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Why don’t New Zealand farmers want to look after their golden goose?


If we want to assure our export markets and tourists that we are actually a clean sustainable country, we actually have to prove it, writes freshwater ecologist Russell Death.

According to some in the agricultural industry, the sky will fall on New Zealand agriculture if the government’s new freshwater policy becomes law. Consumers will no longer have an abundant supply of fresh vegetables and agriculture will cease to exist in parts of New Zealand. There seems to be no mention of the increased health risks both for ourselves and for the farmer’s animals because many nasty pathogens are more abundant in low water quality. My teams research on some of these waterborne pathogens show strong links between the number of ruminants in the catchment of a waterbody and the prevalence of Cryptosporidium and Giardia; while the prevalence of these and other gastrointestinal illnesses seem to be on the rise in New Zealand. Read more