Banks Suddenly Shaken on Dairy 
Friday, September 16, 2016 at 12:31PM
Bill Barclay

The penny has finally dropped, and BNZ have indicated "significant concerns" regarding the potential "destabilising" of farm values as a result of the perfectly reasonable motion passed last week by the WRC to impose water  quality measures.

The measures will make resource consents mandatory for changes of use including 'intensification.' The Bank wrote to the Council expresing its concerns, and in effect demanding that public consultation take place prior to implementation. There is no such requirement under the Act and it would mean high level bleating from all sections of the farming sector.

WRC CEO Payne indicated:

"The 80-year plan is designed to make the two rivers safe for swimming and food gathering along their entire lengths, as is required by the legally binding Crown-iwi Te Ture Whaimana o Te Awa o Waikato.

Payne said declining water quality in the rivers had been a public concern for a number of years and the council had an obligation to restore and protect the rivers."

The bleating has already started of course with farmers claiming potential "ruin." Bollocks!

"The rules will be staged to give landowners the necessary time to adjust to the transition. It is estimated the measures could result in a 4 per cent drop in annual profit worth around $40 million a year across the region's farming sectors.

This figure takes into account projections that reduced profit could be offset to some degree by costs savings through, for example, farmers reducing fertiliser use which can harm water bodies."

Chair Paula Southgate used her casting vote to get the new rules through, though a limited consultatioin process will still be required. In effect, and despite all the hypocrisy to which we have been subjected in the past, this measure gives effect to, and muscle to all the all past 'air-guitar' talk.

"A decision on one of the biggest environmental management plans  Waikato's agricultural industry is likely to see started with an interruption, followed by six hours of questions, a hefty debate and a major step towards an 80-year plan to clean up the Waikato River. 

In the end, it was Paula Southgate's casting vote that decided the outcome of Waikato Regional Council's Draft Healthy Rivers/Wai Ora: He Rautaki Whakapaipai after a 7-7 councillors' deadlock."

The Council basically divided on farmer v. non farmer members, showing just how important is the forthcoming election. The farmers filibustered for 6 hours and complained repeatedly of their potential loss of income and equity. The photo of multi-millionaire, and multi-farm owner Clr. Hugh Vercoe as the voting proceeded is a picture that is hard to forget. Make no mistake this was a 'red-letter' day, and one the cow-cockies will not forget in a hurry.

The banks of course have no-one but themselves to blame for this situation. It is they who have fostered intensification and greed, and encouraged the gross over-borrowing of their ample imported low, or no-interest funds. If it is time for a 'hair-cut,' then so be it - let the banks face the music, and may the 'work-out' of the poor suckers who over-extended be quick, and accompanied by the least possible pain. The banks will of course try to move all the pain to the borrowers in their inimitable fashion.    

The responsibility of our elected representatives is to ensure that the clean-up of the environmental mess is not delayed, or diluted by the bleating of banks, or any other sector sinply because of temporary inconvenience. It is they who are the prime instigators after all.

 

 

 

Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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