To John Key from Louise P 4 May 2010


4 May 2010
Dear John Key,
My husband and I farm a 965ha sheep & beef, summer dry hill country in Hawkes Bay. It is part of  the original family farm my parents bought 40 years ago and worked hard to pass on to the next generation.  
I am one of four children, so non farming siblings have to be paid out. We have four children and like my parents would like our life’s work and family farm to pass on to the next generation. The way things are going we can’t see how any of them are going to be able to farm on their own accord unless they win lotto.
It is really tough out there, not just us sheep and beef farmers, but for the whole agricultural industry and the industries that support it.
With the economic downturn, the dollar and the droughts (which we have to deal with because that is the area we live in), everyone we know has had a guts full and the ETS will be the last straw and the end of family farming as we know it.
(1) How can government bring into law something that is so controversial and is going to have such a huge impact on our country when it is not proven beyond reasonable doubt. Top scientists around the world cannot agree and it all seems very political.
(2) It will be an administration nightmare and cost the country millions of dollars, for what and still won’t be fair.
(3) It is totally unfair on farmers like our selves who are already doing our bit for the environment. It is a shame a few let the side down. Most of us care passionately about our countryside and are already fencing off and planting up waterways and unproductive areas and using fertilisers that enhance our soils to keep them healthy and alive.
Why isn’t soil and pasture included in the big ETS scheme of things?
(4) Farmers are already unfairly taxed eg. Rates (ours $20,000 +)  ACC (ours $8,000 +) etc.
(5) It will encourage dishonesty. People will come under pressure and try all sorts of ways to avoid paying to try and keep afloat.
I’m sorry, but to me it is just a big ridiculous mess New Zealand has got its self into. It doesn’t add up, make sense or seem logical especially to hit the agricultural industry the way it is going too when it is one of NZs main sources of income. We love what we do but it is starting to wear very thin.
Please let sense prevail for the good of the whole country.
Kind regards,
Louise P
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