that Ireland had failed to carry out an environmental impact assessment for the wind farm and imposed a one-off financial sanction of €5 million and ordered that daily penalties of €15,000 be paid until such time as the breaches were rectified.

LATEST ENVIRONMENT NEWS -IRELAND : 14th March 2023. EU has proposed to reform electricity market design to accelerate a surge in renewable, phase out gas.  14th February 2023 The EU has proposed ambitious new CO2 emissions target for new heavy duty vehicles from 2030 onwards. 26th January 2023. The EU Commission started taking procedures against Ireland for non-compliance with EU Law. Refers to ‘calling on Ireland to reduce emissions of several air pollutants, to comply with certain regulation on the dissemination of terrorist content online.

IRELAND AND CENSORSHIP: :July 2022 EU countries to take certain measures to prevent the spread of certain terrorist propaganda. Measures include designating an authority responsible for issuing removal orders, creating rules for when companies fail to remove harmful content from their platform. In 2022 Ireland had no specific laws covering Internet Censorship. Online and Social Media companies are not subject to regulation by the State for content that is shared on their platforms. However Ireland has a Data Privacy Acts 1988-2018 designed to protect people privacy. The legislation confers rights on individuals to the privacy of their personal data as well as responsibilities on those persons holding and processing such data.

MEDIA THAT’S BANNED IN IRELAND: Pornography that includes any participants being beneath the Irish age of consent is strictly illegal. This includes videos, DVD, film, photographs, digital files, drawings and text descriptions. There are no other laws banning specific types of pornography in Ireland.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: In Ireland a ‘bog’ is a wetland. It is covered with mosses, plant and pools of water, below the surface is all made of peat, This looks like solid land, it is like a spongy carpet.

JUST ONE FOR THE ROAD: Paddy looking pretty rough, but never mind that, because Paddy doesn’t mind that at all. Paddy has the cheek of old Nick, so to speak.  In for a laugh in for a pound.

Paddy saunters into this very flash Harley Street doctors office. He asks this well spoken doctor “Do you treat alcoholics”. The doctor answered Paddy in a respectful manner “Why certainly Sir”…“Great” said Paddy, grab yer coat and in can buy me a few pints cos I’m  absolutely skint”

‘CHEERS’  Happy Belated Saint Paddy’s Day   Carol Sakey.


FARMING IN NEW ZEALAND Blog Posts View all Categories



They visited Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington. They were visiting 74 cities in 44 countries. Cities in China-Shanghai and Beijing and Hong Kong. Melbourne, Canberra, Perth Berlin, cities across the US, Germany etc., etc.,  This was called the ‘ Global Ireland’ strategy, and  specifically requested a visit to NZ. Irelands Agriculture Minister had been previous engagements before with Damien O’Connor where Ireland & NZ Govts have been collaborating in the areas of agriculture, sustainability, emissions reductions and food space. Both Governments have similar agricultural models which are pasture based, therefore looking for common solutions.

NZ & Ireland share a joint research initiative, funded by both countries to the tune of $11.9 million, to identify new tools and new technologies and to reduce emissions on grass based production systems. NZ and Ireland Govts collaborating & investing together.

NZ and Ireland together embracing change, new dimensions from the food point of view, also reducing the emission footprint.  Ireland’s Agriculture Minister said “to achieve this, everyone must be pulling the same way on one rope, everyone on the same page- it’s easier to generate fear and farmers have always been innovative & transformative- this is a new innovation & transformation that is required

The  Irish Govts delegations global tour is about emphasising the importance of Irelands membership to the EU, This being Ireland’s 50th anniversary of accession to the EU Communities. To re-affirm their steadfast commitment to Ukraine, to connect with Irish communities overseas and to further build on relationships with key political, business leaders, decision makers, influencers and stakeholders across the world. Whilst in NZ  Ireland’s delegation took part in a ceremonial handover of two ‘inshore patrol vessels which the Irish Govt purchased of the NZ Govt. (Published Dept Of Defence 14/3/2023) which took place at Devonport Naval Base. The vessels had be purchased in 2022 for $26 millionThe two vessels were restored, refitted at Devonport Naval Base with specific equipment required by Ireland’s Navy Service, that the Irish Govt require for the evolving nature of security at seas to safeguard Irelands waters and to enhance maritime security activities (Report by Irelands Minister defence Michael Martin). The inshore patrol vessels are part of the acquisitions for strategic measures being implemented by Ireland’s government, to increase the capabilities of Ireland Naval Service.

Michael Malone, Commodore of the Irish Navy said “The NZ purchased inshore patrol vessels (IPV’s) will strengthen Irelands Naval fleet by introducing new ‘Electronic Warfare’, Intelligence gathering capabilities, protect Irish interests. The NZ vessels were the former HMNZ Rotoiti  & Pukaki. The overall length of the Inshore Patrol vessels are 55 metres, length waterline- 50.6 metres. Beam moulded-9 metres, draft moulded-2.43 metres, propellers- 2.9 metres. Height (keel to top of mast) 20 metres





(Beehive Website)

16/1/2023 Trade & Export- Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor (Beehive Website) to attend the World Economic Forum and visiting Europe to discuss the agriculture Trade and in climate change and food security, World Trade Org., (UN) reform and NZ Agriculture Innovation in meetings at DAVOS then travelling on to Berlin for the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture meetings with the German Govt and industry leaders. (Refers to Climate Change challenge of all countries). Beehive report that “The World Economic Forum bring together civil society, business, political leader annually  (Did not mention philanthropist like Gates, nor royalty and those wealthy from Silicon Valley)

The Beehive documents that “This years World Economic Forum theme is ‘Cooperation in a Fragmented World’. Damien O’Connor participating in a panel on indigenous trade and attending a Swiss hosted ministerial meeting with a Canada hosted group namely the ‘Ottawa Group’ Damien O’Connor said that the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture provides a showcase for NZ’s global leadership, innovation in sustainable agriculture. It’s the worlds largest informal conference of agriculture ministers and industry. NZ’s attendance is reported t enhance the govts credentials as a global leader in agriculture innovation.

The Ottawa Group meeting presents the opportunity to discuss how we work towards this goal with our partners,” Damien O’Connor said.

Damien O’Connor said the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture provides a platform to showcase New Zealand’s global leadership and innovation in sustainable agriculture. O’Connor was” looking for partnership opportunities for climate research in agriculture” he said. O’Connor referred to the WEF DAVOS meetings and the Global Forum for Foods and Agriculture as an opportunity to lobby for the ratification of the EU-NZ Free Trade Agreement as well as for NZ’s candidate for Director General of the International Organization of Vine and Wine (OIV) Dr. John Barker. Damien O’Connor travelling from 17/1/2023 to 25/1/2023




1st December 2022. Govt Investment to support Maori Business and Jobs in the Primary Sector- Damien O’Connor and Meka Whaitiri speakers in the House.  Total exports by Māori businesses have grown by 38% since 2017 to $872 million, with the majority from the food and fibre sector. Launch of Rautaki mo te Taurikura action plan to support the continued growth of Māori food and fibre sector.

Support for Māori agribusiness innovation and workforce development.-Co-investment in a trial embedding mātauranga Māori in farming practices to improve soil quality and clean up waterways. The Government is investing in more on-the-ground support, innovation, and workforce development as part of a new plan to grow Māori businesses and jobs in the food and fibre sector.

Associate Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced  “so we can lift sustainability, maintain our international competitive edge and grow export value, we’re kick-starting that mahi by co-investing in a $723,200 project led by Māori farming company Ātihau-Whanganui Incorporation, which operates 42,000 hectares of whānau farms in the Manawatū-Whanganui region. The project will involve an innovative trial embedding mātauranga Māori into farming practices, delivering measurable environmental benefits around improving soil quality and cleaning up waterways.

Investing in projects like this will ensure our Māori agribusinesses can lift productivity across their land, by providing up to date advice to adjust their practices and innovate, so that growth in exports can continue and provide jobs across the sector,” Meka Whaitiri said.  The Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) will contribute $433,920 to the project.

Total exports by Māori businesses have grown from $630 million in 2017 to $872 million in 2021, with the majority from the food and fibre sector. “we launched Rautaki mo te Taurikura – Embracing change for prosperity, which is a detailed plan to support the Māori food and fibre sector and drive even more growth in the years to come,” Meka Whaitiri said.  Adding that  “This builds on multiple investments from Budget 2022, including $34 million to put extra Māori agribusiness advisors in the regions, and $35 million to support Māori-led innovation and mātauranga-based approaches to reducing on-farm emissions, includes the use of workshops, targeted groups, field days and other on-farm activities to share the most up to date information on low emissions practices.

We’ve also invested in projects to help landowners improve their productivity, create training opportunities and jobs, and develop innovative practices and products to grow Māori exports.”. “Māori are uniquely positioned to convert the challenges ahead into opportunities – and to lead the way for others to do the same,” Meka Whaitiri said. “Purchasing decisions of consumers abroad are increasingly being driven by their values, as they question how products were produced and by who. New Zealand’s future opportunities lie in aligning with their values, and this sector plan helps take us there,” Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor said.

Supporting the Māori primary sector to expand and achieve its aspirations is a key part of the Government and sector’s Fit for a Better World roadmap, which aims to add $44 billion to primary sector export revenue across the next 10 years.”

The Rautaki mo te Taurikura plan will be reviewed in 2024. The plan can be downloaded here: Budget 2022 also included $40 million to deliver industry transformation plans for the food and beverage, fisheries, and the forestry and wood processing sectors, which we’re developing in partnership with industry and Māori.”

Other SFF Futures initiatives with Maori include a $19.9 million project with Spring Sheep to expand into the Taranaki region in partnership with Parininihi ki Waitotara (PKW) and an $11.6 million programme with Ngāi Tahu Farming Limited  And Ngāi Tūāhuriri to take part in a whole-farm scale study in North Canterbury to validate the science of regenerative farming. The Government’s commitment to helping farmers adapt to shifting consumer expectations is demonstrated by the co-investment of about $530 million with the sector across 230 SFF Futures projects to date.




Fonterra had cleared the cows from 16 farms to use these farmlands to dispose of waste water The waste water was odorless, colorless but it was definitely a pollutant that Fonterra was leaching into private water supplies (This story was first published by RNZ) It was. Come 2017 most of the stock had vanished completely from two farms. Neville Ross first noticed that cows were slowly decreasing from local farms in his area In 2017 most of the stock had vanished from two farms in the area. In 2018 stock had also disappeared from a third Cambridge farm.

Neville was a Detective in the NZ Police Force for 40 plus years not a Farmer, at this time Neville’s wife noticed her husbands  health declining he had been unwell, sadly Neville had a brain tumour. In 2018 it was noticed that three farms in Cambridge had now become stock free. Fonterra’s ‘Buxton’ farm which is one of the farms in the area where Neville and his wife lived which was owned by Fonterra, although it was stock free the sign ‘ Dairy Is Life’ and ‘Wandering Stock’ remained on the farm gate. The farm looked smart but it was described as a tip.

The Fonterra Hautapu Milk Processing Plant described in the news article had been dumping it’s wastewater onto a farm near where Neville and his wife lived. At peak production times Fonterra’s Hautapu plant processes approximately 150 tanker loads of milk, uses between 6,000 to 8,000 cubic metres of fresh water daily. Some of the water is fresh water and other water that is piped and irrigated onto Fonterra owned farms is waste water  that they use to clean out their factory tanks and pipes that contains cleaning products, its this water that’s piped onto and then irrigates Fonterra owned farms.

According to Fonterra these farms are a well managed and a  good circular model for nutrient management, that the wastewater helps to grow the grass on these farms that then is fed to cows. (Source of information-RNZ and Otago Daily Times). Fonterra’s wastewater from their factories contains nitrogen from the cleaning products they use to clean pipes and vats, if you add nitrogen from the wastewater to nitrogen from the cows urine this then become a high nitrogen level. This higher load of nitrogen starts seeping into the ground water and then pollutes beyond the Fonterra owned farm fence. Because the cows have been removed from the equation more wastewater spreads on the land.

The grass from these Fonterra owned farms which are often called ‘Ghost Farms’ is cut, carted elsewhere and used to feed cows, this is called ‘cut and carry, Fonterra prefers to name these farms as ‘Nutrient Management Farming’. Fonterra has been reported as saying they have consent for their 16 farms which they say are used for ‘Nutrient Management’ (It is reported that Fonterra own 29 of these ‘Ghost Farms’ in New Zealand)

Neville and his wife Denise had no idea that the wastewater on the Buxton Farm was used to soak up the local dairy plants wastewater, it was only discovered in 2020 after the local community decided to fight Fonterra’s proposal to build a wastewater treatment plant on the property. The community was most unhappy at the prospect of an industrial plant with huge ponds in their rural setting they felt that this should be in an industrial zoned area. Since this Fonterra started investigating other locations for the plant. Fonterra’s original proposal however drew the local community to the testing of bores close to the farm to see what condition their water was in, it was only then that Neville and Denise realised there could be problems with their water.

Neville and Denise had purchased their piece of land in 2010 and while Neville was building the house, both he and Denise drank the bore water, when construction of the house was finished Denise chose to drink rainwater however Neville thought the bore water tasted better, so he drank that.  Fonterra tested some of the local communities bore water however there had been an 18month wait for the final results to be sent to them Fonterra never offered to test Denise and Nevilles wastewater. Fonterra reported that they did not do this because the ground water flow from Buxton Farm went north and Neville and Denise’s  property is to the west.

Fonterra had been testing the bore water of some locals, although there had been an 18-month wait to have results sent to them. The company never offered to test Denise and Neville’s water because Fonterra thought the flow of ground water from Buxton Farm went north and the Ross’s farm lay to the west. It was 10 years after they moved onto their property that the couple got their first test results which was found to be really high, however they did not know what the test result meant.

You can’t see nitrate-nitrogen in the water because its colourless, odourless and tasteless and nitrogen cannot be boiled away, boiling concentrates the levels of nitrates. The amount of nitrogen allowed in New Zealand’s drinking water is 11.3 milligrams per litre, this is the level suggested by the World Health Organization as reported to avoid what they call ‘Blue Baby Syndrome’ which is a fatal condition caused by consuming too much nitrate during pregnancy or via bottle feeding.

The amount allowed in drinking water in New Zealand is 11.3 milligrams per litre (mg/L). It’s a level suggested by the World Health Organisation to avoid ‘blue baby syndrome’, a fatal condition caused by consuming too much nitrate during pregnancy, or via bottle feeding. The nitrate is reported to reduce the ability of the red blood cells to release oxygen to tissues which can suffocate a baby thus turning the baby blue. Only one fatal incidence of this has been recorded in New Zealand. However other studies have showed the connection with nitrates in drinking water and colorectal cancer.

This news article also reports although there is evidence, its not strong evidence that shows a possible association between nitrate in drinking water with bladder and breast cancer, thyroid disease and birth defects. (This news article does not go into details of the source of information of these studies, where and when, by whom)  Other evidence, although not as strong, shows a possible association between nitrate in drinking water with bladder and breast cancer, thyroid disease and birth defects. It was when Neville’s wife was at a gathering in the local community hall of local community that were concerned about the Fonterra  wastewater plant proposal when she found out about the nitrates and the association with cancer. It had been two years earlier that Neville had been diagnosed with a  terminal brain tumour.

The results of their bore water tests were above New Zealand’s standards and well above those levels associated with colorectal cancer, therefore she had reason to think that this was part of the reason her husband is so sick, this was extremely upsetting for her. At the time this article was reported sadly Neville was extremely sick, had been in remission. Although Denise and Neville were not dairy farmers, they are not anti-dairy farmers and not anti Fonterra either, they saw both as being an important part of New Zealand’s economy. Denise said that Fonterra had been helpful since the quality of their water was discovered however Neville’s response was as to Fonterra’s wastewater being dumped next door  “is a bit untidy in regards to human beings” as he wondered if there is a better solution.

Although Denise says , in recent times there have been deaths in the area due to cancer  however there is no suggestion its due to Fonterra’s Ghost Farms, but has left Denise wondering. This has left Neville and his wife worrying about the rest of the neighbourhood too. Fonterra supplied Neville and Denise with a filtration system to remove the nitrate from the water, they supplied 38 water filter systems to other properties near the Hautapu factory because of groundwater contamination.  Fonterra now has another option for dealing with its waste water from the Hautapu factory, this project would see the wastewater from the Hautapu wastewater managed by the municipal system. Waikato District Council reported that Fonterra had bailed out of the project because of the cost impact to Fonterra and the uncertainty of cost, commercial arrangement and delivery times.

Cambridge is not the only area in New Zealand that Fonterra has supplied water filters to because of their plant’s wastewater spreading. People in the dairy intensive Canterbury area have also been given new filters by Fonterra, like Denise and Neville had no idea they were living close to Fonterra’s ‘ghost farms’, where Fonterra and other smaller dairy companies do just as Fonterra do with their wastewater. Often these farms are irrigated with wastewater for decades and also hold resource consents just as Fonterra do.

It is noted that these consents allow the amount of nitrogen in wastewater to be far higher than the new freshwater rules that they allow farmers on grazed land as fertilizer (190kg per hectare per year of synthetic nitrogen). Unless the wastewater is more than 5 percent nitrogen it’s not considered fertiliser.  Because these wastewater farms hold resource consent for disposal of waste water products they are able to sidestep the new rule and continue to spread their heavy nitrate waste water because their consents allow them to.

Because the wastewater farms hold resource consents for disposal of waste products, they will be able to sidestep the new rule which comes into play in July and continue to spread as much as their consent permits. Fonterra have been reported to saying “ they work between the guidelines of councils”. Fonterra have reported they have major plans over the next 10 years, with $400 million earmarked for upgrades to wastewater plants at their  Edgecumbe, Whareroa, Maungaturoto, Te Awamutu, Longburn, Reporoa, Kapuni, Clandeboye and Hautapu factories and aims to reduce the nitrogen in the water before it reaches other farms.

The Otago Times article reports “In some cases the differences between the new synthetic nitrogen cap for fertiliser and the amount of nitrogen for dairy companies in which they are allowed to spread waste water on these ghost farms is eye watering” It has been reported that the current highest consent amount is in Canterbury. The Clandeboye plant is allowed to spread up to 600kg of nitrogen per hectare per year. Environment Canterbury’s 2020 nitrate risk map links past wastewater irrigation with high levels of nitrate-nitrogen in the area. One survey describes a “contamination plume” and notes 53 wells, mostly near the Clandeboye dairy factory and Seadown fertiliser storage facility, exceed drinking water standards for nitrate-nitrogen. Fonterra has supplied two Canterbury homes with water systems because of nitrate in the ground water, and another house with a UV filter.

In the Waikato, Fonterra’s Hautapu plant has a resource consent to spread up to 500kg per hectare per year on Bruntwood farm and 400kg on Buxton and Bardowie farms. Maximum results from monitored bores show a reading of 17.80mg/L for Bruntwood farm, 18mg/L for Buxton farm and 26.8mg/L for a bore on Bardowie farm.

In Reporoa, wastewater has been spread for decades and at one point up to 800kg of nitrate-nitrogen was allowed, this has dropped to 420kg. The highest average reading from the 2017/18 fiscal year from a bore in the area is 18.7mg/L. RNZ’s efforts to gather resource consents and monitoring results from wastewater farms nationwide found some consents don’t require monitoring. For those that do, most show levels of concern in some, but not all the bores monitored for many of the farms where water is spread. Even if monitoring is a condition of resource consents, most don’t require a reduction in the amount of wastewater spread if the ground water is affected.

One must question the  “cumulative regulatory failure” of councils, and what about the Resource Management Act (RMA). Obviously the Governments whipping boy is the New Zealand farmer, where is the accountability and responsibly here? Oh, that’s right its always the farmers fault, thrown them under their tractors. One rule for the companies and another for the farmers. Get rid of cows, after all the International Biannual Parliamentary Gatherings (IPU) and the annual Global Convention of mayors are obsessed with their plan namely ‘The Global New Green Deal’, cull the cows, get of the cars off the roads, build at least 500km of cycleways across New Zealand and plant small urban forests in namely Human Habitats. Rural migration to Urban City highly populated and controlled area’s of surveillance. Whoever owns the land, controls the food hence controls the people. Farmers worldwide report land and water grabs. Severe restriction imposed on them so that they sell of their farms at cheap prices. Or authorities demand they give up their farms as they are doing in parts of Africa.

Note: The NZ Local Government Act 2002, just after  the Act was introduced Crown Law found a major loophole as to Trade Waste Water, this  has allowed NZ Companies to leach contaminants, chemicals, high level of nitrates into drains, hence leaching into water ways and some washed out to sea. It has been reported that  some treatment plants have been unable to deal with this. Twenty year have gone by the Act has never been amended although often bought to the Govts attention, as it has been bought to Nanaia Mahuta’s attention more recently. No prosecutions, no fines the government use an educative approach and the contamination continues. Ammonia in some of this contaminated water has eaten into under ground pipes hence they have been eaten away by the ammonia. These pipes cost rate payers approx.., $5,000 per metre to replace.  This my dear friends is the ‘New Global Green Deal’ scam. Nanaia Mahuta reports as to the Three Waters Reform that  the wastewater system will have to wait a couple of years before they deal with this. The massive plan to rob rate payers continues.  Wake Up New Zealand, the governments transparency is Zilch.

Share, share, share this information.  Please visit my website for further ‘Wake Up NZ’ information.

Carol Sakey