Groundswell NZ’s SAY NO campaign continues as we stand against unworkable regulations unfairly impacting farmers & growers, as well as both rural & urban property owners.These SAY NO actions are a short-term necessity until the Government puts in place workable regulations that achieve environmental outcomes, respect people, their private property rights, and privacy.

Last year, we encouraged farmers and growers to SAY NO to the NZ Stats Agricultural Census as the information is used to compile the Greenhouse Gas Inventory for Government which continues to use a metric called GWP100 which overstates agricultural methane emissions by 400%. Scientists have proven that where ruminant emissions are stable or decreasing (as they are in New Zealand), there’s no additional warming.

As well as SAYING NO to Winter Grazing Resource Consents, Government Surveys of your private land, calculating your emissions number (see details below); we now encourage you to SAY NO to the Government-mandated Freshwater Farm Plans.

See more info below and letter templates you can use to SAY NO.


SAY NO to Government Mandated Freshwater Farm Plans

We call on farmers to boycott the Government-mandated Freshwater Farm Plans, which are legislated and rolling out first in Southland and Waikato, before being implemented nationwide

We believe a better approach is industry-led Farm Plans, in partnership with farmers; this would be more flexible with regional differences, tailored to each farms environment and issues and the outcome would be more empowering and motivating to farmers.  This approach was requested by our farming groups but rejected by the government.

Click HERE for a template you can use to SAY NO to your council.

SAY NO to applying for Winter Grazing consents

We believe this is an unfair extra cost and extra administration task, when farmers can use their own customised farm plan, which includes a winter grazing plan – to identify and mitigate risks with common sense actions such as buffer zones, strategic grazing, and back fencing.

We agree food producers must take steps to protect our environment and waterways but this can be achieved more effectively by using Catchment or Landcare Groups than a consent process.

SAY NO to the Greenhouse Gas ‘know your number’

Groundswell supports the need for farmers to play their part in addressing Climate Change issues, as they have been doing for many years. However, we have major concerns about how and by whom this ‘number’ is going to be used. We also believe the calculation will not be an accurate reflection of your farm’s emissions budget.  

‘Know your number’ does not acknowledge the minimal warming effect of methane and the vast majority of carbon sequestered on-farm is excluded from the calculation. We also note that the He Waka Eke Noa plan, which requires this number, has not even been accepted by the Government yet.

We believe if correct metrics and sequestration calculations were used, most NZ farms will already be climate neutral. The government should recognise this and continue to encourage positive, sustainable on-farm actions – rather than using flawed metrics to create a tax.

SAY NO to any surveys by public agencies on your private land.

These surveys are inform policies under both the Resource Management Act & NPS Indigenous Biodiversity. Central government is directing local councils to map out Wetland Areas, Significant Natural Areas, Outstanding Natural Landscapes, and Sites & Areas of Significance to Māori.

All of these regulations turn anything that has cultural, natural, or historic value into a liability, potentially devaluing your property by limiting your ability to use it or develop it.  

Instead, councils should be given flexibility to address issues within their communities by supporting the many existing environmental initiatives, such as QEII Trust, Catchment Groups and Landcare Groups.