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Beef + Lamb NZ Directors Elections 2024: Questions to candidates

Groundswell NZ

Groundswell NZ, on behalf of grassroots farmers, emailed all candidates with questions our supporters believe are important. We hope this helps Beef + Lamb NZ levy payers to make an informed vote.  


  1. Do you support an Emissions Tax on NZ farmers/food producers?

    Philip Weir:
     No I do not support an Emissions Tax. I do accept that Climate Change is a significant issue and despite New Zealand Farmers being among the most efficient in the world, over the coming years we will need to do our bit along with the rest of the economy to reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions.  I would rather see effort directed toward levers that incentivise our good work with biodiversity enhancement rather than penalties.

    Peter Moore: No, I don’t support agriculture going into ETS, but I do support farmers knowing what their own emissions are and that there is one consistent form of measurement. If we have this then NZ agriculture can track its progress and R&D can be directed to where it will give the most cost-effective benefits. We need to be realistic; this is not going away, and we need to manage our own destiny by having a consistent message, backed by scientific evidence. 
  2. IF YES TO ABOVE, please explain why?
  3. Do you think ‘Team Ag’ for our sector is a good approach, and how do you see Beef+ Lamb contributing to this?

    Philip Weir:
     I think where possible Levy bodies (DairyNZ, Beef + Lamb NZ etc) and Membership Organisations (Federated Farmers) should work together in good faith. There may be some issues where these interests are not aligned and the parties may want to take different positions, which needs to be retained. In my bio I make reference to a need to review the commodity levies act to check if it remains fit for purpose and I believe that could result in some improved outcomes. 

    Peter Moore: I think it is not only a good approach, but the best approach to ensure sector alignment when advocating for change and/or against impractical regulations that affect the wider farming community. There has been some good collaboration between the various farmer organisations where all sectors are affected (e.g. PC1) which has been positive for the industry. Beef & Lamb need to continue to build on what has been achieved to date by taking the lessons learnt and making Team Ag stronger where applicable. I don’t have a solution, but I also think that somehow the industry bodies, processors and exporters need to try and maintain consistent messaging, I think all want the same outcomes, but sometimes the messages don’t quite align. It is important to acknowledge that from time to time there will be specific needs to an industry sector and these need to be dealt with by that sector.
  4. What initiatives would you encourage to ensure NZ sheep and beef farmers are more widely recognised as the most emissions efficient producers in the world?

    Philip Weir:
    Continued telling of the good farming stories about the work being done by farmers across New Zealand in areas of fresh water protection, biodiversity enhancement and efficient sheep and beef production. These stories would be underpinned by evidence that maybe levy supported and delivered in partnership with the companies who process our Sheep and Beef. 

    Peter Moore: New Zealand farming systems are already recognised as some of the most efficient and sustainable in the world, and are difficult to replicate outside of New Zealand, which is a significant advantage. As I have indicated above if we have the right measurement standard, we can track progress and then we can tell the efficiency story backed by data and science. As farmers we need to tell the story firstly within New Zealand as the Rural and Urban divide needs to be closed as much as we can. The second part is, with the help of our exporters, we need to tell the story to our customers so that they don’t impose unreasonable standards on us.
  5. Do you believe the amount of unworkable environmental regulations is past tipping point in terms of what farmers can mentally and financially sustain? Please explain.

    Philip Weir:
     Each Farmer will determine what is workable, but I agree there has been a lot of regulation proposed over the last few years and farmers are uncertain as to how it links to the good work they are doing on the farm. 

    Peter Moore: Yes, I do believe that regulations introduced over the last 3-5 years are both excessive and, in many cases, impractical. One of the major issues that appears to have developed is multiple requirements for the same thing which is not only adding unnecessary cost but creates confusion, additional stress for farmers trying to comply with multiple regulations. I see this in a similar light to measuring omissions, we need to have standard practical regulations and requirements that are easy to understand and implement
  6. What assurance can you give voters that you will act faithfully in accurately representing grass-roots farmers and their best interests?  You are welcome to provide examples.

    Philip Weir:
     I am a grass roots farmer myself. I farm along with my wife Megan on an inter-generational farm. We have debt and shift bulls. We want the option for another generation to continue farming the land and therefore will naturally work to ensure farming businesses have a future.

    Peter Moore: How I approach governance is to ensure that there is a clear strategy that considers all shareholders, or in this case levy payers, that is well understood and bought into.  Beef & Lamb levy payers will have a range of farming operations from owner operators right through to large corporates and we mustn’t forget that Dairy Farmers also make what is not an insignificant contribution to Beef & Lamb. I have spent all my working life in Agriculture and have worked across all types of operations so understand that there are slight differences in what they require. I believe that all levy payers are equally important, and if elected, I will represent them equally at the Board Table.

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