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I posted a clip on my Facebook page after a climate change discussion on TVNZ’s Q&A, Sunday May 30.

The topic wasn’t the problem, but there was a comment by one panelist, Iwi Chairs Forum spokesperson Mike Smith, supporting reducing the nation’s herds, who referred to dairy farmers using terms of “selfishness” and “greed”, “producing products for an elite market in Europe”!

He also wants more than a 15% nationwide reduction. This kind of uninformed, totally out-of-touch view of our country’s agribusinesses and how they operate is staggering!

If he was there as a spokesperson for Māori then he really needs to talk to the many either owning/operating hugely successful agribusinesses or working in them. More than 200, or around one-sixth of all Māori authorities, are involved in agriculture. In 2018, their profits topped almost $97 million. A great success example is the Ahuwhenua Trophy awards which I attended on May 14. But if he needs another, check out the success of Miraka.

Of course agribusinesses need to play their part in reducing NZ’s emissions and our carbon footprint. From my very informed view, we are already well on our way. Everyday Kiwi farmers work with, and in, the environment and they respect what it gives. We are the best in the world at what we do yet are the lowest emitters. Giving airtime to people who don’t know how the industry works, does nothing for mental health issues rising in rural communities where people are facing negative comment daily across many media platforms.

Here’s the thing — we produce food, and we send that food across the world. It pays the bills here at home.