Lobby group Groundswell has renewed its attack on farming rules and regulations, saying that without easing the impact on farmers the government will be unable to focus on reducing the cost of living.
Prime Minister Chris Hipkins has repeatedly said the government is focusing its efforts on “bread and butter issues”, delaying or canning unpopular policies so he can address rising living costs.
Groundswell is arguing that by ignoring the impact on farming of the pending agricultural greenhouse gas emissions tax, part of He Waka Eke Noa (HWEN), and other rules and regulations, the cost of food will continue to rise and the government cannot deliver affordable bread and butter to New Zealanders.
It has launched a petition on this issue, which also seeks to replace numerous environmental policies with one piece of environmental legislation that is holistic, has an integrated framework and avoids perverse outcomes, Groundswell said.
As of last week it had secured more than 3000 signatures.
Group co-founder Bryce McKenzie said the campaign questions why Hipkins did not include HWEN in his policy bonfire given its impact on food prices.
“We all know that taxing farmers will only do one thing to inflation and food prices,” McKenzie said.
“We can’t understand why he did not include that as well.”