The Government's carbon credit policy is "idealistic" and missing "the big picture" says Mike Cranstone.

"Allowing an overseas fund manager to use our productive land to grow carbon credits - that's like cutting off a finger of our productive hand," the Whanganui Federated Farmers president and hill country farmer told The Country's Jamie Mackay.

Cranstone was also not a fan of giving up profitable sheep and beef land to forestry.

"Let's have the government set the incentives and the policy to actually encourage farmers to think about their marginal land and plant that".


Cranstone knows from personal experience, planting 50 hectares of one of his "worst gullies" into pine trees three years ago, as it was "the best use of that land".

This method hadn't cost his farm anything in productivity either.

Mike Cranstone. Photo / Supplied
Mike Cranstone. Photo / Supplied

"There's another 15 hundred hectares of productive land, and to be fair we're producing the same amount of product off 90 per cent of the farm if we take out the worst 10 per cent of our farm".

Planting pine trees in unproductive land could also provide extra revenue when they were harvested after maturing, Cranstone said.

Although it is considered more environmentally friendly to plant native trees, the land on Cranstone's farm was unsuitable, due to the amount of gorse in the gully.

Listen below:

"Young natives are a plant that will struggle to get through the gorse".

This fact highlingted how "crazy" the government's carbon credit policy was, said Cranstone.

"There's incentives for people to buy gorse blocks and scrub land [and then] clear that land to plant pine trees - removing native vegetation - to capture carbon credits".


Also in today's interview: Cranstone talked about his theory on how getting rid of Kiwi sheep and beef land could affect the Amazon rain forest.