Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Ringing endorsement for Collis

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The largely rural district of Tararua has given a big thumbs up to its sitting mayor Tracey Collis, granting her an endorsement that includes a 4500 majority over her nearest rival.
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Collis, a farmer, earlier this year raised concern over the impact of international investors speculating on carbon credit price rises by outbidding pastoral farmers on large tracts of farmland. 

Sales of more than 30,000ha of land for forests in the past 12 months underscored her concerns and prompted her to challenge the wisdom of the Government’s ban on sales of farmland to foreigners while supporting foreign forestry ownership to fulfill its Billion Trees project.

“We have so much change at the moment in rural communities with forestry sales, freshwater policy and greenhouse gas policies. There is also such a short time frame to submit on these policies and that is playing on their minds too.”

Other issues include firearms regulations and tighter banking capital demands affecting lending.

Collis said it is vital Tararua be in the room with its three neighbouring and larger councils and the benefits from working with them are significant.

She hopes to see some Provincial Growth Fund money go the district’s way to help develop ways for farmers to optimise land use.

“Higher compliance costs, including farm environment plans, will demand that farmers will have to come up with some higher value options for their land use.”

She hopes to increase urban understanding around greenhouse gas policy implications for all ratepayers, not just farmers.

She also wants more dialogue around the Billion Trees policy and its unintended consequences of pushing land into trees, balanced against the rights of farmers to sell their property to the best bidder.

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