To the Select Committee from H D B 13 October 2009

I make this submission as the owner of a hill-country sheep and beef breeding and finishing farm.

The ETS, even in the amended form now proposed, will ruin NZ.

Labour rammed it through the House. I think I remember that when someone said, very sensibly, that NZ should not allow itself to become isolated in world markets but should instead be a "fast follower" in emissions control our then Prime Minister replied "It is not in NZ's nature to be a follower. We must lead the world." That was vanity and ambition.

The ETS, if implemented, will hit every one of us very hard in the hip pocket through greatly increased prices for everything, especially fuel and power, transport and all products made with them; but this will be the least of our worries.

About 60% of our export receipts are still the produce of our land.

I have been told that at a carbon price of $100/tonne and a 15% reduction below 1990 levels your ETS will cost me annually $702 per person, $66 per cattle stock unit and $12.85 per sheep stock unit. On 30/6/09 my farm supported 6 people and ran 3,130 CSU and 7,709 SSU.

If the above figures are even approximately correct your ETS will cost me over $300,000.00 p.a. Last year my farm's net profit was about $31,000.00, and many sheep and beef farms made substantial losses last year.

The details of your scheme are murky, but I gather that you will rely initially on processors to collect your carbon tax. They will only be able to do so through a per-head levy on stock killed. Some bureaucrat will have to calculate, on an arbitrary and artificial basis, industry-wide average carbon emissions per animal. It will just be a tax, not an incentive to do anything.

Even if you were to shove a funnel down the gullet of every one of my animals and measure their eructations you would achieve nothing, except to ruin me and my like more fairly and equitably.

How can a hill country farmer change his pasture to non-methane-producing species, even if they are invented? I have almost no tractor country. Hoof and tooth are my only pasture management tools. Eliminating the old and sowing the new on my country is virtually impossible.

Maybe you will invent a vaccine that will clean my animals' gaseous emissions. Good luck. Please will you, if you will do nothing else, remove agriculture entirely from your ETS until your magic vaccine is freely available?

Farming will not survive the ETS, not even dairy farming.

Earlier this year lamb and beef prices were improving but that is no longer the case. This season's outlook for beef is particularly gloomy. Wool prices are (in real terms) almost the worst ever. I am budgeting for a small cash deficit this year.

NZ's exchange rates vis a vis our major customers are our biggest problem, and nothing I can do will cure that. Perhaps your ETS will, as the instrument with which NZ commits suicide?

When your ETS is implemented farms like mine will make very large losses and will become unsalable. Farmers will have to walk off. NZ pastoral farming cannot survive without breeding properties.

Without farming NZ will not survive either. The Knowledge Economy will not save us.

Even Auckland, which tells us so proudly that it is the engine room of the economy, has to have fuel to keep its engines turning over. Without farm export receipts they too will cough and stop.

I do not deny that our planet's climate is changing. It always has and always will, whether or not you tax me into oblivion. The sun and its spots control global warming and cooling rather more effectively than the efforts of puny mankind.

Even if that were not so, NZ simply cannot afford your ETS.

Please do not kill our country. Repeal the ETS completely. Save New Zealand, save yourselves, save me.