• Video: Are our farmers being punished by Climate change rules? - Napier candidates have their say

Video: Are our farmers being punished by Climate change rules? - Napier candidates have their say

The role of farmers in climate emissions was a topic of debate in a Hawke’s Bay App debate between Napier candidates,

Hawke’s Bay App held a debate with six of the seven candidates at The Urban Winery in Napier and produced and broadcast by Engage Video.

The candidates attending the debate were Mark Hutchinson of Labour, Democracy NZ’s Martin Langford, Julienne Dickey of the Green Party, Laurie Turnbull of New Zealand First, the National Party’s Katie Nimon, and Pawel Milewski of the ACT Party.

Nimon said that the Labour Government was punishing farmers for their emissions.

“It's really important that we give farmers the tools to reduce their emissions, rather than just squashing them down and down and down.”

Hutchinson countered that international trade rules could not be ignored.

“If our farmers want to trade, and it's unfortunate that our methane is a large part of our carbon budget.”

He Waka Eke Noa, the government’s primary sector climate partnership, said Nimon, would cripple farmers, but Hutchinson said it had been formulated in conjunction with the farming industry.

Turnbull added that it would kill farming and Nimon said National would ensure that agritech was in partnership with agriculture.

Dickey says that there is no doubt that weather patterns are changing.

“Of course there's always been natural disasters, no one's denying that. But the scale of them, the regularity of them, the unpredictability of them is massively increasing.”

Langford countered that “back in the late 1800s there was floods which, newspapers said were unprecedented flooding hits Hawke's Bay.”

“Four years later, unprecedented flooding hits Hawke Bay. Again, this is all before the 1900s. Then through the 1900s there's more flooding. It's been happening. Cyclone Bola was missed off NIWA's reports on flooding events.
Turnbull said it was obvious that the climate is changing.

“We need to look at getting things settled down. There’s crazy mayhem that has been preached and forced down our throats from climate. Well, obviously I'm not a climate expert, but these people are just doom and gloom.”

Milewski said that over the last six years, gross emission had increased under the Labour Government.

“We need to recognise that climate change is real. But clearly Labour’s policies are not working.”

Hutchinson said this was not true, as emissions had actually decreased.

 Watch the full debate on climate change in the accompanying video.