The Primary Industries Ministry was using “extreme scenarios” when working out the cost to farmers of the One Plan court ruling, according to emails obtained by The Dominion Post.
The emails reveal concerns raised by Horizons regional council after Federated Farmers spoke publicly about leaked memos showing that farmers’ costs could rise by 22 per cent to 43 per cent if the ruling was implemented.
The figures were said to have come from a Landcare Research report commissioned by the ministry.
Horizons chairman Bruce Gordon raised his concerns with Landcare Research chief executive Richard Gordon this month. Richard Gordon sent an email to the ministry’s deputy director-general of policy, Paul Stocks, to advise him that none of eight scenarios considered were the same as the court ruling’s.
The scenarios resulting in 22 per cent to 43 per cent cuts to profit were “extreme” and “actually bear little similarity to the One Plan”, Richard Gordon said. The scenario most similar to the One Plan would have an impact on profitability of less than 1 per cent.
So what is happening here is David Carter is going on about 22-43% from a report that has no relevance to the One Plan decision. Five economists in court agreed, but some moron in the MPI has set up his minister by telling him to compare apples with oranges.
David Carter should be calling up the head of MPI and asking him why his staff are providing him with such dodgy information, and why they seem completely ignorant of the Court ruling.
He received a response from the ministry’s director of resource policy, Mike Jebsen, who said the scenario mentioned in the memos was “in our view most closely matched the Environment Court direction”.
Asked about Landcare’s email yesterday, Mr Jebsen said the 22 to 43 per cent figures were the best indication of likely impact.
In September, the court, having heard from five economists from Fonterra, Horticulture NZ, Fish & Game and two from Horizons, concluded the effect on farmers would be an average of 5 per cent of annual expenses.
The court concluded the region had “urgent water quality issues that require immediate action” and failure to try to reverse the decline would be “inexcusable”.
Everyone knows the agrarian sector are not that literate, but a minister can expect senior staff members to be able to read court judgments and sell their minister down the river. This is a Yes Minister style stitch up and the Sir Humphrys need a good kick in the arse.