Groundswell NZ call on the Green Party to stand as allies
Awarding an American company the contract to install nylon carpet in 600 schools is a slap in the face to wool farmers, environmentalists, and all New Zealanders as we struggle through a recession, Groundswell NZ co-founder Bryce McKenzie says.
“Wool farmers have a lot to be furious about with this woeful decision. They are already facing crippling losses and instead of supporting local businesses and producers, our Government is sending our taxes off-shore rather than putting them back into Kiwi communities.
“Politicians have told farmers repeatedly that consumers want lower emissions and more sustainability and we have challenged that price is always the final dictator of purchase decisions. This proves that when the New Zealand Government is the consumer, they put price above sustainability, disproving their own theory.
“Additionally, farmers and producers are the original environmentalists and it is appalling that this decision tramples all over goals toward environmental sustainability. This Government has showered our communities with unworkable regulations in the name of the environment and sustainable farming and yet don’t even prioritise these things themselves when making large purchasing decisions.
“This decision demonstrates that the New Zealand Government is not conscious of the need for them to ensure our taxes are being reinvested into Kiwi businesses. They are not committed to putting New Zealand producers and businesses before multinationals and overseas corporations and they would prefer to have kids sitting on synthetic plastic instead of natural wool fibres.
“We call on the Green Party to join us in calling out this problematic decision. We aren’t often natural allies, but surely the Greens who purport to be champions of the environment, sustainability, and struggling Kiwis would not be so hypocritical as to support the Government in this.
"That would make them no better than Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor who was involved in setting up the Wool Working Group and Wool Impact Ltd, and who said it would be "fantastic" if strong wool became the first choice of fibre in homes, schools and businesses.”