Gore farmer Hugh Gardyne will propose a vote of no confidence in Beef + Lamb New Zealand’s board at its annual meeting in New Plymouth.
The motion will be voted on in the general business part of the meeting, to be held on Thursday March 23.
In an email sent to Farmers Weekly, Gardyne said the vote was because of the board’s support of He Waka Eke Noa, its relationship with the government over amendments to the HWEN document and its stand with the government over emissions settings.
“The subsequent vote of no confidence will provide BLNZ with an endorsement of their current position or encourage them to re-set and reflect the interests of levy payers,” Gardyne said.
“Potentially in their farming life, farmers may pay up to $500,000 in emissions levies and taxes, money far better spent on farm forestry, riparian and erosion control planting and helping NZ meet targets for CO2 sequestration.
“Like the Dutch farmers, we have had enough.”
Gardyne said BLNZ had a clear mandate to grow the sheep and beef industries and provide sustainable returns now and for future generations.
It had become distracted by that mandate by the government’s agenda of replacing good farmland with exotic forests, co-producing the HWEN report, not opposing the government when it overrode the report with their own amendments and standing with the government before Christmas signing off on Labour’s emission pricing plan.
Gardyne said he has been a strong advocate of BLNZ all of his farming life, but the board’s collaboration with the government is unprecedented.
Meetings arranged to inform us on HWEN and discuss the government’s response have been straight out lectures with no time or inclination to listen to any opposing solutions.
“This is a time of reckoning,” he said.
The meeting also has nine farmer remits up for discussion indicating a heightened level of frustration by some levy players.
Those remits cover issues of weighted voting, consultation, transparency and a call for BLNZ to leave HWEN.