Comment: The Zero Carbon Bill will be significant to the viability of farming in New Zealand, writes Federated Farmers chief executive Terry Copeland.

Work is under way throughout the country to decipher the Government's Zero Carbon Bill.

It's not all about debating gas emissions and targets and politicking – Federated Farmers is effectively looking at what the spinoff impact could be for provincial New Zealand.

What does this bill mean for rural communities in the long term?


There is a huge amount of work being done behind the scenes from the Federated Farmers board, senior management, and policy team around the recent announcement of the Zero Carbon Bill.

Not only is the science difficult to explain without sounding like a climate change denier, but the impacts for our sector are huge and it is difficult to convey this without sounding like farmers don't want to play their part.

Read more from Federated Farmers here.

The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern talks about this being her 'nuclear free' moment, harking back to the famous speech given by her just as dynamic predecessor David Lange.

This 'nuclear free' moment is equally as significant to the viability of farming in New Zealand.

What is coming appears to be heralding the largest change to pastoral farming since the reforms of the 1980s, when the Government removed subsidies from farmers.

Once again we are also concerned for the resilience and mental wellbeing of provincial New Zealand.

There needs to be a whole of business response to this Bill to combat the confusion, uncertainty and ideological fervour which has the possibility to not only derail our economy, which every section of the New Zealand community needs to have remain fully functioning.


Much more to come out in the weeks ahead I'm sure. But here is a reminder that should be issued to all political parties in New Zealand – when you govern you govern for all New Zealanders, and for all future New Zealanders.